Travel breaks for teachers differ quite a bit from other salaried workers. During the school year it’s difficult to take an extended break, so teachers often have no choice but to travel at peak times like over holidays or on weekends. Although this isn’t always ideal budget-wise, there are ways to make a trip more affordable. In this article, we’ll show you how to score travel deals, including some teacher-specific discounts, and share ways to disconnect on vacation so you can feel refreshed when you return to the classroom.
Ways to save money while you travel
Not everyone can snag exclusive discounts when they travel, but educators are among those who can. Some attractions, like museums, clearly promote their available discounts online or at the ticket counter. Other times it isn’t as clear, like for hotel stays. It never hurts to call and ask, especially if you aren’t sure whether a discount is available or if you will qualify. For example, some businesses only offer discounts to public school educators and, therefore, private school teachers may not be able to take advantage. Here are some money-saving tips to help make your next getaway more affordable.
Ask hotels about government rates
Many national hotel chains will provide a government discount rate for certain educators. This includes Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Radisson Hotel Group and Best Western, among others. Call to see if you qualify and what type of proof you’ll need to present to get the discount.
Sign up for an International Teacher Identity Card
Full-time teachers can sign up for an International Teacher Identity Card (ITIC) and use it to receive benefits and discounts when traveling domestically and internationally.
Save on cruises
Vacations to Go is a third-party travel booking site that offers active and retired teachers additional savings when they book a cruise. Other third-party sites may do the same, so check to see if your favorite tour provider offers educator benefits.
Get discounts at museums and attractions
Many attractions — like SeaWorld, Legoland and the Kennedy Space Center — and museums around the world offer savings for educators. If you do a little research before your trip, you can uncover city-specific discounts too. For example, members of the Theater Development Fund are able to get discounted tickets to theater shows and other local performances around New York City.
How to make the most of your vacation
It can be difficult to disconnect from your professional life while you’re on vacation. Sometimes doing a little work is unavoidable, but not every break calls for a mix of work and play. When you need a head-clearing getaway, use these tips to maximize your time off and ensure you return home energized.
Prepare for a digital detox
It’s too easy nowadays to pop into email or send a quick text message to check in at work. Next thing you know, you’re on the phone dealing with a problem that — let’s be honest — can be solved without you. Put trust in your colleagues by turning off your phone, leaving your laptop behind and maintaining a strict no-peeking policy while you’re on vacation. This includes social media, too. Once you’re on a device, it’s too easy to “just check in.” Completely disconnecting from cellular and data services will help you enjoy the vacation you need and deserve. Be sure to share your plan with colleagues so they are prepared too.
Leave all traces of work behind
You probably want to work on a lesson plan “just on the plane,” right? What happens when you fall asleep instead or get distracted by a movie? That’s how work starts eating into your vacation itinerary. Don’t let that happen. Leave your work at home so you aren’t tempted by it. If you know you need one day to prepare for your return to the classroom, then shorten your vacation so you can do the work before you leave or once you’re back.
Opt for short getaways
Weeklong vacations are the dream, but not always the reality. Especially as a teacher, sometimes you only have a weekend or even just a day to get away. That’s better than nothing! Road trips and staycations can be just as fun as traveling across the country or overseas.
Plan ahead and book in advance
Make the most of your limited time by planning ahead. Map out your driving route, reserve a car, book a hotel and list out the attractions and restaurants you want to visit so that no time is wasted on the road.
If you need a car for your trip, skip the traditional rental car experience and get on your way faster with Avail car sharing. When you book a car with Avail at our neighborhood locations in Chicago and Denver, you’ll enjoy express check-in and contactless key exchange. It’s the perfect option for teachers who want to hit the road faster and without added stress.