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STA Travel Blog

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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How to spend 8 days in mainland Thailand

I’m Rachael, certified Netflix binger, beer pong fan, and one of the website guru’s at STA Travel. I recently got back from an Asia trip – and by recently I mean 6 months ago, but I’m in denial. Of the places I visited, I spent 6 weeks in Thailand. As well as eating my body weight in curry and 7-Eleven toasties (if you know, you know) I’d like to think I got to know the place pretty well, so this is what I’d tell travellers to do on a 8 day/7 night trip.

Day one

Fly in to Bangkok, because that’s probably the easiest and cheapest to get to. I spent three weeks in Bangkok (not because I’m crazy, I did a volunteering job) so I’ve done a lot there. You could either spend the day visiting amazing buildings like the Wat Pho/Wat Arun temple and the Grand Palace – all beautiful and worth a look, or if you’re more about the markets, head to one of the many floating markets around the city. We decided to get in a taxi and drive to Talin Chan and Khlong Lat Mayom, which were both really close to each other – we preferred the second one as it had much more of an authentic feel to it (the first one was very touristy).

Floating by without a care in the world #floatingmarket #bangkok #canalboat #thailand #authentic #thaiculture

A post shared by Rachael Porter (@rporter90) on

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4 ways to get down with the locals in New Zealand

Want more than just a whistle-stop tour of New Zealand’s tourist attractions? Why not take your journey to a new level and get down with the locals!

New Zealand provides a copious amount of bewildering backdrops, inviting culture, flourishing forests, delightful people and second to none road trips. All of this also allows for social interaction and a scrapbook full of perfect, harmonious memories. So seek out a deeper and more meaningful interaction with New Zealand and its people as you get involved with the environment and those adventurous Kiwis.

A post shared by Yukari Mellish (@yucacarina) on Feb 28, 2017 at 11:02pm PST

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Where to visit the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef – mother nature’s greatest masterpiece. When you picture it, you may just think of the Reef as part of Tropical North Queensland, accessible from everyone’s favourite party playground, Cairns. However, the Reef actually runs almost all the way down the coast of Queensland (1,430 miles in fact), so you can visit it from multiple places on your East Coast adventure. So where are some of the best places to visit the Great Barrier Reef, and what can you do there?

Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up, as if you’re coming from Brisbane.

From Hervey Bay

Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland

Firstly, if you’re in Hervey Bay between July to November, you’re in prime whale watching season. Humpback whales are known to stop off at the bay for a rest before continuing their migration. Once you’ve experienced that, think about taking a scenic 40-minute flight from Hervey Bay over to Lady Elliot Island, the southernmost island of the Great Barrier Reef, where you’ll see all the beauty of the reef from above. Known for some of the clearest of water on the reef, the area is perfect for snorkelling. The island is known as ‘Home of the manta ray’, with over 700 species in its waters – AND if you arrive between November and March, it’s hatching season for the green sea turtles. An amazing flight, some excellent snorkelling, prime whale watching, swimming with manta rays AND green sea turtle hatching?! Sign us up!
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The Galápagos Islands on a budget

I’m Alice, an STA Travel Marketing Exec. As a David Attenborough super fan and proud owner of all Planet earth boxsets, The Galápagos Islands was top of my bucketlist when I started planning my epic 6 month South America trip. Not wanting to resort to organ harvesting or blackmail to fund my Galápagos dream, I did some serious budgeting. Here’s my top tips to make sure you squeeze every last drop of fun out of your trip.

1. Buy tonnes of sunscreen.

It is no exaggeration when I say you will need to take a mortgage out to purchase sun cream. It can cost between $12 – $40.

A post shared by Ana Willingham (@anacewilli) on

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