Holiday hacks: how to maximise your annual leave in 2019

How do you turn three days of annual leave into 10 whole days off? Don’t worry, this isn’t a trick question. It doesn’t require any magic, nor does it involve blackmailing your boss. In fact, the answer is surprisingly simple. With one simple holiday hack, you could enjoy 10 days off for the price of just three days annual leave this April. Or, if you’re lucky enough to live in the Sunshine State, you could get 18 days off for the price of eight (more on that in a second).

How? Well, thanks to a quirk in the 2019 Public Holiday calendar, Easter and ANZAC Day fall on consecutive weeks. This means that between Friday, April 19th and Sunday, April 28th, you could get 10 days off, while only having to take annual leave on Tuesday, April 23rd, Wednesday, April 24th, and Friday, April 26th. Now that’s a bargain!

If you live in Queensland, Labour Day falls shortly after on May 6th. As such, you could extend this break to 18 days by taking 5 more days of annual leave from Monday, April 29th – Friday, May 3rd. In exchange, you’ll get a nice, long break from Friday, April 19th, all the way until Monday, May 6th.  

With all of this time off on offer, you’ll want to get in quick and book your leave before others in the office beat you to it. The question then becomes: how do I make the most of my time off? Fear not, because we’ve uncovered some truly magical domestic and international destinations to visit during your supersized holiday in 2019. These awesome holiday ideas will help ensure you have a memorable break.

Domestic

With so many beautiful spots right here in our backyard, there’s no need to look too far abroad when taking time off this year. Here are a few of the very best.

Daintree Rainforest, Queensland

The Daintree Rainforest speaks for itself. One glimpse of this natural marvel should be enough to convince you that the Daintree should be at the very top of your ‘must visit’ list. Incredibly, the Daintree Rainforest is the oldest continuous living rainforest on earth. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, it’s also home to a staggering 80% of the world’s fern species, as well as 40% of Australia’s bird species, and 35% of our mammal population.

And when it comes to the Daintree Rainforest, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. From stunning waterholes to breathtaking natural greenery and wildlife, a trip to the Daintree Rainforest is a once in a lifetime experience that you’ll want to experience over and over again.

Great Alpine Road, Victoria

From a fabulous forest to an incredible road trip, the Great Alpine Road is simply must-see. Starting in Victoria’s north-east at Wangaratta, this 500km route takes you on a breathtaking journey all the way to Metung in East Gippsland. Along the way, you’ll travel on Australia’s highest accessible sealed road, which delivers a fantastic view of mountain ranges, valleys, glimmering waterways, and some outstanding wine regions. Better yet, you’ll encounter many quaint, historic towns throughout your road trip, such as Beechworth and Omeo.

If you’re still (somehow) not sold on this great road trip, you’ll also have the chance to visit Victoria’s highest alpine village, Mt Hotham. Here, you’ll have access to everything from sensational skiing slopes to fishing, horseback riding, and beautiful hiking paths.

To ensure your road trip is safe, secure, and worry-free, click here to learn more about Budget Direct Roadside Assistance. That way, you’ll be free to sit back, relax, and enjoy the drive!

Blue Mountains, New South Wales

If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, look no further than the Blue Mountains. Only 1.5 hours’ drive from the non-stop action of Sydney’s centre, the Blue Mountains are a serene slice of paradise, which are ideal for getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Whether you’re seeking a relaxing holiday or all out adventure, the Blue Mountains have got you covered. Sit back, relax, and take in everything that the natural scenery has to offer, or, take one of the many unbelievable bush walks and be blown away by the famous Three Sisters rock formation. Whatever you decide to do, one thing’s for certain: your time in the Blue Mountains will leave you feeling anything but blue.  

International

If you would rather use your time off to enjoy a change of scenery and experience a new culture, then don’t worry, because there are also heaps of awesome international destinations you can visit to make the most of your break.

To give yourself extra peace of mind while travelling, and leave you covered in case of unexpected events such as lost bags, stolen credit cards, or unforeseen medical costs, click here to learn more about Budget Direct Travel Insurance.

New Zealand

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, New Zealand is the #1 most popular destination for Australians travelling abroad. And with good reason. The land of the long white cloud offers many benefits to Aussie visitors and just as many unforgettable sights to savour. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a nature enthusiast, a culinary king, or just hoping for a peaceful, serene holiday, New Zealand has you covered.

Plus, the comparatively short flight and favourable exchange rate are also a huge bonus for Aussie holiday-makers. Honestly, New Zealand has too many beautiful sights, sounds, adventures, and experiences to even begin to list them all here, but rest assured, you’ll be blown away.

Belize

While many travellers would likely struggle to identify Belize on a map, this hidden coastal gem is a secret that’s simply too good to keep. Bordered on the east by the Caribbean Sea, Belize is home to the world’s second largest barrier reef.

And that’s just the start of a story you won’t be able to put down. Belize also features one of the world’s largest and most accessible cave systems, as well as some unbelievable jungles, and a host of ancient Mayan archaeological sites, highlighted by Xunantunich, which is believed to have been built in the 7th century AD. One of the major benefits of Belize’s relatively unknown status on the world stage is that it remains fairly untouched by tourists, giving you the chance to appreciate the full extent of its natural splendour.

Greece

From mind-blowing historical sites to beautiful islands and simply exquisite cuisine, Greece offers a little bit of everything, and a lot of great times. Best of all, Greece provides more bang for your buck than many other European destinations, topping our list of destinations to visit on a budget. Accommodation and goods are extremely well-priced, meaning Aussie travellers can have an unforgettable experience without breaking the bank.

Speaking of unforgettable experiences, the legendary historical ruins in Athens and Delphi are unmissable. Otherwise, you really can’t go wrong just walking the streets and taking in all that Greece has to offer. Plus, how good does this sound: a spectacular dinner of perfectly-cooked Mediterranean cuisine as you enjoy the sun setting over the Aegean Sea. Yes please!

Before you race off to book your annual leave (and try to decide which one of these incredible destinations you’re most excited to visit), be sure to bookmark our Public Holidays calendar to help you maximise your leave for future public holidays!    

This post was brought to you by Budget Direct Travel Insurance

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