I know someone who is finishing the last year of a 4 year teaching stint whereby next year, the 5th will be sabbatical year.
How it works is that they chose to live off of 80% of their salary for 4 years and the 20% got banked so that the 5th year is funded 80% as if it was a regular year.
In theory, with some discipline, anyone could do the same. I'm not sure I could. There is debt to pay off, savings that could always need boosting. I'm holding off until I am free from all that.
Come to think of it, my thinking doesn't make me sound very serious about wanting to take a year off when I've been dreaming of it for years! I may have to revisit my thinking on all this.
The family who is taking the sabbatical has 2 children and plan to use the time to do a bit of road tripping. I love the concept and am seriously envious of the time they will have.