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STA Travel Blog

A Married Couple Embark on a ‘Flash-Packing’ trip around the World!

Back in 2014, thanks to a little inspiration from STA Travel, Paul and Vanessa Smith embarked on a ‘flash-packing’ trip around the world. Obviously, we wanted to hear all the juicy stories from their time circumnavigating the globe. So we fired a few questions at Vanessa. She spilled the beans.
#couplegoals

How did STA Travel help you on your round the world journey?

I booked my trip 10 years ago with STA Travel (in the Earls Court branch). STA Travel were very influential in planning our trip. We visited the Covent Garden branch (in London) twice and they were absolutely brilliant at giving us ideas and advice for the various countries we wanted to visit!

Travel and holidays have always been our ‘hobby’ and we’ve been lucky enough to have shared some amazing trips away including Mauritius, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Kenya, South Africa and many parts of Europe. These holidays gave us the appetite to embark on a longer trip together. Paul had an opportunity to take redundancy and so we jumped at the chance!

‘What better way to share such an incredible journey than with the one you love!’- Vanessa Smith


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10 reasons why women make better travellers

As it’s International Women’s Day soon, we thought it was only right to celebrate being women. Which we did by eating biscuits and loudly discussing what awesome travellers we make. Discuss.

1. Women are better at multitasking

Woman on Japanese subway
We mean, look at this chick. She can negotiate public transport, juggle multiple luggage options, carry off mad braids AND still pose for a photo. Heroine.
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Photoshooting the Philippines with Instagrammer Jordan Hammond

In the age of Instagram and Pinterest, it is safe to say more and more of the travel inspo we get comes from online platforms rather than old school brochures. Be it dreamy locations shot using drones or GoPros, the travelling game has become more aesthetic and visual – enabling us at home to dream, escape and plan our next destinations through others’ trips!

One of these dreamy locations is the Philippines. With a choice of 7,000 islands to visit, beautiful beaches, hikes and landscapes, it is a destination that has something for everyone with many ‘Insta worthy’ settings. I decided to catch up with one of STA Travel’s most reblogged Instagrammer with over 30k followers Jordan Hammond (@jordhammond), who is currently travelling around this wonderful bucket-list country with his girlfriend Sophia, and who’s content has really convinced me that life really must be ‘more fun in the Philippines’…

What inspired you to take a trip to the Philippines?

As you mentioned earlier, an increasing number of us are inspired to travel through the medium of social platforms. For me, Instagram was the main source of inspiration. So many incredible photos were being shared from the Philippines towards the end of last year, and from that I knew I had to make it my first trip of the new year.


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The creativity behind #PhilippinesUnplugged

By Tor White. Global Creative Director STA Travel
Last year, STA Travel and Tourism Philippines embarked upon a pioneering new project. Philippines Unplugged would document the journey of British band Skinny Living as they traveled through the island province of Palawan. Raw, unscripted and all-access, this film series would show the beauty and honesty of the Philippines. The footage and photography would capture a world of authentic people and unfamiliar places; and the lyrics would tell their story, with Skinny Living writing an exclusive track for us on the road.

Here are our highlights from behind the cameras and the music.
“Through each other’s eyes”

We’re never more alive than when we travel. And despite being far from home, sometimes we never feel so at home.

Part of our Philippines Unplugged adventure was for Skinny Living to write a song inspired by the country and their experiences, and for us to capture this creative journey for you in film. Travel for
musicians is like creativity on steroids. We had a lot of jeepney rides, boat trips, sunrises, sunsets and beers to think about why.

A break from the routine

When you change up your daily routine, you rewire your thinking – you have new stimulus and can tap into different parts of your brain. Combine this with the sensory overload that is Asia, and what you have the is the ultimate hotbed for new ideas and ways of thinking.

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The band behind #PhilippinesUnplugged

By Tor White. Global Creative Director STA Travel
Last year, STA Travel and Tourism Philippines embarked upon a pioneering new project. Philippines Unplugged would document the journey of British band Skinny Living as they travelled through the island province of Palawan. Raw, unscripted and all-access, this film series would show the beauty and honesty of the Philippines. The footage and photography would capture a world of authentic people and unfamiliar places; and the lyrics would tell their story, with Skinny Living writing an exclusive track for us on the road.

Here are our highlights behind the cameras and the music.
“Come take a trip with me”

Ryan, Rhys, Danny and Will are Skinny Living – our first STA Travel Sounds artists from back in 2015. From smashing our Sounds stage at Bestival on the Isle of Wight, to playing in a converted railway carriage in Cornwall as part of our Airbnb film series, together we’ve worked on some incredible projects.

However, none would depict the relationship between music, travel and discovery like this one. The band hadn’t been to Asia before, let alone to the remote Filipino island of Palawan, and the experience was transformative. From the madness of tricycles on mud roads, to making music at sunrise on the beach; watching the story unfold from behind the scenes and behind the camera was incredible.

We interacted with everything, and the influences were many. But here are a few that really hit us.

A local affair

From the school kids who sang their hearts out with us at their school on a secluded island, to the chilled and friendly folks we met in each village… the Philippines IS the people.

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