Some people plan their precious days of holiday allowance so meticulously that they end the year having miraculously turned 20 days off into 30 days away.
Then there are those of us who wake up once December has dawned, and realise that much as we live for our down time, we've somehow failed to pack our suitcases and account for all of it and now need to lock in three days off (how does the system work again..?) and decide how to make the most of it.
If that sounds like you, fear not, we asked six frequent travellers if they were office bound, and had three days of holiday allowance left to take by 31 December, what they would do with it. From South Tyrol to the Cotswolds and Bali (yup, we've got some seriously ambitious travel plans going on here...) to wrapping up and relaxing at home, here's what they said...
Serena Guen has South Tyrol on her list
"This is actually a very real scenario! I'm dying to go to South Tyrol in Italy – our Digital Editor-in-Chief has just come back from a trip there. The scenery is stunning and it is definitely not short of boutique hotels, great food and wellness retreats."
Serena Guen is founder of SUITCASE Magazine, the award-winning quarterly print and digital publication.
Lauren Ho wants to hole up at home
"To be totally honest, as my job involves back-to-back travel, if I had three days of holiday, I’d stay at home! And this is going to sound ridiculous, but as hotel laundry is so expensive, doing my laundry has become a real treat for me, so I’d probably stay at home and do my laundry and then cook something really basic like an omelette."
Lauren is travel editor at Wallpaper* magazine. See where her enviable trips take her @LaurenHoTravels
Holly Rubenstein can't get enough of the Cotswolds
"Three days of holiday left at this time of year? Unlikely for me, the travel addict! But, I know exactly how I'd spend them. A long weekend in the Cotswolds is sure to get anyone into the Christmas spirit. Postcard-perfect chocolate box cottages, villages decked in twinkling fairy lights, roaring fires, pub suppers and crisp white frosts - there's no better place to embrace the winter season. My favourite cosy spot there has to be Barnsley House, a gorgeous spa hotel. And I've been meaning to book a stay at Thyme, another Cotswolds haven, so I'd head there this time around.
"With my remaining day, I'd make the most of everything London has to offer. The Carnaby Street Christmas lights, a walk along the South Bank's festive market and Christmas isn't Christmas without an evening at Skate at Somerset House. I actually don't ever ice skate, but perusing the Fortnum and Mason pop up shop, and tucking into some fondue and a hot chocolate at Fortnum's Lodge, their alpine-inspired restaurant overlooking their spectacular tree, is an annual ritual for me."
Holly Rubenstein's podcast The Travel Diaries, where she interviews frequent travellers from Richard Branson to Condé Nast Traveller's Melinda Stevens, is out now. Season 2 starts on 14th January.
Freddie Blackett would set off for the Lakes
Image credit: @SohoHouse and @EmmaCroman
"I spend all my time in the city – Patch operates in London and Paris – so I’m constantly craving more nature, which isn't easy to find in December. But there are some magnificent evergreen pine forests to escape to in Cumbria – in particular, Grizedale – where I'd head for a good hike or two. Lake Windermere is nearby and has a number of good, warm pubs to retire to afterwards."
Claire Menary says Paris is always a good idea
"I love a long weekend break just before Christmas so I would probably hop on the Eurostar and head to Paris. A beautiful city to explore anytime of the year, but made that bit more magical at winter time. I always find an excuse to head to Paris and I think a few days out the office, wrapped up warm and wandering the Parisian streets is as good an excuse as any!"
Claire Menary is a lifestyle blogger and photographer, whose wanderlust-inducing travels are @ClaireMenary
Sanchia Legister has big ambitions for Bali
Photo credit: The luxury resort of Soori Bali in Tabanan
"Wow what a dope question! I once went to Jamaica for 2 days... it was incredible! So I’m choosing Bali, even saying the name out loud feels like I’m sipping an elixir for the soul. I imagine it to be the most perfect place to reset my body, check back in with practices or habits I wanna steer clear of, or invite more of into my life. Just in time and ready for hibernation season in London!”
Sanchia Legister combines yoga, hip hop and meditation at GyalFlex