Annual leave: Use it or lose it!

Christmas is hurtling towards us at a rate of knots – so have you booked all your annual leave yet? With many employers, it’s a case of use it or lose it, so make sure you don’t miss out. Our travel guru Bob Atkinson has some cracking ideas on where you could go.

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The clock is ticking - Don’t waste your annual leave

With only two months or so left to the end of the year, many people will be facing the challenge of trying to book in leave before they lose their entitlement. However many end up wasting their time off by not planning anything and end up using it for Christmas shopping, domestic chores and DIY they didn’t finish earlier in the year.

With the average Brit having xx days left to use up, we’ve rounded up some great ideas to make the most of your annual leave before the years out.

Two weeks or more

You can either take your break in one go or split it up into several different lumps. However two weeks will really give you a chance to wind down and make the most of your leave. From two weeks on a Thai beach to a fly drive around the Western Cape in South Africa, a holiday in the Caribbean or an action packed theme park break in Florida, there’s loads of great ideas to take a holiday to remember.

A week

One week is the perfect length of time for lounging on a beach, trying out some watersports or doing a little bit of exploring on a week away from the cold months of winter. Some great winter sun can be found in the Canaries, Dubai, Morocco, Cyprus or the Red Sea and will give you just the ticket to that Christmas tan.

Just a few days?

Short breaks

With daily low cost flights to places like Pisa, Malaga and Nice it’s easy to jet away for a few days to rest, relax and explore as a real pick me up. Hire a car and get out of the resorts into the countryside to make you really feel you have escaped and find time to discover quiet villages, fantastic scenery and slow down before the frenzy of Christmas back home.

City breaks

A city break is what you make of it. Shopping, sightseeing, entertainment, exploring, culture are just some of the things you can do as well as the chance to try out some amazing food and drink in restaurants bars and markets. Whilst big hitters such as New York, Rome, Paris and Berlin will always do well, there are some great alternatives sitting at the end of low cost flights from the UK. Think Tallinn, Ljubljana, Seville or Bologna as examples. And of course the famous Christmas markets across Europe and the UK.

Ferry trips

With Christmas and New Year approaching it’s a great time to cross the channel and stock up on food and drink for family events and parties. Prices for a Dover/Calais trip for two including a car start from as low as £20 return. And a ferry over to Ireland gives a great way to visit Dublin, Belfast and the rest of the island.

UK breaks

Rent a cottage and get out and about into the countryside for walks, scenery and some great local food and drink. Book in some pampering at a spa break or try a sporty weekend with golf, off road driving and even mountaineering. And of course visiting the big cities gives you a chance for theatre breaks, fantastic shopping and a chance to see the Christmas decorations across the UK.

Days out

If you only have a few odd days then you could pepper those between now and Christmas and have indulgent days out such as a trip to London to see a gallery, a trip to Manchester to visit the city’s museums or a day out in Bath to enjoy sightseeing in this Georgian city and spa town.

Or why not spend a day taking in the bracing air at the beach in Brighton, a walk in the Cotswolds around Burford or an adrenaline zip wire in a former North Wales colliery at Zip World.  Don’t forget to pre-book your rail tickets to keep fares low, look for online vouchers to save money on eating out and discount vouchers for entries to attractions.

It’s your leave. You’ve earned it so make the most of your time off. So where are you going next? The world is yours to discover.

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