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STA Travel Blog

8 criminally good prisons to visit

Fascinating, culturally significant and sometimes a little bit spooky.

There’s something within us that can’t help but be captivated by how the other (naughty) half live; and law, order and punishment are such important aspects of culture that it’s an interesting and important way to get right under the skin of the country you’re visiting and really understand it.

If you have a hankering for a soft taste of hard labour continue reading as we introduce our top 8 prisons to visit from around the world.

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#RTW: The Jubilee

It turns out that our Travel Experts are a patriotic bunch. They were beavering away recently, planning amazing round the world itineraries, and they just couldn’t resist showing their appreciation for Queen and country.

The result? Our most patriotic round the world route yet. Citizens of Great Britain, I give you The Jubilee! Taking in a whopping 17 Commonwealth countries, if this trip doesn’t make you feel proud to be a part of it all, nothing will.

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Ask the Experts: Round the World in 1 Month

I’m very, very excited about this week’s Ask the Experts. Why? Because we’ve got another new Expert on the panel! And you know what that means: new knowledge, new experiences, and new ideas. Welcome to Claire from STA Travel Brighton, who joins Sarah from our Covent Garden store, and Paul from STA Travel Aberdeen in our all new line up.

We’ve got a great question for Claire’s first week, one that should resonate with all you worker bees out there:

I want to do a round the world trip, but I can only get a month off work. How can I make the most of my time away? I definitely want to go to Australia, but am open to ideas for other destinations. Jennie in London

Ah, I know the feeling, Jennie. Experts, can you give Jen some light at the end of her tunnel? Can she go on a round the world trip AND keep her job? Let’s find out.

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High Five… Africa’s Wildlife!

If it’s wild animal spotting you’re after, you’re not going to get much better than the wildlife spotting in Africa. Lions, zebra, elephants, leopards, cheetahs, even gorillas, to name but a few, and all in their natural habitat. London Zoo, this ain’t.

If you can only visit Africa for a short time, no problem: choose a region and head to its wildlife hotspot! If you’re doing a bit of an epic trip, lucky you: wild animal spotting opportunities are around every corner.

So raise your hand and get ready to give Africa’s wildlife a massive HIGH FIVE! If you’ve been to Africa, share your own animal encounter in the comments thread below.

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10 Places to Escape Valentine’s Day

In case you haven’t noticed: it’s Valentine’s Day. I’m stood in the queue of a well-known coffee shop chain in West London, waiting for a fat latte to bolster my morning, staring out of the window at the usual humdrum of life. When, suddenly, I become aware of the gooey fact, that, “Love is in the air, everywhere I look around.” I even start tapping my feet.

There’s a guy on the corner with a half-dozen roses; ten feet away, stands a young lady, losing herself in her lover’s eyes. There’s a couple playing out a frisky reunion, and a cheeky grin unravelling across a young man’s face, as he looks down towards his mobile phone.

There’s a white van parked outside. In that van, sits a man. He’s sat quietly in the passenger seat, wearing a dark blue beanie hat. I’d say he’s around twenty-two. His arms are tightly folded, his thick fleece jacket is zipped right up to the top, and his chin is tucked into the collar.

I grab my coffee and a handful of sugar, and walk back to the office, to sit down at my desk, to write a blog post, titled: “The World’s Most Loveable Destinations”.

I had it all planned out; there was a lingering journey through Tuscany, and a sunset sojourn to Australia’s Whitsunday Islands among other heart-warming adventures.

But I couldn’t shake the image of that guy; sitting in his van; isolated from a world of lust. A pane of dirty glass was all that separated him from a world of tumbling romantic gestures. So I deleted the “Loveable” post; took a deep breath, and set about a new direction.

Don't be disheartened by Valentine's Day, we've got your back. | Photo by B.S. Wise

A look at some of the world’s best destinations to embrace the inner-singleton for your year of travel. A round-up of destinations that will leave you, the reader, feeling empowered. If you’ve recently broken up with someone, these selfless bursts of inspiration will help to soothe your achy, breaky heart.

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