Summer vacation is nearly here! Of course I don’t need to tell you that. Your internal countdown clock has been ticking away the hours, minutes, and seconds since returning back from Spring Break. Many of you have already made your summer plans months ago in order to lock down deals and discounts and that’s fantastic! Maybe you even referenced some of our past posts to assist you with your summer plans? We really do want you to have your best summer ever!
However, if you are a last minute trip planner or felt like you simply couldn’t afford a vacation, this post is for you! It’s not too late to create a summer full of fun that won’t leave you broke. You might even find a few ways to earn some extra income while on your vacation. How does that sound?
If you are a public school teacher you might already be an NEA Member and that’s great. But since you are a teacher, you are likely too busy to have had the chance to actually explore all the benefits your membership offers. Now’s a great time to check those benefits out! You can save on flights, car rentals, hotels, cruises, and amusement parks and much more. Not being a member doesn’t exclude you from being eligible to get teacher discounts. The general rule to getting discounts is to ask for them!
Teacher’s are so busy advocating for others and putting their students first, that they sometimes neglect their own physical and financial wellbeing. You already spent too many days battling colds, paying for substitutes and spending too many of your own dollars on your students. You deserve a break on all accounts! In many cases all you need is a valid ID from your school stating your occupation. This applies to both public and private school teachers. Maybe big travel plans are still not in your budget even with great discounts. No need to despair because you don’t have to travel far to have a great summer!
You can use your home or apartment as your basecamp for local adventures! This might even be more fun as you can have many mini-vacations over the course of your summer break instead of just one. Chances are you live in proximity to some natural or cultural wonder that you have either taken for granted because its in your own backyard or you simply just didn’t know about it.
I spent most of my life living in the same state and just recently became acquainted with two amazing regions an hour from my home. My budget friendly recommendation to learning more about your home state and local adventure opportunities is??? You guessed it, go to the library! Go to your local library and visit the travel section and find guides for your state. If you end up loving a book enough that you want to buy it you can visit a Barnes & Noble or local bookstore and use your teacher discount to buy it.
Don’t forget to also utilize your library for your summer movie nights and for audio books for those many road trips you will be taking. I know my library also offers free museum passes and other great cultural opportunities. You can save a lot of money by utilizing your library!!
One more thing I would like to touch upon is a subject we covered a while back in past posts and that is the peer to peer rental economy. A lot has changed since we first wrote about it. Nearly everyone you know now has UBER or LYFT on their phone or maybe you know someone who works for them or maybe you do yourself. Ever stay at an Airbnb? This basic idea of renting out something you own to make money is now applied to just about everything you can think of and it really makes a lot of cents. Pun intended.
Steve Gillman, who writes for the Penny Hoarder, did a great piece on this subject and you can read it by clicking here. After reading it you might look at your old canoe, lawnmower, or even your own driveway with new eyes. Suddenly you might take a little more interest in keeping things squeaky clean and looking fresh.
One more cool development in the peer to peer economy I want to mention affects those who own property that others might want to pitch a tent on. Companies like Tentrr will help landowners turn part of their beautiful property into revenue generators by creating campsites for others to visit and advertising collateral to promote your campground. I know a few teachers who live in beautiful rural places and have a large enough property that they might consider looking into this idea. Of course you need to do the research to see if it makes cents for you.
I hope this post gives you some good ideas for both your summer vacation plans and for making some extra money while you are off from school. Thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts and comments below. Hope the rest of the school year goes great for everyone and that you finish strong!
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