How to Get Six Weeks Off to Travel

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Ever dream of taking time off to travel for a reason? Not just a vacation, but to truly explore a culture, help others, or fulfill a lifelong dream? I’ve got the resource for you – an excellent (and free!) ebook, entitled How to Get Six Weeks Off to Travel. Written by Pat Katepoo, a work-life advisor and founder of, it’s packed with excellent suggestions, verbiage to use, worksheets, and inspiration. It’s the most useful guide we’ve seen to help plan – and achieve! – sabbaticals of all sorts.


How to get six weeks off to travel - a free ebook!


We caught up with Pat, to get the backstory of the book, the meaning of purposeful travel, inspiration, and suggestions.


Please tell us about your book, How to Get Six Weeks Off to Travel...

How to Get Six Weeks Off to Travel is a planning workbook and negotiation guide to getting management approval of a short-term travel sabbatical.

Employed professionals who love to travel usually can’t get enough time off for extended trips (wandering educators are a wonderful exception); this guide shows them step-by-step how to request six weeks off for purposeful travel.

And it’s free!


What do you mean by “purposeful travel?”

Purposeful travel adds a meaningful dimension to an extended trip beyond leisure--or even adventure.

More than that, it’s a way to position your request to management that increases your chances of getting approval of six weeks off. The guide provides language that frames the user’s stated purpose with employer benefits.

I include four categories:

  • Volunteer Abroad Program
  • Christian Missions Trip
  • Learning Vacation
  • Cultural Immersion Travel

A trip to a desired destination can usually be fashioned to fit into one or more of these categories. For leisure or luxury travelers, the “purpose” angle may in fact be an attractive new way to experience a trip.


Who or what inspired you to write the guide?

As a baby boomer and a work-life advisor, I’m constantly  reading about work trends among professionals in my age group. The consistent theme is people 50+ want or need to work until age 70 or beyond. That’s fine, but we all need a break!

So my inspiration was a desire to equip boomers to take a welcome respite from their work routine.

Especially for those bordering on burnout, a short-term travel sabbatical can recharge their energy, refresh their creative thinking, and give them a renewed vigor for their work.


How receptive are employers to granting sabbaticals?

Unfortunately, outside of the academic world, sabbaticals are uncommon. The best companies recognize their value and offer paid sabbaticals to employees after around five years of service.

But for most professionals who want a sabbatical, they have to craft their own plan to present to their employer. My guide also includes a proposal template to make that step easier.


What are your suggestions for how to decide on a sabbatical purpose?

Start with the end in mind. What outcome do you want after the six weeks are over? To speak elementary Spanish? Do a homestay and attend language school in Costa Rica. Another approach is to ask what your heart is telling you. To contribute to the education of underprivileged children? Go help build a school or teach in Cambodia.

If you’re stuck for ideas, just do an online search for “volunteer abroad programs” or the other categories I mentioned, and you’ll have plenty to sift through.


Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

You don’t have to quit your job to fulfill a travel dream. You have options; with proper planning, a six-week sabbatical is possible for many professionals.


How can people get a copy of How to Get Six Weeks Off to Travel?

Anyone who wants it is invited to download a free copy at



Thanks so very much, Pat! This is an incredible resource that we highly recommend to our Wandering Educators.