Hack your bank holidays to visit 30 cities in 2024

Hack your bank holidays to visit 30 cities in 2024

    At Jack's Flight Club, we've been crunching the numbers and realised there's a secret to maximising your 2024 annual leave. Take your standard 25 days, and with a little calendar magic, you can actually take 55 days away from your desk, exploring 30 cities across seven countries. 

    First, here's the breakdown of what to book off, and when: 

    • Take these days off work: March 25th - 28th & April 2nd-5th (8 days of holiday allowance)
      • You'll have a total of 16 days off (March 23rd-April 7th) 
    • Take these days off work: May 7th-10th (4 days of holiday allowance) 
      • You'll have a total of 9 days off (May 4th - May 12th)
    • Take these days off work: August 6th - 9th (4 days of holiday allowance) 
      • You'll have a total of 9 days off (Aug 2nd - Aug 11th) 
    • Take these days off work: Aug 27th - 30th (4 days of holiday allowance) 
      • You'll have a total of 9 days off (Aug 24th - Sept 1st) 
    • Take these days off work: Dec 23rd-24th, 27th & 30th-31st (5 days of holiday allowance) 
      • You'll have a total of 12 days off* (Dec 21st - Jan 1st)

    *13 days off for people in Scotland - you won't have to take any additional annual leave, as Jan 2nd is also a bank holiday. 

    Now we know when to book off your annual leave this year, let’s dive into where you’ll be heading! We've come up with a few itineraries that cover Western Europe and the USA to get you started. 

    The prices mentioned below are accurate as of January 2024.

    Easter holidays: exploring the best of Europe

    Tip: This isn’t a trip for the faint of heart, as it will be pretty non-stop. However, catching early trains and planning strategically ensures you can make the most of your time in each city.

    March 23rd - April 7th

    Trip Highlights: 

    • Total annual leave required: 9 days for a 16-day break
    • Annual leave dates to book: March 25th-28th and April 2nd-5th
    • Cities you'll visit: 11 cities across 4 countries
    • Overall travel cost: £210+ pp
    • Flight details: starting from £30s rtn for a 1 hr 15 min flight with Ryanair
    Date Location Travel Details
    Mar 23rd Land in Cologne Land at Cologne from London (STN)
    Mar 24th Cologne, travel to Düsseldorf

    Early Train from Cologne to Düsseldorf
    Tickets from: £9
    Duration: 25 min

    Mar 25th  Düsseldorf, travel to Dortmund

    Early Train from Düsseldorf to Dortmund
    Tickets from: £19
    Duration: 1 hour 10 min

    Mar 26th  Dortmund, travel to Amsterdam

    Midday Train from Dortmund to Amsterdam
    Tickets from: £18
    Duration: 3 hours 45 min

    Mar 27th Amsterdam

    Mar 28th Amsterdam, travel to Utrecht

    Early Train from Amsterdam to Utrecht
    Tickets from: £9
    Duration: 26 min

    Mar 29th Utrecht, travel to Rotterdam Early Train from Utrecht to Rotterdam
    Tickets from: £12
    Duration: 37 min
    Mar 30th Rotterdam, travel to Antwerp

    Early Train from Rotterdam to Antwerp
    Tickets from: £14
    Duration: 1 hour 5 min

    Mar 31st Antwerp, travel to Brussels

    Early Train from Antwerp to Brussels
    Tickets from: £10
    Duration: 52 min

    Apr 1st Brussels
    Apr 2nd Brussels, travel to Luxembourg

    Midday Train from Brussels to Luxembourg
    Tickets from: £23
    Duration: 3 hours 17 min

    Apr 3rd Luxembourg
    Apr 4th Luxembourg, travel to Frankfurt

    Mid-morning Train from Luxembourg to Frankfurt
    Tickets from: £28
    Duration: 4 hours 15 min

    Apr 5th Frankfurt
    Apr 6th Frankfurt, travel to Bonn

    Early Train from Frankfurt to Bonn
    Tickets from: £20
    Duration: 1 hour 24 min

    Apr 7th Bonn, travel to Cologne

    Early Train from Bonn to Cologne
    Tickets from: £9
    Duration: 1 hour 7 min
    Return to London (STN)

    Ticket info found on Trainline

    May bank holiday: Manhattan and North-Eastern USA

    May 4th - May 12th

    Trip highlights:

    • Total annual leave required: 4 days for a 9-day break
    • Annual leave dates to book: May 7th-10th 
    • Cities you'll visit: 4 
    • Overall travel cost: £515+ pp
    • Flight details: starting in £400s rtn for an 8-hour flight with Virgin Atlantic or British Airways
      Date Location Travel Details 
      May 4th Land in New York Land at JFK from LGW/LHR
      May 5th New York
      May 6th New York, travel to Philadelphia

      Early direct train from NY to Philadelphia

      Tickets from: £8

      Duration: 1 hour 25 mins

      May 7th Philadelphia
      May 8th Philadelphia, travel to Baltimore

      Early direct train from Philadelphia to Baltimore

      Tickets from £4

      Duration: 1 hour 17 min

      May 9th  Baltimore
      May 10th Baltimore, travel to Washington, D.C.

      Early direct train from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.

      Tickets from £4

      Duration: 40 mins

      May 11th Washington, D.C., travel to New York

      Early direct train to New York

      Tickets from: £26 

      Duration: 3 hours 20 mins

      May 12th New York Return to LGW/LHR

      Ticket info found on Amtrak

      Summer bank holiday: Florence, Lombardy, Veneto and northern Italy

      August 2nd - August 11th

      • Total annual leave required: 4 days for a 9-day break
      • Annual leave dates to book: Aug 6th-9th
      • Cities you'll visit: 5
      • Overall travel cost: £200+ pp
      • Flight details: starting in £100s rtn for a 2 hr flight with Ryanair
        Date Location Travel details
        Aug 2nd Land in Milan Land at MXP from LGW/STN
        Aug 3rd Milan
        Aug 4th Milan, travel to Venice

        Midday direct train from Milan to Venice

        Tickets from: £40

        Duration: 3 hours 5 mins

        Aug 5th Venice
        Aug 6th  Venice, travel to Bologna

        Early train from Venice to Bologna

        Tickets from: £27

        Duration: 2 hours 5 mins

        Aug 7th Bologna, travel to Florence

        Explore Bologna, then catch the train to Florence

        Tickets from £10

        Duration: 37 mins

        Aug 8th Florence
        Aug 9th Florence, travel to Pisa

        Early train from Florence to Pisa

        Tickets from £9 

        Duration: 54 mins

        Aug 10th Pisa, travel back to Milan

        Train back to Milan

        Tickets from £17

        Duration: 4 hours 25 mins

        Aug 11th Milan Fly back to LGW/STN
        Ticket info found on Trainline

        August bank holiday: South of France

        August 24 - September 1

        • Total annual leave required: 4 days for a 9-day break 
        • Annual leave dates to book: Aug 27th-30th
        • Cities you'll visit: 5
        • Overall travel cost: £430+ pp
        • Flight details: starting in £130s rtn for a 1 hr 55 mins flight with Ryanair or easyJet
        Dates Location Travel Details
        Aug 24th Land in Marseilles Land in Marseilles from LGW/STN
        Aug 25th Marseilles, travel to Toulon

        Early train from Marseilles to Toulon

        Tickets from £13 

        Duration: 43 mins

        Aug 26th Toulon, travel to Cannes

        Early train from Toulon to Cannes

        Tickets from £23

        Duration: 1 hour 13 mins

        Aug 27th Cannes, travel to Nice

        Early train from Cannes to Nice

        Tickets from £8

        Duration: 36 mins

        Aug 28th Nice, travel to Monaco

        Midday train from Nice to Monaco

        Tickets from £5

        Duration: 21 mins

        Aug 29th Monaco
        Aug 30th Monaco, travel to Marseilles

        Early train from Monaco to Marseilles

        Tickets from £38

        Duration: 3 hours 15 mins

        Sept 1st Marseilles Return to LGW/STN
        Ticket info found on Trainline

        Christmas holidays: Switzerland

        Christmas 2024 may seem far off now, but this trick allows you to take only five days of annual leave for a 12-day break over the festive period. 

        Travellers in Scotland get an even better deal, as they can enjoy a 13-day break with the same amount of annual leave, thanks to an extra day off on January 2nd for Hogmanay.

        December 21st - January 1st

        • Total annual leave required: 5 days for a 12-day break 
        • Annual leave dates to book: December 23rd-24th, 27th, 30th-31st
        • Cities you'll visit: 5
        • Overall travel cost: £190-£250+ pp (depending on where you're travelling from)
        • Flight details: starting from £140s-£200s for a 2-4 hr flight with British Airways, KLM or Jet2
          Dates Location Travel Details
          Dec 21st Land in Geneva, travel to Lausanne

          Arrive in Geneva and catch the train to Lausanne

          Tickets from £7

          Duration: 35 mins

          Dec 22nd Lausanne
          Dec 23rd Lausanne, travel to Fribourg

          Midday train from Lausanne to Fribourg

          Tickets from £14

          Duration: 44 mins

          Dec 24th-25th Fribourg
          Dec 26th Fribourg, travel to Bern

          Train from Fribourg to Bern

          Tickets from £8

          Duration: 22 mins

          Dec 27th Bern
          Dec 28th Bern, travel to Neuchatel

          Trains from Bern to Neauchatel

          Tickets from £13

          Duration: 34 mins

          Dec 29th Neauchatel
          Dec 30th Neauchatel, travel to Geneva

          Early train from Neuchatel to Geneva

          Tickets from £13

          Duration: 1 hr 13 min

          Dec 31st-Jan (or Jan 2nd)* Geneva Fly back to LGW/STN/GLA/EDI
          Ticket info found on Trainline

          *those who live in Scotland can enjoy an additional night in Geneva without using any additional leave.

          To do all these trips (including return flights and train travel), it'll come to £1,605 pp. This is pricey, but you can pick and choose which trips you'd like to go on, or DIY your own itinerary around these bank holiday dates. 

          To take some of the legwork out of planning your flights this year, sign up for a free JFC membership, and we'll send cheap tips straight to your inbox.