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3 Ways to Score Discounted Summer Travel for Teachers
You can still take a great trip with limited funds.
As teachers, we deserve to enjoy a true summer vacation, but that often comes with a whole lot of expenses. So why not use the fact that you're a teacher to score reduced fares and travel opportunities?
There are plenty of discounts and schemes available to help lower the cost of summer travel for teachers, whether you're looking to relax, work on professional development, or simply explore new cultures. Check out these tips if you're interested in traveling this summer.
Enjoy Teacher Discounts
Teachers can enjoy lowered rates in areas of their day-to-day life that directly affect travel plans. Public school teachers—in essence, government employees—can often qualify for reduced-rate lodging under a government discount, so inquire with individual hotels as you look for accommodations wherever you're traveling. The National Education Association offers its members discounts on car rentals at major national chains such as Alamo, Hertz, Enterprise, National, and Dollar Rent A Car.
While not always advertised, many airlines and tour operators offer discounts to teachers. Don't be afraid to ask if there's a reduced rate available for educators. Also, STA Travel offers an International Teacher Identity Card (ITIC), which qualifies you for a range of discounts on flights and vacation packages. For a low membership fee of $20, you can receive multiple other benefits, including discounts at thousands of restaurants, attractions, hotels, and stores in more than 130 countries.
Save on Admission at Cultural Attractions
Many of the places you might take students on a field trip offer discounts on summer travel for teachers. This can give you a chance to scope out possible field trip destinations and attractions for next year, or to just take in the sights without the responsibility of a class to chaperone.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Children's Museum, and the Carnegie Science Center offer free admission to educators. Similarly, the Boston Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium offer membership programs to teachers that include free admission and other perks. These savings can add up if you plan on taking a cultural staycation or road trip.
Further reading: Make your teacher salary work
Attend a Seminar
Many teachers can't wait for the summer to kick back and forget all about school, but it can also be an excellent time to focus on your professional development. When you can do so while benefiting from discounted travel, it's a win-win.
Educational summits and seminars are offered all over the world, especially during the summer, and travel costs can often be supplemented in exchange for giving a speech or presentation. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, for example, offers one-week seminars where participants engage in debate and evaluation. In exchange, they receive a travel bursary of up to $400 and room and board on the campus. The seminars often take place in New York City, but there are also international opportunities available. While you're expected to attend the arranged activities, there's still plenty of time to play tourist and enjoy the sights and sounds of whatever city you're in.
Further reading: Grow at an education conference
The joy of travel is picking up teaching resources that shine the light on new cultures or topics to share with your students. After I returned from a trip to Egypt, my students were better able to understand the construction of the pyramids because I could provide first-hand photographs and videos. When I brought back colorful fabrics and handcrafted puppets from Mexico, my students loved creating their own vibrant patterns to understand tessellation. More than that, hearing about another place and another way of life can open a world of possibilities for young people and inspire them to explore. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and go!