How I took Eight Holidays Last Year with Five Weeks Annual Leave

I have an addiction. I get a thrill out of booking trips. I love taking them but the ultimate high is pushing book. That moment you realise your life will change by the adventure. Looking back at 2016, I was extremely fortunate to be able to take eight holidays.

I have been asked multiple times, “How do you have so much annual leave?”

I have the same amount as any full-time worker in Australia, it is all in how you use it. Here is how I did it.

March, 2016: Great Ocean Road, Australia. 

I hired a car in Melbourne with my friend Hannah and we did a road trip along the Great Ocean Road. It was amazing, we foound dramaric cliffs, small seaside villages and more than the average amount of cockatoos!

Annual leave used: One

Days away: Three

March, 2016: New Zealand.

Heading home is always an adventure because I get to see it with new eyes! Home is home and really needs no explanation.

Annual leave used: Three

Days away: Five

March: South Australia

Jungle days, red wine nights, unspoilt beaches, naked sunset dances, red wine, guitar jams, endless night skies, red wine….

We hired a campervan in Adelaide and drove the Eyre Peninsula to Coffin Bay National Park. We travelled over the Easter weekend and took an extra two days off work to make the holiday six days long. Easter time is notorious for being a busy time to travel so the key is to plan and book well in advance and pick a destination that is off-the-beaten-track.

Annual leave used: Two

Days away: Six

June: Bali

When Air Asia dropped their prices to $250 return to Sydney, I nearly lost the plot! That is crazy-put-me-on-a-flight-right-now kind of cheap. I searched for the first public holiday in the travel dates and booked over that weekend!

My crazy-fun Emma and I flew a Friday morning from Sydney and returned Tuesday morning at 1 am. I did get criticised for the short amount of time we were away, however, we managed to fit in:

  • A night in a fancy resort in Ubud
  • We climbed Mount Batur and had a foot massage next to a glistening lake
  • We had lunchtime beers at Bingin Beach
  • A night out at Singlefin in Uluwatu
  • We visited Uluwatu Monkey Temple
  • Had sunset beers at Uluwatu

Annual leave used: Two

Days away: Five

August: Borneo

This spontaneous trip came out of nowhere. My dad had a last-minute sailing holiday lined up, cruising from Borneo to Papa Nu Guniea. When he asked me to come, there was only one condition. I would have to book a couple of days before leaving. Sure enough one Wednesday afternoon I got the call.

“Get here by Monday, we are leaving Kota Kinabalu and sailing up the coast”.

Flying Sunday night, I arrived just in time to sail the calm waters of Malaysia. Embarking from Kota Kinabalu, we sailed via Gaya Island to the tip of Borneo, Kudat. I then had a 15-hour flight back to Sydney. I arrived at 7 am on a Monday and went straight to work, about 4 coffees deep.

Annual leave: Five

Days away: Nine

October: Bali

In October, I frolicked back to Bali for a friend’s wedding. Being my ninth time in the beautiful island, we did the usual — surf Bingin, drink at Uluwatu, went out in Seminyak and ventured to Nusa Lembongan for a couple of days! The key to this trip was catching the overnight flight and going straight to work from the plane!

Annual leave used: Three

Days away: Five

November: Hawaii

Jetstar launched return flights to Honolulu for $299! I have never had an urge to venture to Hawaii however this was too good to be true. Waikiki was not an ideal destination for us as we usually travel to find solitude, lonely lineups and starry nights, so we flew straight to Kauai.

Hawaii is notorious for being expensive. Not only is it in USD but hotels and restaurants charge copious amounts plus add on tips. In a mission to avoid spending lots of money, I scrolled Airbnb for weeks trying to find something cheap. It wasn’t until I came across a ute with a rooftop camper that I was satisfied.

Annual leave used: Seven

Days away: Ten

December: New Zealand


Annual leave used: Three

Days away: Six

The secret?!

  • Wait for flight sales
  • Book in advance
  • Use public holidays and weekends
  • Fly overnight and go straight to work

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