Travel around the world for FREE!

Travellers have a tendency to scrimp and save for months or years before setting off on a big trip, developing the wily ways of penny pinchers the world over in an attempt to add one more shilling to the kitty. But what if, instead of putting all that effort into saving money prior to travelling, you shake off the dust, kick the brain into action and see how and where you can travel to for free, saving more dosh than you ever imagined? It may take longer but it will certainly be a hell of a lot more fun.

Sailing is generally thought to be an expensive hobby but there are ways and means of making waves without having to dig deep.

1) Check out local marinas before you leave home and get some experience. Sailors are passionate about life on the ocean blue and are more than happy to impart their knowledge and expertise on any young pup who shows interest. Boat owners and skippers are usually so happy to find crew to help keep their boat on the water you’ll find the only thing you’ll have to fork out for is food.

2) Start drinking at the local yacht club. Having a few pints with prospective pirate pals is a must before signing up to any crew. It’s important to get on with everyone, or almost everyone, while sailing – especially if you’re stuck in the middle of the Atlantic for a few weeks with a group – and necking a few scoops is the best way to find out who’s who.

3) Adverts for deck-hands and crew are posted on marina bulletin boards, especially around racing season. In return you’ll get free sailing lessons and be able to build up hours on the water. Also, many sailing schools need a crew to collect and deliver yachts from various marinas all round the world. There’s usually a small group and you’ll get great tuition.
4) Once you’ve gathered enough experience you can apply for crew positions – some ask for qualifications but some don’t. When you do have some money it might be worth the few bob to get a certificate. People love a certificate.

5) Brush up on the lingo. Arrrrrrrrh me hearties, them land lubbers are no good I tells ye, no good… and such like. It is ever so important if you’re hoping to fit in on deck. Talk Like a Pirate website will help those unfamiliar with how to be speakin’ pirate-like.

6) Then, when it’s time to move on, seek out world-wide crewing positions online and the world could be your oyster.

(Or rather, plain-ordinary-paid-for-sailing)

If you can splash some cash then check out Tall Ships Adventures who currently have special offers on their winter prices. It costs a bit but offers training and a choice of destinations around the world.

There’s a £200 discount on the 3 week sail from Tenerife, in the Canary Islands off the cost of Africa, to Barbados and if you’re between 18 and 25 years you may be eligible for another discount in the form of a bursary.

The 72-ft-long ocean-going yachts set off on 6 January 2008 and can accommodate a crew of up to 18 people so those travelling in a group will have a blast.