Happy 1st Birthday To The Blog! Here are our best bits…

Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us, happy birthday to the amazingly, awesome, STA Travel Blo-og! Haaaaaappy birthday to us!

Yep that’s right, incase you didn’t quite catch on already; this month marks the 1st birthday of the STA Travel Blog; and what a year it’s been.

Myself, Ant and Emma love all things travel, and we love to write about travelling, but we have not done it by ourselves, not buy a long shot.

We’re lucky enough to have struck travel blog gold in the form of our knowledgeable Travel Experts. Between them there’s barely an area of the globe that hasn’t been explored and we’ve rinsed them for their best, most inspirational, stories, tips and advice to share with you in the hope that they might help to enrich your own experiences.

Here are some of our favourite blogs from the past year….enjoy!

Let’s take a little trip down memory lane and revisit some of the highlights from the past year and look forward to many more to come.

We Love A Series

Some blogs are too good just to feature once. Sometimes there’s just so much to share. This is why we’ve created a collection of posts that feature on the blog regularly but with a different focus each time.

High Five! – 5 of our favourite, travel related, things. Whether it is things to do, places to stay or visit, ways to travel or unmissable experiences. My favourite from the past year? High Five… Working Holidays!

Ask The Experts – Does pretty much what it says on the tin. We ask our experts to give advice to your burning travel questions. My pick of the year: Ask the Experts: Round the World in One Month.

Why I Volunteer: Volunteering with Pandas in China has been one of my most rewarding and memorable travel experiences to date, and off the back of that, the Why I Volunteer blog was born. If you’ve ever thought about spending time volunteering abroad you should read this. If you have never thought about it – then you should definitely read this.

Guest Posts That Rocked Our World

Sometimes you just have to bow down to superior knowledge, and we’ve done this on many occasions over the past year.

In June, Gary Rhodes shared his recipe for cooking a mouth watering Malaysian beef satay and peanut sauce and Jules and Stephen from Vietnamese restaurant Pho shared their picks of the best places to find amazing street food in Vietnam.

In September Louis Leeson one of our 3 graduate Travel Photographers chosen to take pictures in Asia for our 2013 brochures, wrote a blog article offering expert advice on how to take great travel photos.

We also had contributions from Lush with tips on how to keep your skin in top condition while travelling and from Fitness First sharing their expertise with 10 simple exercises you can do anywhere to keep you looking fit on the road.

Tips and Advice That You Just Can’t Miss

Sharing tips and advice, it’s a big part of the STA Travel ethos. We want to work with you to create the kind of trip you’ll be reminiscing about forever, the kind of trip that you’ve been dreaming about taking since you were listening to 5ive and wearing purple shell suits back in the day (nope? Just me then? How embarrassing…)

That means not only telling you about how to get to Varanasi or where to stay when you’re there, but also telling you about the most amazing little lassi place in all of India too (it’s called Blue Lassi by the way)

Here’s some of the best from the past year:
The secrets out – when are the best day to fly
Around the world in 80 ways
20 Packing List Essentials
10 European Festivals for your Diary
14 Awesome Places to Sleep Beneath the Stars
11 Incredible Festivals in Asia
51 Bite-size Budgeting Tips
21 Amazing Travel Experiences

You’re The Star

Yes our travel experts are a well travelled and knowledgeable lot, but hey, you guys are too!

So many of our posts from the past year have featured tales of experiences in your own words, we’ve collated our favourite messages from Twitter in Our Week in Tweets, we’ve counted down Where to Find The World’s Spiciest Foods all with your input.

We’ve also had guest travel bloggers tell us about their own experiences exploring Down Under in the ‘My Australia’ series.

And, probably most excitingly, we’ve caught up with a whole host of very happy competition winners including Round the World trip winner Luke Still and Southeast Asia wanderer Katie Cummings.

My Favourites

Alright, I admit it might be slightly self indulgent, but I wanted to also share my own favourite posts from the past 12 months of blogging – the posts that I have either enjoyed writing or reading.

My number one favourite blog has to be the super inspiring The Secret Lives of 7 Digital Nomads in September, featuring the stories of 5 very dedicated (and lucky) wanderers who make their living while travelling the world. Nope, not jealous at all. *Ahem.

The final mention has to go to the slightly strange – but very useful – How To Use A Squat Toilet. Yep, an actual guide on how to use a toilet. You may think it slightly strange now, but you’ll be thanking me for it after your first encounter, trust me.

What a year it’s been! If you’ve enjoyed the inspiration, tips, advice and travel tales, make sure you don’t miss a thing from now on, by subscribing to the blog!