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STA Travel Blog

High Five… Northern Lights!

Every year, the more adventurous travellers amongst us shun the sunshine, sea and sand of warmer climes and don their winter thermals instead. And they’re not heading to ski slopes. What they’re looking for is something much bigger than snow covered mountains. They’re going in search of nature’s ultimate phenomenon: the Northern Lights.

There’s nothing quite like witnessing the Aurora Borealis. Watching streaks, wisps, and whole curtains of colour light up the skies is simply mesmerising; there’s no better word for it. But it’s a fickle business, this Northern Lights lark. Only visible at high latitudes on dark nights, the spectacle can appear in all its bright, colourful, glowing glory one night, be firmly obscured by clouds the next, or remain mysteriously absent on others.

Now that's what I call a room with a view | Image courtesy of Jens Ottoson

But wait, don’t give up and pack away your long johns just yet. There’s good news: 2012/2013 is the best time in over a decade to witness the Lights. And as the northern hemisphere heads into the winter months, there’s basically never been a better time than right now to go in search of nature’s very own light show.

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STA Travel Apprentice Mog Tells Us Why She Loves Her Job.

What makes working for STA Travel so great?

As well as some great travel perks from a company that really understands the benefit of seeing the world (we like to practice what we preach), there’s also that fact that while you spend your days helping people create what will probably end up being one of the best times of their life, you also get to earn recognised travel qualifications as you do it!

A couple of weeks ago we met Alun Chapple, once of this year’s STA Travel apprentices, and this week say hello to Mog Lewin.

Mog hard at work at her desk in our Nottingham store

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7 Cool Tricks to Learn on a Bus

You know the drill. You’ve booked yourself a 20 hour bus journey through some rough and rickety terrain, and as much as it’s always worth it once you arrive at the next amazing destination, those hours can drag big time while you’re en route.

So, how do you entertain yourself for that long trip? Your iPod is an obvious choice, but won’t last for the whole journey. A book is a good option, although after an hour it’s likely to become travel sickness central.

Of course, looking out of the window and taking in the incredible scenery is the number one thing to do on a long bus journey (it is the very reason you’re all those miles away from home after all) however, your brain will probably need some variation, even from that.

Marc van Vuren /

To help you out, I’ve clubbed together a selection of pretty useless, but very cool tricks that you can spend time perfecting and then use to impress your mates for years to come. I’ve even included some handy YouTube clips to help you perfect your technique.

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How To Take Great Travel Photos

Photos from travelling adventures of the past are likely to be one our most treasured possessions in the years to come.

Everyone tries desperately to capture a moment in time, an incredible view or the essence of a amazing place they have passed through.

Back in July 2012, we introduced you to 3 talented and exciting up and coming graduate photographers, who would soon be hitting the open road in search of some awesome travel photos to be used in our Asia and Europe brochures.

Louis Leeson, was one of those photographers. Having scored a first in his photojournalism degree at the London College of Communication, he’s recently returned from a month travelling around Asia and has submitted some fantastic shots as a result.

Louis pre Asia trip

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How to Keep Your Skin in Top Condition While Travelling

As much fun as travelling is, it can play absolute havoc with your skin. Late night partying, excess sun exposure and dehydration are just 3 of the many things your skin has to endure while you’re off having all that awesome fun, and lets face it we all want to look our best during what will probably be the most epic time of our lives.

So, with this in mind, I called upon the superior knowledge of trusted skin care experts to share some advice for taking care of your skin while you’re travelling. Helen Ambrosen, Co-Founder, Product Inventor and all round skincare expert at Lush, is about to give you her top 10 tips for keeping your skin in top condition; yep that’s right, I’ve gone right to the very top on this one.

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