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Travel

Get All Inclusive Drinks on Royal Caribbean 2020 Cruises – Fly Cruises Available from €1489!

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If you are thinking of booking a cruise – now is the time to do it! Travelnet are offering all-inclusive drinks on Royal Caribbean 2020 cruises. Check out some of my favourites below.

 

Many of you already know I am a big fan of Royal Caribbean cruises. Their ships are extraordinary. With fine dining, scintillating entertainment and record breaking adventure activities, it is not surprising that they are one of the world’s most popular cruise lines. However, one of the main concerns many people have when booking cruises is the price of drinks onboard. With this amazing all-inclusive drinks promotion on Royal Caribbean 2020 cruises – you no longer need to worry about that!

Royal Caribbean 2020 cruises

You can enjoy cocktails, mocktails, beers, wines by the glass, premium coffees and fruit juices, all up to a $12 value – FREE OF CHARGE! Bar gratuities are also included and if you fancy a bottle of wine, rather than a glass, you can enjoy a 40% discount on bottles of wine under $100. This amazing promotion on Royal Caribbean 2020 cruises is available on selected sailings, including the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. This offer won’t last long though, you need to book by the 30th of September.

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

When Travelnet asked me to highlight some of the super deals available on this Royal Caribbean 2020 cruises promotion, I was only too happy to oblige. There are lots more cruises available, so if my choices don’t suit you, make sure you check out ALL of their Royal Caribbean cruise deals by clicking here. And if a free deluxe drinks package isn’t enough to tempt you, perhaps this might – Travelnet.ie will secure your booking with a €30 deposit! Note a few Ts & Cs do apply.

 

Allure of the Seas: 7 Night Med Cruise from €1675!

Allure of the Seas is already the most awarded ship in the world, but it also happens to be getting a $165 million makeover – just in time for summer 2020 sailings from Barcelona. I was amazed to learn that this all-inclusive drinks promotion applied to Allure of the Seas too! You will have the opportunity to visit Majorca, Provence, Florence/ Tuscany, Rome and the Amalfi Coast over seven memorable days. 

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

There are seven different neighbourhoods on Allure of the Seas, each with its own distinctive vibe. The Royal Promenade is full of shops, bars and restaurants, and comes alive at night-time with a party atmosphere. The Boardwalk reminds me of a seaside pier and has a hand-painted carousel, and the pool / sports zone is full of non-stop action.

One of my personal favourite neighbourhoods is Central Park. There are a staggering 12,000 trees and plants there, it really feels like you are in a park, rather than on a cruise ship. There are great restaurants and bars there too. After a tasty dinner, what better than a world-class show. Mamma Mia is a must see, as are the Aqua shows in the open-air theatre. Read more about Allure of the Seas here.

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

The price of €1675 includes a seven-night cruise with deluxe drinks package, return flights, transfers and 20kg checked baggage, departing on the 30th of August. There are many different dates available throughout the summer, so if this date does not suit, talk to the team at Travelnet and they will find one to suit your requirements.

View offer here

 

Rhapsody of the Seas: 7 Nights Greek Isles Cruise from €1489!

Rhapsody of the Seas has floor to ceiling windows that ensure stunning ocean views throughout. You can expect world class shows and numerous restaurants onboard, including their famous steak-house, Chops Grille. It’s outdoor movie screen is a big hit with both adults and children, looking to enjoy balmy nights under the stars.

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

I love Greece, so when I saw the itinerary I was hooked. You depart from Venice, visiting Athens and the Greek islands, as well as Kotor in Montenegro, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Marvel at the Acropolis and take time to wander around the Greek towns of Corfu, Kefalonia and Mykonos, before returning to Venice for your flight home.

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

The price of €1489 includes flights, a seven-night cruise with deluxe drinks package, 20kg checked baggage and airport transfers. departing on the 3rd of October. There are many different dates available, so if this date does not suit, talk to the team at Travelnet and they will find one to suit your requirements.

View offer here

 

Oasis of the Seas: Western Caribbean Cruise with Balcony & Pre-Cruise Hotel Stay from €1795!

Oasis of the Seas was the original record breaker. It was the first ship to introduce seven different neighbourhoods onboard a cruise ship. It has recently undergone a $165 million amplification that added several new venues including Portside BBQ and Playmakers Sports Bar. The pool and sports zone has been reimagined too, with the addition of the 10-story Ultimate Abyss slide as well as the trio of waterslides known as The Perfect Storm.  

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

Old favourites like Central Park and the Aqua Theatre still remain, and rightly so. Check out my review of Harmony of the Seas, this should give you an idea of what to expect from her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas.

The Western Caribbean itinerary is one of my Caribbean favourites. You will visit Mexico, Jamaica, Labadee and Haiti, but also have plenty of time to enjoy the Caribbean sea views from your balcony stateroom.
 

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

The price of €1795 includes a seven-night cruise with deluxe drinks package, an upgrade to a balcony stateroom, a pre-cruise stay in Miami, return flights, transfers and baggage, departing the 25th of January. There are many different dates available, so if this date does not suit, talk to the team at Travelnet and they will find one to suit your requirements.

See more here

 

Anthem of the Seas: Bahamas & Perfect Day Cruise, from €1869!

Anthem of the Seas is part of the Quantum class of ships. I was lucky enough to cruise on her sister ship, Ovation of the Seas – and she is a beauty. The facilities onboard are superb. You can sky dive, ride a bumper car and even become a certified diver! The panoramic view from the 300ft high North Star viewing pod is amazing, and something that only Quantum Class ships can boast – to say this ship is innovative is putting it mildly.

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

Like all Royal Caribbean cruise ships, you can expect a wide selection of dining options, including Jamie’s Italian, Chops Grille – Royal Caribbean’s signature steak-house, and the extraordinary Wonderland – a gastronomic delight in an Alice in Wonderland setting. Night-time entertainment is top class too, with broadway shows such as Mamma Mia and the West End hit, We Will Rock You. Check out my review of Ovation of the Seas, this should give you an idea of what to expect from her sister, Anthem of the Seas.

As well as jaw-dropping facilities, this cruise will also enable you to visit Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas, Perfect Day. I can’t wait to visit Perfect Day, it is high on my wish list! Royal Caribbean just spent $250 million dollars transforming this paradise island in the Bahamas, with incredible facilities to suit all ages and tastes. Thrillseekers will love the massive waterpark, which has the tallest waterslide in North America, and a 1,600-foot-long zip-line course. They even have a massive helium balloon that goes 450 feet up in air, to capture the ultimate selfie.  This cruise sails from New Jersey and stops in Orlando and Nassau too, with just enough sea days to enjoy all that Anthem of the Seas has to offer.

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

Price of €1869 includes a seven night cruise with deluxe drinks package, an upgrade to a balcony stateroom, a pre-cruise stay, return flights, transfers and baggage, departing the 28th of March. There are many different dates available, so if this date does not suit, talk to the team at Travelnet and they will find one to suit your requirements.

View offer here

 

royal caribbean 2020 cruises

The above Royal Caribbean 2020 cruises are just a sample of the all-inclusive cruises that Travelnet have available. Travelnet.ie  are part of the Barter Travel Group, who have been selling holidays and cruises for over 150 years in Ireland. Suffice to say they know their stuff! If the dates on their website don’t suit, or you have particular requirements, give the sales team a call on 01 5310402 or 021 4851700. Alternatively fill out the enquiry form online and they will get back with the best options to suit you.

 

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

 

Sarah

 
AsiaDESTINATIONSFeaturedLong Haul

Thailand Holidays: The Best Thailand Itinerary – Bangkok, Beach & Wildlife

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Thailand holidays that combine luxury, culture and adventure in one memorable trip are the best kind! Are you looking to find the best Thailand itinerary? I might have found it. 

 

I love when a holiday combines a beach stay with a little adventure. If I can manage to add a city to the mix too, that is even better. I have researched various Thailand holidays, as I would love to return, and this one ticks all boxes. This Thailand itinerary combines bustling Bangkok and an ethical elephant safari, with some relaxing beach time. If all of that isn’t enough to tempt you, there are luxury hotels included too.

thailand holidays

I have teamed up with luxury long haul tour operator Hayes and Jarvis, who offer many holidays to Thailand and beyond. This is just one of the Thailand holidays that they offer, and this, like all of their holidays, can be tailored to suit your requirements. Hayes and Jarvis offer a staggering 36 different holiday styles in 60 destinations around the world. Read my blog post about Hayes and Jarvis luxury long haul holidays from Ireland if you want to know more. In the meantime, let me show you a taste of Thailand in one 12-night holiday.

 

hayes and jarvis thailand holidays

 

Bangkok, Elephant Hills, and Khao Lak Multi Centre: 11 Nights, from €2199 Including all flights, hotels and transfers.

 

Bangkok is your first stop, an incredible introduction to Thailand. Bangkok is a city of contrasts that manages to preserve its magnificent Buddhist temples and cultural heritage among modern skyscrapers and vibrant nightlife. 

bangkok - thailand holidays

You will have three nights in Bangkok, which should give you enough time to get a true feel for this remarkable city.  A tuk tuk is a great way to get around – and you can even hire your own driver for the afternoon. Don’t miss The Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha Temple.

tuk tuk in thailand

Bangkok is one of the shopping capitals of Asia, and you will be spoilt for choice with the array of upmarket boutiques available. Enjoy haggling in the market stalls and tasting the terrific street food too, it is all part of Bangkok’s shopping experience. If you have time, take a trip to the floating markets. This is a unique way to purchase local food, as it is prepared on a market boat.

floating market - a must see on thailand holidays

You will be staying in the 5-star Avani Riverside Bangkok, which overlooks the city’s Chao Phraya River and Bangkok’s dramatic skyline. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle boat services to BTS Skytrain stations, and to the Asiatique night market. Follow your day’s sightseeing with a swim in the hotel pool which provides stunning views of the city from the 26th floor, before dining in one of the hotel’s four fine restaurants.

Avani Riverside Bangkok hotel

After an action packed few days in bustling Bangkok, it is time for a jungle adventure in Khao Sok National Park. This is the largest area of rainforest in southern Thailand, and is home to Elephant Hills Jungle Safari Camp. This is an ethical tented camp for rescued elephants that blends beautifully with the tropical environment. Elephant Hills are Thailand’s first luxury tented jungle camps and are equipped with double beds and bathrooms.

elephant hills safari - thailand holidays

Your two-night stay will grant you the opportunity of a lifetime, as you interact with Asian elephants. This includes preparing their food and feeding them, as well as learning about the conservation of these gentle giants.

elephant hills thailand holidays

You will also enjoy trekking, canoeing, visit the Rain Forest Floating Camp and cruise on a longtail boat. If you just want to relax in the beautiful surroundings, you can enjoy a swim in the pool or a snooze in your own private hammock. All meals are included in the Elephant Hills Jungle Safari, including lunch in a tree house, during a guided trek through the rainforest. 

elephant hills thailand

Don’t worry, your adventure doesn’t end there. After a short one-hour drive, you will arrive at the idyllic beach resort of Khao Lak, for a seven-night relaxing stay. In true Hayes and Jarvis style, you will be staying in luxurious villas, in the Beyond Resort Khao Lak. With a superb setting on the white sandy beach of Pakweep, this adult-only resort will surely feel like a piece of paradise.

khao lak thailand holidays

There are five swimming pools, a Kanda Spa and a host of watersports available – you may find it hard to leave. If you want to explore the local area, a gentle hike through the rainforest will enable you to take a refreshing swim in one of the many waterfalls around Khao Lak. The Ban Niang night market is also worth a visit, where you may find some nice souvenirs to bring home.

beach resort thailand holidays

 

View Offer Here

 

This is just a sample of the luxury Thailand holidays that Hayes and Jarvis feature. They can tailor-make any holiday to suit your requirements. Talk to the expert staff and tell them whether you like fine dining or barefoot luxury, a family safari or an adult-only escape. No matter what your holiday style, Hayes and Jarvis will source the right holiday for you.

Contact Hayes and Jarvis on  (01) 697 1590, call into their office at 16 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2, or visit HayesandJarvis.ie  for more details.

This post was sponsored by Hayes and Jarvis but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 
Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 27th August 2019

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This week’s Best Travel Deals include September holidays, a luxury break for the October mid term, winter in Malta, Prague and the Bahamas, a brand new resort in the Maldives, a super staycation and an early booking family offer for 2020.

 

Best last minute:

Grab some September sunshine in Puerto Rico, with this half-price, last minute deal. Price for flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage for seven nights, is only €375, staying in the highly rated Los Mocanes apartments.

View offer here
 

 

Best winter break:

Malta has been on my wish list for years. If, like me, you want to know why people love it so much, check out this super winter deal. Price for flights and a seven-night stay in the highly rated 4-star Hotel Solana, is only €194 in February! Tempted? I certainly am…

View offer here
 

 

Best family deal:

Still searching for a family holiday during the October mid term break? Treat yourself to a week in the 5-star Anemos Luxury Grand Resort in Crete. I went there this year with my family and we loved it. Price for flights, accommodation in a two-bedroom suite on a half board basis, with 10 kg of luggage per person and airport transfers, is €2399 based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. You can read my review of Anemos Luxury Grand Resort here. Please contact Best4Travel on 01-2569525 to book or click below for more information.

See more here
 

 

Best cruise:

I’m researching all-inclusive cruises for an upcoming post and spotted this amazing deal! Visit Orlando and Royal Caribbean’s private island Perfect Day in the Bahamas, on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, for only €1869. Price includes flights, an upgrade to a balcony stateroom and an all-inclusive drinks package, departing on the 28th of March. 

View offer here
 

 

Best long haul:

The 5-star, All Inclusive, Emerald Maldives Resort has opened to rave reviews, and is already part of the Leading Hotels of the World. Click below to learn more about this and other luxury long haul hotels, newly available from Ireland. All deals are priced with flights and transfers included.

See more here
 

 

Best city break:

Enjoy a 4-star weekend break to Prague for just €164 this November! Price includes flights and a three-night stay in the highly rated Astoria Hotel, with breakfast included. Located in Prague’s old town, this is a superb choice to explore all that Prague has to offer.

See more here
 

 

Best staycation:

This is another incredible deal from Groupon. Enjoy an overnight stay in the Dingle Harbour Lodge with breakfast and a bottle of wine on arrival, for just €30 per person – seriously how do they do it? Want to stay longer? The cost is only €45 per person for two nights or €60 per person for three nights. This deal is valid from the 7th October until the 31st March 2020, so there is plenty of time to check out some of Ireland’s best instagram locations, such as Dun Chaoin Pier and Skellig Michael. Check out the super reviews on TripAdvisor if you still need convincing. 

View offer here
 

 

Best early booking offer:

Are you struggling to find a family holiday for the October mid term break? Don’t make the same mistake in 2020! If you book now you can secure a free child place to many apartments and hotels in Tenerife. Price for flights, transfers, baggage and a seven-night, all-inclusive stay in the highly rated Villa Mandi resort, with unlimited access to Siam Park (one of the world’s best water parks), is only €2712 based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing!

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 Break to Prague, 10th September, 3 Nights, €295!

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It is hard not to fall in love with Prague. Not only is it visually stunning, but Prague has extraordinary cultural sights and great night life too. Enjoy a weekend break to Prague and you will soon see why it is one of Europe’s top city break destinations. 

 

Often compared to Paris in terms of beauty, Prague has architectural masterpieces untouched by war or natural disasters – a rarity these days. Walking around the city you cant help but admire your surroundings. Wenceslas Square is the main gathering point, full of designer shops, cafes and bars, it’s always buzzing with a great atmosphere. The medieval Charles Bridge connects the old town to the impressive Prague Castle, and is filled with artists selling paintings and caricatures. I love the fact that Prague is so compact and easy to navigate.
 

 

 
Unlike many large European cities, you can manage to see most of the main tourist attractions during a weekend break to Prague. Prague has plenty of bold to go with the beautiful too – it has some of the best nightlife you are likely to find in any European city. And lets not forget the beer! Some would say Prague has the best beer in the world, well it’s worth investigating anyway…

weekend break to prague
 

 

 
I found a great deal staying in the 4-star Lindner Hotel Prague Castle, with breakfast included! This Hotel receives excellent reviews on TripAdvisor and was awarded a certificate of excellence.Its superb location, close to Prague’s main attractions, makes it an ideal choice for a weekend break to Prague.
 

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Fly from Dublin to Prague on the 10th of September with Aer Lingus, and spend three nights in the Lindner Hotel Prague Castle, for only €295 per person, including breakfast. Note: check all deals to this hotel when you click on the link below as some suppliers are cheaper than others. At the time of issue the best deal was €93 per room per night, with free cancellation. 

View flights here €155pp

View hotel here €140pp

 

Prices for this weekend break to Prague are correct at time of issue, but are subject to availability. Note some of the links in this post are affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.
 

 

 

Sarah

travel deals

 

AmericaDESTINATIONSFamily HolidaysLong Haul

Where to Stay in Orlando

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For anyone going to Orlando for the first time, choosing the place to stay can be a little daunting. International Drive, Kissimmee and Lake Buena Vista are all great places to stay, but how do to know which one is right for you? I teamed up with American Sky, the Florida holiday specialists to get their view on where to stay in Orlando.

 

where to stay in orlando

 

International Drive | Lake Buena Vista | Kissimmee

Walt Disney World covers 47 square miles on its own and there are over 20 different theme parks and attractions in Orlando – that just gives you an idea of how vast Orlando is. The good news is that despite receiving 50 million tourists a year, it is quite easy to get around Orlando. It is actually the busiest car rental market in the world, so roads and infrastructure need to be good – and they are. So when choosing your base in Orlando, the first thing you should ask yourself is: do I want to hire a car? If the answer is no and you want to visit a lot of different theme parks, then the answer is simple – stay on International Drive.

International Drive

International Drive or ‘I-Drive’ as the locals call it, is best described as Orlando’s ‘Vegas Strip’. There are hundreds of hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions lined up beside each other for eleven miles. Top theme parks like Universal Studios, SeaWorld and Aquatica are here, as well numerous attractions including The Orlando Eye.

The ‘I-Ride’ bus service is excellent and runs from 8am to 10.30pm so there is no need for a car. Many hotels that are located here also offer free shuttle services to the main theme parks. If you do decide to take a taxi to Walt Disney World, what you pay in cab fare you save in parking, so despite many people saying you have to have a car in Orlando, I think if you stay on International Drive, you can easily do without one.

where to stay in orlando - International Drive

There are many accommodation choices to choose from on International Drive. It is important to remember that when holidaying in Orlando, most of the time you are not in the hotel – you are out visiting theme parks or attractions instead. This makes International Drive an ideal location if you are looking for a reasonably priced hotel. I have chosen two hotels that are excellent value, receive great reviews and are centrally located.

 

$ The Rosen Inn at Pointe: 7 nights from €549pp including flights.

This is an excellent budget hotel on International Drive. Formerly the Quality Inn Plaza, this now offers three swimming pools, free WiFi and a free shuttle service to Universal Studios, Aquatica, and SeaWorld. There are three restaurants on site and children (9 and under) eat free when dining with an adult, (one child per adult). Situated across the road from the Pointe shopping centre and cinema, this hotel receives great reviews on tripadvisor.

See more here

 

$ The Avanti Resort: 7 nights from €509pp including flights.

A firm favourite with Irish holidaymakers, the recently renovated Avanti resort is located in a prime position on International Drive. There is a large swimming pool, bar and restaurant on site and there are free shuttle buses available to Disney, Universal, Wet ‘n Wild, SeaWorld and Aquatica. They also offer interconnecting rooms which are ideal for large families.  Highly rated on tripadvisor and awarded a certificate of excellence, this is the perfect choice for anyone looking to stay in the heart of International Drive, without breaking the bank.

 

If you plan on spending a lot of time in Universal Studios’ three theme parks, it might be a good idea to stay in one of the Universal hotels. Not only are they exceptionally good, but you will also have access to the parks earlier than the general public. This is particularly beneficial if you are a Harry Potter fan, as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter can be extremely busy in peak season.

There are eight hotels to choose from, including the famous Hard Rock Hotel and the popular Cabana Bay Resort, which have large family suites. If you stay in one of their five star resorts, the Hard Rock, Lowes Royal Pacific or Lowes Portofino, you will also receive complimentary express passes which will save you valuable queueing time!

where to stay in orlando

$$$ Loews Portofino Bay Hotel: 7 nights from €799pp including flights and Universal express passes

I was fortunate to be able to stay in this hotel and it was fantastic. Designed by Steven Spielberg to replicate Portofino in Italy, this hotel has outdoor bars and cafes that are identical to the Italian resort. They even have tenors singing at various times during the day. Situated on a lake, there are times when you forget where you are. The interior is luxurious too and it also offers a unique way to get to Universal Studios – a free water taxi service!

See more here
 

Lake Buena Vista

Lake Buena Vista is the ideal place to stay if you are planning on spending most of your time at Walt Disney World. Remember there are five different Disney Parks so if you are travelling with young children, you may spend a lot of time here. Lake Buena Vista is also good for golf and outlet shopping. Choose to stay in one the Disney hotels or one of the many hotels, homes or villas in the area.

orlando

There are 25 different Disney hotels to choose from which come in four categories, value, moderate, deluxe and deluxe villa resorts. By staying in any of the Disney hotels you can avail of extended theme park hours, free transportation to all the parks and the airport, as well as free parking and free WiFi. For a limited time only you can also receive FREE dining on selected 2020 holidays – ts & cs apply.

$$ Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: 7 nights from €729pp including flights

This hotel is in the moderate class and is perfect for families looking for the ultimate Disney experience, without the expensive price tag. Designed to replicate a Caribbean resort, there are seven pools, including one with water slides, as well as Caribbean style beaches. Kids will love the pirate adventure cruise and there are also pirate themed rooms available at a supplement.

See more here

 

$ Solterra Resort Homes: 7 nights from €629pp including flights

The Solterra Resort Homes offer the best of both worlds, luxury homes with a resort feel. Situated only nine miles from Walt Disney World Resort and minutes drive from shops and restaurants, the location is superb. They offer five, six and seven bedroom homes, all with private pools and either a games room or spa. The facilities on site include a communal pool with a water slide, and a club house with a fitness centre and tennis courts.

See more here

 

$$ Sheraton Vistana Resort: 7 nights from €679pp including flights

The luxury Sheraton Vistana Resort comprises of one and two bedroom villas in 135 acres of land. There are numerous facilities on site including seven swimming pools, a fitness centre, mini-golf, tennis courts and free WiFi. Let the kids enjoy the kids club or Wii tournaments, while you have a massage on your poolside cabana. There is a wide selection of restaurants and bars within the grounds, so there is no need to venture out at night time. Highly rated on tripadvisor and awarded a certificate of excellence, this is a great choice for a family holiday. The Sheraton Vistana is ideally located, only 10 minutes from Sea World, 15 minutes from Universal and only 5 minutes from Walt Disney World.

See more here
 

Kissimmee

If you fancy something away from the hustle and bustle of the parks, Kissimmee is a good choice. Although only a fifteen minute drive to International Drive and even less to Disney, there are many homes and villas with private pools here, creating a country feel, which is ideal for large or extended families.

If you want to visit other parts of Florida and don’t plan on spending your entire time visiting theme parks – chose Kissimmee. A trip to the Kennedy Space Centre or Busch Gardens, both less than 90 minutes drive, are perfect day trip options. There are many different neighbourhoods within the Kissimmee area and each have a good selection of shops, bars and restaurants.  Here are my top three places to stay in Kissimmee

where to stay in orlando

$ The Highland Reserve Executive homes: 7 nights from €629pp including flights

These homes are exceptional value. and are  only a fifteen minute drive to Walt Disney World. There are four, five and six bedroom homes available. Choose the simply furnished executive homes or upgrade to the executive plus, which offers a modern décor, more living space, free WiFi and a games room or spa. The development overlooks the nearby golf course and there is a communal pool, tennis courts and play area on site.

See more here

 

$ The Calabay Parc homes: 7 nights from €599pp including flights

Complete with their own private pool and outdoor loungers, these homes are perfect for lazy days in the Florida sunshine. Located in the pretty countryside of Kissimmee they are approximately 30 minutes from Walt Disney World Resort and 40 minutes from International Drive. They offer a choice of four, five and six bedroom villas. Choose to upgrade to the executive plus homes which offer modern décor, more living space, free WiFi and a games room or spa.

See more here

 

$$ Windsor Hills: 7 nights from €679pp including flights

These executive five and six bedroom homes are ideally located only five minutes drive from Walt Disney World and fifteen minutes from International Drive. The have excellent facilities on site include a large swimming pool, whirlpool, fitness centre and multi sports. Children will love the games room, pool slide, the 58-seat cinema and free WiFi! The Windsor Hills homes are also next door to the Mystic Dunes golf course.  They also offer executive plus homes which have modern décor, more living space, free WiFi and a games room or spa.

See more here

 

$$ Magic Village Yards Trademark Collection by Wyndham: 7 nights from €689pp including flights

If you want to stay beside Walt Disney World but still want the comforts of you own home, then look no further than the Magic Village Yards. These luxury three and four bedroom villas are right in the heart of Disney. The Club house offers activities for children, an outdoor heated pool, a play room and free WiFi. There is also a restaurant on site where you can dine or order food to your villa. If you don’t want to drive to the Disney Parks, take the free shuttle bus available and save on the parking!

See more here

 

This post, where to stay in Orlando, was sponsored by American Sky but all views, as always, are my own.

 
Sarah
 
The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 

 

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Where to stay in Orlando

 

AmericaAsiaDESTINATIONSFeaturedLong HaulRest of the World

3 New Luxury Long Haul Destinations from Ireland for 2020

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Looking for somewhere new to try in 2020? I’ve got secluded tree houses, paradise islands and all-inclusive resorts – check out these luxury long haul destinations from Ireland and get planning your next dream holiday!

 

I love my job, but writing this post is a health hazard. I have just found three luxury long haul destinations from Ireland to add to my ever-growing bucket list! I can’t decide whether I want to stay in a unique tree house in Thailand, go back to one of my favourite destinations – the Maldives, or enjoy Calypso music in the Caribbean. Can I have all three please?

luxury long haul destinations from ireland

I have teamed up with Tropical Sky to bring you some new luxury long haul destinations from Ireland that I believe you need to know about! Tropical Sky is a tour operator that I work with regularly. They offer a wide selection of luxury long haul holidays from Ireland, including these three beauties. Tropical Sky can tailor-make any holiday to suit your requirements. If you want to combine one of these hotels with another destination, or choose to stay shorter or longer in a particular hotel, just talk to the dedicated sales team and they will organise the perfect holiday for you.

Tropical Sky Holidays

 

5* TreeHouse Villas Thailand: 7 nights B&B from €1749 Including Flights

I am actually torn when telling people about this place – I believe it is one of Thailand’s best-kept secrets. Imagine entering your own private tree house by suspension bridge – this adult-only luxury retreat is like nothing else I have seen. The location alone will give you the wow factor, and this before you step inside the TreeHouse Villas Koh Yao. Koh Yao Noi is an idyllic island located in Phang Nga Bay between Phuket and Krabi in Thailand, and TreeHouse Villas Koh Yao is located right on the northern tip.

The TreeHouse Villas Kho Yao is surrounded by tropical rainforests, turquoise waters and dramatic limestone cliffs. Although it sounds almost like a retreat, you can also hire bicycles and explore the nearby villages and sandy beaches. Don’t let the name fool you either, TreeHouse Villas Kho Yao has its own 400-metre secluded beach and offers many water activities including sea kayaking and fishing. However if you just want to relax, you can enjoy a wide selection of spa treatments, twice daily yoga classes or a Thai cookery class. 

luxury long haul destinations from ireland

There are 32 villas, each with their own private pool, jungle shower and hammock-shaped bath. If you prefer a single storey, you can opt for a beach villa, although personally I think there is something magical about walking across a suspension bridge to your bedroom.

You can enjoy meals in a choice of two restaurants or opt for romantic in-villa dining. The TreeHouse Villas Kho Yao must be one of the world’s most unique hotels.

luxury long haul destinations

See more here

 

5* Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa: 7 nights All-Inclusive from €3239 Including Flights

The Maldives is one of the most idyllic destinations I have ever visited and I would love to go back. No amount of superlatives do it justice, and anyone I have spoken to who has visited has had a similar reaction. When I heard of this brand new, 5-star deluxe all-inclusive resort – that is already a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, I was sold!
 

 
The Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa is built to blend perfectly with the environment. The result is a modern design with natural materials, including thatched roofs, surrounded by 1.5km of pristine white sand. There are 120 villas and you can choose whether you want to stay in a beach villa or have direct access to the Indian Ocean by staying in a water villa.
 
 
You will arrive by seaplane, which is included in the cost, as is unlimited dining and premium branded drinks throughout your stay. Their deluxe all-inclusive arrangement allows you to dine in any of their four restaurants and enjoy drinks from two bars, or on your own private balcony, as your minibar is refreshed daily with beers, wine and snacks. One boat excursion is included per seven-night stay, as well as group snorkelling excursions, non-motorised watersports and evening entertainment.
 

 

See more here

 

4* The Sands Barbados: 7 nights All-Inclusive from €1829 Including Flights

While this hotel may not be as luxurious as the previous two, I think it deserves a place on this list because of its superb location, and because it is brand new! I also love Barbados: it is so diverse, it is easy to explore and it epitomises the Caribbean dream.

Barbados, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

Officially opening on the 1st December 2019, this all-inclusive hotel is located on a pristine sandy beach on Barbados’s lively South Coast. Its contemporary decor and spacious rooms make it an ideal choice for families or couples – the two- and three-bedroom suites are sure to please families looking for luxury long haul destinations.

Its beachfront location is ideal for the array of watersports available. Non-motorised watersports such as kayaking, snorkelling and body boarding are part of the all-inclusive arrangement, as are meals and drinks. There are two restaurants and two bars on-site as well as a gym and a spa. 

Top three Bali holidays from Ireland

The ultimate guide to choosing the right honeymoon

 

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

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

 
Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 20th August 2019

Best Travel Deals

This week’s best travel deals include last minute holidays from €369, a spa break in the Algarve from €162, a family break in Dubai for Easter, Sandals Grenada, a post Christmas break in Iceland, a luxury cruise to Alaska and a girls weekend in Marbella.
 

Best last minute:

Sunway’s last minute deals include Sicily, Turkey and Bulgaria from €369; Lanzarote and Tenerife from €399. Prices include flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage for seven nights, departing 24th August.

See more here
 

 

 

Best winter break:

Treat yourself to a luxury spa break in the Algarve this winter. Stay at the highly rated 5* Grand Hotel Santa Eulalia for four nights for only €162 including flights. Want to stay longer? The price for seven nights, with flights included, is only €216!

View 4 nights here

 

View 7 nights here
 

 

 

Best family deal: 

We spent Easter weekend in Dubai this year and loved it. This super family deal includes flights, private transfers, a seven-night stay in the 4* Marina View apartments with breakfast and evening meal included. Tickets to the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa are also included! Price is only €849 per person, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing and departs on the 14th of April for seven nights.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best cruise:

Time to scratch one off the bucket list! This amazing two week holiday includes a seven-night Alaska cruise on board 5* Celebrity Eclipse, a two-night stay in Vancouver and a four-night stay in Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler. Price of €2675 includes flights, cruise, hotel accommodation and car hire. Tempted?

View offer here
 

 

 

Best long haul offer:

Sandals are one of the best adult-only resorts in the Caribbean, and Sandals Grenada Resort & Spa has been recently reimagined and refurbished. The all-inclusive arrangement offers limitless fine dining in 10 restaurants and it is located just five minutes from the airport. If you still need convincing, it is situated on ‘Pink Gin’ beach! Price for flights, transfers and a seven-night, all-inclusive stay from €2259.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best city break:

Round off the Christmas holidays with a weekend in Iceland. Enjoy a three-night stay at the centrally located Center Hotel Klopp for €429. Price includes flights and hotel for three nights, departing 2nd January.

See more here
 

 

 

Best staycation:

If you were following my trip around the Munster Vales last weekend you may have seen that I stayed in Nire Valley Eco Camp in Waterford. They only have 5 cabins so if you are interested in booking for this year or next, you better be quick! Price is €120 per cabin per night based on 2 sharing and includes a delicious breakfast delivered to your cabin each morning. Children are an extra €20 each and they are also pet friendly!

See more here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

Planned your girls trip away yet? Spend the May bank holiday weekend in Marbella for just €249. Price includes flights and three nights in the 4* NH Marbella hotel.

See more here
 

 

 

Best seat sale:

Aer Lingus is offering up to 20% off sun destinations if you travel during the month of September, just use promocode SUNHOLIDAY.  Book by 26th of August.

See more 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 Convert SuperValu Real Rewards Points to Avios

Supervalu Avios

Convert SuperValu Real Rewards points and Money Back Vouchers to Avios and get planning your next break away.

 

I am a regular SuperValu shopper and love that by shopping there, I can boost my Avios balance. I collect Real Rewards points when I shop in SuperValu, but I never use them to pay for my groceries. I convert my Real Rewards points to Avios instead. Did you know that one Real Rewards point equals one Avios? It is so easy to convert SuperValu Real Rewards points to Avios. You can convert them on the SuperValu Real Rewards app or on the SuperValu website in minutes. You can convert as little as 50 Real Rewards points or wait until your Money Back Vouchers arrive in the post and convert them all at the one time.

See more here

 

SuperValu have just posted out their Money Back Vouchers so the timing couldn’t be better to convert them to Avios.  You can collect 1000 Avios for every 1000 Real Rewards points or €10 Money Back Voucher that you convert. You need to convert your Money Back vouchers online and you can use the SuperValu Real Rewards app to convert Real Rewards points.

convert supervalu real rewards to avios

 

How to convert SuperValu Real Rewards and Money Back Vouchers to Avios

I have just converted my SuperValu Money Back Vouchers to Avios on the SuperValu website – this took 47 seconds! Watch my video to see how easy it is. Once you are logged in to your account, just follow follow along with the video below.  


 

How to spend Avios

So the big question is once you convert SuperValu Real Rewards points to Avios, what do you spend them on? There are many ways to spend Avios. Once you accumulate Avios, you can use these to pay for reward flights, hotels, car hire and travel experiences. You can also use them to upgrade from economy to business class or part-pay for Aer Lingus flights. So even if you have only accumulated 400 Avios, you can use these to get a discount off your next Aer Lingus flight.

convert supervalu money back vouchers to pay for aer lingus flights

For those of you who have been following me on my journey, I am delighted to say that I have accumulated 75,000 Avios now! My husband and I can now avail of business class upgrades the next time we fly to New York – I just need someone to mind my kids! Most of my Avios were collected by shopping and taking advantage of the many promotions that Avios run during the year – such as this one! For anyone who is not familiar with Avios, read my first post about how to get flights and upgrades with Avios points or my beginners guide to AerClub and start your journey now.

how to convert SuperValu real rewards points to avios

How to get started

If you are a SuperValu shopper but are new to Avios simply join AerClub, the Aer Lingus loyalty programme. It is so easy to join, simply click here. Once you join AerClub, you will enjoy the benefits of being part of a global network of partners and you can pay for flights with Avios. 


 

This post on how to convert SuperValu Real Rewards points to Avios 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 13th August 2019

best-travel-deals-with-text-compressor

In my best travel deals this week I have last minute holidays to Italy, super deals to Costa Rica and Sorrento, winter breaks to Morocco and Budapest, an early booking offer to Cambrils Park and a cruise for the October mid term break.

 

Best last minute:

Topflight have savings of up to 30% in their latest Italian sale. Enjoy Lake Garda from €599, Sorrento from €649 and Tuscany from €667. Prices include flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage for seven nights, based on departing the weekend of 24th August. They also have availability departing this weekend and in September too!

See more here
 

 

 

Best winter break:

Stay in a traditional Riad and explore the ancient medina of Marrakech, where the average temperatures are a balmy 23 degrees in November. This super deal includes flights and a seven-night stay in the highly rated Riad Ayni for only €283, departing November 10th.

See more here
 

 

 

Best family deal:

Always wanted to try Cambrils Park? With sterling at an all time low and 20% off accommodation rates, now is your chance to secure the best deal for 2020. Price for a seven-night stay in a  2 bedroom Aloha bungalow is £1302 on the 15th of June. I have selected flights with Ryanair to Reus as it is the closest airport, but flights to Barcelona are actually much cheaper. Price for flights and a seven-night stay is €2282 based on 2 adults and 2 children, €2502 based on 2 adults and 3 children, or €2722 based on 2 adults and 4 children.

View flights here €220pp

View hotel here £1302 = €1402
 

 

 

Best long haul offer:

Costa Rica is very much in vogue at the moment and it is a place I would love to explore. There are many different tours available, but this 9-day action packed tour is amazing value. Visit Costa Rica’s highlights which include a visit to the hot springs of La Fortuna, try surfing in the famous town of Quepos and don’t miss the chance to go white water rafting. Price for flights, transfers and accommodation is only €1579.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best cruise:

This exclusive cruise deal departs on the 27th of October so it is ideal for anyone who is tied to school holidays. Visit France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Morocco over 9 nights in a balcony cabin on MSC Preziosa. Price of €945 includes flights, cruise with meals and entertainment, and an upgrade to balcony cabin. Cost for 2 adults and 2 children is only €2531!

See more here
 

 

 

Best city break:

Enjoy a three-night break in the beautiful city of Budapest this November. Choose the newly opened 4-star Royal Park Boutique hotel for just €137, or the luxurious Continental Hotel for €189. The highly rated Continental Hotel is a TripAdvisor travellers choice winner and is located in the heart of Budapest – that gets my vote! 

See more here
 

 

 

Best staycation:

This super deal to the Hotel Killarney is nearly half-price! Enjoy a one or two-night stay with breakfast, main-course dinner, glass of wine and late check-out, for only €50 per person for one night, or €75 per person for two nights. This deal is valid on selected dates from 25th August until 30th April 2020 with a supplement of €10 per person for Saturday night stays.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

Kick start your summer with a week in on the Amalfi Coast. With return flights from only €77 in May, there has never been a better time to go. Choose the 3-star Hotel Rivage for €394 or the 4-star Carlton Hotel from €497. Both hotels are centrally located in Sorrento and receive great reviews. Prices quoted include flights and hotel for seven nights.

View flights here €77pp

View hotels here from €317pp
 

 

 
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

 

 

 

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