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6 years ago

Travel

Orlando, Easter 2017, 2ad & 2ch, Flights & Hotel €2440!

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Book now for Easter 2017 and plan a holiday to the best family holiday destination in the world – Orlando!

With twelve theme parks, four waterparks and a host of other activities on International Drive, you will be spoilt for choice of things to do in Orlando. Take the kids to the Magic Kingdom, enjoy the parades, the fireworks and let them meet their favourite characters. Enjoy the amazing simulator rides at Universal Studios and experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it will take your breath away. For the dare devils amongst you try the world famous roller coaster rides and slide down the tallest water slides in one of the aquaparks. Shop till you drop at the Premium Outlet Mall or swim with the dolphins at the stunning Discovery Cove. I can’t stress enough how much there is to do here. It’s an amazing holiday for adults and kids and that’s what makes it such a good family holiday destination – there is something for everyone! Check out my blog on Orlando by clicking here.

Universal Orlando, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

Easter is an ideal time to travel, its not as hot as the summer months and I’ve chosen dates at the start of the Irish Easter holidays, these are earlier than the US holidays so hopefully it wont be as busy in the theme parks.

Fly from Dublin on the 10th of April and spend 10 nights at the Rosen Inn International for only €2440 for 2 adults and 2 children. This hotel is in a great location on International Drive and gets great reviews on tripadvisor.  You can choose to extend your stay in Orlando or spend a few nights at the beach, but either way you should book now before the airfares increase – which they definitely will!

TOP TIP:  

There are a range of flight options with this deal to Orlando that vary in price. Some connections are better than others, I have priced this holiday based on flights with American Airlines with one stop in Philadelphia. There are cheaper options available with two stops, so try to select the one with the best connections and the least flying time. For the best prices on theme park tickets and plenty of other things to do in Orlando please click here.

Click here to book:

 

All prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to availability.

Sarah

travel deals

Uncategorized

Rhodes 2nd Sep, 1 week, flights & hotel €405!

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Looking for a bargain break away in September? I found the perfect spot – Rhodes!

 

Rhodes is one of the largest Greek islands and arguably has probably the most to offer too. Rhodes town combines a medieval city that is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO, with a modern ‘new’ town full of designer shops and seafront bars. If you want a more relaxed pace, choose the resorts of Lardos or Pefkos or if it is nightlife you seek, Faliraki has enough bars and discos to satisfy any nightowl.

A visit to Rhodes would not be complete without a visit to the hill top town of Lindos. The view from the top is breathtaking and exploring the hidden walkways, packed with local shops and cafes, makes the climb worthwhile! It is the perfect picture postcard, whitewashed houses on a hill side leading down to a fabulous beach.

One other plus is its location, further south than most of its Greek neighbours, you can expect higher temperatures here than on some of the other Mediterranean islands.

Fly from Dublin on the 2nd of September and spend seven nights in the Rodos Sun Hotel for only €412 per person. This receives excellent reviews on trip advisor and received a certificate of excellence last year. If you want a more relaxed resort try the Cosmos Maris in Lardos for €405 per person. This voted number 1 on trip advisor in Lardos and also has excellent reviews. Both prices include flights, accommodation, taxes, transfers and 20kg baggage, with NO hidden extras!

 

Click here to book:


 

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All prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to availability. To ensure you receive my weekly best travel deals please click here to sign up to my newsletter.

Sarah
The Travel Expert

City BreaksEuropeTravel TipsTraveling With Kids

Top 10 tips for taking kids on city breaks

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Check out my top 10 tips for taking kids on city breaks and get planning your next weekend break away.

 

Taking kids on city breaks may not be as daunting as you might think. Airfares are so low to many European cities, so it would be a shame to not take advantage of them – well thats my excuse anyway! Travel broadens the mind and is extremely educational for children. They will learn new cultures, see famous landmarks, try new foods and who knows, may even learn a bit if history too! Hopefully my handy tips and tricks will see you will jetting off on a family city break in no time.
 

 

1. Choose your city wisely.

The ideal choice when taking kids on city breaks is to choose a city that you have already been to, and you would like revisit. You won’t feel it necessary to see all the top attractions the second time round and you will have a more relaxed trip. Failing that, choose a small city where you don’t have ten ‘must see’ sights to see, because no matter how well behaved your children are, there are only so many museums and monuments that kids can take…

tips for taking kids on city breaks
 

 

2. Get your kids excited before you go.

Find something that you know they would be interested in and focus on that. Perhaps there is a famous landmark, a football stadium, a theme park or an aquarium that you know they would be excited to see. Google famous films made in that city and watch a movie together before you. 
 

 

3. Choose good flight times when taking kids on city breaks.

Very early starts are ok if your kids will sleep on the plane, but if this is not likely, then try to choose day time flights. Many hotels won’t have your room ready till 2pm anyway, so arriving at 11 am, after being asked ‘are we nearly there’ ten times, only to be told to come back in a few hours, is not ideal! On your last day all kids want to do is go to the airport, so try to get an early flight home and avoid hanging around. That €20 you think you are saving by coming back on a later flight, trust me you will spend it ten times over!


 

 

4. Choose your hotel wisely.

Try to choose a hotel that is centrally located, so you can walk to restaurants in the evening and sights during the day. Kids get tired and bored on buses and trains, so avoid these where possible. If you can, try to get a hotel with a pool. It is a great incentive when out walking all day, to reward your children with a swim in the evening before you go to dinner.
 

 

5. Get the kids involved.

Give them maps and let them help plan your day. Try to encourage your children to take selfies front of famous landmarks and bring them back and show their friends or teachers.

Tom ten city breaks for families

6. Choose museums that are interactive or child friendly.

The ‘please do not touch’ museums don’t work out so well! There are usually technology, science or transport museums in most cities, that everyone can enjoy. Boat trips can also be something that will appeal to adults and kids.
 

 

7. Plan one thing to do each day that interests them.

Try to fit some sightseeing in the morning while your children are fresh. Plan an activity for them in the afternoon, a visit to a park, zoo or kids attraction.
 

 

8. Bring portable toys, buggies or even scooters!

Bring pocket colouring books, lego, smart phones, tablets or anything that fits into a backpack. When you are taking time out for a coffee or standing in line in a queue, they can come in very handy. A Verbatim MEDIA SHARE is much handier than a portable DVD player. It creates it’s own wifi network so kids can watch movies on their tablets or phones, anywhere – just remember to bring headphones! It is great to have on the plane, in restaurants or even in museums where kids usually get bored. Depending on your children’s ages you may want to bring buggies too. If they are old enough a fold up scooter can be a great asset to get around a big city.

tips for taking kids on city breaks
 

 

9. Try something new.

Children will visit lots of aquariums, zoos or even theme parks in their lifetime, so do something different that they will remember the trip for. Maybe its something simple like eating the local street food, or taking a tuk-tuk ride around the city, but do something that you would not do in your own home town.
 

 

10. Relax and enjoy it!

Don’t stress out if you can’t ‘fit it all in’. Enjoy taking kids on city breaks,and if you love the city that much, you can always come back!
 

 

 

Want to see more travel tips? Click here!

 

Sarah

 

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

Travel

Berlin City Break, Valentine’s weekend, 3 Nights, €259!

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Surprise your loved one with a weekend in Berlin for Valentine’s Day!

 

The city is steeped in history, there is so much to see and do, and it has some of the best nightlife you are likely to find in any European city. Wander around the historic centre, marvel at the Brandenburg Gate, see the city from Europe’s highest accessible building or chill out on one of its many squares with great German beer! If museums are your thing, there are 175 of them so I think you will find plenty here to satisfy you! Walk along the Berlin wall and meet with the US soldiers at checkpoint charlie, Berlin will astonish you at every corner.

The Travel Expert, Sarah Slattery, Berlin Wall

With a city as big as Berlin it is important to stay central, although it has a fantastic public transport system, you don’t want to spend all your time on it. I found a great hotel, well located in trendy East Berlin, the Best Western Hotel City Ost. This gets great reviews on tripadvisor and was awarded a certificate of excellence.  The total price including flights and three nights accommodation on the 12th of February is only €259 per person.

Berlin is superb, I can’t say enough good things about it, go see it!

 

Click here to book: (Price shown is total cost for two people)

 

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Sarah

The Travel Expert

City BreaksDestinationsEurope

My City Guide to Berlin

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Berlin, I finally got around to visiting a city that has been on my wish list for many years and boy was it worth the wait!

 

The atmosphere in Berlin is almost palpable. Walking around the city you cant help but be taken by the enormity of what happened here. The Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, all the various memorials and of course the numerous museums are all fascinating, even to someone who is not that up on her history! It is also renowned for amazing nightlife and must rival New York for the title of ‘the city that never sleeps‘. There are basement nightclubs, cocktail bars, craft beer houses and even beer cabins. You name it, Berlin probably has it.

What to see:

So where do I begin, there really is so much to see, I had four full days and really could have done with another four. Before you do anything, buy the Berlin Welcome Card. This allows you free transport on all buses, trains and the underground. It also gives you 25-50% off many top attractions and even some restaurants. If you are smart you can even use it to get to and from the airport to save on taxi fares. The train system is great and you will use it, as the city is too large to navigate on foot.

I would start at the Brandenburg Gate, it is the only remaining city gate which used to represent the separation of the city between east and west. It is extremely well kept and was one of the highlights for me. From there walk to the Reichstag building (German parliament) which has a spectacular glass dome with incredible views over the city. TOP TRAVEL TIP: You need to register to do this online to gain access otherwise you will have to stand in line for over two hours.

From here you can walk to the Jewish Holocaust Memorial complete with 2,711 concrete slabs, arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. Then on to the west side of the Berlin wall. Depending on energy levels you may be able to continue on to Checkpoint Charlie where you just have to get the obligatory photo with the American ‘GI’s”! Incidentally Check Point Charlie was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.

The Travel Expert, Sarah Slattery, Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie

Would you believe there are 175 museums in Berlin so I think it is safe to say you won’t get to see them all! The visit berlin website is worth checking out as it is best to try to plan what museums you want to see before you go. Museum Island has five world renowned museums and is considered part of UNESCO world heritage and that is probably the most popular choice. However if you are looking for something a little different try the museums of technology, science, the spy museum or the interactive DDR museum.

One of the things most people do when they tour a city is find a high point to get an aerial view. In Berlin there are several of these. The TV tower is the most popular. It is now an icon for Berlin and is the highest publicly accessible building in Europe. Try to book online for the best choice of tickets. Failing this you can see a similar view from “Panoramapunkt” at Potsdamer Platz – it’s outside so might be windier than the TV tower, but still very nice. It’s also only  €6.50 to enter, so also cheaper than the tower which starts at €13.00. The view from the dome of the Reichstag is very impressive too so try to plan in advance which one you want to see and it may save you some time and money.

The Reichstag Building, Berlin, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert
The Reichstag Building

The east gallery of the Berlin wall for me was another of the highlights. It is a 1.3 km-long painted stretch of the former Berlin Wall and is the largest open-air gallery in the world, with over one hundred original mural paintings. The murals represent freedom and reconciliation and it is well worth a visit. I really enjoyed the experience and the combination of the bright coloured murals and the riverside setting makes for superb photographs.

The Berlin Wall, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert, Berlin
The East Berlin Wall

Berlin is full of wonderful squares too or ‘Platz’ as the locals call them. Alexanderplatz has plenty of market stalls and a typical beer house with outside tables and sometimes, live music. It is a great spot to relax and enjoy a German beer and take in the atmosphere. On the quieter side is Gendarmenmarkt, a square with stunning buildings and remarkable architecture. There are plenty of good restaurants here and lots of places to enjoy an alfresco coffee. Last but not least if you get nice weather, a boat trip along the Spree river is a nice way to see the city from the water.

Where to stay:

One thing that I did underestimate was the size of Berlin and how much there was to see. Yes, the underground system is remarkable and the S and U Bahn trains take you all over the city. For me though, I like to walk around a city and discover places that are not always in the guide books, I found it difficult to do this in Berlin. The tourist area close to the Brandenburg Gate is walkable and I would recommend staying near here if sightseeing is your main objective. Likewise if you are visiting for nightlife stay in east Berlin, Mitte, Friedrichshain or Kreuzberg are the most popular choices. I stayed in West Berlin near the famous Kurfurstendamm shopping district but I felt it was too far out of town, if I was to return, I would choose to stay in a more central location. The Adina Apartments at Checkpoint Charlie are a good choice, they are spacious and come with a kitchenette and have an indoor pool too.

Search Berlin Hotels
 

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin by The Travel Expert
Brandenburg Gate

What to do with the kids:

This was the first ‘proper’ city break that I have brought my kids on and although I would definitely do it again I would probably resign myself to the fact that you wont get to see everything you want to see. My kids are 7 and 4 so I couldn’t exactly drag them into the holocaust museum and there is only so much sightseeing kids can take!

On the other hand if you are looking to bring kids to a city, Berlin is a great choice as there is plenty for them to do too. Choose a hotel with a swimming pool, it is a great start to the day or else a great way to finish off a days sightseeing. The Lego discovery centre was a big hit with my two, mind you they are lego fanatics! You could not compare it to Legoland though, it is really only somewhere to spend one and a half to two hours at a maximum. Don’t bother with sealife and the aquadom, the one in Bray is just as good!

The aquadom is one of those things that sounds great in theory but is really just a lift that lasts five minutes so trust me, don’t waste your money! The DDR museum is a good choice as it is an interactive museum so unlike most museums, kids are encouraged to touch things and interact! The National History Museum has three huge dinosaur skeletons,  including the largest skeleton in the world, and let’s face it, kids love dinosaurs! The Zoo is one of the most popular in Europe and there are numerous technology and science museums that are very child friendly. My kids loved the Holocaust Memorial, obviously not for what it represents but because it is maze-like and they navigated their way through it.

Lego Discovery Centre, Berlin by The Travel Expert
Lego Discovery Centre

Where to eat:

There are numerous eateries all over the city but as I had my kids with me, we probably played it a little safe. Vapiano is a place you have to try, there are lots of them in Berlin, it is fast food but with an edge. There is a strong emphasis on fresh food with pasta, pizzas, antipasti and salads all ordered directly from the chefs in front of you, and prepared as you watch. Ask for your favourite dish and they will try to provide it. The modern interiors make you feel like you are somewhere special but the prices certainly don’t. A great choice for a quick stop or a leisurely lunch.

Another good find was Amici on Gendarmenmarkt square, excellent value for such a prime location and the food and design was very good. If you are short on time and trying to fit in some extra sightseeing you could try a currywurst (like a hotdog but with tomato /curry sauce), they are on every street corner and are the staple street food in Berlin! The 12 Apostles, close to museum island is a nice family restaurant if you have kids with you, good pizza, pastas etc. Just be aware that the 12 Apostles and other restaurants we found only accept cash and no credit cards! If you are planning to visit the Reichstag building the roof top restaurant here is excellent and is a good way to gain access to the dome, you will need to book in advance.

Vapiano, Berlin Restaurant by The Travel Expert
Vapiano Restaurant

Berlin has so much to offer that I can safely say I would recommend it for everyone. Over the last one hundred years, this is a city that has seen the rise and fall of the Nazis, was destroyed, rebuilt, and then divided into two very different ‘cities’. You get the distinct impression that the residents of Berlin both past and present can handle anything that is thrown at them, they just live for the moment and enjoy life. That is something that will resonate with me for a long time to come.

 

Sarah

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