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.

Quick Links:


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.


Packing Your Bags

A Simple Technique to Shrink Your Packing Time
Building a personal list of things you pack regularly is an easy way to cut down packing time for regular travellers. Here is a simple way to do it.

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

Productivity
Getting yourself organised is absolutely key when planning your sabbatical.

Becca and I used the ‘Getting Things Done’ method of having a shared inbox in Todoist, in which we dropped every random thought we had about the sabbatical. We then had a coffee together on a Sunday morning and worked through the list, assigning each one an owner and a time to make sure nothing got missed.

We also used the following tools when planning our sabbaticals:

  • Evernote – Great for shared notebooks and clipping great destinations guides so we can group them together and use whilst travelling
  • 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.

Flights
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.

Accommodation
When booking accommodation I always start with Booking.com as they generally have the best range and prices. I also regularly use Airbnb for longer stays and apartments in cities (use this link for £25 off your first stay). For a different experience try signing up to Housecarers for free house-sitting opportunities (get 10% off membership with this link

Tours
Using local guides is one of my favourite travel tips. The easiest way to find a local guide is to use  Get Your Guide (see below) who offer trips with local tour guides around the world.

Insurance
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
90 Reviews

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.

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.


What To Read Next…

This site is designed to flow from the point you hear about a sabbatical right through to coming home, below is a suggested order to make your way through the sections.

Sabbatical 101

Sabbatical Inspiration

Financing a Sabbatical

Sabbaticals & Your Career

Planning a Sabbatical
(You Are Here)

Travel Guides

Returning From Sabbatical

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Useful Tools for Booking Your Sabbatical

Flights

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.

Accommodation

When booking accommodation I always start with Booking.com as they generally have the best range and prices. I also regularly use Airbnb for longer stays and apartments in cities (use this link for £25 off your first stay). For a different experience try signing up to Housecarers for free house-sitting opportunities (get 10% off membership with this link).

Insurance

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.

Tours

Using local guides is one of my favourite travel tips. The easiest way to find a local guide is to use Get Your Guide who offer tours with local guides all over the world.

Gear

Check out my gear page for my favourite travel gear, here for a detailed 3-month packing list for men and women and here to find 38 great travel gifts.

Transfers

Getting from the airport to your destinations is an added stress after a tiring flight, so take the guesswork out and pre-book with JayRide.com. Their prices often beat the local taxis and I've found them to be reliable and easy to use.

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