Be sure to dust off that teacher ID and pack it in your luggage. Whether you are planning a vacation, piggy-backing a couple of fun days onto a conference, or dreaming of the perfect retirement trip, don’t miss these great ideas for saving money on your next getaway. We have 11 tips for getting as many teacher travel discounts as possible for your next trip!
1. Always call ahead and ask.
Many hotels, destinations, museums, theme parks, and attractions do not publish teacher travel discounts online, but they may have one available—if you ask! It is always worth taking the time to call the location you are researching. Check with both the reservation agent and the manager about any discounts for teachers.
2. Get the government rate on hotels.
Most establishments will provide public school employees with the government rate on hotel stays. For instance, Howard Johnson by Wyndam offers teachers the government rate at properties nationwide, as does Aqua Aston hotels in Hawaii. Call ahead to the hotels that you are considering to check if the government rate will apply to an educator on personal travel, as some places only offer the government rate for official business. If the hotel clears you for the government rate, be sure to confirm the rate and get a record of it in case you are asked for proof later.
3. Stay at a Hilton-brand hotel.
Hilton and its related brand hotels across the US offer a discount to school employees through their government rate program. To be eligible, you must be employed by a public school or state-funded college or university. To book a Hilton-brand hotel with a government rate, click here to access Hilton’s website and select “Gov/Military rates” under the advanced search option. Participating properties include: Conrad, DoubleTree,Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton, Hilton Garden, Home2 Suites, Homewood Suites, Waldorf Astoria, Canopy, Curio, Tru, and Tapestry.
4. Book a room at Red Roof Inn.
NEA members enjoy a 20 percent discount at any of Red Roof Inn‘s 520-plus locations in 41 states nationwide. Many locations offer shuttles to the nearby attractions, swimming pools, and more amenities that make vacations stress-free.
5. Get an International Teacher Identity Card.
You will receive discounts for worldwide travel and activities with the International Teacher Identity Card. While this card is most commonly used for international travel insurance and discounts on entries to international attractions, it also offers more than 125,000 teacher travel discounts right here in the US. Membership also includes exclusive educator flight prices with STA Travel.
6. Take a cruise.
Cruise companies often offer special discounts to active or retired teachers. Register with Vacations to Go to be notified of discounted sailings on popular cruise lines like Holland America, Norwegian, and Windstar. Since cruising includes meals and accommodations, it can be an inexpensive way to travel, as long as you don’t add on excursions and other extras.
7. Chaperone student tours.
While it might not seem like a vacation to take your students with you, this is a way to travel for free. Tour companies often offer teachers a free spot on the tour for every six students that enroll. This covers airfare, hotels, and most excursions. It could be an excellent way to tour an exotic or dream vacation for free! Companies like Explorica offer a free training trip prior to taking your students. Learn from experienced guides how to lead student trips and have plenty of time to explore on your own.
8. Visit teacher-discounted attractions.
Teachers are eligible for a variety of discounted attractions throughout the US. There are so many programs available it’s impossible to list them all. Your best bet is to Google your destination to determine if there are any educator-discount programs. You could also call ahead. Some of our favorites include: SeaWorld Teacher Study Pass, Kennedy Space Center Educator Study Pass, Disney discounts, LEGOLAND Florida Teacher Pass, and Art Institute of Chicago Educator Pass. There are literally hundreds of options all over the US.
9. Consider Teachers Travel Web.
Teachers Travel Web offers its members bed and breakfast-style accommodations all over the world for up to three nights, with no extra charges to you besides your membership. The network also allows you to host members yourself, house-sit for other teachers, and arrange a home exchange. Think of the possibilities!
10. Rent your car for less.
NEA Members can save big on car rentals. We found discounts as much a 25 percent off as well as unlimited mileage, roadside assistance, and more. Featured companies include Alamo, Hertz, Enterprise, National and Dollar Rent-A-Car. Login to your NEA account to see these offers and book your next trip.
11. Go international with Trafalgar Guided Tours.
Trafalgar, a travel company focused on guided tours, offers NEA members 10 percent off guided tours. Put that NEA membership to good use!
Did we miss anything? What awesome teacher travel discounts have you discovered? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers Chat group on Facebook.