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STA Travel Blog

4 ways to get down with the locals in New Zealand

Want more than just a whistle-stop tour of New Zealand’s tourist attractions? Why not take your journey to a new level and get down with the locals!

New Zealand provides a copious amount of bewildering backdrops, inviting culture, flourishing forests, delightful people and second to none road trips. All of this also allows for social interaction and a scrapbook full of perfect, harmonious memories. So seek out a deeper and more meaningful interaction with New Zealand and its people as you get involved with the environment and those adventurous Kiwis.

A post shared by Yukari Mellish (@yucacarina) on Feb 28, 2017 at 11:02pm PST

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How to be a cheap flight booking boss

Pssst, want to know a secret on how to score some mega savings on flights? Here’s a helping hand on how to be a flight-booking boss.

Booking flights is an availability game.

Generally, the earlier you book, the cheaper your tickets will be. Airlines release their seats around 10-11 months in advance, and the cheapest tickets will always sell out first. The reason why flights are more expensive last minute isn’t because airlines put their prices up, it’s because clever (or just well-organised) people have already snapped up those cheaper tickets.

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The Galápagos Islands on a budget

I’m Alice, an STA Travel Marketing Exec. As a David Attenborough super fan and proud owner of all Planet earth boxsets, The Galápagos Islands was top of my bucketlist when I started planning my epic 6 month South America trip. Not wanting to resort to organ harvesting or blackmail to fund my Galápagos dream, I did some serious budgeting. Here’s my top tips to make sure you squeeze every last drop of fun out of your trip.

1. Buy tonnes of sunscreen.

It is no exaggeration when I say you will need to take a mortgage out to purchase sun cream. It can cost between $12 – $40.

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48 hours in Bangkok

The city of Bangkok… a chaotic mismatch of old-world and modern metropolis serving up enticing markets, impressive temples and a wild night life to go with it.

With a round the world trip ahead of them, our Blueticket competition winners Sabrina, Dan, Kyle and Charlotte chose here to #StarttheAdventure. Like a lot of backpackers, they had to get real. With 48 hours they were never going to have the pleasure of exploring every single corner. Here’s the cultural juice they managed to squeeze out of their whistle stop tour of charismatic Bangkok.

1. Just touched down in Bangkok town (or Suvarnabhumi airport to be more accurate). Hop on the swanky sky train (for about 30p, whattt?) and make your way to Siam Square in downtown Bangkok.

2. For most backpackers there’s only one place to stay, Khao San Road or nearby at least. Go get yourself some traveller uniform whilst you’re there. Jazzy elephant trousers and a chang vest?

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Let’s get digital! Travelling the globe with your laptop

You’re heading on a round the world trip and you’ve been told over and over by the travel pro’s to bring as little as possible. I repeat as little as possible. But how can you narrow down your DSLR, GoPro, phone and do we even think about packing a laptop? The struggle is real! Whilst we don’t want to look like a walking, neon flashing sign that reads ‘rob me, I’m a backpacker’ we also want to the best travel photos and the opportunity to share and back those photos up, just in case.

We’ve partnered up with HP and their selection of sleek, light laptops to help solve those digital dramas. I mean, with travel shots like these, you need to back them up ASAP! (Psssst keep your eyes peeled for a special discount at the end of the page!)

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1. Ton Sai Bay, Thailand, home to scenes of stunning beaches and lime stone caves.

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2. Imagine all the wonderful underwater shots to share of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia!

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3. We all need a cheesy tourist shot at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy.

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4. All the photos of coconuts, the sandy beaches and the glistening sea in the Philippines.

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  5. Feeling like Lara croft at the World heritage site Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

6. Because you can’t risk losing photos of a hike to Machu Picchu!

7. Snapping away at Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia to create an iconic salt flat photo.

8. Tasting island life on a sailing trip through the San Blas Islands, Panama.

 

9. You’ll need to save memories of the icy hikes at the Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand.

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How good would a laptop be for chat sessions back home and movies to liven up those looong journeys?

 

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Maybe we’re just careless but too many phones and cameras have been lost to water damage or a cheeky pickpocket. And with it all our holiday memories – you think we’d have learnt our lesson by now? 


With HP’s wide laptop range, it’s now easier to pack a discreet and ultra thin laptop to back up those travel memories. Also perfect for when you return to the real world after a travelling stint (whyyyyyy?!), with loads of flexible designs and 4% off home Laptop and Desktop orders over £450 for a limited time **(Use code: CQ417HPAD02)** Get browsing >