So in yesterdays appointment at STA Travel I learnt just how easy my trip can all be arranged. It seemed like it will be extremely difficult to sort out, but going to a place like STA, they do all the hard organising work for you. My travel advisor, Belle, was very fun and super helpful and really helped me grasp a little bit more of how far my money will be going.
As I’m not travelling until next March, I don’t have to book my trip until September. But she gave me a rough idea of price which I found very reassuring. It seems all my flights will cost £900 (I’m amazed – as a girl who has spent most of her time travelling to the US, a return is typically £400-£500 and I’m visiting 4 different continents on this trip!).
So the flight path after her advice is looking like this:
London – Goa – Delhi – Bangkok – Singapore – OZ – NZ – Fiji – LA – London (phew!)
The addition of Fiji I loved, as Belle said, ‘well if you’re going to LA, you may as well stop off in Fiji, I mean you’re going to be flying over it, so why not?’ – I LOVE HER THINKING. After this trip I am going to be a 100% beach bum. From the beaches in Goa to the heavenly beaches of Thailand, OZ, NZ, Fiji and then a bit of Venice Beach action in LA – I do believe my return to England may have to be via a beach or their may be a bit of a culture shock!!
Although not sure if you’ve spotted from my photos but I am rather pale….oops. In this photo, from last year, I’m pretty much a white-out – I blend into the flag for Christsakes! Ooops haha.
So yeah there is definitely an element of concern about my fair fair skin on these beaches. A friend of mine so kindly pointed out, after staring at my arms, that Australia was going to ‘eat me alive’! Nice eh? But yes I know I’m going to have to be very careful. I do remember though, after living in LA for 3 months my skin started to darken, after acclimatizing to the heat. After all in grey old England when does my skin see the sun??? Errr hardly ever!
Upon Belle’s suggestion, I am re-looking at bit at the South East Asia tours available. I realised that 1 or 2 nights in Koh Samui and the other beaches, are just not going to be enough for me. Especially after reading so much about the Full Moon parties and just looking at how absolutely mind-boggling the pictures of the beaches are! I may never want to leave. I may just hide my rum/suncream/lipgloss supply here and set up camp GoGo!
So I’m now thinking more along the lines of covering Thailand, Laos and Cambodia in a trip and then moving down myself back to the beaches of Thailand and towards Singapore. Like this Asian Adventure tour:
‘Experience the thrill of Thailand, Laos & Cambodia on one awesome adventure! See the bright lights of Bangkok then feel the serenity of the Mekong with its rice paddy & sugar fields & coconut palms. Encounter intriguing Laos, with its isolated villages, spiritual tribes & French colonial past. Be spellbound as you move from Angkor Wat in Cambodia’s jungle to Phnom Penh, learning about the country’s torturous past along the way.’
Or this is a great option for ending back in Bangkok and then easily being able to get down to the beaches in the Roam Vietnam, Laos & Thailand.
Tour style – Culture & History, Wildlife & Nature 22 days
I’m still researching many of these options but it sounds wonderful and would certainly allow me to cover a lot of ground and get my head around a lot of the culture, before moving off on my own for a bit.
It’s great to think that in Sept I can go back, and that they will assist me with a plan to sort out all my visas. The Oz visa can be completely arranged by them which I’m stoked about I must admit. And I can buy a ticket from Singapore to NZ, which means staying in OZ for the year and my visit to NZ, after the year in Oz is up, will still be valid and already arranged thus saving me £ 🙂
In regards to Australia, I still have a lot of reading to do – about where I want to visit the most and so from that I will be able to figure out where I’d like to work, then plan my visits. I’m just glad I have a bit of a time-frame sorted in my head because definitely by September I will have done all my research/all my reading and will have a much clearer idea of what to book.
I am very reassured by the group trips and think they will be a lot of fun. What I think is also great is STA have a flexible policy, which allows you to change your plans even while you’re out there – super reassuring, obviously with added fees but not crazy fees luckily. Because that’s what happens – you can change your mind about these things. This is what I love about companies like this: this is what they cater for. I’m definitely not a Holiday Package kinda girl – I don’t think I ever will be. I like the independence too much.
Go Go jetsetters! Any advice you have for me I’d love to hear and especially any of your travel stories!