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Travel Opportunities Just for Teachers

As a teacher, you know one of the best ways to fulfill your natural love of learning is through travel. Many organizations understand this, and provide programs that cater especially to the traveling teacher. We've taken a look at these programs and compiled a list of the best—available just for you.

Educators Bed & Breakfast Travel Network is a membership club comprised of past and present educators who pay an annual due of $36 (plus a one-time $10 initiation fee) to stay in another member’s home or host a member in their home. For $40 a night, 2 adults can stay in a room at the home of another educator in their destination city. A $5 booking fee applies for each stay that is arranged through the site. Travelers benefit from the advice of their hosts on what to do and see at their destination. By being a host, you gain credits that can be applied to your future travel. You may also opt to allow members to housesit your home while you are not there on the “home-stay program.” The network claims to have more than 6000 members in more than 50 countries. Membership includes newsletters and email bulletins.

For a homestay and home exchange program with a more international flavor (they charge for their membership in euros) try Teachers Travel Web. The program offers 2 options. The first is an exchange of homes for a period of time agreed upon by you and the other member. The second is to stay with a host family for up to 3 days. When you join, enter information on your home, neighborhood, family and interests. Check out other members’ entries and contact them directly to arrange to stay with them. Membership is open to “anyone who teaches anything to someone.” Currently, there are 190 members enrolled and the 45 euro membership fee (approximately $63) is waived until October.

Need advice on taking students abroad? The best sights to see in a certain locale? Looking for companions to join you on a trip? Go to the teacher travel chatboard at Teachers.Net. See what other teachers are saying about travel, seek and give advice and get ideas for your next vacation.

Get your International Teacher ID Card from STA Travel and be eligible for a wide range of discounts around the world. The card costs $22 and will gain you discounted access to museums, as well as reductions on airfare, restaurants, shops and more. You must work at least 18 hours a week at an accredited educational institute to qualify for the card. STA Travel also offers cheap flights and discounted vacation packages.

Check with the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy for a list of reputable nonprofit organizations that offer opportunities to participate in professional development, fellowships, cultural exchange, homestays, language, study and teaching programs abroad.

Discovery Student Adventures will offer opportunities in 2010 for teachers to lead groups of students on international trips during the summer. Travel is free for the teachers if they recruit a minimum of 5 students to go on the trip with them. Affiliated with Discovery Communications, the parent company of the Discovery channel, the program provides you with curriculum materials and support to prepare the students for the trip and to use while traveling. You must be a certified and working 5-12 grade teacher to apply.

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