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STA Travel Blog

High Five… Northern Africa!

Welcome to another edition of High Five, the weekly blog post that sees me counting down five awesome things to do in a city, country or region that I reckon is worthy of your precious holiday days.

Over the past few weeks I’ve given the mighty High Five accolade to Jordan, raised my hand in the air for South Australia, and gone palm to palm with Sri Lanka. This week, I’m going bigger, broader and, dare I say it, even more adventurous. Today, I’m slapping Northern Africa with a big High Five!

This sprawling region boasts an exciting mish mash of history, culture, adventure and relaxation. Though certain areas are experiencing civil unrest and should be avoided (always check the FCO website for travel advise before venturing abroad), Northern Africa has plenty of glistening gems that are just begging to be explored.

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High Five… Jordan!

Nestled between Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Israel, Jordan is an ancient gem that’s managed to retain its shine in a region long characterized by civil unrest.

Historic sites draped in a biblical past sit alongside lost cities and desert landscapes that are just aching to be explored. And when you take a look at its sandy beaches and clear blue waters, Jordan just might be the ultimate destination for a beach holiday with a healthy dose of adventure – or an adventure holiday with a touch of beach lazing, if you’re that way inclined.

Jordan has so much to offer | Image by Diana Varbanescu

Fly into the capital Amman, and you’ll be greeted by a modern, diverse city that seems a million miles away from the Bedouin camps of the desert and the lost cities steeped in the past. With a flight time of just under 5 hours from the UK, it seems rude not to go and explore this beautiful, often contrasting, country.

In terms of size, Jordan is somewhere between Scotland and England. It’s relatively small land expanse means that if even if you’re pushed for time, you’ll be able to get your adventure and history fix in a few days. If you’re able to spare a bit longer – lucky you. This is a country that’s full of variety and surprises, and it just keeps on giving.

In case you needed any more convincing of Jordan’s charms, I’ll leave you with this thought from STA Travel staffer, Liz, who’s a big fan of Jordan: “People are really friendly, the Bedouin tea is addictive, falafel is so cheap and it’s easy to get around.” Really, what more could you want?

I’m giving Jordan a big High Five, and counting down five things that you just have do there.

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Hey girls, what undies should you pack for your big trip?

‘What knickers do you wear?’ I know that sounds slightly over familiar, but never under eastimate the frequency this conversation will rear it’s head during a gap/round the world trip, and you know what, it’s a valid subject.

What briefs should you take with you on your big trip? How many is too many? Which styles will I use? Which styles will I think I’ll use, but never will? The topic of packing is one that puzzles many a gap and round the world tripper and while I can’t advise you on the importance of your hair straighteners (most people said I was crazy, but I took my GHDs – I didn’t want to spend my entire trip looking like I had a badly groomed version of scary spice’s afro; that humidity can be a be a HUGE pain) I’d like to think I have a wise word or 2 about packing knickers.


Image courtesy of Sarah G

So, here goes, a list of knickers fit for travelling. But don’t take my word on things – no one died and made me queen of keks. Feel free to let me know whether you think this post is a handy run down or just total pants.

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7 Gorgeous Places to Go Glamping

Glamping is the newest, coolest, and most glamourous way to stay outdoors. Yes, it can cost a little more – ok, quite a lot more in some cases – than your average tent, but as a perfect combination of rustic outdoorsieness (yes that’s a word!), and chic luxury, it’s becoming massively popular all over the world. Think camping but with a place to plug in your phone and a massively reduced risk of creepy crawlies disturbing your slumber.

It’s my new obsession, and the reason I’ve decided to bring you my top glamping hot spots from around the world.

Fair enough, it’s probably not a sustainable way of travelling the world but it’s a whole lot more special than your average room in a 12 bed hostel dorm that’s for sure, and the perfect chance to give yourself a treat after a few weeks or months of roughing it, and a great opportunity to experience a location in a unique way.

Adventur Camp, Atacama Desert, Chile

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The Answers To 8 Frequently Asked Customer Service Questions

Our customer service team are a hard working bunch, they sit up at their desks in our Manchester office carefully and skillfully wading through requests, questions and feedback from our customers 7 days a week.

Unfortunately, the reality is that sometimes people do have complaints to make, and our team are great at dealing with them quickly and efficiently, but, most of the time they are busy answering the many burning questions that come with planning an exciting trip overseas.

So, in the name of combating those niggling questions, our Customer Services team manager Nicola has provided us with the top questions asked to the customer services team by STA Travel customers and dished out the answers to help your trip run smoothly. Who knows maybe there an answer to a question you didn’t know you had yet?

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