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STA Travel Blog

10 European Festivals for your Diary

I know. You’ve always wanted to go to at least one major European festival. For years, you’ve been hounding our mates to head down to Spain for La Tomatina. Since you were a wee child, you’ve been begging people to join you at Up Helly Aa.

Are you going to a festival in Europe this year? These boys are waiting for you, at Up Helly Aa

Hopefully you’ve ticked one or two off your list already, but this is your year of travel. This is the year to take a long hard look at your travel ambitions and make a move.

No continent does cultural festivals on the scale that Europe does; and while some have been around for what seems like eternity, other festivals have made their way onto the radar of fun-loving travellers with great aplomb.
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10 Places to Escape Valentine’s Day

In case you haven’t noticed: it’s Valentine’s Day. I’m stood in the queue of a well-known coffee shop chain in West London, waiting for a fat latte to bolster my morning, staring out of the window at the usual humdrum of life. When, suddenly, I become aware of the gooey fact, that, “Love is in the air, everywhere I look around.” I even start tapping my feet.

There’s a guy on the corner with a half-dozen roses; ten feet away, stands a young lady, losing herself in her lover’s eyes. There’s a couple playing out a frisky reunion, and a cheeky grin unravelling across a young man’s face, as he looks down towards his mobile phone.

There’s a white van parked outside. In that van, sits a man. He’s sat quietly in the passenger seat, wearing a dark blue beanie hat. I’d say he’s around twenty-two. His arms are tightly folded, his thick fleece jacket is zipped right up to the top, and his chin is tucked into the collar.

I grab my coffee and a handful of sugar, and walk back to the office, to sit down at my desk, to write a blog post, titled: “The World’s Most Loveable Destinations”.

I had it all planned out; there was a lingering journey through Tuscany, and a sunset sojourn to Australia’s Whitsunday Islands among other heart-warming adventures.

But I couldn’t shake the image of that guy; sitting in his van; isolated from a world of lust. A pane of dirty glass was all that separated him from a world of tumbling romantic gestures. So I deleted the “Loveable” post; took a deep breath, and set about a new direction.

Don't be disheartened by Valentine's Day, we've got your back. | Photo by B.S. Wise

A look at some of the world’s best destinations to embrace the inner-singleton for your year of travel. A round-up of destinations that will leave you, the reader, feeling empowered. If you’ve recently broken up with someone, these selfless bursts of inspiration will help to soothe your achy, breaky heart.

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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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High Five… Europe

Ah Europe, the birthplace of Western Culture, home of the coolest fashions, extraordinary architecture, breathtaking scenery, calorie-filled fantastic food and some of the world’s most romantic cities… is there anything Europe can’t offer?

This continent will inject you with a hit of culture that goes straight to the veins, and leave you wanting more and more and more and… yeah you get it.

I’ve been given the almost impossible task of choosing 5 must see, must do, must experience activities in Europe. Jeez, where do I begin…
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Shakedown, Buenos Aires

This week, we’re shaking down South America’s sassiest city: ‘the Paris of the South’, Buenos Aires.

Known affectionately by many a traveller as simply ‘B.A.’, its original name was actually ‘La Ciudad de la Santísima Trinidad y Puerto de Santa María del Buen Aire’, or, ‘City of the Most Holy Trinity and Port of Saint Mary of the Fair Winds’.

…But ‘B.A’. will probably do.

Home to the sensual Argentine Tango, the world’s juiciest bife de lomo steak, and the most famous football match in the world – the superclásico – this is a city that will stay with you long after you’ve left.

We’ll be talking you through the must-see attractions of the city; how to get from A to B (Or B to A… geddit?); where to go for the best steak in town, and where to head to once you’ve had enough of the city.
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