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STA Travel Blog

#RTW: Round the Block

Taking a walk around your block, what do you see? Some houses, the odd tree, a man and his dog, maybe a couple of shops? Well not on this block, people! We’re talking turbo-charged, mind-blowing excitement as you take a stroll around what must be one of the most incredible regions in the world — Asia!

This glittering gem of a continent has oodles to offer and, on a route like Round the Block, it’s only the best of the best for you! We’ve focused in on two of its most dazzling regions – the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia — to bring you a spectacular trip that’s filled to the brim with mind-blowing sights, mouth-watering cuisine, picture perfect beaches and brilliantly vibrant culture.

So, hold onto those backpacks as this trip is anything but your average stroll around the block. Unless, that is, you happen to live in some magical world where amazing, technicolour countries just appear out of nowhere every time you turn the corner? I didn’t think so.

But before you jet off and we really get stuck into all the amazing things you can do on this epic route, let’s take a whistle stop tour of all the incredible stops that lay ahead of you on this corker of a trip. Trigger-happy people at the ready; hit that play button and let’s see what you’re in for! Continue reading

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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10 of the World’s Best Rail Journeys

Did you know, 2012 is your year of travel? In case you’ve been hibernating, we’ve taken the entire year by the scruff of the neck, and marched it over to you. Make the most of it, as we’re throwing in some of our best deals yet, and spicing it all up with some truly inspiring content, like our MOVE Remixed video.

With so many amazing opportunities on offer, it got me thinking about some of my own travel highlights; and many of them, have been experienced on one of my favourite forms of transport: trains.

I say “forms of transport”, because technically it’s true. However, I’m not talking about a Leeds to London trip here. I’m talking about the full-on railway experience, where your nose smudges the window.

The kind of journey that sees a simple train car transform into a micro-community, not unlike your average neighbourhood street (in the sixties). People will share food and drink; pop into carriages for a game of chess; a gossip about the new couple in carriage twenty-eight; or makes plans for dinner (in the restaurant car).

Two trains took divergent paths...

Jump aboard the thrill of the rails | Photo by kevin dooley

But where in the world can you find such delights? Well, I have a few ideas, which I think will suit your year of travel perfectly. All aboard, this blog post will be calling at Inspiration, Admiration, and Fascination before arriving in its final destination, Action Town.
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Slap a Snap Gap in Your #YearofTravel!

As the Year of Travel rolls through the wilds of your imagination, it’s time to turn your attention to your own travel ambitions. And what better place to start than with an adventure that celebrates the very best of a region, with a good amount of time to sink your teeth into its culture?

Some call them Snap Gaps; some say Snap Years; others label them ‘mini gap years’; I simply prefer to call them by their proper name: a couple of months’ travelling.

Two months is enough time to unravel, and immerse yourself in the experience. It’s short enough, that with a little planning, you can slip it into a summer of seamless fun, or set off on a sabbatical of untold possibilities.

But where would you travel to? There are some fantastic destinations, that are conveniently located beside each other, and seemingly begging to be explored this year. I’ve rounded up some of my favouruite regions around the world, to give you a flavour of what you could achieve throughout your Year of Travel.
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#RTW: The Jumbo Jetsetter

So, you’re one of those people who never like to do anything by halves? You’ve decided you want to see the world and you’re not going to settle for anything less than the whole kit and caboodle.

Well here’s us giving you one big, fat high-five! Or should I say high-nine? As that’s exactly how many incredible stops are awaiting you on The Jumbo Jetsetter round the world route, which is sure to knock the socks off even the most seasoned jetsetter.

The possibilities are endless on a trip like this; each destination has a multitude of amazing things to see and do, so take a deep breath as we’ve swept aside any mind-boggling mumbo to leave you with a trip that’s got it all and is — you guessed it — jumbo.

But wait! Before you go, if you’re the spontaneous type, check out our nifty Multiflex Pass that let’s you change the dates of your flights fuss-free, up to three times or more! It’s the ultimate in freedom and flexibility so you won’t have to miss out on one single thing. Phew!
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