Sabbatical Homes

One of the questions we hear a lot is what do we do that allows us to travel so much? Partly it's the Favorite Person's work, which he can do from anywhere, partly it's family we can visit or stay with, but our more recent  trips have been fueled by renting out our home and staying for longer periods in rentals abroad.

We live a couple of miles from a major university and there are often people looking for short term rentals. Many of our friends thought we were mad to rent our home out with everything in it, but we sent along the photos you see here and were enough lucky enough to find great people. 
Sabbatical Homes

Our home is attractive and well located so it has a good appeal. For "Our Small Adventure"  in France and Portugal, we rented to a lovely Brit  and his wife on a  sabbatical. During, "The Mad Dash Across Too Much" through Rome and South East Asia, we had two doctors coming to visit their grand children. Both times we used  to find tenants and we have used it to find  places to stay. 

Sabbatical Homes is a great website - which does exactly what it suggests, matching academics with short term housing options near universities.  My friend S., who is a professor in Montreal, has used it successfully to rent out her place over the summer break. So far I haven't wanted to advertise our home, so I've kept an eye on the "wanted" ads. It's a great resource and if you make a match this way they ask you to make a voluntary "success based" contribution. It's a fabulous system because when this kind of thing goes well you're very happy to pitch in the requested contribution of fifty to one hundred bucks. They also have resources like suggested lease agreements and information on their website which we found very helpful.
You need  to be fairly relaxed people who don't mind sharing your things and you should be prepared to clear out some of your clutter. We think of it as leaving the house to friends,  though we do lock away some breakables, as well as personal and  financial documents. We empty  the  bedroom drawers  and clear out a large section of the walk in closet. We have a second closet we can lock which it easy to clear things away. Last time we learnt a lot about what mattered to the renters and what didn't, so it's a work in progress. If it works it's a win-win and we always hope that people will enjoy our home.
We will be heading to London next spring where we've sublet a two bedroom flat from an American cultural historian. It was available for three months and we jumped on it. You have to be flexible and take things when they are available but that works for us. Ideally we'd exchange our home which is something we're looking into next.

So, if you live near a university you might want to think about exchanging or renting your place, it's a great way to kickstart a more mobile life.


We've just finished another rental through Sabbatical Homes and it went just as well as the rest. Perhaps we've been lucky but so far we've met responsible, friendly and respectful people both when we've rented out our home or when subletting places ourselves. Of course you need to use common sense, but this has been a great way to travel for us