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10 things to do during lockdown annual leave

Photograph of Nick Renaud-Komiy

Written by Nick Renaud-Komiya , Personal finance specialist

5 May 2020

As COVID-19 continues to hit businesses, employers are asking their employees to take annual leave now. And while taking time away from work is important because it helps you rest and keep healthy; employees don’t want to use up their holiday just to be in the confinement of their homes. To help, we have collated 10 things to do during lockdown annual leave:

happy family on a sofa looking at a mobile device

1. Enjoy culture from the comfort of your sofa

Some of the world’s most famous art galleries and museums are offering free online virtual tours for those who are missing the outside world. So why not travel from the Vatican Museums to the Musée d’Orsay to the London’s History museum all while laying on the sofa in your pyjamas and slippers.

2. Learn a language

Have you ever wanted to learn a language, but blamed time as the reason it’s still on your ‘new year resolutions list’ from years ago? Oui? Well that time has come. And there’s lots of apps to help you. Plus it doesn’t have to break the bank. Apps like Duolingo are completely free!  

3. Become a zookeeper at home

Many of the world’s biggest zoos - Edinburgh Zoo, to Chester Zoo to San Diego Zoo - are offering online virtual zoo days. So sit back with a cuppa and learn about iguanas, lions and otters.

4. Crack through life admin

Use this time to do a financial health check. Whether they’ve been furloughed, have taken a pay cut or working as normal but from home, there are ways to help save money and manage budgets, like keeping energy bills down and switching to get a better deal, cancelling TV subscriptions and getting a refund on unused travel cards. You may even notice you have subscriptions for things you don’t even use or knew you had!

5. Spring clean

Under usual circumstances you probably wouldn’t want to spend your annual leave spring cleaning your home and having a sort out, but now you can use this time without feeling as though you have wasted it.

6. Enjoy front row seats at the theatre

You can enjoy some of the world’s best theatre productions, for free, without the worry of catching the last train home as the National Theatre offers streaming of performances. So, you can enjoy Academy Award-winner Danny Boyle directing Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller in Frankenstein or Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo as Shakespeare's fated lovers in Antony & Cleopatra from your living room.

7. Crack through a puzzle

Puzzles may have once been a thing of the past, but they have made a huge comeback during the lockdown. And they can be therapeutic and frustrating all at the same time. 

8. Cocktail class, cookery lessons and crafts

As many businesses have had to close their doors during the lockdown, many have adapted to online. This means you can enjoy cookery classes, cocktail making, craft classes – the list goes on – all from home.

9. Catch up on reading

Get your head stuck in a good book (or two). You can even host a book club on Zoom with friends and family. 

10. Chill out and watch a good boxset

While you may feel a bit bored, but when you’re back to work you’ll long be wishing for time to simply chill out on the sofa or in bed catching up on a good TV series or movie. So, use any extra time you have to relax - and simply enjoy it. 

money.co.uk has launched a dedicated coronavirus hub to support people worried about their finances during the crisis; https://www.money.co.uk/guides/coronavirus

Annual leave during lockdown is also a great opportunity to review your household budgets and bills such as; energy, broadband, home insurance, credit cards, and loans.