It’s time for another blog reader question to be posed to our Travel Experts here on the STA Travel Blog as part of or Ask the Experts series and this week we’re talking Gap Years – exciting!
Sam from Newquay wants some help with the initial planning stages of their trip and as always Lucy and Claire are stepping up to help and share their top tips for an awesome adventure. So Sam, what would you like to know?
I am thinking of taking some time out to go travelling after I finish college and before I start uni next year. I think I can save around £4,000 for the whole trip – what would you do? Sam, Newquay.
This is exactly the kind of question our Experts love, one with lots of space for inspiration and ideas. Let’s see where they’re taking us this week…
Claire Whittington from STA Travel Brighton says…
I’d escape the British winter and head to Africa for an overland adventure of a lifetime! As your friends are hiding indoors trying to escape the rain or stuck with boring relatives over Christmas, you can be in your shorts on safari in the Serengeti looking for lions or in a dug out canoe cruising down the Chobe River or sand boarding down the awesome dunes of Namibia!
Watch wildlife on the edges of the Chobe River.
Fly to my favourite city in the world, Cape Town for the 40 day Cape Town to Nairobi overland tour. As you pile into your overland truck with up to 18 new travelling friends, one fab guide, and a driver, the next 40 days will be crammed full of all the best things Africa has to offer. The trips are mainly participation camping which means you will all share out the duties whether you will be heading off to the local market to pick out the ingredients for whatever dinner you will be making for the group that night or (less fun) washing up afterwards, it’s such a great way to travel and get to know all your fellow travellers.
Plus camping means you get to stay right in the heart of the action and on this trip you will get to bush camp in the Okavango Delta and sometimes you don’t even have to put up your tent, when I went, we just slept outside in the beautiful Damaraland in Namibia (it’s safe as there are no scorpions or mosquitoes!).
The mighty Victoria Falls.
There are so many things on this trip I couldn’t begin to list all the highlights but, personally I think the top 3 have to be:
Victoria Falls: You can just chill out in Livingstone and take in the views or bungy jump nearby for a different angle of the falls or, if you want to be closer to the water, you could go white water rafting on the Zambezi River.
Game drives: With the chance to spot game in Etosha, Serengeti and Chobe National Park, plus time in the Okavango Delta and Ngorongoro Crater, you will be so ‘over’ seeing the Big Five by the time you get home, I mean, everyone gets to see lions and cheetahs and elephants pretty much daily… right?!
Namib Desert: This really is a complete different side of Africa. Getting up at 4am and then climbing a massive sand dune in the dark is definitely worth it as you get to witness one of the world’s greatest sunrises. As it comes up the bright orange sands change in colour for some of the best photo opportunities you will get on this trip. Plus you get to run, roll, cartwheel, whatever back down the dune which is awesome! I can’t think of many better ways to celebrate finishing college and get ready for uni!
Lucy Bolton from STA Travel Leeds Vicar Lane says…
For something a little bit different to the well travelled paths of South East Asia and Australia why don’t you try a coast to coast trip in the USA? July/August is the perfect time to be out there as the weather will be really nice wherever you are. We have a lot of different coast to coast trips but my favourite has to be the Grand Southern trip. You start in Los Angeles and finish in New York and, as you might have guessed from the name, travel across the country visiting all the southern states.
Party hard in Vegas!
The trip takes in all the iconic sites such as the Grand Canyon, Graceland and Miami Beach whilst incorporating ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences like a stop at the Cadillac Ranch in Santa Fe and a VIP night in Vegas. There are also some fantastic coast to coast camping trips and also Grand Northern which incorporates the northern states and Canada.
We have some really great flight offers going to the states which means you can easily fit flights and one of the trips into your £4,000 budget with enough left over for spending money whilst you are out there! All our tours include accommodation and transport plus most of your meals and entrance fees, so there isn’t a lot extra you will need to spend. Get it booked early so you can make the most of early bird discounts!