If you’ve just returned from a summer break, or are about to take one, consider yourself fortunate – new research indicates one in three Aussies are working through summer with no break at all.

Comparison site Finder.com.au reports that 33% of respondents say they worked through December and will work through January without time off.

Of those not taking a holiday, 40% say they lack the funds for a summer getaway, while 32% have a trip planned for a different time of year. A further 28% simply don’t want to pay the summer tax for a holiday.

Full responses were:

  • I can’t afford it             40%
  • I have a trip planned for a different time of year        32%
  • It’s too expensive that time of year     28%
  • I have to work             18%
  • It’s too crowded           17%
  • I don’t like holidays      5%
  • I’m out of annual leave           2%

Finder’s travel expert Angus Kidman says that while the New Year period is often seen as the perfect time to escape and head overseas, doing that can carry a hefty price tag.

“It’s no secret that prices often skyrocket during the holiday season, but keep an eye out for January specials.

“Many airline companies opt to start the New Year with a bang and will produce a handful of last-minute deals.”

Kidman advises consumers that although the legal minimum for annual leave is 20 days for full-time employees, “it’s possible to extend this to as much as 49 days if you plan your leave well in advance.”

“Booking around public holidays like Good Friday and Easter Monday can extend the number of days you get away from work without cutting into your annual leave.”

For example if they play their cards right, Victorians can score 58 days off in a row by using public holidays.

  • Victoria           58 days
  • ACT    56 days
  • Tasmania       53 days
  • Queensland   52 days
  • WA      52 days
  • Northern Territory    52 days
  • South Australia         51 days
  • NSW   49 days

 Kidman suggests:

1.NSW, Easter (April): take 7 days off and turn it into a 16-day holiday

  • Take the week of Good Friday off, and the week of Easter Monday/ANZAC Day off, and for 7 days annual leave, you get 16 days off in a row – that’s almost 2.5 weeks off.
  • Dates: Saturday 13 April – Sunday 28 April
  • Ideal for: a pilgrimage to Turkey/Gallipoli
  1. QLD, Royal Queensland Show (August): take 4 days off and turn it into a 9-day holiday
  • Take the week of the Royal Queensland Show off
  • Dates: Saturday 10 August – Sunday 18 August
  • Ideal for: a trip to Bali
  1. VIC, Melbourne Cup (November): take 4 days off and turn it into a 9-day holiday
  • Take the week of Melbourne Cup off, and for 4 days annual leave, you’ll get 9 days in a row.
  • Dates: Saturday 2 November – Sunday 10 November
  • Ideal for: Japan in late Autumn

Edited by Peter Needham