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STA Travel Blog

The Traveller’s Christmas survival guide

Your first Christmas away from home can be a daunting prospect. With the traditions and people that usually make the season special half way across the world and the drizzle frost and snow replaced but sun and sand (or sometimes even more extreme cold) the Christmas spirit can be hard to come by.

So we reached out to the most beautiful, loving, well travelled people we know, our Twitter followers, and asked them for their tips on surviving your first Christmas far from home. If we’re honest most were about booze so we came up with a few of our own to balance the tide. Though if we’re honest most of those were about booze too. What it’s Christmas?!

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Frigid Five: 5 places that do winter properly

The British winter is not internationally renowned for it’s ferocity, beauty or quite frankly anything other than being a bit wet and cold. Sure the north of Scotland gets some pretty epic snow fall and there are a couple of fields in the south west that when covered in frost and deer make the front pages of certain less news-centric papers, but in general the season is rather mediocre.  (Think we’ve qualified that enough…pretty worried about reprisals from the British Winter Society.)

We’ve searched the globe (figuratively, there’s no budget for a winter recky to look at snow) and found 5 places that do winter properly. A Frigid Five if you will. Or if you wont.

Bridge to nowhere
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An odd number of things you probably don’t need to know about Australia

Today’s blog comes from our resident cynic Hannah “Jeffers” Jeffery who actually loves Australia. Honest.

Ordinarily, you can’t stop us from writing lyrical about Australia’s abundant charms…awash with desert island discos, sunkissed sailing adventures and wild outback odysseys etc etc. But on this particularly apocalyptic and drizzly December day at STA Travel’s London HQ, we suddenly ran out of superlative steam. While we were sat staring into the pitch black abyss of another London afternoon (no there wasn’t a capital-wide power cut, this is what happens at 4pm in the midst of a dark British winter)* our Australian cousins (or whatever, the commonwealth lineage is fairly confused and frankly a bit messy) were probably splashing around in their swimmers enjoying the full throes of summer.

So in miserly wintry protest, we decided to not taunt ourselves further with blogs of perfect beaches and smoky barbies with sunbronzed Bruce and scantily-clad Sheila (delete accordingly to preference).Instead, we’re bringing you all the bizarre stuff that almost certainly, you won’t need.**


Yeah yeah your lives are perfect we get it go away

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How to follow Bilbo through Middle-earth…ring not required

Unless you’ve been living under a massive lichen covered rock since 2001 you’ll know that New Zealand is the setting for the epic The Hobbit Trilogy and, of course, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. There’s a very good reason for this (and we’re not just talking Jackson’s affinity for his home country), namely that NZ is stunningly, awe-inspiringly, amazingly, almost unbelievably beautiful.

Most of it. We’re being honest here – a car park in central Auckland behind a McDonald’s ain’t gunna fill you with awe. So avoid the duffers (granted the car park might have been a bit obvious) and stick to the best bits with our Middle-earth New Zealand travel guide…

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Today’s blog comes from David Broadley, a Travel Expert in our Sheffield store who was not content with regaling us with his tales of Australia and Costa Rica has now moved on to Iceland, Canada and the USA. Yeah we kinda hate him too.

To the rest of the world a Nor’Easter is a big old storm, with winds from (you guessed it) the North East. Here at STA Travel, it’s a flight route that spans 3 incredible countries – Iceland, Canada and the USA – and will (get ready for the pun) blow you away!

Blue Lagoon Iceland

Blue Lagoon Iceland

The route is based on flying from London to Iceland, on to Toronto, then making your own way south before flying back from New York or another on the East Cost of the USA. You’re able to stop off for up to 7 days in Iceland on your way across the pond, at no extra cost to your airfare. Whilst Iceland may be small, with a total population close to 330,000 – roughly the population of Sunderland (thanks Wikipedia), it is packed full of inescapably beautiful landscapes, ridiculously charming people, and a penis museum. I’m not kidding.

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