- Try Wwoofing
Honest, you're not barking up the wrong tree. If you love the outdoors, then Wwoofing (World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) may be for you. In return for helping out with daily chores on a farm or smallholding, you can bag yourself free accommodation, food, and the opportunity to learn about organic lifestyles and meet new people. Farms are located worldwide. For more info, see <a href="http://www.wwoof.org.uk/">wwoof.org.uk</a>.
- Swap your home
Fancy swapping your semi in Putney for a penthouse pad in Penang? Sign up to a home exchange service and you could spend your next holiday in a converted loft apartment, thatched cottage or even waterfront mansions with its own speed boat. Many people become firm friends and even use each others' cars and feed their pets. Mosto organisations charge a nominal fee to sign up. For more info, see <a href="http://www.homeexchange.com/">homeexchange.com</a>.
- Share and surf
Meet new friends and learn about local cultures, albeit while sleeping on their sofa. Hosts will show you the sights, take you to parties and provide experiences that tourists will never have. You don't even need to offer a sofa in return. Register for free and check out the coachsurfing community in 250 countries. For more info, see <a href="http://www.couchsurfing.com/">couchsurfing.com</a>.
- Camp in the wild
There is no better way to get close up to nature than pitching your tent on a mountain or by a lake. There is no legal right to wild camp in England and Wales (Scotland is different) so you could be asked to move on. Seek permission if possible, don't stay long, protect wildlife and keep your group size small. Wild camping is allowed in much of Europe. For more info, see <a href="http://www.walkingandhiking.co.uk/">walkingandhiking.co.uk</a>.
- House sit
Fancy flitting off to Fiji, or how about pampering someone's pooch in France while they are away? Serial house sitters can jet off all over the world and stay in some amazing properties for free in exchange for pet-sitting duties, housekeeping, plant watering, and burglar watch. For more info, see <a href="http://www.mindmyhouse.com/">mindmyhouse.com</a>.
- Retreat from the Rat Race
Step off the tread mill and recharge your batteries with a one-day or weekend retreat in some of the most tranquil and beautiful parts of the UK. Retreats usually encompass meditation and/or yoga sessions, workshops and talks on general wellbeing as well as the opportunity soak up some solitude and eat delicious vegetarian meals. Monasteries, Buddhist centres and retreat centres offer 'free' retreats although voluntary contributions are welcome. For more info, see <a href="http://www.globalretreatcentre.org.uk/">globalretreatcentre.org.uk</a>.
- Crew a super yacht
If you're looking for excitement and adventure, why not take to the seas on a Superyacht. Owners are always looking for crew - and even if you're not a qualified sailor, you may be able to work as a host, chef or waitress. It can be hard work but you may get to meet a few celebs and, when not lazing on deck, earn excellent tips! For more info, see <a href="http://www.globalcrewnetwork.com/">globalcrewnetwork.com/</a>.
- Get naked
Ditch your kit and join 1,000 riders taking part in the World Naked Bike ride in Hyde Park, London in June. Those looking for less exposure could try one of hundreds of free events in the UK including the Kite Festival in Shropshire on 6 March, Southend Air show on 29 May, dragon boat races, carnivals, concerts, film screenings and family workshops. For more info, see <a href="http://www.free-events.co.uk/">free-events.co.uk</a>
- Get organised
Gather a group of your mates together and sell them the idea of taking a ski, golf or tennis break - and you as the organiser can go for free. Tour operators offer generous group deals â€“ up to one free place for four people - particularly for early bookers and during low season when they still have lots of holidays to sell....