How We Decided Our Departure Date

Travel Plan and Preparations

We are going on a year long trip and at the moment that I am writing this we have just booked our flights to London on the 14th of September.

However, there was a bit of discussion between the two of us to decide on the departure date.

In this article, I would like to go back a bit and write down the story of how we decided on our departure date.

Sabbatical leave plus paid leave

A sabbatical leave is an extended period of time off, and in my case, a year leave was already approved by my bosses.

The official date of my sabbatical leave is from 4 October, which means that my last day of work will be coming soon!

In addition, I still have 12 and a half days of paid leave left to be used this year. So I could add that on before the sabbatical leave.

Sabbatical leave, first destination decided on: the UK

When we were discussing our year long trip, we decided that our first destination would be the UK.

My elderly mother(89) lives in the UK, so we thought it would be a good idea to visit my mother and family at the start of the trip. Climate-wise, mid-September in the UK is not too bad because it’s not so cold yet.

And then, the question is when exactly does the trip start?

Buying airline tickets

For this trip we don’t want to plan too much and we are going to buy one-way air tickets most of the time.

When searching for one-way tickets, we found Air Transat selling one-way tickets between Montreal and London for C$400.

Air Transat is a low-cost airline of sorts and we have flown with them before, Cuba together and I flew to London many years ago with them. We had no problems at all and enjoyed the flights which were very comfortable.

Alternatively, it is possible to use frequent flyer miles to get a ticket, but we would rather save the frequent flyer miles for the time when we may need them to buy emergency tickets or if we can use a redemption ‘sweet spot’.

For example, if you have to fly somewhere unexpectedly, flights closer to the departure date will be more expensive. However, if you use your frequent flyer miles to get them, the ups and downs in price could be smaller. There are also ‘sweet spots’ for different frequent flyer programmes.

So, what’s the departure date?

Officially, my sabbatical will start on 4 October, but I have 12 and a half days of paid leave left before then.

Assuming I take my holiday before the sabbatical, and calculating with weekends and other holidays, that means that if I work half a day on 14 September, I’ll be on holiday after that.

Therefore, we booked the air tickets for the night of 14 September, and I’ll tell you more about the specific details of the airline tickets in my next post.