Gap Year vs work sabbatical – what are the benefits of long-term travel?

In association with Netflights

Gap year travel map

As 2017 comes to an end, it’s the perfect time to reflect on what you’ve achieved throughout the year. And I guess one of my highlights was going on a work sabbatical and taking three months out with my husband to travel eastern and Southern Africa.

Our work sabbatical actually began last year. But Ben and I returned to the UK in early January and we have definitely benefited from it over the last 11 months.

As I was still writing and gathering material for my travel writing, you could say that mine wasn’t 100% a work sabbatical (can you ever really take time out as a travel writer? Something I ponder here). But by taking three months out of our everyday routines, we took the opportunity to reassess life, have some ‘thinking space’ and start the new year feeling renewed.

work sabbatical | The Garden Route in South Africa

There are so many benefits from taking time out to travel, which is why I recently teamed up with Netflights on their latest project about gap years and work sabbaticals.

Netflights, a price comparison site for cheap flight deals, car hire, holidays and hotels, offers all sorts of inspirational content to inspire your travels. And if you’re currently thinking about taking a gap year, or time out from your career, I think you’ll find their gap year and travel sabbatical survey really interesting.

The Netflights gap year survey

The Netflights gap year survey was carried out on 2040 people from across the UK and it provided all sorts of information on how many people have taken gap years and career breaks. It explored the reasons why people choose to take sabbaticals, what the driving factors were, and what benefits they took from long-term travel.

Here’s the infographic which shows all the findings:

Gap Year vs Sabbaticals

Infographic credit: Netflights.com

Why aren’t more people considering a work sabbatical?

I found it interesting that 22% of people in the survey didn’t know whether their employer offered any kind of work sabbatical and 19% said there’s not enough information available on it.

When it comes to when you should take your work sabbatical, there really is no rule. But the survey showed that, unsurprisingly, most people do it within the first five years of their career.

Taking a work sabbatical in your 30s

Ben and I have been working for at least 10 years. And while there were many things we had to consider before we took the plunge, we both knew that this was the right time. It would be the last time we’d be able to do this kind of trip, just the two of us, before we had children. And we knew we’d have to prioritise saving to buy a house once we were back.

In my opinion, if you can make it work, taking a work sabbatical to go travelling in your 30s is the best!

The benefits of long-term travel

And if that doesn’t convince you, take a look at the benefits that people reported from experiencing long-term travel, from growing your confidence to building on your world knowledge. The Netflights team also got some really great insight from some travel bloggers such as Erin McNeaney of Never Ending Voyage and Dave and Deb from The Planet D who shared their thoughts on the benefits of travelling abroad.

Tell me, have you taken a gap year or been on a career break to take a travel work sabbatical. If so, how did you benefit from it and if you haven’t taken this kind of trip yet, would you ever consider it?

Please, feel free to share your tips and stories in the comments below. And if you want to check out the Netflights survey, visit the website here. You can also follow Netflights on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and twitter.

This is a sponsored post in association with Netflights