The guide on how to hack your annual leave for 2023 is here. For many people, travel has been on the backburner for the past couple of years, for obvious and good reasons. But in 2023, it’s time to get back out and explore the world - climbing summits, cycling up (and more importantly down) mountain roads, kayaking fjords and hiking through remarkable jungles.
There’s nothing like travel to reconnect you with the world, but if you work full-time, the annual leave you’ll be allowed to take to do so will, of course, be limited.
Luckily, hacking your annual leave doesn’t require a magical wand. It doesn’t even require an Allen key, bike oil or superglue. All you’re going to need is a calendar, a spreadsheet, a list of the bank holidays in your country, or better yet… this article! Which you’re already reading. Good work. Proud of you.
If you took every suggested holiday below, it’d take your 27 days of annual leave and make it into 65 adventure-ready days of holiday…
Of course, how much annual leave you get from your employer is going to be a variable here. We hope that you have a boss who’s very generous with how they hand out days off, and who lets you out to play on a snow day, too. Or a sunny day. Or a rainy day for that matter, if you fancy it. But either way, the concept behind hacking your annual leave works even if you only have one day of holiday to use (though in that case… you should probably seek legal advice).
For this article, we’re going to take a scenario where you get 27 days of annual leave off for 2023, plus bank holidays on top of that. From there, we’ll show you how to supersize your annual leave.
If you took every suggested holiday below, it’d take your 27 days of annual leave and make it into 65 adventure-ready days of holiday, including some big chunks of time - perfect for a life-changing adventure.
The following is based on the official 2023 bank holidays in England and Wales.
There’s no need for a new year resolution when you’ve got an adventure lined up to start your year. How about taking in the first light of 2023 on a beach in Morocco? Or deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon?
Bank holidays in January 2023: Monday 2 Jan (Monday - New Year’s Day, substitute day)
Days away from the office: 9 (Sat 31 December - Sun 8 January)
Days to book off work: 3-6 January (4 days)
Annual Leave Hack Adventure ideas for January 2023:
- Six-Day Moroccan Surf Adventure (31 Dec-5 January)
- Trek Lodge to Lodge in the Atlas Mountains (31 Dec-5 January)
- Adventure Deep into the Ecuadorian Amazon (31 Dec-6 January)
- Humpbacks and Huskies Under the Aurora in Norway (4-7 January)
- The Ultimate Arctic Circle Adventure in Norway (5-8 January)
- Sail, Hike and Chase the Northern Lights (6-9 January)
Easter is great for people who love chocolate... or bank holidays! It brings with it a long, long weekend. Take off the four days each side of that weekend, and you’ve got over two weeks to play with - ideal for a long-distance trek.
Bank holidays in April 2023: Friday 7 April (Good Friday) and Monday 10 April (Easter Monday)
Days away from the office: 16 (Sat 1 - Sunday 16 April)
Days to book off work: April 3-6 (4 days) & April 11-14 (4 days)
Annual Leave Hack Adventure ideas for April 2023:
- Kayak and Hike the Caves, Jungle and Coast of Vietnam (1-10 April)
- Hike the Volcanic Island of Gran Canaria (1-6 April)
- 250km Coast to Coast Expedition Through Costa Rica (1-12 April)
- Cycle from Vietnam to Cambodia's Angor Wat (1-14 April)
- Hike, Kayak and Cycle in Kerala (1-8 April)
- Cycle from Vietnam to Cambodia's Angkor Wat (1-14 April)
- Hike, Safari and Stargaze in Namibia (7-16 April)
- Island Hopping Adventure in the Galapagos (7-16 April)
- Hike, Kayak and Wild Camp the Norwegian Fjords (14-17 April)
- Explore Jordan and Sleep in the Martian Dome (13-18 April)
The early May bank holiday is one of two bank holidays that we all forget about. The other being... the late May bank holiday - aka, the Spring bank holiday. But, like a five-pound note rediscovered in a rarely-used jacket pocket, we are always ecstatic when we do remember that both exist. This time around, get it in your diary early, and use it to hack your annual leave!
Edit update: A bonus bank holiday has also now been confirmed for 2023, on Monday 8 May, to mark the coronation of King Charles III. So we've updated the calendar above to reflect that. We haven't included it above, as we know you have limited annual leave, but if you chose to take your leave on both 2-5 May and 9-12 May, those eight days of annual leave would bag you 16 consecutive days off!
Bank holidays in May 2023: Monday 1 May (Early May bank holiday), Monday 8 May (to mark coronation of King Charles III) and Monday 29 May (Spring bank holiday).
Days away from the office: 9 (29 April - 7 May) and 9 (27 May - 4 June)
Days to book off work: 2-5 May (4 days) and/or 30 May - 2 June (4 days)
Annual Leave Hack Adventure ideas for Early May 2023:
- Safari to Sea Adventure in Tanzania and Zanzibar (22 April - 1 May)
- Cycle the Jordan Trail to Petra (29 April - 6 May)
- Hike and Kayak in Cuba (29 April - 6 May)
- Climb Mount Toubkal (4-7 May)
- Raft, Hike and Kayak in Bosnia (4-7 May)
- Bear-Watching and Castle Hopping in Romania (5-7 May)
Annual Leave Hack Adventure ideas for Late May 2023:
- Packrafting Adventure in Croatia (27 May - 31 May)
- Kayak and Hike the Coast of Crete (27 May - 3 June)
- Kayak and Wild Camp on Remote Greek Islands (31 May - 4 June)
- Kayak, Snorkel and Hike the Canyons of Albania (31 May - 5 June)
- The Ultimate South Africa Hiking Safari (28 May - 7 June)
The month of August is when we've really settled into summer, and it comes into its own. That makes it the perfect time to pop off on an adventure to climb up a mountain or kayak a fjord. Promise us that you’ll remember what that nice lady in the Baz Luhrmann song says, though - and always wear sunscreen.
Bank holidays in August 2021: Monday 28 August (Summer bank holiday).
Days away from the office: 9 (Sat 26 August - Sun 3 Sept)
Days to book off work: 29 August - 1 September (4 Days)
Annual Leave Hack Adventure ideas for August 2023:
- Climb Mount Triglav in Slovenia (26-28 August)
- Kayak the Yuna Gala Islands in Panama (26 August - 2 September)
- The Ultimate Norwegian Fjords Adventure (26 August - 3 September)
- Trek the GR20 in Corsica: South Section (27 August - 2 September)
- Adventure Hiking in Armenia (27 August - 2 September)
- Roam the Ancient Cities of Morocco and Glamp in the Sahara (21-30 August)
- Cycle the Backroads of Rajasthan (1-9 September)
Is it a bit rash to go away over Christmas? It might initially sound that way. But think of it like this. It's Christmas Day. You wake up and look around to see the stunning Atlas Mountains. Or it's midnight on 31 December! You breathe it in from thousands of metres up, on Mount Kilimanjaro. Sounds pretty good, right?
Bank holidays in December 2021: Monday 25 December (Christmas Day) & Tuesday 26 December (Boxing Day) + 1 January 2023 (New Year’s Day)
Days away from the office: 10 days (23 Dec - 2 Jan)
Days to book off work: 27-29 Dec (3 days)
Annual Leave Hack Adventure ideas for December 2023:
- Trek Lodge to Lodge in the Atlas Moutains (23-28 December or 30 December - 4 January)
- Climb Mount Kilimanjaro (23-31 December)
- Trek Ecuador’s Avenue of Volcanoes (23 December - 3 January)
- Adventure Hiking in Cape Verde (24 December - 3 January)
- Cycle the Backroads of Cuba (27 December - 3 January)
Inspired? Browse our full range of adventure holidays now, protecting the world’s wild places - one adventure at a time!