I am planning to have around 3 weeks vacation and will deduct mostly 6-8 days of my leave balance, and I have 1 colleague as other developer in my team. My feeling is my leave will not be approved.

Anyone can give suggestion how to apply my leave with this condition?

  • do you have a set amount of leave per year? And does it end at the end of the year? Because if so then you either use it or lose it which gives you a lot of leverage
    – Kilisi
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 1:53
  • yup I still have 12 leaves, but I can bring forward until mid of next year.
    – Lewis
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 1:54
  • 6
    you'll have to ask, but so long as you give plenty of notice it should be fine. I actually never asked for approval, just told them when I needed my leave and left it to the company to work out how to handle that.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 1:58
  • Since 3 weeks is 15 work days, why are you thinking it will only use 6-8 leave days?
    – HLGEM
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 9:37
  • 6
    What is your location?
    – Erik
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 10:01

2 Answers 2


For an unusually long holiday (how long is "unusually long" depends on the country): You go to your manager first and tell him what your plans are. Not requesting a holiday yet, but just informing him what you would like.

Your manager either doesn't care about the wishes of his employees at all and just says "no, I would never allow this". In that case the only way is to save your money, find a new job when you have enough money, and take that holiday between the jobs.

Or you are lucky and your manager says "that's fine with me as long as you can do that without affecting our business". If that's what he says, then he is likely willing to help you a bit as well. You need to sort out with HR how to get that many days off - if it is more than your annual leave, you might get permission to move days from this year to the next, or to take next year's holiday this year (a bit less likely), or to take unpaid leave. Or you might get stuck with the bureaucracy. If your manager says it's Ok with him, that's likely to help.

And then you work out how to be away the time you want to be gone without affecting the business. So you check for slow(er) times in the business, or when you have no projects that are urgent, and your single co-developer is enough manpower in the office. (Obviously talk to him as well because there is little chance for your long holiday when he is off).


This is going to depend on a lot of things in the company culture and what country you are in. Most companies I have worked for would be pretty unlikely to approve 3 weeks time off for anything less than a personal illness or family emergency. Some would, but only for people who were returning to a home country for a visit. I personally have never worked anywhere that it would be automatically approved. So your feeling that they may object could be true. In Europe they have longer vacations, so this might be an easier sell there than the US.

What you need to do is look at the project schedule and determine when would be the best time for this and ask months ahead of time and, above all, do not buy any non-refundable tickets until you have approval. Depending on why you want to take this time off, it could help to tell them what your plans are (It could also hurt). But many places woudl be more likely to approve this for a one-time big event like a wedding and honeymoon than just for I want to sit around and do nothing for three weeks.

Often the end of the year holiday season is a good time for a long vacation as things are slower then and I have seen people take vacation the last two weeks of the year and the first week of the new year in order to take vacation time from two different leave years. However, it is best to get your request in early for that time as others will be asking to use their leave in that time frame as well. If I were asking for that long at the holidays, my request would have gone in in February or so. Since there is only one other person on your team, check with him or her about leave plans. You don't want to be asking for the same week he is planning to get married for instance.

Depending on what you are doing, consider if you can go somewhere and work remotely part of that time. I have known people who returned to their home country for a month and take two weeks leave and work remotely for 2 weeks. Of course if you are climbing Mt. Everest this might not be practical. But it is thought for an alternative if they don't want you gone that long.

I have a former coworker who loves to take long trips and he generally works for two years, quits, takes a trip for a couple of months and then looks for another job. You have to be pretty good at managing money and pretty good at what you do and confident you can find a new job quickly to take this approach though.

  • 2
    Interesting. At least in Germany, 3 weeks vacation is totally normal, most employees take them in summer. Actually, by law (Bundesurlaubsgesetz) you are entitled to at least 12 consecutive free working days (=2 weeks) per year. But then, most people have five or six weeks of vacation...
    – sleske
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 14:51
  • 1
    In Finland, 4 weeks of non-stop vacation is also normal and no one will even comment on it. By law, we have the same minimum of 2 weeks non-stop like in Germany. Each year, you will have a total of 5 weeks of vacation, of which 4 is to be spent during the official vacation period starting from May 1 and ending on September 30. The extra 1 week can be spent freely outside of that period - usually people use it in December. Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 12:44
  • @sleske most of Germany does the same thing during that time, though, so it's less if a burden on those who are still working. But otherwise yeah, some countries this will work better than others.
    – enderland
    Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 12:47
  • 1
    (+1 for the US perspective) In Europe (e.g. Germany, Netherlands, France, apparently Finland too?), a 2 or 3-week holiday is not only completely normal but technically legally required, i.e. what the law says is that your employer should force you to take at least that much of your yearly 4-5+ weeks (I have 8) of paid leave in one go, even if you don't request it (these laws are not strictly enforced AFAIK). Plants closing for one month so that everybody has their one-month holiday at the same is/was not unheard of.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 16:16

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