Last year Alix Thepot from France won a spot for her an a friend on one of 3 epic road trips across America after entering, and winning, a global STA Travel competition to join this one and a life time travel experience.
The journey would see her, and her chosen ‘plus one’ Lorena Sorrentino from Italy, as well as winner number 2 Christian and his friend Max from Germany, 2 camera crew from New Zealand and an STA Travel staff member (which, on this occasion, was little old me) visit some of the USA’s most iconic travel spots and experience an authentic and exciting taste of this part of what is undoubtedly a diverse and fascinating country.
The journey took in the beaches of Miami and Florida Key West, cowboy country Dallas, Memphis, the birth place of rock and roll and the unique French influence of legendary New Orleans.
I caught up with Alix and Lorena to reflect on their time on the road in the USA and find out exactly what stood out for them to make their trip unforgettable.
L-R: Alix, Christian, Max and Lorena.
To coincide with the launch of our new Bridge the World Australia brochure, we have spent the last few weeks on an online journey through Australia’s unique wilderness landscapes, wildlife adventures and hidden luxury retreats.
This week we are in New South Wales – a state whose reputation is understandably dominated by the iconic landmarks and stylish urban lifestyle of its world-famous capital Sydney.
At Bridge the World we are by no means immune to Sydney’s dazzling cosmopolitan charms, fully recognising that few cities in the world feature so highly on the average bucket list or are capable of sucking so many well-intentioned and once intrepid travellers into it’s magnetic vortex, never to return (we’ve lost a few good customers this way, they’re currently very happy, tanned and living in flipflops).
Expecting that visiting Sydney is a given, we are temporarily shunning the expected day trips out to the Hunter Valley and Blue Mountains in favour of a few days self drive into the staggering natural splendour, gastronomic and grape-infused wiles of New South Wales. Perfect for a short Sydney stopover or one dreamy long weekend away, this self drive ventures into the soaring mist-cloaked peaks and plunging canyons of the Blue Mountains; vine-clad rolling countryside and rich earthy tones of the Hunter Valley; and sheltered white beaches and calm emerald waters of Port Stephens in just 4 days. Although, given what we already know about this intoxicating part of Australia, we would recommend longer – we of course refer here to intoxicating natural beauty as well as the wine.
Continuing on Bridge the World’s journey through Australia, our second blog leads us to Victoria. For many, Australia’s smallest state is instantly recognised for its sophisticated, creative and sporty host capital of Melbourne; neighbours (a dedicated few perhaps); and as the start or finishing point to the Great Ocean Road – one of the most famous and breathtaking coastal drives in the world.
However, in following our theme of taking you to some of the places that we ourselves have re-discovered in researching our newly launched Australia brochure, this week takes an idyllic wilderness and epicurean self-drive instead through Victoria’s rolling vineyards, boutique B&Bs, gourmet dining, countryside bike trails and rugged coastal walks. So yes, essentially we’re combining a host of middle England’s favourite pastimes (you know who you are) but in one glorious and unspoilt playground just hours from Melbourne. And, we strongly suspect, with considerably better weather.
When you hear the word’s bus and pass, you’ll probably conjure unglamorous memories and images related to school, work, rain, and a lot of waiting. Well, scrap that, because here at STA Travel, our bus passes are a whirlwind of hop-on hop-off, fun, flexibility, people, sun, culture and convenience. Yep, bus passes just got cool.
Not only is your transport sorted, you’ll have a guaranteed good night’s sleep at our best hotels and hostels, and there’s a tonne of action packed day trips to choose from. So what are the top 8 bus passes that will make your life easier while travelling?
We’re big fans of campervans and the campervanning experience here at STA Travel. They so perfectly represent exactly what we’re about; flexible travel, finding your own way, getting an authentic and fulfilling travel experience, travelling with – and making new – friends.
There’s no freer and more satisfying feeling than packing your world belongings into a campervan and taking off on the long open road, with nothing but some good tunes, good mates and the winding road for company – stopping off where you want, when you want.
Australia and New Zealand are the best places in the world to travel in a campervan, with amazing and diverse scenery, and unlimited adventures to be discovered, this is time will probably prove to be some of the best in your life.