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STA Travel Blog

A Christmas away from home

I’m Jemma, one of STA Travel’s Digital Execs, email machine and serious Bali beach bum…
It’s quickly approaching the two-year mark now since I spent my first Christmas away from home. Away from the humming of Christmas songs, wrapping of trees in tinsel, yummy nut roasts and endless amounts of chocolate (I really mean drinking). But fear not all the Christmas fans out there, t’was a happy story, this Christmas away from home. And here is what made it oh so very special… 

Turning back time to December 21st 2015, I was stepping off a rickety wooden boat on the sublime island of Gili Meno. Accompanied by four of my best friends, an oversized backpack and an arm full of cotton plaited wristbands. Although our spirits were high (I mean whose wouldn’t be, with a secluded beach to ourselves, the view of Mt Rinjani in the background and £1 beers all day) but still something felt weird. We were four days from Christmas and I was dying to smell some cinnamon gingerbread men, hear the carols chime through the streets or just wear a knitted jumper. Instead, I was slapping on factor 50, taking an outdoor shower and searching for turtles on the reef. (I know you’re thinking. What. Are. You. Complaining. About).

Bali

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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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Solo female travel in Sri Lanka: How safe is it?

Ladies, it’s official. Sri Lanka is one of our favourite travel destinations of 2017, and if you make the pilgrimage, it’ll no doubt be one of yours too.


This little dot in the Indian Ocean may well be well and truly open for business to backpackers now, but the island still has that whole ‘untouched’ thing going on. Think beach huts and hammock-clad hostels on unspoiled tropical beaches, and misty villages high in the hills. Then there’s gorgeous temples, ample wildlife encounters, great food and authentic interactions with some of the warmest locals Asia has to offer.

We’re not usually ones for blanket statements. But to give you an idea of exactly what makes Sri Lanka such an intriguing destination, we’ll say this. It’s a bit like a smaller (ie. easier to get around), chilled out and polite version of its big, brash brother, India.

And it pulls this off without losing any of that charm, culture, or eye-popping colour.

 

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8 Things I did on Australia’s Nature Coast

Today’s post comes from Alison Nicholls from our Key Accounts team who travelled to Australia in October and spent 9 glorious days on the Nature Coast.

I already know what you’re going to say: “What the hell is a nature coast anyway?” Well, honestly, I wasn’t sure myself until I headed down under and travelled for 9 days along the most beautiful stretch of shoreline in the world (bold claim but I stick by it).

Australia’s Nature Coast is comprised of the Sunshine Coast and Fraser Coast which include such awesomeness as Rainbow Beach, Fraser Island, Noosa, loads of vineyards, national parks and much much more! Read on for 8 highlights not to miss on your Australian adventure.


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23 reasons why Love Island is exactly like travelling

No need for an introduction. Other than to say, if you haven’t been glued to ITV2 this summer, YOU BASICALLY HAVEN’T BEEN LIVING.

Unless you’ve actually been away travelling, in which case you’re partially forgiven. Data roaming can be expensive.

p.s. Olivia and Chris to win. You hot messes just make us melt! Tuna melt.

1. Hanging out around the hostel pool every day, flirting furiously.

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