Six Months Off is a complete guide to planning and taking the break you've been dreaming of, without losing your job or your nest egg, or alienating your family and friends.
Actually, my wife and I ended up taking MORE than 6 months off (by 2 months, to be exact). During our time off, we were on "Leave Without Pay" from our jobs, which we negotiated with our employers, but were still covered by health insurance. Mainly, we traveled: around Central and South America, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. We also took immersion Spanish classes and lived with local families in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, took some time to travel the United States (mainly through Kentucky, Tennessee, and down the Mississippi River to New Orleans). We rented out our condo, put our stuff in storage, called the IRS to find out what we needed to do as far as taxes were concerned, and found someone (my father) to handle our finances/personal affairs while we were gone. In all of this, Six Months Off was a great help in planning, as well as in knowing what to expect in terms of expenses and a million other things, including adjusting back into the "real world" when our sabbatical was over! Budgeting (we didn't go broke) is important, of course, as is health care, insurance, and having a job when you get back (although some decide to just wing it and look for a job after -- or more accurately, IF -- they come back).
Basically, we probably could have figured most of what we needed to do on our own, but Six Months Off (and other resources, like friends) were extremely helpful in making things go more smoothly. Many people dream of taking time off to pursue a dream, but very few actually do it. Six Months Off shows you how you CAN do it, and leads you through it step by step. I strongly recommend this book, and I strongly recommend taking Six Months Off if at all possible! What an amazing experience!