How to Write a Vacation Request Email (With Example)
Updated April 28, 2023
When you want to request time off from work, it's important that you follow your company's procedures. This often involves emailing your manager so you can make your vacation request formally. An effective email can provide your employer with the information they need to make a decision, promote good communication, and prepare your company for your time away. In this article, we discuss how to write a vacation request email, list some tips for writing your email, and provide example emails for you to review.
How to write a vacation request email
Follow these steps to help you create and send a vacation request email:
1. Identify your recipient
Review your company's vacation policy to determine the person you should send your request for time off work to. For example, you may have a direct supervisor, but your department's manager is the one who will consider your request. Once the appropriate person approves your request, it's a good idea to alert anyone who your absence directly affects.
2. Write a short, direct subject line
Subject lines are a recipient's first impression of your email. For a vacation email request, write a brief line that states the general purpose of your message and the dates related to your request. If you work in a large company, consider adding your first name and surname in the subject line to ensure the recipient can quickly identify who is requesting time off and when.
3. State your purpose for writing
After greeting your recipient, explain why you're writing. You can state that you're writing to request time off from work if you've already spoken with your supervisor about the request, or you may present it as a question if the email is the first time you're discussing the request. Asking your supervisor or employer if they'd allow you to take time off is a professional courtesy that shows you respect their time.
4. Include the dates you're requesting
In the first line or first short paragraph of your email, be sure to include the dates you're requesting time off from work. Make sure the dates match those listed in the subject line to ensure clarity. This helps maintain clear communication about your request and provides your employer with accurate documentation.
If your company follows an accruing paid-time-off policy, be sure to check your balance before submitting your request. Consider mentioning how many hours you're using for your leave, such as if you intend to work a half-day at the start of your leave. This can show that you understand how this request impacts your remaining paid time and assists your employer in updating this information.
5. Consider mentioning why you're taking time off
Although it's optional, mentioning the reason for your request can further help with accurate documentation of your vacation. It may let your employer know that you're taking a vacation, but if you take time off for another personal reason, providing some reference to that reason may help your employer better understand the purpose of your request. This step may help your supervisor or employer decide whether to approve your time off, especially if you're submitting a request during a particularly busy time or if you work at a smaller company.
6. Discuss how you're preparing for time off
In the second part or paragraph of your email, provide details about how you're preparing your colleagues for your vacation. This may include what tasks you can complete before your time off or who you're delegating your work to while you're away. Consider mentioning what you can do if you still have outstanding tasks as your time off approaches, such as meeting with your manager at the beginning of your last day before vacation. This shows your dedication to your organization's success even when you're away and ensures your employer understands the full extent of your absence's impact on efficiency.
7. Remain available for questions
End your email by allowing your employer or supervisor to contact you for further information and to confirm the decision of your request. Thank them for reading your email and considering your request. This is a professional courtesy that also promotes clear and open communication between you and your employer.
Related: How to End an Email
Tips for writing your vacation request email
Consider these tips as you prepare your email to request time off from work:
Review your company's policy
Each company has a unique vacation and time-off policy, so it's important to ensure you understand your organization's specific policy. Refer to your employee handbook or knowledge base for the policy, or ask your manager or the human resources department for a copy. This is especially important if your company uses an accrue- time-off policy so that you know how many hours you have available to use.
Provide as much advance notice as possible
Many companies include how soon to request time off in their policy. It's often beneficial to request time off at least two months in advance, if possible. If you're requesting time off during a particularly popular time, such as the summer or during the holidays, you may consider providing even more notice. This demonstrates your sense of responsibility and respect for your employer's time and needs.
Find convenient dates
If possible, think about work patterns when selecting your vacation dates. Strive to schedule your time off around slower times, your coworkers' schedules, or end dates of large projects. This shows your consideration and commitment to your organization, and it may help ensure your manager approves your request.
Ask in person first
Try to discuss your request in person to inform them of your plan. Let them know about your desired dates and times, and ask if they have any concerns about the length of time. At the end of your conversation, confirm you're going to email them to finalize your request.
Provide a reminder email
Consider sending reminder emails following your discussion of the time off and before your vacation begins. This may remind them about what you discussed and update them on the status of your projects. Also, you may send a separate email to your specific department to inform them of the plan while you're away.
Related: Out of Office Message
Vacation request email examples
Review these samples of emails requesting time off to help you prepare your own:
Informal time-off request email example
Here's an example of an informal email request:
Subject: Rebecca Boyle: Vacation request for September 6–10
I'd like to request vacation time from Monday, September 6, through Friday, September 10. I'll be travelling to visit some family members in another province. I'll use 40 hours of accrued time for this request, and I confirmed I have enough time in my bank to accommodate this.
Robert has my phone number in case of emergencies. He also confirmed he will find coverage for my tasks while I'm away.
Please let me know if you have any questions, and thank you for reviewing my request.
Formal time-off request email example
Here's an example of a formal email request:
Subject: Ralph Kingston: Vacation request for September 13–17
Dear Ms. Withers,
I'm writing to you today to request one week of leave from Monday, September 13, through Friday, September 17. I will resume work in the office on September 20. Based on my current balance of accrued hours, I have enough time to accommodate this leave.
My primary projects will be complete before this week. My largest project right now is the Bakersfield Accounting website, and we're set to launch that on Tuesday, September 7, allowing plenty of time for bugs and fixes. I've confirmed with Gina that Marcus will handle my day-to-day client requests while I'm away.
If you have questions or concerns, please email or call me. While I'm away, I won't be able to check my email regularly, but Gina has my phone number in case of an emergency.
Thank you for your time and for considering my request.
Time-off reminder email example
Here's an example of an email you may send as a courtesy to remind the person who approved your request about your upcoming time off from work:
Subject: Maura Farmair: Vacation reminder for September 20–27
I wanted to remind you that, per our conversation in June, I will be out of the office Monday, September 20, through Monday, September 27, for a family wedding. I will return to the office as usual on Tuesday, September 28.
As discussed, Jack will handle my clients while I'm away. I've finished all outstanding deliverables, but he will be available in case of questions or emergencies.
I will have limited time for emails or calls later in the week, but I will be available Monday through Wednesday if you or the team needs to reach me. However, if there are any emergencies, please text me at 514-555-1234, and I will do my best to assist.
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