After the year we’ve had, it’s fair to say that we’re all in need of an escape.
So it’s little surprise 49 per cent of Australians have plans to take a domestic trip, according to new research from Finder.
But if you think the standard 20 days of leave we get in 2021 isn’t going to cut it for all the regional trips you have planned, you’ll be happy to hear you don’t have to settle for this measly amount of time off.
In fact, by taking advantage of public holidays and weekends you can build a calendar of up to 60 days off – all without having to dip into extra leave. Or worse, having to take unpaid leave.
The exact number of dates you can jet-set off on depends on where you live. The lucky ducks in Tasmania and the ACT have the most public holidays of anyone in 2021 (11 each), which lets them bank a total of 60 days for holiday bliss.
Even if you live in a state that doesn’t have such a generous number of public holidays, you can still get 54 holiday days in 2021. This applies to NSW, which only gets nine public holidays per year.
Whichever state or territory you live in though, there are enough public holidays available to see you get away at least seven times in the year – even if only for a long weekend. These are over New Year’s, Australia Day, Anzac Day, Easter, the Queen’s Birthday, Labour Day and Christmas.
Something to note is that this trick takes up three days in 2022 as New Year’s Day falls on a
Monday the following year and it just makes sense to give yourself a long break over the
Christmas and New Year’s: 10 days off for three annual leave days
The biggest annual leave saver is the Christmas break as Christmas Day and Boxing Day fall
on Monday and Tuesday in 2021, giving you a four-day weekend.
Take three days off (Wednesday to Friday) and tack on the New Year’s Day public holiday (Monday, January 1, 2022) and you’ve got 10 days off work for the price of only three annual leave dates.
Easter long weekend: 16 days off for eight days of annual leave
Another big annual leave maximiser in 2021 is around the Easter long weekend.
Book your dates from Saturday, March 27, through to Sunday, April 11, and every state and
territory can max out a 16-day holiday for just eight days of annual leave. That’s double your leave dates.
Being autumn, these dates are practically the holy grail for travelling as they offer cool, holiday-worthy weather around the nation. You can choose to go camping under the stars, hike a multi-day wilderness trail or visit that bucket-list regional destination you’ve been putting off.
Check out Finder for a full rundown of how this hack works for your state or territory.
HOW TO SAVE ON 2021 TRAVEL
With 2021 being the year of domestic tourism, it’s a good idea to keep your eye out for regional tourism voucher schemes to get more bang for your holiday buck.
Victoria has a beauty that runs over the three travel periods in 2021. This includes part of our Easter hack dates and over the Anzac Day long weekend and gives you $200 off accommodation, pubs, wineries, restaurants or small businesses.
If those don’t work for you, the annual Boxing Day sales might have the answer. This year it’s all about deals on flights, hotels, experiences, car hire and cruises for domestic travel
Stephanie Yip is the travel editor at Finder.