Researchers found as you approach your forties, this is the time when you are financially secure and established enough in your career that you can afford to take an extended break, but young enough to still do everything you want.
By that age, many have also got as far as they can in their career and have a better idea of what they would like to do than when they were younger.
But while seven in ten workers dream of being able to take a long period of time off work at some point in their future, just one in twenty think they will actually have a good chance of doing so.
Instead, 70 per cent are trying to cram everything they want to do into their annual leave because they don’t believe they will ever get to enjoy anything longer than a couple of weeks off work in one go.
A spokesman for Hilton HHonors, which commissioned the research, said: ”We understand that sometimes an extended break isn’t always feasible. But we believe that by planning ahead and really thinking about activities you want to do, it is possible to achieve sabbatical type experiences within existing annual leave.”
”Our research has shown many workers would choose a European travel destination for a sabbatical, with popular choices including France, Italy and Spain. However one in ten would also opt to travel around the UK rather than abroad.’
”You don’t need an extended holiday to make the most of what is essentially on our doorstep and by ticking off elements of your wish-list every weekend, there’s no reason why you won’t enjoy the same things that you would during a sabbatical.”
The study found by the age of 38, almost half reckon they are financially stable and have the money to make the most of the once in a lifetime sabbatical.
And over eighty percent of those questioned though that the ‘adult gap years’ are better later in life once you have established yourself within your career and don’t need to worry about taking a step away for a while.
One in ten workers even said they have plans to take one at some point in the next year or so, while six in ten would like to in the future, but don’t have any real plans in place.
Of those, they would like to take an average of six weeks off, with a desire to go travelling and see the world the top reason for the extended leave.
Some even want to spend the time volunteering, trying out other job opportunities or trying to gain further experience in their current line of work.
But the study found that more than half of all employees don’t think their boss would even consider a request from them to take anything more than a couple of weeks off, let alone agree to it.
Despite this, one in four think they would be more productive at work following an extended period of time off work, while another 22 per cent think they would return more enthusiastic about their job, although many felt that they might start their own business on their return to a work environment.