If you have that “new year, new me” attitude; wanting to improve your fitness and health. So now that the festive season is done and dusted, it’s time to plan for your next break from work.
Are you craving a few more week relaxing at home, maybe a seaside holiday or even a wild adventure?
The average full-time working South African should be able to take minimum of 15 days of paid annual leave. You can significantly expand your overall leave period if you utilise public holidays and weekends to your advantage.
You could, for example, take just four days leave and you could gain ten days for a family getaway, romantic break or a fun adventure with a group of friends.
If you’re not working full-time and the freedom to travel at any time of the year, try avoiding peak-season, like Christmas or Easter holidays. Prices tend to rise at these times, so it might be to your advantage to go away and save some bucks.
But, for most us, we need to strategically take leave to our advantage.
The Easter break is always a good time to take leave as it always coincides with the school break.
You can take a holiday from Good Friday on 30 March and take four days off from work the following week (the Monday, of course, is Family Day), returning to work on Monday 9 April. This period falls into national school holidays, so it could be perfect for a family break. Similarly, you can also take off from Human Rights Day on 21 March and return after Easter on 3 April – giving you a 13-day break, using just 6 leave days.
Either way, it’s wise to book family-friendly accommodation in advance for this popular period. There are many places that offer family-friendly places around South Africa.
End of April/beginning May: Freedom Day and Worker’s Day
This year, Freedom Day on 27 April falls on a Friday followed by Worker’s Day on 1 May the following Tuesday. For just one day’s leave taken on the Monday linking these two public holidays, you will gain five-day weekend.
Alternatively, you can book four days off and get 10 days, including the weekends. It might be a beneficial move as you won’t hit as much traffic as the Easter Weekend.
If you can manage to see the entire year through without a holiday, this is when you really reap the benefits of all the public holidays!
This would be the ideal time for a lengthy family holiday. If you save up just eight days of leave to take at the end of the year, you will be able to take a whopping eighteen days off thanks to the Day of Reconciliation, Christmas Day, the Day of Goodwill and, of course, a couple of weekends thrown in. You will then be off work from end of day on 14 December, returning only on 2 January 2019.
If you’re unable to take the week before Christmas off, you’ll still take fifteen days by using seven days of leave – and you’ll be off work for the second week of January while the rest of the work-force are already moping.
For those who used some leave earlier in the year, but are still lucky enough to have some days left over, you could finish work on 21 December and still enjoy 11 days, using just four days leave on 24, 27, 28 and 31 December.
Whatever you chose, pick wisely and enjoy your well-deserved break!