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Best City Break Destinations for 2020

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2020 will offer adventure seekers more chances to explore than ever before as many new routes have been announced from Irish airports. I have compiled a list of the best city break destinations for 2020 I hope you enjoy! 

 

In terms of holiday options, city breaks are my absolute favourite. Ambling in and out of narrow side streets to discover the best restaurants is something I was born to do. Even if you’re not one for pounding the pavements and covering an entire city on foot, settling down with a coffee for some people watching in a town square can be just as enjoyable. Variety is most definitely the spice of life and hopefully this list of my best city break destinations will provide you with enough inspiration to take the leap.

 

 

 

1. Matera – Italy

This Italian gem might be an unknown quantity for some of you. It is one hundred percent worth your consideration though. The old town or ‘Sassi’ is full of boutique hotels, Airbnb’s and restaurants all built inside it’s caves. It has a remarkable story, to go from being Italy’s poorest cities to The European Capital of Culture for 2019 is quiet a feat. Located just over an hour from Bari Airport, which flies direct from Dublin with Ryanair, it is easily accesible. It also happens to be one of the locations of the new James Bond movie, so I am sure it wont be a hidden gem for long! This is one of my top city break destinations for 2020.

Check out The Travel Expert’s guide to a weekend in Matera here.

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Matera
 

 


 

2. Copenhagen – Denmark

This suggestion is admittedly a little mainstream but only because there are so many people who have yet to experience the wonderful Danish capital. The colourful Nyhavn canal will light you up and Tivoli Gardens is a beautiful year-round attraction. Flights from Dublin to Copenhagen are again extremely cheap with Ryanair, and the end result will be well worth the investment.

Check out The Travel Expert’s guide to Copenhagen for some more info about this great city.

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Copenhagen

 

 

 

3. Riga – Latvia

This city is always there or thereabouts in terms of my top city break recommendations. The city is a hipster’s paradise that combines art nouveau and medieval architectural styles. The iconic landmarks in Riga are the House of The Blackheads and Riga Central Market is well worth a visit too. With Air Baltic and Ryanair flying direct from Dublin airport, 2020 might be the year to visit Riga!

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Riga
 

 

 

4. Gothenburg – Sweden

Gothenburg was a new direct route from Dublin Airport in 2019 and thankfully it will continue in 2020. Like most other Scandinavian cities, it possesses the perfect balance of urban and natural beauty. In the peak summer months you can expect up to eighteen hours of sunlight. If you do make the trip, you will have to visit Haga as it has loads of great bars and also the Gothenburg Botanical Garden. My favourite thing about Gothenburg though is Universeum. It is an extremely large science centre with an indoor rainforest for you to enjoy. How cool is that?!

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Gothenburg

 

 

 

5. Heidelberg – Germany

Heidelberg is my personal favourite city. If you’re a lover of fairy-tales this should be right up your street. Situated along the Neckar River, Heidelberg Castle is one of the most enchanting places you will ever visit. The whole city has an undeniably charming historical vibe and you are likely to find people from all across the world.

The Himmelsleiter trail will allow you to reach Königstuhl (The King’s Seat) and enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view over the whole city. Just make sure that there is no fog around as the view is not so spectacular then. I unfortunately discovered this the hard way last November. 🙂 Heidelberg is just a short spin away from Frankfurt International Airport and has excellent bus connections with Flixbus.

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Heidelberg
 

 

 

6. London – England

You might be wondering why I have included London in this list. The reason is pretty simple; the city is just so vast that I am nearly certain if you visited it a second time, you could completely fill up your time with new activities that you hadn’t done before. My two favourite experiences were a boat tour along the Thames and the Emirates Air Line offers you a great alternative to the London Eye.

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - London
 

 

 

7. Nice – France

If you want to combine a city break with a little bit of beach, Nice is the perfect destination for you. This city lies along the French Riviera and possesses a lot of historical charm. The Promenade des Anglais has a plethora of fantastic little restaurants and bars to sample the local cuisine and atmosphere. You might even catch a sneaky tan too!

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Nice

 

 

 

8. Porto – Portugal

This hidden gem is full of colourful buildings, fantastic restaurants and of course, Port wine. Everyone should take a trip to Porto at least once in your lifetime. Porto is a World Heritage Site that boasts many fantastic port houses that are a tourist’s dream. The Dom Luís I Bridge is another iconic landmark that will have you Instagramming like nobody’s business. A city full of charm and brimming with class, Porto shouldn’t be far off the top of your list. It is a fantastic destination for couples and families alike.

Check out Sarah’s guide to Porto to see why it is one of the best city break destinations for 2020.

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weekend in Porto
 

 

 

9. Poznan – Poland

Poznan is another city that will be reachable via a direct Cork flight in Summer 2020. The city of Poznan has some truly stunning Renaissance-style architecture to enjoy and the Old Market Square is a prime location for a cappuccino and some people watching. Poznan is super cheap, has a great nightlife, is extremely friendly and has become extremely trendy in recent times. All of these equate to a fabulously fun city break waiting to happen.

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Poznan
 

 

 

10. Edinburgh – Scotland

Again, this might seem a little mainstream for inclusion in this particular list, but I just love Edinburgh. As you walk through the city, you can nearly feel its pulse as the streets are awash with street performers wowing crowds. The city itself is again a medieval dream and Arthur’s Seat will allow you to enjoy a panoramic that is right up there with the best in the world. I love Edinburgh because it has direct flights from Cork, Shannon, Dublin and Knock so it is extremely handy to get there from a practical point of view. If you have never been, don’t let another year pass you by without making Edinburgh a priority, you won’t be disappointed.

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Best City Break Destinations for 2019 - Edinburgh

 

 

 

11. Vienna – Austria

The city of Mozart, Beethoven and many more world class composers, a trip to Vienna would not be complete without taking in one of their famous concerts. Vienna has much more to offer though, renowned for it’s beautiful architecture, it also boasts a cool cafe culture. The Danube flows through the historic centre and a river cruise is a great way to admire it’s beauty. Laudamotion, who are managed by Ryanair started direct flights from Dublin airport last year, so prices have never been so good. This helps to make Vienna one of the top city break destinations for 2020.

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best city break destinations for 2019 - vienna
 

 

 

12. Thessaloniki – Greece

Thessaloniki is probably not the first place you would think of when it comes to possibilities for city breaks. This should definitely change in next year as it is easier than ever to reach this Greek destination. This is thanks to Ryanair adding it to their list of summer routes from Dublin last year. Now you’ll be able to enjoy this beautiful port city that sits along the Aegean Sea. The premier places to check out in Thessaloniki would be the Aristotelous Square where you can enjoy some fabulous Greek cuisine and the White Tower of Thessaloniki which is the city’s most iconic landmark.

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Best City Break Destinations 2019 - Thessaloniki
 

 

 

13. Zagreb – Croatia

Zagreb is another city that has recently been brought to Irish attention with Croatian Airlines flying directly from Dublin. The Croatian capital has a rich cultural history and this can be seen through the famous St Mark’s Church and Zagreb Cathedral. Another novel trip for you might be to the Museum of Broken Relationships. If you’re bouncing back from a break-up, a bit of strength in numbers might be just the trick to a speedy recovery. Ban Josip Jelačić Square is again the focal point of this charming place and is great for some coffee and a spot of people watching.

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Best City Break Destinations - Zagreb
 

 

 

14. Athens – Greece

Athens is a place that is brimming with wonder and intrigue into civilizations passed. The Acropolis of Athens and the Parthenon are two landmarks from Ancient Greek times that are so well preserved, it is easy to think you have transported back in time. The Temple of Olympian Zeus is another example of the multiple must-see monuments that are scattered across the city. If you’re looking for something with a few more modern conveniences, you are likely to find it at Kolonaki which is a great area for shopping and an evening meal.

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Best City Break Destinations - Athens
 

 

 

15. San Francisco, California – USA

United Airlines have announced daily flights to San Francisco from Dublin airport commencing in June. This is in addition to the daily service operated by Aer Lingus. It looks like there may be great value on airfares to San Francisco next summer. Visit Alcatraz, cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge or use San Francisco as a starting point to discover California. 

san francisco

 

Read: The streets of San Francisco – the good, the bad and the ugly

Read: The best places to stop on the Pacific Coast Highway

Check out hotels Search flights here

 

 

 
We are truly blessed with the amount of options for cheap city breaks from Ireland at our disposal. A few days away and a change of scenery can make all the difference and more often than not you don’t have to break the bank. Go somewhere new in 2020 and choose one of these top city break destinations for your next adventure.

Like this post? You might like:

10 new destinations from Dublin Airport in 2020

 

Please note that these links are affiliate links where we receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

 

Martin McKenna – The Travel Expert Team

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Best Travel Deals

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

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It looks like the January sales have started already! This week’s best travel deals include winter breaks in the Algarve and Cyprus, summer holiday deals to Zakynthos, Tenerife and Zanzibar, an amazing cruise deal and the Aer Lingus January sale…

 
 

Best last minute:

A week in the Algarve for €99 – what a great way to kick start the new year! Temperatures are 17 degrees and sunny – the perfect weather for nice walks and outdoor activities. Price includes flights and accommodation for seven nights, departing January 11th.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best winter break:

Winter breaks in Cyprus are particularly good value and average temperatures are a balmy 20 degrees from late March to early April. I found a great deal staying in the popular Crystallo apartments in Paphos. Price for flights and a seven-night stay is €208 per person, departing the 30th of March. Upgrade to the 4-star Paphina Sea View Apartments for an additional €90 per person.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best family deal:

You can save up to €125 off summer 2020 holidays with TUI when you use promo code SAVE125, in addition to any other offers such as Free Child Places etc. Firm favourite, the All Inclusive Villa Mandi & Siam Park SplashWorld Resort in Tenerife is only €2870, departing on the 30th of July. Price is based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing for seven nights and includes flights, accommodation with all meals and drinks included, transfers, checked baggage, and unlimited access to Siam Park – Europe’s best water park.  Larger apartments are also available, simply edit the search to suit your requirements, when you click on the link below.

View offer here

 

Read: Top 10 Waterpark Holidays for 2020

Read: Top 10 Holidays for Families with 3 or 4 Children
 

 

 

Best summer sun:

This super deal to Zakynthos is staying in one of the Greek islands most popular resorts. Price for flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage, departing August 16th is only €468 per person! You will be staying in the adult-only Potamis studios. Rated number 1 on TripAdvisor, this is a great choice for a summer holiday. You will need to use Promo Code Save75 to reduce cost from €506 to €468 per person.

See more here
 

 

 

Best cruise:

Enjoy a 3-night stay in Las Vegas and an overnight stay in Miami, before cruising the Caribbean for seven nights on MSC Armonia – all for just €1350! Price includes return flights from Dublin, four nights hotel accommodation, and cruise with meals and drinks included, all taxes, fees and gratuities 😍.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best long haul offer:

When you think of paradise islands, is there anywhere more exotic than Zanzibar? Surprisingly it doesn’t have to cost the earth… Price for flights, transfers and a seven-night stay in the highly rated Indigo Beach Hotel is only €1129! Check out the reviews on TripAdvisor – they are excellent. 

View offer here 
 

 

 

Best seat sale:

I look forward to Aer Lingus’ January sale every year and this year it starts today, 27th December! With up to 30% off European destinations, and flights to North America from just €189 each way  – there are 3 million seats on sale! Travel between the 1st March and 15th June, book by 21st January.

Search flights here
 

 

 

Best staycation:

Enjoy a one or two-night stay at the Titanic Hotel Belfast with breakfast and tickets to an attraction of your choice, (Titanic Belfast, W5 Science Park or HMS Caroline), for just €80 per person for one night or €143 per person for two nights.

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

 

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DESTINATIONS

10 New Destinations from Dublin Airport in 2020

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From Puglia to Podgorica, Sardinia to Shanghai – there are so many new destinations from Dublin Airport in 2020 – which one will you choose?

 

Would you believe that Dublin Airport has flights to 190 destinations in 42 countries operated by 50 airlines – a phenomenal statistic, and a far cry from the choice of destinations available when I started travelling abroad. With people travelling more than ever, it is great to see so many new destinations from Dublin Airport each year.
 

 

 
If you are looking for a mix of culture and adventure, then Puglia and Montenegro could be right up your street. For stunning beaches, try Sardinia or Rhodes, and if you want to try somewhere completely different, there will be direct flights to Tel Aviv next Summer.

If you want to travel further afield, there is good news there too, United Airlines have announced a new year-round daily service between Dublin and San Francisco, and Chinese airline Juneyao Air is to launch a twice-weekly service between Dublin and Shanghai, albeit with a short stop in Helsinki on each leg. 

alberobello puglia

I have listed ten new destinations for Dublin Aiport below, hopefully one of these will tempt you explore somewhere new in 2020!

1. Brindisi, Puglia – Italy

2. San Francisco, California – USA

3. Alghero, Sardinia – Italy

4. Rhodes – Greece

5. Verona – Italy

6. Podorica – Montenegro

7. Shanghai – China

8. Tel Aviv – Israel

9. Billund – Denmark

10. Palanga – Lithuania 

 

 

 

1. Brindisi, Puglia – Italy

Located in Puglia, in the heal of the Italian boot, Brindisi is superbly located to discover this stunning region. I visited Puglia last year and loved it. With Ryanair already flying into Bari, and now Aer Lingus flying to Brindisi twice weekly, you can explore all the highlights on one trip. I suggest flying into one airport and flying home the other to see as much as possible, including the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Alberobello and Ostuni, and the beautiful city of Lecce. But don’t miss the opportunity to explore the nearby city of Matera too.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Read: Three places you must visit in Puglia

Read: A magical weekend in Matera

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2. San Francisco, California – USA

United Airlines have announced daily flights to San Francisco from Dublin airport commencing in June. This is in addition to the daily service operated by Aer Lingus. It looks like there may be great value on airfares to San Francisco next summer. Visit Alcatraz, cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge or use San Francisco as a starting point to discover California. We drove the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to San Diego a few years ago – it was a spectacular adventure! 

united airlines announce a new route to san francisco from dublin airport

 

Read: The streets of San Francisco – the good, the bad and the ugly

Read: The best places to stop on the Pacific Coast Highway

Check Out Hotels  Search Flights Here
 

 

 

3. Alghero, Sardinia – Italy

Aer Lingus have introduced twice weekly flights from Dublin to Alghero from May 2020. The old town has cobbled stone streets, plenty of great shops and some fantastic restaurants. There are also beautiful sandy beaches in Sardinia, which is not something that many Italian resorts can boast about. I visited a few years ago for a long weekend. The airport is just 10 minutes from the airport, so Alghero is a great choice for a short break or summer holiday.

aer lingus fly to sardinia from dublin airport in 2020

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4. Rhodes – Greece

Not only is Rhodes one of the largest Greek Islands, but it boasts a UNESCO world heritage site as it’s capital. Wandering around the Colossus of Rhodes is like stepping into a fairy tale, but once you step outside the city walls, you will find a modern town, full of designer shops and trendy waterfront cafés.

The hill top town of Lindos is another ‘must see’. Complete with whitewashed buildings and winding alley ways, it is a photographers dream. Aer Lingus twice-weekly service starts from the 23rd of May 2020.
 
rhodes is one of the new destinations from dublin airport for 2020

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5. Verona – Italy

DESTINATIONS

My Travel Highlights from 2019 – Sun, Ski & Staycations

Maldives (1)

15 trips, 200 blog posts and 1000’s of social media posts – I’ve been busy, but I wouldn’t want it any other way! I love discovering new destinations at home and abroad, and this year I enjoyed my fair share of both. From the Munster Vales to the Maldives, here are my travel highlights from 2019 – I hope they will give you some travel inspiration for 2020.

 

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Travel Highlights – Dubai and Maldives:

I have so many travel highlights from 2019 but the Maldives has to be the stand out destination for me. I wanted to visit the Maldives since I saw it on a travel brochure almost 30 years ago. I finally got there this year, and was fortunate to be able to bring my family too. It was the most expensive trip I have ever paid for, but it was worth every penny! Watching the sunset from our over water bungalow, and swimming with whale sharks (well swimming is probably over stating it a little) are just some of the highlights . The Maldives is my definition of paradise and I can’t wait to go back.  

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Read More: Our Magical Stay in Centara Grand Maldives
 

 


 
We stopped in Dubai on our way to the Maldives and its a great way to break the journey. I had been to Dubai before but this was the first time visiting with my children. There is so much for children to do in Dubai, it is a great family destination. We had a blast in Atlantis, went to the top of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, but the desert safari was my favourite activity in Dubai.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Read More: Top tips for a family holiday in Dubai

Read More: The best family activities in Dubai
 

 

 

Travel Highlights – Greece:

I also scratched another destination off my bucket list this year – Sani Resort in Thessaloniki, Greece. A big thanks to Best4Travel who invited me along with their staff to see all the Sani hotels. They really lived up to the hype and I strongly believe that if you can afford it, it is the best family resort in Europe. The cocktails in Bousoulas Beach Bar are pretty impressive too!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Read More: My ultimate guide to Sani Resort 
 

 

 
We went to Crete for our family holiday this summer. I am a big fan of Greece but had never been to Chania before. With direct flights from Dublin airport, it is great value, even when you opt for a great five-star hotel. We stayed in Anemos Resort and loved it. The harbour towns of Rethymno and Chania are packed with great bars and restaurants and the nearby village of Georgioupolis has an idyllic church.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Cruise highlights:

I was fortunate to be invited on two cruise ship launches this year – MSC Bellissima and Norwegian Encore. MSC Bellissima has the promenade of dreams with an 80 meter dome overhead that changes images like a TV screen. Depending on the mood MSC Bellissima is trying to create, it can transmit sunrises, starry skies, or even live sporting events. Cirque du Soleil is also another highlight, and the choice of dining options and kids facilities are superb.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Read More: My review of MSC Bellissima
 

 

 
I was delighted to be asked by Sunway to join them on Norwegian Encore’s inaugural sailing – it was my first time to cruise with Norwegian. I was really impressed with the food, the quality and choice was excellent in the complimentary restaurants, even in the buffet – which I normally avoid at all costs when travelling! I am proud to say I was first person to ride the go-kart on Norwegian Encore! Yes I know it may seem hard to believe, but there is a 1,150 feet long go-kart track that sprawls over two decks and extends up to 13 feet over the side of the ship! The facilities for teens are superb on Encore, with the largest and most impressive virtual reality room I have ever seen.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Read More: My review of Norwegian Encore
 

 

 

City breaks:

I managed to visit two European cities this year, Toulouse in France and Palma in Majorca. Although I was on a press trip, I had lots of time to ramble around the colourful streets of Toulouse alone and loved it. Its ancient centre and amazing food market were my highlights, but I also loved how accessible it is – I think Toulouse is a great choice for food lovers and couples or solo travellers.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Read More: My Toulouse travel blog
 

 

 
I had the pleasure of visiting Palma with Google. I was asked to showcase the benefits of using Google Translate, Google Lens and Google Maps when travelling. We were brought to Valdemossa and Soller, two of Majorca’s most beautiful towns, as well as enjoying time to explore Palma. It was a super trip and I loved exploring parts of Majorca that I had never seen before.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Read More: 15 Travel apps that make travelling easy
 

 

 

Staycations:

I enjoyed some fabulous holidays in Ireland this year. We were so lucky to be invited to Center Parcs for the opening in July and for their Winter Wonderland experience recently. I knew the kids would love Center Parcs, but I was really surprised at how much Cormac and I did too – it really is, as their slogan says, Epic Family Time. We loved the outdoor activities during the summer time, but the Christmas experience was magical too. If you haven’t had the chance to visit yet, put it on your list!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Read more: The ultimate guide to Center Parcs Longford Forest

Read more: How to save money at Center Parcs Longford Forest

Read more: Tips for visiting Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs 
 

 


 
Our trip around the Munster Vales was another surprise for me. I had been passing by attractions like Mitchelstown Cave and Cahir Castle for years, and never visited them until recently. We loved our stay in Nire Valley eco-camp, but the highlight for me was cycling along the Waterford Greenway – it was a terrific family experience in Waterford.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Read more: Top Things to do in the Munster Vales
 

 

 

Skiing

I love skiing and ideally would like to ski every year. It doesn’t always happen, but this year I was delighted to be invited to Söll, Austria with 2FM and the Austrian Tourist Board. I loved it so much that I booked a trip to fly out after Christmas with my family. It is the first time to bring my children skiing, so I hope they love it as much as I do. One of my highlights from the trip was when I paraglided off the top of Hohe Salve, the highest mountain in the Ski Welt region. I am delighted to see that I am getting more adventurous the more I travel, and I can’t wait to go back to Soll for New Year. 

 

Read More: Skiing in Söll, all you need to know and why you should go.
 

 

 
A massive thanks to everyone for reading my blog posts and for all the follows, likes, comments and shares – I really appreciate it. I know I wouldn’t have these opportunities if you were not supporting me on my journey. With trips planned to Austria, Portugal and Las Vegas already, I’m hoping 2020 will be full of more great travel experiences.

I hope my favourite travel highlights from 2019 will help inspire your next adventure too!
 

Keep travelling!

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

 

 

Travel

Amazing Disneyland Paris Offer: Save Up to 20% & Get Free Dining!

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Save up to 20% off hotel and park tickets and get free dining throughout 2020 – even during school holidays! This amazing Disneyland Paris offer is not to be missed.

 

Imagine your kids faces when you tell them you are going to Disneyland Paris – the magic starts right there✨. Picture the parades filled with their favourite characters, firework displays over Sleeping Beauty’s castle, as well as rollercoaster rides and amazing shows – Disneyland Pars is magical. I visited twice with my family and loved it. We had breakfast with our favourite Disney Characters, enjoyed the rollercoasters and simulator rides and were completely blown away by the shows and fireworks. A trip to Disneyland Paris is the ultimate family break away, and one that provides lasting memories for many years to come! 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I have teamed up with Breakaway.ie, who have been Disney’s official distributor in Ireland since the park opened in 1997. All of their staff visit the resort regularly, and know all the insider tips. You can rest assured they will recommend the right hotel and attractions to suit your children’s ages and needs – and offer you the best value too!

Breakaway

From time to time Breakaway release special offers that should not be missed – believe me when I say: this is one of those times! Not only will you receive up to 20% off Disneyland Paris hotel and park tickets, but you will also receive FREE dining, if you book by before the 12th of February. This amazing Disneyland Paris offer is available throughout 2020, so whether you want to join the Frozen Celebration, the Marvel Season of Super Heroes or experience Disney’s Enchanted Christmas season – Breakaway have you covered.

disneyland paris offer from ireland for chrismtas

 

Free Dining at Disneyland Paris 

As well as great value hotel and park tickets, I love that this Disneyland Paris offer includes free dining – this means you will need very little spending money. However, it is important to note that the meal plan you receive depends on the standard of hotel you choose, and that half-board and full-board arrangements allow you dine in your choice of 15-20 restaurants throughout the Disneyland Paris parks. I recommend you choose a 3-star hotel or above to avail of this. The Free Dining promotion is available on the following hotels and is explained fully in this short video:

    • 2-Star: Cheyenne or Santa Fe: FREE Buffet breakfast.
    • 3-Star: Sequoia Lodge: FREE Plus Half Board in 15+ restaurants.
    • 4-Star: Newport Bay Club or New York The Art of Marvel Hotel: FREE Plus Half Board in 15+ restaurants.
    • 5-Star: Disneyland Hotel: Free Premium Full Board in 20+ restaurants.

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When is this Disneyland Paris offer available?

This amazing offer is available for all arrivals from the 2nd April 2020 until 31st March 2021, even during Disney’s Enchanted Christmas! But that’s not all… For arrivals after the 3rd of July, you will also receive €100 Disney gift voucher, which can be spent throughout Disneyland Paris parks!

There are so many festivals on in Disneyland Paris that there is something to suit kids of all ages. I have highlighted some prices from various dates in 2020 to give you an idea of cost. All prices are based on two adults and two children sharing, but you can get prices on the Breakaway.ie website to suit your own party size, across all hotels and dates throughout the year. If you prefer to talk to one of their dedicated Disney experts, simply call them on 01 607 9900 .

free dining at disneyland paris

 

Disney’s Enchanted Christmas Season – Mid November 2020 – Early Jan 2021

Can you think of anything more magical than Disneyland Paris at Christmas time? We went two years ago – and I loved it as much as the kids! Read my blog about Disneyland at Christmas time to find out why. It just may be ‘the most wonderful time of the year….’

  • 3 nights in the Sequoia Lodge
  • 4 days parks tickets
  • FREE Plus Half Board 
  • €100 Spending Money
  • Total cost based on 2 adults & 2 children sharing from €250pp

Upgrade to the NewPort Bay for just €12pp  

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Lion King and Jungle Festival – Mid June – September 2020: 

Let the kids be enthralled by Simba, Pumbaa and their amazing friends at the Lion King and Jungle Festival. Need to travel during school holidays? Hakuna Matata – this festival is on throughout the summer months!

  • 3 nights in the Santa Fe Hotel
  • 4 days parks tickets
  • FREE Buffet Breakfast
  • €100 Spending Money
  • Total cost based on 2 adults & 2 children sharing from €371pp

Upgrade to the Sequoia Lodge with FREE  Half Board Meals Plus for just €70pp

lion king festival at disneyland paris

See more here

 

Marvel Season of Super Heroes – 24th March – 7th June 2020:  

Your spider-sense will be tingling when you see your favourite Marvel legends in Disneyland Paris!. See Spider Man, Iron Man, Captain America and Hulk, as well as Thanos – the supreme Marvel villain. For the ultimate Marvel adventure, why not stay at Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel. Completely reimagined, this contemporary 4-star hotel retains its New York style, with the added benefits of  Marvel artwork – a must see for any Marvel fans.

  • 3 nights in the Santa Fee
  • 4 days parks tickets
  • FREE Buffet Breakfast
  • €100 Spending Money
  • Total cost based on 2 adults & 2 children sharing from €335pp

Upgrade to the Sequoia Lodge with FREE  Half Board Meals Plus for just €96pp

disneyland paris offer for marvel festival

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Frozen Celebration – 11th January  – 3rd May 2020:  

The first Frozen movie was released when we were in Disneyland Paris and we loved spotting Anna, Elsa and Olaf throughout the park and the Frozen sing-a-long show. With Frozen 2 just released, the Frozen Celebration of 2020 will no doubt be a huge draw for children of all ages. 

    • 3 nights in the Sequoia Lodge €345pp
    • 4 days parks tickets
    • FREE Plus Half Board
    • €100 Spending Money
    • Total cost based on 2 adults & 2 children sharing from €405pp

 

 
 
 
 
 
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No matter when you choose to travel, visit Breakaway.ie for the best offers and expert advice. This Disneyland Paris offer has to be booked before the 12th of February, but if, like most of us, you had an expensive Christmas, you don’t need to worry – a deposit will secure your booking! 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Note flights and transfers are not included in these price but with so many flights all available from all Irish airports, getting there is hassle free. You may wish to add on a night in Paris and choose to book your own flights, however Breakway have flights inclusive packages that can be booked on their website or with their Disney Experts.  

Search & Book Here

 

This post was sponsored by Breakaway. All views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

travel deals

 
Asia

Where to Stay in Thailand – Best For Couples, Families, Wildlife & Culture

thailand shutterstock

With vibrant cities, cultural centres and over 1400 islands to choose from, trying to decide where to stay in Thailand is not easy. But don’t worry, I’ve done all the hard work for you – check out my top picks below.

 

Thailand is one of the world’s most visited countries. Its diversity ensures that no matter what type holiday you seek – you can find it in Thailand. Culture vultures will love the gleaming temples, rice paddies and floating markets, couples will love the endless choice of beachfront hotels and vibrant nightlife, thrill seekers can swim with whale sharks, camp in rainforests and enjoy white water rafting, while families can combine beach time with a magical stay in an ethical elephant camp. Regardless of the type or traveller you are, or what experiences you seek, Thailand’s friendly people will ensure you receive a warm welcome. I have teamed up with Tropical Sky to help you choose where to stay in Thailand. From secluded island resorts to tented camps, I’ve got suggestions for couples, luxury, families, culture and wildlife. 

where to stay in thailand

Tropical Sky offers a wide selection of holidays to Thailand and can tailor-make any holiday to suit your requirements. If you want to add on a few nights in bustling Bangkok, or choose to stay for shorter, or longer periods in a particular hotel, talk to the dedicated sales team and they will advise where to stay in Thailand to best suit your requirements.

 

Best for Couples: Koh Yao and Phuket, 10 Nights From €2129 Including Flights, Hotels & Transfers

This wonderful two-centre holiday combines one of Thailand’s lesser-known islands, Koh Yao, with its most famous, Phuket. You will enjoy five nights in each, staying in completely different, but equally luxurious, 5-star hotels. In Koh Yao you will be staying in one of world’s most unique hotels – TreeHouse Villas Koh Yao. The entrance to your own private tree house is by suspension bridge – can you imagine anything more romantic?

The TreeHouse Villas Koh Yao is surrounded by tropical rainforests, turquoise waters and dramatic limestone cliffs, as well as its own 400-metre secluded beach. You can hire bicycles and explore the island, enjoy water activities including sea kayaking and fishing, relax by your own private pool, or enjoy a wide selection of spa treatments, twice daily yoga classes or Thai cookery classes. 

luxury long haul destinations

Staying in the TreeHouse Villas Koh Yao might seem hard to follow but five nights in a private villa in the 5-star boutique Pavilions Phuket Hotel might just do the trick! Enjoy swimming in privacy in your own private pool, and a choice of dining options from its three award-winning restaurants. Although situated on a quiet side of the island, you can also choose to explore Phuket and some of its vibrant nightlife. However, if rest and relaxation is all you seek, the spa and wellness centre on site will complete this memorable stay.   

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Best for Luxury: Khao Lak and Koh Lanta, 10 Nights From €1769 Including Flights, Hotels  & Transfers  

Situated on a seven-mile stretch of white sand in Khao Lak, with fine dining restaurants and an award-winning spa, the 5-star Sarojin Hotel is the ultimate in luxury – and your home for the first five nights of this magnificent holiday. 

where to stay in Thailand sarojin hotel

Although you may not want to leave, a five-night stay at the adult-only 5-star Layana Resort & Spa will certainly ease your pain. Another superb hotel, in an unspoilt location, it actually won the coveted Top Hotel in Thailand and Best Luxury Hotel in Thailand in 2017. As well as enjoying authentic Thai food, why not try to cook some too? The cooking classes on site are very popular with guests, as is the spa. However make sure you get out and explore the stunning beaches and authentic way of life for which Koh Lanta is renowned.  

multi centre holidays to thailand including koh lanta

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Best for Wildlife & Adventure: Elephant Hills, Khao Lak & Krabi, 12 Nights From €3119 Including Flights, Hotels & Transfers

This super itinerary sums up Thailand’s diversity in a nutshell. You will start your adventure in the idyllic Sarojin Hotel in the beach resort of Khao Lak – the perfect place to unwind. When you feel fully refreshed you will transfer to Khao Sok National Park for the ultimate wildlife experience. You will be staying in the Elephant Hills ethical tented camp for rescued elephants, where en-suite tents are equipped with double beds. You will enjoy a canoe safari, and have the opportunity to interact with the Asian elephants.
 
where to stay in thailand - elephant hills
 
The following day you will take a long-tail boat ride on Cheow Lake, where you will stay in one of 10 luxury tents floating on the lake. A guided jungle trek and some swimming opportunities complete this experience of a life time.
 
After all that adventure, what better than a five-night stay in the beautiful resort of Krabi. Home to dramatic limestone cliffs, stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, Krabi is the picture perfect Thai beach resort. There are many hotel options to choose from including the 4-star Holiday Inn Resort or the superbly situated 5-star Rayavadee Krabi. Many choose Krabi as a base for island hopping, so why not choose to visit Koh Phi Phi or James Bond Island too?
 
where to stay in thailand - visit james bond island

 

See more here

 

Best for Families: Santiburi Hotel Koh Samui, 7 Nights from €4999 based on 2 adults & 2 children sharing 

One of the Thailand’s largest islands Koh Samui is a great choice for a family holiday. For families wondering where to stay in Thailand, the Santiburi Resort is the prefect choice.

Located on a stunning beach, this luxury 5-star hotel has low-rise villas set in tropical gardens. The massive outdoor pool (the largest in Koh Samui), and kids and sports clubs will keep the kids amused all day. There are arts and crafts workshops, cookery lessons, football games and a games room with consoles. The championship 18-hole golf course, the Santiburi Spa, tennis and yoga classes will surely keep the adults happy too. 

all inclusive caribbean resorts for families

There are five dining venues and a choice of accommodation options to choose from, including two-bedroom duplex suites, garden villas and beachfront villas with private pools. The Santiburi Hotel is one of the Leading Hotels of the World – need I say more?

santiburi hotel thailand

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Best for Culture: Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Khao Lak, 11 Nights from €1879 Including Flights, Hotels & Transfers

Combining the bustling city of Bangkok with the charming city of Chang Mai really shows the diversity of Thailand’s two largest cities. After six action-packed days exploring both cities, what better than a five-night stay in the beautiful beach resort of Khao Lak. While offering plenty of time to explore on your own, this enchanting trip also includes half-day tours of Bangkok’s Grand Palace, floating markets and a River Cruise & Temples tour.

floating markets bangkok, thailand holidays

You will also enjoy top hotels throughout your stay. The Rembrandt Hotel & Suites is one of Bangkok’s most popular hotels, and is superbly located in trendy Sukhumvit.  

The Tamarind Village Hotel in Chiang Mai is an oasis located in the heart of Old Chiang Mai City, close to all the historic temples, night bazaar and riverside restaurants – this hotel is located inside the ancient city walls and is one of the best places to stay in Chiang Mai. 

where to stay in chiang mai

Your final stay in the Khao Lak Merlin Resort is the perfect place to unwind. With a choice of dining options and facilities on site, as well as offering stunning views of the Andaman Sea, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your last few days in Thailand at your leisure. 

See more here

 
These are just a sample of the Thailand holidays that Tropical Sky offer. They can tailor-make any holiday to suit your requirements. If you want to stay for shorter, or longer periods in a particular hotel or visit more Thai islands,  talk to the dedicated sales team and they will advise where to stay in Thailand to best suit your requirements.

 

This post, Where to Stay in Thailand, was sponsored by Tropical Sky. All views, as always, are my own.

Sarah
 
The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 
Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals -17th December 2019

best travel deals

In this week’s Best Travel Deals I have Twixmas in Croatia, ski holidays in January, great deals on summer holidays to Menorca, Mauritius and the Costa del Sol, a staycation in Castle Leslie, and kids cruise fares for €99 with Royal Caribbean!

 

 

Best last minute:

Fancy jetting off to the slopes after Christmas? Topflight’s annual 12 days of Christmas sale features a different offer each day. Today, 17th December, you can get half-price lift passes if you book any ski holiday to Livigno. Price for flights, transfers and a seven-night stay at the Livigno Ski apartments, is available from €499 throughout the month of January.

See more here
 

 

 

Best summer sun:

At the risk of repeating myself – you really need to book early to secure the best flight prices during July and August. I found flights from Dublin to Malaga on the 24th of August for €98 return. Add on a week in the fabulous 4-Star Balcon de Europa Hotel in Nerja, with breakfast included, and you have a wonderful summer holiday for just €498 per person!

View flights here €98pp

View hotel here  €400pp
 

 

 

Best family deal:

Did you know Ryanair are flying to Menorca next summer? Menorca is an ideal choice for a family holiday, particularly with younger children. I found a great deal departing the 6th of June. Price for flights and a seven-night stay in the 4-star Prinsotel La Caleta is only €1136 based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. This aparthotel receives excellent reviews on TripAdvisor and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence. #StealOfTheWeek

View flights here €116pp

View Aparthotel here €672
 

 

 

Best city break:

Looking for a Twixmas break? How about the Croatian city of Zagreb? Fly direct from Dublin on St Stephens Day and enjoy a three-night break in the 4-star Hotel International, with breakfast and airport transfers included, for €471 per person.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best cruise:

The January sales have started early with Royal Caribbean Cruises, as their brand new WAVE deal starts today! When you buy one cruise fare you can get up to 60% off the 2nd cruise fare, save up to €140 off your stateroom and enjoy kids fares from €99!

See more here

 

Read: 10 Reasons to Choose Royal Caribbean for Family Cruises
 

 

 

Best long haul deal:

 The All-Inclusive Veranda Pointe aux Biches in Mauritius is a regular favourite in my best travel deals. Imagine a hotel where you are encouraged to go barefoot 😍.  This laid-back luxurious hotel is highly rated on TripAdvisor, and with all meals and drinks included in the price – it is also superb value. Price for flights, transfers and a seven-night, all-inclusive stay is only €1369.
 
View offer here
 

 

 

Best staycation:

Many of you booked this half-price deal to Castle Leslie over Black Friday, but in case you didn’t – there is still time! Price for an overnight stay for two with breakfast, an invitation to an evening bubbly and canapés reception, a €25 voucher towards spa treatments or equestrian activity, and a €25 voucher towards afternoon tea or dinner for two – is only €140 for arrivals up to the end of March, or €165 for a flexible option of dates available until the 10th of December 2020.  

View offer here

 

Read why I was captivated by Castle Leslie
 

 

 

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

Select Hotels of Ireland Christmas Giveaway – WIN 3 Great Prizes!

DELUXE KING Edited

Why give a gift voucher for one hotel, when you can choose from 30? Select Hotels of Ireland have the perfect Christmas gift – their gift vouchers can be used in any of their 30 hotels. To celebrate, they have given me 3 great prizes to give away!

 

 

  • Enjoy an two-night stay in the 4-Star Malone Lodge Hotel Belfast. Prize includes breakfast each day and 1 Dinner for two people sharing.

     

  • Enjoy an two-night stay in the 4-Star Talbot Hotel Stilloran, Dublin. Prize includes breakfast each day and 1 Dinner for two people sharing.

 

  • Enjoy a €100 Select Hotels of Ireland voucher to spend on ANY of the 30 Select Hotels.

 

select hotels of ireland

 

And all you have to do be in with a chance of winning is to fill out the form below!

 

Select Hotels of Ireland are renowned for their great service, quality food and high standards of accommodation. There are 30 different hotels to choose from, across various cities and counties in Ireland. A Select Hotels of Ireland gift voucher is the perfect Christmas gift because you can use this voucher in ANY of their 30 Irish hotels.

4 Star Hotels in Ireland

You can purchase gift cheques from €50, which can be used towards the cost of a hotel stay, or purchase one- or two-night Gift Voucher Specials for €150 and €295 respectively. The ultimate gift voucher includes a €100 Gift Cheque that can be used in the hotel for meals, spa treatments, etc. and costs €395. You can order Gift Vouchers online and they will be sent directly to your inbox, or order paper Gift Vouchers, which are beautifully presented and posted.

 

christmas gift voucher

 

Buy Gift Vouchers Here

 

Enter Competition Here

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Terms & conditions:

  1. Bed and Breakfast and one evening meal are included, any additional expense incurred is the responsibility of the prize winners.
  2. No spending money, no cash alternative, non-transferable prize.
  3. Winner will be chosen on 21st December 2019.
  4. Judges decision is final.
  5. By entering this competition you will automatically receive a request to join The Travel Expert’s newsletter. You can then decide if you want to opt-in to receive my weekly newsletters featuring all my latest posts and best travel deals.
  6. By entering this competition you may receive a request to join Select Hotels of Ireland newsletter. You can then decide if you want to opt-in to subscribe.

 

Best of luck!

 

Sarah

 
Travel News and Reviews

Collect Avios On All Your Christmas Shopping – And Book Aer Lingus Flights in the January Sales!

christmas shopping

With triple Avios via the AerClub eStore, bonus Avios from Appleby and SuperValu, as well as Avios from Kildare Village – you can collect Avios on all your Christmas shopping this year!

 

I know you must be spending small fortunes on Christmas shopping right now – so why not get something back in return? Collect Avios on all your Christmas shopping when you shop online, or in stores, and then use Pay with Avios to part-pay for Aer Lingus flights in the January sales!

pay for aer lingus flights with avios

Many of you already know that I am a big fan of Avios. I have been collecting them for a few years now, and have accumulated most of my points from shopping. Believe me when I tell you, Christmas shopping is the best and quickest way to boost your Avios balance!

avios event

Eight stores are offering triple Avios when you shop via the AerClub eStore, and another 100 are offering double Avios. To put that into perspective, if you spend €100 (excl vat or delivery charges) online in Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Marks & Spencer or Lifestyle Sports before the 22nd of December, you will receive 1200 Avios! It really is that simple to collect Avios on all your Christmas shopping! 

Collect Avios On All Your Christmas Shopping

And it’s not just department stores that have great Avios promotions. Looking for a new iPad, iPhone watch or Playstation console? Both Apple and Currys are giving triple Avios right now via the AerClub eStore! 

Collect Avios On All Your Christmas Shopping

 

How to collect Avios online

Once you are logged into 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. 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. 

shop via the aerclub estore

See more here

 

Read: Collect Triple Avios via the AerClub eStore in Brown Thomas, Arnotts, Apple, M&S, Currys & More…

 

Collect 50% Bonus Avios in SuperValu

Dreading the annual Christmas grocery shop? Get rewarded for those long check-out queues by collecting Avios when you shop in SuperValu. You can now get a 50% bonus if you convert your Real Rewards or Money Back Vouchers to Avios before the 6th of January.

collect avios with supervalu

Read: How to convert SuperValu Real Rewards to Avios

 

Collect Avios at Kildare Village

Have you seen the Enchanted Lights at Kildare Village? This magical sensory show is on daily from 4pm. I love shopping at Kildare Village at Christmas time. In fact I love shopping there at any time of year – where else can you save 60% on designer shopping? I love the Maje and Ted Baker stores, and Coach and Kate Spade always have great deals on hand bags. I usually pick up great bargains on sports gear for my kids, as Nike, Asics and Puma are all located there too. Collect 5 Avios for every €4 spent at Kildare Village.

how to collect avios at kildare village

Read: How to Collect Avios at Kildare Village

 

Collect 2,000 Avios in Appleby Jewellers

Looking to treat your loved one? Perhaps an engagement is on the cards? With over sixty years’ experience and a worldwide reputation for creative jewellery design, Appleby has become one of the leading brands in Irish jewellery. Get 2,000 Bonus Avios on purchases of diamond jewellery or rings from Appleby Jewellers in Johnson Court – and that’s on top of the usual 1 Avios for every €1 spent in store. Offer ends 31 January 2020.  

 

collect avios

 

See more here

 

Collect 18,000 Avios when you subscribe to The Economist

Struggling to find the perfect present for the accountant, politics lover, or all round news geek? You can get a whopping 18,000 Avios if you subscribe to the The Economist before 31 January 2020. Think of how much you will save when you use Pay with Avios to part pay for Aer Lingus flights in the January sale….  

See more here

 

Why collect Avios?

Once you accumulate Avios, you can use these to pay for reward flights, hotels, car hire and travel experiences. You can also use Pay with Avios to 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. See my beginners guide to AerClub and how to part pay for Aer Lingus flights with Avios.

beginners guide to aerclub

 

Still haven’t 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.
 

 

 

Like this post? You might like:

 

10 Ways To Collect Avios

5 Ways To Spend Avios 

 

This post on how to collect Avios on all your Christmas shopping, was sponsored by Avios, but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

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