03 July

Guide on writing flawless vacation request emails (samples included)

Anton Diduh
Anton Diduh Content writer & Video content creator at Stripo
Table of contents
  1. What is PTO?
  2. Why PTO request emails are important
  3. How to write PTO request emails step-by-step
  4. Tips for writing a vacation request email
  5. Vacation request email samples
  6. Wrapping up
What is PTO?

Vacations are an integral part of any job, and employees are responsible for correctly requesting them from the HR department. According to statistics, in America alone, 65 million vacation days go unused. In this article, we will tell you how to create flawless PTO request emails so that you don’t end up as part of these statistics. Without further ado, let’s get started.

What is PTO?

PTO (paid time off) is a benefit that companies provide to employees, in which they can take a break from work and keep getting paid for the days during which they’re absent. Employers aren’t required to offer PTO, but those who do appear more attractive to jobseekers and employees.

Simple PTO Request Example

Why PTO request emails are important

PTO email is a means of communication that employees can use to notify their superiors of their desire to go on paid leave. Every company has its own set of rules and regulations regarding time off, and adequate advance notice before going on vacation is one of the basic rules.

A PTO email is not only a way to indicate your desire to take paid leave, but also a way to prepare the department in advance for your absence and plan the team’s actions during this period.

Even if your job doesn’t offer PTO, our article will help you create flawless vacation request emails to send to your HR departments and supervisors.

How to write PTO request emails step-by-step

Creating a PTO request email requires some knowledge and preparation, so we created a guide that will walk you through the process of creating your email request.

Start with a clear subject line

Your email should be clear to HR even before it’s opened. As a result, you need a straightforward and understandable subject line. This way, you show respect for HR's time.

Typically, subject lines for this type of email look something like this:

  • “PTO request: [Your name] — [Vacation dates]”;
  • “Request for paid time off: [Your name]”;
  • “Vacation leave request: [Your name] — [Vacation dates]”;
  • “Time off request for [Vacation dates]: [Your name].”

As you can see, these subject lines are pretty clear and show exactly why you’re writing the email.

Begin your vacation request email body with greetings

Once you're done creating the subject line for your PTO request email, it’s time to start shaping its body. Begin with greetings and an informal introduction to set the tone for the whole email. For example:

  • “Good morning, [HR’s name]. How’s your day going?”;
  • “Greetings. Hope you’re doing well.”

Remember that you should use informal language only if your company allows it. Avoid informal questions if your company sticks to a more formal and straight-to-the-point style of email communication.

State your vacation request and exact vacation days

Now we’ve reached the most important part of your email—requesting vacation. Keep this part short and simple by directly communicating your desire to take days off and stating calendar days from where your vacation starts and ends.

Clearly stating your request and days will eliminate confusion and give the HR manager an opportunity to determine whether they can approve it. For example:

  • “I’d like to use my PTO days and take a vacation starting from [MM/DD/YYYY] and ending [MM/DD/YYYY]”;
  • “Writing to you to request vacation days. I’d like to take a break during [MM/DD/YYYY — MM/DD/YYYY].”

Cite reasons for absence

Stating reasons for taking a vacation isn’t mandatory, but it’s a nice touch that can help your HR manager understand how important your time off is to you.

When writing this part, keep it short and straightforward, as it’s unlikely your HR wants and has time to read a long story about your paid-leave reasons.

Finish your vacation request with a thank you and closing

Thank your manager for considering your request and for their time, then close your email in a friendly and professional way. For example:

  • “Thank you for your time and for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards, [Your name]”;
  • “I appreciate your consideration and thank you for your time. Have a great day. [Your name].”

Tips for writing a vacation request email

Knowing the process from A to Z is great, but knowing useful tips on top of that is much better. This advice will help you make your own PTO request flawless.

Do your homework before writing a vacation request

Before creating a vacation request, you should study the rules on how your company’s procedure for requesting paid leave. Companies often devise a vacation policy and introduce new employees to it during the onboarding process.

If the policy isn’t specified, it’s worth communicating with the HR department about this in advance so that they can explain the entire process. Thus, you’ll know for sure that your request will be made according to the rules, and you’ll receive the allowed number of days for rest.

Pick a golden meantime in advance

No matter how much you’d like to go on vacation right then and now, you should warn your managers about it in advance. This will allow the department to prepare for your absence and plan work processes and others’ workloads during your absence.

Furthermore, you should find a middle ground between “going on vacation when you want and when you should.” Going on vacation when the department is under maximum load––with deadlines approaching and everyone busy and rushing about––isn’t a good idea from the company’s perspective.

You should choose the dates of your vacation request during a period of calm, between the busiest times in the company’s business cycle. When you return, you’ll rejoin the workplace with renewed vigor after the rest.

Find colleagues who can be temporary replacements

If your job doesn’t allow you to prepare by completing all projects before leaving, and you need to find a colleague to replace you, make arrangements before submitting your request by confirm with a co-worker that they’ll be able to fill in for you and take over your tasks if your leave request is approved so you can show your manager that nothing has been overlooked, and that work tasks won’t pile up in your absence.

Vacation request email samples

Now that you’re loaded with knowledge and tips, it’s time for some inspiration. We’ve compiled several PTO email request templates that will give you the exact idea of what your email should look like. Take any template you want and customize it however you like to meet your needs and your company's rules.

PTO request email sample 1

Subject line: Request for paid time off: [Your name]

Hi, [HR/Department leader name],

Hope you’re having a nice day. I’d like to request paid time off from [MM/DD/YYYY] through [MM/DD/YYYY]. I need this time to recharge my batteries and [provide a reason for the vacation].

While resting, I’ll be reachable via work email [provide your email address here] and [Enter other means of communication, if any]. As we discussed, my colleagues have agreed to provide coverage while I’m away, so all my tasks will be done on time.

Thank you in advance,

[Your name]

PTO request email sample 2

Subject line: Vacation leave request: [Your name] — [Vacation dates]


I’m writing to request a vacation. I’d like to take a break from [MM/DD/YYYY] to [MM/DD/YYYY], when I plan to [cite the reason for the vacation]. I’m finishing up my current tasks, and I’ve already found coverage, as [colleague’s name] will take on my tasks while I’m absent.

Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Kind regards, 

[Your name]

PTO request email sample 3

Subject line: Time-off request for [Vacation dates]: [Your name]

Hi there, [HR/Department leader name],

How’s your week going? Hope you’re doing great.

Now, straight to the point: I’m requesting paid vacation starting from [MM/DD/YYYY] and ending [MM/DD/YYYY]. I'm about to finish my current workload, so I won’t leave behind any pending tasks. While I’m away, [colleague’s name] will take on my responsibilities, which we’ve discussed.

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Have a great day.

[Your name]

Wrapping up

Going on vacation must be done correctly, and a well-crafted vacation request email is one step in the process. It’s vital to create an email in advance that clearly indicates the leave dates desired, reasons, and other important details that will help the department prepare for your absence.

Even though such emails usually are not very long, some people still need inspiration to get them right. We hope that our free templates will help you create the perfect vacation request email.

Create exceptional emails with Stripo
Was this article helpful?
Tell us your thoughts
Thanks for your feedback!
Stripo editor
Simplify email production process.
Stripo plugin
Integrate Stripo drag-n-drop editor to your web application.
Order a Custom Template
Our team can design and code it for you. Just fill in the brief and we'll get back to you shortly.

Stripo editor

For email marketing teams and solo email creators.

Stripo plugin

For products that could benefit from an integrated white-label email builder.