The secret to getting more days off and to getting the most out of your annual leave

Posted on 24/01/2021 by Vicki | Spaceships Crew


Let's be honest for a moment, 2020 sucked! For many people, this year's annual leave has been stocked up for future use or just used on living room staycations. Fortunately, Kiwi's have got more opportunities to see the world in 2021, starting with our own backyard! If you are reading this and thinking "I don't have much holiday leave left to take".... then keep reading my friend, I got ya back because what I am about to tell you is a classified genius travel hack. This is how to get more days off work.

Combine annual leave with public holidays!

The best start of a new year is to sit down with a cup of tea (or something stronger) and to check your brand new calendar. See what nice surprises the new year will bring and how to use public holidays to get more days off.

Getting work done - photo: Glenn Carstens Peters

No matter how much fun your work is, it is healthy to take time off | photo: Glenn Carstens Peters

How? Easy. Any public holiday that is attached to calendar dates but falls on a weekend day that year, will be moved to Monday or sometimes Tuesday. This means that the day they are celebrated on moves to the days of the week aka a working day. You'll get a nice long weekend off when that happens, but if you take annual leave the other days of the week you'll have even longer off. And it won't take lots of annual leave. Check out these examples.

Get more days off in February 2021

  • Friday 5 February 2021: take annual leave
  • Saturday 6 February 2021 is Waitangi Day and a weekend day
  • Sunday 7 February 2021 is a normal weekend day
  • Monday 8 February 2021 is the catch-up day for Waitangi Day aka a public holiday

That's 4 days off work and it only costs you 1 day of annual leave.

And 4 days off work is more than enough for a lovely road trip. A Spaceships campervan is a great way to see a lot while it won't cost you a lot. Our campervans come with all sleeping & cooking gear included, so it's your transport and accommodation rolled into one. No need to pay for expensive hotels or motels, just spend the night at amazing campsites like the ones that Department of Conservation provide.

We even have a free app for you so you'll know where to find these free & budget campsites in New Zealand. A short hire of 3 to 5 days will give you plenty of time to see and do something new.

How to get more time off this Easter

This is the big one in 2021. This nice travel hack will get you a 10-day break but you'll only use 4 annual leave days. Boom! That will definitely put a smile on your face. Lots of extra days off work.

  • Friday 2 April 2021 is Good Friday, a public holiday
  • Saturday 3 April 2021 is a normal weekend day
  • Sunday 4 April 2021 is Easter Sunday, a public holiday on a Sunday
  • Monday 5 April 2021 is Easter Monday, a public holiday
  • Tuesday 6 April 2021 take annual leave
  • Wednesday 7 April 2021 take annual leave
  • Thursday 8 April 2021 take annual leave
  • Friday 9 April 2021 take annual leave
  • Saturday 10 April 2021 is a normal weekend day
  • Sunday 11 April 2021 is a normal weekend day

That's 10 days of work and it would only cost you 4 annual leave days. How awesome is that? On a 10-day road trip, you can do & see even more. Worried about booking in advance? No worries. Our advanced booking system will always give you the lowest possible price and booking in advance is always cheaper than booking last-minute. You can always change your travel dates free of charge before the day of pick-up (subject to availability) and you won't lose your deposit in case you need to cancel due to government regulations or COVID closures. That's part of the Spaceships promises.

And it's free to add additional drivers to your Spaceships booking, so you can travel with mates and let someone else do the driving as well.

Need space road trip time

Need some space or time off work? Then it's time for a road trip!

Get more days off work on ANZAC Day

Around ANZAC Day there's the option to take 9 days of work at the price of just 4 annual leave days. So that's another long break in April this year.

  • Saturday 24 April 2021 is a normal weekend day
  • Sunday 25 April 2021 is ANZAC Day, a public holiday on a Sunday
  • Monday 26 April 2021 is a public holiday as it's the Mondayisation of ANZAC Day.
  • Tuesday 27 April 2021 take annual leave
  • Wednesday 28 April 2021 take annual leave
  • Thursday 29 April 2021 take annual leave
  • Friday 30 April 2021 take annual leave
  • Saturday 1 May 2021 is a normal weekend day
  • Sunday 2 May 2021 is a normal weekend day

Extra days off around Queen's Birthday

Her Majesty The Queen has her Birthday this year on 7 June 2021, so why not take Friday 4 June or Tuesday 8 June off and enjoy another long weekend. That's just one day of annual leave to enjoy a nice 4-day weekend aka a long weekend. Or add a few more days of annual leave to enjoy an ever longer break.

  • Friday 4 June 2021 take annual leave
  • Saturday 5 June 2021 is a normal weekend day
  • Sunday 6 June 2021 is a normal weekend day
  • Monday 7 June 2021 is a public holiday

Here is what you can do with 3-5 days off work

There's so much you can do in 3 to 5 days in the Auckland area. Check out our North Island road trip itineraries or have a look at this amazing 5-day itinerary going North from Auckland.

Day 1: Leave Auckland (as early as you you possibly can)

Head to the Bay of Islands just 3 hours North and arrive in Paihia (Maori word for “Good Here”) arrive by 2pm for a horse trek. Take your pick of a forest or volcano tour to spice up your afternoon. If you’re a keen rider like me, consider a full day or overnight adventure too.

Recommended place to stay or camp: Russell Top 10 Holiday Park. This holiday park is pet-friendly and completely smoke-free (it's New Zealand's first smoke-free holiday park). 

Day 2: Go parasailing and see the Bay from above

New Zealand's highest parasail adventure will let you see the Bay of Island from a different perspective, a bird's eye view. Choose from various parasail packages and enjoy the flight of a lifetime. You can take your own camera or take advantage of a photo and video package.

Recommended place to stay or camp: Russell Top10 Holiday park, the same as the day before or go for something new and spend a night at Waitangi Holiday Park

Day 3: Cliffs, caves and walking cruises

Explore the Bay and see how the Bay of Island lives up to the hype. You’ll take in the Black Rocks, and a six km walk, followed up a swim. You may also go on a dolphin cruise. Priceless to see these amazing mammals.

Recommended place to stay or camp: Paihia Top 10 holiday park or the same one as the day before, Waitangi Holiday Park

Experience the Bay of Islands

Get extra days of work and enjoy the Bay of Island on your (extra) long weekend

Day 4 Hokianga: race down the amazing sand dunes of Hokianga Harbour.

Travel by boat from Opononi across the harbour to the dunes with Hokianga Express Charters (a family-owned and operated business) for an experience like no other!

Accommodation tips: Those who want a little luxury stay at the Copthorne Hotel and Resort Hokianga and enjoy some poolside cocktails. FYI, Happy Hour is always at 5pm. The 4-star rated hotel features beachfront rooms, offering magnificent views of the beautiful Hokianga Harbour.

Since you’re staying the night… take in a night tour of the magical Waipoua Forest, the Waipoua Forest: Twilight Encounter - Maori Cultural Eco Night Tour with Footprints Waipoua ("1 of only 2 New Zealand and 82 Global Lonely Planet Code Green Experiences of a Lifetime). You can enjoy a four-hour Twilight Tour, or if you want to hit the hay early, opt for the shorter ‘Meet Tane at night’ tour.

Day 5: Slowly head back to Auckland

All good things come to an end. The end of your long weekend away from Auckland is getting closer. It is time to head back to the city via Goat Island Marine Reserve. Northeast of Warkworth for some snorkelling, paddle or "clearyakking" with a 100% glass canoe. See for more info about this amazing activity.

It makes sense to take more time off work

Sounds good aye? It is that easy to get more time off work. Put in your annual leave request form today before your colleagues do, and start planning that long weekend away.

It is so much fun to get away from the city for a (long) weekend and it is healthy to take more time off. Regular breaks and time off work is better for mental health and can prevent burnouts. Taking leave helps us achieve better work-life balance.

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