Now we know there’s a plethora of amazing travel bloggers out there, each showcasing their insta-worthy lives one exotic location at a time. But sadly, that’s not the reality for most of us. As much as we would all love to embrace the life of a professional vagabond, that’s not quite possible for us 9-5ers.

The life of a travel blogger must be insane. I often wonder if I can really trust what they’re saying. After all, since they’ve been jet-setting for so long, they’d surely get a little complacent and not experience travel the way we regular mortals do.

Here at Style, we’ve pulled together our favourite tips, must-dos and the travel stories we’ve told our girlfriends a million times already. So here’s the Style Staffers’ Guide to the Globe (Part 1).

FIJI by Kiri Johnston

Top 3 Must-Dos
Cloud 9: This floating two-level platform on Roro Reef serves up refreshing drinks and wood-fired pizza in the middle of the ocean. When you get bored with sunbaking, just jump in the ocean for a swim or snorkel.

Denarau Island: Whether you’re travelling to Fiji as a family, couple or group of friends, Denarau Island is close to Nadi airport yet has a tropical paradise feel. With plenty of luxury hotels and a marina, there are many great restaurants and the other islands are only a boat ride away.

Natadola Beach: Located on the Coral Coast, you can ride horses and see the wild dogs while relaxing on the sand.

A place you’d skip
Nothing, I loved it all!

An inside tip
If staying at Denarau Island, head into Nadi to experience the true Fiji and enjoy cheap, delicious food like kokoda (raw fish), curry, roti and lovo (a Fijian hāngī). Also make sure you have a kava ceremony with the locals while you’re there.

Sunset at Wyndham Resort, Denarau Island

Sunset at Wyndham Resort, Denarau Island

BALI by Paul Johnston

Top 3 Must-Dos
Jimbaran Bay: The entire bay is full of restaurants with their tables on the sand. Enjoy local seafood and the amazing sunsets with sand between your toes.

Ubud: About an hour or two taxi ride away from Kuta and Seminyak (depending on traffic) is the town of Ubud. Brimming with spas, rice fields, arts and culture, Ubud is a great experience – and don’t forget the monkey forest.

Potato Head: Bali is famous for its resort-style bars and restaurants. Don’t miss this award winner with its amazing design, cool sounds and cooler drinks.

A place you’d skip
The shopping. If you’re going to Bali for shopping, you’ll be disappointed. Most of the street-side shops are all the same and full of fakes. If you head to the boutiques in Seminyak, you’ll be paying the same prices as Australia with not a lot of variety. On the flipside, the handcrafted homewares are good value.

An inside tip
Talk to someone who has been there recently to get an idea of pricing for taxis, local trips, shopping etc. Get out of the main areas and explore the Gili Islands and remote restaurants in the rice fields.

Bali-Paul-opt

THAILAND by Jade Horrobin

Top 3 Must-Dos
Soi Rambuttri in Bangkok: Right in the middle of Bangkok’s backpacker district, Rambuttri Rd is Khao San’s friendlier and more culturally vibrant cousin.

Doi Inthanon: Perched atop the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon is your one-stop shop for waterfalls, nature trails and lavish temples.

Road tripping from Chiang Mai to Pai: With 762 hairpin bends, this scenic road is not for the faint of heart, but it’s a must-add to any Thai bucket list, nonetheless.

A place you’d skip
Patong Beach. As keen as I was to infiltrate the heart of Thailand’s club scene, Patong ended up being far too overwhelming for me (I may or may not have ended up in bed at 10pm).

An inside tip
Before booking your trip to Koh Phi Phi or Koh Samui, spend a little time online reading travel blogs on the Thai islands. Lapping up your days on a lesser-known paradise like Koh Yao Noi or Koh Lanta will save you a motza in cash. The more money left over to spend on Piña coladas, the better, if you ask me.

The two chedis and lavish gardens of Doi Inthanon

The two chedis and lavish gardens of Doi Inthanon

GUATAMALA by Kim Newland

Top 3 Must-Dos
Antigua: The colonial-style city of Antigua feels like the soul of Guatemala with a vibe like no other city. Jump on a chicken bus to nearby Lake Atitlán, formed in a massive volcanic crater. It’s a great place to unwind from your Guatemalan adventures and you can hike up Indian’s Nose for a stunning view of six volcanoes lined up in the distance.

Tikal: Located deep in the jungle of Guatemala, this national park is best visited before sunrise. Through the darkness, this ancient Mayan citadel has a rich array of wildlife. You can climb to the top of a pyramid and wait for the rainforest to come alive in the early hours of first light.

Zephyr Lodge: I wasn’t expecting much from the backpacker accommodation in the mountains of Guatemala, but by the end, I didn’t want to leave! Zephyr Lodge at Lanquin offers every experience you could imagine, so allow at least four to five days here. You won’t be disappointed.

A place you’d skip
Guatemala City is good for an airport stop, but it features in many travellers’ tales of danger. In terms of things to see, Antigua is a far safer city to explore.

An inside tip
Bus journeys are far longer than you would expect, and usually there is just one service each day. If Google Maps says it’s a six-hour journey, you can count on it being at least 10 hours. Travelling somewhere every couple of days is very tiring.

A volcano overlooks the breathtaking city of Antigua and its cobblestone streets.

A volcano overlooks the breathtaking city of Antigua and its cobblestone streets.

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