Guide To Vacation Leave Letters: Definition, Template and Sample

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 29, 2021 | Published January 5, 2021

Updated March 29, 2021

Published January 5, 2021

Vacations provide employees an opportunity to rest and recharge. Often, you may return from a vacation more motivated and more productive. But before you schedule a trip, many employers require a request for approval and appreciate advance notice of your plans. In this article, we discuss what a vacation leave letter is, when and how to write one and review an example of a vacation leave letter.

What is a vacation leave letter?

A vacation leave letter is a written request from employees to their company asking for approval for time off. It outlines the employee's intended days off and their plan for coverage at work. Vacation leave letters may be addressed to your direct supervisor or the human resources department at your company.

Related: Q&A: What Is the Difference Between PTO and Vacation Time?

When do you need to write a vacation leave letter?

Employees often write vacation leave letters when they are planning an extended vacation, generally five days or longer. You also need to write a vacation leave letter if it is required by your company.

Sending a vacation leave letter is useful for several reasons:

  • Providing official approval: You can keep your letter for your records, and your company can keep a copy in your record as official documentation of your vacation approval. Writing a vacation leave letter may even help you get your time off approved.

  • Helping your supervisor plan: When your managers know of your plans in advance, they are better able to plan for your absence and coordinate others to fill in for you.

  • Demonstrating professionalism: Vacation leave letters show that you are considerate, thorough and organized.

What is included in a vacation leave letter?

Your vacation letter should provide all the information your supervisor or HR manager needs to review your request and plan for your absence. Consider including the following elements:

  • Your name, title and contact information

  • Recipient's name

  • Purpose of the letter

  • Vacation dates, including date of return to work

  • Brief description of vacation, if relevant

  • Status update of current projects and responsibilities

  • Who will be managing your duties during your vacation

  • Your availability while gone

  • The best way to reach you, if possible, during your vacation

  • A final request for approval

How to write a vacation leave letter

You can follow these steps to write a vacation leave letter:

  1. Determine how many vacation days you have available

  2. Plan your vacation, noting how many vacation days you will need

  3. Research where to send your letter, like your direct supervisor or a human resources manager

  4. Write your letter carefully using a vacation leave letter template

  5. Proofread your letter for proper spelling and grammar

  6. Send your letter to the appropriate recipients

  7. Follow up with a friendly email or phone call after one week if you have not received a response

Related: How To Ask for a Day Off: Tips, Template and Example

Things to remember when writing a vacation leave letter

Here are several points to remember when you write a vacation leave letter.

  • Provide plenty of notice: Send your vacation leave letter with enough advance notice for your employer to review the request, make a decision and plan arrangements for covering your position. Typically, you'll want to send your letter at least a month in advance.

  • Be professional: Remember that your letter is a professional document that will be a part of your personnel file. Use a professional tone and include only personal details that are appropriate for your request. Choose a simple font and basic format.

  • Include other approvals: If you are writing a vacation leave letter to your human resources department, consider including a written approval for the time off from your direct supervisor.

  • Keep it short: Aim for a vacation leave letter that is no more than one page. You want your supervisor or HR manager to focus on the main points rather than extraneous information.

Related: Professional Letter Template Types and Examples

Template for a vacation leave letter

You can use this template to help write your own vacation leave letter.

Date: [Date letter is sent]

Subject: [The subject of your letter]

Greeting: Dear [recipient],

Purpose of your letter: I am writing to [reason for your letter].

Explanation: I have [number] vacation days available and would like to use [number] days for [type of vacation]. I will be gone from [date leaving] to [date of return home] and will return to work [date of return to work]. [Additional details]

Status update: My current projects [status of current projects and duties].

Plan for coverage: I have asked [name] to take over [specific responsibilities] while I am gone.

Availability: I [will have access to] or [will not have access to] communication. I [will respond to messages] or [will not be able to respond to messages].

Final request for approval: Please respond by [date] for me to finalize my travel arrangements.

Closing: Sincerely,

Signature: [Your name]

Title: [Your title]

Phone: [Your phone number]

Example vacation leave letter

Here is an example of a vacation leave letter using the template above.

May 11, 2016

Subject: Request for one week of vacation

Dear Ms. Barber,

I am writing to request one week of vacation leave. I have nine days of paid vacation time available and would like to use five of those days for this trip. I will be gone from Saturday, July 9, to Saturday, July 16. I will return to work Monday, July 18. My husband and I are planning an Alaskan cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary.

The Holmes marketing report will be finalized this week, and the Cranston draft will be ready for review before I leave. All other accounts are up to date. I will contact all of my clients two weeks before my vacation. I have asked Roy Jones to manage my accounts and speak with clients as necessary while I am gone.

I will have limited access to phone and email while away but plan to respond to messages as I am able.

Please respond to this request by June 25 so that I can confirm our cruise reservations.

Pam Thomas
Marketing Account Coordinator

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