Used up Your Annual Leave? How to still have amazing adventures even though you have no holiday left


The summer starts to tail off and you’ve done some amazing things, but a buzz killing realisation starts to sets in – you’ve used up all your annual leave. The idea of not having any big, life affirming adventures to look forward to is enough to make anyone feel gloomy. It seems a really long time until Christmas and next year when you get your next potential opportunity to plan something bigger. However, knowing you don’t have any holiday left to take doesn’t exactly stop your love (and need) for time to decompress and tap into that adventurous spirit.

So how do you plan adventures in those shoulder months of the year where you might have used up every drop of time you’re allowed to take off from work? Below, Fay Doyle outlines several ways you can start working around what you have available so that you don’t need to lose that sense of adventure over the coming months and get that all important dose of adventure.

Used up Your Annual Leave? How to still have amazing adventures even though you have no holiday left - Faygraphic

Micro adventures

The idea of being flexible and concentrating on what you have available to you rather than focusing on what you don’t will really help you when it comes to making the most of your weekends or days off until your holiday replenishes. This could be a great opportunity to think about some of the places you’ve always wanted to visit in your home country, but never have the time due to other commitments or going further afield. Are there any long distance trails you’ve wanted to do that could be broken down into weekend hikes? Are there more local adventure ideas that are better suited to Autumn and Winter? There is still a lot that you can do with a Friday night – Sunday night. Micro adventures can give you the opportunity to fit in some big things, in smaller intervals throughout the rest of year. The other benefit is that you’ll likely be able to do more of them rather than waiting for one period of time off – bonus!

Think local and make it an event

Going out and doing something in the outdoors on a weekend might not be anything new, but how often do you really take for granted what you have around you within a couple of hours? The more excited we get about something, the more we remember it vividly. It’s about making it into an event, so that it feels more like a big adventure. This could be a good opportunity to plan some weekends away a stone’s throw from home, meaning that you can maximize the time you can spend outdoors over the weekend.

Be opportunistic

There are still plenty of ways you can travel and feel a sense of adventure even if you’ve used up all your annual leave, but it is about being opportunistic and planning it well. Depending on your work situation, you may be able to squeeze your Friday into a half day if you’re able to make up the extra hours through the week. This can make all the difference, allowing you to head off earlier and have more time in your destination. There are also numerous apps and sites that offer short trip deals (over 2 day periods) that could allow you to visit destinations you may not have even thought of before, such as LuckyTrip for example. If you fancy something a bit different, look at sleeper trains as an option. This can be a great way of fitting in your travel so that you get more time at your destination, waking up refreshed and good to go. If you’re able to work from home, there could also be the option to travel up on Thursday and spend Friday working from your location. Or if you have a long journey and decide to travel by train, your could even work your Friday whilst on the move. Squeezing things around in clever ways can really win you back big pockets of time that would otherwise be lost.

Plan ahead

We often find ourselves getting lost over the weekend to laundry, chores, and shopping to get us ready for the following week ahead. However, if you can realistically get those tasks done in the week, it can mean that you can free up more time at the weekend for micro adventures. Rather than grocery shopping on the weekend, schedule a delivery from your supermarket on the Monday evening. Can you break down any cleaning so that it isn’t a big task at the weekend and set yourself smaller tasks through the week? It can also help to try and forward plan dates for your micro adventures so that you aren’t left with loads to do at the last minute – meaning you’re more likely able to go make them happen smoothly and enjoyably.