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Get the most from your holiday allowance in the UK in 2024

The UK is a bustling nation. And while the vibrant cities, scenic countryside, and rich history offer endless adventures, life doesn't always make it easy to enjoy them.

Between long working hours, managing household duties, and taking care of kids, finding time to unwind can feel like a luxury. So, when you do get some time off, you most definitely want to utilise and make the most of it and smart planning is the key.

In this guide, we give you a simple but effective strategy that will help you stretch your holiday allowance to enjoy a break from the daily grind and make your holidays relaxing and fulfilling.

Understanding Holiday Allowance in the UK

If you live or at least work in the UK, you already understand what holiday allowance is.

Simply put, it refers to the number of days off you are legally entitled to from work. By law, full-time workers are guaranteed at least 28 days of leave annually, which might include public holidays, depending on your employer's policy.

While 28 days is the minimum, some companies offer more as a way to attract and keep their employees happy. This extra time off can be a real bonus, giving you more opportunities to unwind, travel, or spend time with family and friends.

Heading into 2024, more businesses are recognising the importance of work-life balance and as a result, some are increasing their holiday allowances to help employees recharge and stay productive.

Smart Planning Strategies to Maximise Your Holiday Allowance

“Failing to plan is planning to fail”

Have you ever heard this wise saying? Well, it also applies in this case because planning your holidays wisely is the key to an extraordinary escape.

You need to understand that a holiday allowance is not just about being absent from work. It is about recharging, exploring, and making fun and lifelong memories, and smart planning plays an essential role.

Here are some simple, but practical and effective strategies;

Start Early

Starting early comes with multiple benefits that you would otherwise miss out on. Besides just saving you the stress of last-minute rush and giving you more time to plan, research and organise your activities and destinations, you get a bunch of other perks.

For starters, the earlier you start, the more choices you have. Whether it is flights, hotels, or rental cars, you will have your pick of options.

This means you can find the perfect spot that suits your taste and budget, without having to compromise.

You can also enjoy lower prices as airlines and hotels often offer the best rates to early birds. This can allow you to stretch your holiday budget even further or save up for special activities.

Leverage Bank Holidays

Bank holidays are public holidays when banks and many other businesses are typically closed. In the UK, these days are legally defined and provide a day off for most workers. They are different from the regular "public holidays" in that they are statutorily established.

They include several well-known dates throughout the year, such as New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, the early May bank holiday, the spring bank holiday at the end of May, the summer bank holiday at the end of August, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

Note that when any of them, for example, Christmas Day or Boxing Day falls on a weekend, a substitute weekday becomes a bank holiday, usually the following


Making the most of bank holidays can significantly enhance your holiday allowance. For instance, you can consider taking a day off before or after these dates, to turn a three-day weekend into a four or even five-day mini-vacation, perfect for a quick getaway or a relaxing staycation.

Just plan ahead and be flexible.

Split Your Holidays for More Breaks

Spreading out your holiday days across the year is a smart move too. This lets you recharge more frequently and enjoy a variety of experiences. Not to mention the weather perks.

By not committing to a single vacation period, you can plan your getaways during the ideal weather conditions for your activities. You can enjoy the warmth of the summer on a beach or opt for the crisp air of autumn during a mountain hike.

Avoid Peak Times

Avoiding peak travel times is a smart strategy for several reasons. Not only can it save you money, but it also ensures a more relaxed and enjoyable holiday experience.

You know how a majority of people travel in peak times and everywhere is crowded, hotel rates are high, and airlines are more expensive?

You can avoid all these by planning before or after the peak times and enjoy a less busy and more laid-back atmosphere wherever you go.

Use Long Weekends Wisely

Long weekends can be goldmines for maximising your holiday allowance. With an extra day or two added to the weekend, you can create mini-vacations without tapping much into your official holiday days.

These are especially perfect for short trips, whether that is a nearby city, a coastal retreat, or a countryside getaway.

If travelling far seems daunting, staying and supporting activities at home isn't a bad idea either. Consider the attractions closer to home such as local festivals, new restaurant openings, or a night in a boutique hotel. These can still be just as refreshing as a trip out of town.

Mix Business with Pleasure

If you have a chance to travel for work, there is something called "bleisure" travel. This simply means blending your business travel with some fun leisure activities. Here are some ideas;

  • Extend your stay a few extra days after your business is concluded. This can allow you to explore the area without the stress of meetings or presentations.
  • If feasible, invite family or friends to join you towards the end of your business commitments, turning a work trip into a mini-vacation.
  • Use any free time during your business trip to visit local attractions. You can try regional cuisine, or attend cultural events.

Budgeting For Your Holidays

There is no holiday without a budget, right? To enjoy your holidays without financial stress, you have to be smart and know how you can manage your holiday finances effectively. Here are some things you can do;

  • Set a holiday budget

Start by deciding how much you want to spend on your holidays for the year. This includes travel, accommodation, food, and activities.

Once you have a total, break it down by trip or by month. This way, you know exactly what you can afford or how much you can spend before you start booking.

  • Save up gradually

If you are planning a big trip, consider setting aside a fixed amount each month. This can be as simple as moving a small portion of your paycheck into a savings account dedicated to travel.

Over time, these savings add up, making it easier to fund your dream holiday without dipping into emergency funds or racking up credit card debt.

  • Use reward points and loyalty programs

If you have credit cards, see if they offer reward points that can be used for flights or hotels. Join airline and hotel loyalty programs too. Over time, you can accumulate points to redeem for free flights, hotel stays, or upgrades. It is a great way to stretch your holiday budget further.

  • Look for deals and discounts

Keep an eye out for sales and special offers. Many travel websites and companies offer discounts during certain times of the year. You can even sign up for newsletters and alerts, to keep you in the loop about the best deals.

  • Plan around sales

Sometimes, travel and accommodation prices drop significantly during sales such as “Black Friday” or “after New Year”. Planning your holiday around these times can lead to big savings.


Every day of your holiday allowance is an opportunity to refresh and enrich your life, which should be taken seriously too!

So start planning now. Figure out what you want to do during this time, how you want to spend it, who you want to spend it with, and how much it means to you. You can then follow this guide to make plans that will ensure you get the most from your holiday allowance this year.

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