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STA Travel Blog

12 Hidden Gems to Find in India

India is rich in travel gems. You can visit the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort, boat down the River Ganges and tour the slums in Mumbai and yet India has so much more to offer just round the next corner (well, a bus/train/plane ride away).

If you want to get off the beaten track and explore the best-kept secrets of India we’ve unearthed 12 hidden gems you should definitely go out your way to find. We admit, some of them aren’t that easy to get to (cue rickety train rides and trekking on foot) but they’re all well worth the journey and after all, that’s kind of the point.

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12 Reasons to add South Korea to your to do list

It may not be as well known as its neighbors China and Japan but that’s all set to change as visitors to the Far East discover the variety and beauty of this small country

Separated from its infamous northern neighbour by the notorious DMZ (pretty different from BIG), South Korea is for all intents and purposes an island nation and the only way to get there is to fly. This means that most people’s first impression is of Seoul and often this huge, buzzing, bright, bonkers mega-city is where a visit begins and ends. But Korea is so much more than its capital; scratch the surface and you’ll find a totally beautiful, sometimes bewildering, incredibly friendly country just waiting for you to discover it.


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72 hours in hidden china – Guangzhou

China Southern Airlines have long been loved by travellers for their great value fares to Australia/New Zealand and Asia. Now there’s an extra reason to fly with them; the new 72-hour Visa-Free scheme means passengers can break their journey in Guangzhou without the need to obtain a visa and explore part of China less visited by western tourists for three whole days.

So now you know you CAN (it’s an airport code joke. Sorry.) the question is, should you? What’s in Guangzhou that’s worth visiting? Well quite a lot actually…


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5 lesser known Indian festivals

Now, don’t get us wrong, Holi is amazing. Whether it’s from the depths of Rajasthan or a park near Battersea, the sight of revellers covered in colourful powder had become common all over the world. But, though being painted by a rainbow is undoubtedly a whole lot of fun, there are numerous other events throughout India every year that are no less amazing for their lack of opportunity to throw stuff at your mates.

India has a population of 1.2 billion people so calling any festival based there “lesser known” is stretching it a bit. But, while some have entered the traveller popular conciousness others have remained more obscure. Build one of these amazing experiences into your trip for a unique taste of India’s diverse, incredible culture.


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Your Time is Now – 12 budgeting tips for big trips

As part of our series on Gap Years, sabbaticals, big trips and everything in between, today’s blog comes from online marketing exec and spreadsheet geek Sarah Verrall

 
Back in 2011, my boyfriend and I made the now-not-so-crazy decision to take a career break and travel the world for 8 long, glorious months. We had worked hard to save up but we didn’t quite manage to save as much as we would’ve liked, so travelling on a tight budget was something we had to get good at pretty quick.

When I arrived back in London in summer 2012, I had done the unthinkable; I had come back with nearly £1000.

“How on Earth did you manage that?” I hear you ask.

Okay, I’m a massive geek. I admit it. We kept an expenses spreadsheet when we were travelling, tracking every penny we spent. Now, I totally understand keeping a spreadsheet is not everyone’s cup of tea and some of you may think I’m a total nut job (although anyone who loves to channel their inner geek or is interested in how much we spent in each country can download my spreadsheet here). For those that shudder at the thought of it, there are plenty of other great ways you can keep your spending habits in check whilst travelling. Here are my top tips for travelling on a budget:

travel money
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