Please assign a menu to the primary menu location under menu

3 years ago

Travel

Discover Croatia on a Luxury Yacht! 7 Night Cruise With Flights, Meals & Lots More, €2234

croatia

I can hear it now, the sound of the captain saying ‘Pool’s open’, before jumping straight into the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic. Researching this fabulous cruise, I’m thinking how amazing it would be to discover Croatia on a luxury yacht….

 

I don’t actually need to read the full itinerary, I’m already sold! To see how the other half live, by spending a week in Croatia on a luxury yacht, it doesn’t get much better than this! For anyone who has been following me over the last few years, you will know that I absolutely LOVE Croatia. I spent a week travelling along the Dubrovnik Riviera two years ago, and every little village or cove we found was delightful, not to mention the fairy tale city of Dubrovnik. While Dubrovnik is on most bucket lists, I believe the real beauty lies in the surrounding islands, and the best way to see them, is by boat.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

Croatia Tours are offering you the chance to holiday like a celebrity. You will visit the hidden gems of Croatia on board a luxury yacht. The deluxe ‘Maritimo’ holds up to 38 people and has state of the art facilities on board. The spacious sun deck has loungers all passengers, as well as a jacuzzi if you fancy some bubbles while you sail off into the sunset!  Hot and cold breakfasts are served each morning as well as a four course lunch in the afternoon. Seven staff are on hand to cater for your every need, and with 38 being the maximum number of guests on board – no doubt the service will be excellent! Kids are not allowed on this cruise, so you can expect plenty of time to sit back and relax, in calm peaceful surroundings.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

Where does it go?

Itineraries vary slightly depending on when you travel but in both cases you will have the opportunity to overnight in the magical city of Dubrovnik. You can enjoy a free guided walking tour or go it alone. Choose to hike the famous city walls of Dubrovnik, or chill out and watch some tombstoners from one of the many cliff bars. For more info check out my Dubrovnik blog.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

You will also have the chance to visit many of Croatia’s famous islands.  Explore the salt lakes and National Park in Mljet or take the perfect instagram photo in the lavender fields in Hvar.  Hvar is renowned for being a celebrity hang out. Beyonce, Bono, Tom Cruise and even Prince Harry have all holidayed here. Stop off in the trendy city of Split before over-nighting in Korcula, which is one of the best preserved medieval cities in the Mediterranean. Expect lots of gourmet foods and fine wines in this lively city. Beach lovers will enjoy the famous famous Zlatni Rat beach, also known as the Golden Horn, a natural phenomenon, that is widely regarded as one of Europe’s best beaches. Another highlight will be the captain’s dinner when you overnight in Sipan Island.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

Let’s not forget that you will also have the opportunity to jump into the sea when you come across a hidden cove; to explore a secluded bay with no one around and dock in the centre of the smallest village, something that would be impossible in a larger vessel.  There are daily swimming stops and you can get involved as much or as little as you like.  The phrase ‘it’s about the journey not the destination’, springs to mind.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

Costs and what’s included:

Prices for a one week trip on the on the 22nd of September is €2234. This includes flights, checked baggage, airport transfers, a seven night cruise with breakfast and four course lunch each day, two evening meals and lots more. You can also avail of free guided walking tours in Dubrovnik, Hvar, Korcula and Split, a cable car ticket in Dubrovnik and entrance ticket to Mljet National Park.  See more details and the full itinerary here.

If you fancy chilling out in one of Croatia’s prettiest resorts, why not extend your stay? Price for the seven night cruise and a four night stay in the 5* Croatia Hotel in Cavat is only €2504. Click here for more details.

For anyone looking to fly independently, you can book the cruise without flights from €1600 per person.

 

For more details visit Croatia Tours or call them on +353 1 8780800.

 

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

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

Holidays in Ireland

Living It Up At Lough Erne Resort

IMG_2552

Wonderful walks, lodges straight out of a fairy tale and a food lovers paradise – find out how I lived it up at Lough Erne Resort.

 

It was my first time to visit Fermanagh. For someone who has visited every other county in Ireland, I felt almost ashamed that it took me this long to get there. I was kindly invited by Lough Erne Resort to stay for two nights, so I accepted with open arms. However, as much as I like nice hotels, I also like to discover the surrounding area and as this was a family trip, it was important that there was something here to please everyone. I had of course heard of the prestigious Lough Erne Resort, that has won numerous awards and accolades, including 2017’s hotel of the year in the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards. In fact, the G8 Summit was held there in 2013, so I guess if it was good enough for Barack Obama, it was good enough for me 😉.

lough erne resort

Once we reached the entrance to Lough Erne Resort, we had to drive past not one, but two, golf courses to get to the hotel. You get the feeling that you are driving on to an island. The 600 acre peninsula where Lough Erne Resort is located is stunning and the frosty day made it feel even more dramatic. It was a good start! This was nicely followed when we were given keys to our self catering lodge, located right beside the hotel. I was really surprised by this because in most cases the self catering lodges tend to be a long distance from the hotel reception. And speaking from experience of Irish weather, there is nothing worse than being soaked on the way to dinner!

lough erne resort

The lodges are an attraction in their own right.  My daughter shrieked with delight when she saw them and thought that our new two story home, complete with a turret, resembled Rapunzel’s tower!  Needless to say the kids decided they wanted the upstairs bedroom. Both bedrooms were extremely spacious and certainly deserved the five star rating. The bathrooms were equipped with large double showers and a free standing baths. The main living room was spacious too, although the kitchen area was quite small. One other thing to point out is that while our kids (ages 7 and 10) were at the perfect age, families with younger children may not like sleeping on a different floor to their parents.

I loved that breakfast is included in the hotel when you book one of the self catering lodges. I haven’t found this at any of the other hotels that I have stayed in and I think it is a massive bonus. Not only does this give you an incentive to rise early in the mornings (breakfast is served until 10.30) but to have a delicious a la carte breakfast served to you each day was greatly appreciated.  This is standard for anyone staying in one of the twenty five, 2 or 3 bedroom lodges at Lough Erne resort.

lough erne resort

Speaking of food…. Lough Erne Resort is renowned for its culinary delights and locally sourced produce. The Executive Head Chef Noel McMeel  has worked with some of the world’s most respected chefs and is no doubt the reason why Lough Erne resort is the proud winner of the Hotel Restaurant of the Year.  We dined in the Catalina Restaurant, Lough Erne’s fine dining offering and we were suitably impressed. While myself and Cormac were given an ‘amuse bouche’ of goats cheese to start, the kids were not overlooked. They two were given their own ‘amuse bouche’. A strawberry, blackberry and raspberry on a cocktail stick – what a nice surprise!

lough erne resort

My starter of braised cheek ravioli was perfectly cooked as was the halibut, but the pièce de la resistance was the chocolate soufflé. It really was superb! The kids were happy too with plenty of options to choose from the kids menu. Alex had a tasty pasta dish while Luke enjoyed the chicken curry. Prices for two courses are £45 or £52 for three courses, quite reasonable I thought for such high quality food in a five star hotel.

lough erne resort

There are other more casual options if you don’t fancy fine dining. The Blaney Bar where we had pre dinner drinks, served light bites and the Loughside Bar and Grill offers tasty steaks and seafood, overlooking the Nick Faldo golf course.  Did I mention there were two championship golf courses here?

The following morning the hotel staff recommended we take the 40 minute walk around the Nick Faldo designed golf course, so off we went. Although freezing, (it was actually -2 degrees), it was bright and sunny which showcased just how stunning the hotel grounds are. We stopped at the 10th hole which offers breathtaking views over Lower Lough Erne. For someone who has never played golf I suddenly began to understand the attraction!

After about 40 minutes we realised that we must have taken a wrong turn because we were still miles away from the hotel. We popped into what was aptly called The Halfway House at the 9th green only to find out that we had still another 20 minutes to go. We left our room without wallets or cash but thankfully the friendly barman said he would call reception and allow us to put any purchases on our room. We opted for some tasty homemade soup and hot chocolates before we set off back to the hotel.

The grounds are superb and there are many different walks to take. The following day we walked across Reeds Bridge on Castle Hume Lough. This is located at the rear of the hotel and offers the perfect view of the hotel and it’s conical lodges.

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery (@the_travel_expert) on

If you are feeling adventurous there are much more arduous walks in the surrounding area, the most famous being the newly opened boardwalk at Cuilcagh Mountain, which is only 15 miles from the resort. Often described as Ireland’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’, this is now considered one of the top things to do in Northern Ireland. However the walk takes approximately 6 hours in total and is not for the faint hearted. With cold temperatures and two small kids in tow, we decided we would have to try this another time. We opted for Lough Navar Forest instead. Only a 15 minute drive from our lodge, this is a beautiful forest walk. You can actually take the 7 mile drive through the forest and stop at many of the viewpoints, if you don’t fancy walking. Make sure you visit Magho Viewpoint which offers panoramic views over Lower Lough Erne, Donegal Bay and the Blue Stack and Sperrin Mountains. Other popular tourist attractions in the area are the Marble Arch Caves , Belleek Pottery, Castle Coole and EnnisKillen Castle.

Of course, staying in such a luxurious hotel, it can be difficult to leave…. The following day we enjoyed a morning swim in the large indoor pool. Children are allowed in from 8am-11am and 4.30-5.30pm. There is also a Light Therapy Sauna and Tropical Rain Shower, a Steam Room and relaxation areas. There are ten spacious treatment rooms including a dual treatment room. I thought it would be a nice Mother and Daughter treat perhaps. The Thai Spa offered a winter saver package of a 30 minute facial, 30 minute body polish and full use of all the facilities for £75 which I thought was good value for a luxury spa.

lough erne resort

While Lough Erne Resort is not a typical family hotel, children are well catered for. At check-in, Luke and Alex were delighted to receive a nice swim bag with a colouring book and crayons inside. There is also a kids playroom called Ernies Den that offers a range of fun games including, table football, air hockey, table-tennis and a pac-man machine. Open from 9am – 9pm, we enjoyed a drink in the bar while the kids played happily for an hour. This is handy for older kids who don’t need to be supervised and I am sure there are many new friendships formed here in the busier Summer months. Children can also have golf lessons on site or try mountain bike trails or take a guided pony trek nearby.

lough erne resort

We were only there for two nights so we decided to go into Enniskillen for our second night and suss out the local scene. We were amazed at how busy the town was. There was no sign of anyone opting for ‘dry January’ in Enniskillen. We had promised the kids pizza but unfortunately Francos, the restaurant that was recommended to us, was fully booked all evening. We decided to make use of our luxury lodges and went back to Lough Erne resort and ordered pizza from the local delivery service. On a cold January night, I decided to do something I hadn’t treated myself to in a long time, soak in a hot bath, chill out in front of the TV and enjoy some take away pizza! It was our home away from home.

Of course my FOMO (fear of missing out) kicked in and I still wanted to see if Franco’s lived up to the hype! We decided to pop in for lunch on our way home. Decorated from head to toe, it was the perfect place to finish off our Christmas holidays. With tasty food and a family friendly atmosphere, it is a great choice if you can manage to tear yourself away from the fabulous Lough Erne Resort…

 

For prices and bookings click here.

 

Like holidays in Ireland? Read more here.

 

Sarah

 

The Travel Expert

 

Travel

Amazing Deal to Zakynthos, 13th August, 1 week, Flights, Apartment, Transfers & Baggage, €465!

Zakynthos

Looking for a great summer holiday that wont break the bank? Getaway in August with this amazing deal to Zakynthos for only €465.

 

I spent a week in Zakynthos a few years ago and loved it. There is so much to see and do you will spoilt for choice. A visit to Navagio or ‘Shipwreck Beach’ is a must, it is one of the most photographed beaches in the world! A boat trip to see the Loggerhead turtles is also a great day out and appeals to all ages. If you are feeling really adventurous you could take a ferry to some of the neighbouring islands, Kefalonia is a ideal for a day trip.

For me though, the beauty lies in just chilling out on Zante’s beaches and enjoying some tasty Greek food in local tavernas. There is a great laid back atmosphere on the island and although developed for tourists, it still feels authentic.  For more information on Zakynthos you can read my blog by clicking here.

Navagio beach, Zakynthos

I found a great deal staying at the popular Katerina Palace Aparthotel. Enjoy a one week stay for only €465 on the 13th of August. Centrally located in the beautiful resort of Argassi, it is also close to the beach and receives great reviews on tripadvisor. The price includes flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage – with no hidden extras!! Use code SAVE100 to save €100 off the listed price shown.

View offer here

 

Price is correct at the time of issue but is subject to change. Please note some of the links in this post contain affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

travel deals

Travel

October Mid Term Break at Universal Studios Cabana Bay Resort Orlando, 2ad & 2ch from €2316

universal-globe_opt

Early access to three amazing theme parks, staying in top quality accommodation and free entrance to some of Orlando’s best night life – spend the October Mid Term Break at Universal Studios Cabana Bay Resort!

 

I was fortunate to stay in one of Universal Studios’ hotels a few years ago. I felt like a VIP most of the time, to be able to access the parks early, to have free entrance into the nightclubs and when I bought anything in any of the shops, it was delivered back to my room free of charge! Universal Studios have five hotels in Orlando, varying from three to five star. If you fancy staying in one of their luxury hotels, you also get a free Universal Express Unlimited pass, worth up to $89 per person, per day. This allows you to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Island of Adventure. You can see offers on all Universal Studios’ hotels here.

universal studios cabana bay resort

Universal Studios now have three parks, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and their newly opened waterpark, Volcano Bay. Whether you are a massive movie fan or want exhilarating rollercoaster rides, Universal Studios offers both in abundance. My personal favourite is the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™.  Even if you have never seen the movies, you cant help but be blown away by the attention to detail and the technology behind the scenes. Board the Hogwarts Express from Universal Studios to Islands of Adventure and visit Diagon Alley and Hogwarts, trust me you will not be disappointed. There are lots of cool simulator rides too, Transformers, Despicable Me and Spiderman are just some of the favourites. If you are visiting during the Summer, try some of the water rides at the Islands of Adventure or better still visit the brand new waterpark, Volcano Bay. For more details check out my blog on Universal Studios.

universal studios cabana bay resort

I found this amazing deal staying in Universal Studios Cabana Bay Resort. I stayed in this hotel and loved it. Although only rated three star, I would say it probably deserves a four star rating. It’s cool retro design resembles beach resorts from the fifties but with a modern twist. The standard rooms are spacious but they also have large family suites that sleep six, with a privacy partition and a kitchenette.

universal studios cabana bay resort

The facilities on site are pretty cool too. There are two swimming pools, a lazy river and a large water slide so it might be hard to get the kids to actually leave the pool area! If you fancy chilling out after a day at the parks, you can rent a private cabana for up to six people. It comes with a phone so you can order pizza and have it delivered! The onsite food court has a cool diner offering all the American classics and in keeping with its retro theme, they even have a ten lane bowling alley and an arcade!

universal studios cabana bay resort

If staying in Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort wasn’t enough you also get early park admission to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, complimentary shuttle buses to Universal Orlando® Theme Parks, Universal CityWalk®, Volcano Bay®, SeaWorld®, and Aquatica™, resort-wide charging privileges with your room key, complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to the hotel and my personal favourite, Universal Orlando® character appearances in the hotel.

universal studios cabana bay resort

Fly from Dublin to Orlando and enjoy a seven night stay in the Cabana Bay Beach Resort from only €579 over the October Bank holiday weekend, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. If you want to travel during the Summer months? Prices in June are only €529 per person! If you want to stay longer just talk to the dedicated staff in American Sky and they will tailor make a holiday to suit you.

 

Click here for more details:

 

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

 

Sarah

travel deals

Travel

October Bank Holiday Weekend In Porto, Flights & 4* Apartment, 3 Nights, €259!

porto

Porto is one of the oldest cities in Europe! Why not choose some where different for a city break this year and try a weekend in Porto – you won’t be disappointed.

 

I spent the October Bank holiday weekend in Porto last year and loved it!  This medieval city is full of colourful buildings, I was genuinely amazed at how beautiful the Porto was. The Ribeira district is a Unesco World Heritage site and is full of local wine bars, restaurants and old buildings close to the waterfront. Enjoy a glass of wine or a meal by the river, and soak up the atmosphere, for a fraction of what you would pay at home. In fact Porto of late has become one of Europe’s top food destinations. You wont find top celebrity restaurants here, but lots of local eateries serving delicious Portuguese food, at rock bottom prices. Renowned as the birthplace of port, there are also numerous wine cellars offering tastings and tours. There are plenty of good places to go at night time too, with bands playing in various venues across the city.

weekend in Porto

Porto is not all about food and wine though. No visit would be complete without seeing the Se Cathedral, Saõ Francisco church and Clérigos Tower. You will also be drawn to the many churches with blue tiles that are scattered throughout the city. Like all cities there is a great shopping street and let’s not forget Porto is beside the coast, so if you dont fancy a boat trip along the Douro River, why not spend the day at the beach, which is only 15 minutes from the centre of Porto.  For more information read my blog on why you need to choose Porto for your next city break.

I found a great deal staying in the 4* Porto Cinema apartments. Highly rated on tripadvisor and centrally located, this is a great choice to explore all that Porto has to offer.  Fly from Dublin on the 26th of October and enjoy a three night stay here for only €259 per person!

Click here to book flights: €151pp:

Click here to book apartment: €108pp

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change. Please note that some of these links are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

468x60Travel Deals Banner

Travel

Summer Holiday in Kos, 25th August, Flights, Hotel, Transfers & Baggage, €447!

Boat in water, Kos, The Travel Expert

Looking for a week away this Summer without breaking the bank? Book a Summer holiday in Kos from only €447 in August.

 

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 clubs 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. Night owls will love Bar street which as the name suggests has plenty of bars and clubs that stay open until the small hours.

Nirides Beach Kos

I found a great deal staying in the popular Hotel Bahamas. This ‘adults-only’ hotel is located just ten minutes walk from Kos Town and a fifteen minute stroll to the beach. Check out the great reviews on tripadvisor.

Fly direct from Dublin on the 25th of August and enjoy a seven night stay for only €447 per person. Price includes transfers and checked baggage with no hidden extras. And if  you still need convincing, a deposit of €75 secures a booking, with the balance payable 10 weeks before departure!

Click here for more details

 

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

travel deals

Travel

The Holiday World Show Takes Place At The RDS From 26th – 28th January.

Holiday World Show 2018

From Achill Island to Argentina, the Causeway Coast to Canada, everything you need to plan your 2018 holiday is at the Holiday World show at the RDS!

 

Ireland’s yearly Holiday World Show takes place at the RDS Simmonscourt next weekend, from the 26th to the 28th of January. Over 1000, travel industry professionals from 55 countries will be on hand to help you with your holiday plans. Spain will have the largest stand at the Holiday World show and will advise you on it’s popular resorts and cities as well as the hidden gems. Portugal will tell why you should visit the city of Porto this year, as well as assisting with queries on the popular holiday destinations of the Algarve and Lisbon Coast.  The French Camping Pavillion should be busy this year where Campissimo, the largest French Camping exhibitor, will introduce a new range of camping holiday options to the Irish market.

holiday world show
Porto

Home favourites like the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East will be located in the Home Holiday Pavilion, the largest one yet. There will be a dedicated Northern Ireland Tourism Village and Donegal Tourism will host the largest stand, thanks to its vote by National Geographic making it the coolest place on the planet to visit in 2017. Make sure you pay a visit to the luxurious motorhomes and touring caravans which always provide a wonderful display at the RDS.

Causeway Coast
Giants Causeway

For those planning a trip to the USA this year, the Visit USA Pavillion will be the largest in the show’s 29 year history. American travel experts will showcase 40 destinations, from wine tasting in the Napa Valley to the latest theme parks in Orlando. Honeymooners can look forward to representation from Caribbean islands as well as agents offering luxury hotels in Africa and Asia. The Italian State Tourist Board will bring their largest ever stand to Holiday World. So whether you fancy a romantic trip to Venice, a road trip in Tuscany or a visit to the unspoilt region of Puglia, make sure you pay them a visit.

Holiday world show
Puglia

Cruising is one of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry and this year there will be numerous cruise companies exhibiting. Celebrity Cruises will be cruising from Ireland in 2018, so it should be a busy stand! Royal Caribbean,  MSC Cruises, Hurtigruten, Norwegian and Silversea Cruises will also be there to offer expert advice with many will have exclusive ‘show only’ offers available.

holiday world show
Celebrity Cruises

Adventure holidays are the big trend for 2018 and top adventure experts from Explore, Bike’n Ride Holidays, Ridge Trail Trekking Nepal and lots more will be on hand to help you plan that dream adventure trip. From kite surfing in Achill Island to rock-climbing in Spain, you name it, they are all on offer at the Holiday World Show.

holiday world show
Sri Lanka

There are so many new routes from Ireland this year. Aer Lingus will be at Holiday World Show to showcase its largest ever transatlantic schedule, which includes new services to Philadelphia, Miami and Hartford. Turkish Airlines will also be there to tell you that they fly to a staggering 302 destinations in 120 countries. Ethiopian Airlines, who are now flying three times per week to  to Addis Ababa, have made trips to Africa much more affordable, while Qatar Airways new service from Dublin to Doha has further increased capacity to the Emirates. Air Canada’s new flights to Montreal and Toronto have been warmly welcomed by Irish holiday makers and should ensure their stand is a busy one!

holiday world show

One of the Holiday World shows most popular events is renowned travel journalist Eoghan Corry’s Let’s Talk Travel. Eoghan will ask visitors questions to leading travel experts who will share their knowledge and advice with the audience. As well as expert holiday advice from 1000 travel professionals, the Holiday World show also offers exclusive ‘show only’ deals to all attendees. Come along and enjoy Irelands best holiday show of the year. For more information and the full list of exhibitors visit www.holidayworldshow.com

 

I have 10 family tickets to give away on my Facebook page, just tell me where you want to go this year and you could win one!  

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

Travel

My Top Picks For Family Holidays This Summer – 2ad & 2ch from €1599!

family holidays

I have teamed up with TUI, the family holiday specialists, to bring you my top picks for family holidays from their 2018 January sale.

 

Whether you want self-catering in Greece or an All Inclusive holiday in Salou, a water park holiday in Tenerife or a relaxing break in the Algarve, I have something here to suit everyone! All holidays are hand-picked, have great reviews and are ideal for family holidays. Another added bonus is that there are no hidden extras. All TUI holidays include flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage. And that’s not all, you only need a deposit of €75 to secure a booking, with the balance payable ten weeks before departure. I have priced these holidays for two adults and two children for seven nights in June, July and August, but you can change dates, durations, or number of people travelling, by selecting ‘Edit Search’, once you click on the links below.


 

Best in Salou 

One of the most popular family holiday destinations, the Costa Dorada, ticks all boxes. Whether you want to stay in the lively resort of Salou or the quieter towns of Cambrils and La Pineda, there is something here to suit all families. With Europe’s largest theme park, Port Aventura on your doorstep and Barcelona only an hour away, the Costa Dorada combines, fun, sun and culture in one family holiday.

3* Villa Dorada, All Inclusive from €1998!

While TUI have numerous choices of accommodation in Salou, I thought the Villa Dorada was particularly good value. Highly rated on tripadvisor, the Villa Dorada has an entertainment programme, kids club and sports activities on site. This is an ideal choice for families looking for a lively holiday in the heart of Salou, with all meals and drinks included in the price.

Click here for 15th June: €1998

Click here for 27th July €2257

Click here for 17th August €2099

 

Best in the Canary Islands

Whether you choose Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, or Tenerife, you can expect warm temperatures, sandy beaches and plenty of entertainment options.  I have chosen two All Inclusive resorts but TUI also have a wide selection of self-catering apartments available.

Lanzarote, All Inclusive, 4* TUI Family Life Flamingo Beach from €2695

Formerly known as the Holiday Village this super family complex has kids clubs for children, teenagers and even has a baby club. With three pools, three restaurants, a host of sports activities and nightly entertainment, there is something here for kids of all ages.

Click here for 7th June €2695

Click here for 30th July €2833

Click here for 13th August €2848 

top picks for family holidays

 

Tenerife, All Inclusive, Splashworld, 4* Villa Mandi & Siam Park from €2629

Another excellent All Inclusive resort, the Villa Mandi offers free access to Siam Park, one of the world’s best water parks, throughout your stay. This pretty complex is like a Mediterranean village with four swimming pools, kids clubs and plenty of sports activities on site.

Click here for 8th June €2629

Click here for 20th July €3060

Click here for 17th August €2913

top picks for family holidays

 

Best in Majorca

The north of Majorca is very popular with families and TUI have a wide choice of accommodation to choose from. I have selected two properties, an All Inclusive property with a water park on site, and a quieter self-catering option with family friendly facilities.

Self Catering, 3* Mariners Club Apartments from €1619

The Mariners Club is a highly rated self-catering apartment and is ideal for families looking for a relaxing holiday, without pool games and parties! There is a water park beside the complex for those who fancy some adventure and there is a large swimming pool, kids pool, playground and pool table on site. The complex also hosts shows twice a week with mini discos.

Click here for 12th June €1753

Click here for 18th July €1831

Click here for 10th August €1619

top picks for family holidays

All Inclusive, Splashworld, 3* Saturno Hotel, 2 ad & 2ch from €2489

The Saturno Hotel is part of a complex of 3 hotels known as the Club Mac. Complete with a water park, 8 swimming pools and a host of sports and entertainment facilities, if you are looking for a lively holiday with non-stop action, then this is for you. All meals and drinks are also included in the price, making it a great value family holiday.

Click here for 13th June €2489

Click here for 17th July €2698

Click here for 14th August €2689

my top picks for family holidays

 

Best in Costa del Sol

All Inclusive, Splashworld, 4* Globales Playa Estepona from €2632

TUI have some excellent All Inclusive options in the Costa del Sol, I have chosen the highly rated Globales Playa Estepona. This four star property has a brand new water park, numerous sports activities, kids club, day and night time entertainment and even has its own beach club restaurant. The hotel is situated close to glitzy Puerto Banus and offers a shuttle bus service 2-3 times per day into the centre.

Click here for 29th July €2699

Click here for 19th August €2632

top picks for family holidays

 

Best in the Algarve

One of my favourite destinations for family holidays, the Algarve, offers superb beaches, mouth watering food and great value for money in the resorts. I have chosen two properties, a self-catering option in the lively resort of Albufeira and an All Inclusive property in the pretty village of Alvor.

Self-Catering, 4* Cerro Mar Garden from €1777

Located in lively Albufeira this is an excellent choice for families looking for good quality self-catering accommodation, without entertainment programmes or pool games.  Highly rated on tripadvisor there is a spa, gym and whirlpool on site as well as some sports activities and a children’s pool.

Click here for 10th June €1777

Click here for 29th July €2075

Click here for 19th August €2040

top picks for family holidays

All Inclusive, 4* Alvor Baia from €2798

One of my favourite resorts, Alvor is the picture perfect Algarve village. With white washed buildings and narrow streets, expect a small selection of bars and restaurants, but all good! The long sandy beach here is superb with plenty of rock pools for kids to explore.  The Alvor Bahia is a four star All Inclusive property which is highly rated on tripadvisor and offers something for all the family. The kids club, entertainment programme, sports facilities and pirate themed play area, will keep the kids amused all day long. If you fancy some quiet time, why not chill out in their spa!

Click here for 17th June €2798

Click here for 22nd July €2944

Click here for 12th August €3027

top picks for family holidays

 

Best in Greece

I brought my children to Corfu and Zakynthos and loved them both! The scenery, laid back pace and excellent value for money, makes Greece an ideal alternative if you want to try something different this year. From self-catering to All Inclusive resorts, TUI offer both in abundance. Here are my top picks.

Corfu, Self-Catering, Loulas Village from €1619

Rated number 1 on tripadvisor, the Loulas Village has been receiving Irish holidaymakers for many years. Kostos will be sure to give you a warm welcome and make you enjoy this laid back, family run apartment complex. Ideally located with some excellent restaurants and bars close by, this is a family property with traditional Greek charm.

Click here for 8th June €1619

Click here for 27th July €1799

Click here for 17th August €1699

top picks for family holidays

Corfu, All Inclusive, Splashworld, 3*+ Aqualand Village from €2639

For families looking for some adventure, the highly rated Aqualand Village won’t disappoint. With a waterpark on site and an afternoon and evening entertainment programme, the kids will be spoiled for choice!

Click here for 8th June €2639

Click here for 27th July €3284

Click here for 17th August €3063

top picks for family holidays

 

Kos, Self-Catering, 3* Mayflower apartments from €1597

These family run apartments are situated in the pretty resort of Tingaki. Highly rated on tripadvisor they are the perfect choice for families who are looking for a relaxing Greek holiday, but within easy reach of Kos town.

Click here for 2nd June €1597

Click here for 28th July €1772

Click here for 11th August €1730

top picks for family holidays

 

Zakynthos, All Inclusive 4* Alykanas Beach Village from €2878

This highly rated All Inclusive resort has a small splash park for young children, kids clubs and a great entertainment programme for everyone. There is also a quiet, adults only pool beside the beach if you fancy some quiet time! (I spent many afternoons there)! Visit Shipwreck Beach or swim with the turtles, Zakynthos is a beautiful island with lots to do for all the family.

Click here for 12th June €2878

Click here for 24th July €3266

Click here for 14th August €3125

 top picks for family holidays

 

I hope you enjoyed my top picks for family holidays and that you found something to suit you. Remember you can change dates, durations, or number of people travelling, by selecting ‘Edit Search’ once you click on the links above.

 

All prices are correct at the date of issue , 12th of January, but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by TUI but all views, as always, are my own. Note the links above are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

travel deals

Travel Tips

How to get Flights and Upgrades with Avios Points

plane and beach

Combining my two favourite pastimes, travel and shopping – to say I am excited is an understatement! I have teamed up with Avios to tell you how to get flights and upgrades with Avios points!

 

For years I have been hearing from friends and family in the US and the UK about how they have so many air-miles, yet they only take one holiday a year! I always wondered why Ireland was so behind the curve – well not anymore! Collecting Avios points is now something we can all do, even those who don’t travel often. Avios are a reward currency that are used by many airlines including Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia, as well as various hotel websites and high street stores.

When you collect Avios points you can use them to get flights and upgrades, with any of their partner airlines. Some of you may have already joined Aer Club, the Aer Lingus frequent flyer program, and may have collected Avios points already, but did you know you could collect them in other outlets too? It only costs 37,000 Avios to upgrade to business class to New York with Aer Lingus! For most of us flying business class to the USA was a pipe dream, but with Avios it is now attainable.

how to get flights and upgrades with avios points

Supervalu, Kildare Village and Appleby are just some of the Irish suppliers that have all joined the Avios reward programme. This means that every time you shop in Supervalu you can collect Avios points! Fancy a trip to Kildare Village? Now is your excuse to go, you can collect Avios points with every purchase! Have you a special occasion coming up? Make sure you pay a visit to Appleby Jewellers. It really is that simple. Supervalu will give you 1 Avios point for every €1 spent, Kildare Village will give you 5 Avios for every €4 spent and Appleby will give 5 Avios for every €1 spent!

Read my post on the ways to collect Avios for more partner details.

how to get flights and upgrades with avios points

It doesn’t end there…  AerClub have an eStore!

When I say this is going to change the way we shop, I really mean it! You can also get rewards for on-line purchases in hundreds of high street stores, hotel websites and even iTunes!  Right now Marks and Spencer are giving 4 Avios points for every €1 spent, Debenhams are giving 4 Avios per €1, ASOS 7 Avios and travel website Expedia are giving a whopping 10 Avios per €1. Once you are an AerClub member you can access the AerClub eStore with the same log in and password. Simply click on your favourite stores and shop online in the usual way. It won’t cost you any more to shop this way but your purchases will be tracked, and your Avios account will be topped up with points!

how to get flights and upgrades with avios points

So how many points do I need for a flight, I hear you say….

There are so many variations, depending on when and where you travel, but 8,000 Avios points will get you a return flight to Paris. For 17,000 Avios you can have a return flight to the Canary Islands and if you can save 26,000 you can have a return flight to New York. Note these are based on off peak travel and exclude taxes and charges. For full list of date bands click here.

This may sound a lot but I have accumulated 40,ooo points already in just one year! With the exception of three flights to Spain, all of my points were accumulated by shopping in Supervalu, Kildare Village and via the eStore. Avios regularly have promotions on to make it even easier to collect points. Suddenly a business class upgrade on my flight to New York is possible…

how to get flights and upgrades with avios points

How to sign up.

If you are already an AerClub  member, your existing log in and password will suffice. Collect Avios by logging in with your AerClub details and clicking through to the eStore. For those who have not yet joined, you can join AerClub here. Why not download the free Avios app too, it will allow you book flights on the go, check your Avios balance and find out where to collect.

 

If you have any questions please comment below and I will get back to you. It really is that easy to get flights and upgrades with Avios points! To coin a phrase from the movie Pretty Woman – I have to go shopping now………

 

Like Travel Tips? See more here.

 

This post was sponsored by Avios but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

 

Pin It on Pinterest