If you have big travel plans but only a small amount of paid time off every year, you really have to get creative when you’re planning a vacation.

How to maximize your limited vacation time

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For employees of companies that provide generous vacation time, it’s much easier to embrace Clark’s number one rule of cheap travel, which is to find a deal and then figure out why you want to go there. But for someone who only gets two weeks of vacation and the major holidays, which is about average for new employees, your days off can easily disappear before the year is up.

One of the best strategies to maximize your limited vacation time is to use both weekends on a week-long trip and to schedule your time off around the holidays.

Looking ahead to 2017, there may be a way for you to take off from work for 10 days in a row while only using four vacation days. 

Here’s how:

  • Christmas, a federal holiday, falls on a Monday.
  • New Year’s Day (2018), a federal holiday, is also on a Monday.
  • In addition to those two holidays, Monday through Friday workers can stretch their vacation time out by using four weekend days: December 23-24 and December 30-31.
  • Then all that’s left is your four vacation days, December 26 to December 29.

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For this scenario to work, those with limited vacation time will have to discipline themselves to make sure that they have four days to use in December, which is why we wanted to share this so far in advance. 

Do you have any tips to stretch your paid time off? Tell us about them on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tips to resolve your holiday travel issues