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EuropeFamily HolidaysFeaturedSunseekers

Crete – Favoured by Families, Craved by Couples and Perfect for Parties

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Crete is Greece’s largest island and also one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean. So when you hear the cliché that it offers something for everyone ( and your eye’s roll ) – believe me when I say, it is actually true!

 

Because of its sheer size ( over 3000 square miles), you can discover isolated beaches on one side of the island or dance all night in a 24 hour bar on the other. You will find sun-drenched beaches with stunning mountain backdrops, pretty villages and bustling resorts. Crere is an island of contrasts.  A trek through the Samaria Gorge, the longest canyon in Europe, and a visit to the Venetian harbour town, Rethymnon are a must. History lovers will appreciate the ancient Minoan palace of Knossos and beach lovers will love the famous pink and white sandy beach of Elafonisi. Whether you are a culture vulture or a party animal, family focused or a solo traveller, Crete will satisfy all your holiday needs – and then some. There are parts of the island that are more suited to families, couples or night owls – so here is my quick guide.

Crete

Best for couples:

 

Quiet life:

Gouves is a great choice for couples who want a relaxing holiday. The old village has typical Greek white washed houses and there are plenty of bars and restaurants along the beach front. Lively Hersonissos is only a 15 minute drive and you are also close to Heraklion where you will find sight seeing and shopping in abundance.

Where to stay:

The adults only 4* Island hotel is perfect for couples looking for a relaxing stay. The choice of dining options, infinity pool and the proximity to the resort centre are just some of the reasons this hotel is rated number 1 on tripadvisor.

Bit of both:

If you are looking for a livelier resort Stalis is a good choice. Sandwiched between the lively resorts of Malia and Hersonissos, Stalis, although busy, is the quieter of the three. The long sandy beach here is one of the best on the island and there are plenty of bars, restaurants and clubs to suit all tastes.

Where to stay:

The self catering Stefania apartments have been a firm favourite with Irish holiday makers for many years. Located in the heart of the resort centre and close to the beach, they are a great value for money option.

Upmarket:

If you like the finer things in life, try Elounda. This colourful town is surrounded by luxury hotels and a sandy beach. The main square is full of Greek tavernas and lively bars and the cosmopolitan town of Agios Nikolaos is only 15 minutes away. The university town of Rethymnon is also a good choice. This Venetian town has more of a city feel but old town is a sight to behold. Rethymnon also offers plenty of upmarket restaurants, stylish shopping, trendy bars and great nightlife.

Where to stay:

3* Manos apartments are a great choice for couples who want to dine out at night time. Don’t be put off by the three star rating, these excellent apartments are rated number 1 on tripadvisor and are ideally situated ten minutes walk from Elounda’s main square.

5* Sensimar Royal Blue adults only hotel has its own private beach and is close to the marina. There are excellent onsite dining options including a beach bar serving sushi.

Crete

Best for families:

Stalis is a good all-rounder with a long sandy beach and a good choice of bars and restaurants. If you are looking for something more upmarket try Elounda or the cosmopolitan resort of Rethymnon.

Where to stay:

4* Atlantica Akti Zeus Hotel is an all inclusive property with a host of family facilities including a waterpark on site.

3* Christina apartments offer great value for money and have excellent reviews on tripadvisor. The lively pool bar and entertainment programme make it a good all round family property.

A family deal to the Algarve by The Travel Expert

Best for nightlife:

Malia and Hersonissos are the liveliest resorts on the islands, with 24 hour bars, Ibiza style clubs and the islands best beach parties. They are only 8km apart so if you are staying in one you can always pop down to the other for a change of scenery. Malia is well known across Europe as one of the best beach resorts for 18 – 30 year olds and takes the title for Greece’s party capital. However Hersonissos is catching up fast and tends to be very popular with Irish holidaymakers. No matter which one you choose, if you are looking for a lively holiday – Hersonissos or Malia will keep you satisfied.

Where to stay:

Falcon Holidays NRG programme offers a selection of apartments and hotels right in the heart of the action. They are only geared for 18-30 year olds so expect up all night, sleep all day kind of places. All properties have free wifi and packages include transfers and checked baggage – so there are no hidden extras.

Leaving Cert Holidays

 
Descriptions are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by Falcon Holidays but all views, as always, are my own 🙂
Sarah

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Travel News and Reviews

Spain Celebrates 1 Million Irish Visitors In 7 Months

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I think we all know that Irish holiday makers love Spain, but when Spain celebrates 1 million Irish visitors in just seven months – that’s a lot of love!

 

The actual figure of 1,245,767 shows a massive increase of 27.4% for the same period in 2015. Although visitors are steady throughout the year over 50% of trips took place during May, June, July and August. The most popular destinations are the Canary Islands, Andalusia, Catalonia, Madrid, Valencia and the Balearic Islands, which in total equate to over 93% of Irish Tourism to Spain. During the same period 5 million overseas trips from were made from Ireland, these levels have not been seen since 2008! After the UK, Spain is our most popular destination!

Spain celebrates 1 million Irish Visitors in 7 months

The ongoing concerns about travel to Egypt, Tunisia and other European countries has meant that Spain is considered a safe and secure destination for tourists. This trend is likely to continue in 2017 so if you are planning a trip to Spain next year  – get booking!

 

Sarah 

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 

Long Haul

Phuket, Thailand, 9th May, 1 week, Flights & 4* Hotel B&B €839!

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Thailand is exotic, cultural and exciting all at once, and the island of Phuket has all three in abundance.

Once seen as a honeymoon paradise, Phuket has evolved and is now the busiest of Thailand’s tropical islands. It is also the largest island and certainly is the most diverse. You can choose to lounge on a beach all day and enjoy some spa treatments or party all night in one of Patong’s shall we say ‘lively’ bars. Although still a tropical paradise there are numerous things to do here. A trip to one of the neighbouring islands, Phi Phi being the most popular or a visit to the old town of Phuket, with it’s quirky streets will not disappoint. It is also a great place to chill out after a trip to bustling Bangkok or elephant trekking in Chang Mai.

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert talks about honeymoon destinations

Sunway Holidays offer many holiday options in Thailand and at very competitive prices. I have chosen the Old Phuket Karon . Ideally situated this 4* hotel is across the road from the beach and close to many bars and restaurants in the resort centre. It is a perfect choice for those looking for some relaxation yet within easy access of Patong, which is only 15 minutes away. This resort has also received a certificate of excellence on tripadvisor. Facilities on site include two swimming pools, two bars, four restaurants and a fitness centre.

Fly from Dublin on the 9th of May and spend seven nights here for only €839 per person. This price includes flights, taxes and checked baggage.  Mix it up a little and spend four nights in Phuket and three nights in the Phi Phi islands for only €1049. You can also add on a city break in Bangkok or an elephant trek in ChangMai, the choice is yours….

Click here for more details:

 

All prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to availability. This post was sponsored by Sunway but all views as always are my own 😃

 

Sarah

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Uncategorized

5 Cities for Great Christmas Shopping!

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Christmas shopping is always a good excuse for a getaway. You can even justify the cost of the trip by the savings you make! From London to New York, check out these 5 cities for great Christmas shopping!

 

London

With sterling so low against the euro there has never been a better time to hit Oxford Street! John Lewis (famous for it’s amazing Christmas adds) and Selfridges are worth going for their window displays alone! Also its nice to shop in places that you don’t have here in Ireland. Almost 2km in length, Oxford Street has all the top high street stores too. Covent Garden is a must for some quirky souvenirs and trendy boutiques and of course no visit to London would be complete without a trip to Harrods and Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge!

Getting there: Flights & 2 Nights in a 4* hotel from €186 – Click here.

Top 5 cities for Christmas shopping

 

Rome

One of the great things about shopping in Rome is the boutiques. Unlike some of Europe’s big shopping cities, Rome isn’t full of department stores. Prada, Fendi, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace – some of the best designer shops are Italian and they are all here, on the stunning Via Condotti.  Thankfully, for most of us, Rome has lots of inexpensive shops too. The Via del Corso has most of the familiar high street stores, but don’t neglect the side streets! You will find lots of Italian shoe shops, jewellery and clothing at very reasonable prices and with different stock to what you will find at home. Many shops still close at lunchtime from 1-3 so it’s the perfect city to enjoy some nice Italian food over a leisurely lunch. Save the sight seeing for night time when Rome’s remarkable buildings are illuminated at Christmas time.

Getting there: Flights & 3 Nights in a 3* Hotel €155 – Click here 

Rome Christmas Market

 

New York

Shopping in New York is great at any time of year but Christmas time is really special. The tree at Rockefeller centre with the ice skating rink , wandering through central park in winter time and ogling at the window displays in Macys and Bloomingdales – New York is Christmas personified! Plan to spend at least a half day in Macys, check out the bargains in Chinatown and visit the designer shops on Fifth Avenue. Early risers will enjoy Century 21 early ( opens from 7.30) and the 24 hour Apple store. If you have time, take the trip to the outlets at Woodbury Common or Jersey Gardens. For more details on the best places to shop in New York, check out my blog post.

Getting there: Flights & 3 Nights 3* Hotel €758 – Click here.

Top 5 cities for Christmas shopping

 

Barcelona

Barcelona may not be renowned as a major shopping city but actually there are over 35,000 shops in Barcelona city! The pedestrianised Las Ramblas is one of Europe’s most iconic streets. Witnessing the street artists perform, stopping for some tapas along the way, its all part of the Barcelona shopping experience. Spanish brands like Zara, Desigual, Custo have flagship stores around Passeig de Gracia and Diagonal Mar and prices are about 20% lower than in Ireland. If you are looking for some trendy boutiques, head for the Gothic quarter, and you will find some cool tapas bars here to stop for lunch too.

Getting there: Flights & 3 Nights in a 3* Hotel €151 – Click here

Top 5 cities for Christmas shopping

 

Berlin

A Christmas market break seems like the perfect way to see some of Europe’s top cities while enjoying the festivities. You could choose Budapest, Prague, Krakow or Vienna, but Berlin has a staggering 50 different markets to choose from. Enjoy some mulled wine and carol singers as you shop the market stalls for hand made trinkets. Of course Berlin now rivals Paris and Rome in the shopping stakes so make sure you check out Kurfurstendamm, one of Berlin’s longest boulevards which is lined with high street stores and designer shops.

Getting there: For the latest Christmas market deals including Berlin – Click here.

Top 5 cities for Christmas shopping

 

 

Please note that if the above dates don’t suit, ClickandGo.com have numerous options for shopping breaks at any time of year. Check out their DEALFINDER which allows you check the best deals by destination or by month of departure.
 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by ClickandGo.com but all views, as always, are my own 🙂
Sarah

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CruisesTravel Tips

Top 10 Tips For Booking Cruise Holidays

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While I believe that there is a cruise for everyone out there – knowing which one to choose is the tricky part! Check out my top 10 tips for booking cruise holidays and ensure you choose the right cruise for you.

 

1. Speak to a cruise specialist.

Booking flights and hotels online is one thing , but booking cruises – I don’t think so! There are so many different cruises to choose from and so many special offers available, I would be amazed if anyone managed to get a cheaper deal on line than you would find with a cruise specialist. Most travel agents have staff dedicated to selling cruise. They will have first hand knowledge of most cruise ships and be able to advise you which cruise is right for you. They will also know about the latest special offers available and you may be able to secure free flights, free drinks packages or free upgrades.
 

 tips for booking cruise holidays

 

 

 

2. Pre book drinks packages, WiFi and gratuities before you go.

Buying drinks on board can be pricey so I always advise to purchase drinks packages before you go. Many companies offer these as early booking incentives but check exactly what is included. Some drinks packages don’t include spirits yet some include any drinks up to a $15 value. Check Wi-Fi prices and try to pre book a package if you are planning on using it a lot on board. Remember if travelling on a Med cruise you will probably only have one day at sea, so you can always catch up on your emails or social media when in port. Pre pay your gratuities too, some automatically include it in the price but if not, its better to pre pay than tip each time you get a drink or meal on board.
 

Top 10 tips for booking cruise holidays

 

 

 

3. Pre book speciality dining restaurants.

Some of the most popular speciality dining restaurants can be extremely busy so I would recommend pre booking those that you specifically want to dine in. Norwegian’s 12 seater Teppanyaki restaurant where chefs perform and cook in front of you is always busy, as is Jamie Oliver’s Italian on Royal Caribbean’s ships. If you forget to pre book before you cruise, try to book them on the day to board.

 

Top 10 tips for booking cruise holidays
 

 

 

 

4. Choose your cabin wisely.

If you are going to be in port on most days, don’t waste your money on a balcony cabin / stateroom ( btw they mean the same thing!)  If on the other hand there are lots of days at sea, you may find you will be in your cabin more – therefore can justify paying for a cabin upgrade. Look at the deck plans before you choose your cabin. You may wish to be close to the swimming pool or away from the nightclub. If you don’t want to be woken at 7 am with the sound of people going to breakfast, don’t select a stateroom beside the lift or stairs. Sea-sickness is minimal on modern cruise ships, however if you are one of the unlucky few who suffer from it, choose a cabin mid-ship as they are less affected in rough seas. Some ocean-view staterooms may have a view of life boats, they are usually called obstructed view rooms.  Many modern ships have interior balconies which look out on to the promenade decks on the ship, these can be a better value option than sea-view balconies.

Top 10 tips for booking cruise holidays

 

 

 

5. Check the dress code.

Some cruises have one formal night, others have two or three. If you don’t want to dress up, you can avoid these in most cases, by going to the buffet restaurant for dinner. Norwegian dress code is casual but Cunard and P&O Cruises are more strict on formal nights and really encourage it for their guests. Cunard even offer masquerade balls and a Royal Ascot Ball!

 
Top 10 tips for booking cruise holidays
 

 

 

6. Book cruise connection with your travel insurance cover.

If your flight is delayed or if an airline goes on strike (which is not uncommon nowadays!) and you miss your cruise, cruise connection cover allows reasonable onward travel expenses and accommodation until you reach the next embarkation point of your cruise. Multitrip.com and Blue Insurance.ie have an option to add on cruise connection with any standard travel insurance policy. This could prove invaluable and I would strongly recommend anyone booking a cruise to make sure they have it.
 

 

 

7. Check in online and arrive early on embarkation day.

Depending on the cruise ship and the port, this can actually be quite an ordeal. Some of the larger cruise ships that carry 6,000 passengers can take a long time to board. If you have checked in online you will generally go to a shorter queue, but my advice is to arrive early and take a tour of the ship before the masses arrive!

Top 10 tips for booking cruise holidays
 

8. Spend a day on the ship when it’s in port.

If you have already been to one of the port stops, use the time to stay on board instead. Pool areas are less crowded, many of the speciality dining restaurants have special offers and spa treatments are always available at reduced rates 🙂

Top 10 tips for booking cruise holidays
 

 

 

9. Pre book shore excursions

Some of the top excursions can get booked out early, so if there is something you specifically want to see, pre book it. In some cases if you dock in the heart of a city you can easily explore yourself. However, if you need to travel a long distance to see an attraction it’s is usually best to book the shore excursion. There are lots of independent shore excursion companies that will probably offer cheaper prices than the cruise company, but if travelling long distance I like to book direct with the cruise company – at least you know the ship will not leave without you if you get delayed!

Top 10 tips for booking cruise holidays
 

 

 

10. Try something new.

Modern cruise ships are so innovative you will be amazed at what amenities are at your disposal.  You can try surfing, rock climbing and even sky diving on some ships – where else would you get the chance to try these activities, and most of them are free! Go on, make it a holiday to remember…
 
Top 10 tips for booking cruise holidays

 

Interested in cruising, for cruise news, reviews and the best cruise deals, click here.

 

 

 

Like this post? Why not pin me!

 

Sarah

 The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

Travel News and Reviews

Wendy Wu Tours Asia Brochure for 2017 / 2018 – On Sale Now!

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Bike the Mekong Delta, tour Saigon by vespa, gaze on Mount Everest, explore India by bullock cart or chant with Buddhist monks in Japan…. These are just some of the amazing experiences you can have on a Wendy Wu Tour.

 

It seems I wasn’t the only one that got excited when Wendy Wu Tours published a brochure from Ireland last year.  Their business grew by a staggering 204% in one year! There is no doubt Irish people have fallen in love with Wendy Wu Tours ❤ For those of you who don’t already know, Wendy Wu Tours are the UK’s leading Asia specialists, have won numerous awards, and have an incredible 97-98% positive customer service and tour experience rating.  All of their staff have travelled extensively throughout Asia and with their dedicated Irish website and phone number 0818 776380, you can now easily find out which tours will best suit your tastes.

Wendy Wu Tours Asia brochure for 2017 / 2018 on sale now

Their classic tours cover all the highlights in China, Japan, Southeast Asia, India & Sri Lanka. Although called ‘classic’ tours, don’t expect to see only The Great Wall, Angkor Wat, The Taj Mahal and Halong Bay – mind you that sounds pretty impressive to me! Wendy Wu Tours pride themselves on the authentic experiences they offer, even in their Classic Tours. Imagine watching Panda’s playing in China, uncovering the mysteries of Tibet, experiencing Zen in Koya-San or enjoying a Bollywood show in India. All of these are included in their Classic Tours. If you are looking to discover an even more active and cultural experience, try their adventurous discovery tours.

Wendy Wu Tours Asia brochure for 2017 / 2018 on sale now

If you want experience the adventure but still want five star luxury, Wendy Wu Tours have that box ticked too.  Their exclusive collection allows you to sip Champagne as the sun sets over Angkor Wat, meet the discoverer of the Terracotta Warriors in Xian and learn how to make sushi in Japan. All of this with luxury cruises, five star hotels and fine dining included.

Wendy Wu Tours Asia brochure for 2017 / 2018 on sale now

For those who have already experienced the first class Wendy Wu service in Asia you will be delighted to hear that they are now offering tours around the world. There are eight new tours available to New Zealand, Australia, Namibia, Russia, the Galapagos, Machu Pichu, Patagonia and Costa Rica. Just typing these is giving me severe wanderlust…❤

Wendy Wu Tours

Prices start from €2,190 for a nine day Golden Triangle Tour or €2,290 for a 10 day China Experience tour. I think these are amazing value when you think that all Wendy Wu Tours include flights, meals, tours, entrance fees and even visas! They also have a special early booking offer running until 14th of November. You can save a further €150 for ANY 2017 / 2018 tour!

So if you want to scratch a few off the bucket list in one great holiday – visit wendywutours.ie today or visit your local travel agent.

 

Like long haul holidays? Click here to see my latest long haul destination reviews and best travel deals.

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by WendyWu Tours but all views, as always, are my own 🙂

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

Travel Tips

Airport WiFi Passwords From Around The World In One Brilliant Map

When you are in an airport Wi-Fi passwords are always an issue. You check to see if there is Wi-Fi and inevitably you are presented with a list of networks and you never know which one to use, or which one is free!

Well no need to worry anymore – finally a map of the world that you have always wanted! For most of us, data roaming whilst abroad is not really an option so we always like to use airport Wi-Fi before we board the plane ( to let everyone know you are going away ) and also when we land, to check email, or announce on your social media channels that you have arrived in a foreign country!

A huge thanks has to go to Anil Polat of the Fox Nomad travel blog who has compiled a list of airport WiFi passwords from all over the world. You are going to want to bookmark this post! Regardless of where you are flying too, simply click on the map below, find you airport and it will tell you the requirements to get online. It even tells you where best to sit for the strongest signal in some airports.

The map of the world that you have always wanted!

Source: Fox Nomad – Travel Smarter

 

Sarah

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CruisesFeatured

My Review Of Norwegian Star

Norwegian Star

I had the pleasure of stepping on board the Norwegian Star while it was docked in Dublin recently. This was my first time to see a Norwegian cruise ship, check out my review 🙂

 

The first thing that needs to be said is that despite the name, Norwegian Cruise Line is actually American! It also cruises all over the world and not just to Norway and the Baltics… Avid cruisers may well know both of these important facts but it is amazing how many people are mislead by their name! They have been cruising for 50 years, have 14 ships and they have received the World Travel Award as Europe’s leading cruise line for the ninth year in a row! Norwegian’s slogan is free style cruising and they provide just that. Everything on board is relaxed, with flexible dining and casual dress – you can leave your cocktail dresses and dinner jackets at home!

Norwegian Star

The Star is one of Norwegian’s older ships. Built in 2001, it was refurbished in 2015 as part of Norwegian’s ongoing $400 million extensive upgrade of it’s fleet. (They claim that their ships will look better than the day they were launched!) Although relatively small in today’s cruising terms ( carries 2348 passengers), it still has 15 dining options and 11 bars! You can sip Champagne in Gatsby’s Champagne bar or drink a wide selection of international beers in the outdoor Bier Garten. There are two main dining rooms (menus are changed daily) as well as a variety of cafés and fast food outlets, all included in the price of your cruise. They also have many speciality dining options, which incur a separate charge. We had lunch in the Teppanyaki restaurant and it was excellent. We had wasabi cocktails with mouthwatering prawns and fillet steak, all cooked in front of us. The chefs even showed us their tricks and got the whole group involved. It was a fantastic experience and one I would highly recommend. This room only seats 12 at a time so make sure you make a reservation at the start of your cruise, or even before hand.

We had great fun dining #teppanyaki style on #norwegianstar @norwegiancruiseline #cruise #foodie #freestylecruising

A video posted by The Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert) on

The pool deck comes complete with two waterslides and six hot tubs. This is great for families although if you fancy a quiet place to swim, you should visit the indoor lap pool in the Spa. There is a charge to use the indoor pool, jacuzzi and hydropool however, I was a little surprised at this. There is also a fitness centre with a jogging track, a golf driving net and a volleyball/basketball court – so plenty of ways to expend some energy on board.

Norwegian Star

The kids facilities on board are excellent. There are slides in the main pool but also in the kids pool. This is equipped with two rocket-shaped slides and a kid’s hot tub. Their kids clubs offer activities for kids from 3 -12 including a cinema and a jungle gym. They also have crèche facilities for babies from 6 months old. For teenagers the ‘Entourage’ program offers activities from age 13-17. They have their own exclusive teen-only area, with a jukebox, dance floor and a communal area to ‘hang out’. This area comes equipped with computers, an air hockey table and a video gaming zone. And this is where is gets really interesting….. Parents can have a ‘Date Night’ where kids are supervised and dropped back to your cabin before 1am!

Norwegian Star

Speaking of  ‘date night’, Norwegian has a massive theatre showing the latest West-End style shows. The theatre holds 1000 people so you don’t need to make a reservation. If shows are not your thing, there are plenty of bars with live music as well as their own in house entertainment shows. Norwegian are renowned for their top class entertainment both in their theatres and throughout their ships.

Norwegian Star

Norwegian’s newer and larger ships, Breakaway, Escape, Getaway and Epic have even more features. You will find that ten pin bowling, rock climbing and state of the art aqua parks are the norm (see image below). They are also famous for their rope courses which have zip lines and planks that hang over the side of the ship – definitely not for the faint hearted! Sadly they are too big to fit into Dublin Port so I’ll have to actually go on one of their cruise holidays to see them properly 😉 Fortunately, Epic will be cruising from Barcelona for Summer 2017 and there are some excellent early booking offers, including free drinks packages, free speciality dining packages, free wifi and even free spending money – so watch this space!

Norwegian Star

Norwegian’s freestyle cruising brings more than just flexible dining. Their action packed cruises will ensure you have a fun filled holiday with top class entertainment and activities on board. So leave the cocktail dresses at home, pre book the all-inclusive drinks package and simply enjoy 🍹

For more details visit their website or see your local ITAA travel agent.

 

Interested in cruising, for cruise news, reviews and the best cruise deals, click here.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

In The Media

Halloween Breaks – As Seen on TV3’s Sunday AM – 9th October 2016

Halloween Breaks – As Seen on TV3’s Sunday AM – 9th October 2016

Whether its a quick break away in Ireland or a bucket list family trip to Florida, check out my top picks for Halloween breaks as seen on TV3’s Sunday AM.

Galway – The Connaught Hotel

 

Halloween breaks as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

One of Galways’ top family hotels is offering deals throughout the mid term break. The on-site leisure club with a large family friendly swimming pool, as well as the comprehensive kids club, makes it an ideal choice for a family break away. The kids club is open from 9:30am – 1pm and from 6pm to 10:30pm daily offering supervised entertainment for kids from 3-13 years old. It costs €6 per session for the first child and €4 for additional children. They will have musical games, face painting, arts and crafts, story time, snooker competitions, table quizzes etc.

If you can travel over the weekend the Galway Aboo Halloween festival will take place from Friday the 28th – Monday 31st of October. It’s Ireland’s largest Halloween festival and offers plenty of events including the annual Monster Dash on Saturday the 29th at 7 pm. This is a 5KM spooky fun run around Galway city where people are encouraged to dress up and there are prizes for the best costume. The annual Halloween parade by Macnas takes place on Sunday the 30th. Click here for more details:

Costs based on 2 adults and 2 children from €300 for 2 nights B&B plus 1 evening meal or €450 for 3 nights B&B plus 2 evening meals.

Visit theconnacht.ie for more details.

 

Spain – Salou & Port Aventura

Halloween breaks as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

There is so much to see and do in the Spanish resort of Salou that if by chance you don’t get beach weather, the kids will still have a ball. Salou is situated just over an hour from Barcelona and only ten minutes by bus or taxi to Port Aventura, one of Europe’s largest Theme Parks. Portaventura puts on a great show at Halloween where the park is full of creepy characters and there are Halloween shows and parades daily. Click here for more details. Barcelona offers something for everyone, with great shopping, sight seeing and some of Spain’s best restaurants. Football lovers can take a tour of the Nou Camp, Barcelona’s football stadium.

Travalue are offering a package deal staying in the 4* Regente Aragon Hotel in Salou. Cost based on 2 adults and 2 children is €1560. This includes flights, airport transfers, 5 nights in the 4* Regente Aragon hotel on a bed & breakfast basis and two day park passes to Port Aventura.

Visit travalue.ie for more details.

City break – Edinburgh

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert, Edinburgh

With sterling at an all time low now is the perfect time to visit Edinburgh. Visit Edinburgh Castle, shop till you drop on Princes Street, and pop into one of the many pubs on Rose street to sample the great night life that Edinburgh is renowned for. Hotel prices are quite reasonable too so I chose one of the most highly rated hotels on tripadvisor , the 4* Residence Inn by Marriott, which is situated right in the heart of the old town. They offer spacious modern rooms with kitchen facilities, free wifi and free breakfast.

The cost is €292 per person which includes flights and hotel from the 1st November for three nights.

Click here for more details:

 

Legoland – UK.

Halloween breaks as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

Take the kids to Legoland this Halloween where the park has a ‘Brick or Treat’ event during the mid term break. There are shows, fireworks and plenty of spooky characters. Add on a few nights in London and visit the London Dungeon, the Harry Potter experience or the London Eye.

Superbreak are offering a two night stay in the Holiday Inn Windsor, B&B and two day park passes to Legoland, for only €368 based on 2 adults and 2 children, arriving the 30th of October. Add on flights to London from your closest airport.

Click here for more details.

 

Dubai

Halloween breaks as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

There are direct flights to Dubai every day from Dublin so if you are looking for a short break with some guaranteed sun then Dubai might just be the right choice. There is so much to see and do so including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa; the world’s largest shopping mall as well as numerous sporting facilities. You can be skiing one minute and dune bashing the next, of course you can just chill out on Dubai’s incredible beaches too.

Sunway are offering trips during the mid term break to the luxury 5* Bonnington Lakes Towers for three nights for only €799 per person. This includes direct flights with Emirates and checked baggage.

Click here for more details

 

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida

Halloween Breaks as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

I was lucky to be able to attend Halloween Horror Nights when I was in Orlando a few years ago and it was fantastic! Although not for the faint hearted (recommended age 13+) it was one of the scariest but funniest nights I have had. Universal Studios comes alive with monsters and ghosts who chase you through the park. You will visit haunted houses and see amazing live shows, it really is a once in a lifetime experience. Your entrance ticket also allows you to visit Universal Studios during the day where you can ride the rollercoasters and experience some of the best simulator rides in Orlando. The Travel Broker are offering a package deal staying seven nights in the Rosen Inn International on International Drive which offers free shuttles to Universal Studios, just a 5-minute drive away.

Price includes flights from Dublin on the 29th of October, transfers and 2 Park Universal Ticket including entry to Halloween Horror Nights. Price for two sharing is €1,715 per person;  two adults & 1 child is €4,959 and 2 adults and 2 children, €6,629.

Click here or Email holidays@thetravelbroker.ie for more details.

 

Phuket

Halloween Breaks as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

Phuket is the busiest and largest of Thailand’s tropical islands so whether you seek a romantic break away or a lively holiday – Phuket can tick both boxes. A trip to the neighbouring island of Koh Phi Phi is a must and if you are looking for stunning beaches and mouthwatering food – then Phuket is the place to go.

Sunway have various offers to Phuket during the mid term break, with prices starting at €945 for the 4* Kata Sea Breeze Hotel. Price includes flights, hotel on a B&B basis and checked baggage.

Click here for more details.

 

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

 

Sarah

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