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Travel

Family Holiday to Puerto Rico, 9th June, 2 adults & 2 children, €1229!

lanzarote easter holidays

Check out this amazing family holiday to Puerto Rico in June! Priced at only €1229 based on 2 adults and 2 children in the highly rated Terrazamar Suites – you can’t afford to miss it!

 

Originally a small fishing village, Puerto Rico has been transformed into a lively holiday resort and has all you need for a fun filled family holiday. Purpose built, Puerto Rico is set into the hillside so sea-views are available from most apartments. There is a stylish marina, a sandy beach, three shopping centres and a wide choice of bars and restaurants. It’s famous beach offers lots of water sports, including surfing and scuba diving. If you want to relax why not take a boat trip to see the dolphins or take a stroll along the coast to the upmarket resort of Amadores.

family holiday to puerto rico

 

The resort comes alive at night time with a wide selection of bars and clubs. If you fancy a quiet night, you can always try Europe’s only permanent open-air cinema. Enjoy the latest movie with wood-fired pizza and a selection of drinks, as you relax in their comfy sofas. If you fancy some fun filled adventure, there are numerous water parks and even a wild west themed amusement park, which are sure to please. And for those who don’t want to venture too far, Puerto Rico offers water taxis to the nearby town of Mogan. Often described as ‘little Venice’, this is a must see while you are there.

family holiday to puerto rico

 

I found a great deal to the popular Servatur Terrazamar apartments. These family friendly apartments are one of the most sought after in the resort and are rated very highly on tripadvisor. Ideally located in the heart of Puerto Rico, they are only 300 meters from the shopping centre and approximately 12 minutes walk to the beach. On site there is an outdoor swimming pool, pool bar, restaurant, tennis courts and a children’s play area. The apartments are very well equipped inside too, with satellite TV’s and sun loungers on the balcony or terrace.

family holiday to puerto rico

 

Fly from Dublin to Gran Canaria on the 9th of June and enjoy a seven night stay for only €1229 based on 2 adults and  2 children sharing. This is exceptional value for such a popular apartment complex, so don’t delay – get planning your family holiday now!

View flights here €198pp

View hotel here  €437

 

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

 

Sarah

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ContributorsProduct ReviewsTravel News and Reviews

Our Travel Photography Gear

Want to know what travel photography gear we use on our trips? From iPhones to drones, SLR’s to storage, it’s all in this post.

 

Hey there! It’s Cormac, Sarah’s husband 🙂 I just wanted to pipe in on some questions we have gotten over the past couple of weeks and months about the some of the gear we use to make and edit our videos and photographs. We get asked quite a bit about the photos we capture and also the equipment we use. So I thought I’d give you a brief run down of all the gear I have to lug around when Sarah, the kids and I travel. Before I do, a little background on me. I was a professional photographer for seven years so with plenty of landscape photography (what I started doing first!), over two hundred weddings and a lot of commercial shoots for clients including Unilever, Brown Thomas and Bank of Ireland behind me, I have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to getting the shots and videos that feature on The Travel Expert.
 

 
So lets jump straight into my go to camera gear when travelling!

The Big Camera.

The main camera I carry is a Canon 5D Mark II along with three lenses that have served me well over the past number of years. Whilst the camera body is now just beginning to show signs of age, it has consistently produced top quality pictures and also shot its fair share of video footage too. This camera has proved bulletproof for me. Whilst it has been upgraded and overtaken by the Canon 5D Mark III and the Mark IV, I have not had a reason to change to date. I am considering its retirement now though and upgrading to the Canon 6D Mark II as Sarah has a lot of travelling planned for us in 2019 and I am going to need the reliability of a new camera.

The Travel Expert Camera Equipment

This is my main camera and the one that takes the heaviest hit (or shutter count). I thought long and hard about its purchase but I wanted the very best in picture quality at the time of purchase. I have also added a Canon BG-E6 Battery Grip to prolong performance and battery life. Three reasons I love this camera:-

  1. Excellent Resolution
  2. High ISO performance
  3. Full 1080p 30 fps video usable in low light conditions, with very good quality and full manual control if needed.

 

 

The Lenses.

Whilst Canon 5D Mark II and its newer siblings are fantastic cameras, they are really just (very) smart chunks of plastic and are pretty useless without a beautiful piece of glass attached to them. My go to lens that is normally on this camera is my trusty Canon 24-70mm F2.8 L which is terrific and with it’s wide aperture (f2.8), works brilliantly in low light and even night time conditions.

Also in the bag is my Canon 17-40mm F4 which I use primarily for landscapes and sometimes quirky shots. It is a wide angle lens and allows me to get expansive landscapes. The last of the three lens that I use is Canon 70-200mm IS (Image Stabilizer) f2.8. This is weighty in the bag when walking around a city but I can’t leave it at home. It produces the most beautiful people shots and portraits with a fantastic blur (bokeh) behind those in front of my camera, when set to its widest aperture of 2.8.
 

 

The Pocket Cameras.

Also in the bag are two smaller cameras, both of which pack a punch though! The first is my Canon G1X which is a really great camera for its size. It shoots RAW files, which is important for me as they retain the most detail as opposed to a JPEG, which doesn’t! It also shoots full 1080 HD video at 24 frames per second so is ideal when we are going out in the evening for a wander and a meal. When my shoulders are tired from a long day exploring and carrying the big camera and lenses above, this is my ‘go to’ camera most evenings when abroad. I can shoot quality stills and video and fell confident that I have captured the quality I want.

When I always want to have a camera with me, the other camera in my pocket is always the Canon G9x. Whilst smaller, it stills shoots RAW images with all the detail and full HD 1080 video too. Sarah loves this camera, as it has WiFi and she can have great quality pictures on her phone from the camera in no time for Instagram.
 

 

The Action Camera.

I’m never keen to bolt any of the cameras above to a rental car, take them near water or into the air when Sarah decides to paraglide or something! For this reason I opted for the Akaso EK7000, which is a brilliant (and cheaper!) alternative to the GoPro serious of cameras. I had a GoPro for a while but the batter life was absolutely appalling and eventually it broke. For the amount of use that the action camera gets, I could not justify replacing it with another GoPro and opted for my NoPro, which does a great job for less than €100!

It shoots up to 4k video (if you want that) and also has WiFi and a remote control. I bought it on Amazon and it arrived with a tonne of accessories for pretty much every eventuality. I have had it scuba diving, paragliding, stuck to the bonnet of a car and clamped to a motorcycle. You just press the very simple remote control for either a photo or to start/stop video recording and it just works!
 

 

The Flying Camera.

One of my favourite new toys is my DJI Mavic Pro drone. This is an astonishing piece of kit, allowing me to shoot aerial video and photos up to seven miles away (though I have never really let it go beyond my line of sight) and with the three batteries I have, I can fly the drone for up to an hour. It has a safe return mode, so when it determines that it has run low on battery and only has enough power to get back to where it took off from, it just flies home to me!

It uses GPS signals to figure out where it is. It has smart modes to perform complicated manoeuvres at the press of a button and gives me a new and really dynamic way of shooting video and photographs. It is easy to learn and as long as you are careful, it can produce terrific results. Just don’t crash it and always remember to fly it safely away from people and do I have to say it….airports!
 

 

Other Stuff.

I need a bag to haul all this stuff around with me and I use the Lowepro Mini Trekker AW as my camera bag when travelling. Despite its diminutive size, I manage to fit all of the above into it. Its ‘carry on’ friendly and comfortable enough to wear all day exploring cities and places. It has a weather cover tucked away that you can pull out and cover the bag with when you’re at the beach or caught in a rain shower which is handy. I also have a some clamps for mounting cameras onto various objects like cars and bikes or boats and balconies as I don’t tend to bring a tripod with me on trips.

Another favourite gadget of mine is the Joby GorillaPod. Sort of a tripod with bendy legs which will hold any of the cameras above and allow us to get the family selfies when there isn’t some other person around to hand the camera to.
 

 

The Phone Cameras.

Sometimes there isn’t time to pull whatever camera out of the bag. When this happens, we do what every other person on the planet does and whip out our iPhones. The quality of the cameras in phones now is still some way away from the dedicated camera but not by much. We can record full HD video or get pretty good photographs too.

We also use a FeiyuTech SPG 2 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer to shoot handheld video footage on the phones to prevent shakiness and my sanity when editing the videos!
 

 

The Storage.

I always opt for 32GB or 64GB Sandisk Extreme SD cards and Micro SD cards for all the devices as they are the best. You might not get a second chance to get that shot, so I want peace of mind that the memory cards are reliable and will just work! I also have a SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 500 GB drive that I transfer the footage onto periodically during our trips.

Once home all the photographs and video footage are stored locally on Western Digital NAS Drive and Seagate external hard drives and also then archived in the cloud using Amazon Web Services (AWS) because it is the most reliable and inexpensive cloud storage around. For immediate access between computers Sarah and I use Google Drive shared folders. This means I can work on them on one machine and they are available to Sarah on her laptop too. If you have a Gmail email, you have Google Drive already at your disposable. As a side note, it is also great for keeping scans of important travel documents if you lose the real thing, a digital copy is only an internet connection away!
 

 

The Post Production.

I use Adobes Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC to edit the photographs and Apples video editing software, Final Cut Pro to edit video running on iMac. The Adobe software is a monthly subscription but offers you all the updates for free when available as well as some cloud storage. Final Cut Pro is a once off purchase from the Apple App store but you also get the updates for free. When travelling we both use Macbook Air‘s as they are powerful enough for when we are travelling and are also pretty rugged and lightweight too.

 

 

I know that this post is probably only for all the geeks (like me!!) amongst you, but I hope this has answered some of the questions sent to Sarah over the past few weeks and months about the photographs and videos on The Travel Expert website. If you have more questions, please feel free to comment below or send a message on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and I’ll do my best to answer it.

Keep snappin’, keep travelling…

Cormac

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 27th December 2018

Best Travel Deals

In my best travel deals this week I have a last minute escape to Fuerteventura, Iceland in March, Easter week in Croatia, a Greek Isles cruise, free child places and summer holidays to Santorini, Tenerife and the Maldives.

 

Best last minute:

Beat the January blues by escaping to sunny Fuerteventura! Enjoy a seven-night stay at the Globales Costa Tropical Apartments for only €299 on the 5th of January. Price includes flights, transfers and checked baggage too!

View offer here

 

Best spring / summer:

Treat yourself to a week in the fabulous 5* Hotel Croatia for Easter week for only €496! Price includes flights and a seven-night stay on a bed & breakfast basis.

View offer here

 

Best family deal:

TUI’s has loaded 1000’s of free child places for next Summer so if you are looking for the top family properties in July or August, now is the time to book! I have chosen the highly rated Villa Mandi All Inclusive Resort in Tenerife as it offers free access to the world’s best waterpark, Siam Park, throughout your stay. Price for flights, transfers, baggage, and a seven-night stay with all meals and drinks included is €3039, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing, departing the 5th of July.

View offer here

 

 

Best long haul deal:

A holiday in the Maldives is on everyone’s bucket list! I like this all-inclusive deal because once you get there, you will need little or no spending money. Enjoy a seven night all-inclusive stay in Kuredu Island Resort from only €1759 including flights and seaplane transfers! Highly recommended on tripadvisor, with the word ‘paradise’ used numerous times, this is great value for such an amazing holiday.

View offer here 

 

Best cruise:

Royal Caribbean’s ‘One Big sale’ is now on! Get a free All-Inclusive Deluxe Drinks Package when you book selected cruises of six nights or more. They also have an exclusive low deposit of only €100 per person, so if you over spent during the Christmas period, this will come in very handy! I like their Greek Isles cruise on Jewel of the Seas. Price for Aer Lingus flights and a seven-night cruise in an oceanview cabin with drinks and meals included, is only €1475 on the 28th of July!

View offer here

 

 

Best summer sun:

Always wanted to go to Santorini? Enjoy a week in the highly rated Selios Palace hotel for only €415 on the 4th of June. Price includes flights and accommodation for seven nights.

View offer here

 

Best city break:

Chase the Northern Lights in Iceland in March. Enjoy a weekend break for only €297 on the 30th of March. Price includes flights and a three night stay in the popular City Centre hotel.

View offer here

 

 

Best flight sale:

Aer Lingus’ European flight sale is a good one with up to 50% off flights to Europe for travel anytime between the 1st of May and 30th of September. You must book by the 15th of January.

View offer here
 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

 

Sarah

travel deals

 

Travel

4- Star Weekend In Iceland, October Bank Holiday 2020, €429!

aurora-borealis-69221_1280_opt

Plan ahead and secure this early booking offer for the October bank holiday weekend. This super weekend in Iceland deal includes direct flights and three nights in a centrally located hotel.

 

I went to Iceland last year and I loved it. It was everything I hoped it would be and so much more! The scenery, the people, everything about the trip was amazing, even though we had crazy snow storms! We saw the Northern Lights, something that was on my bucket list for years. This time of year is a good time to see them, so fingers crossed you will too.

 

We also swam in the Blue Lagoon. Bathing in the steamy waters of the Blue Lagoon with snow all around us was something really special. In fact the whole island looked like a Winter wonderland! You can read all about my adventures in Iceland here.

weekend in Iceland

I found a great deal staying in the 4-star Radisson Blu Saga Hotel. This hotel is superb value, situated just 15 minutes walk to the heart of Reykjavik, this is a great option for weekend in Iceland. Fly direct from Dublin on the 23rd of October and enjoy a three night stay for only €429 per person. The perfect early booking offer!

 

View flights here  €264pp

 

View hotel here  €165pp

 

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

 

 

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

DESTINATIONS

My Favourite Travel Highlights From 2018

Penang beach

What a year 2018 has been! I went on 14 trips and wrote 195 posts and have loved every minute of it! Here are some of my favourite travel posts from 2018. I hope they will give you some travel inspiration.

 

I have had so many travel highlights throughout my life but our road trip in South Africa earlier this year, is up there with the best of them. Seeing Luke’s face as we watched lions playing just meters from our jeep, is something I will never forget. Paragliding off Signal Hill in Cape Town was pretty memorable too! You can see all my travel posts from South Africa below.

Read: Top tips for visiting South Africa

Read:  Cape Town – What to do, where to stay, where to eat and safety

Read: How to plan the perfect South African road trip

Read: A luxury safari at Amakhala Game Reserve

Read Why Val du Charron is the best place to stay in South Africa’s Winelands

Read: Our family stay at Cape St Francis Resort

 

I loved my trip to Malaysia and how I got there! Flying with Qatar Airways, in the best business class in the world, was an great experience. We visited Kuala Lumpur and the island of Penang which has so much more to offer than just stunning beaches. This trip really opened my eyes to the diversity of Malaysia, I would love to go back and visit Borneo and some of the other islands.

Read: My Penang travel guide

Read: 7 things you must do in Kuala Lumpur

Read: My review of Qatar Airways service

 

I also enjoyed two mini cruises this year! I was fortunate to be able to bring the kids with me on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas, as Luke was chosen to road test the newly revamped ship. I also had the pleasure of cruising on MSC’s brand new ship MSC Seaview, and boy was she stunning.

 

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Read: My review of MSC Seaview

Read: My review of Independence of the Seas, the ultimate family cruise ship

 

I was delighted to be able to show the kids New York, a place I use to visit regularly before they came along. A family wedding in Philadelphia meant we got the opportunity to see both Philadelphia and New York in July.

Read: 12 things to do in New York with kids

Read: 6 reasons to choose the Beacon Hotel for a family stay in New York

Read: Top 25 things to do in New York

 

Our stay in the fabulous Aqua Suites in Lanzarote was the best way to round off a great summer. It was a super relaxing holiday with great food and nice quality family time. The kids are already asking me if they can go back next year.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Thanks to everyone who recommended @cafelaola – the views and atmosphere are 👌 Isn’t social media great for that – love when you ask for recommendations and you get lots of great places. I have so many now I don’t know how I’ll fit them in this week – will try my best though, all in the name of research 😉 About Cafe La Ola though, pizzas are not the best so don’t order them but everything else was good and tbh you don’t go for the food anyway. Lots more on my stories! . . . . . #familyholiday #familyfun #familytime #travellingwithkids #family #familypictures #familyfirst #kidsplay #lanzarote #puertodelcarmen @visit_lanzarote #summerholidays #summer #summerday #travelpics #familiesofinstagram #familypictures #familytravel #familytravelblogger #seaview #view #restaurant #sunset #sunset_pics #sunsetview

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Read: Why Lanzarote is my favourite Canary Island

Read: Why the Aqua Suites is the best place to stay in Puerto del Carmen with kids

Read: Things to do with kids in Puerto del Carmen

 

I visited Puglia in Italy for the first time over the October bank holiday weekend. We spend two nights in the stunning city of Matera and two nights in a fabulous Airbnb in Alberobello. Puglia is a place I will definitely be returning to – I still have to write my posts on our stay here, but Ill get to it asap – watch this space!

Working with Ireland’s Blue Book gave me the opportunity to visit some of Ireland’s Country House Hotels, Marlfield House and Dunbrody House Hotel. I enjoyed some great Irish hospitality and the most delicious food.  I am hoping to visit more of their properties in 2019.

 

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It’s amazing what one night away can do! Less than an hour from Dublin yet miles away from normality! We had a fab 24 hours in @marlfieldhouse .We ate fabulous food, strolled around the grounds and just relaxed really – we even got to walk the beach in Curracloe 🙌 See more on my highlights. #collab . . . . . #marlfieldhouse #irelandsbluebook #countryhouse #wexford #ireland #discoverireland @visitwexford #irelandsancienteast #luxurylifestyle #luxuryhotel #irishtravelblogger #travelblogger #travelgram #ireland_gram @irelandsancienteast @tourismireland @irelandaily @instaireland #relaischateaux @relaischateaux #irishcountryhouse #autumn #conservatory @irelandsbluebook

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Read: Marlfield House – the perfect option for an overnight escape.

Read: Dunbrody House serves up much more than just good food.

 

I also managed to fit family breaks in Lough Erne Resort, and Ireland’s best family hotel – Kellys Resort & Spa, as well as a girls night away with my Mum and sister in Monart.

Read: My review of Monart

Read: Is Kellys the best family hotel in Ireland?

Read: Living it up at Lough Erne Resort

Read: Luxury family hotel breaks in Ireland

Read: 5 things to do in Wexford with kids

 

A massive thanks to everyone for all the follows, likes, comments and shares, I really appreciate it. I know I wouldn’t be able make all these trips happen if it wasn’t for all of you reading my blogs and supporting me on my journey. With trips planned to Vietnam, Dubai, Maldives and hopefully a ski trip, 2019 is looking great already!  I hope my favourite travel posts from 2018 will help you plan your next adventure and that 2019 is full of lots of exciting trips for all of us!
 

Keep travelling!

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

 

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 18th December 2018

best travel deals

In my best travel deals this week I have a New Year break in Morocco, winter deals to Rome, Algarve and a cruise, free child places, all inclusive long haul holidays, a super staycation and an early booking offer to Croatia.

 

Best last minute:

Jet off to sunny Morocco on St Stephens’ Day and enjoy six nights in the popular Intouriste apartments for €486. Price includes flights, transfers and checked baggage too!

View offer here

 

 

Best staycation:

Voted the best hotel in Ireland this year at the Georgina Campbell Awards, a stay at the Boutique Twelve Hotel in Galway is on my wish list for 2019! This amazing deal of €145 includes a stay for two with breakfast in a splendid king room, a bottle of wine on arrival, food and drink credit and an early check-in and late check-out! Want to stay for two nights, the additional cost is just €90!

View offer here

 

 

Best winter deal

Enjoy a wellness break in the 4* Santa Eulalia Suite hotel & Spa in the Algarve for only €179 on the 4th of March! This hotel receives great reviews on tripadvisor and was awarded a certificate of excellence. Price of €179 includes return flights and seven nights accommodation. #StealOfTheWeek

View offer here

 

 

Best long haul deal:

Want to go long haul in 2019 but don’t want to break the bank? Try an all-inclusive long haul holiday where flights, hotel, transfers and all meals and drinks are included in the cost! I have 9 of the best long haul all inclusive holidays in this post, with seven night prices from €1249 staying in a five star hotel!

View offer here

 

 

Best cruise:

Cruise the Canary Islands this winter from only €757 in February on Marella Dream. Visit Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and La Gomera as well as Funchal in Madeira. This seven day cruise is incredible value with flights, transfers and checked baggage included as well as all meals, gratuities and port taxes on the cruise.

View offer here

 

 

Best family deal:

If you are looking for a free child place in July, in one of the top family properties – now is the time to get one! TUI is offering free child places on 1000’s of holidays including their premium Holiday Villages. The Holiday Village in Tenerife is one of the most popular, with a cinema, bowling alley, aerial adventure course and a waterslide pool on site – as well as the superb kids clubs, academies and entertainment programmes. Price for flights, transfers, baggage and a seven night stay with all meals, drinks and entertainment included, is €3470, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing, departing the 7th of July.

View offer here

 

 

Best city break:

Rome is always a good idea! Experience it for the bargain price of €188pp including flights and a three night stay in the highly rated 4*  Cosmopolita hotel. An ideal last minute Christmas gift!

View offer here

 
 

Best early booking offer:

Go somewhere new in 2019 and travel to Zadar in Croatia. Enjoy a three night weekend break in the 4* Apartments Villa Karla from €181 including flights, departing the 18th of October.

View offer here

 

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

travel deals

 

Long Haul

9 All Inclusive Long Haul Holidays for 2021 You Wont Want To Miss

shutterstock_all-inclusive-long-haul-holidays-301372376-compressor

From Barbados to Bali, Maldives to Mexico, check out my top all inclusive long haul holidays from across the globe and get planning your next holiday!

 

All Inclusive long haul holidays are more popular than ever. People are looking for more authentic experiences, more adventurous destinations and of course, instagrammable white sandy beaches! While we may wish to throw caution to the wind and travel to more exotic locations, booking an all inclusive resort with all meals and drinks included in the cost, can give great peace of mind. No need to worry about transfers from a strange airport, no need to struggle with local currency and no need for lots of spending money!

all inclusive long haul holidays

I have teamed up with Tropical Sky, the long haul holiday specialists, to bring you their top all inclusive long haul holidays for 2019. These are just a sample of all inclusive holidays that Tropical Sky offer. All of the prices below include flights, transfers and top quality four and five star resorts, with all meals and drinks included. It is also possible to combine all inclusive long haul holidays with a few days exploring the top attractions, or to extend your holiday in a different resort or island perhaps, just talk to their dedicated sales team and they will tailor make any long haul holiday to suit you.

 

Mexico: Oleo Cancun Playa Boutique Resort, 7 Nights, All Inclusive inc Flights & Transfers, from €1549!

This 168 roomed boutique hotel stands out from the crowd in lively Cancun. Its contemporary style combines minimalist decor with luxurious touches such as Total-Rest beds and a Pool Concierge to assist with towels and sun cream! You can also enjoy waiter service at the pool and the beach area – which is a nice treat in an all-inclusive resort. Located overlooking one of the best beaches in Cancun and only a fifteen minute drive from the airport, this is a great choice for a luxury hotel in the heart of lively Cancun.

all inclusive long haul holidays

View offer here

 

Sri Lanka: 4* Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon, 7 Nights, All Inclusive inc Flights & Transfers, from €1449

Sri Lanka has been voted the number 1 place to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet. For those who fancy some culture mixed with beach time, the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, fascinating temples and elephant safaris should tick all boxes.

If you are looking for a lively holiday in one of Sri Lanka’s party resorts, then this is for you. Located in Hikkaduwa, this musical town combines fun, sun with lots of activities. Expect party vibes and beach views, and with all meals and drinks included in the price of your stay, this must be one of the best value resorts in the Indian Ocean. Combine a week here with a few days exploring the cultural centre for the perfect Sri Lankan holiday.

all inclusive long haul holidays

View offer here

 

Dominican Republic: 5* All Inclusive Dreams Dominicus La Romana, 7 Nights, All Inclusive inc Flights & Transfers, from €1229

Set on a pristine beach and surrounded by a tropical jungle, Dreams Dominicus La Romana boasts one of the most sought after locations in the Dominican Republic. This premium all-inclusive resort has eleven different dining options, including seven à la carte restaurants and a complimentary mini bar, stocked daily. Beach lovers will enjoy the wide selection of water-sports including snorkelling, windsurfing and kayaking and the spa is the perfect place to relax after a busy day. Kids will love it here too, the kids clubs are superb. The Explorers Club caters for kids from age 3 – 12 and Core Zone Teens Club for 13 – 17 year olds – there is something here for kids of all ages.

all inclusive long haul holidays

View offer here

 

Mauritius: 4* Veranda Pointe Aux Biches Hotel, 7 Nights, All Inclusive inc Flights & Transfers from €1339

Veranda Pointe aux Biches is a hotel that epitomises laid-back luxury –  guests are encouraged to go barefoot during their stay ❤️. Feel relaxed in the wellness lounge, enjoy some spa treatments or try the host of water-sports available. If you fancy a change of scene, you can pop into the nearby village of Grand Baie, which has a wide selection of restaurants, shops and bars. Highly rated on tripadvisor, with all meals and drinks included in the price, this is excellent value for a great hotel.

all inclusive long haul holidays

View offer here

 

Maldives: 4* Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa, 7 Nights, All Inclusive inc Flights & Speedboat transfers, from €2579

A destination on every bucket list, you only have to mention the Maldives and people start to daydream! Expect the most stunning sunsets and an underwater paradise to match. When it comes to luxury paradise islands, the Maldives ticks all boxes. This adult-only resort is the perfect choice for romantic getaway. With stunning ocean views, a host of water-sports and a selection of dining options, this is a luxury all-inclusive resort like no other. Price includes a stay in a luxury ocean front villa and speed boat transfers.

all inclusive long haul holidays

View offer here

 

 

Bali: 4* Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso, 7 Nights, All Inclusive inc Flights & Transfers from €1619

Located at the tip of the famous Nusa Dua beach, this all inclusive hotel in Bali is perfect for families and couples looking for a lively beach resort with a wide selection of facilities on site. There are two bars and eight restaurants to choose from including  the Jukung Grill which serves up fresh seafood and meat with superb views of the Indian Ocean.

all inclusive long haul holidays

View offer here

 

Ras Al Khaimah: 5* DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island, 5 Nights, All Inclusive inc Flights & Transfers, from €869

Situated on a private white sandy beach, this five star resort is only an hour from Dubai, yet feels world’s apart. Seven seems to be the lucky number at the hotel with a choice of seven swimming pools, seven spa treatment rooms and seven bars and restaurants, including a roof-top bar. Sports enthusiasts will love the host of water-sports available, fitness centre and tennis courts. For a full list of what is included on the all-inclusive arrangement, click here. Reviewed as one of Ras Al Khaimah’s most popular hotels by tripadvisor, it’s not only adults who love this hotel – kids do too! The aqua zone with water slides, kids club with climbing wall and large outdoor playground, will keep children of all ages entertained throughout the day.

all inclusive long haul holidays

View offer here

 

Barbados: 4* Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels, 7 Nights, All Inclusive inc Flights & Transfers from €1809

I absolutely loved Barbados! There are people from all walks of life who emigrated there for a better lifestyle, and you can tell instantly that they found it in Barbados! Barbados is English speaking too and they drive on the same side of the road as us, so it a great island to hire a car and go exploring. Turtle Beach is located right on the beach along the lively South Coast. This all-suite all-inclusive hotel offers great water-sports and is ideal for couples or families who are looking to be close to all the action. I love that they offer free exchange dining between its sister hotel, Crystal Cove, you won’t feel you are dining in the same place every night.

all inclusive long haul holidays

View offer here

 

St Lucia: 4* All Inclusive Coconut Bay Beach Resort7 Nights, All Inclusive inc Flights & Transfers, from €1659

The multi award-winning Coconut Bay Beach Resort is a premium all-inclusive resort in St Lucia. Adults and children are catered for brilliantly here as the resort is divided into two separate wings. There is an adults-only wing as well as ‘Splash’, the family-friendly wing, which is home to CocoLand, St Lucia’s largest water park. There are nine restaurants, seven bars and five swimming pools. This resort is situated on 85 acres, it is safe to say you won’t need to leave it.

all inclusive long haul holidays

View offer here

 

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

 

Like long haul holidays? See more destination guides and travel deals here.

 

Sarah

travel deals

 

 
Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 11th December 2018

best travel deals

In my best travel deals this week I have Christmas on the ski slopes, a city break to Prague for €149, luxury for less in Zanzibar, a staycation in Cork, five star river cruises, and early booking deals to Algarve and Gran Canaria for next summer.

 

Best last minute:

Can you think of anything better than spending Christmas on the slopes? There are some great last minute deals available departing on the 22nd and 23rd of December. Choose Andorra from €299, Italy from €349 or Austria and France from €399. Prices include flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage for seven nights, based on four sharing.

See more here

 

 

Best city break:

Still searching for the perfect Christmas Gift? Enjoy a four star break in Prague for only €149 per person in February! Price includes flights and a three night stay in the highly rated Salvator Boutique Hotel.

See more here

 

 

Best family deal:

Save a whopping 39% off this superb family deal to the Terraza Amadores apartments next Summer. Travel over the June bank holiday weekend and stay in a 2 bedroom apartment for only €1531, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. Price includes flights, transfers and checked baggage for seven nights. Deposit of €75pp secures booking. Check out the reviews on tripadvisor if you still need convincing!

View offer here

 

 

Best staycation:

Get some friends or family together and enjoy a staycation at the highly rated Quality Hotel Youghal in Cork. You can choose one of their self catering apartments from €139 or a luxury house from €159 for two nights! This is nearly half price! Located right on the beach you can choose the open sea or the indoor swimming pool with leisure facilities. They also give you a €10 spa voucher per person towards a treatment costing €40 or above.

View offer here

 

 

Best cruise:

Take advantage of Uniworld’s Best Ever Offer and secure 30% off over 200 five-star river cruises in 2019. Choose the Enchanting Danube, Timeless Wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong or my personal favourite, Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy.

See more here

 

 

Best long haul deal: 

Do you want your next holiday destination to be somewhere exotic? It doesn’t get much better than Zanzibar. Spend seven nights in Breezes Beach Club with breakfast and evening meal included for only €1319 per person! Price includes flights, hotel and airport transfers. I stayed here myself many years ago and loved it. If you want to mix some African adventure with it, add on a safari in Tanzania at the time of booking.

View offer here

 

 

Best early booking offer:

Kick start your Summer with a holiday to the Algarve in June. Stay at the Vilamor apartments in Alvor, which is one of my favourite resorts, for only €299!  Price includes flights and accommodation for seven nights, departing the 5th of June.

View offer here

 

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

travel deals

 

TravelTravel News and ReviewsTravel Tips

Why You Should Do All Your Online Shopping Via the AerClub eStore & My Top 10 Picks!

christmas shopping

Do you shop online? Make sure you do all your shopping via the AerClub eStore and collect thousands of Avios at the same time!

 

Shopping from the comfort of your own home, there is nothing like it. No trouble getting parking, no battling through crowds and no queuing to pay! I am already a big fan of shopping via the AerClub eStore so when there is an extra promotion, I’m in heaven! My kids are lego fanatics so I was thrilled to hear that the Lego Store are giving 10 Avios for every £1 spent online. Not only were the prices cheaper than what I was paying elsewhere, but I got over 1000 Avios when I spent £100! I also picked up some books from Eason, they are giving 7 Avios for every €1 spent and to get 4 Avios for every euro spent at Apple – well it doesn’t get much better than that! The AerClub eStore offers are not limited to Irish online stores, you can also collect bonus Avios with popular fashion stores like Pretty Little Thing and Topshop and beauty store Lookfantastic.

shopping via the aerclub estore

How does it work?

Once you are logged in to the AerClub eStore you can click through to your favourite retailers and shop online in the usual way at no extra cost, but your purchases will be tracked, and your Avios account will be topped up with points! It really is that simple – you shop in exactly the same way as you would normally shop online but the online shops will see that you came to their website via the AerClub estore. You can also see the stores you have clicked on in your history so you know your transaction is being tracked. For anyone who hasn’t yet joined AerClub, this is the perfect time to do it. Simply click here to join AerClub, it couldn’t be easier!

For those of you who have been following me on my journey, I am delighted to say that I have already accumulated over 60,000 Avios, and most of these were collected by shopping. I’m not spending a fortune shopping, I’m just clever with my purchases. To give you an example I have highlighted some of my favourite stores below, to show you just how easy it is to accumulate points by shopping at the AerClub eStore. For anyone who is not familiar with Avios, read my first post about how to get flights and upgrades with Avios points.

shopping via the aerclub estore

My Top 10 Picks from the AerClub eStore

 

1. High Street Fashion Stores: Up to 12 Avios, for every £1 spent.

Looking to get something new for Christmas? Get the latest winter looks from the biggest online fashion stores such as River Island, Asos, Pretty Little Thing, Gap, Boohoo.com and Topshop – and collect Avios at the same time.

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Fashion Here

 

2. Apple: 4 Avios for every €1 spent.

Fancy a new phone, iMac or apple watch for Christmas? Perhaps you are thinking of treating the kids to new iPads? Apple are giving a staggering 4 Avios for every €1 spent, so if you spend €300 before the 16th of December and you will €1200 Avios!

shopping via the aerclub estore

 Shop Apple Here

 

3. Lego: 10 Avios for every £1 spent.

I know too well how expensive Lego can be – I have a 10 year old who is obsessed with it! Thankfully I accumulate Avios while I shop and the official Lego store has the widest range of lego available. Collect 1000 Avios for every £100 spent until the 23rd of December.

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Lego Here

 

4. Marks & Spencer: 4 Avios for every €1 spent.

With 3 for 2 on Christmas gifts and decorations, Holly Willoughby’s latest edit and the best stocking fillers, there is always something to be bought in M&S. If you spend €100 that will give you 400 Avios!

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop M&S Here

 

5. Eason: 7 Avios for every €1 spent.

The latest blockbusters, toys, games, or stationary, everyone makes a trip to Eason before Christmas. Do it online instead and collect 7 Avios for every €1 spent until the 19th of December.

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Eason Here

 

6. Lookfantastic: 14 Avios for every £1 spent.

Lookfantastic is my go-to shop for beauty now. I buy my Murad face creams here all the time and love their ‘brand of the month’ special offers. They also sell GHD’s, perfumes and all the top make-up brands. Prices are so good too, and when you get 14 Avios for every £1 you spend before the 23rd of December, it’s a win-win!

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Lookfantastic Here

 

7. Not On The High Street 8 Avios for every £1 spent.

I don’t know how I only discovered this shop this year but I absolutely love it. It has so many thoughtful gifts that would never find elsewhere – hence the name I guess! If you haven’t already checked it out, make sure you do, I guarantee you will find some great Christmas gift ideas. Shop before the 23rd of December to avail of this  double Avios promotion.

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Here

 

 

8. Expedia: 7 Avios for every €1 spent.

Planning a post Christmas break or a Summer holiday? You can massively increase your Avios balance with accommodation or holiday purchases. A hotel break for €500 will give you 3,500 Avios or a €2000 family apartment or hotel, will give you 14,000 Avios.  

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Expedia Here

 

9. Adidas: 10 Avios for every €1 spent; Nike 7 Avios for every €1 spent.

Kids football boots, Superstar runners or the latest gym gear, there is something in the Adidas and Nike stores to suit everyone. With 10 Avios for every €1 you spend, a new pair of Superstar runners will give you 1000 Avios points.

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Adidas Here

Shop Nike Here

 

10. Groupon: 7 Avios for every €1 spent.

Groupon has every type of Christmas gift imaginable. From restaurant vouchers to teeth whitening deals, short breaks to mobile phones, Groupon is your one stop daily deals website. Collect 700 Avios for every €100 spent on top of their already discounted prices.

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Groupon Here

 

Note: certain exclusions apply to each stores, see individual retail pages when you are shopping via the AerClub eStore for more details. This post was sponsored by Avios, but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Like this post? You might like:

10 Ways To Collect Avios

5 Ways To Spend Avios 
Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

 

 

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