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STA Travel Blog

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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Joe King with… the Rt Hon David Cameron

This week at STA Travel Bath, I was quietly minding my own business when, to my utter surprise, (I’m not sure why I’m still surprised, I’ve been doing this a while now) who should not come in, but the Right Honourable David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain & Northern Ireland!

I stood up (which seemed appropriate) and saluted (which, as I was about to discover, seemed inappropriate). Mr Cameron looked confused; his boyish face wrinkled as he tried to understand what on earth I was doing.

David Cameron painted portrait _DDC9187

David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland pops in to see Joe King | Photo by Abode of Chaos

I realised my mistake, and quickly moved to cover it up, smoothing back my hair I introduced myself. “Hello Mr Cameron sir, what a surprise to see you here. Please, have a seat!”

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The Destinations in ‘MOVE’

Fancy taking a walk? How about taking a walk through 10 countries in 44 days, covering 38,000 miles and soaring through the skies on no less than 18 flights. Throw in some manly arms, and some trendy sunglasses. Split it all up into 200 frames, lob on some catchy music and splice into one neat 60 second clip. You’re on the MOVE.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’ve managed to escape the brilliant piece of travel movie making that’s got everyone talking. Whether you’ve seen it or not, take a minute to watch our man, Andy, bring you up to speed.

Get a MOVE on, and get your #YearofTravel nailed!

MOVE pays homage to inspirational attributes of travel, the act of seizing the moment, by making 2012 your year of travel. We’re thrilled with the result, and we hope you like it, too.

Aside from the visual spectacle that is MOVE, let’s dig a little deeper into the creative and discover where exactly we sent Andy and his film crew, on their epic journey. Let me know in the comments which frames stood out for you, or if you’re inspired to visit any of the destinations featured.
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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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6 Great Ideas for your Gap Year

Gap years are the perfect opportunity to test the waters on a variety of levels. Whether its a way of working out your future career, or blasting holes in your bucket list, a gap year is the moment to grab life by the lug-holes and bellow into its face.

If that was a little melodramatic; try this… a gap year is the perfect time to do (almost) exactly what you want.

You shouldn’t be surprised that we’re talking about gap years today. Our travel experts meet with 1000s of travellers every year to discuss their plans for a variety of adventures during their gap year. Some are looking for a one-way ticket to a quiet island, some are looking for the ultimate round the world ticket that splices wild parties with the deeps of the jungles. With over 32 years experience in the business, we know a thing or two about finding the perfect blend.
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