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8 Little-known Vacation Deals for Teachers

Discover secret ways to save on your next trip, including teacher discounts and savings for other school employees on everything from hotels to museums to theme parks.

School employees are eligible for a variety of travel discounts—many of which you may not know about. Here are 8 insider tips for finding fabulous vacation values at museums, hotels, theme parks and other travel attractions.

1. Check your benefits package.

Some school districts—particularly large urban ones—include access to programs such as Plum Benefits, Recreation Connection and Tickets at Work in their employee benefit packages. Deals include discounted prices at theme parks, ski resorts, all-inclusive resorts and other travel destinations. If your school district doesn’t provide this benefit, some educational credit unions do—so check your credit union’s membership details.

2. Use your NEA member benefits.

As an NEA member, you qualify for exclusive travel discounts. The NEA Click & Save program can help you save on hotel rooms, cruises and more. Members are also eligible for discounts on car rentals from 5 major companies and guided vacations offered by Trafalgar and G Adventures.

3. Take advantage of student discounts.

Several student-oriented travel discount programs are also open to school employees. The Student Universe website extends its discounted airfare, hotel and tour rates to teachers and college or university faculty. (Bonus: no membership fee!)

The International Teacher Identity Card offered by student travel agency STA Travel helps teachers, lecturers, professors and tutors get discounts in more than 125,000 locations for an annual fee of $25.

4. Get the government rate on hotel rooms.

Employees of public school districts can take advantage of the government rate at some national hotel chains. Inquire about your hotel’s policies at the time of booking, and be prepared to show your school ID at check-in.

5. Stay with fellow educators.

Long before Airbnb became a phenomenon, the Educators Travel Network was connecting traveling school employees with educators who have rooms and homes for rent. Now in its 30th year, the network—open to all current and retired school employees—offers its members accommodations in 7,500 destinations worldwide. Members pay a $36 annual fee, plus $10 processing fee, and then pay $45 to $55 per night for their choice of lodging.

6. Explore museums for free.

Museums from coast to coast offer free or discounted admission to school employees living in-state or in neighboring states. For example, Illinois K-12 teachers can get free admission to Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. New England K-12 teachers and some administrators are eligible for a free 2-year educator’s pass to Boston’s renowned New England Aquarium, and a free 1-year educator’s pass to the Kennedy Space Center is available to K-12 teachers from Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Note that in many cases you must complete an online request form well in advance of your visit and provide specified identification.

7. Get souvenir discounts at national parks.

Many concessionaires that run gifts shops at national parks offer teacher discounts on purchases. Whether it’s a souvenir T-shirt for you or a book or map for your classroom, you might be able to knock up to 15 percent off the price tag. Inquire at the register; you’ll likely need to show your school ID.

8. Just ask.

Wherever you’re traveling, simply inquire about educator discounts. You’ll be surprised just how many places offer one, including Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin resorts and MSC Cruises.


Teacher discounts aren’t the only ways to save on travel attractions. Learn how to enjoy museums for free—or close to it!


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