7 Free Teacher Travel Programs

Teachers dream about summer vacation as much as their students. Unfortunately, most teachers’ parents aren’t taking them to Disneyland for an all expenses paid trip to see the world’s most famous mouse.  But what about teacher travel programs?


What if you could take trip somewhere exotic and have a story just as interesting to tell your students when the first homeroom bell rings in the fall? I’ve found some great travel programs for teachers that will do that and more!

This list of programs range from hiking in the forest to spending the summer on a research vessel, all while gaining valuable experiences for teachers. And it won't break the bank, because they pay for you to do it!



Spend time in Spain helping young Spanish children learn English in a full immersion setting. It’s a great opportunity for young teachers to gain experience with international work and even earn some money while doing it!

NOAA Teachers at Sea


Conduct research at sea on a research vessel!

NOAA’s Teacher At Sea program is year round and lets you experience a life at sea and learn valuable STEM lessons while aboard a research vessel! It’s space available, but they pay for all your accommodations and you’ll get an invaluable experience learning about fisheries, hydrographic surveying, and oceanographic research. Plus you can tell your students you were a pirate this summer.

Northrop Grumman ECO Classroom


Field research for life sciences teachers.

Want to spend some time in Costa Rica? This two week intensive field experience at La Selva Biological Station will allow you to take home stories about exploring the jungle and maybe even discovering a new species.

Forestry Institute for Teachers


This week-long trip focusing on forest ecology and forest resource management practices gets you out of the house and into nature in Northern California. The only cost is travel, but airline miles can help get you there! (Learn how to earn airline miles and fly almost free from now on with the 30 Days to Becoming a Travel Hacker course!) 

International Research and Exchanges Board IREX


A year long fellowship that includes a graduate level course helping teachers become leaders in global education and includes a two to three week international field experience to experience another country’s culture and education system. Free trip and professional development, it’s a win-win.

Transatlantic Outreach Program to Germany


Explore Germany and learn about another culture and bring home some important lessons about Germany’s role in the global community with this two week tour abroad. Each tour is customized to the group attending and includes all airfare and lodging as well as meals and entrance fees to any museums or other educational activities. People pay big money for a trip like this, so being a teacher has its perks.

Gilder Lehrman Seminars


The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History hosts weeklong seminars focusing on social studies in America and abroad with topics ranging from Early American history to 9/11 and American Memory. They reimburse travel up to $500 for international travel and with great deals on airfare to Europe, you could get a pretty cheap European vacation with a fun lesson to teach in the fall!

As you can see, there are plenty of teacher travel programs for exploring the world at little to no cost with the added bonus of professional development that looks great on your resume! There are so many more opportunities available for different kinds of teachers (and administrators, too!) out there that we couldn’t possibly list them all here. Make sure to check out the extensive Travel Grants post on this site and  sign up for our newsletter to receive a free travel grants spreadsheet to help you find new travel opportunities as a teacher!

Post by Mike Leydet

About the Author

Mike Leydet is an avid traveler and woodworking hobbyist home-based in sunny Virginia Beach, VA. He has traveled on miles and points to over 20 countries and across the United States. He has two cats who both dislike travel but allow him several weeks a year to be out and about exploring the world without too much grief when he returns. You can follow his adventures on Facebook: Explore the World With Mike.