Behind-the-Scenes of our AWESOME #SquadSQ adventure…

If you’ve been following along our recent travels you will have seen us visiting Singapore, South Africa and South Korea as part of Singapore Airlines first ever #SquadSQ trip! The trip was absolutely incredible, giving Matt and me the chance to visit new places, meet some awesome people and tick quite a few things off our travel bucket list. Today I wanted to share with you a bit more about the trip to give you a better sense of what it was all about and the amazing destinations we each got to visit! Hopefully, it gives you some travel inspiration to plan your own adventure and introduces you to some pretty talented people we’re lucky enough to call friends.

What the HECK is #SquadSQ?

A great question and the perfect starting point! The team at Singapore Airlines reached out to Matt and me earlier in the year and pitched one heck of an idea. They wanted to send the creators behind four social media platforms and websites to a total of nine destinations. As #SquadSQ we would cover more than 90,000 miles over a 14 day period, using Singapore as our hub and Singapore Airlines extensive network as our gateway. Made up of Phoebe and Chris from The Curious Collective, Nicole from Polkadot Passport, Luke from Backstreet Nomad and Matt and me from Little Grey Box, we met up in Singapore and immediately clicked. As luck would have it, we all knew each other either directly or through one another so we felt like old friends, which made the whole experience that much more special.

We spent a few days exploring Singapore before heading off to our first destination. After five days of adventures and a lot of great food, we transited back through Singapore’s Changi Airport and onto our second destination before heading back to Singapore for our last few days as #SquadSQ. Each of us came back with amazing stories and once-in-a-lifetime experiences to share. To bring everything together, Matt made a map for you showing where we flew from to get to Singapore and, from there, all the places we flew with Singapore Airlines and Silk Air. I also asked my #SquadSQ family a few questions about their favourite moments from the trip and their current #1 travel tips – their answers were fantastic!

Nicola of Polkadot Passport

Nicola from Polkadot Passport

Nicola is an exceptionally talented photographer and the founder of Polkadot Passport, an inspiring travel blog and stunning Instagram. Not only has Nic built an IG empire of 250k followers, but she’s also one of the most genuinely lovely, kind, down-to-earth people you could ever hope to meet (her smile seriously lights up a room!). As part of #SquadSQ, Nic jetted off to Laos and Switzerland in search of gorgeous sunsets and picture-perfect mountains.

What is your stand-out moment from your trip to Laos? 

On our first night in Luang Prabang, we took an evening boat cruise out onto the Mekong River. Watching the sunset over the river as we sipped on Mojitos was a magical experience!

What is your stand-out moment from your trip to Switzerland? 

When we first arrived in Zermatt it rained for two days straight, so the stand-out moment of our Swiss adventure is when the clouds finally cleared and we got the most glorious view of the Matterhorn!

What is your favourite #SquadSQ moment? 

I loved our time at the Tippling Club in Singapore, picking dreams and desires cocktails off a gummy bear menu!

What is your favourite Singapore Airlines moment? 

Waking up on our flight from Singapore to Zurich to the sun rising and a lovely stewardess serving me a plate of delicious Belgium waffles!

What is your #1 travel tip or hack at the moment? 

If you travel regularly, noise-cancelling headphones are one of the best gadgets you could invest in! On a flight they block out almost all the ambient noise- I even wear them as I fall asleep on the plane instead of earplugs!

Visit the Polkadot Passport website and follow Nicola on Instagram.

Phoebe and Chris of The Curious Collection

Phoebe and Chris from The Curious Collection

Phoebe and Chris are high school sweethearts who grew up, got married and decided to travel the world, sharing their adventures on Instagram and The Curious Collection website. Both Phoebe and Chris are an absolute laugh and so fun to hang out with. They’re talented photographers, true romantics and the most down-to-earth people you could hope to befriend. As part of #SquadSQ, Phoebe and Chris jetted off to Germany and Vietnam for breathtaking landscapes and incredible food.

What is your stand-out moment from your trip to Germany? 

Our day trip to Konigssee the most picturesque emerald green lake surrounded by the dramatic Berchtesgaden Alps.

What is your stand-out moment from your trip to Vietnam? 

Zipping about Ho Chi Minh City on vintage Vespas!

What is your favourite #SquadSQ moment? 

Dinner together on the last evening in Singapore at the National Kitchen – the setting was beautiful, food delicious and it gave us a chance to get to know the squad better and hear about their adventures.

What is your favourite Singapore Airlines moment? 

Flying home to Sydney Business Class in the new A380. Everything in the plane was so sleek and shiny and Chris and I could even lower the privacy screen between our seats all the way down to create a double pod for the two of us.

What is your #1 travel tip or hack at the moment? 

Bring a power board on your travels then you only need one adapter! It’s life-changing.

Visit The Curious Collection website, and follow Chris on Instagram andPhoebe on Instagram

Luke of Backstreet Nomad

Luke from Backstreet Nomad

Luke is an Australian travel blogger with a penchant for all things off the beaten track as evidenced by the epic guides he shares through the Backstreet Nomad website and his unintentionally HILARIOUS Insta-Stories (his deadpan delivery kills me!). He’s always so happy to be out and about exploring and manages to make the most of every minute of the day! In addition to being incredibly funny, kind and genuine, Luke is also a really great guy – he’s an awesome friend, a fantastic husband and a great dad to his two adorable kids. As part of #SquadSQ, Luke set off for Sri Lanka and Japan, hot on the trail of vibrant culture and rich history.

What is your stand-out moment from your trip to Sri Lanka? 

My highlight of Sri Lanka was easily the safari. It was a last minute decision and it turned a great day into an incredible day. That first moment seeing a large herd of elephants grazing and interacting in a wide open space is something I’ll not forget for a long time.

What is your stand-out moment from your trip to Japan? 

The highlight of Japan was spending a night on Miyajima Island, which is a 10-minute ferry ride from Hiroshima. There’s a great hike that takes you up a mountain with beautiful views of nearby islands and Hiroshima city. And my hotel was traditional Japanese style complete with bamboo floor mats, a 7-course dinner served in my room on the floor table, and a bed that is set up and packed away each night and morning.

What is your favourite #SquadSQ moment? 

The first night we all met up at the start of the trip was a real high. The energy was infectious and the anticipation high, as none of us (or no one has) ever done a trip quite like this before. We laughed like old buddies from the very first moment.

What is your favourite Singapore Airlines moment? 

Experiencing Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy for the very first time was about 8 hours of favourite moments for me. From the excitement of finding noise-cancelling headphones(!) to actually enjoying my food (that I’d pre-booked) I thoroughly enjoyed discovering something new about the class the entire flight.

What is your #1 travel tip or hack at the moment? 

My number 1 travel tip at the moment is to keep an eye out for the little guy. And by that I mean when booking a hotel, if you’re staying somewhere that looks family run or is a small business, give them your support by booking direct, rather than through a booking engine so they don’t have to pay commission on your stay. (Though if I’m booking the Hilton or another big business I’m less concerned!)

Visit the Backstreet Nomad website and follow Luke on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

WHEN YOU GO TO SRI LANKA DO A SAFARI. Did you even know you could safari in Sri Lanka? I didn’t, until my guide asked if I wanted to do one when he picked me up from the airport. That was a firm “yes” on my part and I saw sooooo many elephants from out the top of my Jeep. This girl was by far the cutest but Asian elephants are actually pretty cute in general. There’s a few National Parks you can safari in, I went to Minnerirya National Park and it can easily be done the same day as Dambulla Caves or Sigiriya Rock (pics to come). If I’ve convinced you, give me a 🐘🐘🐘 in the comments ———————————— #visitsrilanka #ast #astlk #aitkenspencetravels @aitkenspensetravels @singaporeair #squadSQ #flySQ

A post shared by Luke Marlin 🌏 Travel Blogger (@backstreetnomad) on

Matt and Phoebe from Little Grey Box

Phoebe is a travel writer and photographer and Matt is a videographer and photographer. Together, we overcame our fears to leave our office jobs in search of happiness and our dreams. Now, we run Little Grey Box together full-time, travelling the world and doing what we love each and every day. As part of #SquadSQ, we got the chance to visit South Africa and South Korea in search of animals on Safari and the very best Seoul has to offer!

What is your stand-out moment from your trip to South Africa? 

Our entire Safari experience in Sabi Sands was unbelievable and serious life goals! But there was one moment in particular, on our last game drive, when we saw our first lion. It was unexpectedly overwhelming and ended with both of us in tears at just how awesome life is.

What is your stand-out moment from your trip to South Korea?  

We did a trip to the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea, something Matt has been wanting to do for years. It was fascinating and surreal to be able to see North Korea and walk through the underground tunnels built as part of an invasion plan.

What is your favourite #SquadSQ moment? 

Our first night together in Singapore was fantastic! We had all just flown in from different parts of the world and met up in the hotel’s club lounge, determined to make the most of the complimentary cocktail hour. We had a few drinks and everyone immediately just clicked – we had such a great first night, it really set the tone for the trip!

What is your favourite Singapore Airlines moment? 

Flying Business Class with Singapore Airlines is just the next level and nothing quite captures the experience like this little story. Matt and I were both hungry so ordered some pot noodles as a snack, expecting them to come out in the regular pot noodles cup. But the crew had other ideas! Our tray tables were laid out with white linen and silver cutlery and our noodles were brought out in fine china, served beautifully, with the lid taken off as a big reveal. It was just the perfect example of how Singapore Airlines take the ordinary and make it special. That’s why they’re so good, they take ordinary plane travel and make it special!

What is your #1 travel tip or hack at the moment? 

I’ve really upped my in-flight sleeping game by packing comfortable pyjamas to change into for long-haul flights as well as an eye-mask, ear plugs and carrying a big pillow with me (not a travel pillow, a real one!) I’m sure I look a bit crazy but, honestly, it gives me the best shot possible of getting a half-decent sleep while flying a long way in economy. For anyone who gets travel sick – I’ve found Blackmore’s travel calm ginger is a natural way of stopping it without making me drowsy!

Visit the Little Grey Box, follow Matt on Instagram and follow Phoebe on Instagram.

Thank you!

I just want to take a moment to say a huge thank you to Singapore Airlines and each of the local tourism boards, influencers and locals who formed part of each of our trips. All of us felt so grateful to be invited to be part of the #SquadSQ by Singapore Airlines who, by the way, are an absolute dream to work with. So, a huge thank you to Karl and Erin for everything you did for us – we truly appreciate it. We were all also very well taken care of by local tourism boards, influencers and creators who showed us around, incredible local guides, lovely hotel staff and friendly locals we met along the way. Our sincere thanks to each and every one of you for making our adventures so very special – you helped us fall in love with your country and capture amazing content to share.

If you’d like to see more of what the #SquadSQ got up to you, be sure to check out the hashtag on Instagram where you can catch all the photos posted from the trip so far. Each of us will also be creating some great written guides and blog posts on our websites, so keep your eyes out for those.

Visit Singapore Airlines here.

Little Grey Box

Phoebe is a travel writer and photographer with a love for storytelling and making people laugh. Matt is a videographer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and big adventures. Together we inspire big adventures through our guides, videos, vlogs and photographs.

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