Taking a Travel Career Break: 4 Crucial Questions to Ask Yourself

Get your sunhats and swimming costume at the ready because travel is back! In 2023, the effects of lockdowns and flight bans will finally be shaken off as tourism returns to pre-pandemic levels in many parts of the world. No doubt there are lots of you itching to get back out there! But what can you do if you’re a wanderlust full-time employee, pulled between your desire to explore unknown lands and the maintenance of your career? 

This is where career breaks come in to save the day. Discover the happy medium between working and travelling and find some tips to help your budget stretch further in this guide.

Is a Career Break Possible?

Yes! Career breaks aren’t just possible; they’re becoming a really popular way to travel the world without giving up a job you love.

There are two ways you can take a career break. The first is by quitting your position completely, handing in your notice and leaving everything behind. This is certainly the riskier option, but can also be very freeing and allow you to jet off without any ties to bring you back home. One-way tickets, here you come! Once you do come home, you’ll find a completely new job or see if there are any positions available with your past employer. 

The second option is taking a sabbatical, which offers more job security. A sabbatical involves creating an agreement with your employer for a specified time of leave, in which period your position in the company will be held for you until you come back. Sabbaticals can range from a month to a year, and occasionally longer. You won’t be paid whilst you’re away, but you will have a stable job waiting for you when you return.

Why Take a Career Break to Travel?

A career break for travel isn’t always conventional, but it could be one of the best things you ever do.

Taking time out of your day-to-day life comes with a whole host of benefits, like seeing the world whilst you’re physically fit instead of waiting to retire, and giving you a chance to reflect on your life and goals. Who knows, you may find yourself looking at life from a whole new angle and decide to follow an entirely different career path when you return.

Other advantages to taking time out to travel include:

  • Discovering more of your strengths and weaknesses
  • Learning new things about yourself
  • Taking time to rest and relax
  • Having new experiences and creating new memories

There aren’t many people who regret travelling. If it’s always been on your bucket list, consider a career break so that you don’t have to put it off any longer.

Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia

Can You Afford a Career Break?

Taking time away from work to travel through Asia or go on an American road trip is undoubtedly appealing, but before you start booking flights or looking at sustainable cruises, you first need to check your financial situation.

If you’re going to leave behind work for an extended period of time, you need to have the money to cover your break. With no income, do you have the funds to stay afloat? 

Different trips can vary in cost, with location and time affecting how much money you’ll need. 

Try to create a realistic budget by writing up an itinerary of what you’d like to do with a corresponding price plan. You can find information on costs by:

  • Looking at flight prices
  • Checking accommodation costs on booking websites
  • Watching YouTube videos for local prices
  • Checking out useful blogs

If your money is spreading a little too thin, look at how you maximise your travel budget.

What Should I Prepare Before Leaving? 

Start by talking to your current employer about options available to you if a sabbatical isn’t on the table. Ask whether you’d be allowed to apply for new positions on your return, and secure a reference before you leave. Make sure your CV is up-to-date, too, so that you can start applying for roles as soon as you return.

Even if you’re a real free spirit and want to journey wherever the wind takes you, make sure you know your initial plan before you set off. 

Other essential tasks to add to your to-do list include:

  • Purchasing travel insurance 
  • Making sure your passport is up-to-date
  • Getting necessary vaccinations
  • Securing necessary VISAs

Final Words

A travel career break is a great way to see the world whilst you’re young. Hopefully, this article has given you some tips and inspiration to get your planning underway, and introduced you to the wonderful world of travel!