If you want to go on a proper road trip, sometimes the two weeks of vacation per year you get from your company just won't cut it. Two weeks isn't enough time to explore for example, the route between your home in Canada and your destination in Mexico. So must you fly there and forget about your road trip plans? No! If you really need to experience the open road, you can always take a leave of absence. If you're not sure what that is, this article will introduce you to the concept.
When you take a leave of absence from your job, you effectively get to quit for a preset period of time without losing your position in the company or the benefits you enjoy for being an employee. Though you're no longer acting as a employee and your employer may even have to hire someone to replace you while you're gone, you still keep your life insurance, health benefits, company discounts, and any other perks you enjoy as an employee.
There are two different types of leaves of absence: paid and unpaid. Obviously everyone wants to be paid while they're off work, but what are the odds your boss will pay you to go on vacation? Not very good. Paid leaves of absence are generally only awarded when employees are taking time off at the request of an employer or as part of your employment contract, such as maternity leave or bereavement time or a temporary deployment to another part of the company.
Unpaid leave is the type you're most likely to get if you want to go on an extended road trip. You still have your benefits, but you cannot collect your salary because they need that money to pay a temporary employee who will be taking over your duties while you are gone. When you're on an unpaid leave of absence, you'll need to be careful about money unless you're doing some profitable seasonal investing or collecting royalties for a book or invention, as you will be living off of your savings.
Keep in mind that a frivolous reason like an extended road trip may not be approved by your employer unless you can twist it so that it becomes research that is relevant to your job or necessary for your mental health. In other cases, employers may be only too eager to grant your unpaid leave because it means they don't have to cut another employee from their staff to reduce overhead expenses.