Australian employees will typically be awarded 20 days of paid annual leave in a given calendar year. It’s a fair amount of time and certainly nothing to frown at, but with a little bit of holiday hacking, you can actually double your number of annual leave days.
In 2021, you could score 48 days off work in exchange for 20 days of annual leave. Sounds too good to be true, but its as easy as cleverly booking around your state’s predetermined public holidays.
For example, in April 2021, you could book four days of annual leave and receive 10 full days off work. The hack makes the most of the Easter Friday and Good Sunday public holidays, and requires you to only submit four days of annual leave in the second week of April to result in a 10-day break that you could go on to spend soaking up the last of the summer sun.
We’ve already created a comprehensive guide to help you double your annual leave this year, with the best annual leave days to take off in 2021. Now, we want to help you spend it right.
Lucky for us, there’s plenty to do, see and experience in our very own backyard. From beaches and bush, to rainforests and deserts, with fine-dining restaurants, world-class bars, ski fields, underwater reefs and countless bushwalks — Australia has it all.
Here, we’re handing over our best ideas for spending your hard-earned annual leave in Australia. With holidays like these, you’ll barely even notice the fact you’re not backpacking in Europe, hiking Yosemite or sipping cocktails in Bali.
Hire a Private Island
We’re starting strong with the suggestion that you should hire a private island as a luxe way to spend your annual leave this year. While the prospect of having your own tropical island to explore for a week certainly sounds appealing, it also sounds really expensive, right? Wrong.
Camp Island is located in the northern Whitsundays and positioned within the heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef marine park. Comprised of four deluxe villas, each with its own ensuite, the accommodations on the island sleep up to eight guests. At $1,300 a night for the island and the villas, you can easily divide that by eight for the number of guests allowed, to pay only $162.50 per person, per night. You are welcome.
Road Trip Around Australia
More and more, travellers are referencing slow travel and a more deliberate approach to exploring. Whereas we’d previously approached holidays (especially those overseas), with a ‘go-go-go’ mentality that encouraged 10 cities in 10 days, in 2021, travellers are looking to slow down and embark on this more sustainable way of getting around.
While car travel does still have its impact on the environment, travelling slowly and stopping along the way to spend money with remote communities has a positive impact on Australia’s tourism industry, and will help inject money into rural towns that have struggled as a result of bushfires and COVID-19 during 2020.
Once your trip is complete, you can tally up your distance travelled and offset your emissions via Greenfleet.
Not sure where to start? Check out these stunning Australian road trip itineraries.
Hire a Luxury Yacht
Let’s face it, you’re likely not going to make it over to Greece this year, and that’s OK. The opportunity will circle back at some point to spend a week out on the ocean, even if you have to wait until 2022. But until that day comes, you can enjoy a summer spent aboard a luxury yacht right here in Australia.
Through boating platforms like Flotespace, you can book out a luxury vessel for the day, weekend or for as long as you like. While some boats are designed for parties, others come more lavishly appointed with master bedrooms, bars and even cinemas. Take your pick of the best luxury yachts to rent here.
Build Your Own Tiny Home
Looking for a DIY project? Or even better, one that results in your very own tiny home escape? With the tiny home movement continuing to gain momentum with modern travellers, a number of companies have launched DIY versions of tiny homes that can be built with basic tools, a handy friend, and in mere days.
Whether it’s an A-frame cabin that sleeps two, a circular glamping pod with a luxury ensuite, or a flat-packed plywood cabin, there’s a design out there for every aesthetic. Not quite ready for the commitment? Perhaps a stay in the best tiny homes in Australia is in order instead.
Enjoy a City Staycation
There’s something to be said for simply just enjoying some time off in your own city. If it is that you’ve booked in some annual leave and for whatever reason, are unable to travel interstate or head out of the city, might we suggest a staycation?
By booking a night or two in a city hotel, you can still achieve a sense of escape without the expensive flight fare, planning panic or long car journey. And since they’re usually filled with international tourists, it’s likely your city’s best hotels are running fabulous deals that may include complimentary bubbles, breakfasts or discounted rates.
Sydneysiders, it’s hard to go past the Little National Hotel. Opened in November 2020, the micro-hotel is running an opening special from $189 a night, which includes overnight accommodation, a welcome glass of Moët Champagne in the rooftop lounge, and late checkout until noon.