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Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 30th July 2019

Best Travel Deals

In this week’s best travel deals I have deals to Dominican Republic, Tuscany, Greece, South Africa and Venice, winter breaks to Marrakech and Centre Parcs, an amazing Alaska cruise for next year and lots more!

 

Best last minute:

Enjoy luxury for less in the 5* all-inclusive Barcelo Bavaro Palace in the Dominican Republic for only €1199! This amazing deal has massive saving of €580 per person and includes flights, transfers and all meals and drinks throughout your stay. Price is available in August, September and October so be sure to check this one out!

View offer here
 

 

 

Best September sun:

Chill out in the Greek island of Rhodes for only €351 on the 14th of September. Price includes flights, accommodation at the highly rated Nimar Villagio apartments, transfers and checked baggage, for seven nights!

View offer here
 

 

 

Best long haul:

South Africa is one of my favourite countries, we went on our honeymoon, then returned last year with the kids and I would go back again in a heartbeat! This itinerary from Travalue is very similar to the trip we did last year, you even finish up in Amakhala Game Reserve! Price for flights, car-hire and 10 nights accommodation in Cape town, the Garden Route and Amakhala Game Reserve, is only €1895 per person. 

See more here
 

 

 

Best family deal:

Still searching for a last minute holiday? Explore the Tuscan countryside and stay in 4* Fattoria Degli Usignoli Apartments for only €2538, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. Price includes flights, accommodation, car hire and checked baggage for seven nights, departing the 16th of August, or €2814 on the 9th of August.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best cruise:

Scratch one off the bucket list and cruise Alaska next year. This incredible deal from Sunway sails on the 5* Celebrity Eclipse with a free balcony upgrade, free classic drinks package, free gratuities and $200 on board spend! Price for flights, an over-night stay in Vancouver and a seven-night luxury Alaska cruise is €2480, departing the 16th of May – with similar offers available throughout the summer months.

See more here
 

 

 

Best city break:

October is a great time to visit Venice, it is less crowded and temperatures should still be mild. Enjoy a weekend break in centrally located Mignon Hotel for only €298 per person on the 12th of October. Price includes flights and hotel for three nights!

View flights here €65pp

View hotel here €233pp
 

 

 

Best winter break:

Spend a week in balmy Marrakech this winter. Stay in the luxurious 5* Riad Le Jardin d’Abdou, a nine-roomed Riad located inside the Medina, for only €348 per person. Price includes flights and hotel for seven nights, check out the great reviews on tripadvisor if you still need convincing!

View flights here €124pp

View hotel here €244pp
 

 

 

Best staycation:

On foot of my weekend in Center Parcs I found some great deals if you can travel during the winter time. Beat the January blues and book a four-night stay on the 6th of January from just €299, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. What a nice gift for under the Christmas tree…

View offer here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

The popular 4* Bella Italia apartments in Lake Garda are on sale for 2020 now. You can book a package deal with flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage with a deposit of only €75 per person. Price based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing a 2 bedroom bungalow is €2538 on the of June, or €2973 on the 8th of August. These bungalows sleep up to 6 so if you have more children, simply edit the search on the links below.

View June here

 

View August 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

 

 

 

Family HolidaysHolidays in IrelandTravel Tips

Top Tips On How to Save Money At Center Parcs Ireland

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We are just back from an amazing weekend in Center Parcs. It is undoubtedly one of the best family holiday destinations in Ireland, but the questions I have been asked the most are all related to the prices, and how to save money at Center Parcs.

 

We rode bikes, we raced down water rapids, conquered the Aerial Assault course and shot a few strangers during Laser Combat. You know the best things about all of these activities? We did them together! It was one of the best family experiences we have had in Ireland, and the kids are already asking me when we are going back. As I browse through their website I notice massive difference in prices, depending on when you travel. This got me thinking that it is possible to visit Centre Parcs if you are on a budget. Here are my top tips on how to save money at Center Parcs Ireland. 

 

how to save money at center parcs ireland
 
See my ultimate guide to Center Parcs Longford Forest here.
 

 

 

1. Book in advance

There are only 466 lodges and 30 apartments in Center Parcs Longford Forest. It is smaller than Center Parcs in the UK, so it will get booked out in advance. Center Parcs use a similar model to the airlines and increase prices closer to departure if they have limited availability, so if you want to go during school holidays, book it now.

I was very lucky to be able to visit at Christmas time too – it was magical and a great way for the kids to see Santa. If you are thinking of visiting over the festive period – make sure to book in advance.

Read: 12 tips for visiting Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs

 


 

2. Visit off peak

If you can travel during school term, you will save a fortune! Prices start from €299 for a four night stay during the winter-time, so why not pay a visit and see what you think? Center Parcs Longford Forest is home to Ireland’s largest indoor water park and it is heated to 29.5c all year round – it is also included in the cost of your stay.

If you don’t want to take the kids out of school, why not travel from Friday – Monday, but leave Sunday night instead ? You will be able to stay on-site as late you like on Sunday – as you officially won’t be leaving until Monday. If you love it as much as we did, you can always come back next summer. 

how to save money at center parcs ireland
 

 

 

3. Save €160 off your stay with Tesco Clubcard 

I have to thank one of my Instagram followers for this  tip on how to save money at Center Parcs: Every €2.50 in Tesco Clubcard vouchers rewards you with €10 towards your stay at Center Parcs Longford Forest. The maximum Clubcard voucher allowed off any one booking is €40, but this will give you €160 off your stay! See more here.

how to save money at center parcs
 

 

 

4. Bring your own bikes and pool towels.

Center Parcs is a car-free zone so everyone uses bikes to get around. Bike-hire is pricey, at €35 per adult and €25.50 for a 3/4 night stay, or €48.50 per adult and €36 per child for a seven-night stay. But you can bring your own – this will save you €169 if you are staying for a week. Incidentally you don’t have to hire bikes, you can choose to walk everywhere. If you want to do this, think about paying an extra €49 to book lodge close to the village centre.
 

 

 
The indoor subtropical pool is superb and I’m sure your kids will want to visit every day – luckily it is included in the cost of your stay! Towels however, are not. The charge to rent towels at the pool is €2 per day so this is €56 for a week, based on a family of four. Some people bring the rented towels back to their lodges to dry them so they are not paying the daily charge, but it is easier and cheaper to just bring your own. 


 

 

 

5. Dine in your lodge.

I found the restaurants quite reasonably priced and the food was good in most restaurants, but there is no doubt dining-in will save you money. There is a BBQ and a well equipped kitchen in every lodge, so you can dine inside or out, depending on the weather. As you will be travelling by car, you can shop in your own supermarket before you come, or use the supermarket on-site. I was quite surprised at the prices in the ParcMarket, they were similar to a local Spar or Centra, so if you don’t want to shop before you come, this is a great alternative. I’m sure most families cook breakfast and lunch in the lodge, but the likelihood is that you will be tired after a long active day, so a night-in will be welcomed too! 

Note: Center Parcs offer a great Dine-In menu if you don’t want to cook. This can get booked out though, so you need to call at 3pm to book it and arrange a delivery time.  


 

 

 

6. Pre-book activities

There are over 100 activities in Center Parcs, but with the exception of the swimming pool and playgrounds, they all incur additional costs. It is important to manage your kids expectations. Once you book your trip you will receive emails (lots of them!) and even phone calls about pre-booking activities. This is your chance to look through the various options and decide what you and the kids REALLY want to do.

You can do mini-golf or play tennis anywhere, but can you do tree-trekking, raft building or let your toddler be a chocolate chef? There are some amazing activities for kids of all ages, many of which are not easy to come-by, so pick your favourites in advance and book them. This will not only allow you to budget appropriately, but your kids will be aware of what activities they are doing, and hopefully won’t expect anything else! 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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7. Enjoy the free things too!

It goes without saying that you will spend time in the subtropical swimming pool, but take time to enjoy your surroundings too. Center Parcs Longford Forest is set in 400 acres of woodland. Enjoy forest walks and see what animals you can spot, we saw some deer very close to the village. Younger kids will love the fairy trail through the woods and the superb playgrounds on-site. Bring a bucket and spade for the man-made beach and a perhaps a football, but most of all enjoy the beautiful surroundings. This is one of the best ways to save money at Center Parcs!

how to save money in center parcs
 

 

 
8. Bonus tip – Receive €125 tax refund when you spend €625 from 1st October 2020 – 30th April 2021

For a limited time you can avail of the new government Spend and Stay scheme if you visit Center Parcs from October 1st 2020 to April 30th 2021. This will allow you to save 20% off your accommodation and meal costs at Center Parcs, subject to a maximum spend of €125 per taxpayer. If you are travelling as a family / couple and both parents are taxpayers, you can claim up to €250 if you spend a total of €1250. Read by blog on how to claim money back with the Spend and Save scheme.
 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my tips on how to save money at Center Parcs. We were guests at the official launch of Center Parcs in Ireland, and you can see my ultimate guide to Center Parcs Longford Forest here.
 
For pricing and availability visit CenterParcs.ie

 

Like this post? See my ultimate guide to Center Parcs Longford Forest here.

See 12 tips for visiting Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs here.

 

Like holidays in Ireland? See more here.
 

 

 
Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 23rd July 2019

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This weeks best travel deals include return flights to European sun spots from €119, a family holiday in Lake Garda, a super deal to Anemos Luxury Resort in Crete, a weekend in Porto, an all-inclusive cruise, Mauritius, Malta and lots more! 

 

Best last minute:

Want to design your own holiday? TUI have return flights to Majorca from €119, Algarve from €140, Salou from €160, Canary Islands from €199 and Greece from €235, departing in August. Prices are return and include 10kg hand baggage. Add on a 20kg checked bag for only €50 return.

See more here
 

 

 

Best September / October deal:

If you have been following me on social media, you will know I am just back from the fabulous Anemos Luxury Resort in Crete. I had lots of messages about it and I managed to secure a great deal with Best4Travel, departing in October. Price for flights, transfers and a seven-night stay in a deluxe room, with breakfast and evening meal included, is only €575 per person! Please call them on 01-2569525 to book or click below for some more information on the hotel.

See more here
 

 

 

Best family deal:

Still looking for a last minute getaway? Enjoy a week in stunning Lake Garda for only €2773, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing, departing the of 17th of August. Price includes flights, transfers, checked baggage and a seven-night stay in the Eden apartments in Peschiera. With the lake and Gardaland on your doorstep, you will be spoilt for choice for things to do.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best city break:

Looking for the perfect city break? Try Porto! I was there last year and loved it. Enjoy a three-night weekend break on the 5th of October for only €170! Price includes flights and accommodation at the highly rated 4* HF Ipanema Porto hotel, with breakfast! 

View flights here €45pp

View hotel here €125pp
 

 

 

Best cruise:

Go all-inclusive in one of the Med’s most popular cruise ships, Norwegian Epic. Price for flights, a seven-night Med cruise staying in a balcony cabin, with meals and drinks included, is only €1299 on the 4th of September! 

See more here
 

 

 

Best long haul offer:

Luxury all-inclusive hotels are the best, waiter service by the pool and a choice of a la carte restaurants – the only problem is you may not want to leave! Enjoy a seven-night stay at the 5* Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa in Mauritius for only €1779 including flights, transfers and all meals and drinks throughout your stay. Extend your stay to 12 nights or more before the end of September, and receive a whopping €850 discount! 

View offer here
 

 

 

Best winter break:

Malta is a great choice for a winter break and the prices have never been so good! Enjoy a seven-night stay at the popular 4* Solana Hotel for only €187 on the 28th of November, or €205 on the 14th of November. Price includes flights and hotel, with breakfast, for seven nights and there are many more dates available, just edit the search below to meet your requirements.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best staycation:

Cosy up with your loved one at the 4* Lusty Beg Island Hotel for only €55 per person, with breakfast included! Stay for two nights from only €105 per person. This super deal is valid from Sunday – Thursday until the 29th of August, so you still have plenty of time to plan a last minute summer escape.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

Secure 20% off the most popular campsites in Europe for Summer 2020. Cambrils Park, Sanguli, Duinrell as well as all the French favourites are all reduced for next summer, so now is the time to book…  

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 Tips

How to Pack Light For A Week In The Sun – And Bring Hand Luggage Only!

Maldives

With checked baggage fees sometimes dearer than airfares, it is important to know how to pack light for a week in the sun. I have picked up some tips and tricks on my travels, hopefully these will help you save money, while looking stylish too!

 

We have all been there – sitting on our suitcase trying to close it, just minutes before the taxi pulls up to take you to the airport. God knows what we have packed, but inevitably we will only wear half of it! I have managed to improve my packing over the years and no longer bring six pairs of shoes and three hand-bags when I go away! I find sun holidays are the easiest to pack for and I usually take hand luggage only, as there is no need for bulky jumpers, jackets or boots. These are my must-haves – what I never leave home without, hopefully they will help you to pack light for a week in the sun and bring hand luggage only too!
 

 

 

How to pack light for a week in the sun.

 

1. Invest in a good light-weight suitcase.

Before you start you should invest in one of the lightest cases on the market. I have a samsonite light-shock cabin case and I love it. It is super light but the frame is expandable so I can fit much more into this case than other cases that I have of similar size.

how to pack light for a week in the sun
 

 

 

2. How to pack light for a week in the sun – bring two pairs of shoes.

 

Nude Wedges are a must!

If you don’t already own a pair of nude or white wedges, invest in them! Nude shades go with everything. I prefer wedges to high sandals, they are more comfortable underfoot, especially when you come across an old town with cobbled stone streets. I usually wear these if travelling a short distance by plane, it saves space in my case. If you are doing this, pack a pair of socks in your hand bag, incase you want to take your shoes off during the flight.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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And I never leave home without my Havaianas Luna 

Havaianas Luna are the most comfortable flip-flops I have ever worn, in fact I have them in two colours. I have walked countless cities and towns in them, the support on the heel means they don’t flop when you walk. Some styles have a gems attached so you could wear at night-time too. If you are planning on doing some hiking or long walks you might want to bring runners too, but I have walked for hours in these!   

 

 
 
 
 
 
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3. How to pack light for a week in the sun – bring two bags.

 

A large bag that doubles as a carry on and beach bag.

 
Instead of my usual hand-bag, I bring a large tote on the plane which also doubles as a beach or shopping bag. This is big enough to hold a cardigan, some duty free purchases and even magazines. I picked up this one in Zara for €20 and it is reversible. I like to wear red in the summer time and then reverse it to nude colour in the winter time. It also has a small zip pouch on the inside which is handy when you are at the beach for your phone, keys etc.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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And a cross-over body bag.

I only bring my large bag above and a black cross over bag. This doubles as an evening bag when I adjust the strap, or as a cross over when shopping or sightseeing during the day.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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4. How to pack light for a week in the sun – bring clothes that you can dress up or down.

 

Dresses, dresses and more dresses!

Dresses are so versatile! You can dress them down with havianas or runners, or dress them up with wedges. They also use up less space in your case than a top and trousers / skirt. I pack a long maxi for the first few days and then shorter dresses when I want to show off my tan!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Shorts

This might sound like an obvious choice but try to pick a pair of shorts that you can wear out at night-time too. H&M have some great styles at the moment that you can dress up or down.
 

 

 

Cropped white jeans / trousers

Three-quarter length trousers are so handy, you can dress them up at night-time with heels or wear them during the day with tee-shirts and flats. They are also handy for travelling in.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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5. Bring a cardigan or large scarf / pashmina 

I invested in a good quality black cardigan a few years ago and I never travel without it now. It is very handy if it gets cool in the evening time and it also dresses up a simple outfit. I also like to bring a warm cardigan or wrap for the plane, that fits in my carry-on hand bag. Try to pick one that doesn’t need to be ironed! If you are planning on visiting any temples or religious buildings that may require your shoulders to be covered, a scarf or pashmina can be very handy. If you bring a versatile colour like black this can double up as a night time wrap, instead of bringing a cardigan.
 

 

 

6. How to pack light for a week in the sun – be clever with electronics.

 

Bring an extension cable

One of my pet hates when I am away is that hotels manage to put sockets in the most inconvenient places. Why are they are never beside the bed? I bring an extension cable so I can charge my phone, the kids tablets and use my hair straightener at the same time. This also saves me bringing loads of adapters and leaving them behind after me, which I have done on several occasions!

how to pack light for week in the sun
 

 

 

Buy a good power bank

I never leave home without my power bank. I probably use my phone more than most, so it can be a Godsend when my battery is running low. They are really handy to have on plane journeys too, especially if you have a flight delay and there is no USB port on the plane.
 

 

 

7. How to pack light for a week in the sun – try an easy to manage hairstyle. 

I used to bring my hair dryer on holidays, but not anymore. I use the Bumble and Bumble surf infusion and let my hair dry naturally during the day, and bring my hair straightener when I am dressing up at night-time. If by any chance the hotel hair dryer is really poor, the hair straightener sorts out the frizz, well some of it anyway!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Don’t you just love when you get a great shot? 🙌 This beautiful church is in the village of Georgioupolis, just a few kilometers from our hotel, @anemosresort . It is located on a narrow peninsula so you can walk out to it once the tide is calm, which it was tonight. My daughter Alex (8) walked out with me and took this photo on my phone – didn’t she do well! See more on my stories. . . . . . #greekchurch #georgioupolis #agiosnikolaos #church #greekorthodoxchurch #churchesofinstagram #irishtravelblogger #travelbloggerlife #lovemyjob #wearetravelgirls #visitcrete #visitgreece #greekislands #happygirl #familytravel #summerholidays #crete #cretebeach #instacrete #chania #visitchania #chania #goldenhour

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8. How to pack light for a week in the sun – buy small plastic bottles for toiletries.

The main issue when travelling with hand-luggage, is you can only bring toiletries or creams that are less than 100ml through airport security. I suggest you pick up a pack of small plastic bottles and fill them with enough make up, cleanser etc that you will need for the length of your stay. All hotels and most good apartments will have shampoo and shower gel in the rooms, so you shouldn’t need to bring loads of toiletries with you. Check the hotel website and see what is provided in the rooms before you pack. If you are bringing your own shampoo and conditioner, dispense them into the small plastic bottles too.
how to pack light for week in the sun
 

 

 

9. How to pack light for a week in the sun – take a trip to Boots before you pack. 

Boots have a great selection of travel miniatures in their 3 for 2 section. I always pick up mini sun creams, toothpaste and hair essentials before I go. I also love their cucumber face wipes, they can be so refreshing at the beach. I don’t use wipes much at home, but on holidays they can be so useful, and they only cost €1.25!  They are very handy if you are trying to use your cleanser sparingly because you have less than 100ml with you. I tend to use them to take off my make up before cleansing my face.

 

how to pack light for week in the sun
 

 

 

10.How to pack light for a week in the sun – buy a portable weighing scales. 

When you have packed your bag, make sure you are under the 10kg cabin baggage allowance – this can even be less on some airlines. I have a portable luggage scales and I bring it with me to weigh my case on the return journey too. This is handy, especially if you are a shopper like me! You can buy them for less than €10.
 

 

 
Note some of the links in this post, how to pack light for a week in the sun, contain affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you purchase something, with no additional cost to you.

 

Like this post? Check out my top twenty travel gadgets.

Like Travel Tips? See more here.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 16th July 2019

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In my best travel deals this week I have holidays to Cyprus, Lanzarote, a California road trip, family offers for October mid term break, a super cruise deal, Dubai with a difference, a Santa visit in Ireland & lots more!

 

Best last minute:

Enjoy a week in Paphos, Cyprus over the August bank holiday weekend. Price for flights, transfers, checked baggage and a seven-night stay in the popular Kissos Hotel, with breakfast and evening meal included, is only €582 on the 31st of July. You better be quick though, there is only one room left….. 

View offer here
 

 

 

Best family deal:

Take your pick from Travalue’s October mid term break offers. Stay in the highly rated Los Patos Park in the Costa del Sol from €475 per person, or enjoy a family trip to New York with flights, hotel and a family ice-skating ticket in Central Park for €825 per person.

See more here
 

 

 

Best winter break:

Secure your winter week in the sun now! Fly to Lanzarote in March and enjoy a seven night stay in Puerto del Carmen from only €266. Price includes flights and accommodation, based on 2 sharing.

See more here
 

 

 

Best cruise deal:

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas is getting a $165 million dollar transformation and she is sailing from Barcelona next year. Royal Caribbean currently have a brilliant promotion with return flights costing only €1! You can cruise this beauty in 2020 for seven nights from €1079 including flights, meals and entertainment.

See more here
 

 

 

Best long haul deal:

Drive the California coast on this super 11 night road trip. Price from €1299 includes flights to San Francisco and returning from Los Angeles, car hire and 11 nights hotel accommodation in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, LA, Las Vegas and San Diego. 

See more here
 

 

 

Best city break: 

Experience the best Dubai has to offer with this amazing trip that includes tickets to the Rugby 7’s and a Kylie Minogue concert! Flights and hotel accommodation are also included in this unbelievable price of just €799!

See more here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

Bring the kids to a SplashWorld resort next year where they will have unlimited access to a waterpark during their holiday. The waterpark is on-site at the Globales Playa Estepona on the Costa Del Sol and there are free child places available in July and August at the moment. Price for flights, accommodation on an All Inclusive basis, transfers and checked baggage is €2864, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing, departing the 5th of July. This hotel has rooms that sleep up to 7 so if you have more children, simply edit the search when you click on the link below. The best part? A deposit of €75 per person secures your booking!

View offer here
 

 

 

Best staycation:

Plan your Santa visit early and save 50% on a magical stay at the Shandon Hotel & Spa in Donegal. Price for a family of four in a standard sea view family room with breakfast, Santa visit, full use of leisure centre, entry to the magical winter walk through, Santa’s homemade Christmas Punch, sweet treats with Mrs Claus and lots of activities, is only €169. Stay for two nights for only €269. Valid Sunday – Thursday from the 2nd of November until the 23rd of December.

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 Tips

How To Save Money On Aer Lingus Checked Baggage

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I love a good travel-hack but this one has to be one of my favourites! Read on to see how to save money on Aer Lingus checked baggage.

 

When I travel to Europe I like to fly with Aer Lingus, but one thing that I don’t like, is the price of Aer Lingus checked baggage! When travelling alone I usually travel light and bring cabin baggage, but when travelling with kids, I like to check in cases and let them bring their own luggage too.

aer lingus checked baggage
 

 

 
We, like many families usually opt for two 20kg checked bags between us. In fact you will see online that Aer Lingus have an asterisk beside 20kg, it is the default size, so I can only assume it is the most commonly purchased option. If travelling mid-haul to places like Spain, Portugal etc the cost is €80 return for a 20kg checked bag, so the total is €160 for two bags. If travelling to the Canary Islands the cost is even higher, at €110 return per checked bag, therefore €220 for two bags.
 

aer lingus checked baggage to lanzarote
 

 

 
Now prepare to be amazed….
 

This is how you how to save money on Aer Lingus checked baggage!

 
Instead of selecting one 20kg bag per person, select 40kg checked baggage under one name. The cost changes from €160 to €140 on mid-haul routes and €220 to €170 on longer flights. That’s a saving of €50 if you are travelling to the Canary Islands, simply by using this travel-hack!

aer lingus checked baggage

You will see that it clearly shows that the 40kg you have selected is to be made up of two 20kg bags. This is exactly the same as if you selected them separately, only they are both allocated to one passenger instead of two! It is such a great travel hack but I’m bet you are wondering how you never spotted it before?
 
Book Aer Lingus flight here
 

 

5 More tips to save money on checked baggage fees:

 

Invest in a lightweight cabin-sized bag.

Try to bring hand-luggage only. Invest in the lightest case on the market! As soon as the kids are old enough, ditch the trunkies and buy them one too. I have a samsonite light-shock cabin case and I love it. It is super light but the frame is expandable so I can fit much more into this case than other cases that I have of similar size. I find if I am travelling to hot climates where jackets and boots are not needed, I manage easily to travel with only this case. I have a portable luggage scales and I bring it with me to avoid any worries that my case might be over-weight on the return. You can buy them for less than €10.

travel gadgets
 

 

 

Purchase sun-creams and toiletries in the airport once you pass through security.

One of the main reasons people purchase checked baggage is because you cannot bring liquids more than 100ml in size in your hand luggage. If you are going on a sun holiday, sun creams and extra toiletries are usually needed, but instead of purchasing these before you travel, why not pick them up in Boots once you pass through security? Simply slot them into your hand luggage before boarding and avoid the hassle at security!
 

 

 

Select different cabin-baggage on your outbound and inbound flights.

If travelling to places where you are likely to be doing a lot of shopping, select a 15kg checked bag on your outward journey and a 25kg checked bag on your return journey. Similarly if you are planning a Christmas shopping break to the USA you can select add an extra suitcase to your booking for the return journey only.

aer lingus checked baggage
 

 

 

Always book checked baggage online.

Most airlines charge much higher rates if you book baggage at the airport, so always make sure you have your baggage booked before you go. Some airlines charge more if you add on bags at a later stage, so if possible try to book baggage at the time of booking.
 

 

 

Check airlines baggage policies when booking flights.

More and more airlines are not including checked baggage in their cheapest airfares, but some still do. Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and many others have generous baggage allowances, while some low-cost carriers even charge for hand luggage! It is important to check with the airline before you book, in some cases it might be better value to flying with a premium airline.

my review of turkish airlines
 

 

 
I hope this guide, how to save money on Aer Lingus checked baggage, and I hope it will see you saving lots of money on upcoming trips! Let me know in the comments below if you do.

 

Like this post? You might like my top 10 travel hacks here.

 

See more travel tips here.

 

 

 
Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 

Travel Tips

How To Collect Avios Easily With Just Eat, Odeon Cinemas & Lots More

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Did you know that for every €50 you spend with Just Eat or Odeon Cinemas you can collect 500 Avios? Simply register your card online and Avios will automatically be awarded to your account within 10 days. Its never been easier to collect Avios!

 

If you have been following me for some time you will know that I love to collect Avios at every possible opportunity. When I shop online, I always make sure to shop via the AerClub eStore, when I shop in SuperValu, I convert my Real Rewards to Avios, and as soon as I hear about an AerClub event in Kildare Village – I’m there! But now it is even easier to collect Avios. Simply register your debit or credit cards on the AerClub website, spend as usual with any of their card-linking partners, and Avios will automatically be awarded to your account within 10 days.

collect avios with just eat

What I love about this new initiative, is that AerClub have partners to suit all tastes and budgets. Whether you want Afternoon Tea in the Merrion Hotel or a take-away pizza from Just-Eat, you can collect Avios on both. Collect 10 Avios for every €1 you spend on Just-Eat and 2 Avios for every €1 spent at the Merrion Hotel.

Fancy a round of golf at a championship course or want to catch the latest blockbuster at the cinema? Collect 50 Avios for every €1 you spend on golf via Open Fairways or 10 Avios for every €1 you spend in Odeon Cinemas

how to collect avios at the cinema

You can also collect Avios in the Grafton Barber, Oliver Bonas, Bloom & Wild as well as Devine’s chauffeur services and Sanctifly. Sanctifly is a membership club to enable frequent flyers use gyms, pools and spas at top airport hotels, without having to book a room. They are currently offering 13 Avios for every $1 spent.

Note these partners may change at any time so it is important to check the AerClub Collect on Card page for up to date information and offers.

how to collect avios easily

 

How to register my card:

It is so easy to register your cards. Simply log in to your AerClub account using your normal log-in details, click ‘Register your cards‘ and enter your card details. You can register as many cards as you like, I registered all of mine, it takes less than one minute to register each card. You can also see your card-linking transaction history when you are logged in.

how to collect avios easily

Will Avios be automatically awarded with all Avios partners?

It is important to note that it is only the card-linking partners that are listed on this page that will automatically award Avios. If you are shopping online via the AerClub eStore with Avios partners not listed here, your Avios will be awarded in the usual way.

See how to get flights and upgrades by shopping here:

 

Still not joined AerClub?

If by any chance you have not joined AerClub yet – now is your chance!  It is so easy to join, simply click here. By joining AerClub you will enjoy the benefits of being part of a global network of partners and you can pay for flights with Avios. You can also use Avios to pay for hotels, car hire and travel experiences.

Read my beginners guide to Aer Club and why you should join here.

 

 

Like this post? You might like:

10 ways to collect Avios

 6 ways to spend Avios

 

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

Sarah

The Travel Expert

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 9th July 2019

Best Travel Deals

In this weeks best travel deals I have August holidays from €338, September in Santorini, a family holiday in Croatia, an amazing Caribbean cruise, free nights in Abu Dhabi, Christmas shopping breaks to New York, a staycation on Valentia Island and lots more…..

 

Best last minute:

Late August is a great time to get the best travel deals. TUI is offering Majorca from €338, Gran Canaria from €375, Greece from €391 and Lanzarote from €394. All prices include flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage for seven nights, based on 2 sharing. When you click below, select ‘low-high’ beside the ‘sort by’ box and you will see all the offers appear in price order.

See more here
 

 

 

Best September sun:

Scratch one off the bucket list and visit Santorini in September! This super deal is only €495 and includes flights and a seven-night stay in the adult-only Nostos Hotel. Flights are via Athens but the total journey time is only 6 hours! 

See more here
 

 

 

Best family deal:

Bring the kids to Croatia this summer and stay in the wonderful Villa Milica in Cavtat. We stayed here a few years ago and loved it. Cavtat is beautiful and you can take a ferry into Dubrovnik in the evening to catch the sunset. This is the best time to visit as there is less crowds – the cruise ships have sailed away! Price for flights, transfers and a seven-night stay in a spacious 2 bedroom apartment is  €588 per person based on 4 sharing, €546 based on 5 sharing or €530 based on 6 sharing. This is departing on the 25th of July but there are other dates available. Read all about my stay here.

See more here
 

 

 

Best cruise deal:

Fly from Dublin to Miami and cruise around the Caribbean islands for ten nights on the luxurious Crown Princess. This amazing deal is only €1299 and includes flights and an over-night stay in Fort Lauderdale! Visit the Bahamas, St. Thomas, Grenada, Aruba and more on this amazing cruise itinerary. This deal is valid throughout the winter, but this particular price is available over the October bank holiday weekend! Click on the link below and scroll down to see all dates and prices.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best long haul deal:

Etihad Airways is offering a free two-night stopover in Abu Dhabi to all travellers flying to international destinations via Abu Dhabi. This can be booked online or via your travel agent and is valid for travel up to the 31st of December 2019. I found a great deal with Classic Resorts offering a two-night stay in Abu Dhabi and nine nights in the 4* Centara Karon Resort Phuket Resort in Thailand for only €1049!

See more here
 

 

 

Best city break:

Aer Lingus flights to New York have never been this cheap! Plan a Christmas shopping break now and save $$$. Price for flights and a three-night stay in the 4* Marriott Downtown on the 22nd of November is only €465. 

See more here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

The Gloria Palace Hotel in Amadores is one of the most popular hotels in the Canary Islands. The stunning sea-views and sheltered location make it a great choice for a winter break. This deal of €660 departs in April and includes flights and a seven-night stay with breakfast and evening meal, transfers and checked baggage. Use promo code WINTER to save €100 off the listed price below.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best staycation:

Take a trip to Valentia Island in Kerry, the perfect place to tour the ring of Kerry and see the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Skellig Michael. There are many different options available, staying for 2 or 3 nights in the popular Royal Hotel Valentia. The price of €60 per person for two nights midweek is half price! Stay for three nights over the weekend for €115 per person which includes a guided tour of Valentia and Star Wars locations, introduction to astronomy  in Kerry’s International Dark Sky Reserve, Portmagee visit, a traditional Irish music evening and lunch on one afternoon.

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

Santorini Holiday in October, Flights & Highly Rated Hotel, 1 week, €482!

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Can you think of a better Autumn escape than this? Scratch one off the bucket list and book this amazing Santorini holiday in October!

 

Santorini is on every list of top places to visit in the world. There are many cruise ships making daily stops but like many of you, I have always wanted to take a holiday there. The picture postcard villages of Oia and Fira have to be one of the best places in the world to watch the sunset – something you should get to see on this Santorini Holiday.

santorini holiday from ireland
 

 

 
The island itself is quite small, so if you choose to stay on the beach side, you will never be longer than 30 minutes bus ride from the stunning villages of Oia, Imerovigli and Fira. The beach resorts have plenty of life and the restaurants and bars offer better value for money.
 

 

 
You quite often see luxury hotels with infinity pools being advertised but it is also possible to enjoy a Santorini holiday on a budget. You can fly from Dublin to Athens with a short layover, making the total journey time only six hours. There are also plenty of three and four star accommodation options to choose from.
 

 

 
I found this great Santorini holiday deal departing on the 9th of October, when the island should be less crowded. Fly from Dublin via Athens and enjoy a week in the highly rated Santellini Boutique Hotel, which is located in the popular resort of Kamari. With a superb beach-front location and close to a wide selection of shops, bars and restaurants, it is no surprise that this hotel receives excellent reviews on TripAdvisor.

santorini holiday
 

 

 
When you click on the link for flights below, there will be a choice of flight options available. Make sure you check the total journey time, the best flights are operating from Dublin to Santorini via Athens with Aegean Airines. The total journey time is approximately six hours, and this is what I have based this deal on.
 

 

 
The price of €482 is based on two sharing, and includes breakfast! If this date or hotel doesn’t suit you simply edit the dates on the links below, there are many other flight and accommodation options to choose from. 😎

View flights here €228 pp

View hotel here €254pp

 

 

 
Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change. Note some of the links in this post are affiliate links where I receive a commission if a booking is made. However these links do not increase the cost for you in any way.

 

Sarah

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