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STA Travel Blog

10 of the World’s Best Rail Journeys

Did you know, 2012 is your year of travel? In case you’ve been hibernating, we’ve taken the entire year by the scruff of the neck, and marched it over to you. Make the most of it, as we’re throwing in some of our best deals yet, and spicing it all up with some truly inspiring content, like our MOVE Remixed video.

With so many amazing opportunities on offer, it got me thinking about some of my own travel highlights; and many of them, have been experienced on one of my favourite forms of transport: trains.

I say “forms of transport”, because technically it’s true. However, I’m not talking about a Leeds to London trip here. I’m talking about the full-on railway experience, where your nose smudges the window.

The kind of journey that sees a simple train car transform into a micro-community, not unlike your average neighbourhood street (in the sixties). People will share food and drink; pop into carriages for a game of chess; a gossip about the new couple in carriage twenty-eight; or makes plans for dinner (in the restaurant car).

Two trains took divergent paths...

Jump aboard the thrill of the rails | Photo by kevin dooley

But where in the world can you find such delights? Well, I have a few ideas, which I think will suit your year of travel perfectly. All aboard, this blog post will be calling at Inspiration, Admiration, and Fascination before arriving in its final destination, Action Town.
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Joe King with… the Rt Hon David Cameron

This week at STA Travel Bath, I was quietly minding my own business when, to my utter surprise, (I’m not sure why I’m still surprised, I’ve been doing this a while now) who should not come in, but the Right Honourable David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain & Northern Ireland!

I stood up (which seemed appropriate) and saluted (which, as I was about to discover, seemed inappropriate). Mr Cameron looked confused; his boyish face wrinkled as he tried to understand what on earth I was doing.

David Cameron painted portrait _DDC9187

David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland pops in to see Joe King | Photo by Abode of Chaos

I realised my mistake, and quickly moved to cover it up, smoothing back my hair I introduced myself. “Hello Mr Cameron sir, what a surprise to see you here. Please, have a seat!”

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6 Great Ideas for your Gap Year

Gap years are the perfect opportunity to test the waters on a variety of levels. Whether its a way of working out your future career, or blasting holes in your bucket list, a gap year is the moment to grab life by the lug-holes and bellow into its face.

If that was a little melodramatic; try this… a gap year is the perfect time to do (almost) exactly what you want.

You shouldn’t be surprised that we’re talking about gap years today. Our travel experts meet with 1000s of travellers every year to discuss their plans for a variety of adventures during their gap year. Some are looking for a one-way ticket to a quiet island, some are looking for the ultimate round the world ticket that splices wild parties with the deeps of the jungles. With over 32 years experience in the business, we know a thing or two about finding the perfect blend.
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21 Amazing Travel Experiences

We’re not getting any younger. In the time it took you to read this opening couple of lines, you’re already two seconds older. Three, two, one. Now you’re five seconds older. In five seconds time, you’ll be ten seconds older, and in an hours time you’ll be one hour and eleven seconds older than you are right now (I added on a second in case you were a slow reader).

So, with life whizzing by at such a pace, it’s time to make some plans. The kind of plans that will act like rungs on a ladder, allowing you to clamber through the world with a kick in your step.
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7 Outstanding North America Tours

Our new brochures are whirling through the printing presses right now, which is all pretty exciting for our team of Product Managers, who scour the land in search of the best tours around the world.

I caught up with Anna Borthwick, whose job it is to unearth the tour products for the Americas. Can you imagine having Anna’s job? Hunting the North and South America for the most exciting adventures to deliver to you, our STA Travel customers.

I have a sinister side, so I set Anna a challenge. Out of all of the brand new small group tours that we sell in North America, could she extract her favourite seven.

She winced.

I glared.

She winced some more.

“But they’re all my favourites!” she decried. I glared some more, while a wry grin seeped across my face. “OK,” she sighed. “I’ll do it, but only if you post it on the STA Travel Blog so that people can read about my selection.”

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