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The Family Sabbatical Handbook: The Budget Guide To Living Abroad With Your Family Paperback – March 12, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


...an entertaining and resourceful guide to extended travel with your children. -- SabbaticalHomes.com Newsletter: Issue 1

Helps families make dreams into reality...Filled with specifics and enfolded in humor...In for a `ride' you won't forget. -- Offbeat Travel

A wonderful book, very well written, and shows many aspects of the family sabbatical. -- Family McCarthy Blog, 6/22/08

Bernick's writing style makes readers feel they're getting advice from a good friend...includes an excellent annotated list of resources. -- Louise Feldmann, Library Journal

Filled with specifics and enfolded in humor...this book will make you start dreaming and that can be dangerous! -- Jane E. Meckwood-Yazdpour, Armchair Travel column, OffbeatTravel.com, September 10, 2007

For anyone about to go abroad with children, this account touches all the bases before the real game begins. -- J.D. Brown and Margaret Backenheimer, Chicago Tribune's Resourceful Traveler, August 19, 2007

Gives practical advice so that you, too, can have an odyssey with your children. -- Teresa Plowright, Travel with Kids guide, About.com, August 20, 2007

Practical information for planning and preparation...[and] description of feelings and family dynamics (how to get through rough spots). -- Reference & Research Book News, November 2007

This is a great book...I highly recommend it. -- Sandy Dhuyvetter, Host of Travel Talk Radio, 9/23/07

With this...title..., you'd be a fool not to grab your loved ones and soar for the horizon. Highly recommended. -- Mary Kearl & Nia Ferguson, Family Travel Forum, November 2007

Para cualquiera que viaje con niños por largos periodos de tiempo el libro ofrece consejos prácticos para antes y durante la aventura. --National Geographic Traveler, Julio/Agosto de 2010

From the Publisher

Silver Award in the Family & Relationships category of ForeWord magazine's 2007 Book of the Year Awards

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: The Intrepid Traveler; 1 edition (March 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887140697
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887140690
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.7 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #802,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Perhaps I took too seriously the book's cover and title. Bills itself as "explore the world," "Let ... 15 ... families who lived in Europe, China, and South America show you ..."

But the proper title and the proper cover blurbs ought read: Wanna live in an impoverished third world country? You can! Or, perhaps, "How you and your children can live in impoverished Mexico." There is not one word about China or Europe in the book.

Perhaps a better title might be: "Living in Mexico for a year-and-a-half on $35,000 savings, with tips for having fun with your young children"

Here's what I get from the book: Step 1: don't buy a new car and save like heck for a few years until you've saved $35,000. Step 2: ask your young children's teachers what they should cover during their year living in Mexico (the book is solely about Mexico); Step 3: rent your house while you're gone; Step 4: play with your children and anticipate that they will need your love and support during the first few months in a third world country where they don't know anyone or the language; Step 5: learn the language while you live there, and have fun; but don't expect the telephone to work. There's an oddly unfinished story about how the author's friends pestered phone company authorities to get service restored. We learn only that the person at the phone company who said she would help left town for a two week vacation. Did they eventually get their phone service restored? We never find out. Instead, there's a sentence about how bribing a policeman in a corrupt country 100 pesos can get you out of a parking ticket. Just what one is supposed to do with these anecdotes is unclear.
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Format: Paperback
I am currently planning a round-the-world trip followed by living internationally in different countries for extended periods of time with my 9-year-old son, so the idea of this book was a huge intrigue for me. Thankfully I checked it out from the library, because if I had spent money on it, I'm not sure I would've been very happy with my purchase.

This book may be more helpful to complete travel neophytes, but even if you've only traveled a little, the information in the book isn't all that helpful.

While I appreciate that their sabbatical was in Mexico, it seemed like the vast majority of information they shared was about doing a sabbatical in Mexico. Perhaps a new title would be more representative of the actual content, but I'm sure the publisher wouldn't find that quite as marketable.

On the plus side, she has a very easy-to-read writing style, and it is very personable. Reading it you feel like you are on the journey with her and her family.

If you're a family that has never really traveled outside the country (solo or otherwise), or if you're interesting in living in Mexico with your children, then this book will probably be a great resource for you. If you're interested in other areas of the world, then I would suggest checking the book out from the library first to make sure it will be helpful to you.
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Format: Paperback
I was so happy to find this book as I was planning a sabbatical from my university to teach overseas in a developing country with my family. The book is amazingly detailed, and provides lots of great lists that I am comparing with my own lists. The discussion about the benefits about taking the kids abroad is fantastic! I really appreciate the details that the author provides, and the story of their family's extended stay in Mexico. While this book is the best one I've found, it very much is geared toward adults who are planning on taking a complete sabbatical - not people working, volunteering, etc. overseas. The book talks about difficulties in meeting locals, boredom, the excessive socializing with ex-pats, etc. I think a lot of that can be resolved by choosing specifically where you go (perhaps not going to a place with a huge ex-pat community) and giving back to the communities you are living in through working or volunteering with local organizations. A sabbatical doesn't simply need to mean a year of rest - but can also mean a year's break from one's routine. This book is an excellent resource and a delightful read, but the options of a sabbatical year can really be thought of much more broadly than it is portrayed.
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Format: Paperback
This amazing book is the inspirational tale of a family and their wonderful, challenging and oh-so-rewarding adventure in Mexico AND it's chock full of practical information that will make going abroad to live much easier and more enjoyable. Given the title, you might think this book is only for families--not so. It's a great resource for anyone planning to live abroad for any reason. And, while Bernick and her family lived in Mexico for more than a year, this book is invaluable even for a relatively short stay. My work took me to South America for 6 months (I went sans family) but the "Family Sabbatical Handbook" was the best source of advice/resources/inspiration I found. It saved me time in preparation and many costly mistakes. Buy it!!! Even if you're not sure you want to live abroad, buy it to be inspired to do something truly life-changing. And, if you've already decided to take the plunge, buy it for Bernick's terrific "to-do lists" complete with timetables right down to departure day.
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