Every employee around the world gets a set number of vacation days from work, however, some companies are more generous with their time off policies than others. Therefore, you may have two weeks of vacation while your neighbor has a glorious four weeks. There might not be anything that you can do to get more vacation time, but there is a way that you can maximize those days off and take a stress-free family vacation or perhaps, a romantic vacation.
Here are 7 tips on how to stretch your vacation time from work:
1. Pair a Vacation Day with a Weekend or Holiday
One of the best ways to stretch your vacation time is to pair a day or two of it with a weekend or a holiday. Some companies will give employees both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so if those days fall on a Thursday and Friday or a Monday and Tuesday, there are four days off right there. Add a vacation day or two in and you have almost a week away from home while you travel.
When you decide to incorporate the weekends into your travel plans, you can easily get a four-day getaway with only taking two days off from work. This ensures that you can take even more four-day getaways throughout the year and really maximize your vacation time!
While you may not be thrilled to travel at Christmas, you can still do mini vacations like this by incorporating weekends or other holidays throughout the year. In fact, if you do this the right way, you can easily get four weeks of vacation every year with only the two weeks that you receive!
2. Work While on Vacation if Possible
There is nothing that says that you cannot work for part of your trip, especially if it means that you can save a few vacation days. If your boss is agreeable to this arrangement, I recommend going on vacation and working a little each day while you are there.
You can do that work early in the morning or late at night, so you can enjoy the daytime and do the things that you want to do while on vacation. Those short amounts of time can add up to a day or two of work, which means that you will easily save those vacation days for another trip later on.
3. Use the Time Zones Wisely
This may sound crazy, but you can gain time if you travel to a destination that is in a different time zone that you are! If you want to enjoy more of your vacation in the beginning, you can fly to the west, which is a few hours behind. However, if you want that time at the end of your trip, say when you are returning home, you should venture east, where they are a few hours behind.
This may not sound like much time, but even a few hours here and there will add up to vacation time saved. If you do this for most of your vacations, you can have at least a couple extra days of vacation every year.
4. Use a Half Day if Possible
When you schedule your flights or departure times for road trips, try to plan them for later in the day. This way, you can easily take a half day off from work, instead of a full day, essentially saving yourself some vacation time.
The best part is that if you can possibly stay in the office until two or three o’clock, your boss may not even make you use vacation time for those last couple hours. This can be especially true if you happen to arrive at the office a couple hours earlier than normal.
5. Earn a Little Comp Time
Not everyone gets to collect overtime pay, so if that is what happens to you, take advantage of the comp time that you earn instead. By working a few extra hours here and there, you can easily earn a few extra days of vacation each year. Those days can add up to the point where you can easily take a week off or enjoy a few extra long weekends.
6. Purchase Extra Vacation Days
Some companies will allow you to purchase extra vacation days every year or two, so you may want to see if your employer will allow you to.
Not only will this give you more time to work with when you want to take your dream vacation, it will help you relax a little more throughout the year.
7. Use Multiple Weekends
If you are planning a dream vacation where you want to spend nine days overseas, your best option for saving vacation time is to utilize the weekends on either end of the work week. This ensures that four of your days off will not count towards your vacation days, and all you will need to take off is five. Of course, if you plan your vacation around a holiday, you can take less vacation time than that!
It is never easy to stretch vacation time into the days and weeks that you desire, but if you do a little creative thinking, you can maximize your vacation days more than you ever thought possible. I recommend utilizing some of the seven tips above to see if you can really stretch your vacation days this year. And of course save money while you’re at it. That said, you might be surprised at how many more vacation days you have available, especially if you have already been on a few trips and used what you thought would have been all your vacation days!