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Travel

October Bank Holiday Weekend Break to Vienna, 3 Nights, €329!

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This October bank holiday weekend break to Vienna is a great opportunity to explore one of Europe’s most elegant cities.

 

Elegant, historical, noble, when you think of booking a weekend break to Vienna, you may think it will be expensive. Not anymore! With the introduction of so many new routes from Dublin Airport, city breaks to Europe’s fashionable cities including Vienna, are much more affordable.

weekend break to vienna

The historical centre of Vienna is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with palaces, museums and churches all located very close together. It is very easy to navigate so you may wish to amble around admiring the stunning architecture, or do what most tourists do and get a horse and carriage. The former Imperial summer residence, the Schonbrunn Palace, is a must visit, with stunning gardens, monuments and even a zoo – it is one of Vienna’s top attractions.

 

 

 

World class composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss all lived in Vienna so it is no surprise that one of the world’s leading opera houses is here. However Vienna’s music scene offers much more than opera. If you venture out of the historical centre you will find plenty of trendy pubs and clubs that will play music until the small hours.

weekend break to vienna

For a more authentic food scene head to Naschmarkt (meaning ‘snack market’) this is where locals dine and if you venture a little further to the 19th district, you will find plenty of wine bars and even vineyards.
 

 

 
You will be staying at the 4-star Hotel Schani Wien. Highly rated on TripAdvisor and awarded a certificate of excellence, this is a superb choice to enjoy all that Vienna has to offer. A blend of Viennese traditions and modern architecture, you can expect a modern hotel with spacious rooms and a charming courtyard.
 

 

 
Fly from Dublin to Vienna on the 24th of October and enjoy a three-night stay in the 4-star Hotel Schani Wien for only €329. 

View flights here €155pp

View hotel here  €174pp

 

Interested in city breaks? You can see my top city break destinations 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

 

Holidays in IrelandLightening Deals

20 Mother and Daughter Spa Hotel Breaks in Ireland – That Won’t Break The Bank

Mum Rossbeigh Beach

Treat yourself and your Mum to a quick break away. I have selected 20 spa hotel breaks in Ireland from €47 per person including breakfast!

 

Spa hotel breaks always sounds expensive, but they don’t have to be. All of the hotels listed below are four or five-star, highly rated on Tripadvisor, and all cost less than €75 per person! I have priced these based on staying the 22nd of November, but if that date doesn’t suit, simply edit the dates when you click on the links below, to suit your requirements.
 
Instagram
 

1. Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa, Co. Kerry: Twin Room €54pp 

 irish spa hotel breaks in killarney

 

Who doesn’t love Killarney? The National Park, Killarney Lakes, Torc Waterfall, Muckross Abbey – there is so much to see and do here. I brought my Mum to Killarney a few years ago and she loved it. The Killarney Plaza Hotel is adjacent to Killarney National Park and offers stylish bedrooms, a choice of dining options, as well as a Spa and Leisure Centre.
 

 

 
Price of €108 per room, includes stay for two in a twin room with free parking. Add on breakfast for an additional €12 per person. If this date does not suit, simply search dates to suit you when you click below.
 
View offer here
 

 


 

2. Fota Island Resort & Spa, Co. Cork: Twin Room B&B €70pp  

 irish hotel spa breaks at fota island resort

I am a big lover of Fota Island Resort, I have visited many times. I usually go with my kids so I am always envious of those on a spa break! I have also witnessed the afternoon tea and it looks divine. There are lovely walks around the grounds as well as choice of golf courses to choose from. The pretty town of Cobh, with the wonderful Titanic Experience attraction, is just a short drive away.

Read: My review of Fota Island Resort
 

 

 
Price of €139 per room, includes an overnight stay for two with full Irish breakfast and free cancellation, based on the 22nd of November arrival. If this date does not sure, simply search dates to suit you when you click below.
 
View offer here
 

 

 

3. Galway Bay Hotel, Co. Galway: Twin Room B&B €62pp

irish spa hotel breaks in galway

 

Located in Salthill, overlooking the famous Galway Bay, this is the perfect choice if you are looking for a great hotel with sea views. You can choose to stay onsite and enjoy the Cuan Atlantic Beauty Spa, gym and 15-metre pool, or venture into Galway City which is only five minutes drive away. There are great dining options at the hotel, from fine dining at the Bay Brasserie to craft beers and tasty pub grub at the Atlantic Bar. This a great value Irish hotel spa break, check out the reviews on TripAdvisor if you still need convincing.
 

 

 
Price of €123 includes overnight stay for two with breakfast and free cancellation and free parking, based on the 22nd of November arrival. If this date does not sure, simply search dates to suit you when you click below. 

View offer here
 

 

 

4. Faithlegg Hotel, Co. Waterford: Twin Room B&B €54pp 

hotel deals for New Year's eve in Ireland

Faithlegg Hotel is a restored 18th century mansion that is set in acres of woodlands overlooking the Suir Estuary. It offers all the cosy feels for the perfect winter break. Faithlegg offers a choice of dining options – choose from the award-winning Roseville Rooms in the main house, or casual dining in the Golf Club. 
 

 

 
The health and fitness centre boasts a swimming pool, sauna and steam room, tennis courts, as well as treatment suites. This great rate includes breakfast and free cancellation too.

View offer here
 

 

 

5. Shandon Hotel & Spa, Co. Donegal: Double Room B&B €74pp 

 irish hotel spa breaks in donegal

Located right by the sea on the Wild Atlantic Way, this relatively new hotel (opened in 2016) boasts stunning sea views. The leisure centre has a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, hot tub and a spa with balneotherapy bath with 190 water jets. Combine this spa break with a visit to the Slieve League Cliffs, Donegal’s answer to the Cliffs of Moher, and one of the highest and finest marine cliffs in Europe. Check out the great reviews on TripAdvisor here.
 

 

 
Price of €148 includes an over night stay for two including breakfast free cancellation, arriving 22nd November.  If this date does not sure, simply search dates to suit you when you click below.

View offer here
 

 

 

6.  Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort, Co. Carlow: Deluxe Twin B&B €57pp 

 

Enjoy spa treatments with Elemis beauty products at the luxury spa, or walk in the footsteps of some of the world’s best golfers, on the championship golf course – perhaps you could do both? There are great dining options too. Check out the reviews on TripAdvisor here.
 

 

 
Price of €114 per room, includes a stay for two in a deluxe twin room with free cancellation, arriving 22nd November. Add on breakfast for an additional €13pp. If this date does not sure, simply search dates to suit you when you click below.

View offer here
 

 

 

7. Maryborough Hotel, Co. Cork, Deluxe Room B&B: €70pp

maryborough hotel deals in ireland for Christmas

The Maryborough is one of Cork’s most loved hotels. Housed in an 18th-century building, yet furnished in contemporary style, this hotel receives excellent reviews on TripAdvisor.
 

 

 
With an award-winning restaurant, state-of-the-art leisure centre, luxurious ESPA, and surrounded by 300-year-old listed gardens – this is a great choice for a mother and daughter spa break in Ireland.  This rate includes breakfast, free parking, €20 spa credit and free cancellation.

View offer here
 

 

 

8. Bunratty Castle Hotel, Co. Clare: Triple Room B&B €46pp

Located just nine minutes from the famous Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, this is a great choice for a mother and daughter spa hotel break. One of Clare’s newest 4-star hotels, you can expect modern decor, well equipped bedrooms and an authetic Thai Angsana spa with an indoor pool. The dining options are good too with Fibber McGee’s Steakhouse proving popular for lunch or dinner and the library offering afternoon tea. 

irish hotel spa breaks co clare

Price of €91 per room per night includes breakfast and free cancellation, arriving 22nd November. Note this room can accommodate up to three people, so why not bring a friend for just €27 extra, including breakfast! If this date does not suit, simply search dates to suit you when you click below.

View offer here
 

 

 

9. Breaffy House Hotel, Co. Mayo: Twin Room €56pp

 

 
 
 
 
 
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We stayed in Breaffy House Resort this summer and had a wonderful experience. There is a large swimming pool and spa on site and if you like wine, make sure you take a tour of their cellar! I loved Mayo. There is so much to see and do. Price of €111 per room per night includes free cancellation and free parking. Add on breakfast for an additional €12.50pp  

Read: 10 reasons to choose Breaffy House Resort for your next staycation

 

View offer here
 

 

 

10. Slieve Russell Hotel, Co. Cavan: Twin Room B&B €70pp

Slieve Russell Spa

The Slieve Russell Hotel has it all – set in 300 acres with lakes, a 20-metre swimming pool, a luxurious spa and a Championship golf-course. For experienced walkers, one of Ireland’s best Instagram locations, the ‘Stairway to Heaven Walk’ on the Cuilcagh Mountain trail, is only a 30-minute drive from the hotel. 
 

 

 
Price of €139 includes an overnight stay for two with a full Irish breakfast and free cancellation, arriving 22nd November. If this date does not suit, simply search dates to suit you when you click below.

View offer here
 

 

 

11. Dunboyne Castle, Co. Meath: Deluxe Twin €55pp B&B

spa hotel breaks in Ireland

Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa is set in 21 acres of gardens and woodlands, and boasts a luxury spa with a hydrotherapy pool, an outdoor hot tub, and treatment rooms. You won’t even have to leave the hotel, as the award-winning Ivy Restaurant is the perfect choice for a relaxing meal.
 

 

 
Its proximity to Trim Castle, Newgrange and the Hill of Tara, as well as being less than 20 km from Dublin, means there are lots of possibilities for day trips along Ireland’s Ancient East. Price of €109 per room per night includes breakfast and free cancellation.

View offer here
 

 

 

12. Kinsale Hotel & Spa, Co. Cork: Family Room B&B €60pp

spa hotel breaks in Cork

Set in 90 acres of woodlands, yet only a five-minute drive to the vibrant city of Kinsale, this hotel offers the best of both worlds. Guests love its peaceful location with panoramic views over Oysterhaven Bay, with the added advantage of being able explore Ireland’s most colourful town.
 

 

 
The indoor pool, luxury spa, and Rockpool Bar & restaurant will make it one of the most popular spa hotel breaks in Ireland. Price of €119 per room per night includes breakfast and free cancellation too.

View offer here
 

 

 

13. Ferrycarrig Hotel, Co. Wexford: Double Room B&B €45pp 

Great value hotel breaks in Ireland at the Ferrycarrig Hotel

The highly rated Ferrycarrig Hotel offers stylish and spacious accommodation overlooking the river Slaney. It is renowned for its great food, olympic-sized pool and active health club and spa. Rated as excellent on Tripadvisor, this is great value for a spa hotel break.
 

 

 
The price of €90 per room is based on a double room and includes breakfast and free cancellation. You can book a family room which will sleep up to three people for €140 per room per night.

 

 

 

14. BrookLodge Hotel, Co. Wicklow: Twin Room B&B €75pp 

spa hotel breaks in Ireland

BrookLodge is one of Ireland’s most loved hotels. It is set in its own unique village, just over 60 minutes drive from Dublin. Brooklodge is famous for its delicious organic food  – in fact it won Hotel Restaurant of the Year and Culinary Hotel of the Year. It blends old and new perfectly, with country-style bedrooms and a luxury swimming pool and Wellness Spa including an outdoor hot tub. 
 

 

 
Price of €150 includes breakfast, free cancellation and an 8% discount if you use my promo code AFFHCOM3Q20. If this date does not suit, simply search dates to suit you when you click below.

View offer here
 

 

 

15. Connemara Coast Hotel, Co. Galway: Twin Room B&B €45pp 

spa hotel breaks in Galway

Offering spectacular views over the Atlantic, yet only 10 minutes drive from Galway City, the Connemara Coast Hotel offers the best of both worlds. The Leisure club boasts a 19 metre swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room, gym and treatment rooms. With the Connemara coast and the Wild Atlantic Way on your doorstep, you may wish to extend your stay…
 

 

 
Price of €90 per room per night includes breakfast and free cancellation, arriving November 22nd. If this date does not suit, simply search dates to suit you when you click below.

See more here
 

 

 

16. Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel, Co. Kilkenny: Classic Room €37pp 

 Great value hotel breaks in the heart of Kilkenny

The Kilkenny Ormonde is practically a landmark in Kilkenny City, and is located just minutes away from the Medieval Mile. Its brasserie and lively bar attract locals as well as visitors, and it is the only city hotel in Kilkenny that has a leisure centre and spa. 
 

 

 
Kilkenny is a great choice for a mother and daughter break. There is so much to see and do in Kilkenny, including Kilkenny Castle, Jerpoint Abbey as well as great shopping in the Kilkenny Design Centre.  

Price of €74 per room per night includes free cancellation, arriving November 22nd. Add on breakfast for just €10 per person.

View offer here
 

 

 

17. Eccles Hotel, Co. Cork: Twin Room B&B €72pp 

spa hotels in Ireland - Eccles Hotel West Cork

Eccles is the only hotel on this list that doesn’t have a swimming pool, but I think these outdoor hot tubs and its stunning location in Glengarrif more than make up for it. West Cork is one of my favourite parts of Ireland and Eccles is practically a landmark in this area. It is a Heritage hotel, steeped in 250 years of history, with all the modern comforts of a spa with a clifftop thermal area,  as well as great dining options.
 

 

 
I recommend you extend your stay as Garnish Island and Gougane Barra are superb day trip options that you will both love.  Price of €144 per room per night includes breakfast and free cancellation, based on arriving November 22nd. If this date does not suit, simply search dates to suit you when you click below.

View offer here
 

 

 

18. 5-Star Lough Erne Resort, Co. Fermanagh: Twin Room B&B €67pp

luxury hotel breaks in Nothern Ireland

We stayed in Lough Erne resort a few years ago and loved it. It’s stunning location on a 600-acre peninsula was just one of the reasons, the top quality food and service were others. It caters equally well for couples and families and offers a host of activities including two Championship Golf Courses and a unique Thai inspired Spa. It has also won numerous awards including Hotel Restaurant of the Year and Hotel of the Year.
 

 

 
Price of €134 includes breakfast and free cancellation, arriving November 22nd. If this date does not suit, simply search dates to suit you when you click below.

Read: My review of Lough Erne Resort

View offer here
 

 

 

19. Farnham Estate, Co. Cavan: Twin B&B €75pp

Farnham Estate - luxury spa hotel in Ireland

Farnham Estate’s award-winning spa boasts a large indoor pool, an outdoor infinity pool, a mud chamber, ice fountain, forest walkways and a wide selection of treatment options. There is also an 18-hole golf course, superb dining options and 1300 acres of grounds for you to explore. Afternoon tea is also available in the main drawing room of Farnham House, which is ideal for a mother and daughter break. Check out the reviews on Tripadvisor if you still need convincing.
 

 

 
Price of €149 per room per night includes breakfast and free cancellation, arriving November 22nd. If this date does not suit, simply search dates to suit you when you click below.

View offer here
 

 

 

20. Johnstown Estate, Co. Meath: Deluxe Twin €60pp

spa hotel deals in ireland

Johnstown Estate is the ideal choice if you want a luxury spa break that is close to Dublin. Set within 120 acres of stunning parkland, this 1750’s Georgian residence is an ideal choice for mother and daughter getaway. Its has extensive leisure and spa facilities, golf and horse riding, as well as a choice of dining options.
 

 

 
Price of €119 per room per night includes breakfast and free cancellation, arriving 22nd November. If this date does not suit, simply search dates to suit you when you click below.

View offer here

 

 

So go on treat your Mum to a spa hotel break in Ireland, the only question is which one will you choose? It is important to note that some of the facilities / activities listed may have restrictions due to Covid-19 – please check with individual hotels for clarification.
 

 

 
Please note when you make a booking you do so via Hotels.com or Booking.com. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but an no extra charge to you. Read more in my privacy policy.

 

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 28th January 2020

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This week’s best travel deals include a winter break to Malta, summer in the South of France, Majorca, Marbella and Kenya, a cruise on Allure of the Seas, Mother’s Day breaks in Ireland and an early booking offer to PortAventura.

 

Best last minute:

Explore the beautiful island of Malta in February. I found a great deal staying at the 4-star Seashells Resort at Suncrest, for only €230 including flights and hotel with breakfast, departing 8th February for seven nights. This popular hotel is highly rated on TripAdvisor and is centrally located. You will be away for Valentines Day so this could be a romantic break away…

View offer here
 
Missed last week’s Best Travel Deals? See them here.
 

 

 

Best summer sun:

Explore the South of France this summer with this great deal to Nice. Fly from Dublin to Nice on the 20th of July and enjoy a seven-night stay in the Victor Hugo Hotel for just €529. Nice is a beautiful town and the resort is full of style, but you can also choose to explore the coastline. Pop into the nearby towns of Cannes, Antibes or St Tropez, or go further afield and explore Monaco or the Italian Riviera. The choice is yours…

See more here
 

 

 

Best family deal:

The Protur Bonaire in Majorca is a super family complex. I stayed there when my kids were smaller and they loved it. It is rare to find a Free Child Place in the Bonaire during school holidays, but I managed to find one departing the 14th July! Price for 2 adults & 2 children including flights, transfers & baggage is only €2619 for seven nights. You better be quick though – there is only one room left at this price. Use promo code HOLIDAY150 to get €150 off the listed price 😎

View offer here
 

 

 

Best short break:

Planned your girls trip away yet? Jet off to Marbella over the May bank holiday weekend for just €267. Price includes flights and hotel for three nights, based on 2 sharing.

See more here
 

 

 

Best long haul offer:

Looking to try somewhere new this year? Take a trip to Kenya and enjoy a seven-night stay in the highly rated Leonard Beach Resort and Spa. Located a short drive from Mombassa on the world famous Diani Beach, you will be surrounded by crystal clear waters and coral reefs. This super deal costs just €895 including flights, hotel on a half-board basis, checked baggage and airport transfers!

View offer here
 

 

 

Best cruise:

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas is one of the most talked about cruise ships this year. Allure is the worlds most awarded cruise ship and it is having a $165 million dollar makeover, before it cruises from Barcelona this summer. This super deal from e-travel is hard to beat: Enjoy a seven-night Mediterranean cruise with flights and transfers included from just €1195.  

View offer here

 

Read all about the newly amplified Allure of the Seas here.
 

 

 

Best staycation:

Treat your Mum to a spa break in one of Ireland’s 4-star hotels for Mothers Day. I’ve got 10 great deals from just €36 per person including breakfast!

See more here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

Bring the kids to PortAventura and Ferrari Land over the October mid term break. This super deal includes flights, a four-night stay at the 4-star Dorada Palace Hotel, with breakfast and evening meal included, and 2 day passes to PortAventura & Ferrari Land! Total cost for all of this is just €1082, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.

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.

Missed last week’s Best Travel Deals? See them here.

 

Sarah

travel deals
 

 

 

 
Travel

Gloria Palace Royal Hotel & Spa, Amadores, 1 week, Flights & Hotel, May, €542!

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Grab an early booking offer to the luxurious Gloria Palace Royal Hotel & Spa in Amadores. One of Gran Canaria’s most popular hotels, this is a super way to kick start your summer.

 

Perched on a cliff with panoramic views of the sea, and only 200 meters from the Amadores beach, it is not surprising that the 4-star superior Gloria Palace Royal Hotel & Spa has been a favourite with Irish holiday makers for many years. Boasting a stunning infinity pool, two pools for children, as well as an indoor pool, spa, gym and fitness classes, you can choose to have an active holiday or simply relax and enjoy the views.

gloria palace royal hotel
 

 

 
This luxurious hotel was built with natural stone and is elegantly furnished throughout. There are two restaurants and a selection of bars onsite, but if you fancy a change of scene, take the ferry to the nearby resorts of Puerto Rico or Mogan.
 

 

 
I love the location of this hotel, not only because its proximity to the aforementioned resorts, but also because of its sheltered location. Gran Canaria tends to be quite windy, but Amadores, on the south west coast of Gran Canaria, is more sheltered than the resorts on the east coast. This is perfect for sun bathing, especially during the cooler months.

mogan is close to the gloria palace royal hotel
Puerto Mogan

 

 

 
The Gloria Palace Royal Hotel & Spa Hotel is one of most highly rated hotels in the Puerto Rico / Amadores area on TripAdvisor, and receives excellent reviews from repeat customers. This is a superb deal for such high quality accommodation.
 

 

 
Fly to Gran Canaria on the 9th of May and spend seven nights in the Gloria Palace Royal Hotel & Spa for only €542 per person. Price includes flights and hotel with breakfast. Upgrade to Half Board for an extra €69 per person. 

 

View flights here €149pp

View hotel here €393pp
 

 

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

 

Sarah

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AmericaDESTINATIONS

The Best Places to Visit in Nevada – Besides Las Vegas!

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Visiting Las Vegas? Don’t miss the opportunity to visit more of Nevada. Check out 8 great places to visit in Nevada to make the most of your trip Stateside.

 

Nevada is a beautiful state nestled between California and Utah, but for most tourists, visiting Nevada means going to Las Vegas. Of course you should visit the state’s most popular destination, however, this state has a lot more to offer. I teamed up with DeepBlueMountain.com, a fast-growing outdoor blog, to write a guest post for me on the best places to visit in Nevada. These are their highlights:

best places to visit in Nevada - the grand canyon
 

 

 

1. Las Vegas

Sin City, The City of Lights, The Entertainment Capital of the World, are just some of the names attributed to this world-class destination. In fact, Las Vegas is more recognisable and better known than the State of Nevada itself! Its amazing nightlife, shopping centres, casinos, restaurants, hotels and countless entertainment features mean there are always lots of things to do in Las Vegas. Enormous hotels and casinos line the Vegas Strip and form the classic view that so deeply appeals to visitors.

las vegas - the best place to visit in nevada
 
Many hotels offer some remarkable attractions like the volcano in Mirage, fountains at the Bellagio and an enormous shark tank inside the Golden Nugget. Make sure to visit Fremont Street in the evening to enjoy the canopy of LED Lights and the light show. While Vegas can be as expensive if you are attending top-class shows or gambling to excess,  it can also be remarkably modest in pricing. On average, the city and its hotels can be cheaper than other major American cities like Los Angeles or New York – just set a budget for the casinos!

Read: The Absolute Guide to Vegas

Search hotels in Las Vegas
 

 

 

2. Lake Tahoe

Sparkling blue water and spectacular hiking trails make the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe one of the best places to visit in Nevada. The 22-mile long Lake Tahoe is located in the Sierra Nevada mountains at the border of California and Nevada. Several campgrounds dot the area and those who love the outdoors can enjoy the beauty of the lake and its surroundings. Hiking trails in the area are suited for experts as well as beginner hikers, but for those who prefer to relax, there are many hotels options to choose from in the towns that surround the lake.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Search Lake Tahoe Hotels
 

 

 

3. Reno

Driving to Reno from Lake Tahoe takes less than an hour. This is the second-largest city in Nevada and titles itself as “The biggest little city in the world.” The city is a popular destination for tourists from San Francisco. Situated at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the city is well-known for its casinos, night-life, and marvellous buffets. Overall, it is a well-developed city and you will  find plenty of things to do in Reno, including the National Automobile Museum.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Reno is enjoyable , but in some ways it can seem like a watered-down version of Las Vegas. That is perhaps not a kind or flattering description, but several tourists do feel that way. My suggestion would be to combine Lake Tahoe and Reno into your visit. Enjoy the calm of the lake during the day and then drive on to Reno for fun in the evening.

Search hotels in Reno
 

 

 

4. Valley of Fire State Park

Many people say that the landscape of the Valley of Fire State Park looks more akin to Mars than Earth. This unique, desert landscape is just 50 miles from Las Vegas and is unlike anything you would ever encounter at home. There are plenty of opportunities and locations for photography, and it is a Mecca for Instagrammers. Popular locations within
the park include Rainbow Vista and White Domes.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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5. Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Hoover Dam

Lake Mead is an artificial lake created by the construction of the Hoover Dam. The cool waters of this lake are a welcome reprieve from the warm climate of Nevada. This lake is amongst the largest artificial lakes in the USA. Marinas offer all kinds of water sports equipment for rent, including boats. If you enjoy kayaking, a good option is to paddle to the lake from the Colorado River.
 

 

 
The Hoover Dam and its bridge have made appearances in several Hollywood movies and the 726-feet high dam is a marvel of engineering. Tours of the Hoover Dam power plant are also available. The Hoover Dam less than an hour’s drive from Las Vegas and is definitely one of the best places to visit in Nevada.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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6. Black Rock Desert And Burning Man Festival

Black Rock Desert is a semi-arid conservation area in Northeast Nevada. It’s a tolerable place to visit for most part of the year but best visited during the Burning Man Festival, which happens every year towards the end of the summer. The desert turns into a temporary city that can house tens of thousands of people. Once the art and music festival that is Burning Man is over, the city is burned down…

 

 
 
 
 
 
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7. Great Basin National Park

Located near Nevada’s border with the state of Utah, the Great Basin National Park protects 80,000 acres of pristine natural beauty. The park offers some spectacular views and unique attractions. Notable amongst these are the groves of the ancient bristlecone pines, the oldest known non clonal organisms. The Lehman Caves and the towering Wheeler Peak are must-sees, with Wheeler Peak and Baker Creek Road offering some of the best scenic vistas.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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And don’t miss the Grand Canyon, Arizona

While the Grand Canyon is actually located in Arizona, it is so close to Nevada that you have to visit! One of the world’s seven natural wonders, it certainly deserves the title – and then some. Despite seeing countless images on social media, or photographs from friends who have visited, nothing will prepare you for the sheer size of it, or its immense beauty. It looks completely different at various times during the day, and there are so many areas to visit that you will only scratch the surface. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long x 18 miles wide so your hardest decision will be which spot to visit. Many say the South Rim offers the most dramatic views, as it is closest to the Colorado River, but the popular Sky Walk is located on the West Rim. Perhaps you could visit both? If possible visit at sunrise or sunset for most dramatic photographs.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Top Tip:

Keep in mind that Nevada has a dry climate, and is largely a desert. Keep sunscreen along wherever you go, and make it a point to drink lots of water.  Don’t let sunburn or dehydration run your holiday…

 

I hope you enjoyed this post on the best places to visit in Nevada. Please let us know if you visit by commenting below.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert
 

 

 

 
Travel

Super-Galactic Disney Orlando Offer: Free Star Wars MagicBand, Adults at Kids Prices, Free Fast Pass+ & Lots More!

Star Wars Attraction Tickets Direct2

Book tickets to Disney World Orlando now and get this super-galactic offer from AttractionTickets.com. Get adults tickets at kids prices, 14 days for the price of 7, free Disney Fast Pass+, free Memory Maker and an exclusive Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge MagicBand!

 

Imagine flying the Millennium Falcon to a galaxy far far away, joining the Resistance to battle against the First Order, and building a your own custom lightsaber and droid – these are all possible at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, an all-new land that is now open in Disney World Orlando. To celebrate, AttractionTickets.com, the theme park experts, have used the force to bring you this amazing Disney Orlando offer!

 

Not only will you get adult tickets at kids prices, 14 park days for the price of 7, FREE memory maker (worth $199) and FREE Fastpass+, but you will also get an exclusive Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge MagicBand with all Disney Florida bookings. And when I say exclusive, I mean it – this MagicBand is not available ANYWHERE else! Guests staying in Disney Hotels, or booking directly with Disney will not receive this band. You can not purchase this band at the Disney Parks – the only way to get one is by booking Disney Orlando tickets with AttractionTickets.com, before midnight on the 2nd of February.

 

So what exactly does this MagicBand do?

Say goodbye to paper tickets or cards. You won’t need to worry about loosing your park tickets, because you will be wearing them! With a simple touch, you can use your MagicBand to enter the Disney Parks (once park tickets are purchased). Your MagicBand also gives you FastPass+ access to all the experiences you’ve selected online, and you can use it to connect Disney PhotoPass images to your My Disney Experience account.

When you purchase a Disney Ultimate or Combo Ticket with AttractionTickets.com you will receive FREE memory maker. This allows you to keep and share all the photos taken of you on all the rides in Walt Disney World. With the MagicBand, these photos are automatically added to your My Disney Experience account. No waiting in line to find your photo amongst the hundreds captured on each ride. The MagicBand makes things easy, and having an exclusive Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge MagicBand will separate you from the crowd.

disney orlando offer

What other top attractions are in Walt Disney World?

The opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge reminded me of how much there is to see in Walt Disney World. The amount of times I have been asked “Is Walt Disney World just for younger kids?” To put it simply – it’s not! Some of Orlando’s best attractions are in Walt Disney World, such as Pandora – The World of Avatar, Space Mountain and Expedition Everest.

Walt Disney World has six different parks, including Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and two water parks. On top of this, Disney World offers children the chance to come face to face with their favourite Disney characters, see extraordinary parades and amazing firework displays. You may need to spend more at Walt Disney World than you think….

disney Orlando offer

When is this offer available?

AttractionTickets.com’s free Star Wars:Galaxy’s Edge MagicBand offer and Adults at Kids Prices offer are available with 2020 and 2021 tickets. And the icing on the cake? You only need to pay a €25 deposit before the 3rd February 2020 to secure your booking, with the balance payable six weeks before departure. 

disney orlando offer free star wars magic band

 

What are the best tickets to buy for Walt Disney World?

AttractionTickets.com are offering the FREE Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge MagicBand on eight different ticket options. I have listed my top three favourites below. All of these tickets include:

14 Day Ultimate Tickets for the price of 7: €469 for adults & children

This is the ultimate ticket for all Disney fans. You will have unlimited access to all six Disney theme parks – Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Blizzard Beach Water Park and Typhoon Lagoon Water Park for 14 consecutive days, as well as all this:

  • ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
  • Use of Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course
  • One round of mini golf each day of your 14-day Ultimate Ticket at either Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf Course or Disney’s Winter Summerland Mini Golf Course
  • Unlimited use of the Disney transportation system.

disney orlando offer

 

View offer here

 

14 Day Disney & Universal Combo Ticket: €792 for adults & children

Torn between Star Wars and Harry Potter? Visit them both with this Disney and Universal Combo ticket. You will have unlimited access to all six Disney parks – Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Blizzard Beach Water Park for up to 14 consecutive days, and unlimited access to all three Universal Orlando Resort theme parks – Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Universal’s Volcano Bay – plus select live entertainment venues of Universal CityWalk for up to 14 consecutive days.

universal orlando offer

View offer here

 

14 Day Orlando Freedom Ticket: €919 for adults & children

Do you get FOMO? Do you want to see every park in Orlando? Well this ticket will certainly help! Not only have you access to all Disney and Universal Parks but you also have access to SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens – with free parking. If you are worried you won’t be able to fit them all in, you can even visit two parks on the same day!

seaworld

 

View offer here

 

And AttractionTickets.com give you even more…..

I love that AttractionTickets.com give you extra happiness too. As well as offering super service, they send you real park tickets (not vouchers) so there is no queueing when you arrive – just sail through the entrance doors. They also give you all this when you purchase a Disney Orlando ticket:

  • Free Disney autograph book with all child tickets. 
  • Free Planet Hollywood Orlando $10 voucher plus VIP priority seating per booking 
  • Free Dollar Off Drinks cards with every Orlando
  • Free VIP Shop & Dine 4 Less card Gold 

 

Love Walt Disney World? Why not Stay in a Disney Hotel?

The only thing better than telling your kids you are going to Walt Disney World in Florida, is telling them you are staying there. Imagine feeling the Disney Magic 24/7, enjoying Disney’s movies under the stars from your hotel swimming pool, with the added bonus of easy access to Disney’s parks and nightlife options. By staying at a Disney hotel you also receive Disney Magical Hours which offers early admission to the park before anyone else and Disney’s Magical Express which gives free transportation to and from the parks and the airport.

tickets to disney world orlando

AttractionTickets.com are currently offering up to four nights free when you book a two week stay in selected Disney Hotels. You can secure a booking with €100 deposit and amend or cancel your dates free of charge. With prices from €60 per room per night, a holiday at Walt Disney World Resort might be a lot less than you think…

See more here
 

 

Remember AttractionTickets.com are the theme park experts, so if you still can’t decide which ticket to buy – talk to their expert staff in their Irish based office, they have first hand knowledge of Orlando’s theme parks and will recommend the right attractions to suit you and your children.

attractiontickets.com

AttractionTickets.com are open from 9am-9pm seven days a week and you can reach them on 1800 927 467.

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This Disney Orlando offer was sponsored by AttractionTickets.com but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 
Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 21st January 2020

best travel deals

In this week’s Best Travel Deals I have a wellness break in the Algarve, a family holiday to Salou, a three-night Greek Islands cruise, summer sun in Croatia, amazing city break deals, luxury for less in Malaysia and a New Year in Lisbon.

 

Best last minute:

Treat yourself to a wellness weekend break in the Algarve at the start of February. Spend three nights at the 5-star Grand Real Santa Eulalia for just €251 – and that includes flights! Complete with a spa and wellness centre, this is the perfect choice for a winter break. I found this super deal departing Friday the 7th of February but many more dates are available. 

View offer here

 

Missed last week’s Best Travel Deals? See them here.
 

 

 

Best city break:

Want to plan a few trips abroad this year? With these 10 city breaks for €199 or less, you can do just that. All deals include flights and highly rated hotels for three nights. 

See more here
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

I have had a few requests for 10/11 day holidays, so I did some searching and came up with this great deal to Salou. Enjoy an 11-night stay in the 4-star H10 Mediterranean Village, departing 7th August for just €2514, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. This is one of the most popular family apartments in Salou and receives excellent reviews on TripAdvisor. Price includes flights, accommodation, transfers, checked baggage and a €125 saving when you use the promo code SAVE125.

View offer here

 

Read: My family holiday in Salou
 

 

 

Best summer sun:

Cavtat in Croatia is one of my favourite destinations for a summer break. I loved the laid back atmosphere and the great restaurants, and also its proximity to Dubrovnik and Montenegro. The centrally located Hotel Cavtat is the most popular hotel to stay in, and it is usually booked out. However, I found a deal departing on the 26th of August for seven nights for just €536. Price includes flights and hotel with breakfast for one week. Check out the reviews on TripAdvisor if you still need convincing. 

View flights here €131pp

View hotel here €405pp

Read: My holiday visiting in Croatia and Montenegro
 

 

 

Best cruise:

This is the perfect taster cruise for anyone who is new to cruise, or for anyone (like me) with Santorini and Mykonos on their bucket list. Enjoy a three-night all-inclusive cruise visiting the Greek Islands of Mykonos, Patmos, Crete and Santorini, with a two-night stay in Athens for just €1069! Price includes flights, all meals, drinks and gratuities, departing 23rd July.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best long haul offer:

Pangkor Laut Resort has to be one of the best luxurious places to stay in Malaysia. Located on its own private island, surrounded by some of the world’s oldest rainforests, this is a resort like no other. Expect luxury, natural beauty and plenty of relaxation. I found an amazing deal for just €1099 including flights, transfers and a seven-night stay. I have seen this resort advertised at over twice this price, it really is an amazing deal for such a world-class resort.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best staycation:

Have you seen the new video from Sligo Tourism? It is bound to make you want to visit. I found a great deal to the 4-star Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa for just €89 per couple until the end of March, or €99 until the end of June! This price includes an overnight stay for two with breakfast, spa and dining credit and a late check-out. Two-night stays also available. 

View offer here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

Psst… Lisbon flights are on sale already for New Year! I’m tempted to book this myself. Price for flights and a three night stay in the 5-star Corinthia Palace Hotel is only €273, departing the 29th of December. Highly rated on TripAdvisor and with a wellness centre and pool onsite – can you think of a better bargain for New Year? #StealOfTheWeek

View flights here  €113pp

View hotel here €160pp
 
Want to stay somewhere else? Check out guide to Lisbon Hotels 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.

Missed last week’s Best Travel Deals? See them here.

 

Sarah

travel deals
 

 

 

 
Holidays in Ireland

17 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Ireland

Ireland is often said to be the land of a thousand welcomes, and we would like to think that to be true. However, there are some things that you should know before visiting Ireland, to help you appreciate that welcome all the more.

 

Driving on the opposite side of the road in ireland

1. We drive on the other side of the road.

When visiting Ireland, I always recommend renting a car – there is so much to see, especially in the countryside. When exiting the airport, there are plenty of signs to let you know that we drive on the other/wrong/right/correct side of the road. In a nutshell, be careful  We mostly drive manual (or stick),  so if you want an automatic make sure and ask at the rental desk – otherwise you will be crunching the gears and grinding the clutch as you meander the country.

All you need to do is forget everything you have ever known about driving in the US and reverse it, then you’ll be fine! It’s easier said than done though…

The Travel Expert Irish beer

2. Our most popular beer is black (not green)!

We do like our beer. Oh and we like spirits too. In general there is a stereotypical persona that Irish people are heavy drinkers. That, perhaps, is a little unfair, but we do put whiskey in our (Irish) coffee. Suffice to say that Guinness is a very popular beer (not beer, its stout!) in Ireland but it is an acquired taste. It tastes best in Ireland too. That sounds a little twee but they do say that Guinness doesn’t travel well. So try a pint and see what you think.

Guinness is like no beer that you are used to, but it does look as good as it tastes. The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, is the number one visitor attraction in the country so you will probably end up there at some if visiting Ireland. It is worth a visit and best to finish the tour with a drink in the gravity bar  – the views over the city of Dublin are terrific.

We also have micro breweries distilling all sorts of fine Irish whiskey too. Lots are sold in the many pubs around the country, so be sure and try one. And on whiskey, across the river from the Guinness StoreHouse you’ll find the Jameson Distillery  on Bow Street – this is also worth a visit.

newgrange

3. Our country is old, like really old!

There is no denying. this little island has been around a very very long time. The earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BCE (12,500 years ago). The island was Christianised from the 5th century onward.

From the 9th century, small numbers of Vikings settled in Ireland, becoming the Norse-Gaels. Anglo-Normans conquered parts of Ireland in the 12th century, while England’s 16th/17th-century (re)conquest and colonisation of Ireland brought many English and Lowland Scots people to parts of the island, especially the north. So it’s a bit of a mixed bag really. Suffice to say we’ve been here a long time.

To put those timelines in perspective, the Vikings came from the north and in the 800’s AD. Contrast that with the fact that the USA would still be waiting another seven hundred years to be discovered. 

As a result the country is steeped in history and mystery. All waiting to be discovered by you.

Irish talk a lot

4. We say one thing but might mean another.

When visiting Ireland, you will definitely hear someone say ‘crack’ is shape or form. Don’t panic! It is not addictive drugs being discussed. It is actually ‘fun’ we speak of, and its spelt ‘craic’ by the way. So ‘what’s the craic?’ is ‘whats going on?’ or ‘what’s the story?’ – Just let them know your ‘grand‘ (another way of saying good!).

As well as meaning “fine”, or just “okay”, “grand” can also mean substantial and pleasant, however, such as “grand stretch”, noting the brightness of an evening.

You will encounter a smattering of the Irish language as you tour the island, especially down south and in the west of the country. that said, you might come across it anywhere. Phrases such as ‘beal bocht’ (pronounced bail buckd) means the poor mouth or moaning as in, ‘Ah, he’s always got the beal bocht!’ – he’s always moaning.

Here is a few more Irish sayings to help you along:

  • Gaff – slang for “house”
  • Nixer – is a side job or side hustle, more than likely paid for in cash, so the taxman never gets sight of it.
  • Going on “the sesh” – going drinking
  • Mar Dhea (pronounce  mar ya) – sceptical Irish term, essentially meaning “yeah, right” or “as if”
  • Jacks – toilet
  • Eejit – idiot
  • Sleeveen – sly person.
  • Dose – An awful dose of an illness, as in a large measurement of something, but that can lead to having a bad dose itself, which in term can lead to someone else having an awful dose.
  • ‘I will, yeah’ – I won’t
  • A guy is ‘your man’ – A guy walks into a bar / your man walks into a bar.
  • Pants are underwear – not trousers
  • We don’t say ‘Top of the morning’

There is loads more and probably too many to mention but you’ll figure it out and return home with a few words yourself, you never knew.

5. Our concept of distances is flawed.

When you stop along the road and ask for directions, be wary! The Irish have a rare sense of distance and you might find yourself more confused than before you asked. Phrases such as ‘just down the road’ and ‘not far’ are fraught with danger, to the point where the concept of the ‘country mile’ was found.

A country mile is not like a regular mile, and how far it is has never been exactly determined. So when asking for directions and someone says that ‘its just around the bend…’ it probably isn’t.

Also worth noting that locals expect you to know the area and may describe directions in terms of being ‘just passed Sean’s house, or take a right and when you get to Murphy’s farm, its just passed there and not far really’.

6. We are very friendly and open and always happy to help.

Ireland hasn’t been badged with the name ‘Land of a thousand welcomes’ for nothing. If you find yourself lost or stuck somewhere, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are a friendly bunch for the most part. Always open to having a chat and interested in you. So don’t be afraid of strangers asking you all about yourself. We are genuinely interested.

7. For the most part, private citizens don’t own firearms.

We have a simple rule for the most part; ‘Only Bad Guys Have Guns’. Even our police force don’t carry guns. No good guys have guns. Well except for maybe a farmer who has a licensed shot gun, or the enthusiast who goes hunting birds, but these are all rifles – there are NO handguns in the hands of law abiding citizens…we just don’t have them.

In the unlikely event that you come across a person with a handgun you are (i) very unfortunate, (ii) in the wrong place at the wrong time, (iii) involved with bad people or (iv) you are a criminal consorting with criminals.

SO in a nutshell, if someone has a handgun they are probably a criminal. If you are lucky, they could a member of the special branch of An Garda Siochana (thats what we call the Irish police force). Regardless of who they are, get yourself away from them. It’s unlikely to be a terrorist, we don’t have many of those.

guinness store house is the top attraction if visiting ireland

8. We have lots of things to see if you are visiting Ireland.

There are a lot of things to do and see on this small island. Dublin City is very compact, born from a viking settlement thousands of years ago, and is quite easy to navigate on foot. However, as I mentioned earlier I would recommend hiring a car if visiting Ireland and exploring some of our superb coastline. 

The Wild Atlantic Way is one of the world’s best coastal drives, although the people of Kerry will argue that the Ring of Kerry drive is too. I am a big fan of the Causeway Coast,  not only is the drive spectacular, but with the Giants Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and all the Game of Thrones filming locations – you might need longer there than you think.

Read: A magical few days on the Causeway Coast.

Killarney is another town that should be on your list if visiting Ireland, and the Munster Vales has some top class attractions including the Waterford Greenway.

Read: Top Things to do in the Munster Vales.

I could go on but your holiday would have come and gone if I was to tell you all you need to see in Ireland. Best grab a lonely planet or check out some more of our holidays in Ireland here.

Read: Ireland’s top Instagram locations

traffic chaos in ireland

9. There is not that many of us, but traffic can be bad.

There are quite a few cars in Ireland and not the best infrastructure, especially in a cities. This is primarily due to the fact that the cities grew from towns and villages and spread out.

Most of the roads hark back to ancient times and have been ‘upgraded’ from then. So expect narrow streets and traffic. It is probably best to explore on foot where possible, and if you must drive from location to location, have a leisurely breakfast, avoiding peak rush hour traffic times, and then set off to your next destination. It will save a lot of frustration.

Having said that, Ireland is not a big country and you will get to most destinations in under four hours. In fact you can drive from the most northernly point of Ireland which is Malin Head in county Donegal, to the most southerly point of Ireland which is Mizen Head in County Cork, in eight hours according to Google maps – but you will have to stop for tea!  

Just bear in mind that Dublin’s own ring road, the M50, is similar to LA freeways at peak traffic times – then you’ll be just fine!

Irish music session - a must see if visiting Ireland

10. We do like a good ‘session’.

Irish pubs are the best in the world, FACT! That’s why we even export them with ‘craic’ enclosed.

In almost every major city in the world from Dubai to the streets of Manhattan, you will eventually stumble upon an Irish bar. But the best ones are still homegrown. We like to think our beer/stout (Guinness) is superior and we like to think that our Jameson Irish Whiskey is the best in the world. But one thing is for sure, we absolutely love our pubs. When visiting Ireland, I have no doubt that once you walk into any pub, you will be greeted with warmth.

‘Its like coming home’ someone once said. There are big ones and small ones, city pubs and country pubs, and there is one if not more in every town. 

If you get out of the city and find yourself in a small village in the evening, you will inevitably come across two lads (or ladies) in a corner of the pub with a banjo in hand. Beside him will be a lad with a fiddle and usually to finish the threesome, a guitar player.

Here they will play late into the night, doing so for a few pints to keep the throat from becoming dry. You will hear a nations history told in song with songs about rebels, war, emigration and long lost love. So find a country pub in the evening. Order a pint and a small one (pint of Guinness and a glass of whiskey) and enjoy songs and stories until the small hours.

You might even get locked in. Don’t worry, thats a good thing! Ask anyone.

potatoes

11. We eat potatoes with (almost) everything.

What rice is to Asia, potatoes are to the Irish. Roasted, boiled, fried or baked, potatoes are served pretty much with everything, sometimes even breakfast.

Our love of the humble spud probably harks back to famine times, when we had none! In the Great Famine or Great Hunger between 1845 and 1849, Ireland suffered from mass starvation and disease. This dark time in Irelands history saw a million people die and another million people emigrate. The famine came about from crop failure caused by potato blight.

As a result, when the crop righted itself and potatoes became plentiful again, we couldn’t get enough of them, and that has continued through the centuries. So prepare yourself for a carbs overload when visiting Ireland.

12. We speak very quickly. It is English but accents might confuse you!

There is no denying it, Irish people speak quite fast. When you combine that with an Irish accent, especially from the north, south, or west of the country, you might find yourself at a bit of a loss interpreting what we say. Don’t be afraid to ask us to slow it down a bit. We know that we speak English, but we also know that we speak in what might seem like a foreign language.

So when you find yourself sitting in a bar, hotel or coffee shop in Kerry, beside a local gentleman with a peaked cap, rest assured it will be a colourful albeit ‘hard to understand’ conversation.

I’m sorry to say that you will more than likely have the same problem in across all Irish counties. My advice, just roll with it. It may seem that they are speaking in Irish to you, but believe me its probably English. 🙂

Weather in Ireland

13. Our climate is odd. It rains a lot and is often cold, even in summer.

It really doesn’t matter when you come here, its cold. I don’t mean ‘Iceland in winter’ cold but temperatures rarely exceed 30 degrees celsius. Thats right, we use the Celsius method to measure temperature not fahrenheit. And when I say 30 degrees celsius being the temperature, that it is very rare occurrence!

Ireland’s hottest ever temperature recorded is 33.3 celsius (92 degrees farrenheit) and that was way back in June 1887. So if traveling to Ireland during the summer, it is best to err on the side of caution and pack a sweatshirt and a raincoat into your suitcase, because chances are you will find it cold, and will experience a soft day otherwise known as a rainy one!

Tipping and gratuities in ireland

14. Tipping is not obligatory anywhere.

In Ireland, it is not obligatory to leave a tip. It is a nice thing to do but, rest assured, it is not compulsory from any service provider in Ireland. Whilst it is a nice thing to do in restaurants and bars, staff in those establishments will not chase after you if you just pay the bill and leave. They might not like it, but will accept it.

The idea of a minimum gratuity of ten or twenty percent is not necessary either. A tip of 10% is probably the average amount left in restaurants, assuming you are happy with the food and service. However in bars, if you do decide to leave a tip – the balance of change is fine. So if you buy a pint and it costs €4.80 the balance of 20c is fine. Small but grand.

handy to know irish sayings when visiting Ireland

15. Gas is petrol, Fries are chips!

French fries are chips. Chips are crisps. Trash is rubbish. I know it’s confusing but thats just the way we speak. You will get the hang of it, and even if you don’t, we know what you mean because Americans have been coming to Ireland for many years and we all watch American TV. 

You might get a little bit of harmless ‘slagging’ (banter) about it but no harm is meant. We tend to have make fun of people as a national way of saying we like you. If you have a self deprecating response, we’ll love you all the more.

16. Crack is a totally different thing to what you think it is.

This is a serious one – well kind of! We know that around the world, crack usually means crack cocaine. Paradoxically here in Ireland, all we want is the ‘craic’. 

On arrival to Ireland, almost every single person visiting Ireland will not know what the ‘craic’ is, but I guarantee you, by the time you are returning home, you will have had the ‘craic’, want more ‘craic’ and understand why every single Irish person everywhere in the world enjoys the ‘craic’. Strange? Yes, absolutely but you’ll know it when you feel it. This might seem crazy but if you have a look at the video above, things might become a little clearer. 

 

You belong in Ireland

17. You will feel like you belong.

No matter where you visit you will receive a warm and friendly welcome. We want you to experience our country and all that it has to offer. Forget about the rain if you experience it (and you probably will), shake off the jet lag.

Walk our narrow winding streets, rent one of our strangely small but economical cars with the steering wheel on the other side and take off on the roads of Ireland.

Travel north, south, east or west and you will experience scenery, fun and craic, warmth and hospitality that we are so proud of. You will take home stories to friends and family that we hope will see you coming back or them travelling for the first time. There is always a céad mile failte (one thousands welcomes in the Irish language) waiting around every corner for you.

 

I thought I’d try my hand at writing on Sarah’s blog and see how I’d get on. I hope you like my twist on our fair nation and it helps you when visiting Ireland. I might even see you for a pint…..

 

Cormac

 

Travel

Halloween Break in Salou: Flights, 4-Star Hotel Half Board & Tickets to PortAventura, 2ad & 2ch €1074!

portaventura

Check out this great deal to spend four nights over Halloween Break in Salou, staying at the 4-star Dorada Palace Hotel, with breakfast and evening meal included, as well as 2 day passes to PortAventura & Ferrari Land.

 

The October mid term break is a great time for a family break away. Salou is a great choice because there is so much to do there. You can choose to relax on the beach if you get great weather, take day-trips to the nearby cities of Barcelona and Tarragona or spend a day or more at PortAventura – one of Europe’s largest theme parks. I included tickets to PortAventura and Ferrari Land in this Halloween break in Salou, because I went there with my kids and we loved it. There are rides for kids of all ages and Halloween activities will be arranged at this time too. 

halloween break in salou

Read: 10 reasons to visit PortAventura

Read: The best tickets to buy for Port Aventura
 

 

 

 
I found a great deal staying in the 4-star Dorada Palace Hotel. Located close to the beach and PortAventura, it is not surprising it is one of the most popular family complexes in Salou. There are many different room types available, including family hotel rooms and larger apartments. Regardless of which room you choose, breakfast is always included. The deal I found happens to include evening meals too, so it is a steal at €79 per room per night – with free amendments until a week before departure.
 
family holiday in salou for halloween  
 

 

 
Reus airport is closer to Salou than Barcelona so but the last direct flight from Dublin is Saturday the 24th of October. I suggest flying into Reus and availing of the shorter transfer and returning from Barcelona. I have selected four nights in this deal so you can be home for Halloween night – something my kids always want to do! You can however select whatever dates suit you best, simply edit the search on the links below.
 

 

 
Top Tip: When searching hotel options on the link below, notice how much the prices vary with different suppliers. At the time of issue the best value, which includes breakfast and evening meal is €79 per night. You can secure this rate with a €20 deposit and amendments are free before the 18th of October.

halloween break in salou
 

 

 
View Outbound here Dublin Reus€86pp

View Return here Barcelona Dublin – €45pp

View accommodation here €79 per night, half-board = €316

View PortAvenutura tickets Adult €62, Child €55

View transfers here
 

 

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

 

Sarah

travel deals

 

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