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What to do in Seattle: a beginner’s guide

When it comes to the best cities in the US to visit, Seattle is a classic. It’s home to some of the best  grunge music ever created, the first ever Starbucks and possibly the best software developer to ever grace our lives, Bill Gates. You might also know it for its role in movies and TV shows over the years including ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and ‘Frasier’. And let’s not forget the ever-popular ’50 Shades of Grey’ trilogy, although most of that was filmed in Vancouver, Canada. We know. Our illusions were shattered too. But if you’re looking for a quirky American city to visit, there are plenty of things to do in Seattle so make sure it’s on your list. 1. Head to the MoPOP Museum If you have a single geek bone in your body, head to the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) Museum. Exhibitions on music, film and sci-fi and horror change regularly. Previous exhibitions include the Guitar Gallery, Pearl Jam: Home and Away, and Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic. 2. Explore Washington Park Arboretum Did you know that Seattle is known as the Emerald City? And no, it has nothing to do with ‘The Wizard of Oz’, although we’d …

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The best music festivals in the U.S.

The USA is a country full of diversity, which is reflected in its music and festival scene. Whether you’re a celebrity-spotting fashionista, into your hard-core punk or like to keep things pretty chill, you’re guaranteed to find it on the USA festival circuit.    The obvious choices…  Coachella  Where: Indio, CaliforniaWhen: 9 – 18 April 20212021 lineup: TBC, but 2019 featured the likes of Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Ariana Grande and Khalid.  Taking place in the middle of the desert, Coachella is one of the first to kick off the summer festival season. If you truly believe fashion and music go hand in hand, then this is the festival for you. Basically, anyone who is anyone will be there.    Bonnaroo Where: Manchester, TennesseeWhen: 17 – 20 June 20212021 lineup: TBC, but 2019 included Post Malone, Cardi B, The Lumineers, Phish and Kacey Musgraves Bonnaroo is hard-core! Don’t say we didn’t warn you. It’s known to be one of the greatest camping experiences in the world and the lineup never disappoints. Be careful of that Tennessee heat though!    Lollapalooza Where: Chicago, IllinoisWhen: 29 Jul 1 Aug 2021 2021 lineup: TBC, but 2019 included Ariana Grande, Lil Wayne, The Strokes, and The Chainsmokers  One of our fav festivals in the U.S. Plus, you don’t have to get all dressed up for this one. Lollapalooza is known …

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Where to go in Hawaii: a beginner’s guide

Dramatic landscapes, laid back vibes and doing the hula – it could only be Hawaii! This tropical cluster of islands is an all-year round destination with volcanic beaches, epic surf, lush rainforest and extremely friendly locals. Not sure which island to head to or fancy the whole shabang? No worries – It’s pretty easy and inexpensive to fly between the islands, each one possessing its own unique identity to win you over. Want to walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs, get amongst Hawaii’s surf scene and more? Read on to find out which Hawaiian Island is your perfect match. Tropical shirt at the ready! Kauai Known as The Garden Island, Kauai is made up of lush green jungle, impressive waterfalls and like a lot of Hawaii those oh-so-dreamy beaches. And with a tiny population of only 65,000, you really get that desirable ‘own slice of paradise’ sensation. Kauii is home to one of the world’s most spectacular and unique coastlines, the Na Pali Coast, with towering sea cliffs and cascading waterfalls (seriously, Google it). To get up close and personal with this coastline, set off on a hike along the Kalalau Trail, take a sunset boat trip, or if you’re …

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10 things you HAVE to do in Oahu

Home to the bustling metropolis of Waikiki, world-class resorts, golden beaches and endless outdoor adventures, Oahu is Hawaii’s most visited island – and for good reason. We’ve pulled together the best things to see, do and eat to help you hit the sand running on your island adventure. 1. Eat shave ice from Matsumoto Shave Ice This summer classic hails from Hawaii, so it’s totally acceptable to have one after every meal, right? Matsumoto’s, located in the funky town of Haleiwa on Oahu’s North Shore. This family-owned shave ice parlour has over 35 flavors available. Opt for classic raspberry, treat yourself with a rainbow trio or add azuki beans and ice cream for a Japanese twist! 2. Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay Dive right in and swim amongst the fishies at this marine life conservation area, which boasts a thriving underwater ecosystem complete with tropical fish, colorful coral and the rare turtle if you’re lucky. A conservation area since 1967, the bay is protected with a mandatory education video for each visitor as well as limited number of swimmers per day. Book in advance! If you happened to hit Hanauma Bay on a turtle-less day, Laniakea Beach on the North Shore is …

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How to travel Hawaii on a shoestring budget

Ideal temperatures year-round, incredible scenery and beautiful beaches with world-class waves – the islands have something for everyone. It’s no secret that Hawaii is an expensive destination, but on our recent trip we found out the real magic happens away from the big resorts; so keep reading for our top tips on how to experience the aloha spirit with our Hawaii budget tips! Choosing an island With 8 major islands and over 130 other smaller ones to choose from it goes without saying, good luck choosing. Each island offers its own taste of that sweet Hawaii life and with that could come a different price tag. Island hopping is expensive and can only really be done by plane, so we recommend picking just one or two and planning your route before you go. Most flights will fly in and out of Honolulu so O’ahu is a great place to start, but flights from O’ahu to Kaua’i alone will set you back upwards of $180+ in the summer. Pick out the islands you’re dreaming of visiting, but do your research and find the lesser known spots with all the same goodies as the big boys. You’ll save on hotels, transport, food …

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Europe’s best music festivals

From seasoned stalwarts to circuit newcomers, Europe hosts some of the most noteworthy festivals on the planet. With Europe’s 2020 festival season sadly cancelling due the impact of COVID-19 and many tickets rolling over to 2021, next year’s festivals are fast becoming the world’s most popular waitlist. Here are some of our festival favourites to get on your radar for future years. (Ducks to avoid being hit by paper cups for not being able to mention more of them). Pray for raves not second waves, people! Sziget Where: Budapest, HungaryWhen: August 2021, exact dates TBC2021 lineup: TBC, but past acts have included Arctic Monkeys, Florence & The Machine, Foo Fighters, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore. One island, seven days, thousands of acts: Sziget is less of a festival, and more of a holiday that you never want to end. Hosted on the Island of Freedom (Budapest’s Óbuda Island), Sziget is one of Europe’s biggest and most renowned festivals. As well as a setlist that spans the musical spectrum with superstars from the worlds of indie, rock, EDM and R&B, there’s also a staggering seven-day program of cinema, comedy, theatre and cultural events. It’s the kind of festival where you make friends for …

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Travelling without music would feel like…

Stubbed toes, wine without cheese, and Friends without the theme tune. From Edinburgh to Auckland, our STA Travel staff discuss their favorite festivals, go-to hometown music venues, and road trip guilty pleasures. Tania Gasnier, Head Designer, STA Travel New Zealand The windows are down, no one can hear, I’m on a road trip listening to… ‘So Damn Funky’ by Codes, with my speakers would be almost blowing from the bass. The song that always takes me back is… ‘Africa’ by Toto and ‘Another Day in Paradise’ by Phil Collins make me nostalgic for being on safari in Kenya and Tanzania. My heart squeezes when I hear them, and I’m filled with a longing to go back. Travel without music would feel like… Wine without cheese. I always make a playlist to relate to the location I’m travelling, whether it be laid back island vibes or something to help me power up a mountain. Favorite festival at home: Fritter Festival, Whangarei. A festival where local restaurants compete to create the best fritter. Great food, great Kiwi bands. Food is as important to me as travel is! Favorite festival to travel to: Bluesfest in Byron Bay, Australia. A 3-day long festival celebrating …

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The Best U.S. Boardwalks and Piers

Seagulls, waves crashing, fireworks, amusement parks… Ahh the sweet sounds of summer in the great ol’ US of A. From coast to coast you’ll find iconic boardwalks and piers that will bring so much more than sand to your next vacation. Here’s our top picks:  For the East Coast lovers Myrtle Beach  What to do: Whether you’re looking to try a zipline and thrill rides like a Log Flume, try your hand at winning some prizes at the arcade, attempt an escape room or hit the shops Myrtle Beach has it all.    What to eat: Stuff your face with some seafood at Rockefeller’s Raw Bar or head out on a food & sightseeing tour.  Can’t Miss: The 187-foot-tall Sky Wheel – it’s the boardwalk’s main attraction!  Virginia Beach  What to do: Virginia Beach, or VB if you’re around the locals, has everything you could want on a boardwalk… from the thrill rides at Atlantic Fun Park, to a haunted house, old time-y photo booths all steps from the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. The King Neptune Statue – here’s your chance to snap a pic with the god of the oceans. No need to travel to Europe! What to eat: The city is a melting pot of cultures thrown together as a result of the nearby military bases, so you …

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10 travel gifts for eco-friendly travelers

Such is the current reusable and recycling revolution, that at home, most of us wouldn’t dream of buying single-use plastic water bottles and throwaway coffee cups, or using plastic straws on nights out. Right? However, while we might be a bunch of enlightened, environmentally-conscious and all-around excellent human beings in our day-to-day life (and our night life), those good intentions can often go out of the window when we travel abroad. Which is bizarre, when you consider that many of the places we visit need our help to reduce non-recyclables the most. It’s time to start traveling the same way we live at home – mindful of waste, and plastic free. Be kind to the planet and your travel-loving friends and family with these super green gifts… 1. Stojo Collapsible Coffee Cup Coffee to go? I should Stojo! Stojo’s collapsible coffee cups not only fit in your pocket, come with a reusable straw and can be bought in a variety of gorgeous shades, but they’re also made from recyclable material. 2. Rareform bags and tags And top of the Billboard Hot 100 goes to… Rareform! Rareform take billboard vinyl destined for the garbage and turn them into hard-wearing backpacks, passport holders, luggage tags, …

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7 ways to reduce plastic waste with your ISIC card

Single use plastic. The most maligned material of the past decade: everyone is talking about and everyone is trying to reduce it, including the saviors of saving students everywhere over at ISIC HQ! On top of introducing virtual cards, they’ve also secured all these discounts on products that will help your save money AND the planet. Plastic-free props, guys. 1. Go VIRTUAL with ISIC As part of our effort to reduce plastic production waste, we were excited to launch virtual ISIC, IYTC and ITIC cards earlier this year, eliminating the need for plastic cards here in the USA. You can still purchase one of their new kind-to-the-planet virtual ID cards at the normal cost of $20. If you’re a full-time student, under 31 or a teacher, get yours now. 2. Say no to plastic utensils Sunday hangover got you swiping right to potential food-baes on the delivery apps? Be sure to request NO utensils with your order! If you can make it to the front door, you can make it to the silverware drawer in the kitchen. Plus, never be tempted by plastic utensils during your lunch break by picking up one of these re-usable sporks from Snow+Rock. (ISIC discount: …

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