It’s fair to say that 2020 hasn’t exactly gone to plan. But now, as more and more countries are opening up to UK travellers, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. To help you make up for lost time next year, we’ve created a handy guide on how to make the most of your 2021 annual leave. So you can enjoy maximum time off using minimal holiday allowance – simple.

Using the 2021 bank holidays to your advantage, you can savour those precious days off and boost your annual leave. Next year, using just 24 days of your holiday allowance, you could enjoy an incredible 51 days off work. Tempted? Grab your calendar and start planning your holidays for 2021.

Have 16 days off in April with eight days’ annual leave

Easter falls in early April next year, with Good Friday on 2nd April and Easter Monday on 5th April. That means you could finish work on 26th March and have a whopping 16 consecutive days off work. And – this is the best bit – you’ll only have to use eight days of your 2021 annual leave. To top it off, April is a great month to get away, as lots of different countries see their best weather at this time of year. You could book an epic trip to Australia, go on safari in South Africa, or find cheap flights to Thailand and chill out on a sun-soaked beach.

Days to book off work: 29, 30, 31 March and 1, 6, 7, 8, 9 April

Have nine days off in May with four days’ annual leave

As always, May spoils us with bank holidays. Next year, Monday 3th May and Monday 31st May give you two extra days off work. So, at either the start or end of the month, you can enjoy nine days away using only four days of annual leave. Plus, the later bank holiday coincides with May half term – so parents can jet off on a family break with the kids, and save some annual leave at the same time. Head to Dubai for action-packed resorts and desert adventures, or choose Orlando for rollercoaster thrills, fairytale characters and family-friendly beaches.

Days to book off work: 4, 5, 6, 7 May or 1, 2, 3, 4 June

Have nine days off in September with four days’ annual leave

In 2021, the summer bank holiday falls a bit later than usual. It’s on Monday 30th August, right at the end of the summer holidays – so, if you have school-aged children, this isn’t much help. But, if you’re free and easy, the timing couldn’t be better. You can book a nine-day holiday to round off your summer in style, using just four days of your 2021 annual leave. September gives you plenty of options, too. Tick off world-famous landmarks in New York, or take it easy on a white-sand beach in the Maldives.

Days to book off work: 31 August and 1, 2, 3 September

Have 17 days off in December with eight days’ annual leave

We know it’s ages away but, if you’ve always wanted to go abroad for Christmas, 2021 is the year to do it. The bank holidays fall perfectly. Christmas Day and Boxing Day land on a weekend, so those two bank holidays are carried over to Monday and Tuesday. New Year’s Day is also a Saturday, so that bank holiday occurs on Monday 3rd January. The result? You can have an enormous 17 days off work.

We’re not kidding. Using just eight days of your holiday allowance, you could put on your ‘out of office’ on 17th December, and you won’t need to come back to work until 4th January. You could spend that time exploring some of the best Christmas markets in Europe or, for a real change of scene, why not experience a hot Christmas in the Caribbean?

If you don’t have much leave to use by this point, don’t worry – you can still enjoy a decent break. By booking off 29th, 30th and 31st December, you can have 10 tinsel-decked days off work. Someone pass the sherry.

Days to book off work:  20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 31 December

Decided how to use your 2021 annual leave? Find a cheap deal with Netflights.

Or, if you’re not sure where to take the kids, read about the best family destinations outside Europe.