How to plan a gap year

The Gap Year gospel according to STA Travel, hold onto your backpack, it’s about to get biblical.

The Pacific Northwest: Where have you been all our lives?

Dazzled by the surfers, starlets and sunshine of California, travellers are often guilty of coming to a screeching standstill at the Cali/Oregon border on their West Coast roadtrips. And for that, we sincerely apologise.
Our name is STA Travel, and we were wrong.
Home to wild beaches and world-class ski fields; off-the-wall cities and humorous locals; and no situation that isn’t improved by the addition of either a) coffee, b) craft beer, or c) a bike trip into the mountains, the Pacific Northwest is like nowhere else in the USA.
(FYI, for all those B+ and below geographers out there, the Pacific Northwest consists of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia).


10 myths about Round the World tickets, answered

Hello confusion, it’s us, STA Travel – the original Round the World Experts. We’re here to answer all your questions about Round the World tickets from; ‘Can you only fly in one direction?’, ‘Are tickets only valid for 12 months?’, ‘Can I only do a set route?’, and ‘Do planes have a left phalange?’ (OK, the last one, we still don’t know the answer…)

Myth: I can’t make up my own route.


This may be true of other travel companies – where you have to choose a route based on mileage, airlines or the number of stops – but happily, that’s not us.
We’ve been negotiating (flirting/bribing) with the world’s leading airlines for over 35 years so just tell our Travel Experts exactly where you want to go, and they’ll piece these tickets together to create your ultimate route.

Example: Howard liked Icelandic blondes, doughnuts and ancient South American civilisations and. People said it wasn’t possible, some even laughed, we didn’t and so the below route was born… Thanks Howard.


Myth: I have to fly in one direction around the world.

Why? Are you Superman? Or Santa?
With our exclusive tickets, there are no restrictions. Fly out and back via the same route, fly in a loop the loop, heck, fly to every single country if you really want (though that really isn’t cost effective). If you can dream it, we can do it – cue the jazzy music.

Example: Ali wanted to fly from the UK to Canada, then to New Zealand, then back to Canada, then back to New Zealand on his Round the World trip. Ali wasn’t great at planning trips but luckily his Travel Expert was…

Myth: I have to be a student to book at STA Travel.

Let’s clear this up once and for all, before someone does a keg stand in one our stores.

True, if you’re a full-time student or under 31, you qualify for our legendary BlueTicket service, however, we still cater to you over 30’s because you know, you don’t hit your 30th birthday and decide to never leave the country again…

Example: Mike had such a good time on his gap year that his mum and dad decided to spend some of Mike’s inheritance on two Round the World tickets. Mike is furious. His parents have ignored his messages on Facebook, they’re in Brazil learning to samba.

Myth: All Round the World tickets go via Australia.

Well, this is definitely not right, but it’s so, so right to go visit Australia. Just sayin’. 

Myth: I have to pay for my ticket all in one go

Baloney! (We love this word, we don’t even care.)

At STA Travel, we don’t agree with credit card debt, organ harvesting or blackmail as legitimate methods to fund your trip. That’s why on the majority of our tickets, you’ll be able to put down a deposit to secure your flights while they’re at their cheapest, and pay the balance 10 weeks before you fly.

Example: Jenny checked her bank account on the 20th of the month to find just £64 left… Gutted after dreaming of booking a trip around the world, she then came across the deposit offer with STA Travel and in ten minutes had her flights booked and spent the remaining £15 on wine to celebrate. Now that’s what we call budget management.

Myth: It’s cheaper to book myself online.

Are you a wizard? No? Luckily our Travel Experts are… Travellers themselves, they’re awesome human beings with the added bonus of having useful flight knowledge!

Round the World tickets are virtually impossible to book online, or the fares are too complex to be available online. Piecing together the route, rules and pricing of months worth of flights takes knowledge, patience and a Sherlock Holmes-style mind palace of airline routes and stopovers.

Myth: Tickets get cheaper the later you book.


Airlines release their seats around 10-11 months ahead of the flight, and those seats are released in different price brackets. The cheapest seats will always sell out first, so the later you book, the more you’ll have to pay.

Example: Cheryl once got a bargain last-minute package holiday to Falirake in Greece, so waited until the week before to book her Round the World ticket. Cheryl is going back to Falirake this year.


Myth: I can only go away for 12 months.

Granted, this is the case with some set Round the World tickets. However, we realised long ago that one year wasn’t nearly long enough to see the world. That’s why we have unique tickets where you can stay away for 18 months or longer. Perfect for working holiday makers, students and trust fund jetset babies with bundles of someone else’s cash.

Myth: It’s expensive to change dates.


It’s a universal truth that travellers excel at happy hours and changing their minds. That’s why we invented MultiFLEX. Add this date change pass to your flights and make unlimited changes to your flights on the road.

Tip: Try and give as much notice as you can when changing your dates. We’re good, but we can’t magic extra seats on planes that are either full or have sold out of your priced ticket.

So in summary. You can pretty much make up your own route, pay for it later and if you fudge up on the road, change your dates anyway. Fancy having a look at our routes? Head on over to our round the world routes and multi-stop flights.

Travel crush: 11 reasons to Greek island hop this summer

You never quite recover from a trip to Greece. It’s partly the ouzo flashbacks; but mostly that it’s one of the most easy going and beautiful places on the planet.

4,000 years of history, old dudes drinking coffee outside tavernas, meze and Mythos beer – it’s a feta-fuelled fantasy of a beach hair, €5 wine and laid-back island life.

Roll on summer 2017.

1. There’s scenery like this… everywhere.



Made in Taiwan: 8 things you didn't know about Taiwan

One of our favourite new travel destinations, here are 10 Taiwanese lessons on life, love and garbage trucks. It’s time to embrace the strange.


Your Essential Guide To Festival Planning And Packing

It’s official, festival fever is firmly upon us at STA Travel HQ!

Not only are we heading back to Bestival in the UK to host our second STA Travel hostel and music stage, but we’ve also launched STA Travel Beats! No big deal, just small group adventures onto the frontline of the underground international festival scene. Check it out, it’s rad.

So, we felt it was about time we did something practical. And this, is thus! Your almost essential guide to festival planning and packing. Not dissimilar to packing to go travelling (capsule wardrobe, wet wipes, optimistic interpretation of your weather app) this should prepare you for all manner of festival chaos, from meteorological disasters to running out of breakfast cider.


Your Guide to Staying Clean on the Festival Scene

Finally, festival season is here! You can almost smell it. (We actually could, hence the blog).
From crazy camping commodes to space-saving wet wipes, here’s our guide to stopping your bits and pits from smelling like a Black Sabbath mosh pit this year.


Food trucks, avocado and grilled cheese: The best places to eat in Dubai

Hipsters, hold onto your beard trimmers, because Dubai is the new stopover destination for foodies! Knowing and loving Dubai’s fine dining and streetside shawarma reputation as we do, we were similarly surprised (delighted) by rumours of cereal killers, shipping containers and bottomless brunches. So we investigated, and discovered that Dubai has some of the best breakfasts, baristas and beards this side of Brick Lane, Brooklyn, Berlin and Brunswick Street (the four official coordinates of global hipsterdom, look it up).


Don’t believe us, read on. And grab a napkin for the drool.