Teachers are eligible for a variety of travel discounts—many of which you may not know about. Here are seven insider tips from NEA Member Benefits for finding fabulous vacation values at museums, hotels, theme parks, and other travel attractions.
1. Use your NEA member benefits
As an NEA member, you qualify for exclusive travel discounts through the NEA Travel Program. You’re eligible for educator discounts on every element of your trip, from hotels and flights, to rental cars and cruises:
- Thanks to the new NEA Discount Tickets Program, members can score cheaper tickets to theme parks and water parks across the country, including Walt Disney World and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, sporting events and games, concerts and music festivals, ski and golf resorts, plus theater tickets, shows, attractions and movie passes
- Save big on domestic and international trips with teacher flight discounts through NEA Travel: Airfare
- Get teacher hotel discounts on rooms from top chains such as Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton and more through NEA Travel: Hotels
- Get educator discounts on cars, SUVs, minivans and more through NEA Travel: Car Rental partners such as Enterprise and Budget
- Find deals on experiential travel through NEA Travel: Guided Tours
- Set sail with sales at NEA Travel: Cruises
- Kick back and relax with all-inclusive deals through NEA Travel: Resorts
Plus, when you purchase any of these things on NEA’s travel portal you’ll be able to spend and earn NEA Travel Dollars for even more savings.
For things you need on your trip, NEA Discount Marketplace can help you save on luggage, restaurant gift certificates, travel apparel and more when you shop at thousands of retailers. Recent examples include CitySightseeing, Restaurant.com, Eagle Creek, Ebags and Samsonite.
For destination ideas and travel tips, sign up for our free monthly NEA Travel Newsletter.
2. 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, and there’s no membership fee.
3. 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. Educators are eligible for government rates at various hotel chains, including Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Aqua-Aston Hotels, Choice Hotels and Wyndham Hotel Group Hotels.
4. Stay with fellow educators
Long before Airbnb became a phenomenon, TeacherHomeSwap.com was developed as the home exchange network exclusively for educators. All teachers in this home swap community are verified, and it’s easy to find the perfect match for your needs. Search by location or availability and then suggest a swap to connect with the homeowner. Membership to the site costs only $100 per year with no additional costs for each swap—what a huge savings!
More than just a home swap site for teachers all over the world, Teacher Tourist offers additional useful services, including hosting, guide, and home and pet sitting. Mini swaps are also available for those traveling spontaneously, or vacationing nearby or for shorter duration. Teachers in this community are guided by a code of etiquette that aims to keep all members safe and respected, and transactions smooth and successful.
5. Explore museums and attractions for free
Museums from coast to coast offer free or discounted admission to school employees living in-state or in neighboring states. In many cases you must complete an online request form well in advance of your visit and provide specified identification. Check out NEA Member Benefits’ list of free museums and other attractions throughout the country.
Many Connecticut museums are free this summer to Connecticut residents accompanying young family members 18 and under, and as a CEA member you receive discounted admission to many museums, amusement and adventure parks, sporting events, and more.
6. 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 yourself or a book or map for your classroom, you might be able to knock up to 15% off the price tag. Inquire at the register; you’ll likely need to show your school ID.
7. Just ask
Wherever you’re traveling, simply inquire about educator discounts. You’ll be surprised just how many places offer one. And, don’t forget that if you’re a public school educator, you’re eligible for government rates. See tip No. 4 above for details.