How to get the most out of your annual leave in 2019

It sounds like some sort of magic trick, but you don’t need to be Derren Brown to practically double the amount of annual leave you get from your work next year. Here at STA Travel HQ, our wanderlust is limited to just 25 days annual leave a year, so it’s safe to say, we’ve become experts at how to squeeze every drop of travel time out of these days. And we’ve sniffed out a strategy you worker bees need to jump on! In April 2019, you can get 18 days of holiday for only nine days of annual leave!

So, how do you go about doing this?


Easter bank holidays

The answer is to choose your holiday dates carefully and start pencilling in your days off for next year now. Not next week. Not when you have a spare second. You need to be thinking about bangsying the bank holidays before anyone else does, and in particular, the bank holidays falling around the Easter period.

This is because Friday April the 19th, Monday April the 22nd and Monday May the 6th are all bank holidays. And fitted snugly in between these dates are two weekends. So, naturally, they don’t count as time off. So, you only have to book off April the 23rd to the 30th, and May the 1st to the 3rd. Helloooo, almost-3 week long holiday!


The August bank holiday

Added to this, you can also book off four days between the 23rd and 30th of August to enjoy nine consecutive days off in a row, thanks to Monday 26th being another bank holiday. Winner winner, chicken dinner. Anyone else pencilling in their holiday as we speak?

So, with all this holiday booked in, you may be asking what you can be doing with it? Well, we can help there too.

Here’s five great ideas what to do with all that time off…


Take a Sri Lankan Adventure


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ANNI & TIMO (@anniandtimo) on

This teardrop-shaped island will fill your senses with the sweet fragrances of tea, orchids and cinnamon, and your body will thank you for some downtime on the tropical beaches of the southern coast.

Add in jaw-dropping train journeys, Buddhist temples and plenty of wildlife and you’ve got yourself a pretty great three weeks on your hands! Join one of our awesome tours or let one of our INDI Travel Experts conjure something up for you.

Inspire yourself more on Sri Lanka here.


Head to Japan


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by YUTO YAMADA / Berlin Tokyo (@tokio_kid) on

From mouth-watering street food stalls selling local delights to Michelin-starred restaurants; foodies will be in utter heaven in the Land of the Rising Sun. But it’s not just about the food. Find a robot-themed restaurant, tranquil parks, karaoke bars, a parasitological museum and even a vampire café (!) all in wacky Tokyo.

Looking to get out of the cities? Take a trip up Mt. Fuji, stay in a peaceful yoga retreat or laze on the sun-lapped beaches of Okinawa. Fancy something a bit different? Get in the fast lane on one of our ‘Work Japan’ placements.

Need more inspo? Visit our Japan travel guide and get planning.


Strap on a backpack and head to The Philippines

The Philippines is regularly heralded as being the hottest new destination in which to travel to, and we’ve got plenty of awesome tours in which to explore.

Join us on ‘One Life Adventures’ and you definitely won’t be disputing the ‘hot-ticket destination’ reputation. Sail along the Underground River, hit the town in Manila, snorkel with turtles and learn all about local people’s way of life in El Nido.

Help conserve turtles in Costa Rica


Sea turtles are seasoned globetrotters, travelling up to 10,000 miles each year on their own flippers. But die to the devastating effects of climate change, their journey often gets off to a hairy start.

Give them the best chance in life on one of our turtle conservation trips, with options from eight to 58 days! Participate in night patrols, monitor for unwanted predators, collect data and help keep the area safe for its hard-shelled residents. You may even get to wave them off on their journey to sea!

Oh, and did we mention Costa Rica is a pretty sweet destination in general? Volcanoes, islands, cloud forests, and slots… hello, adventuretime.

Inspire yourself with our Costa Rica travel guide


Get high in Peru

Mention must-visit countries, and chances are Peru would score pretty high on the list. Send your sense into overdrive with one of our G Adventures’ trips; spot soaring condors in the Colca Canyon, delve deep into the Amazon Rainforest, opt to fly over the Nazca Lines and take that all-important selfie at the top of Machu Picchu.


We’ve got plenty of options… but before you do any planning… go bag those holidays!