Sabbatical Planning

Sabbatical Planning

On this page, you will find links to all posts that cover how to plan a sabbatical

Here we are picking up from the point you’ve got your sabbatical signed off.

It can get really crazy with so many jobs to tick off an ever-increasing to-do list and a leaving date that is getting closer by the second.

The tools, resources and articles on this page will help make planning your sabbatical a little easier but if there’s any more advice you need then just drop a question in the comments and I’ll get back to you.

Sabbatical Planning Guides

How To Plan A Sabbatical: My Complete, Real-life Guide
It doesn’t get more comprehensive than this. I walk you the exact way I planned my last sabbatical, taking you through everything from the conversation with my boss, to the tools and resources I used to help me. If you’re looking for a complete playbook for planning a sabbatical, this is it.

Tieing Up Loose Ends

What To Do With Pets When You Take A Sabbatical
Whether you decide to put them in a kennel or cattery, let someone else look after them or take them with you, making a decision on what to do with your pets whilst on sabbatical is a decision you need to make early as it could have a big impact on your plans and the overall cost.

Travel Preparation

35 Things to do Before Travelling Abroad Long-Term
This is the ultimate guide to getting ready to travel long-term. From booking throwaway flights and finding visas to photocopying key documents and registering for proxy voting – follow this 13-week countdown and it will make your sabbatical planning go a lot easier.

How to Find the Visa Requirements for any Country in the World
A simple tool to help you find the visa requirements for any country you intend to travel to.

The Ultimate Resource List for Travellers
A list of all my favourite resources that I use to plan my trips.

The Benefits of Using Travel Blogs to Help you Plan Your Trips
Travel blogs are a useful and constantly updating way to help you plan your travels. This post guides you through some tips to get the most out of them by using some clever Google search tricks, utilising comments and much more.

All My Destinations Guides & Travel Tips
In this post, you’ll find all my destination guides and best travel tips in one place.

The Best Travel Subreddits
Reddit is a great place to get detailed and specific travel advice from fellow travellers. In this post, I list out the ones I use regularly for inspiration and tips.

4 Ways to Quickly Learn the Basics of a Language Before You Travel
Jonty is a language expert and in this post, he walks us through some simple techniques to learn the most important words and phrases of a language quickly. He also recommends some great tools to help you do so.

Packing Your Bags

Detailed Packing List for a 3 Month Sabbatical (Men & Women)
This is a comprehensive guide to everything we took with us on a 3-month backpacking sabbatical. Both Becca and I list out every bit of kit, why it was useful and cross off the things we didn’t use.

My Favourite Sabbatical Planning Tools & Resources


Here are some useful tools for planning your sabbatical, though you can find more on my resources page.

  • Notion – This is where I keep my entire life, from travel Wikis to todo lists and project management
  • Google Sheets – The only way we kept our finances on track!
  • Maps.Me – The best offline mapping tool
  • Tripline – We loved this for both planning the trip and then using it as a daily mini-blog so our family could see what we were up to
  • Scannable – A fantastic iPhone scanning app which we used to upload all our valuable documents to a Dropbox folder which we gave family access to in case of emergency
  • MyUKPost – A really useful mail forwarding service who will scan in all your mail and send it to you by email whilst you are travelling
  • Duolingo and this post by Tim Ferriss – Great tools if you plan on learning some of the local language before you travel.

Route Planning

Sabbatical Specialists

Here is a list of ‘The Best Sabbatical Companies‘ which will help you with everything from booking a horse-riding trip to overlanding.


I always use Skyscanner or Agoda alongside Google Flights to make sure I’ve got the best price. I use Google Flights to save a route and monitor price changes and a combination of Skyscanner and Agoda to get the cheapest tickets. 

If you are in the UK I would also highly recommend signing up for Jack’s Flight Club to get incredible flight deals sent to your email inbox every week.


When booking accommodation, I always start with as they generally have the best range and prices. For a different experience, try signing up to Housecarers for free house-sitting opportunities (get 10% off membership with this link).


Using local guides is one of my favourite travel tips. The easiest way to find a local guide is to use Viator who offer trips with local tour guides around the world.


Travel insurance might seem like an unnecessary cost, but when a flight gets cancelled, injury occurs, or you damage a piece of gear you’ll regret not paying in advance. I’ve used World Nomads for two sabbaticals and (after badly damaging a hire car in Laos!) found the claim process to be simple and transparent.

Sabbatical Planning Books

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term Travel
Vagabonding is simply the best book I have ever read on the subject of long-term travel. It manages to be both practical and inspiring and taught me a lot of important lessons ahead of our first big trip.

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
  • Potts, Rolf (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Lonely Planet Guides
I am far from being the first person to recommend these guides, and there’s a reason for it, they’re incredibly detailed! Even in this age of mobile data, travel blogs and Tripadvisor a still buy a Lonely Planet Guide for every country I go to and study it in detail. I especially like their sections on the history of a country and the travel advice, in which there is often a few hidden gems that help prevent embarrassing international incidents! Their heavy on text, low on images approach means you can carry one for multiple countries but still have the information you need with you.

Lonely Planet Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Northern Thailand (Travel Guide)
  • Lonely Planet (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Eyewitness Travel Guides
If you want something more visual than a Lonely Planet Guide than have a look at the Eyewitness Travel Guides. They use a lot more big pictures, diagrams and bold images that lead you to some places that may have got lost in the heavy text of a LP Guide. Before we went on our Southeast Asia sabbatical we actually bought both and built our itinerary using advice from both.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Vietnam and Angkor Wat
  • DK Eyewitness (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

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How Long Did You Take For A Sabbatical or Career Break?

If you have taken a sabbatical or career break (unpaid time off from work) how long did you take?