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STA Travel Blog

California Dreaming: Las Vegas to San Francisco Road Trip! (Part 1)

There’s something really special about going on a road trip, isn’t there? It screams adventures, great tunes and freedom. Some would say it makes the best kind of holiday. So, with my bags packed, playlist created and fancying myself as a bit of an explorer, I knew an American road trip was the way to go…
Where best to embrace the great open road, than a Californian adventure – where Hollywood movies are made. A trip like this needed a lot of planning as I was covering a huge distance in two weeks. So to help all you would be travellers, I’ve documented my journey, sharing my itinerary and top sights along the way! I’ve broken my adventure down into a three part series, so grab a cuppa, settle down and get inspired to travel.

Day 1-3 VEGAS


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Top 4 quirkiest festivals in Europe

Travelling through Europe is often considered a rite of passage; where else could you discover jaw-dropping historical sights, stumble happily from gigantic beer halls, fall madly in love with the world’s most romantic cities or yodel yourself hoarse on green pastured mountain peaks. With festival season just around the corner, there is no better excuse to start planning your European summer trip!

1. LA BATALLA DEL VINO


Image: www.hoy.es

Where? Haro, La Rioja, Spain
When? 28-30 June
Why? We’ve always been told wine is too precious to waste, and if you are going to waste it – do it wisely. However, in the small town of Haro – a battle to end all battles takes place to celebrate the Spanish wine festival. This is not the kind of wine festival where people stand around swirling glasses, scoffing camembert whilst discussing bouquets and undertones. This is rioja-soaked carnage involving the entire town throwing over 50,000 litres of red wine all over each other. Rest assured, the wine is no Gran Reserva – so grab a jug and get stuck in. With no rules, teams, winners or losers – why not celebrate St. Peter’s Feast Day with the locals, get a bit drunk and turn a beautiful shade of purple.

2. LA TOMATINA

Where? Bunol, Spain (close to Valencia)
When? 31 August
Why? There is something strangely enticing about a festival dedicated to throwing squashed tomatoes! That’s why thousands flood in to Valencia each year with the specific intent of taking part in the world’s biggest food fight. The fight begins at 11am when a loud firework will go off, and then participants are left to stand their own over the next chaotic hour as the streets and the people turn into a sea of red, until the second firework goes off to indicate the end. The fun doesn’t stop there, the palo-jambon event will see people climbing a soap-covered pole to reach the prosciutto on the top, with the first person to grab it claiming victory and the ham! So if you are a bit of a foodie, be sure to get a ticket to this event.

3. HALLOWEEN


Where? Translyvania, Romania
When? 29 Oct – 4 Nov
Why? We know Halloween is worldwide, but there’s something about Transylvania that sends an icy chill down the most fearless adventurer – would you be willing to spend the one of the most haunted days in the year in Dracula’s castle? You can attend a Halloween party in an authentic, gothic castle and rave the night away to the monster mash. While you’re there explore Romania’s haunted castles, Gothic architecture and enchanting forests. You might even meet some lovely locals.

Fact: Dracula was based upon the Transylvanian villain known as ‘Vlad the Impaler’.

4. OKTOBERFEST

Where? Munich, Germany
When? 19 Sep – 4 Oct
Why? Oktoberfest is the German beer folk festival held once a year in Munich. It celebrates the anniversary of the wedding between Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and his wife. Oktoberfest takes place in giant beer tents, serving the best German beer and food you’ll enjoy for a long time! But it’s not just about the beer, each tent has a brass band playing everything from chart hits to traditional classics. All you have to do is grab your mates, don the lederhosen, pick up a pint glass and party German style…worry about the hangover tomorrow.
Fact: Bavaria does not run out of lederhosen. For cheap outfits try C&A in Neuhauserstrasse at Marienplatz. A one litre Stein costs about £8.

Europe has got some wicked festivals, let’s just say it’s going to be a great summer!

49 Reasons Why New Zealand Rocks Our World

As soon as a blog post about New Zealand needs writing, I always seem to be the first at STA Travel Towers to stick my hand up. (I definitely don’t throw myself at our editor Lisa’s feet and beg, “Pick me! Pick me!” Honest.).

Why do I love writing about New Zealand? Well, because I love New Zealand. I’m lucky enough to have been twice in the last year: once to the South Island in June when it was covered in snow – white, serene and magical; and again to the North Island in February when the sun was out, the stunning landscapes were lush and green, and the skies were blue with long wispy clouds (it’s not called the Land of the Long White Cloud for nothing). Two very different experiences, but both equally amazing.

New Zealand: what's not to like?

Obviously, I’m not alone in my love for New Zealand. Everyone I’ve ever spoken to on the subject – be it friends, colleagues or you, our lovely customers – has fallen head over heels in love with this out-of-the-way country that has a population of just 4 million people.

Just what is it about New Zealand? What’s all the fuss about, eh? Well, I’m going to tell you. With the help of our Twitter community, here are 49 reasons why this wonderful country rocks our world.

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USA’s Best National Parks | Celebrating 100 years of National Parks!

The USA is the ultimate road trip destination! With wide open highways, palm-lined coastal roads and stunning National Parks. On 25th August 2016 USA National Parks will be celebrating their 100th Birthday. So here are some of the best National Parks the USA has to offer. Hit the road and explore!

Here are some of the USA’s best National Parks:

1. Yosemite National Park

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California Pacific Coast | Highway Hit List!

The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most impressive scenic drives in the World, let alone the US. Start all the way up in San Francisco and cruise down to San Diego or vice versa. The route takes about ten hours to complete with no stopping (but what’s the point of that?!). We recommend about 1-2 weeks stopping properly and taking your time. Over the 1000km you’ll pass through spectacular beaches, untouched forests and lush vineyards.

Here are some of our favourite stops along the way:

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