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STA Travel Blog

Madagascar – Not Just for Special Occasions

Today’s blog comes from Fiona Bryce, a Travel Expert in our Edinburgh George street store

It was my 30th birthday recently (terrifying) and I thought I deserved a treat for reaching such a landmark. That treat happened to be heading to Madagascar. I’ve been with STA Travel for 7 years and every year I made a file with flights to Antananarivo to (not so subtly) try and convince my other half that this year was the year we should visit. With the birthday as an excuse my somewhat exotic holiday demands were finally met with little resistance and my dream destination was on the table…

Indri Lemur

A totally beautiful Indri Lemur

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Your Time is Now – 12 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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Your time is now – 12 Reasons to Take a Sabbatical

Lusting after the gap year that you never took before or after university? Or maybe you did take one and are desperate to take off and do it all again – or do it all differently now you’ve got the Koh San Road out of your system.

Contrary to what people may tell you, travelling does not end when your student card expires. Oh no. In fact, it’s about to get a whole lot more interesting.

Say hello to the sabbatical.

A sabbatical is a specified time away from work, usually unpaid, agreed by your employer. It’s safe to say that I’m quite a fan of the ol’ sabbatical. In the seven years that I’ve been working since I left university, I’ve taken not one but two three-month stints off work. The first saw me taking off on a solo trip through Southeast Asia and China 4.5 years ago, while the second was an extended honeymoon earlier this year with my brand new husband, travelling round Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Los Angeles (I know. It was as good as it sounds).

Taking time out of your career can seem daunting. But trust me when I say that using a few months off to go travelling will basically be the best thing you’ve ever done. Here are 12 reasons why.

sabbatical

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Your time is now – working in Australia

As part of our series on Gap Years, sabbaticals, big trips and everything in between, today’s blog comes from David Broadley, a Travel Expert in our Sheffield store.

I’d had enough of the UK, didn’t fancy getting a job, had itchy feet, and I’d met a beautiful Australian girl (we’re all young and stupid at some point) – Down Under it was!

After a summer spent working at a camp in America, a brief stopover in Fiji and a rather memorable month in New Zealand, I arrived bright and breezy into Melbourne (in the rain, not part of the plan), met up with my friend and travel companion from uni and got ready to start my working holiday visa.

My feet in Sydney

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Volunteering in Paradise – Vinaka Fiji!

Today’s blog comes from Jeni Conetta, a Travel Expert from our Canterbury store.

I’m what they call a flash packer and unashamedly cling to my creature comforts when travelling abroad. So when I found out I was going to be spending a week with no hot water, limited access to electricity and no air conditioning, my colleagues in-store were concerned to say the least! But, lets face it, when you’re offered a trip to Fiji you don’t say no! I carefully reconsidered the packing regime and took out anything but necessities and got ready to fly out.


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