If you’re considering taking a sabbatical from the stresses and strains of modern life, 38 is the ideal age to do it, a study has found. Researchers found as you approach your forties, this is the time when you are financially secure and established enough in your career that you can afford to take an extended break, but young enough to still do everything you want.
By that age, many have also got as far as they can in their career and have a better idea of what they would like to do than when they were younger.
But while seven in ten workers dream of being able to take a long period of time off work at some point in their future, just one in twenty think they will actually have a good chance of doing so.
Instead, 70% are trying to cram everything they want to do into their annual leave because they don’t believe they will ever get to enjoy anything longer than a couple of weeks off work in one go.
A spokesman for Hilton HHonors, which commissioned the research to launch its Any Weekend Anywhere sale, said:
”We understand that sometimes an extended break isn’t always feasible.
”But we believe that by planning ahead and really thinking about activities you want to do, it is possible to achieve sabbatical type experiences within existing annual leave.
”Our research has shown many workers would choose a European travel destination for a sabbatical, with popular choices including France, Italy and Spain.
”One in ten would also opt to travel around the UK rather than abroad.
”You don’t need an extended holiday to make the most of what is essentially on our doorstep and by ticking off elements of your wish-list every weekend, there’s no reason why you won’t enjoy the same things that you would during a sabbatical.”
The study of 2,000 workers found by the age of 38, almost half reckon they are financially stable and have the money to make the most of the once in a lifetime sabbatical.
And 81% think the ‘adult gap years’ are better later in life once you have established yourself within your career and don’t need to worry about taking a step away for a while.
One in ten workers even said they have plans to take one at some point in the next year or so, while six in ten would like to in the future, but don’t have any real plans in place.
Of those, they would like to take an average of six weeks off, with a desire to go travelling and see the world the top reason for the extended leave.
Another 31% would like a sabbatical because they feel they are too stressed at work, while three in ten want more time to spend with their family.
Other reasons for wanting the longer period of time off work include being bored at work, not enjoying their job and wanting to do more than they can squeeze into a normal week long or fortnight holiday.
Some even want to spend the time volunteering, trying out other job opportunities or trying to gain further experience in their current line of work.
But the study found that more than half of all employees don’t think their boss would even consider a request from them to take anything more than a couple of weeks off, let alone agree to it.
Despite this, one in four think they would be more productive at work following an extended period of time off work, while another 22 per cent think they would return more enthusiastic about their job.
Jeff Diskin, executive vice president of commercial services, Hilton Worldwide said:
”Weekend breaks are an opportunity for keen travellers to escape from everyday life and relax without breaking the budget or using up too much of their precious annual leave.
”We want to support all travel enthusiasts with weekend excursions throughout the year – whether it’s a trip to the beautiful Algarve or a cultural experience in Rome.”
Top ten reasons for taking a sabbatical
1. I want to do more travelling
2. I’m stressed at work
3. I want to spend more time with my family
4. I’m bored at work
5. I don’t enjoy my job
6. I can’t do what I want within a week/fortnight long holiday
7. I am better off financially now
8. I want to do some volunteer work
9. I want to try other job opportunities
10. My friends/colleagues have had one