Ask the Experts: I'm a Novice Traveller – Help me Plan my Route!

It’s almost the weekend! And that means only one thing here on the STA Travel Blog – it’s Ask the Experts time again (Woooooo! Etc, etc)

This week we’re welcoming Elliot to the blog, to ask his burning travel question to our Travel Experts. Elliot, take it away…

I’m looking to go travelling next year with a few friends and we are all completely novice travellers! Could you give me some advice on a good route which covers the best bits of Southeast Asia and Australia? I think I’ll have about 6-8months. Also I’m not sure what sort of baggage to take – should I take a suitcase or a backpack? Thanks, Elliot

Autumn’s been here all of 1 week and we’re all already hankering for the sun to be back in our lives, so what do our Travel Experts recommend? Here’s Lucy to share her words of wisdom.

Lucy Bolton from STA Travel Leeds Vicar Lane says…

Southeast Asia and Australia are perfect destinations for a first time backpacker! There is so much to do and so many different cultures, plus it is quite a well travelled route so you are guaranteed to meet lots of people and be able to get travel tips as you go along!

The Indochina Discovery is one of our most popular trips and if you are new to travelling a tour will really help you to make the most out of your trip. This one starts and finishes in Bangkok where you can check out the incredible temples and experience the infamous nightlife. Then head to Cambodia to one of the oldest and most magificant temples in the world; Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat.

You will carry on through Cambodia, a place so rich in history, and even spend some time on the coast in the party beach resort of Sihanoukville. You will get to explore the market maze of Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam and visit the Chu Chi tunnels, a fascinating underground network used during the war. Vietnam is such an amazing place and you get to see lots of different places as you head north up the coastline, finishing with a cruise on Halong Bay.

Next stop is Vientiane, the capital of Laos which you can explore by bicycle before heading off to Vang Vieng. One of the best things about the Indochina Discovery is the 2 day cruise along the Mekong river where you can really experience life living as a local. You will get to spend a night living with locals in a village homestay. The last stop before heading back to Bangkok is Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, which will show you a totally different side of Thailand to the islands and bustling cities.

Mekong Delta.

Once you have found your travelling feet you might want a little more flexibility so for Australia I would get a hop on hop off bus pass. The Oz Experience passes have a network that goes all around Australia so you have the freedom to decide where you stop and how long you want to stop there. You also get some really cool inclusions such as a surf lesson and an overnight stay at the cattle ranch Krumbit, things that you would struggle to do if you were totally on your own.

Last thing… Definitely take a backpack! It is so much easier to carry around when you are moving from place to place and easier to fit into the lockers in hostels and onto buses when you are travelling.

Go Lucy, go Lucy! If you have a question you’d like to pose to our Travel Experts send them an email, and they’ll answer it right here on the blog very soon!