Going on Leave
After being away from home for many months on an overseas posting with your other half you'll soon be due some leave, it’s a chance to head back to the UK, relax and have some time to yourselves...
... OR IS IT?
Don’t get me wrong, I really do love going on leave but sometimes it’s actually more tiring/stressful than being at work because when you go back on leave you have to find time to see everybody, so it doesn’t really feel like you get much time to yourselves...
Now my friends and family are pretty good when it comes to finding time to see me and I’m quite lucky that most of my friends still live in my hometown so when I’m home I get to see them a lot.
My wife on the other hand has friends all over the UK and in order to see all of them we have to travel... A LOT!
This means having to get a hire car and I HATE getting hire cars with a passion! It’s not so much hiring the car, it’s mainly the annoying sales person trying to sell you protection, they’re always so nice until you say no! ‘Would you like to zero the excess for £1000 a day or something ridiculous’ ...no thank you, I’ll take my chances!
So... Based on my experience of having spent the last 6 years overseas and coming home on leave quite a bit, I’ve pulled together a few recommendations on how you can get the best out of your PRECIOUS leave in the UK!
This one's important because if you have a lot of friends, no matter how much leave you have, you’re not going to see them all! Stick to your close family and friends first and if you have time left over you can try to see the rest.
Group People Together
This always works well, If you have a few friends that live in a similar part of the country then let them know you’re heading that way and try to see them all together, this way you’re not wasting any time!
Prepare to eat out...a lot!
You’ve got to eat anyway, so why not do a bit of multi-tasking! You can meet groups of people out for dinner with you to catch up. Make sure you build this into your budget though because it can get quite expensive... You never know, after being away for so long they might treat you to a ‘welcome home’ dinner (don’t get your hopes up).
Don’t Drink Too much
The temptation is there to go out A LOT because after all you’re on holiday and there might be people who you haven’t seen for ages who fancy a few drinks...
However... If you drink too much, you'll be hungover too much and being hungover too much means you can’t function to your best ability! It also means that you can’t get up early and make the most of your time! Remember you'll need all the time you can get because leave goes way too quickly!
Meet In The Middle
This is the fairest way to meet your loved ones. If they live quite far away, look at the map and pick a nice place to go for a drink or lunch in the middle. This way neither one has made any more effort than the other and you get to catch up stress free (until it comes to splitting the bill).
Get them to come to you
This is pretty lazy but to be fair you’ve travelled home and you could say that’s enough travelling! So, make them come to you... All you need to do is send a message out to everybody you care about saying that your home and to pop over if they're free. This way the ball is in their court, if they want to see you, they’ll pop over, if they don’t, they are BAD FRIENDS!
Split The Day
You could be clever and see more than one person a day! You could have breakfast with one mate, lunch with another and dinner with somebody else. This might be quite tiring for you but on the plus side, it get’s it out the way and you can start to enjoy your well earned leave.
Save some time for yourself
As great as it is to see all your family and friends when visiting the UK, REMEMBER this is your holiday too. Save at least a couple of days to enjoy to yourself, otherwise you’ll find yourself back in work before you know it, feeling like you haven’t had a break at all. If you don’t get this balance right, you may find yourselves considering one of the next two extreme options...
Don’t Tell Anybody you’re coming home
This one is a bit mean but if you really do want to have a relaxing break then don’t tell a soul that your coming back! If you do happen to bump into somebody you know, don’t panic - think on your feet and say something like - "Ah hey mate! Fancy bumping into you, I’ve only just got back today. I was actually just about to message you to see if you wanted to meet up" - Hopefully though this doesn’t happen.
You could just not go back to the UK at all, this way you’re not hurting any feelings, you don’t have to make time to see people and there’s no pressure on them coming to see you! Everybody's a winner!
Hope this helps with your leave planning... Either way GOOD LUCK and try to enjoy yourselves!