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STA Travel Blog

How to survive a long-haul flight

If we utter the words ‘long haul flight’ do your legs immediately seize up at the thought of sitting still for 4+ hours? But don’t stress, when you choose the right airline, you’ll feel like absolute royalty (champagne on arrival pur-lease). From one global explorer to another, here’s our survival guide on how to have an experience just as good as the adventure you’re about to embark on…

Put your comfy underwear on

Everyone’s got at least one pair of comfy pants that should have been chucked in the bin a long time ago, but for some strange reason you cling onto them. This is their moment to shine.

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Why Québec is the new cool

I’m Gwen, STA Travel’s Brochure Production Manager and newly-ordained Québec convert.

Last month, I was lucky enough to jump on a Canada trip to Montreal and Québec. Not the typical backpacker east coast/west coast fare, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. And I certainly didn’t think that I’d be blogging about light shows, but here we are. Bear with me, it’s pretty illuminating.

On our last evening in Montreal, we were sitting in the atrium of Notre Dame Cathedral. The pews were full, and groups of people were milling around the sides in hushed whispers, waiting for the main event. There was also a talking confession box in the corner that most people seemed to pass by without a second glance (which was odd on their part, I thought.)

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Beach please: Top 8 beaches on East Coast Australia

Australia is known for having some of the most insane beaches in the world, but with so many of them how do you decide which are even worth your time? Beach please, we’ll tell you.

Byron Bay

Location: New South Wales
We can hear you tutting, but hold up hun. We HAD to put Byron Bay on the list because no top 10 list of beaches is complete without it. Not because of the beach itself, but the vibe (and the ridiculously good-looking locals – hellooooo). As you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a welcome sign that reads “Welcome to Byron Bay. Cheer up. Slow down. Chill out” which you can’t help but obey. Don’t leave without visiting The Top Shop. No, it’s not the Topshop you’d expect to find on the high street, it’s a trendy back street café. No basic beaches here.

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The African Big Five

You might hear the word Africa and immediately think of Simba; a cute little lion cub in the vast Savannah plains. You might also think of the big five; lions, rhinos, leopards, buffalo and elephants, but Africa has more to boast about than just its epic safaris. Here’s our list of the top 5 African destinations you can’t miss.

Morocco

Morocco is full of beautiful towns and villages, but two to note for any Moroccan tourist has to be Fes and Marrakech. You’ll feel like you’re in Assassin’s Creed as you explore and barter in the markets and back streets! If you’ve got some time to spare, take a 4×4 into the Sahara for a night under the stars – or if you’d rather a more authentic form of transport, you can also go by camel! Don’t forget to try the food, just thinking about tagines is making us slobber.

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Mount Kilimanjaro

It’s Africa’s biggest mountain, we couldn’t not talk about it! If you want an active holiday then this is for you. Enjoy rainforest slopes, glaciers and a tower of lava as you hike to the summit. We would recommend a night hike on the final leg of the climb so you can see the sunrise from Stella Point. After all that, head back down to Moshi Camp for a celebratory (and much needed) hot shower and drink! 

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5 spots to get your live music fix in Melbourne

Sydney may have the glamour and glitz of the Harbour and Bondi, and Brisbane may have endless sand and backpacker bar-crawl carnage but every Aussie knows cosmopolitan Melbourne is the place to go for some electrifying live music. Victoria’s capital has always had more of a communal vibe and its music scene has consistently led the way Down Under.

You’ll find local bands testing out their own tunes at practically every other pub North of the Yarra River, whilst Southside has loads of breezy, open bars with polished outfits banging out covers. With so much to choose from, you can almost feel like you’re lost on a musical Walkabout, so we’re here to help!

From classic rock dives to sophisticated jazz bars, here’s our five favourite venues to check out in marvellous Melbs!

1. Prince Bandroom, St Kilda.

We have to start with this legendary spot in the Prince Of Wales pub on Fitzroy Street. It’s been hosting eclectic live music for 60 years now and is a Melbourne institution. Dark and grungy with a low stage and ceiling that crams everyone into a heaving, rocking mass, it’s exactly the authentic no-frills experience that draws everyone in town here at some point or another.

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