Got summer on your mind?
Let’s hear from experienced Teacher-Traveler, Andi Webb about her tips on seeing the world affordably on vacations from school.
Teaching Traveling: Andi, tell us a bit about your background.
Andi: Greetings, all! I am from North Carolina and am in my 20th year teaching.
TT: Explain one (or more) interesting travels you have undertaken.
Andi: This past summer, I traveled on a personal trip to Europe. Using frequent flyer miles (and not even that many), my round trip ticket was $53. I spent a week in Europe traveling to Portugal, Spain, and Czech Republic for approximately $1,000 total.
If I had taken trains to travel between countries, it would have been even less expensive. Given time constraints, I chose to fly between countries, but even the domestic airfare was not very expensive. My point in sharing this is to say, with patience and some thoughtful planning, international travel can be done without being too unbelievably expensive.
TT: Great point. How do you find your travel opportunities?
Andi: I have spent much time researching travel opportunities! Please see my previous article on teacher travel grants and scholarships for over 200 opportunities for educators! I have been most blessed to participate in some amazing educational opportunities.
TT: How did you find the money to fund your travel?
Andi: Writing grants, applying for partially or fully funded opportunities, and my personal lifestyle choices are ways I find money to fund travel. We all have things that we value and for me, travel is a part of my life I absolutely love.
As most people reading this, I am a teacher. I choose to drive an older car so I do not have car payments. That will eventually have to change but I try to live simply. I do splurge with some things but I try to keep my goals in mind. For instance, I have sold many items I owned online to make money, I have worked various part-time jobs, etc. to earn additional money.
I save frequent flyer miles and try to find the best times to use them. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but that’s where patience can really be key. I traveled to Iceland not long ago with a group of friends and we all split the cost of an AirBnB. We all wanted to travel to Iceland and it drastically cut down on costs to share accommodations.
TT: Tell us one moment from your travels that was particularly powerful.
Andi: I love solo travel and on this trip to Europe, the feeling of watching the sun set over the bridges in Prague while being there on my own was exciting. Some people do not enjoy solo travel. I enjoy both traveling on my own and with others but I will admit that it is very liberating to travel alone and know you can see the beauty the world offers completely on your own.
TT: How have your travels impacted you as a teacher, and as a person?
Andi: My travels have completely and positively impacted me as a teacher. I try to incorporate a global focus in most everything I do. I have introduced students to friends around the world. My classroom library has become drastically more diverse than when I first started teaching.
I am more knowledgeable and open-minded than I was before I began to travel to places previously unfamiliar to me. It is not for everyone but for those who find their passion in exploring the world, there is nothing else like it.
TT: What advice do you have for teachers who are dreaming of travel?
Andi: Do your research, ask questions, be truly open-minded, and be patient.
TT: Thanks so much, Andi! Readers, what comments or questions do you have?
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English from Boston who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched TeachingTraveling.com in 2010 to share expert global education resources, and over 1.6 million readers have visited over the past decade. Lillie also runs AroundTheWorld L.com Travel and Life Blog, and DrawingsOf.com for educational cartoons. Do stay in touch via subscribing to her monthly newsletter, and following @WorldLillie on social media!