STA Travel: An Honest Review


STA Travel is a student and youth travel company, with over 200 stores globally. They aim to create affordable holidays, from tours to gap years and working abroad. Having used STA Travel Southampton for a two week trip to Borneo, Kuala Lumpur, Bali and Nusa Lembongan over the summer, here’s an honest review of our experience.

The first stages of booking our trip involved going into the travel agency out of curiosity. You can either book an appointment or just pop in (which we did) and someone will likely be free to have a chat, give you some ideas and inspiration.

Credit: Hannah Callingham

STA Travel gives amazing opportunities to travel, experts who have first-hand experience compiled a detailed itinerary of places we hadn’t even considered, so everything is basically sorted for you. Their professional and personal service also steps up to the mark when there’s a problem- we were planning to go to the Gili Islands when there was a series of high magnitude earthquakes, so we opted to change it to a different island further from Lombok just to be safe, the consultant sorted it for us straight away, stress and hassle free at no extra cost (bonus). Our consultant (Jim) was also super easy to contact with quick responses if we had any worries or questions and we were aware of any helplines if anything went wrong while we were away, such as flight cancellations (which luckily, we didn’t have).

STA also have everything you need for a holiday such as flights, accommodation, tours, insurance, travel cards, so can do it all through them and everything is in one place.

Credit: Hannah Callingham

1.      Flights: Flights through STA were flexible and affordable (student prices) and we were told we could add stops to our trip by going through Kuala Lumpur which wasn’t something we had considered but was definitely worth it. We also had a Multi-flex Pass which meant we had the option of changing our flights if we needed to (which we didn’t in the end but was reassuring to have). They also offer Round the World Flights which lets you visit multiple countries in one all-inclusive flight itinerary which would be ideal for someone with more time (like a year off).

2.    Accommodation: We stayed in hotels but when you speak to the consultant they can cater it to your preferences and budget. All were decent, some a little basic but all you need when it’s just a place to shower and rest your head. Also, super affordable and flexible; most are changeable unless it states it is unrefundable.

3.    Tours: The tours they offer seem more expensive to me but are ideal for solo travellers to meet other people or even for a stress-free, pre-made itinerary. There’s also a bunch of last-minute deals which can be great value.

4.     Insurance: We didn’t use the one STA offers as it was more expensive than others we found, however for ease and to be fully covered on things like natural disaster and flights, the insurance STA offers seems to be pretty good, you just might have to pay a bit more.

5.    Travel cards: Again, we didn’t use the one offered by STA but used a Caxton FX card which was super helpful to save carrying around a lot of money- especially in Indonesia where £1 equates to 18,736 Indonesian Rupiah! However, from what I know about the STA Travel Cards, they do have an upfront cost which ours didn’t, but with some of them you can get student discount, so it may be beneficial if you are somewhere that has a lot of students.

6.    App: STA also have an app which is super easy to use and can hold all flight details and booking confirmation to save carrying printed versions while you’re away.

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur     Credit: Hannah Callingham

As well as the above, they went above and beyond by recommending restaurants and giving us the contact details of a driver in Bali, who was so helpful and gave us loads of information about the culture in Bali. Overall, a super relaxed and stress-free way to book a holiday which included places we’d never thought of going to or even be able to afford. I couldn’t recommend STA Southampton enough and cannot wait to use them again for another adventure. #starttheadventure

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