Teaching and travel go hand in hand
Whilst I don’t suggest that you teach to travel (unless perhaps its teaching English or the like), if you have a passion for teaching and a passion for travelling, then they certainly go hand in hand. With anywhere up to 15 weeks leave a year, it allows plenty of time to travel and explore. This is particularly useful if you are on an overseas working holiday and travel is a priority for you.
Now don’t get me wrong, you may not want to travel every holiday. Teaching, especially full time in a school, is like jamming a whole year of work into 4 short terms and come holiday time, the couch is quite often more enticing then negotiating an airport and exploring a new place.
If you’re not married to a teacher, it can also get a little tricky. Most mere mortals only have 4 to 5 weeks leave a year, which leaves a rather big disparity. This is the case for my husband and I and here are three ways we work around it.
Make the most of long weekends
Long weekends are your new best friends! In Australia, long weekends often stand alone (other than Easter and Christmas), however in the UK they are often incorporated into mid term breaks. This is what you want to look out for.
Word to the wise, you will need to plan this well in advance, because airline tickets and hotels will come at a premium, but if you map the year out early on, you can still nab yourself a bargain.
The best way to do it is to fly out on a Friday night together and enjoy the weekend on a city break, in a place that isn’t too far away. For us we have picked destinations such as Belfast and Copenhagen, that are no more than 3 hours flight from London.
The teacher in your partnership can then find a tour or activities that leave on the Monday or the Tuesday so they can continue on exploring once the non teacher has to return to work. This can also be done when the school holidays fall before the long weekend, with the teacher wrapping up their solo plans on a Friday so they can meet their partner who flies in on the Friday night for a weekend of fun.
This has worked well for us when exploring Scotland, where I tacked a longer tour onto the May long weekend and also in Ireland where I toured the Republic of Ireland, to then take the train up to Belfast on Good Friday and meet my husband for an Easter break together.
Enjoy a Mini Break
Over the summer I decided to visit Spain. I spent a week travelling solo in Seville, before flying to Lisbon to commence a Top Deck tour of Portugal and Spain. On this occasion there were no public holidays, so we had to be a little more creative.
When you join a tour, usually the first day is a ‘free day’ to explore the city. Keeping this in mind, I selected a tour that began on a Saturday, so Pete and I could meet up in Lisbon and enjoy Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon at a seaside resort south of the city. Tour companies are quite flexible in this respect and so long as you advise them you’re joining a little late before departure, they will most likely accommodate you.
For one day’s annual leave, Pete and I got a mini break in Portugal and I still got to explore for an extended period of time. Breaking the trip up like this was also nice as I got some time to myself, some couple time and some time with a group. Perfect!
Book a special holiday together
When your partner is a teacher and loves to travel, most of your travel experiences will involve meeting up or travelling together on weekends. Using this to your advantage will mean that you only need to take several single days of annual leave in order to have some lovely weekend breaks. This will free up the bulk of your leave to visit destinations you want to explore together.
Most of Pete’s leave this year was taken up on our wedding when we flew back to Australia for two weeks over Easter to get married. This did eat into his leave quite significantly, however we set time aside earlier in the year to visit Sweden earlier in their year to chase the Northern Lights – something that was quite high on both of our bucket lists and almost impossible to manage over a long weekend alone.
If you love them, let them go...without you!
Last but not least, sometimes your partner may want to take a trip that doesn’t co-inside with your school holidays. If you’re lucky enough to have a partner who supports your travel dreams, the least you can do is support theirs too. Let them go off and enjoy themselves (like Pete did enjoying red wine in Bordeaux) whilst you slave away at school, they will surely come back happier for it and less likely to say no when you present your next travel destinations to them!