Now that 2024 is halfway over, it's time to get strategic about how you use your remaining paid vacation days, aka, getting the most bang for your vacation day bucks!

How to Get More Vacation Time in Illinois

Last December I discovered the joy of using only 4 paid vacation days to get nearly two weeks off, and I fully intend to take full advantage of it this year too.

Father with two kids travel by car on sea vacation

While this vacation hack may seem obvious to some, it may be mind-blowing for others, and that is exactly why I feel obligated to share it.

Quite simply, this is the code to maximizing your time off for what's left of 2024 without having to spend time analyzing a calendar.

(You can thank me later.)

Simple 2024 Vacation Hack

Here's the hack in a nutshell; use paid vacation days strategically around federal holidays. Basically you'll be weaving vacation days between workdays to score extended getaways. Still a little confused? Please allow me to explain...


As I write this, there are 4 more chances in 2024 to use limited PTO days to achieve maximum time off. Here they are..

Labor Day - Labor Day is on Monday, September 2, so if you take September 3-6 off, you will score 9 consecutive days off (Aug 31-September 8) while only burning 4 PTO days. (this is actually a hack can you use every year, not just in 2024)

Veterans Day - The same plan for Labor Day will work on Veterans Day too. If you take PTO on November 12-15, you will get 9 days off for the cost of 4.

Thanksgiving - Turkey day is on Thursday, November 28 this year, so if you schedule time off for November 25-27 and November 29 (if you don't already have Black Friday off), you will get 9 days off by using 4 vacation days.

Christmas and New Years - Here's when you get the motherload of time off by using limited vacation days...Christmas Eve and New Years Eve are on Tuesday this year, Christmas Day and New Years Day are on Wednesday, so if you use vacation time on December 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, and 31 you will have 12 straight days off!

Isn't this a fabulous plan?!? Just in case all those words confused's a photo that explains it even better...

Happy vacationing, friends!

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