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STA Travel Blog

What do you know about Australia Day?

We caught up with real-life Aussie, Reuben Acciano, who works for STA Travel Down under, to get the run-down of his nation’s proudest public holiday, upcoming Australia Day. This is what he had to say…

If you’re lucky enough to be Down Under towards the end of January, you’re in for a treat: Australia’s national holiday — imaginatively titled Australia Day — falls on January 26th, during the most glorious month of our year.

Although the young nation (at just 223 years old) doesn’t commemorate the day with any odd/arcane traditions upheld over thousands of years, we certainly enter into celebrations with the exuberance and abandon the Brits have come to love (and sometimes loathe) about their colonial mates down south.

You might have to zip your lip about the convict gags on Australia Day, though. For one, they were British convicts. For another, us Aussies are a justifiably proud lot; passionate about our sport, but also sharing a genuine affection for our innovative, vibrant country, nurtured to prominence from a less-than-glorious kick-off.
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Shakedown, Hanoi

This week, we’re taking a look at Vietnam’s bustling capital, Hanoi. Nestled in the north of the country, the City of the Soaring Dragon is where French-colonialism meets modern Vietnam.

It may be smaller than its southern sister, Ho Chi Minh City, but what Hanoi lacks in size, it makes up for in charm and culture. Thirsty for more? Take a deep breath, jump on board, and get ready to dodge the motorbikes – we’re goin’ to Hanoi!

Who wants to be a Millionaire?

£1 will buy you around 32,000 Vietnamese dong, so you really will be a millionaire in Hanoi. As well as dong, take some US dollars too — despite the Vietnamese government’s attempts to phase them out, they’re still widely accepted.
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High Five… Sydney!

It’s big, it’s brash, it’s beautiful… it’s Sydney! Established in 1788, this city is not only home to two of Australia’s most iconic landmarks — the Harbour Bridge and Opera House — it’s also surrounded by some beautiful National Parks, and boasts an impressive stretch of coastline. What’s not to love?

Regularly voted one of the top ten cities to live, the capital of New South Wales is as schizophrenic as Fight Club’s Tyler Durden; whatever mood you’re in, Sydney will match it.
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Inside Tips for Planning a Round the World Trip

Planning a round the world trip can be a mind-bogglingly complicated process, and that’s coming from us, the experts. The reason for this, is mostly down to the individual nature of travel, and that there are just so many glorious choices!

Whenever I’ve planned a round the world trip — or even a regional series — I’ve thought of it like a path of dominoes. Take your time to line them up; one by one; positioned precisely beside each other. You daren’t breathe until everything… is… just… so.

Then a cat leaps through an open window, blasting your masterplan into dozens of sorry pieces.

Planning a RTW trip can be a painstaking process | Photo by RKHawaii

That clumsy cat could play the part of many different elements that can uproot even the best laid plans. A knowing wink. A smoking engine. A telephone call.

With this is mind, I visited our STA Travel store in Clapham, to get the lowdown from the source, by asking the team what they believe to be the key considerations when planning a round the world trip. As always, they didn’t disappoint. Here’s an overview of the key considerations they planted down.

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Roam Cambodia & Vietnam

I was chatting with STA Travel Canterbury’s Hayley Davies recently, about a tour we offer over in Indochina, called Roam Cambodia & Vietnam. In fact, back up, I lied.

To say, “I was chatting with Hayley” is grossly misleading, because in all honesty, she did all the talking. I just stood there and paddled my brain in the surf of her inspiration. Although she hasn’t done the complete trip, she’s certainly done a large chunk of it, and her insights makes for some fascinating reading.

I’ll leave it to Hayley to walk you through her experience on the tour, but don’t forget to encourage her via the comment thread below, with some ideas of your own, for when she revisits the region some time in the near future!
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