Summer holiday ideas: 10 tips for teachers

Author: Megan Pitman
Published: 03/07/2024

'Teacher mode off' slogan

As the end of the school year approaches, the anticipation of the summer holidays is palpable. For teachers, the six-week break is a precious opportunity to switch off, recharge and indulge in activities often side-lined during the busy school year. But how can you make the most of this well-deserved time off?

Whether you're looking to travel, relax, focus on self-care or even get ahead on professional development, we've got you covered with ideas and helpful links to discounts, offers and inspiration.

10 ways to make the most of the summer holidays

1. Travel abroad. If your budget allows travelling abroad is a great opportunity to get away and experience new cultures and landscapes. Keep an eye out for last-minute deals and teacher discounts to make your travels more affordable and enriching. Some holiday providers, like Contiki, cater specifically for teachers.

2. Relax with a staycation. Sometimes the best holidays are spent at home. Create a spa day, binge-watch a series you've been meaning to catch up on — try these TV recommendations from TimeOut — or enjoy a good book in your garden. A staycation can be just as rejuvenating as travelling, offering a chance to unwind without the hassle of travelling.

3. Save money with budget-friendly activities. Look for free or low-cost activities and days out. Many towns offer free concerts and festivals during the summer. These can be great ways to enjoy your break without breaking the bank, allowing you to have fun and create lasting memories.

4. Focus on self-care. Take care of your mental and physical health. Try yoga, meditation, or a new exercise routine. Self-care is crucial for recharging before the new school year begins. Consider setting aside time each day for activities that help you relax and rejuvenate. Not sure where to start? Download our wellbeing and self-care guide for helpful tips and resources, or sign up for a free educator's subscription to mindfulness app Headspace.

5. Volunteer. It can be a rewarding way to spend your holiday. Whether it's helping out at a local charity, tutoring students or participating in community projects, giving back can provide a sense of fulfilment and make a positive impact on your community. Discover a variety of summer volunteering opportunities or consider combining volunteering with travel for a conservation holiday in Scotland or Wales.

6. Engage in professional development. Use the summer break to attend workshops or online courses that can enhance your teaching skills. Many universities and educational organisations offer summer programmes specifically for teachers. This can be a great way to gain new insights and bring fresh ideas into your classroom. Explore our CPD library or check out these essential reads for teachers for some practical and insightful summer reading.

7. Plan ahead for the school year. Use some of your time to organise lesson plans and classroom materials. This can help reduce stress when school starts again and ensure you're prepared for a successful year. Getting ahead on planning can also free up more time during the school year for spontaneous activities and self-care. Our customisable and printable teacher planner is a useful tool to help you get organised and ready for another year.

8. Take up a new hobby. Whether it’s gardening, painting or learning a new instrument, picking up a new hobby can be a wonderful way to relax and stimulate your mind during the holidays. Hobbies can provide a creative outlet and help you develop new skills that you can share with your students. Need some help finding your new hobby? Try this hobby finder quiz to help find out what pastime might be right for you.

9. Enjoy outdoor activities. Make the most of the summer weather by engaging in outdoor activities. Hiking, cycling, or even a simple picnic in the park can be refreshing and enjoyable. Outdoor activities offer a great way to stay active and appreciate the beauty of nature.

10. Explore local attractions. Take the time to visit museums, parks and historical sites in your area. Exploring locally can be a cost-effective way to enjoy your break and discover hidden gems close to home. Many places offer discounts for educators, including National Trust via TeacherDiscounts, so make sure to check out any deals and take your ID along.

By incorporating these ideas into your summer plans, you can make the most of your break, whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation or professional growth. Enjoy your holidays!

Megan Pitman

Megan is the Digital Content Manager at Teachit and a former geography teacher with experience working in a variety of secondary school settings teaching KS3, KS4 and KS5 students and as an online private tutor. During her teaching career, she delivered whole-school PSHE and British values initiatives and supported colleagues' professional development in these areas.