6 Reasons to escape to Fiji NOW.

Bula! Are you looking to escape the 9-5 for a slice of bliss? Picture paradise and you’ll probably picture Fiji. Whether you’re a beach bum, nature lover or someone who is looking to immerse themselves into a unique culture, this tropical oasis has it all.

Don’t believe us? Here are 6 reasons why you need to pack your bags and escape now…

The Islands

Who doesn’t love island paradise? And with over 333 white sandy islands to choose from, you’ll be left spoilt for choice. You’ll find resorts on most islands, but if you’re looking for backpacker mecca, then head to part island Beachcomber in the Mamanuca Islands.

If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, then head to Vanua Levu for 4WD adventures… In the heart of the islands lies the ancient ruins of Nukubolu, complete with old stone foundations, a volcanic crater and hot springs.

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The Culture

It’s not all beaches, Fiji is rich with culture where you can immerse yourself into a traditional Fijian village. You’ll learn all about the local customs, culture and beliefs. Definitely take part in a Kava ceremony, no not a Spanish sparkling wine booze up. Kava is made from mixing together the powdered root of a pepper plant with water. When visiting a Fijian village you will find yourself taking part in a Kava ceremony as a mark of respect. Let’s just say it’s an acquired taste, but when in Fiji!

Cultural FYI – Leave your shoes by the door, bring your Kava root and don’t touch anyone’s head! 

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The Giant

Ssssh don’t wake the sleeping giant! Get close to nature and spend the day wandering along the canopy-covered boardwalk in the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. Situated on Fiji’s main island, between Nadi and Lutoka, the garden has the largest, most magnificent orchid collection with over 2,000 varieties of stunning Asian orchids. It’s not just about the white sandy beaches.

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The Sea

“Life is better under the sea” the Little Mermaid taught us that. She probably lived in Fiji. Also known as the ‘Soft Coral Capital of the World’, it is home to over 4,000 square miles of coral reef – it’s an underwater playground! Jump in and take a dip with over 1,000 species of fish from manta rays to turtles. But for the adrenaline junkies out there, you can dive with Grey Reef sharks at the Beqa Lagoon – watch them swim gracefully around mysterious shipwrecks and check out the brave Fijian divers HAND feeding them. Madness.

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The Temple

This towering, brightly decorated Hindu temple is situated on Fiji’s main island and is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Sri Suva Subramaniya is decorated in traditional Dravidian architecture, one of only few places outside of India. This is the perfect stop for those of you who want to see the diverse cultural and architectural side to Fiji. The beautiful Hindu engravings are made from sandstone, soapstone and granite. You won’t see anything like it!

Top Tip: Visit the temple in January or April to see the Karthingai Puja and Panguni Thiru-naal festivals at the same time!

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The Food

Fiji is all about relaxing, drinking and eating, lots of eating – any excuse! Most Fijian cuisine is made up of taros (a root veggie), bananas, leafy vegetables, rice, coconut, fish and sweet potatoes – yum! Due to integration, a distinctive style of “Fijian – Indo” cuisine has emerged, adding a touch of spice to traditional dishes. Try a Kokoda dish, made up of raw mahi-mahi fish cooked in a dressing made up of coconut cream, onions, lime juice, salt and chillies, served in a coconut shell. Bula!

Top Tip: Wash your Kokoda down with Fiji Bitter – a refreshing beer brewed in Suva.

Vaka – viti (thank you), check out more from the wonderful world of Fiji. Escape while you still can!

What can I get out of a working holiday in New Zealand?

A working holiday in New Zealand is a fantastic way to gain work experience abroad and earn a few dollars while you do it.

It gives you the flexibility to fund your trip while you explore the country, and in the process, make some lifelong mates! It may sound scary but it’s not as hard as you think. The visa process is really simple, great value compared to other countries and STA can help you every step of the way.

Here’s what you can get out of living and working in one of the most beautiful countries in the world…

 

1. New mates

Kiwis are the friendliest people in the world. No. They really are! We know everyone says that but it’s true. From bar-tenders to hostel workers, even people walking down the street you’re sure to hear a friendly “kia ora!*”.

It’s the small things that make moving to another country that little bit easier and in New Zealand you’ll feel genuinely welcome.

The people you’ll meet while working will feel like family and become some of your closest friends. There’s nothing like a hard day’s work, out in the sun, picking fruit for money – the bond with your fellow pickers is a strong one! Lots of people will be in the same boat as you, just get stuck in and put your best smile on. You’ll make new mates easy, that’s a guarantee from us.

*”hello!”

 

2. A better CV

“As New Zealand has a high percentage of small businesses, you could end up getting a broader range of work experience than you otherwise would in the UK.” – Immigration NZ

A Working Holiday in New Zealand isn’t a waste of time like your parents might think. Ignore them when they say “you should be focusing on your career” because in fact working abroad can seriously improve your CV and career prospects. Here’s a few reasons why:

3. A job you’d never thought you’d get

There are loads of jobs in New Zealand you can’t do anywhere else, jobs that don’t feel like jobs, jobs that feel like an adventure! Here’s a few to get you feeling inspired:

4. Insane new experiences

Skydiving on the weekend? Bungy jumping on a Monday night after work? White-water rafting on a Wednesday? Take your pick! New Zealand being the adventure capital of the world will open the door to hundreds of new experiences. What about sand-boarding down the giant dunes in the Bay of Islands? You literally surf down the sand. But that’s just a taster of what you can do, check out more amazing experiences to do while you live in New Zealand.

But it’s not all adrenaline-pumping activities, New Zealand has an impressive brunch culture. You’ll spend lazy weekends enjoying fluffy pancakes, sweet French toast and creamy poached eggs smothered in delicious hollandaise sauce. Yum. Not to mention the weekends (or weekdays) spent wine tasting, New Zealand is famous for its wine. Escape to Waiheke Island and take a wine tasting tour around the beautiful vineyards. Say cheers to your life in NZ!

 

5. A beautiful home

Your home could be the set of the Lord of the Rings, how cool is that? But you don’t need to be a fan of the film to appreciate the sheer beauty of New Zealand. No matter where you are in NZ you’re always 15 minutes away from; snow-capped mountains, spectacular coastlines, alpine forests and oceans filled with Whales! Just imagine every morning, opening your door to white-sandy beaches and breathing in fresh mountain air, beats having to get the bus every day! New Zealand is for the outdoor-loving adventurer. Actually, it’s for anyone who wants to live somewhere beautiful.

Right, we’re all off to work in NZ! Take the plunge and join us – you won’t regret it, we promise! Especially since we have flights all the way to South Island for £499 throughout July. 

We Know Because We Go: New Zealand – South Island

Meet Sarah, an STA Travel Expert based in Glasgow, who this year got to check out the sights of New Zealand as part of her fam trip*. With a Kiwi Experience pass in hand, see what Sarah and you too could get up to whilst exploring this adventure haven!

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7 reasons the Eurovision will make you want to go travelling

United Kingdom, it’s that time of year again. Hunt down that union flag dress, switch on BBC1, find yourself some drinking game rules… and then go travelling.

When your country gets nil points you feel so ashamed that you have to leave

 

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ASOS Insider: Shope Delano in Croatia

Last summer we followed ASOS insider Shope Delano on her Croatia sailing trip and omg did she have the most sun-filled, blue-skied, blissful time EVER! Shope spent 8 days on a yacht sailing the Adriatic coast from Split to Dubrovnik, stopping off at hidden beaches, party islands and cultural cities. Does life really get much better than that?

Here’s a little rundown of her time spent sailing one of the most picturesque coastlines in the world…

Time for take off

“Should count my lucky stars as i’m leaving this dreary weather behind and am off to sail around Croatia with STA Travel” – Shope Delano
Time to take off
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The best ski resorts in…Nevada?|

Nevada. Home to Sin City, the Hoover Dam, screaming armadillos (don’t ask) and you guessed it… ski resorts?! Granted, not the first thing you think of when you think “Nevada”. But this desert state has some of the freshest powder and gnarliest slopes around. Here are a few of our favourites.

1. Heavenly Mountain Resort

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The best ski resorts in…Nevada?|

Nevada. Home to Sin City, the Hoover Dam, screaming armadillos (don’t ask) and you guessed it… ski resorts?! Granted, not the first thing you think of when you think “Nevada”. But this desert state has some of the freshest powder and gnarliest slopes around. Here are a few of our favourites.

1. Heavenly Mountain Resort

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I’ve booked. What now?

WOOHOO! You’re going FREAKING travelling. But before you start typing that smug Facebook status, telling everyone how you’re “feeling blessed”. Take a deep breath, and follow these words of wisdom. We promise we’ll try not to sound like your mum.

1. Do what Beyoncé would do: Check On It.

beyonce check on it
Listen to Queen B, she is most wise and beautiful. Check on it. Check your itinerary. Check your name is spelt correctly. Check your dates are correct. Check the destinations are correct. Check in online for your flight. Check everything. Check. Check. Check.

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I've booked. What now?

WOOHOO! You’re going FREAKING travelling. But before you start typing that smug Facebook status, telling everyone how you’re “feeling blessed”. Take a deep breath, and follow these words of wisdom. We promise we’ll try not to sound like your mum.

1. Do what Beyoncé would do: Check On It.

beyonce check on it
Listen to Queen B, she is most wise and beautiful. Check on it. Check your itinerary. Check your name is spelt correctly. Check your dates are correct. Check the destinations are correct. Check in online for your flight. Check everything. Check. Check. Check.

(more…)

Instagramming around the Gold Coast

Eight Instagram images of the glorious Gold Coast.
We’re all guilty of spending our entire time at Wet’n’Wild going round the AquaLoop until we feel sick. But GC has so much cool stuff going on like, cute locals, ice cream that makes you skinnier* and rainbow waterfalls. Resist the ride and let Instagram show you the way…

*kind of.
1. Those beers

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