An Academic's Guide To No-Cost Travel

by G. Michael Schneider / Aug 29, 2011 / 0 comments

What could be better than a one-week, one-month, or even one-year excursion to some exotic locale? That’s easy—having someone else pay for it. This sounds a bit cheeky, even a tad unsavory, but it’s a realistic and attainable goal for high school,community college, and university faculty.   I can personally attest to this fact having made fifteen overseas jaunts in the last three decades–Australia to Zimbabwe, Mauritius to Mongolia, Turkey to Tibet–without ever having to give up my teaching job or pay my own way.  I am not talking about kissing good-bye to friends, family, and home and becoming a long-term ex-pat. I am describing a short-term overseas posting during summer vacation, sabbatical, or leave of absence that pays enough to cover most or all of your travel costs–essentially, traveling on the other guy's dime! 

As our family did more and more short-term overseas work, I accumulated a wealth of practical knowledge about how to locate opportunities, negotiate terms of the visit, rent our home, find housing and transportation in the host country, purchase health care services, and travel easily and safely with young children. Curious, not to mention jealous, colleagues began asking questions about these trips, so I would relate my stories and explain how they could create their own dream adventures to their own dream destinations.

I often wondered why more academics, many with résumés and reputations far more impressive than mine, did not take greatear advantage of these no-cost travel opportunities, and that is how my book–On The Other Guy's Dime: A Professional's Guide to Traveling Without Paying–and my blog––were born. They are travel memoirs in which I share stories about some of our most memorable adventures but, more importantly, they are also “how-to” guides that pass on the skills I acquired over the years—the ability to locate overseas opportunities and the knowledge to turn that information into reality. 

My goal is to share with you what I have accomplished and motivate you to try it yourself—to live and work abroad, have some fun and adventure, and grow professionally, culturally, and intellectually—all on the other guy’s dime.