Having already decided to take a nice long trip overseas, you now need to get there. While the less popular options of being a drug mule or smuggling people probably should be over looked(I said probably) a lot of alternative forms of travel exist and are within the more modest of budgets. Here we will focus on traveling by sea to your next destination.
An option for those who live or are near large sail boating communities is walking the docks and talk to captains about crewing their sailboat for the next voyage. Sailboat captains are always looking for quality crew who can offer a helping hand at cooking, taking watch, or offering some other service which they might need.
As you talk to captains get a feel for him and his experience as you will need to trust each other while on the open sea. Any expenses should be minimal for food and water and may run between $5-$25 a day depending on the boat.
Downsides of sail boating are that you cannot schedule or plan too rigidly as a lot of the travel times are dependent on the weather. You must also be flexible as to where you are headed as you hitch hike the seas. Keep your luggage to a minimum if you choose this route as space onboard is limited.
This is a great way to meet other people and the old salts will have stories to tell. You also find yourself going to smaller ports that are often overlooked by their more popular port cities. Find A Crew is a well known online resource which connects potential crew with boats around the world.
For those that like the seas, but want more security of a larger vessel and a slightly stricter schedule, look into riding on a freighter or cargo ship. Many freighters do carry passengers to their destinations for a fee.
While onboard you will be allowed in crew areas and get to eat with and talk to the crew. Freighters can get rocky when the seas get rough, so bring some form of motion sickness medicine.
Cargo ships operate year round in many parts of the globe, so do your research to find the one that will get you to your destination.
Cruise ship are similar to cargo ships, they just have different freight: typically it's old retired folks who like buffets and crappy entertainment. So, while we are on the high seas, consider taking a step up in the luxury department towards cruise ships for a one way repositioning cruise. There are dozens of cruise ships operating from the worlds most beautiful ports.
Most ships itineraries follow the seasons, which is how you will have to plan your trans-coeanic move. For example, if you want to go from North America to Europe, you should plan to be in Florida or New York in spring, when the ships repo to Europe. And if going from Europe to North America, plan to be in Europe in Fall, when they repo back to the Caribbean.
You also have Cunard who makes regular Trans-Atlantic cruises from South Hampton to New York. This 7 day affair is actually reasonably priced cruise if you have $800.
As for scheduling, look for most ships to be taking a repo cruise in the shoulder seasons of April-May and September-October.
When they change up itineraries they need to move across oceans for days at a time. While onboard expect nickel and dimed, not by your entertainment and food which is free, rather your drinks, souvenirs and the mandatory tips they charge all passengers.
To find out what itineraries are available go to any cruise lines official web site or talk to your local travel agent. Repo-cruises often don't fill to capacity so this is where you will find some of the best cruise ship value, paying as low as 50 USD per night depending on the cabin.
Another option for those work and travelers is to get a job onboard cruise ships. Thats what I did and loved it. But each to their own.
The world is too amazing not to share.