Here in the UK, most workers are entitled to a relatively decent holiday allowance, but even if you only have the bare minimum available, you can still enjoy a long stretch off work.

If you're smart about the days you book off, there is a simple way to make the most of just 11 days’ annual leave in 2020.

This combination of dates will allow you to turn less than half of your allotted allowance into 26 days off in two key stretches: Easter and Christmas.

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As most full-time workers are entitled to 28 days’ holiday over the course of the year, you could effectively take three weeks and four days off work and still have 17 days to play with. You're welcome.

Here's how to do it.

Easter

Assuming you get bank holidays and weekends off, this could be one of the best times of year to use up your annual leave.

By booking off the 14-17 April off (four days) you will end up with a ten-day stretch – this is how it works:

Friday 10 April is Good Friday, followed by a weekend, with Easter Monday on 13. By booking Tuesday 14, Wednesday 15, Thursday 16 and Friday 17 off, you can bookend your four days' allowance with a total of six extra days. Genius.

Christmas

If you can, booking the days between Christmas and New Year's Day off is usually a good way to make your holiday allowance work its hardest. 

But with the way the days fall in 2020, you could get a 16-day stretch off, using just seven days' holiday.

Firstly, you want to book off 21-24 December, then 29-31 December. This will give you more than two weeks off to enjoy the festive season. Here's the deal:

Your last day of work will be Friday 18 December, followed by a weekend. You will have taken Monday 21, Tuesday 22, Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 off as annual leave, followed by Christmas day off. You'll then have a weekend, and Monday 28 is a bank holiday in lieu of Boxing Day.

Tuesday 29, Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 will be annual leave, followed by a bank holiday on Friday for New Year's Day and a weekend. 

You can go back to work on Monday 4 January after two weeks and two days off – double the number of days you're actually taking from your holiday allowance.

Of course, this does depend largely on working a job where weekends and bank holidays are standard days off, which isn't the case for everyone.

But if you do have the opportunity, this is a great way to get the most out of your entitlement. Just make sure you book it off before everyone else does.

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