More and more people are embracing the freedom permitted by a sabbatical. Sabbaticals are great times to learn new skills that make you a valuable employee. If you’re looking into doing a sabbatical, here’s what you need to know.

Get your house in order

As one BBC article points out, you can cover a huge portion of sabbatical expenses by finding someone to rent your home from you while you’re gone. Research online for some guides to help you know what to do when renting out your home and attracting potential renters. You’ll want to pick a competitive but reasonable rental price, and you’ll need to know about leases and legal agreements before going off the grid.

Always have a small side income

When you take a sabbatical, you’re leaving the stability of a 9-5 life and leaping into the unknown. It’s important to save up money before you leave, but you should also have a side income. Sell your travel photos, write as a freelancer, or try a work exchange that covers accommodations. There are multiple ways to make extra income to cover unexpected costs.

Find someone to look after pets

While pets are man’s best friend, they can’t always accompany you on your trips. If you have a close friend or family member that lives nearby and can take care of your pet, that’s great. However, if you need to, use social media or other online tools to find people or resources that will work as well. Sometimes, people debate over whether they should adopt a pet, and pet-sitting is the perfect opportunity for them to get a taste for that, which can help both of you.

Calculate at-home expenses

Budgeting and planning for a sabbatical can be exciting, and it can be easy to overlook some expenses that will be ongoing back home. Tally whatever expenses you have, whether it’s a rent or mortgage payment, fees for storing items while away, pet care fees, or car payments. Your credit score is tied to these payments as well, and you’ll want to maintain a good credit score while you’re traveling abroad.

Arrange health insurance

Many articles on the financial implications of sabbaticals discuss looking into the health care benefits of their current job to check if they will still apply while away. If your health care benefits won’t apply, you might need to coordinate private insurance or some other option. Remember that travel insurance and health insurance are different things, so review details about coverage.

Prepare for a road trip

If you’re preparing to take a road trip during your sabbatical, then you need to think about transportation. While you might want to rent a car or purchase a secondary vehicle to limit the wear and tear on your primary car, that might not be financially feasible. So, before you hit the road, spend some time preparing your automobile for the journey — check the brake pads, spark plugs, and tires to ensure they’re ready for the trip ahead. Fortunately, if you need a little assistance finding the right parts/accessories to get your ride in tip-top shape, there are many online guides to help you find the best of the bunch.

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Find a purpose for the time off

Sometimes, people want to take a sabbatical just for fun, but maybe you want to take it for something more. Some people find that volunteering or starting a small business endows their time off with meaning, purpose, and direction. It can also give you resume-boosting experience, which never hurts. Giving yourself a “why” will help you during the difficult points of your sabbatical. It doesn’t matter what your reason is, but having a reason at all will make all the difference.

Have a back-up plan

Your income doesn’t always stretch as far as you hope. Sometimes, non-stop relaxation becomes boring and meaningless, and often, your sabbatical plans get thwarted and you might not have a strong back-up plan. Always have a plan B, and even a plan C and D just in case. There’s a lot of uncertainty in sabbaticals. Extra savings and a different plan will help you bounce back.

Sabbaticals can provide valuable opportunities to achieve new professional and educational goals, which might translate into more income. A sabbatical can help you get clearer on what you want to do with your life. It’s a great way to see the world and see how people do things differently. With plenty of planning and care, you can have a successful sabbatical.

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