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STA Travel Blog

Your Time is Now – 13 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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12 South American Foods to eat at the source

One of the most exciting bits about travelling is trying out your favourite foods at the source. We all know there’s nothing like eating Pad Thai in Thailand, curry in India, tagine in Morocco or a big fat burger in the USA.

So what about South America? What foods are Argentina, Brazil and Peru famous for? If, like me, you’re the sort of traveller who makes a note of the local delicacies before you arrive, then read on. Get the low down on the must-eats for Peru, Brazil, Colombia or Argentina with my list of 12 foods that you really have to try when travelling South America.

Ceviche

Image courtesy of Charles Wagner on Flickr

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12 weird facts about Commonwealth countries

The Commonwealth games have come and gone for another 4 years and what a show it was (the dancing teacakes specifically – we’re still hungry). If you looked at the medal table and saw a travel checklist never fear, we’ve pulled together 12 weird and wonderful facts about the lesser known member states of the Commonwealth, as well as some of the big boys.

Africa? Düsseldorf?

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12 Weird and Wonderful Drinks from around the world

Supping the local brew is one of the true joys of travelling, be it a cold Chang on the beaches of Koh Samui, a green tea on the Great Wall or taking part in a traditional Kava ceremony in Fiji. But at what point do you draw the line?

Read on for our list of 12, good, bad and downright odd drinks from around the world…if you dare.

Image from Flickr courtesy of melanie

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Shakedown, Rio de Janeiro

Brazil‘s been in the spotlight this week for all the wrong reasons; losing 7-1 to Germany on their own turf has gotta hurt. But it’s the turf that we’re more interested in here, not the football – this is a travel website after all.

Commonly known as just Rio, the exciting Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil with a population of 6.4 million (though it’s not the capital, pub quiz fans). Famed for its breathtaking views, chilled beach culture and annual carnival, Rio’s a must-see hotspot for travellers with a hunger for partying and beautiful vistas. Can’t ask for more really, can you?

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