5 Simple Steps to Get Started with SabbaticalHomes  By

5 Simple Steps to Get Started with SabbaticalHomes

Having the time to focus on personal and professional development – and even having the time to take a break – is truly significant.

There are many benefits that result from a sabbatical or time off. Research has shown that taking a sabbatical positively impacts professional productivity, creativity and improves mental and physical health.

Many sabbaticals involve travel and experiencing other cultures. The question is, where are you going to stay? Booking a hotel room can be cost prohibitive. Renting a more traditional vacation home may not be in the location you need, fit your sabbatical goals or work within your budget.

SabbaticalHomes.com was created in 2000 to provide an online community in which like-minded individuals can easily find homes around the world to rent, exchange or share. Members can also find tenants and house sitters for their own homes.

What makes SabbaticalHomes Unique?

  • We truly care about the academic community.
  • We are committed to providing the best possible platform to find housing arrangements.
  • We don’t run ads on SabbaticalHomes.
  • We never sell or share our members’ information.
  • We work hard to create an environment that makes it easy to find homes or tenants.  
  • And, we are always pleased when our hard work leads to members make personal connections in the process!

Related: Learn more about how SabbaticalHomes.com works

What are all the Possible Listing Types on SabbaticalHomes.com?

SabbaticalHomes.com Listing in Cascais, Portugal.
SabbaticalHomes.com Listing: Home for Rent in Cascais, Portugal.

We offer home rental, home exchange and tenant listings. All types of listings have house sitting options. Additionally, home rental and tenant listings both have the option of home sharing. Members can offer or request renting out a private space in a home.

When a member is posting a home listing, they can select rental only, home exchange only or both rental and exchange. This is covered under the same listing fee and allows people to figure out what the best fit is once they start messaging with other members.

Registered members exchange messages on SabbaticalHomes.com and then discuss the terms of rental and payment between themselves. We have provided many resources on our website to assist people in these agreements.

Home Rental Listings

Home Rental listings are the most common listings on SabbaticalHomes. Property owners create their own listings to find tenants for their homes, including pictures of the home, information about the home, their timing, amenities and surroundings.

Whether you are leaving to explore the world, research an ancient city, writing a book or visiting family, having a reliable, respectful tenant who will pay a reasonable amount of rent and keep your house in a good shape is always the goal. Many members request house sitting if they would like a tenant to help out with plants, mail or maybe even take care of a pet who wouldn’t do well with extended travel.

Home Exchange Listings

Home Exchanges are a very cost-effective solution for those who want to travel and enjoy staying at someone’s home while simultaneously sharing their own home.

With this win-win setup, both homeowners will be able to enjoy their stay, knowing that their house will be well taken care of by another homeowner they have interviewed and vetted.

Although a home exchange is typically something that occurs simultaneously from both parties, it is not always the case. Sometimes these arrangements work out just as well if the exchange is not simultaneous, especially for members who may have a second home. Many families form lasting connections with each other through our exchange process.

House Sitting Options on All Types of Listings

House Sitting is a great solution for those seeking to rent out their home, but would like a little extra help during the stay. Having a tenant who agrees to some house-sitting duties can really add to your peace of mind.

House sitting can also give tenants the opportunity to experience a different city or country at a lower cost than they would be able to otherwise. Usually, House Sitting does not mean that there will be no rent charged; however, many homeowners tend to reduce their rental prices if they need any help with taking care of their homes.

If you are considering House Sitting, please make sure to discuss all the home responsibilities prior to your trip to make sure that both parties are clear on the expectations.

Home Sharing Opportunities for Hosts and Guests

Home Sharing is a perfect economically beneficial way to find temporary housing and build new relationships.

You can share your home as a homeowner with other academics who need to be in your city. You can also find a private space for rent in someone else’s home.

Home Sharing usually consists of a homeowner renting a spare room, private suite or space within their home while the homeowner is there. Most people have multiple conversations before agreeing to a Home Sharing situation to make sure everyone is compatible and flexible on all of the details of sharing space with others.

Tenant Listings

Having the ability to create your own tenant listing is a unique feature to SabbaticalHomes.com. We understand that our community values independence and flexibility. Members with home listings can also search our tenant listing database to find the perfect guest for their home.

And, if you are looking for a home, you have the ability to put together your ideal wish list. You can include house sitting if you’re open to helping out with plants, mail or maybe even taking care of a pet. If you are open to sharing a home, you can create your listing with the option to rent a private space in a home.

How do I get started on SabbaticalHomes?

Now that you know more about the types of listings you’ll find on our website, here are 5 easy steps to find your next home away from home. You can also refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) if you have questions along the way.

1. Register & Complete Your Profile: The Key to Maintaining your Privacy

Before you begin planning your journey, you will need to register and create a member profile on our website; it’s easy and free of charge.


Welcome to SabbaticalHomes Registration
  • First, go to our home page and click “Sign Up”
  • Next, fill out your information about yourself: your email, alias that will be displayed on your public profile/listings and password
  • Click “Continue” and you’ll add your first name, last name and academic status
  • If you select an academic status, you will be asked for your academic email and will need to confirm your academic background to qualify for our lowest listing fees. Our listing fees for those not in an academic field are also very reasonable.
  • When you receive an automated email to verify your account, please click on the link to do so

Note: Please make sure to provide honest information as it is important for us to keep our community safe and legitimate

Complete your Profile

SabbaticalHomes Complete your Profile

Once you have completed your registration and verified your email, you will have full access to all the features that our website provides.

When you are logged in, click on your Alias to go to your dashboards. You’ll easily access your Trust Score, Listings, Favorites, Messages, Reviews, References, Profile, Settings and Payment History.

My Profile on SabbaticalHomes

To start earning Trust Points right away, go to My Profile and complete the required fields. We recommend using an Alias to protect your privacy (not using your full name). It’s also a good idea to provide a brief description that includes some detail but not actual contact information like your email address.

You can link to a university website for your bio – or consider linking to a platform like LinkedIn if you want to share some information but maintain some privacy. Any fields marked with the green “world” icon will be displayed on your public profile.

2. Post your Listing: Tips to Create a Compelling Home or Tenant Listing

You know the best way to present your home, its amenities and surroundings. What makes your home a welcoming place to stay? Be sure to highlight things that make it pleasant and convenient. This could be a family room full of natural light, an easy walk to a great coffee shop or a location near a renowned university.

For a tenant listing, look at it like putting together your ideal wish list for a stay in the destination you have been dreaming about. You might not end up with every single thing on your wish list, but you may find something that checks off a lot of the boxes!

Post a Home Listing

SabbaticalHomes Post a Listing

Log in to your account and select Post Home Listing. Agree to our terms and pricing and get started!

SabbaticalHomes Post a Home Listing Terms and Agreement

The first thing to decide when posting a home listing is if you are interested in offering your home as a rental, exchange or both. Typical things to have in mind for a home listing:

  • The type of home
  • Rates and terms you will offer your home with
  • Location and surroundings
  • Features and amenities
  • House Sitting tasks you’d like help with
  • For Exchange Listings: your destination and up to two additional destinations you would consider
  • Last, a great listing title, description and up to 10 photos of your home

Learn more here about how to create a great home listing like this one in Kyoto, Japan. And here are some photo tips to take and choose compelling photos for your home listing. 

Home for Rent in Kyoto Japan
SabbaticalHomes.com Listing: Home for Rent near Kyoto, Japan.

Related: Home Rental & Home Exchange Listings

Post a Tenant Listing

When logged in, select Post Tenant Listing from the top navigation bar. Agree to our terms and pricing and get started.

SabbaticalHomes Post a Tenant Listing Agreement

Posting a tenant listing is like imagining the ideal home for your stay whether it’s for research, work, writing or for time off travel. When creating a tenant listing, you will need to have these things in mind:

  • Your destination
  • Ideal dates of the stay
  • Budget/rental price range
  • If you’re interested in staying in an Entire Home or a Private Space in the Home (you can click both if you want to explore the possibilities)
  • The type and size of home you’d like to stay in
  • Features & surroundings of the home
  • Information about the number of people staying
  • House Sitting tasks you’re willing to do
  • A listing title and description

You’ll be able to select a header photo for your listing from 24 that are provided, and your tenant listing will look something like this:

SabbaticalHomes.com Tenant listing looking for a home in Boston, Massachusetts.

Related: Tenant Listings

3. Search & Contact Listings: Guidelines for an Efficient Approach

It’s fun to explore all the places in the world you want to visit, whether you need to be near a university, in a specific city or to find a retreat where you can spend time in a more natural setting. When you are ready to search, filter and contact other members, use the tips below to make the process as efficient as possible.

Searching Listings & Adding to Favorites

SabbaticalHomes Paris Summer 2021 Search Results

When you are looking at search results for any type of listing, you can filter down the search results by date, number of guests, radius and many other filters. You can also easily mark listings as Favorites and save the search to Favorites as well.

You’ll always be able to find your favorite searches, home and tenant listings in your Favorites dashboard. You can easily make notes for yourself about each one too, if there was something about the home or tenant that looked like a great fit for you.

Related: Searching & Saving Favorites Frequently Asked Questions

Sending Messages to Listings and Other Members

When you are searching and find a listing that looks like it might be a good match, click the blue button that says “Contact” and you will have the opportunity to write a customized message to the other member.

SabbaticalHomes.com Message between Members

They will be notified by email as well as seeing a notification bell turn red when they are logged into their account. When they reply to you, you will receive an email notification and you’ll see the red notification bell when you are logged in. Your conversation will look like this:

SabbaticalHomes Conversation with Notification Bell

Be aware of scammers. If the tenant asks to send a check for more than the rental price and requests that the host refunds the difference, or proposes to make a payment through a friend or agent, usually those come from international sources and the scammer is only fabricating a reason for you to send them quick money.

Related: Communication Between Members Frequently Asked Questions

4. Find & Announce Matches: Earn Trust Points for Every Match

First of all, what are matches on SabbaticalHomes? Each time you find a home or tenant using our website, we acknowledge the match on your listing and public profile.  You’ll “Announce a Match” and pay a USD 50 Made-a-Match Fee (or equivalent in your currency).

Announcing matches is a great way to show other members that you have made successful housing arrangements with another member. Each match you announce or confirm will also help you earn Trust Points.

Your Trust Score displays on your listings and public profile, and helps other members see how connected you are to the SabbaticalHomes community. Even if you’re just joining SabbaticalHomes now, it’s easy and automatic to start earning Trust Points!

Related: Trust Score Frequently Asked Questions

Checking References & Making Arrangements

When you are exchanging Messages on SabbaticalHomes, you’ll be able to tell which other members are a good fit by things like: availability dates and details about the home or what the tenant is looking for. Once you are pretty sure another member sounds like a good fit, you will want to set up a phone call or video call with them as a chemistry check.

If, at that point, it seems like a potential match, you will both check references and agree to terms of the rental or exchange. We have many resources to develop a simple contract so all parties are clear on payments and expectations.   

Related: Matches Frequently Asked Questions

Announcing & Confirming Matches

Some members like to announce a match before their stay; others prefer to do so after their stay (sometimes at the same time as they write a review). It’s easy to do in a couple of different ways.

You can go to your Messages dashboard, find your Conversation with that member and click “Announce a Match” once you open the conversation.  Follow the prompts to announce the match, and the other member will receive an automated email asking them to confirm the match.

Or, go to your Matches dashboard and find the member’s card there, click “View & Announce” from the card. You can also announce a match from your Listings Dashboard, by clicking the “Announce a Match” button on the card for that listing.

Announce a Match on SabbaticalHomes.

Quick tip: you can mark messages as “Archived” from both the Messages and Matches dashboards. These will be members you are not moving forward with. This will make your inbox easier to see messages from those members you are still communicating with.

Related: All About Matches on SabbaticalHomes.com

5. Reviews & Testimonials: Share your Experience with the Community

Don’t forget to tell us about your success stories. We love to hear about our members’ great experiences! The Review feature was created to provide an opportunity for the Sabbatical Homes community to share fair and useful information about other members and listings.

Review Guidelines

All members are encouraged to post reviews about those they have interacted with or the properties that they have rented. Members can edit reviews they’ve written, respond to other members’ reviews and even remove a review, if needed.

SabbaticalHomes.com also reserves the right to edit or remove any reviews, although this is generally not necessary within our like-minded community.

Reviews and responses to reviews about a listing are visible to anyone viewing that listing on SabbaticalHomes.com.

How to Post a Review

You can write a review from Messages (click the “Post a Review” button) or go to your Reviews dashboard to get to these options:

Post a review on SabbaticalHomes

Start by rating the overall experience, then the cleanliness & readiness and how well the communication went. You can then add a title and text to your review.

The person receiving the review will be notified and will have the ability to respond to the review – often to say something like “Thanks for the great review, it was a pleasure!”

Our community values respectful language, so please write your reviews accordingly.

Related: Reviews Frequently Asked Questions


SabbaticalHomes Testimonial on Home page

Since SabbaticalHomes was created in 2000, we have welcomed our members’ testimonials. We are always happy to get feedback from those who use our platform, and we hope you have a wonderful experience finding your next home away from home – or the perfect tenant for your home! Please contact us with your feedback, questions or testimonials!

Related: Read More Testimonials

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