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6 years ago

Travel Tips

Top Tips for holidaying while pregnant.

pregnant woman on beach

Taking a well deserved break when pregnant is not only good for your body but some would say it is absolutely necessary!

 

Life moves so fast and it is very important that you get the required rest while pregnant. For some people they would rather holiday at home, take a mini break to a country hotel or relax at one of our coastal towns and that is great, but for others some guaranteed sunshine is the perfect tonic!

Many experts suggest that if you are to plan a holiday abroad try to avoid the first trimester. You may have morning sickness and at the very least you will be feeling more tired than at other times during your pregnancy. Generally speaking most airlines will not allow you to travel once you are 36 weeks pregnant and will require a letter if you are between 28 – 36 weeks. This really means that the second trimester is the optimum time. I travelled during the latter half of my second trimester and it was perfect. I had lots of energy, was able to lie on a sun lounger comfortably and found the whole experience fabulous.  Your skin tends to tan more easily so travelling at this time will let you have a nice glow when the baby arrives! Be careful though, while it tans easily it also ‘burns’ easily so make sure you have a higher factor sunscreen than you would normally use.

Top Tips for holidaying while pregnant.

I really enjoyed relaxing days, strolling on the beach and laid back evenings with nice food. It may be a different holiday experience to one you would normally have, but when you are pregnant having early nights and early mornings is bliss! I would recommend choosing somewhere close to the beach. It feels incredibly therapeutic lying at the beach listening to the waves or swimming in the open sea. Swimming is one of the best exercises you can do while pregnant as the water supports your bump perfectly. I would also suggest you choose somewhere where temperatures are not too high. Your skin can be sensitive to prickly heat while pregnant and you will usually feel hotter too as your body temperature increases. The Algarve and the Canary islands are good choices as they usually have a nice cool breeze which makes it feel very pleasant. Try to avoid rainy seasons where mosquitoes are prevalent, bites are not pleasant at any time but will feel worse during pregnancy!

Your circulation is generally not as good while pregnant too so if you want to fly long haul it is essential that you discuss this with your doctor. Deep vein thrombosis is generally a result of poor circulation so shorter flights are more suitable if possible. Drink plenty of water on the airplane to avoid dehydration, mind you we should all do this whether we are pregnant or not! Walk up and down the aisle and make sure you wear comfortable clothes for travelling, it may seem obvious but your body may swell so high heels and jeans with tight belts are a no no! Make sure you notify your travel insurance company that you are pregnant, while most airlines policies are 28 – 36 weeks, some insurance companies may be less. They will usually see a pregnancy as a change of circumstance and they will need to be notified, more than likely there will be no additional charge but it is something you need to do.

Top Tips for holidaying while pregnant.

Choose your accommodation wisely, make sure you are within walking distance to the town without any steep hills. Ensure there is a hospital close by, not that you should need it but it gives you peace of mind. A hotel with a spa on site is a great choice, spoil yourself with a well deserved spa treatment, most have special pregnancy treatments now that will make you feel fabulous, for a fraction of the cost you would pay at home. Get a pedicure as painting your toes will get harder and harder and come home feeling pampered, relaxed and fresh faced. One final tip, take pictures, this is probably the time you will look your best while pregnant, take advantage of it, there will be no place better to take nice pictures of you and bump than on a glorious sunny beach.

Enjoy!

 

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Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

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Orlando 29th Dec, flights & hotel, 8 Nights €699!

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Fancy ringing in the new year in style? No where does it better than Orlando, amazing fireworks, long lasting celebrations and balmy weather… tempted?

Orlando is one place that will definitely guarantee you a holiday full of fun. There are over twelve theme parks and four water parks to choose from as well as numerous entertainment facilities on International Drive, you will literally be spoilt for choice. The biggest surprise for me was that Orlando is not just for kids, most of the theme parks are great for adults too. It’s not all about Mickey Mouse and roller coasters. My favourite theme park is  Universal Studios, the Harry Potter experience is amazing and the simulator rides are remarkable. And if thats not enough you have the Florida Mall and the Premium Outlets on your doorstep with plenty of bargains waiting to be snapped up! Read my blog on Orlando for more information.

This fantastic offer includes flights with Virgin Atlantic on the 29th of December and 8 nights in the Ramada Gateway Hotel, based on two adults and two children sharing. This accommodation receives good reviews on trip advisor and is centrally located. You can choose to stay longer or upgrade your accommodation but bear in mind there is so much to do in Orlando you won’t spend too much time in your hotel.  This price includes all taxes and charges based on four sharing, supplement for 2 sharing is only €100 per person.

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Barbados

Barbados

You only have to mention the word Barbados to anyone and you can see they are mentally wishing they were there, sipping cocktails on one of its stunning beaches.

In fact I have yet to speak to someone who didn’t like Barbados. There are more than 700 islands in the Caribbean but for me Barbados is the jewel in the crown. Some islands are blessed with the world’s best beaches,  some with dramatic landscapes, others have UNESCO world heritage sites and vibrant nightlife. Barbados has them all!

There is a great vibe from the people you meet. I know this may sound like a cliché but everyone is happy!  You will find people from all walks of life who emigrated there for a better lifestyle. Barbados is English speaking, extremely safe and you really get a feeling that you could actually live there.  I have visited other Caribbean islands and you usually feel like a tourist, in some cases an intruder and you certainly wouldn’t feel safe wandering around the streets alone at nighttime. Although more developed than some of its neighbours Barbados still has a Caribbean feel, with plenty of charm and character to savour.

Barbados by The Travel Expert

Some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean are here too. Choose mouth watering sandwiches from Cutters at Crane Beach where you can even order from the beach and they will deliver it to you. There are numerous Bajan restaurants that are very affordable but if you are on holiday for a special occasion or if you simply have some money to spend, you have to visit The Cliff. It is one of the best known restaurants in Barbados, both for the quality of its food and for the stunning setting. Perched on a cliff edge overlooking a bay where sting rays happily swim by, it is breathtaking. The torch lit decks enhance the dramatic effect and although it is expensive, I guarantee you, it is worth it. Make sure you book in advance and ask for a table with a view.

The Cliff Restaurant, Barbados, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

Barbados is actually a very small island, 34km in length and 23 km wide, yet extremely diverse. We hired a local ‘moke’ and drove around the whole island in a day. The east coast is renowned for it’s excellent surf. Bathsheba beach is a cool place to hang out and watch the ‘billabong ‘bodies catching the waves.

The south coast has some of the best nightlife in the Caribbean and tends to attract a younger crowd or couples who are looking for budget accommodation. Although St. Lawerence Gap is the most popular spot for nightlife make sure you take a trip to Oistins where every Friday and Saturday night they have a wild street party. The south coast is also home to the capital Bridgetown. This bustling town, although not that appealing, offers plenty of sightseeing  and some of the best shopping on the island.

Barbados Surfer, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

The west coast is home to Sandy Lane, need I say more? This part of the island is a real celebrity hang out , however there are plenty of affordable hotels if luxury resorts are not in your budget. The Caribbean sea here is very calm and completely contrasts the Atlantic on the east coast. The white sandy beaches and clear water are pure heaven for sunbathing or swimming.  There are plenty of  boat trips available from here without having to venture too far out to sea, you can swim with turtles, go snorkeling or try your hand at scuba diving.

Barbados by The Travel Expert

There is a wealth of trips that are worth doing while you are in Barbados. A visit to a Plantation House is one of the most popular excursions. George Washington’s House, St Nicholas Abbey and Sunbury Plantation House are particularly impressive. You can also visit some of the nearby Caribbean islands. I took a trip to the Grenadines and spent the day on board a catamaran visiting some of the worlds most stunning beaches – it was heaven! If you have some time to kill before you fly home you can step on board an original Concorde aircraft. Situated in the airport this experience costs approx €15 and is worth it if you are even remotely interested in airplanes.

In terms of weather, January through to April is the best time to go, it is less humid and usually dry. The rainy season is August to October so best to avoid travelling at that time if possible, but for the other nine months of the year it is amazing!

 

Sarah

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DESTINATIONSEuropeFamily HolidaysFeaturedSunseekers

Corfu

The-Travel-Expert-Corfu-2

As a travel agent I always loved selling Corfu. I regularly got calls from customers who came back thanking me for sending them there. In fact usually people rebooked the same place the following year, they loved it so much!

I love holidaying in Greece in general, I love the people, the food and the laid back atmosphere – Corfu is no exception. Unlike many other European destinations most hotels and apartment complexes are family owned so you feel like you are staying in a home away from home.  You will probably get to know the owners and by the end of your stay you will probably be their friends on facebook!

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There are many resorts to choose from, it really depends what you are looking for. If its nightlife you seek try Kavos or Ipsos, or if you want peace and tranquility try Kommeno Bay. For the rest of us there is actually a large choice. I loved Sidari, it is visually stunning with lots of small cove beaches, plenty of bars and restaurants and just enough night life without being over bearing. The canal d’amour ( canal of love) is a famous natural phenomenon where the cliffs form a canal in the sea. If you are staying elsewhere it is worth a trip to see this alone.  If I was to find fault I would say Sidari is a little too far from Corfu town and the airport for me.

Corfu Sunrise, The Travel Expert, Sarah Slattery

Messonghi and Moraitika, two resorts that run into each other are probably the most popular with Irish holidaymakers. They an ideal choice if you want to relax, have great food and some nightlife too. The main road linking the two has a strip full of bars and shops but I thought was a little run down. The beach life on the other hand is fantastic. I stayed in the Delphina Hotel right on the beach and loved it. Rooms are basic like most Greek hotels but the service and welcome you receive more than make up for that. Best of all at night time you just need to wander along the shore to find a good bar or restaurant. In fact you could actually go barefoot because the bars have chairs literally on the sand – when you read about beachfront bars, they actually mean it! There are numerous restaurants to choose from and each one as good as the next. I love the Greek food, the salads, the stifados and the saganaki! My kids loved it too, everything is so cheap you can actually order a choice of main course or starter and the bill will still be ridiculously cheap! This is one of the reasons it is so popular with families, the endless supply of watersports and slides at the waters edge is another. The sea is shallow for a long way out so you can chill on a sun bed knowing your kids are safe in the water.

The Travel Expert, Corfu blog, review, Sarah Slattery

Try Spiros’ Baracco beach bar at Messonghi for a pre dinner drink or a night cap, either way you will receive a warm welcome. The Village Taverna is definitely worth a trip, great food and a great atmosphere in the old town of Moraitika. One of the best restaurants I have ever eaten in is in this area, Archontiko. Situated at the top of a peninsula this purpose built restaurant will amaze you. It is completely different to anything in the resort centre, modern in design and stunning gardens, you really have to go here! Everything we had was fantastic but they are renowned for their amazing steaks. The whole experience feels so five star but the prices are still really reasonable. In fact that’s one thing about Corfu or Greece in general, it is so cheap to eat out and overall you will spend a lot less than you would in Spain, France or Italy.

Travelling with children

 

While most of the resorts are laid back and generally unspoilt you may find it hard to spend your money! The shops are pretty poor with most offering the same souvenirs and beach wear. Corfu town on the other hand…has great shopping! There are great local and designer shops and it is a lovely town to potter around and people watch. Cruises stop here regularly in peak season so it can be very busy and of course if travelling in July or August it can be very hot! I would suggest going early evening when the temperatures are cooler and the day-trippers have gone back to their cruise ships! Enjoy a walk around the old town and marvel at the fortess and venetian mansions, do some sightseeing and catch a nice meal before heading back to your hotel. There are regular bus services from most of the nearby resorts so take this into account when choosing your holiday resort. Although I loved Sidari in the north of the island, you wouldn’t exactly pop into Corfu town for dinner!

Corfu town, The Travel Expert, Sarah Slattery

There are plenty of excursions that can be arranged through your local representative or with local agents in your holiday resort. We hired a car and explored the island ourselves and I would highly recommend that. The roads are poor with no highways but the island is small and is easy to navigate. Stop off at hill top villages and admire the typical white washed houses or find an unspoilt stretch of beach for an afternoon dip. The island itself, the people and the landscape are what makes this island so alluring and why visitors return year after year. There are numerous hideaways waiting to be discovered, I recommend you go and find them….

 

Sarah

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Algarve, 1 week, flights & apartments at the beach only €217!

Club Praia da Oura_opt

Looking to escape this cold weather without breaking the bank? This deal to the Algarve is perfect, a beach front location and within walking distance from the old town of Albufeira. Go on, you deserve it!

 

The Clube Praia da Oura have been popular with Irish holiday makers for many years now. With a superb beachfront location, modern interiors and within walking distance of plenty of bars and restaurants,  its not difficult to see why. Many visitors return each year to enjoy the spectacular sea views and the excellent on site facilities. They receive great reviews on trip advisor  and are featured in many Irish travel brochures.  Check out the short video below and see for yourself.

 

 

Fly from Dublin on the 16th of April and stay seven nights for only €217 per person. You can extend your stay or even choose to take a long weekend, either way they are exceptional value.

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Sarah

The Travel Expert

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Majorca – How To Choose The Right Resort For You

Girl on Beach

Majorca has been one of the top holiday destinations from Ireland for many years now. In fact Majorca was my first holiday abroad, as I am sure you can imagine I didn’t exactly take in the stunning scenery! Yes like many young people, I went for the great nightlife and the warm sunshine. There is so much more to this magnificent island though that needs to be told…

 

Majorca is an island that no matter what age you are, you can have a great holiday, it truly is an island of contrasts. Whether you have just finished your leaving cert and want a lively holiday, have children and want a family holiday or if you are retired and want some relaxation with evening entertainment, Majorca has all in abundance. Many people still associate Majorca with discounted package holidays but it is also full of luxury hotels, Michelin star restaurants and impressive marinas. The key is knowing which resort to choose at various times during the year.

North Coast: Alcudia, Puerto Pollensa, C’an Picafort, Playa de Muro

Puerto Pollensa, Alcudia, Can Picafort and Playa de Muro are the main resorts that stretch across the north of the island. My personal favourite is Puerto Pollensa. It is almost picture perfect with a long sandy beach, a mountain backdrop and a pretty old town to sweeten the deal. It was once an old fishing village so still retains a certain charm. There are great restaurants here and a great choice of self catering and hotel accommodation to suit anyone looking for a relaxing holiday with nice surroundings.

The neighbouring resort of Alcudia, has a magnificent 12km long beach and an old walled town but for me, lacks the authenticity that Pollensa has. In fact it has gone so developed now that it resembles the holiday resort cliché, with burger bars and loud music on every corner. C’an Picafort and Playa de Muro are both quieter resorts, pretty and less developed than Alcudia but the former has a large promenade and a more modern feel.

Majorca, by The Travel Expert

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East Coast: Cala D’or, Cala Millor, Cala Bona, Sa Coma.

The east coast is also very popular from Ireland with many families and couples choosing Cala Dor, Cala Millor , Cala Bona, and Sa Coma for their summer holiday. Cala D’or would be my personal favourite along this coast, it is a great choice for families and couples, with many cove beaches and a stunning marina in Cala Longa – a great spot for al fresco dining.

Cala Millor was somewhat of a surprise to me, it is a large resort which a long sandy beach and plenty of great shops and nightlife. The smaller resorts of Cala Bona and Sa Coma are more family orientated with nightlife centered around hotels and family resorts.

Majorca by The Travel Expert

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South West Coast:  Santa Ponsa, Magaluf, Palma Nova.

Santa Ponsa, Palma Nova and Magaluf are renowned for great nightlife so tend to attract mostly young people during July and August. They are also very popular with couples and families who are looking for a lively holiday at that time. In the quieter months, May, September and October enjoy a more mixed crowd as some of the other parts of the island may be almost ‘too’ quiet for some tastes.

All three resorts are lively with a great choice of bars and restaurants and long sandy beaches to satisfy adults and children alike. Santa Ponsa is particularly popular with Irish people so you are bound to hear ‘the wild rover’ emanating from numerous bars as you walk through the town.

Majorca, by The Travel Expert 

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Palma, Puerto Portals:

Majorca isn’t just about a traditional sun holiday, it can offer so much more. The vibrant city of Palma would compete with the best for a city break destination. The gothic cathedral, the Almudaina Palace and Bellvar Castle (amazing views from the top) are just some of the ‘must see’ sights. It is a modern city with stunning architecture, excellent shopping and one of the most impressive marinas in Europe.

Wandering around the old town of Palma is really impressive albeit with a relaxed holiday feel. The nearby resort of Puerto Portals has been home to celebrities for some time now. It has a sophisticated marina as well as plenty of designer shops so it feels more upmarket than some of its neighbours. It is very close to Palma Nova so many choose to stay here but take a taxi to Palma Nova for a lively night scene.

Tram, Majorca, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

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Exclusive North West Coast:

If you are looking for something a little more exclusive you should try Soller or Deia on the west coast. This is Majorca at its best. These hill top towns boast magnificent views as well as mouth watering restaurants and luxury hotels. Take a tram to the port of Soller and enjoy a cocktail at the waters edge, the scenery is stunning. Enjoy a day trip to Valldemossa, this old town oozes charm and character and is one of the prettiest villages in Majorca.

Sarah, Slattery, The Travel Expert, Majorca

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Wander through the cobbled stone streets and do some souvenir shopping but beware it is only 30 minutes from Palma so it does attract a lot of day trippers. This part of the island is for me one of the highlights of this island, so if you are planning a break to Majorca in the future make sure you rent a car or take a bus and go see it, you will thank me for it!

 

Sarah

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Kos, Greece, 20th May, 1 week inc Flights, Transfers & Baggage, €355!

Boat in water, Kos, The Travel Expert

Looking for a week away without breaking the bank? This super deal to Kos in Greece is perfect!

Kos is an island of contrasts. There are quiet sandy beaches on the south coast and beaches full of water sport enthusiasts on the north coast. You will find peaceful low-key resorts as well as buzzing towns housing some of the best bars and nightclubs in Greece. Kos town, the capital mixes ancient ruins with a cosmopolitan centre. There is plenty of sightseeing as well as great night life. The sophisticated harbour is at the heart of this town, which is a great place to people watch and enjoy some al fresco dining.

Nirides Beach Kos

I found a great deal staying in the highly rated Nirides Beach apartments. Situated beside the sea in the resort of Psalidi, they offer the best of both worlds; relaxation but with close proximity to enjoy all that Kos Town has to offer. Fly direct from Dublin on the 20th of May and enjoy a seven night stay for only €355 per person. Price includes transfers and checked baggage too!

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Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Note some links in this post are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

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