3 Key Tips for Planning an Awesome Sabbatical
By: Emily Graham
A sabbatical is a well-earned break from years of work, usually involving some travel. It is a great opportunity to take some time for yourself, expand your horizons, and take stock of where you are in life through enriching experiences. However, planning one can also be a daunting experience, especially if you’ve never taken so much time off before. These tips can help you plan your ideal sabbatical experience and get the most out of your break.
Decide What You Want to Do
Most people travel during a sabbatical because it is their first opportunity to do some in-depth, long-term travel. This is a great idea — travel not only allows you to broaden your experiences and discover other ways of life up close, but it can also be actively good for your health. This story of a couple in their late 20s who took a one-year sabbatical does a great job of exploring how the freedom of travel can be a breath of fresh air after working hard at a career.
As for where to go, that’s up to you. Many people choose to do a round-the-world trip to really maximize their experiences. If this sounds like what you want to do, check out this guide to creating your own around-the-world itinerary by family travel bloggers Earth Trekkers.
However, travel is not the whole point of a sabbatical. For many people, the biggest benefit is the opportunity to take a step back from your career and evaluate your successes, failures, and future goals. You can do that without leaving your home. Alternative ideas include learning a new skill, starting a business, or volunteering in your community.
Work Out the Finances
The financial implications of taking a year off work are usually the most intimidating part of planning a sabbatical. However, realistic budgeting and careful organization can help you save up and keep costs low. Great tips to keep in mind include looking for helpful resources, starting an emergency fund, and having a Plan B if you need to find an alternative source of income.
Speaking of alternative sources of income, it’s a great idea to rent your home online while you are traveling, which can actually get you some good money if you live in a great location. Make sure your home stands out. Things you can do to attract renters include staging your home, boosting curb appeal, and adding a security system.
Consider the Logistics
Some people may find it easier to just take off for a year than others, as some people have fewer responsibilities and attachments. For others, there are several practical and logistical matters to consider, from what to do with a pet to how to ask for your sabbatical.
As soon as you commit to your sabbatical, draw up a complete list of all the things you will need to arrange, negotiate, and tie up before you start. Seeing all of it can feel overwhelming, but it also gives you a clear view of the steps you need to take to make it happen.
Finally, just go for it. Yes, it’s a big decision, but spending ages deliberating isn’t going to get you any closer to the things you want to achieve. As long as you understand the sacrifices that you might have to make — your career may have to take a step back, you will spend a lot of money, being on the road for a long time can be hard — and you prepare for them, you are ready to take the step. Start planning now, set yourself a goal and a timeline, and do it.
Photo via Pexels
About The Author:
Emily Graham is the creator of mightymoms.net. She believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life. On her site, she offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms — from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family.
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.