Memorial Day Travel Tips – #4: Sail, Meditate and Motor into Free Vacation Stays

Three Ways to Stay for Free on your Next Vacation

By Steenie Harvey
Taken with permission from International Living Magazine

Everyone dreams of vacations. But accommodation, food, and transportation all add up. In the current economic climate, low cost is good. And “no cost” is even better. Here are some suggestions to save on your next vacation:

1. Sail the Seven Seas

Why pay hundreds of dollars to gain sailing experience when you can learn for free? Although some work is involved, crewing a yacht is a great way to see the world and learn (or brush up) on your sailing skills. Most voyages involve sharing food expenses, but not all. Here are some recently advertised:

** Sailing a 42-foot Jeanneau around the Greek Aegean and Turkey.
Minimal experience needed, but a positive attitude and love of adventure are assets. Food costs are shared.

** Sailing from Port Camargue to Minorca, Majorca, Ibiza, various Spanish ports, Gibraltar, Morocco, and Portugal. Crew with any level of experience, including beginners, considered. Contribution to expenses is $15 per day.

** Canadian Arctic sailing expedition doing a creative project seeks an adventurous fourth member with video/photo/multimedia skills. No pay, but most on-board costs are covered. No sailing experience required, but you must have outdoor experience.

For more, see:

2. Spiritual Rejuvenations

Some meditation centers charge more than posh hotels. Not so at Mount Melleray Abbey, a Cistercian monastery in Ireland’s County Waterford.

Its Retreat House welcomes both men and women wishing to make quiet, personal retreats. Following monastic tradition, there is no fee, but guests usually make donations to help defray running costs. See:

In northern Scotland, medieval Pluscarden Abbey is home to Benedictine monks who sing in Gregorian chant. They have two guest houses. Men and women of all faiths are welcome to share in the prayer and work of the community -- or simply rest and renew their focus. Male guests eat with the monks. For women, it’s on a self-catering basis. Basic foodstuffs such as bread, milk, and eggs are provided, and the women’s retreat house has a kitchen for preparing meals. Again, there is no charge, but any donation is gratefully received. See:

3. Collect a Free Kiwi Motorhome

New Zealand’s tourists usually arrive in Auckland, on the North Island. Many rent cars, motorhomes, and camper vans, and head toward Wellington to take the car-ferry to the scenic South Island. When their vacation is over, they fly back to Auckland. Result: too many vehicles in the wrong location.

But if you fly initially to Queenstown or Christchurch, and then drive back to Auckland, you can have a free hire vehicle. If it’s a motorhome, accommodation costs are zero. The ferry and insurance are included -- you pay for gas. See:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steenie Harvey moved to Ireland in 1988 with her Scottish husband and their daughter. Though she has no formal training as a writer, she’s made an impressive career as a travel writer traveling all over the world to countries like China, France, Panama, Ecuador, Brazil, Italy, Germany, and more. To meet Steenie in person and learn how you can follow in her footsteps (she has no qualms about telling you exactly how to get started even if it means you’ll become her competition because she’s convinced there’s enough “work” out there for everyone), click here.

Reader, Sandra Kennedy, joined us at a live event a few years back and met Steenie Harvey in Buenos Aires.  Today Sandra’s enjoyed press trips to Ecuador, Chile, Portugal, Alaska, and more… all in exchange for sharing her opinions about her trip. Join us this August 5-7 in Santa Monica, CA, and meet Sandra and other travel writers and editors in the business who can tell you how to follow in their footsteps.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]