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Sabattical ideas

(17 Posts)
leannac Sat 05-Jan-13 20:06:47

Hi all

DH & I lived overseas & travelled a fair bit before having kids & now want to take our kids away for 4-6 months so we can spend some good quality time as a family. We are looking at going away prob oct/nov as it needs to work around my maternity leave & kids will be 2 1/2 yrs & 11 months.

We'd prefer to base ourselves in one place at least 2 months at a time or maybe the whole time. Big things are clearly finding somewhere suitable for the kids as if life with them isn't happy we won't be happy.

Clearly money will be tight too so can't afford to live like kings but we will figure that aspect out later.

Right now looking for suggestions of counties or regions people would suggest, long haul or short haul works for us but not Australia/new Zealand as DH is Aussie & we plan to move there in next 5 years so want to do sonething a bit different now.

Would love to hear ANY suggestions!

Fluffy1234 Mon 07-Jan-13 14:44:34

How about Cape Town? Great weather, food, wine and value for money, no language problems. My family and I had a fantastic holiday there.

leannac Mon 07-Jan-13 19:04:22

I had thought about South Africa as DH & I met whilst living in Botswana & loved it! I'll have to look into it more!

RillaBlythe Mon 07-Jan-13 19:08:35

RSA is expensive.

What about India, Nepal? We had a great 4 months then when dd was 2. Or aouth east Asia?

RillaBlythe Mon 07-Jan-13 19:10:01

Or Indonesia. I think I would head east. Arr you trying to avoid malarial areas or planning on taking medication?

leannac Mon 07-Jan-13 20:35:49

I'll have an 8/9 month old so avoiding malarial areas. Great to hear from someone who travellers for 4 months with a toddler. Was it fab?

RillaBlythe Mon 07-Jan-13 21:08:30

it was brilliant - we had travelled a fair bit before kids (we met living in Zambia smile), & had previously taken her to South Africa age 1. I really like travelling with kids, people are so friendly & you sink into where you are in a different sort of way. IMO. Potty trained her before we went, knew where to go if we needed medical help (she didn't get ill once - we both did). Accepted that her diet might not be varied & that we would need a steady supply of cereal bars on us!

leannac Tue 08-Jan-13 05:43:14

Did you move around or did you base yourself in one place? So great to meet someone who's done it! Were you working in safari industry in Zambia? That's how DH & I met in Botswana!

LoopsInHoops Tue 08-Jan-13 06:16:50

We're in KL, with a baby and a toddler and it's great for kids. I'd think about basing myself somewhere beautiful and a bit more remote - maybe Langkawi for a couple of months, or maybe a Thai island. (no Malaria) smile

leannac Tue 08-Jan-13 08:06:13

Sorry if this sounds a stupid question but so far I've only taken 'holiday' with kids as all my travelling was pre-kids, but is there enough to keep toddlers amused when you're travelling just as a family? We spend lots of time here playing with friends, going swimming, going to music classes, the park etc? DD was v happy playing with just us on recent trips to Australia & Europe but trips no longer than 3 wks ever. Will she get bored?

Thailand good idea too as probably fairly cheap there to rent a house?

Thanks for the suggestions, I really appreciate it! Ideally for a trial we would go for 3 months then plan another longer trip the year after if it worked well but we can't rent out our house unless we go for minimum 6 months so think just need to bite the bullet & go!

RillaBlythe Tue 08-Jan-13 12:48:27

I am no expert (we have taken DD away to South Africa/Swaziland for 6 weeks when she was 1, & to India/Nepal when she was 2.2 for 3.5 months)... I think you need to think really carefully about what you like doing with your days & what you would be interested in varying, & pick a location having taken that into careful account.

After all, we all know that it isn't a holiday when you are away with small kids, so you do need to think about how you will be occupying yourselves. If you can imagine happily spending day after day mooching around on the beach/pottering into a village to pick up some food/swinging in the hammock then you could just spend your months by the sea. If you think you would get fed up of that, maybe somewhere like Cape Town wouldn't be too bad a bet after all - living is dearer than you would expect, but you have the variety of museums/shopping malls/parks/palygrounds/beach/mountain/nice trips up country. Durban would be cheaper than CT. I imagine KL/Singapore would give you similar experiences but I haven't been.

When we were away both times DP had work to go to for part of it, so I did end up SAHMing solo with a toddler with no playgroups, no friends, no parks (in Nepal!). It was fine - did lots of wandering around taking it at her pace & looking at things. Spent a week on the beach in Kerala, messing about in the mornings & coming home for a siesta in the afternoons. I found it harder in CT because I didn't have a car & DD was still napping twice a day so I was more bound to the house.

I would totally seize the opportunity with both hands, though.

RillaBlythe Tue 08-Jan-13 13:41:36

Pondering this further while getting ahead for supper: your DC won't get bored. But you might. Consider your location.

leannac Tue 08-Jan-13 17:59:03

Thanks so much. I'm actually hoping DH will be doing some work when we are away also (as otherwise we won't have much cash) so good point to think about SAHM location.

Cape Town/SA providing non malarial area is fab idea! I don't know why I didn't think of it. DH & I love Africa - Cape Town used to be where we went sometimes for hols from our camp in Botswana & we loved it. It's probably somewhere quite suited for kids too. I'm going to do some investigation. Thanks!

Fluffy1234 Tue 08-Jan-13 18:01:44

Glad to have been of help.

Salbertina Tue 08-Jan-13 18:07:55

what's yr budget? Cape town deceptively very expensive. Eating out/petrol cheaper yes so seems good value on hol of normal duration but for longer? Car rental/housing:good shopping/cost of living MUCH more than UK. Learn from my mistake! If you're set on SA, go rural and away from western cape for better value and visit CT when you can

Salbertina Tue 08-Jan-13 18:08:42

Meant food shopping v expensive...

leannac Tue 08-Jan-13 19:04:53

I remember food shopping being expensive when we were there but would almost prefer DH to work more during our sabbatical if it meant we could live somewhere that would be easy & relaxing. I worry I'd find much cheaper destinations like Asia too stressful & busy but I should really do my homework on property rental prices etc before getting too carried away!

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