The pain of returning to work is unavoidable, but the best way to deal with it might be to create something worth looking forward to. So how does 38 days off work sound for 2020?

Many of us work long hours during the year but often have our annual leave eaten up over the Christmas and New Year's period during the business shutdown.

How to cope with the back-to-work blues

But with a tweak to your plans, you'll be able to use just 12 days annual leave and enjoy 38 days out of the office and on holiday.


Here's how you can maximise your holidays this year.

The week of Waitangi celebrations: February 6-9

Waitangi Day is on a Thursday in 2020, meaning if you take the Friday off, you only use up one annual leave day and you can kick back and enjoy a four-day weekend.

Easter week: April 10-19

If you want to catch the last glimpse of a summer holiday, this is the time to do it.

With four days of annual leave, you can have 10 days off work before winter kicks in.

With public holidays on Good Friday and Easter Monday, that 10-day overseas trip is a reality. Alternatively, you could take no days off and get a four-day weekend.

Southland residents are even luckier as the region's anniversary day falls the day after Easter Monday, meaning they'll just need three days annual leave for a 10-day stint on the couch.


Queen's Birthday: May 29-June 1

Fancy an escape from winter?

You can have four days off by taking one day of annual leave either on Friday, May 29 or Tuesday, June 2.

This will be your last chance before October rolls around.

Labour Day: October 23-26

In 2020, Labour Day falls on Monday, October 26, meaning one annual leave day will give you another four-day weekend.

If you're in the Hawke's Bay, you'll get another day off thanks to the region's anniversary day on Friday, October 23.

Regional holidays:

Auckland - Monday, January 27

Buller - Monday, February 3

Canterbury - Friday, November 13

Canterbury South - Monday, September 28

Chatham Islands - Monday, November 30

Hawke's Bay - Friday, October 23

Marlborough - Monday, November 2

Nelson - Monday, February 3

Northland - Monday, January 27

Otago - Monday, March 23

Southland - Tuesday, April 14

Taranaki - Monday, March 9

Wellington - Monday, January 20

Westland - Monday, November 3