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Sep 7, 2022


Vacation request email — 15 samples and template

Time to book a holiday? Here’s how to write a vacation request email to make sure you’re good to go (with 15 examples).

Blog writer

Lawrie Jones


Blog writer

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Booking a holiday? Then don’t forget to ask your boss!

Your vacation request email is a part of your holiday planning, ensuring that when you click the button to book, you’ve got your boss on your side and permission to take flight.

Remember to do your holiday planning beforehand, so that you can relax during your vacation 🌞

It all sounds easy, but why is writing a request for vacation email so tough? It’s because you’re emotionally involved in the process. Our guide breaks down how to write an email to request vacation, providing the basics and illustrating best practices with 15 examples.

Going on holiday isn’t the only reason you might need to book a leave. You could be requesting vacation for a day off to attend an interview, visit a friend or attend a wedding or funeral.

Don’t worry; we’ve got a template for (almost) every leave request email. If you can't find what you are looking for, you can try Flowrite's smart leave request email template to write any kind of leave request like this:

How to request vacation time

Requesting vacation time is a crucial part of the process and one you can’t skip. You need written approval for your leave request. Otherwise, you could be breaking company policy and risking your job.

OK, so it’s unlikely ever to come to that (as you follow the rules, right?), so why learn how to write vacation email requests? It’s because a well-written leave request email stands more chance of getting accepted than a poorly written one. This is especially important if you’re requesting leave during busy periods or where there’s high competition for time off (such as at Christmas).

Should you request vacation via email?

It’s a great question and one that lots of people are asking. Indeed, asking in person is often quicker, easier, and more effective (34 times, say the Harvard Business Review), but that doesn’t mean it’s always best. In fact, vacation requests should always be sent by email.

Why? Because it creates an audit trail, that means you, your boss, and the HR team have a written record that your leave has been officially agreed upon, and you have written evidence to prove it.

When to request leave via email?

A good rule of thumb is to ask for leave at least twice as long before you intend to take it. So, if you want to take a week off, you should give at least two weeks’ notice. 

If you’re planning a last-minute break, be aware that your employer can decide not to grant your leave requests. Your boss is focused on getting the job done, so they may choose to deny your leave request if they feel it could affect how the business operates. This is a particular issue during a busy period.

The solution to all these problems is getting your vacation request emails in as early as possible.

How to write an email requesting vacation time

So, let’s get started with some tips on how to request vacation time with an email. The great thing about vacation request emails is that they’re short, sweet, and to the point, making them super easy to create.

Don’t believe us? There are only three things you need to know about how to write an email to request vacation.

Vacation request email format

The vacation request email format is simple and consists of five essential parts:

  1. Subject line
  2. Greeting
  3. Vacation time request
  4. Closing lines
  5. Signature

We’ve already covered formal email greetings and signatures in previous posts, so if you’re unsure what to write, start there.

Let’s look more closely at suitable subject lines, leave requests and how to end a request for vacation email.

1. Vacation request email subject

Writing a vacation request email subject line is simple. There are only a few ways to ask for leave, after all. You’ll want to ensure your boss (or the person you’re asking to agree to your leave request) spots your email, so be straight with what you’re asking for.

  • Annual Leave Request – (Dates)
  • Request For Annual Leave – (Dates)
  • Vacation Request – (Dates) 

2. How to start an email requesting vacation time

Let’s get straight to it and ask for the time off! 

OK, so it’s only polite to ask nicely but get to the point. Simply saying:

“I would like to book leave for my vacation. The dates are XXX to YYY. Please confirm this is OK, and I’ll book my holiday.”

It’s not the most poetic email ever, but it’s easy to read, impossible to understand, and won’t get ignored. 

You have no obligation to explain why you’re asking for time off (and your boss has no right to ask you). However, if you’re asking for time off during a busy period, or your leave request is only a few days away, you may want to explain why, as this is only polite. You can see how we approach this in the examples below.

3. How to end an email when requesting a vacation leave

When ending your leave request email, make sure to ask for a response. Something like: “It would be great if you could confirm my leave request as soon as possible.” Leave requests come near the bottom of the pile for some bosses, so a polite reminder at the end of your emails can spit them into action. 

Your choice of sign-off (thanks, kind regards, cheers, etc.) will depend on your relationship with your boss. We believe you can never go wrong with a polite and pleasant “Many thanks.”

Click send, and now all you need is to sit back and wait for the reply.

5 tips for requesting vacation

Before we get into the examples, here are 5 pro tips for requesting a vacation. Use these to craft your own messages, and you’ll not go wrong.

1. Check your company's vacation policy first

Before asking for leave, be sure it’s likely to be granted. Your vacation policy will spell out how much holiday you are entitled to, how to request it and, importantly, what sort of notice you must give. 

Understanding and following the rules is the best way to ensure your leave request is granted.

2. Be clear and concise

We’ve repeated it regularly throughout this post, but we’ll repeat it: Don’t beat around the bush, make your vacation request and leave it.

3. Don't assume your vacation request will be granted

Annual leave is a legal right, and your employer must allow you to take it. However, your employer can refuse if your leave will affect the business. They can also refuse if you don’t provide enough notice. 

Don’t try to pressure your boss by telling them you’ve already booked a holiday, for example. Avoid phrases like “Thanks in advance,” as these can seem presumptuous. Check out our templates for some practical example emails to request vacation.

4. Convey why you are asking for the specific dates

You have no responsibility to explain why you’re requesting leave. They may be your boss, but it’s their business. If your request is urgent or over a busy period for the company, you may want to explain or support your request. Don’t go into too much detail.

5. Make the request as easy as possible for your manager

Putting a plan in place for your absence is a great way to increase your chances of a positive response to your leave request. You can chat with colleagues and line up support, or even offer to work extra time before you go to ensure you have plans to manage. 

You don’t need to do your boss's job for them, but this can provide reassurance that your job will be covered while breaking out the cocktails on the beach. 

15 vacation request email samples

In this section, we provide 15 request vacation email samples suitable to use in any circumstances. These vacation request email examples follow the standard format above and use all the tips and strategies we’ve described. Feel to cut and paste these, but we recommend you personalize them before pushing send. 

1. Vacation request email to boss sample

Here’s a short and sweet vacation request sample. Blink, and you’ll miss it, but your boss will 100% understand what you’re asking.

Dear (Recipient's name),

I would like to request leave for the following dates (from and to).

It would be great if you could let me know when it’s been approved.

(Your name)

2. Vacation leave request email sample

This vacation leave request sample is a little less formal and friendlier than the sample above. This is suitable for a boss you’ve worked with for a while and consider a friend. 

Hi (Recipient's name),

I’m looking to book a holiday and wondered if I could take the following dates off on leave (insert dates)?

I look forward to hearing from you and (hopefully) booking my holiday soon!

(Your name)

3. Request a vacation day off email sample

Sometimes you may only need to take a single day off. However, you’ll still need to request a vacation day off via email, and here’s how. 

Hi (Recipient's name),

I’d like to request a day off on (insert date). I’ve checked with my colleagues, and there will adequate cover for the office that day.

Many thanks,
(Your name)

4. Simple vacation request email sample

Sometimes, keeping vacation requests simple is the most successful strategy; it means your under-pressure boss will find it easy to understand – and hopefully approve – your leave request.

Dear (Recipient's name),

Could I get the following days off on leave: (insert days), please? I have not booked a holiday yet, but I will do so as soon as my request is approved.

Yours sincerely,
(Your name)

5. Cancel vacation request email sample

Plans change, and you’ll sometimes need to cancel your vacation requests. Use our vacation cancellation template, and you’ll experience no issues. It’s essential to send this as soon as you decide to cancel, to give your boss as much advance notice as possible. 

Hi (Recipient's name),

I’m getting in touch to see whether it would be possible for me to request my leave be cancelled?

My plans have changed, and I no longer require the time off. If you can confirm that this is OK, that would be appreciated.

Many thanks,
(Your name)

6. Request to carryover vacation days email sample

If you find yourself with a holiday left at the end of the year, you may want to ask to carry it over to the following year. Your boss doesn’t have to allow you to roll your holiday on, so writing a request to carry leave over email can be tricky. Check out our sample below, and adapt it to your situation. (And next year, take a holiday – you deserve it!).

Hi (Recipient's name),

We’re almost at the end of the financial year, and I’ve not used all my leave up and am unlikely to do so. I would like to ask if I could carry over my vacation days into next year?

Please let me know if this is possible. I’m happy to work with you to agree on the most suitable time to take my leave the following year.

Many thanks,
(Your name)

7. Holiday vacation request email sample

It’s almost impossible to think about holidays and not have the Madonna track humming around your brain. So try to avoid that while writing your vacation request (or just copy and paste our holiday vacation request email sample below!).

Hi (Recipient's name),

I’m just about to book a holiday, and I wanted to request leave for the following dates: (insert dates).

I’ve checked the shared calendar and chatted through our workload with colleagues, and there should be no problems.

I look forward to hearing from you!

(Your name)

8. Formal vacation request email sample

If you don’t know your boss well, or they’re the old-school type who loves a formal response, this is for you. This standard vacation request email sample may seem a little stuffy, but it’s simple to follow and will get the job done. 

Dear (Recipient's name),

Please could I request leave for the following dates: (insert dates).

I have not booked a trip yet and will wait for your approval until I do.

Yours sincerely,
(Your name)

9. Follow-up email for vacation request sample

Sometimes your leave request may get buried under a mountain of other messages. The solution? Sending a reminder. Here’s a gentle follow-up email for vacation request sample.

Hi (Recipient's name),

I’m unsure whether you’ve seen my previous leave request email, but I thought I’d contact you again. I was hoping to take off the following days (insert days).

Would you be able to let me know if this is OK as soon as possible? It would help my vacation preparation and planning!

(Your name)

10. Vacation extension request email sample

Is there anything better than a holiday? An extended holiday! Here’s a vacation extension request sample you can use to ask for your boss for some extra days. 

Hi (Recipient's name),

Thank you for previously agreeing to my leave request. My plans have changed, and I wanted to know if I could extend my leave for a couple of days until (insert date).

I appreciate that this may change plans, and I’m willing to do everything possible to make this work. Please let me know if you would like to discuss this.

Kind regards,
(Your name)

11. Emergency vacation request email sample

A family crisis, a funeral (or maybe a job interview you don’t want to tell your boss about) are all considered emergencies and demand a slightly different approach. Your request is likely to cause disruption, but acknowledging this and apologizing for it can go a long way to getting your leave request granted.

Hi (Recipient's name),

I wouldn’t normally ask this, but I need to submit an urgent leave request for (insert date). It’s because (insert reasons).

In normal circumstances, I would provide more notice, and I apologize that I can’t.

Please do let me know if my leave request has been approved.

Kind regards,
(Your name)

12. Informal vacation request email sample

We’ve provided a lot of quite serious vacation request samples, so here’s one that’s a little friendlier and more fun. 

Hi (Recipient's name),

I’m about to book my holiday! (And I wanted to know if I can take them time off?)

I’d like to book off (insert dates). Is this OK? I’ve got the leave left and have checked the calendar to ensure there are no clashes.

Let me know if it’s all OK, and I’ll get the tickets ordered!

(Your name)

13. Long vacation request email sample

How do you approach a request for a longer leave period? Our long vacation request email sample provides some information to support your request. You'll need to explain if you want more than a couple of weeks off work. Check out our long request vacation email sample to see how we would approach it.

Hi (Recipient's name),

I hope to take an extended break next year and would like to ask whether this is possible? I was looking to book leave between (insert dates).

I appreciate there’s a lot to discuss with my request, so let’s get together at your convenience and discuss the options.

I look forward to hearing from you,
(Your name)

14. Wedding vacation request email sample

The sound of wedding bells is wonderful, and with this leave request email sample, you’ll be there to hear them. 

Hi (Recipient's name),

I’ve just received the great news that two friends of mine are getting married on (insert date), and I wanted to book leave to ensure I can attend.

Please can you let me know if this is OK? I’ll work with you and the rest of the team to ensure adequate cover.

Looking forward to your update!
(Your name)

15. Annual vacation request email sample

Some of us take regular trips at the same time to the same places. In this annual vacation request sample, we’re asking for leave for our traditional yearly trip. 

Hi (Recipient's name),

I’m just checking in to book my annual leave between (insert dates). As you know, we always go this time of year; I wanted to check that it was OK.

I’ll work with the team to ensure adequate cover and that all my projects are wrapped up before I go away.

Many thanks,
(Your name)

Flow through your inbox after holidays

The only downside to taking a vacation is coming back to work to a flood of unread emails. Luckily, Flowrite can help pick up the slack.


Flowrite is your new personal email assistant, that turns words into ready-to-send emails using AI. It's the fastest way to get to inbox zero after a relaxing time-off.

Here's Flowrite in action, fighting off sales pitches that pile up during a leave:

Final words

There’s nothing scary about writing a vacation request email once you know how the format works. You should be ready to write an email to request a vacation at this stage. (If you aren’t, just copy and paste one of our sample emails to request vacation!)

Don’t delay sending a leave request because you’re worried or embarrassed. Holidays are essential for us all, and you’re entitled to them, so use them! Strip everything back and send a simple vacation request email, and you’ll be booking that dream trip in no time.

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