Remember those long Summer Holidays you had when you were a kid? Afternoons that you spent face down on the living room, with the television off (you weren’t allowed to watch TV past 11am), screaming “OH MY GOD I’M SOOO BOOORRRRREEEEDDDD.” You would then go to the local newsagents 14 times in a row, interspersed with text messages or debates to all of your mates about how actually the Summer Holidays are actually too long and that actually you want to go back to school because you miss your mates actually.

Fast-forward ten years, and you realise that you’ve only got 30 days of holiday to last you between now and December 31st, and that’s got to include Christmas, New Years, your birthday (nobody should work on their birthday, it should be ILLEGAL), Bank Holidays and those days when you know that you’ll be so hungover your boss would be able to identify it from space.

With your boss stepping on your toes requesting that you plan your time off now, how can you plan ahead effectively?

Advice No. 1: TAKE YOUR BLOODY HOLIDAY

Don’t be one of those people who are like “Oh I’m so swamped at work there’s no possibility on earth that I could take some time off. Instead I’m going to cash in my hours or keep working instead.” 

WHY? 

So instead of saving your money and going to France with the love (or friends) of your life you can afford to buy some more upmarket pro-biotic yoghurts in local Sainsbury’s? So instead of seeing the sights or sounds of *impossibly beautiful geographic location* you can spend more time hanging out by the water cooler, getting more and more infatuated by the process of printing?

JUST LEAVE THE OFFICE. JUST STEP AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER AND START RUNNING.

Even though there are the hours and the meetings and the coffee that tastes as if it had been through a vacuum cleaner before arriving in your cup, work can be addictive… it’s corporate cystal meth and it can feel like you can never leave.

But remember, you must. REASON ONE. The work will always be there when you get back. You’ve got 60 years to do it. REASON TWO. There’s more to eat in life than items coming from a small box in your bag or sandwiches from Eat and Pret A Manger. REASON THREE. When you die you don’t want people to only remember you as being the one who always used to hang out by the water cooler whilst getting more and more infatuated by the process of printing.

SO BOOK TIME OFF AND HAVE FUN.

Advice No. 2: PLAN AHEAD

How is your week May 14th? Do you want to head off somewhere on August the 27th?

See… it can be quite difficult to know when to take your weeks off. Before you know it, you’ve booked two weeks ahead at a far off date, it slowly crawls up on you before you can decide where to go, and before you know it you have no money to do anything and you spend 10 days watching the Barefoot Contessa.

So take some time to think ahead. Save a bit of cash. Booking your holidays in your early 20s can be mega exciting as for the first time you can go on holidays to far flung destinations without being lumbered with CHILDREN (formerly yourself), whilst you have a bit more money in your pocket… no longer resorting to eating noodle meals from vending machines and tinned plum tomatoes in a gritty hostel in the unpredictable side of town for three days straight.

Sometimes booking stuff can actually be more exciting than a lot of the holiday itself… I’m going to die alone aren’t I?

Advice No. 3: DON’T OVERBOOK

Right now you might be wanting to book off quite a few days between now and June, but don’t decide to take your WHOLE HOLIDAY ALLOWANCE NOW. Otherwise you’ll get to June in a sunny, tanned disposition, before realising that you are now going to work for approximately 174 days straight and then have to have this lovely conversation with your parents / guardians:

Parent: “So when will you be over for Christmas Dinner?”

You: “I’ve used up all my holiday. I can’t be, I won’t be and JUST TO LET YOU KNOW I’M DYING INSIDE.”