Jailbreak: The How To Guide

LOTTIE UNWIN, who came 4th making it all the way to Egypt for a weekend of shisha, sun and no sleep, shares her tips on making the most out of Jailbreak.

In 2010 Tab Director Lottie Unwin came 4th in Jailbreak. The Tab followed her all the way to Sharm El Sheik in Egypt. Here are her tips for victory.

Kit list:

-A warm jacket with layers underneath. You never know where you might end up, hot or cold.
-A big bag to put money in. If you’re any good at fundraising, the pound coins will soon mount up.
-Not only a passport, but also travel insurance and a bank card you know will work abroad.
-Banners asking for a lift. ‘Hitching for charity. Please stop’ worked for us.
-Only liquids that you can take on the plane. Face wash seems like a good idea, but having to throw it into the big bins at Gatwick isn’t.
-Sugary snacks. Sleep is overrated but 36 hours is longer than it sounds.
-Novelty garments. Wear a garland round your neck or a silly hat to catch people’s attention. Also crucially, if you’ve been bet money for every photo where you’re wearing a fake moustache, don’t forget the moustache.
-Charged mobiles. You never know what head office you might have to call.
-A world map.  Of course you’ll want to know if Paphos is further away than Sharm.  At least we did.

Before you go:

1. Prepare your chat. People will ask what you are doing, where RAG’s money goes to and how much you have been pledged so make sure that you know all your figures.  Round them up, but only a little.

2. Decide just how moral you are going to be. Remember, whatever you spend on flights is money you could, and let’s face it, probably should be giving to RAG.  Have it clear in your mind at what point you really should be fundraising rather than jet setting.

3. Decide how much of your own money you are prepared to spend. It’ll cost you to get home. And the further away you go, the more that will be.  You could take it out of your huge bag of change you might have collected, but that wouldn’t be right.  Would it?

4. Don’t make plans. There is absolutely no point.  In fact, if possible clear plans for Monday.  You have no idea what will happen.

5. Fundraise ferociously.  The more you can say you have raised, the more generous people you meet on the way will be, and of course the more money you will make for RAG.  Put a list together of all the challenges you have been given.

Top tips for the adventure:

1. Smile until your face hurts. Never forget you are charming your way into the wilderness.

2. The mantra is ‘strangers are lovely’.  Whatever you Mum told you, do talk to every single one of them you encounter.

2. Say yes to every offer you are given.  Taking up a Thompson tour rep’s offer to find us accommodation was a great idea, despite the pube I found on my pillow.  Taking up the offer of a train ticket to Folkestone where there might be a ferry to Denmark was more dubious.  The next one didn’t leave until after Jailbreak had finished, but at least I could say I tried.

3. Don’t expect free flights. Every airline desk at both Stanstead and Heathrow told us the dream days of charitable corporations are over. Instead, do wait for stand-bys.  After check in has closed, airlines will sell the seats that no one has yet bought at cut prices, though prepare yourself for a speedy run to the gate.

4. Fundraise strategically.  Friday night in London’s West End means drunk men with £20 notes in the top pockets.

5. Never give up. 36 hours is a whole lot of minutes.  2160 to be precise, and a lot can change in that time.

6. Remember the return journey. You might have hitchhiked to Geneva, but you’ve still got a supervision on Tuesday.

When you get back, start collecting money immediately. As you walk through the gates back into college screaming ‘We’ve been to Eggyyyppptt’ to students who aren’t used to you so ghoulish after so long without sleep head out on a Sunday night, it’ll feel like it’s all been a dream, but all the pennies count.

Follow The Tab over the weekend to watch the progress of 2011’s Jailbreak team.

  • jokers

    Definately an excuse to just go travelling in the name of 'charity' if the money spent dossing around was spent on a charitable cause it would have a far greater positive impact.

    • Eager Jailbreaker

      I happen to disagree… sure if you spend ages fundraising for a plane to your ideal holiday destination then maybe you're missing the point a bit… but if I make it to Italy which is where we will be aiming for tomorrow then I will have raised over £300 for charity! And we will be hitchhiking there, so any money raised on the way will go straight to charity as well.

      Without the motivation of the fun I will get out of jailbreak the most I would have done for the RAG this year is probably donate £10. Maybe that makes me a bad person, but the whole point of activities like Jailbreak is to get normally apathetic people involved – meaning more money for the charity in the long run!

      Essay over…. and thanks for the article! It's been very useful!
      Only 13 and a bit hours to go!!!

  • quinnie

    i really enjoyed this article, cheers lottie!

  • concerned onlooker

    maybe Egypt isn't the best choice of destination for this year's lot

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