Here at PlusMinus, Features Editor, Charlotte, loves to travel and whilst she would love to explore the world full time, she has to work full time instead *insert crying emoji*. But she found a way to do both in 2016, managing to take a total of eight trips with her allotted annual leave allowance and attempting to sticking to a budget. Most companies in the UK give you 20 days leave, some 25 and those rare gems give you a little more.

Here are Charlotte’s top tips to use your annual leave effectively, no matter how many days off you are given.

Buy Extra Days

If you’re lucky enough to work in a company that allows you to buy extra annual leave, buy it. Ultimately, it’s extra days where you don’t have to be at work. However, if you are able to work flexibly with your employer, you may be able to work overtime, take unpaid time off or make up your hours. It’s all about being honest and open.

Bank Holidays

Some say bank holidays are expensive to travel during, which is somewhat true, but not if you book way in advance. 2018 may be far away, but it’s closer than you think. Why not brainstorm with your friends over a brunch about where you want to visit next year and get booking ASAP.

Tip: RyanAir and Easyjet generally have Winter sales for cheaper than Oyster card fares to hundreds of destinations in Europe. Charlotte managed to get £25 return flights to Milan for last May bank holiday. You’ll be saying Bonjourno to your bank holiday in no time.

Another tip: Why not get planning for 2018’s bank holidays, with the handy list here.

Flight times

Taking advantage of decent flight times means you could be sampling the sights of the French Riveria on a Friday evening instead of your usual after-work local pub. Most European flights from London have a flight time of up to 3 hours, so if you’re wanting to get away for the weekend but save on annual leave, book a half day. The connections to London airports are fantastic, meaning you can grab a mid-afternoon flight and return to the office on Monday morning feeling alright.

On a budget?

We all have bills to pay and whilst travel may not be a priority when your rent is due, there are plenty of websites out there helping you get the best deal. We recommend checking flights on Skyscanner, scouring through deals on Holiday Pirates and signing up to airline newsletters. These often mean you’ll be sent the best deals, so it’ll be worth living off Pot noodle for a month so you can eat proper noodles through whilst getting a massage in Thailand.

Sacrificing sleep

Whilst this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the best way to see the world whilst working full time is to sacrifice some sleep along the way. Or just ask your boss for some more annual leave!

Tweet us and let us know if any of these tips helped by using the hashtag: #PlusMinusTravels

Happy Travels!