Interview with Catch Me if You Can?

Exeter Jailbreak 2015’s winners! 


(Daniel Finch and Carolina Makowska)


Where did you guys get to last year?

We managed to get all the way to Cyprus, just East of Ayia Napa!


Did you come up with a plan beforehand?

Yes. We had our mind’s set on winning so made sure to do lot’s of research so that we could have a strategy in place before our 30 hours started. We even went down to St David’s Station to see if there was a possibility of us getting any free or discounted train tickets.  We looked on websites such as Skyscanner so that we knew what flights would be leaving during the 30 hours and where from – we also checked what flights were flying from Exeter Airport to see if that would be a viable option.  We wanted to try and see if anyone local would sponsor our travel so we also went on 2 local radio shows to talk about Jailbreak!


How did you fundraise along the way?

On our train from Exeter to London Paddington we decided to walk down all the carriages to try and fundraise some money for a flight – we managed to raise about £230 just from that train journey! When we arrived at Heathrow Airport we decided to use a tactic of each standing in a lift and then starting up a conversation with anyone who got in to see if they would be willing to donate any money. In the end we managed  to get a flight to Cyprus via Athens! We did nearly miss our flight though as it took us about 45 mins to count all our donations and exchange them all to the same currency!


How did you end up in Ayia Napa? 

We used some of the left over money from fundraising to buy coach tickets and also managed to get discounted travel by using our student discount cards!

Jailbreak Tweet


Another team also ended up in Ayia Napa – how did you make sure you won?

We saw on the tracker that another team had got to Cyprus so decided to continue travelling as far as we could so that they didn’t beat us! We also made sure to text the tracker at the last possible moment in our 4 hour window just so that the other team didn’t know how far we had got to!


Did you decide to stay in Cyprus or head straight back?

We decided to stay for the weekend and arranged to meet the other team – Jailbreaking Bad – who had also got to Cyprus.


How did you get back?

We got a flight back using BA Airmile points from our parents – we did try to get upgraded but unfortunately because we were wearing shorts and our Jailbreak t-shirts we weren’t allowed! However, the crew made sure to give us complimentary food and drink for the entire flight and the pilot even invited us to the cockpit once we had landed!


Why should people take part in Jailbreak this year?

Because it was the best thing we did last year!


We also asked them to share with us their top Jailbreak tips so here they are!:

1) Be Proactive – Both before and during the event. Make sure you have a plan/strategy – look at possible travel routes, the flights, trains or ferries leaving within the 36 hours, motorway closures, flight/train delays etc. And while you sitting on a plane, train, ferry or coach – let the other passengers know what you are doing – they may even donate to further travel!

2) Be Confident –  You’ll need to be able to go up to people and ask if they can give you a lift or donate to your travel! Also make sure to stress that what you’re doing is for charity

3) Be adaptable – Make sure you have a plan but be open to it changing! You don’t know who you are going to meet along the way so make sure not to set your eyes on only one destination!

4) Be prepared to make quick decisions – Motorists aren’t going to be able to stop for too long while you decide whether to hitch and trains and planes won’t wait for you either!

5) Pack for all weathers – You don’t know where you’re going to end up so make sure to pack for the heat and the cold! But don’t pack too much as you will have to carry it all for the 36 hours!

6) Use each other’s skills tactically – e.g. if someone’s good at talking to people let them be the one to approach people for donations or travel

7) Trust your gut – If you or any of your team members don’t feel comfortable getting into someone’s vehicle then trust your instinct! But make sure you prepare something to say to someone if you don’t want to accept their lift

8) Choose your teammates wisely – You’ll be spending 36 hours with your teammates so make sure to pick someone you won’t get annoyed with. Bare in mind you will be running on lack of sleep!

9) Know the charities – You’re Jailbreak booklet will provide you with a description of the charities you’re fundraising for, if you know the charities you’re fundraising for people are more likely to help/donate!

10) Ask friends and family to sponsor you – A good way to raise your £100 fundraising target is to get family and friends to sponsor you by the number of miles you travel or the number of countries you cross!


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