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STA Travel Blog

Travel Crush: 10 reasons the Philippines is the place to be in 2018

Allow me to introduce myself… I’m Georgie, a digital marketing executive at STA Travel, happiest in the ocean, sun worshipper and summertime fruitarian. So, you can imagine my excitement when I was told I’d be heading on an educational trip to the Mimaropa region of the Philippines this November! We’ve all seen the pictures. The Philippines is the epitome of an island paradise with its turquoise water, white sandy beaches, paraw boats and coconuts on tap. Well kids, it’s even better in the flesh … Here’s 10 reasons why we’ve fallen head over heels for the Philippines.

1. The Underground River

Glide by canoe into the mesmerising caves of stalagmites and stalactites of this UNESCO World Heritage site in Puerto Princesa. Spot bats and swifts as they fly among the ancient rock formations as well as monkeys and crab-eating macaques in the surrounding forests. Be sure to book in advance, this place is popular!

underground river

2. Camping under the stars

Pull up to remote Kalipayan Island and prepare for a night under the stars with nothing but the waves and rustle of the trees to disturb the silence. Go for a late-night swim, and if you’re lucky, catch sight of the plankton glowing and lighting up the way.

camping on the beach

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The best East and West coast Australia road trip itineraries

140 mile long beaches and 500 national parks. Endless reef on all sides, and over two and a half million square miles of outback. Australia is scary-huge. You’d be forgiven for thinking the only way to see it is on a backpacking odyssey stretching anywhere between a few months and a few years.

Wrong! You’d be amazed at how far some of us lot at STA Travel have managed to get in two weeks with our own set of wheels and a sense of curiosity driving us forth.

If you’ve got a set timeframe to work with, your best bet for doing and seeing exactly what you want in Australia is definitely by hiring your own camper. (Psst – its hella cheap, too).

That’s why we thought we’d put together these two ultimate itineraries that’ll suit roadtrippers who are heading Down Under for a few weeks of holiday, or are perhaps taking time off from the ‘work’ part of their year-long working holiday to see some of the country. They include all the highlights of Australia’s east and west coasts, and start in the hubs of Sydney and Perth, where you’ll be able to pick up your trusty camper.

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Scenic ways and Cape Town braais – 10 days on South Africa’s garden route

Today’s blog comes from Chris Newnham, the Assistant Manager in our Reading store 

Incredible landscapes, stunning city views, poignant history, adrenalin activities galore and sparkling modern culture – South Africa has it all in abundance. I had the pleasure of exploring the famous Garden Route for 10 days from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth– and what a pleasure it was!

The impressive Garden Route

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We know because we go: Our Top Tips – Aussie style

Australia is the sixth LARGEST country on the planet. Like a delicious All-You-Can-Eat buffet, it’s hard to know where to start. You don’t want to fill up on salad, you need to save room for the best bits. So, with that in mind, we thought we’d get sentimental with a few wanderlusters here at STA, to find out their favourite memories Down Under and give you some hot tips to help you get stuck in!

Luke (Social team)

The best thing I did in Aus was buying a camper-van (a 1983 Nissan beast named ‘Roy’) with three good mates. We were on the road for two months (probably the best 2 months of my life!) travelling through every state. We had no itinerary, no set plan and no time restraints… just a map and a boot full of goon (for whoever wasn’t driving, of course!) Yes, there were sketchy moments e.g. close encounters with kangaroos, spiders, snakes and echidnas; But the laughs, sights, stories and memories I have from those two months will live with me forever.

TIP: I would 100% recommend buying or renting a campervan and going as far as you can. It’s the freedom to drive where you want, when you want that makes it the ultimate adventure. Buying can mean you can then sell your camper before you leave, and recouping a lot of dollar! But admittedly, renting is a lot simpler and more hassle free.

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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.

A post shared by Ana Willingham (@anacewilli) on

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