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3 months ago

Holidays in IrelandTravel Tips

11 Staycation Tips For Holidaying in Ireland During Covid-19

Sarah Mount Juliet Garden Room (1)

Holidaying in Ireland during Covid-19? Check out my top staycation tips to help you make the most of your break away.

 

 

I’ve been fortunate to enjoy two staycations over the last month, one to Kilkenny and the other to Mayo. I was really surprised at how easily I adapted to holidaying in Ireland during Covid-19. I recall the first few hours fixating on who was wearing masks, whether there was the appropriate social distancing in place, and how long I would have to enjoy my meal… The funny thing is this uneasy feeling only lasted a few hours. In no time we were enjoying fantastic experiences, delicious food and luxurious crisp cotton sheets – I was on my holidays! 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I had a great experience on both trips, although both hotels had different Covid policies. With most hotels and restaurants trying to follow the new government guidelines during Covid-19, there are some things that you should be aware of. I learned lots of staycation tips and tricks along the way and thought I would share them with you.

 

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1. Check the hotels Covid-19 policy

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Before you book any hotel, apartment or Airbnb, check their Covid-19 policy. You should find this on their website, but if not, call the hotel to confirm. You should be able to find out if the hotel is operating all of their usual facilities, or if there are restrictions in place. Some spa treatments, kids clubs and live music shows may not be available, but there may be substitutions put in place.
 

 

 
If you are concerned about social distancing you can find out if the hotel bar / restaurant has 1 or 2 metre social distancing in place, and if they have restrictions on meal times. The guidelines for re-opening of hotels state that if a restaurant has 2 metre social distancing in place that they do not have to adhere to the 105 minute rule for meal times. However, in many cases if hotels enforce 2 metre social distancing, tables have to be removed. This means that they will have to allot specific meal times to allow for more sittings. 
 

 

 
The guidelines with regards to face coverings is that they are only recommended in situations where it is difficult to practice physical distancing. This means that while most restaurant and bar staff will wear face coverings, other staff may not. I visited two hotels in Kilkenny, one had face coverings, the other did not. If this is an issue that concerns you, check with the hotel you are booking to find out what their policy is.
 

 

 

2. Book a room with free cancellation

Marlfield House

Luckily most hotels have relaxed their cancellation policies, and non-refundable rooms are not as prevalent as they were before Covid-19 emerged. It may transpire that some facilities that you were looking forward to, have to be withdrawn at the last minute, or perhaps you have to cancel for personal reasons, either way having a free or small cancellation fee can give piece of mind.
 

 

 

3. Don’t forget Ireland’s hidden heartlands 

The Vee Drive Munster Vales

Ireland’s coastal towns are without a doubt the top choice for staycations this summer. However, not only is availability hard to come by, but prices are much higher in popular beach towns than they are in the midlands.

When we think of summer holidays we tend to think of swimming and water sports, but remember we have plenty of great lakes where you can enjoy an Irish swim. Towns like Athlone, Boyle and Drumshanbo provide great water-based activities at a fraction of the cost of our beach towns. Another bonus – SUPing or kayaking is a lot easier on a lake than in the sea…. 
 

 

 
Tipperary and Kilkenny should not be overlooked either. The Suir Blueway in Tipperary is a 53km kayaking and canoe trail and a 21km walking and cycling trail along the River Suir. You can also visit places like Cahir Castle and Swiss Cottage (below).

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Read: Top things to do in the Munster Vales

Kilkenny is another favourite city of mine. It is packed with experiences for everyone to enjoy and has a great food scene. You can go SUPing in Graiguenamanagh, get lost in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle, try falconry in one of its luxury 5-star hotels, or feel the buzz as you go down the longest zipline in Ireland.

Read: My review of Mount Juliet, Kilkenny

Read: Top things to do in Kilkenny with kids

 

 
 
 
 
 
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4. Contact the hotel 48 hours before arrival 

Lough Erne Resort

Most hotels will contact you by email 48 hours before arrival, listing their Covid-19 policies. This may include advice on pre-booking breakfast, swimming pool slots and spa treatments, as well as some staycation tips. This correspondence should also tell you about their turndown service and housekeeping policies.
 

 

 
However, if you have booked through an intermediary, such as Booking.com or Trivago, they may not have passed on your contact details and therefore you may not receive an email. I suggest calling the hotel 48 hours before arrival if you haven’t received any correspondence, so you can be fully informed before arrival.
 

 

 

5. Prebook everything and plan for early nights!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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It is vital to pre-book evening meals and top attractions in advance. Most have restricted numbers, so if you are staying in a busy town or city you may find it difficult to get a booking. It is also important to pre-book breakfast times, swimming pool slots and spa treatments, as numbers will likely be restricted in hotels too.
 

 

 
I recommend booking a late sitting for dinner. Hopefully you wont be asked to leave after 105 minutes, assuming the hotel has the correct social distancing in place. I also recommend booking off-peak times for breakfast if you are in any way nervous about being in a busy dining room. 9am – 10am is usually the busiest time, so why not pre-book 830 or 845am instead?
 

 

 
You may find that bars will close earlier than usual, or that you will be restricted to the 105 time limit – this means you may be back in your hotel room earlier than anticipated. Bring cards, board games, a good book, or download movies from Netflix before you leave home. Check out local restaurants that offer delivery service too. Many top restaurants are offering take away or delivery service now (not just pizza or Chinese). It might be nice to enjoy a relaxing night in with a bottle of wine during your staycation.
 

 

 

6. Ask at check-in about room cleaning and fresh towels

staycation tips - ask if you want your bed made
Trident Hotel, Kinsale

Most hotels have a policy of limiting the amount of time staff will spend in your room. This means that unless you ask for fresh towels or your bed to be made, it probably won’t happen. This should be listed in the hotel email that you receive before arrival, however this is something that you should confirm at check-in too. If you would like your bed made and fresh towels every day – just ask.
 

 

 

7. Visit top attractions and beaches during off peak times

 

 
 
 
 
 
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We are living in a country where it rains most of the year, so you can assume if the weather is good the beaches will be busy – especially the best beaches! I suggest getting up early and going to the beach first thing in the morning. We did this when we visited Achill recently and it worked a treat. We got a parking spot right beside Keem beach and had no issues with traffic. Our hotel Manager told us that if we left an hour later the journey would have taken us twice as long, and we would have to park about a twenty minute walk away from the beach. 

The same applies to top attractions – go early before 10am, or late in the afternoon, after 4pm. There will be less crowds, you will have much more enjoyable experience – and get much better photos!
 

 

 

8. Be prepared for an Irish summer

staycation tips - bring your own wetsuit for outdoor activities

Unfortunately you will have to swap the Mediterranean Sea for the Irish Sea this year, but as the old saying goes, “There’s no such thing as bad weatheronly unsuitable clothing.” ― Alfred Wainwright.”  These are not just staycation tips, they are advised for any road trip in Ireland: Put towels, rain jackets and a spare change of clothes and shoes in the boot of the car – and don’t forget your umbrella!
 

 

 
Buy wetsuits and surf shoes before you travel. Most outdoor adventure companies will have wetsuits for rent, but it is more practical (and better value) to bring your own, especially if you are swimming in the sea and not partaking in any of the paid activities. Kayaks, SUP boards, bikes, bike racks and tents are also part and parcel of holidaying in Ireland now. So why not invest in some outdoorsy equipment before you take off on your staycation? 
 

 

 

9. Use Google Maps – for more than just directions

staycation tips

Did you know that within Google Maps you can find secret scenic spots recommended by local guides, or find out where to enjoy the best views over lunch? You can even find out what the most popular dish is in a restaurant! I love that you can create and share lists with friends of top places you want to visit, and how you can add your favourite attractions or restaurants individually.
 

 

 
If you are planning a staycation, it is vital you install Google Maps on your phone. You can also download maps offline before you travel so you don’t need to use your data, or worry about poor network coverage in Ireland’s country villages. Google Maps will even find out where you parked your car!

Read: 7 Google Maps tips to help you plan the perfect staycation.
 

 

 

10. Take advantage of the government ‘Stay and Spend’ tax rebate scheme

staycation tips - take advantage of the government spend and save scheme

The government have announced a new ‘Stay and Spend’ incentive whereby you can reclaim 20% of money spent on accommodation, food and non-alcoholic drinks, up to a maximum of €125. If you spend €625 on accommodation from October 2020 to April 2021, you can claim back €125. If a couple spends €1250, they can claim back €250 between them. How we claim this refund has not been confirmed yet. There is talk of being able to do it via an app on your phone, but we are awaiting confirmation from government.
 

 

 

11. Relax and enjoy it!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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There is no doubt that staycations during Covid-19 will be a different experience to what we are used to. However, we have adapted remarkably to simple every day tasks like grocery shopping and getting our hair done, and we will adapt in the same way to holidaying in Ireland.
 

 

 
Remember, travelling, be it in Ireland or abroad, isn’t just about discovering new places. Travelling is also about switching off work, enjoying family time, and doing things you don’t do at home. Try not to fixate on the new restrictions, you will be surprised at how quickly you will adapt to holiday time! You will also find a new found love for our own country, I know I certainly did.
 

 

 
holidays in Ireland

 

I hope this post on staycation tips will help you plan your next break away. Note this post was published on 30th July 2020, travel advice and updates are changing on a daily basis. It is important to check with the hotel you are booking for individual policies. 

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

Travel

Collect Double Avios When You Shop Local

open welcome shop sign avios

As a reward for shopping local, you can now collect double Avios when you shop in store at Appleby and Kildare Village, or online via the AerClub eStore at Brown Thomas and Arnotts.

 

Summer is here and lock down is over, so I think we all deserve a little treat! However, it is vital that we try to shop locally and support Irish businesses as they re-open. I have been working with Avios for many years and I was delighted to see that they are rewarding their Irish customers by offering double Avios when you shop in stores at Kildare Village and Appleby, and online at Brown Thomas and Arnotts, before August 16th 2020.

collect Avios when you shop at Kildare Village

We all want something to look forward to, and having a nice pot of Avios to spend when we are back travelling again sounds good to me! Avios don’t expire as long as you collect or spend at least one Avios point every 36 months. As well paying for Aer Lingus flights, you can also use Avios to book hotels and car hire – read five ways to spend Avios here.

use Avios to book hotel stays in Ireland

 

So why not use this promotion to boost your Avios balance, by collecting double Avios when you shop local in these stores before August 16th? 

 

Collect 10 Avios for every €4 spent in Kildare Village

I am a regular visitor to Kildare Village but I haven’t been for months now, I am delighted that this Avios promotion will give me an excuse to go back – well that, and the fact that a brand new Jimmy Choo store has just opened! As well as saving up to 70% off retail prices, I also love the outdoor village atmosphere and the long opening hours. There some great dining options too, including Saba and Dunne and Crescenzi.

collect double avios when you shop at jimmy choo in kildare vilage

There are over 100 brands in Kildare Village including Ted Baker, Under Armour, Michael Kors, Superdry, Coach and Mint Velvet. I rarely leave without something for the kids too, the sports shops are superb and they even have school bags and shoes to get the kids ready to go back to school. You can pre-book your visit and secure a complimentary parking space, and check out the quiet times at the village here.

See more here

 

 

Collect 2 Avios for every €1 spent 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. You can book an appointment to ensure privacy and to avoid any social distancing issues in their store. Collect 2 Avios on purchases of all jewellery and watches from Appleby Jewellers in Johnson Court.

collect avios

See more here

 

 

Collect 8 Avios for every €1 spent online with Arnotts and Brown Thomas

Arnotts and Brown Thomas are household names, and I’m sure all of us at some stage has shopped in their iconic stores. However,  you can now search both stores from the comfort of your own home, and collect double Avios when you shop online via the AerClub eStore.

Brown Thomas’ summer sale is in full swing, with up to 60% off selected styles and 50% off selected home wear. You can also bag yourself 30% off a second pair of sunglasses, or treat yourself to a new Apple watch, Fitbit or the latest Charlotte Tilbury must-have. Brown Thomas also has some stylish homewear accessories, kitchen appliances and even BBQ’s.

collect avios when you shop at brown thomas

See more here

 

In the Arnotts summer sale you can enjoy reductions of up to 60% off across men’s, women’s and kids fashions, homewear, electrical and lots more. As well as top beauty, clothing and furniture brands, Arnotts is home to the iconic toy store FAO Schwarz, and also offers a wide selection of school uniforms. 

 

See more here

 

 

Why should I collect Avios?

For anyone who is not familiar with Avios, it is the travel reward currency of Aer Lingus’ AerClub and other international airlines. As an AerClub member, you can collect Avios with wide range of retail, travel and leisure partners, and then use these Avios to purchase flights, hotel stays or car hire.

When you shop online via the AerClub estore you can collect Avios in over 100 retailers. If you haven’t used the AerClub eStore yet, there has never been a better time to start, as AerClub members who haven’t shopped online via the eStore before will get 20% Bonus Avios on their first transaction.

collect avios when you shop online

 

Like this post? You might like:

My beginners guide to AerClub and why you should join

10 Ways To Collect Avios

5 Ways To Spend Avios 

Tips to boost your Avios balance

 

I hope this post helps you to collect double Avios when you shop local and support Irish businesses.  This post was sponsored by Avios but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

 
Travel Tips

7 Google Maps Tips To Help You Plan The Perfect Staycation

Google Maps (2) (1)

Create lists of must-see locations, get restaurant recommendations from locals, and make friends with your Google Assistant – let these Google Maps tips help you make the most out of your staycation this year. 

 
 
I was fortunate to travel to Majorca with Google last year, and I learned so much about the many features that are available through Google Maps. Did you know that you can find secret scenic spots recommended by local guides, or find out where to enjoy the best views over lunch? You can even find out what the most popular dish is in a restaurant! I love that you can create and share lists with friends of top places you want to visit, and how you can add your favourite attractions or restaurants individually. I have found some of these Google Maps tips invaluable on my travels, so I thought I would share them with you.
 
 
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1. Create your own lists of restaurants or attractions that you want to visit

google maps tips to help with travel

There are so many people posting about staycations right now, and social media is full of great beach and restaurant recommendations – unfortunately we will probably forget about them by the time we get to visit! However, did you know you can create lists in the Google Maps app? If there is a restaurant or attraction you want to visit later in the year, why not add it to your favourites list now, so you won’t forget it the next time you are in the area.
 

 

 
You can save these lists by county, restaurant or attraction. Once you look up the google map for that area it will automatically show up the place you have added to your list. You can also share these lists with friends and organise group lists if travelling with friends or extended family. This is one of my favourite Google Maps tips.

See more here 

 

 

 

 

2. Find Hidden Gems via Google Maps

use google maps to find hidden gems while on staycation

Want to see highlights that are off the beaten track? Google Maps has a separate ‘Explore’ tab where you can explore the best sights and events happening in a particular area. When you are searching for an attraction, you can also check the google reviews, see photos from fellow travellers, opening times, and even prices. You can also see activity options based on the area you’re looking at, such as food tours, festivals or popular scenic spots.

See more here

 

 

 

3. Use Google Assistant while driving

use google maps while driving

As well as an obvious safety measure, once you start using voice commands on Google Maps you will never go back to the hand held search method. All you need to say is: “Ok Google, find me the nearest petrol station”, “drive me to Main Street Kilkenny” or “find me the nearest restaurant”. You can also get the kids to stop asking you  “are we nearly there yet” – they can ask Google instead! 

See more here
 

 

 

4. Download the Google Map of your destination before you leave the house

download google map before you go on holiday to use offline

Google has had the ability to use maps offline for many years, but it is surprising how many people are still not aware of this great facility. Using maps offline means you don’t need WiFi, or need to be in an area with good network coverage, you don’t even need to use your precious data. Simply download the maps of the area you are travelling to before you leave, and use them offline when you get there. This is one of the most popular Google Maps tips and will work both at home or abroad.

See more here

 

 

 

5. Use Google Maps to plan meals

use google maps to find recommended restaurants

Unfortunately Covid-19 has put an end to just dropping into restaurants to see if a table is available. We need to pre-book most meals, especially when we are away. Google Maps can help you with that. You can find the best fish restaurant, top brunch spot, or find out what’s trending in a particular area, by using the ‘Explore’ tab. You can also filter by ‘good with kids’, ‘outdoor tables’ ‘sea views’ etc. Want to know what the most popular dish is in a particular restaurant? You can do that too, in Google’s popular dish feature.  

See more here 

 

 

 

6. Use Google Maps ‘Live View’ mode

google maps live view mode is great on holidays

I use to find it awkward using Google Maps when walking. I found myself turning my phone upside down, trying to figure out the correct way to go. Not anymore! With Google Maps new ‘Live View’ function, augmented reality (AR) will guide you in the right direction with arrows, directions and augmented sign posts. 

See more here

 

 

 

 

7. Remember where you parked

google maps tips - to help you find out where you parked your car

This is something that I must remember to use myself! If you have parked in a strange city, or even a multi-storey car park, trying to find your car is not always easy. By using the Google Maps parking location feature it will bring you back to where you parked. Simply tap the blue dot and then tap “save your parking” on Android or “set as parking location” on IOS to add your parking location to the map. Easy peasy!

See more here

 

 

 
I hope you enjoyed my Google Maps tips, and that they help you with your next staycations. If you like my travel tips, you can see more here.

 

Like this post? You might like my top travel apps that make travelling easy.

 

 

Sarah

 

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

Travel Tips

Multitrip.com Confirms Covid-19 Travel Insurance Cover For Green List Countries

shutterstock_travel-insurance-compressor

Multitrip.com have confirmed Covid-19 travel insurance cover for Green List countries. This will be added to new and existing policies.

 

The government has finally announced the list of Green List countries that will allow people travel to, without having to restrict their movements for 14 days on their return. The official travel advice to Green List countries has been relaxed to ‘normal precautions’, although the government are still asking us to holiday at home this year. The change in advice means that you can now obtain Covid-19 travel insurance cover to travel to Green List countries.

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Multitrip.com have confirmed that they will cover cancellation as a result of positive Covid-19 diagnosis and cover medical expenses abroad resulting from Covid-19. This will be added to new and existing policies.

The Green List of countries is as follows (22nd July 2020 ) and will be reviewed every two weeks:

Italy, Greece, Slovakia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Monaco, Gibraltar, Estonia, Greenland, Norway, Hungary, Finland, Malta, San Marino.

Read: Top tips for travelling during Covid-19

 

 

 

 

The new Covid-19 travel insurance benefits for cancellation include:

1. You, a travel companion or any person you have arranged to stay with during your trip receiving a diagnosis of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) within 14 days of the start of the trip or in the case of being admitted to hospital with a Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) diagnosis within 28 days of the start of the trip.
  
travel insurance cover for Covid-19

2. Your close relative or close business associate being admitted to hospital with a Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) diagnosis at the time of the trip.
 

 

 
The Multitrip.com policy will also cover medical expenses abroad relating to Covid-19 and this will extend to covering additional accommodation and transportation costs if required, providing the Department of Foreign Affairs advises it is safe to travel.
 
covid-19 travel insurance cover

 

Moratorium applies for 7 days after purchasing the policy

The policy will exclude claims arising within 7 days from the date you purchased this insurance or the time of booking any trip, whichever is the later, except where the insurance is purchased within 48 hours of booking the trip. Cover will not apply for persons who are required to self-isolate without a positive Covid-19 diagnosis.

View and Purchase Here
 

 

 
Ciaran Mulligan, Managing Director of Multitrip.com says, “We are delighted that the government/Department of foreign affairs has changed their advice following pressure from the insurance industry and have given clarity on travel advice for the green corridors list. Irish Holidaymakers can now travel with peace of mind knowing that they are covered by their travel insurance if they travel to the countries on the green list. We would also call on the government to review regions as well as countries when they are updating their list in the next two weeks”
 

 

 

Note: This post on Covid-19 travel insurance cover was published on 23rd July 2020. Travel advice and updates are changing on a daily basis. It is important to check with the company / airline / travel insurance provider you are booking with before taking any steps to cancel or travel abroad. 

 

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.
 

 

 

Like this post? You might also like:

 

Coronavirus: What travel insurance covers:

How to get a refund if your flight is cancelled

Why you need to add travel disruption cover to your travel insurance policy

 

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

Holidays in Ireland

Top Airbnb Glamping Sites in Ireland

glamping in Ireland with Airbnb

I’ve got tree houses, yurts, bell tents, gypsy caravans, a beach bungalow and a country cabin with a hot tub – I even found a medieval ringfort! There are some great Airbnb glamping sites in Ireland, check out my favourites below.

 

 

I have tried glamping a few times and loved it, but it important to note that Airbnb glamping sites in Ireland vary considerably. Glamping can mean anything from a bell tent or a yurt, to a tree house or eco-cabin. Some have private toilets, others are shared, some have hot tubs and private decking with BBQs, while others have single gas stoves… It is important to decide what you want from your glamping experience before you book it. Some glamping sites are more suited to couples, while others are more family orientated. With more extended families holidaying together, and the desire to stay in rather than go out, it is great to see that many of these glamping sites in Ireland can accommodate large groups too.

 

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I am an Airbnb Associate, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, so I searched the Airbnb website and found plenty of great Airbnb glamping sites in Ireland. I have chosen Airbnbs from all over Ireland, all with superhosts – who are experienced, highly rated hosts committed to providing great stays for guests.
 

 

 

1. The Swallow’s Return, Treehouse, Carlingford, Louth

Airbnb treehouse in Ireland

Fancy sleeping in your own heated treehouse? This fully insulated treehouse is perched seven feet in the air between two large sycamore trees. It has a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, bathroom with shower, and a separate bedroom. The treehouse is suitable for a couple or a small family, and the large trampoline and swings are popular with children.
 

 

 
There is a pub just 3 minutes walk from the treehouse and the lively town of Carlingford is just 2km away. The Cooley mountains are also close by which are ideal for hiking.

See more here
 

 

 

2. Traditional Mongolian Yurt, Cork

airbnb traditional yurt in Ireland

A traditional Mongolian yurt with a wood burning stove, outhouse toilet, and fresh eggs for breakfast – is this not the ultimate glamping experience? It is located close to the seaside town of Youghal, and just a few minutes drive from four of Cork’s beaches. This spacious brand new yurt can sleep up to six guests. 
 

See more here
 

 

 

3. Country Cabin with Private Hot Tub: Kinlough, Leitrim

Airbnb Glamping Sites in Ireland with hot tub

This two-bedroom cosy cabin in located in the peaceful Leitrim countryside, yet only a ten-minute drive from the lively coastal town of Bundoran and the Wild Atlantic Way. Enjoy an evening dip in the private hot tub, but watch out for the local wildlife, the native red deer may pay you a visit. This cabin is a pet-friendly Airbnb too!
 

See more here
 

 

 

4. Yurt & Art Truck in the Galtee Mountains, Limerick

Airbnb Glamping Sites in the Galtee Mountains, Ireland

This spacious yurt is located in the Galtee Mountains, which has an abundance of hiking and biking trails. It has two double beds so is suited for both couples or families. Bathrobes and towels are provided and breakfast is included in the cost. 
 

 

 
The same hosts also have a two-bedroomed Art Truck with a kitchen, bathroom, balcony, as well as an outside fire area with bbq and hot-tub. Breakfast is also supplied for the Art Truck.

See more here  Yurt

See more here Art Truck
 

 

 

5. The Long Strand Nest, Clonakilty, Cork

Airbnb digital detox cabin in Ireland

If you want to escape every day life and have a digital detox without Wifi or TV, then this is the place to do it. Overlooking Castlefreke’s beach is a bungalow that houses two identical apartments. They are let separately so they would suit couples or friends, ideally those who want to swim, surf or just enjoy listening to the ocean waves. The rustic design include birch branches as columns and recycled coloured tiles, however the homes are well insulated with wood-burning stoves and double glazing.
 

See more here  Cabin 1

See more here Cabin 2
 

 

 

6 . Ox Mountain Treehouse, Tobercurry, Sligo

Airbnb treehouse in Ireland

This two-bedroom tree house is located deep within the Ox mountains and is the ultimate nature lovers escape. Access is via an elevated boardwalk that happens to be wheelchair friendly too. The large patio area has outdoor hammocks, while the tree house can sleep a maximum of 5 guests, with a kitchenette and satellite TV inside. 
 

 

 
Located beside the Ox Mountain Adventure Camp, they can arrange archery or guided hill walks for you. It is only 8 miles from Tubbercurry, close to the Sligo Way walk, and a 15 minute drive to the Wild Atlantic Way – this is an excellent location to discover Ireland’s north west coast. 

See more here
 

 

 

7. Medieval Ringfort Stayover, National Heritage Park, Wexford

medieval ringfort, one of the most unique airbnbs in Ireland

I visited this medieval Ringfort while on a tour of the National Heritage Park in Wexford – I was amazed to learn that you can actually stay over night here! You will be staying inside The Farmers house and get to experience life as we know it 1500 years ago. You will have full access to the National Heritage Park during your stay, which is a superb not for profit attraction in its on right. You can explore the park after dark, dine by the outdoor fire, or why not pre-book a halk-walk? This has to be one of the most unique Airbnbs in Ireland.

Read: Things to do in Wexford with kids

See more here
 

 

 

8. Lookout Lodge, Near Westport, Mayo

Airbnb Glamping Sites in Mayo, Ireland

Lookout Lodge offers the best of both worlds. It is situated on its own half acre of woodland, yet only a short drive from Westport and the Mayo Greenway. There are two bedrooms so this would suit couples or a small family. The Glas Geal wood has benches and a hammock, as well as a fairy trail for children.

See more here 
 

 

 

9. Cosy Donegal Yurt, Donegal 

Airbnb Glamping yurt on the WIld Atlantic Way

If you are looking for a traditional glamping experience within easy access to the Wild Atlantic Way and Northern Ireland, then look no further than the Cosy Donegal Yurt. This yurt has a king size bed, carpeted floor and a solid fuel stove. A shower and toilet are located beside the yurt, as well as a small kitchen, private decking and BBQ area. This yurt is ideal for couples or a small family, and there is room in the garden if you want to pitch a tent for extra guests or children.  

See more here
 

 

 

10. Glamping Gypsy Caravan, Wicklow

Airbnb Glamping caravan in Ireland

Buttercup Avondale and Bluebell Clara, are glamping caravans located on a 100 acre farm in Wicklow. They the perfect place to get back to nature and camp in style. The colourful gypsy caravans are small so they are ideally suited to a couple or a small family. They are well equipped with a gas cooker and a picnic table with camp fire area. Showers, toilets and charging stations are available in the farmyard.

See more here Buttercup

See more here Bluebell
 

 

 

11. The Yurty Ahern Yurt with hot tub, Ballaghaderreen, Roscommon

Airbnb yurt in Ireland

This cosy Mongolian yurt is located on the Willowbrook Glamping and Hideaways camping site. With a river bank, a man made lake and access to a communal kitchen, toilet and shower, it offers all the benefits of a campsite but with added privacy. The yurt  has one double and 2 single beds, an oil filled electric heater and a roofed deck with a hot tub. It is located just five minutes drive from Ballaghaderreen where there are shops, bars and restaurants.

See more here
 

 

 

12. Restful Retreat Yurt & Tents, Foulkesmill, Wexford

Airbnb Glamping tents in Ireland

I love how Robert, this Airbnb host, points out “although this is considered as glamping, it is not the sterile version. You are immersed in nature. You make your own fire, may see animals and encounter bugs”. Restful retreat has two tents and a yurt, all let separately. Camp One is a Yurt, Camp Two is set in the Fairy Forest, while Camp Three is a more basic version. Tents are insulated and equipped with a small wood stove, fridge, single gas cooker, BBQ, solar lights, composting toilet and a lot more. An EV charge point is located a 5-10 minute walk away for overnight charging. 

See more here Camp 1 – Yurt

See more here  Camp 2 – Tent

See more here Camp 3 – Tent
 

 

 

13. Cosy Mongolian Yurt in Wicklow

Airbnb Glamping Sites in Ireland

This traditional Mongolian Yurt comes well equipped with a wood burning stove, kitchen, and bathroom with a hot power shower. It has two double futons and can sleep up to four guests. Located close to Wicklow National Park, Glendalough, and Wicklow’s glorious beaches, as well as being just an hour from Dublin, its location offers all the benefits of being close to nature with large towns and and beaches close by. 
 
See more here
 

 

 

14. Badgers Hill Low-Impact Chalet, Wexford

Airbnb eco cabins in Ireland

This two-bedroom eco-chalet offers creature comforts in a rural setting on a 14 acre farm in Wexford. It was built over two years using many recycled materials. A well equipped kitchen and wood-burning stove are provided and there is a dry compost toilet alongside the chalet. Showers are available in the main house.
 

 

 
You will find a small stream, a tree-house and swing set which is ideal for children, and you may meet the family dogs and even badgers too. Located just 7 km from Wexford Town and 15km from Curracloe beach, this is an ideal setting for a family glamping holiday in Ireland. 

See more here
 

 

 

15. Goleen Harbour Garden Bell Tent, Cork

Airbnb Glamping tents in Ireland

This large Bell Tent is ideal for a family break or a romantic getaway. It is traditional style camping rather than full on glamping experience, but with a few creature comforts thrown in. A double bed ( and two singles if required ) are supplied as well as a camping stove, crockery and cutlery, and there is a shower and compost toilet beside the tent.
 

 

 
Located within walking distance to Goleen harbour, where you will find a shop, pub and restaurant, and only a short drive from Crookhaven, Barleycove and Mizen Head, this is an ideal location to explore Cork’s beautiful coastline. 

See more here
 

 

 

16. The Hideout, Romantic Tree House in Co. Wexford

treehouse stay in Ireland

Are you looking for somewhere unique to stay in Ireland? This beautiful tree house should do the trick! Featured on RTÉ’s The Big DIY Challenge, this fully insulated tree house comes with a wood stove and multiple oversized windows, to catch the perfect sunset views. You can also stargaze through the skylight in the loft-style bedroom, and enjoy a BBQ on the outside deck. The house has all modern electrics, and the bathroom pod has a normal toilet and a large two-person shower.  

See more here
 

 

 

17. Glamping Party with Country Pub, Mayo

Airbnb Glamping Sites in Ireland for groups

This glamping village is the perfect place for groups of friends or extended families. All four pods have five beds so the village can sleep up to 20, and there is also a holiday home next door that can sleep up to 15. There is a camp fire, Scandinavian BBQ (seats 22 ) and a games room with pool table, fuseball and games for children too. WiFi is also available. Guests also have access to communal hot showers, toilets and a self-catering kitchen. This is one of the top Airbnb glamping sites in Ireland for groups.

See more here
 

 

 
I hope this post on Airbnb Glamping Sites in Ireland will help you plan a staycation soon. It is important to note that some of the facilities listed may not be operating to full capacity – please check with individual Airbnb owners for clarification. These homes were researched on the Airbnb website and when you make a booking, you do so via Airbnb. Note as I am an Airbnb Associate, I will receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.  Read more in my privacy policy.

 

 

Like this post? You might like:

Top picks for glamping in Ireland

Luxurious Airbnbs in Ireland near the beach

20 Hotels with lodges in Ireland

Best hotels in Ireland for luxury and romance 

 

 

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

Europe

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Malta

Malta Shutterstock

Malta is steeped in history and culture, home to one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, and is blessed with 300 days of sunshine. There are many reasons to visit Malta, check out my top 10.

 

For a small island in the Mediterranean, Malta sure packs a few punches. Its natural beauty can be seen in the many limestone cliffs, turquoise waters and hidden coves that are dotted around the island, and it is also home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Take a boat trip to the famous Blue Lagoon, go snorkelling in its crystal clear waters, or get lost in the colourful old streets of Valletta – here are my top 10 reasons to visit Malta.

 

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1. There are 3 islands to explore

sunset in Malta
Photo by Remi Yuan, Unsplash

Malta is actually made up of three islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino. While Malta is the largest of the islands and the most visited, the relatively unspoilt island of Gozo is popular for its peaceful way of life and stunning scenery. Comino is tiny, practically uninhabited, car-free, and home to the famous Blue Lagoon. And, all islands are easily accessible by boat.
 

 

 

2. Malta has an average of 300 days of sunshine

Malta has 300 days of sunshine - one of the many reasons to visit Malta

Malta’s location in the south Mediterranean ensures a year-round warm climate, with 300 days of sunshine. Average temperatures range from 16 degrees in January to 31 degrees in July and August, making it an ideal summer or winter holiday destination.
 

 

 

3. Malta has 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Historical cities in Malta
Photo by Jonas Thijs, Unsplash

There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malta, the City of Valletta, Megalithic Temples and the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum. With 320 historic monuments and a stunning natural harbour, no holiday to Malta would be complete without visiting its capital, Valletta. Built by the Knights of St. John, it is described as ‘one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world’ by UNESCO. 
 

 

 
There are seven Megalithic Temples in Malta and Gozo, the Ġgantija Temples on Gozo are the oldest free-standing monuments in the world.

The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is the only prehistoric burial site in the world which is accessible to the general public – it dates back to 4000BC. The Hypogeum is open for 10 visitors per hour for a maximum of 8 hours a day, so early booking is advisable.
 

 

 

4. Malta is steeped in history and culture

Malta has pretty streets in the old towns, one of the many reasons to visit Malta

As well as having three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Malta was an abundance of museums and cultural exhibits to visit. Malta was the most bombed country in the world during WWII, with over 14,000 bombs dropped! You can visit air raid shelters and war rooms, as well as an aviation museum.
 

 

 
Festivals and cultural centres are plentiful in Malta, so much so that Valletta was awarded the European Capital of Culture in 2018. One of the advantages of being a ‘small’ city is that rather than being full of massive international hotel chains, you can expect to find chic boutique hotels within the city walls. You will also discover local shops, bars and restaurants, as well as a lively atmosphere.
 

 

 
Art lovers will be interested to know that Michelangelo Merisi, also known as Caravaggio, worked in Malta from 1571-1610. His world famous ‘Beheading of St. John the Baptist’ is still on display in the Oratory of the Cathedral of St. John in Valletta as well as another one of his famous works, St. Jerome.
 

 

 

5. Malta is home to some of Europe’s best diving locations

scuba diving one of the reasons to visit malta
Photo Sebastian Pena Lambarri, Unsplash

All of Malta’s islands offer excellent scuba diving opportunities, with reefs, caves and even wrecks all accessible. Its calm clear water makes it ideal for beginners and advanced divers, with excellent visibility.  
 

 

 

6.  Malta has its own Blue Lagoon

the blue lagoon Malta
Photo by Francois-Kaiser, Unsplash

The small island of Comino is home to the famous Blue Lagoon. Situated between Comino and islet of Cominotto, this small bay with shallow azure-coloured water is a great place to swim and snorkel. This top Instagram location is one of the main reasons to visit Malta and is easily accessible by boat. 
 

 

 

7.  There is a wide selection of holiday resorts to choose from

colourful harbours are one of the many reasons to visit malta

Whether you want a relaxing holiday in Mellieha beside one of Malta’s best beaches, or prefer a livelier scene in St Julian’s, Malta has holiday resorts and accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. Sliema is another popular choice with tourists, as it is just a short ferry ride from Valleta.
 

 

 

8. Malta has a great food scene 

outdoor dining in Malta
Photo by Andrew-Buchanan, Unsplash

Malta’s cuisine is an eclectic mix of the many civilisations that occupied the islands over the centuries. You can expect to find Spanish, French, Italian and British influences, with a hint of North African spice too! Malta has a great food scene, with plenty of great restaurants to choose from. No matter what type of food you desire, you will find it if you visit Malta. 
 

 

 

9. Malta is easy to explore and almost everyone speaks English

travel in malta

Malta is a small island measuring 17 miles long and 9 miles wide, with a total area of 95 square miles. It has a population of just over 500,000 and is an easy island to explore. You drive on the left hand side of the road, which is handy if you want to hire a car, and there are two official languages, Maltese and English.
 

 

 

10. There are 10 Game of Thrones locations in Malta

reasons to visit malta - the azure window
Photo Marcin-Czerniawski- Unsplash

Game of Thrones fans will easily recognise the the walled city of Mdina, (Malta’s first capital city), as the location for King’s Landing in the first series, and the Azure Window in Gozo (which collapsed into the sea in 2017) was the setting for Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen’s wedding. There are many more GOT locations to explore if you visit Malta – you can read more here.
 

 

 

Like this post? You might like:

 

8 things you need to know if you are planning of travelling overseas this summer

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Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

Holidays in Ireland

My Review of Mount Juliet – Serenity and Style in Ireland’s Ancient East

sarah and alex horse riding

Five-star modern luxury combined with ancient traditions in 500 acres of woodlands, parks and gardens – Mount Juliet is an oasis in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East.

 

I hadn’t been away for six months, which seemed like a lifetime to me. I couldn’t wait to have food served up to me again, to feel luxurious crisp cotton sheets against my skin, and to try new experiences – something I always try to do when I go away. As soon as travel restrictions were lifted within Ireland, and hotels were officially allowed to re-open, I booked my first staycation. Kilkenny was an obvious choice. It is close to my home town of Dublin, and being a city, I figured most shops, restaurants and attractions should be open. I had also never had a family holiday in Kilkenny before, and was looking forward to trying some of the many things to do in Kilkenny with kids.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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There are plenty of family friendly hotels in Kilkenny, but I wanted to stay somewhere special. Perhaps I wanted to make up for all the overseas trips I had to cancel, or perhaps I just felt like I needed some spoiling, but there was never a doubt in my mind, I had wanted to stay in Mount Juliet for years. My sister is a regular visitor and it is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s best hotels, and I couldn’t wait to experience it for myself. 

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Driving into Mount Juliet Estate set the tone for the weekend. The winding road led us past the Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, the sun was shining and we could see golfers playing on the immaculate fairways. When we arrived at the creeper-clad 18th century Georgian House, we immediately felt the wow factor. 

Mount Juliet Estate - Manor House
 

 

 
Ireland has many fine Manor House hotels, but there was something special about Mount Juliet. The fact that a couple cantered past us on horse back just as we were about to enter the hotel certainly added to the ambiance. Even the name sounds romantic – I guess one automatically thinks of Romeo and Juliet. However, Mount Juliet Estate has a love story of its own. It was built by the first Earl of Carrick and it was named after his beloved wife, Lady Julianna Butler who made it their home in 1750. Its setting is stunning too. It is built on a ridge overlooking the River Nore with 500 acres of woodlands, parks and gardens. 

horse riding in mount juliet

It was great to see that Mount Juliet had excellent Covid protocols in place. There was a one-way system in and out of the hotel, with temperature checks on arrival. All of the staff had face shields and we immediately felt very much at ease.
 

 

 

Rooms at Mount Juliet Estate

Kilkenny Tourism very kindly booked us two rooms in the 32 roomed Manor House. We had two adjoining rooms on the ground floor which led out on to our own private garden, we couldn’t have asked for better. We were able to enjoy pre dinner drinks outside, while the kids played happily in the garden. There are three rooms that share this garden, so they are an ideal choice if you are travelling with friends or extended family.  

mount juliet garden rooms

The rooms were extremely spacious and elegantly furnished. Traditionally they would have more soft furnishings like cushions and throws, but with Covid-19 restrictions, these have been temporarily removed. Mount Juliet are also limiting the amount of contact that staff have in their hotel rooms, so the traditional turndown service was temporarily paused. Arriving back to our room to see our bed not made was an unfortunate consequence of the ‘new normal’. However, if you want your bed made and fresh towels delivered, you can ask at reception for this. (Please note: Mount Juliet had just re-opened and was adapting correctly to the new Covid-19 guidelines. Some of these guidelines may change, so it is important to check what protocols are in place when booking.)

 
 
 
 
 
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Mount Juliet Estate is also home to Hunters Yard, a 93 roomed hotel which was originally the estate’s stables and outbuildings. It wasn’t open during our visit but I did manage to get a sneak peak. This relatively new hotel offers a more contemporary and relaxed style, but still retains the five-star rating. There are more family rooms available there, as well as a swimming pool and spa. I’m told the Hound Restaurant is popular too, and the courtyard is the perfect place to enjoy a drink during the summer months. The banqueting hall where weddings are held is also located at Hunters Yard.
 

 

 
Walking around the magnificent grounds I could see why Mount Juliet is such a popular wedding venue. Woodland trails and river view walks are plentiful, but it was the old walled garden that I found the most captivating. I was told that this ornamental garden is usually manicured, but as the hotel had only just re-opened, the garden had a wilder more natural feel – I loved it.
 

 

 
It is also home to Mount Juliet’s famous Moon Gate. Traditionally found in the gardens of Chinese nobles, there is something almost spiritual about it. It was designed to perfectly frame the setting sun, and I imagine many newly weds celebrated the start of their new lives together there. You are welcome to stroll around the grounds and discover all its delights yourself, or alternatively ask the concierge to advise you on walking trails that might suit your personal taste.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Children’s activities at Mount Juliet Estate

Mount Juliet can also arrange treasure hunts in the gardens for children, and I was surprised at how much children’s activities are available in Mount Juliet. There is a large playground with a zip line, as well as a fairy trail located in the gardens. Extensive kids clubs operate during school holidays, (extra charge applies), so parents can enjoy a round of golf or spa treatment while the kids avail of the supervised activities.
 

 

 
There are two kids clubs, one from age 5-12 and the other 12+. Activities range from archery, equestrian and meet the owls, to baking, golf and arts and crafts. It is important to check activities in advance with Mount Juliet as some activities may change. There are also evening activities such as a talent show and movie nights, and children can dine with their new pals giving parents the opportunity to have a date night.  

childrens playground in mount juliet
 

 

 

Dining at Mount Juliet Estate

Speaking of date nights, the Michelin-starred Lady Helen restaurant is the perfect place to have one. The dining room is calm and inviting and offers stunning views of the grounds through massive Georgian windows. Unfortunately as Mount Juliet had just re-opened, they had to abide by the latest government protocols for dining. With allotted times for dinner, the traditional Michelin star menu had to be replaced with a more brasserie-style offering. (This is another temporary measure).
 

 

 
I enjoyed whipped Knockdrina goats cheese with pickled beets, followed by steak-frites with onion rings and bearnaise sauce. There was a separate children’s menu, although Luke was unable to resist the steak-frites on the adults menu, and managed to clear his plate, despite the extremely large portion. As expected from a restaurant of this standard the food was delicious, however I felt the menu was quite limited. It was unfortunate that we didn’t get to experience the true Lady Helen Michelin star experience, but it has given me a good excuse to go back…

Dining at Mount Juliet

Breakfast is served in the same dining room and I can safely say that I didn’t miss the buffet in the least – we enjoyed a terrific feast on both mornings. Cold foods that would traditionally be included in the buffet, such as cereals, fruit and breads were on the menu, as well as a choice of hot dishes made to order by the chef.

I tried traditional porridge with a shot of Baileys the first morning, and a full Irish breakfast the next. My husband, Cormac, enjoyed the boxty cake and the eggs benedict. The kids were also delighted to be able to pick and choose what they wanted from the extensive menu. They enjoyed a variety of dishes including pancakes, and traditional full Irish breakfasts. 

Breakfast at Mount Juliet

I should point out that if Michelin star restaurants are not your thing, there are plenty of other dining options available. The Hound Restaurant in Hunters Yard and Jack’s Bar at the Clubhouse offer extensive but more casual dining, while Major’s Bar offers afternoon tea and light snacks throughout the day.
 

 

 

Experiences at Mount Juliet Estate

Trying new outdoor experiences is part and parcel of a stay in Mount Juliet. Falconry is available on the grounds with the charming John Duggan of Hawkeye Falconry. We had the pleasure of trying falconry with John previously, and I can highly recommend it. With golf, horse riding, falconry, archery and fishing all available, this is the perfect opportunity to try something new in stunning surroundings. 

falconry

On our last morning we decided to try something synonymous with Mount Juliet – horse riding. The Mount Juliet Equestrian Centre is one of the most impressive centres in Ireland. From experienced riders to complete beginners like myself, they have horses and trails to suit everyone. I decided it was time for some mother and daughter time, so myself and Alex (aged 9) left the boys in the rooms as we trotted off to the equestrian centre. 

Alex was immediately taken her horse Rodger, and I was impressed at how well groomed and spotless the horses were, even the stables were immaculate. Within minutes myself and Alex were ‘saddled up’, and we were led off on a trail around Mount Juliet Estate. It was my first time to ride a horse, and I couldn’t have imagined a more idyllic location.
 

 

 
Alex was carefully supervised by our instructor and felt at ease the whole time. We rode through a beautiful woodland trail, past the golf course, before arriving at the Manor House. It was almost like a show experience, the type you see on a promotional video but don’t expect to actually experience the same thing – but we did! The experience costs €70 per adult and €50 per child and officially lasts one hour, but it was almost 90 minutes before we got back to the equestrian centre. I felt this was good value for such a unique experience.

horse riding past the manor house in mount juliet
 

 

 
Whether you choose to stay in the elegant Manor House or the chic Hunters Yard, you will enjoy top class facilities, service and surroundings in one of Ireland’s best hotels. However, Mount Juliet offers something more than that. There are no new fads here, but traditional experiences that offer a sense of serenity to your stay.

For the past four months our whole world has been turned upside down due to the pandemic, but one thing that we have enjoyed is our new found love for nature and traditional pastimes. It seemed really fitting that our first staycation was to a place that was in keeping with these values. Mount Juliet offers five-star luxury in beautiful surroundings with an emphasis on top class outdoor experiences. Make sure to pay a visit soon. 

For more information visit Mount Juliet.ie

  
Note: Kilkenny Tourism organised my stay in Mount Juliet, but all views, as always, are my own. 

 

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Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

DESTINATIONS

An Open Letter – Why We Need A Clear Plan On International Travel

why we need a clear plan on international travel

My thoughts on international travel, why we need a clear plan, and why a Red List may be a better option than a Green List.

 

Despite having written over 1000 articles in the last five years, I have never felt so compelled to write something before. I am not a qualified journalist, but I do know the travel industry – I’ve been working in it for 30 years. It saddens me to see it being so nonchalantly cast aside of late, without any clear plan on the resumption of international travel.

It seems there is little or no regard to how this will impact the 250,000 jobs in our tourism industry, or the thousands of people who are trying to do the right thing by staying at home, yet losing thousands of euro because refunds will not be entertained if flights are operating. 

why we need a clear plan on international travel

 

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We are being told that getting kids back to school is a priority, and that we should not travel this summer. Don’t get me wrong, I want children to return to school too, I’ve got two of my own, but why is it that International travel is being touted as the one thing that might jeopardise this? Nobody is saying not to enter pubs or restaurants, hairdressers, or swimming pools. The government has put strict measures in place to ensure a safe return for other businesses, so why is the travel industry being ignored?
 

 

 
People are being shamed on social media for even suggesting that they may like to travel overseas at the moment, yet Americans are happily travelling around Killarney National Park enjoying the Irish summer. Most European countries have banned Americans from entry as the USA is clearly a ‘high risk’ country, yet they can come freely into Ireland once they sign a form telling us where they are staying.   

 

 
 
 
 
 
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If the government wants us to stay at home, why is it allowing planes to fly from our airports? I understand many flights need to operate for cargo purposes, but there is no way that flights to holiday hotspots like the Canary Islands and the Algarve are doing so because of cargo. These flights may carry a large number of holiday makers in July and August, but this is only because people have booked these flights pre Covid.

Read: 8 things you need to know if you are planning of travelling overseas this summer
 

 

 
These flights will not be sustainable going forward into the winter. If the government advice against non-essential travel remains in place, new bookings will be few and far between. It is only a matter of time before Michael O’Leary decides his planes will be better suited elsewhere, where quarantine does not exist and people are travelling. 

ryanair resumes international travel

We all know that we are living in a world where Covid-19 is likely to remain for some time. Spikes will happen and there are no absolutes. We need to resume travel at some stage, so why not do it sooner rather than later? I personally have no desire to wear a mask in 37 degree heat, but masks are mandatory in many European countries, including Spain, Portugal and Italy. There are strict protocols in place to ensure social distancing, and in some cases fines for non-compliance.
 

 

 
Travel will not be for everyone right now, but shouldn’t we be given the choice to travel to a country with a low or similar infection rate as our own? Is this not a lower risk to our country than allowing people in from high risk countries?

international travel to malta resumes
Malta, a country with 674 Covid-19 cases and 9 deaths.

 

The announcement of a ‘Green List’ of countries where we will be able to travel to without quarantine measures in place, only adds to confusion and uncertainty for travellers, and for people in the travel industry. Knowing that this list of countries can change at any time makes it impossible to plan any inbound or outbound tourism.
 

 

 
I was never a fan of air bridges anyway – without proper quarantine measures in place, they would be impossible to police. We have already seen people travelling to and from Belfast to avoid quarantine, and with people able to travel freely within Europe, how can we possibly know where a person’s journey has originated from? 
 

 

 
And let’s be honest, our quarantine is only a deterrent. While filling out the locator form is mandatory, quarantine is not. While many Irish people may do the right thing and quarantine on their return, tourists are highly unlikely to do the same. If we are to have quarantine in place, it should be enforced, what we have at the moment makes absolutely no sense. 

quarantine at home after overseas travel 
The other main concern is that while advice against non-essential travel remains in place, there will be a stigma attached to overseas travel. If Spain is on the ‘Green List’, and people are free to travel there without quarantine, would you want a work colleague coming back into the office flaunting their new tan? Or worse still, will hairdressers and restaurant owners allow their staff to return to work without quarantine, when they know they cannot maintain social distancing with customers? If people are officially allowed to travel without having quarantine on their return, then they should be allowed to go straight back into work. However, if businesses want staff to stay at home for two weeks, will they be able to afford to pay them?

unable to social distance in restaurants
 

 

 
Instead of a Green List, why not have a Red List of countries where inbound and outbound travel is banned? This would allow free movement to many countries in Europe, while stopping people from high risk countries like the USA, Brazil and Sweden from entering Ireland. Instead of advice against non-essential travel to these areas, we should have DO NOT TRAVEL advice in place by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
 

 

 
This would ensure consumers are refunded for countries where travel is banned, but they are free to travel to other countries that are considered as safe as our own. This may also help to lift the stigma against overseas travel and hopefully enable people and the tourism industry plan for future travel. 

we need do not travel advice to selected countries

 

While this may, or may not be the solution – we need action now. If we continue to have no clear plan on the resumption of international travel we risk the collapse of our tourism industry, and if we continue to allow people from all over the world to enter our country, a second wave is inevitable.

If you were living in California, Texas or Florida right now, wouldn’t the green pastures of Ireland seem inviting? One thing is for sure – they won’t get the Céad míle fáilte they were expecting…
 

 

 

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8 things you need to know if you are planning of travelling overseas this summer

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Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

Travel

10 Last Minute Family Hotel Deals in Ireland – 3 Night Stays from €329

Ireland family holiday

Looking for a last minute getaway? These three-night family hotel deals in Ireland might do the trick.

 

 

I understand that good family hotel deals in Ireland are hard to come by in July and August, so I’ve done all the hard work for you! I searched the web and found 10 great family deals departing in August. All deals are based on a three-night stay for a family of four, but some hotel rooms will sleep up to five.

Dates and durations can be changed, simply click on the links below and edit the search dates to suit your requirements. The links below are affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.

 

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It is important to note that some facilities may not be operating as usual during this time, I recommend booking a room with free cancellation incase there are any changes to facilities that may not suit you.  

 

 

1. Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel, Classic Room: €526

family hotel deals in 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. I’m just back from a fabulous few days in Kilkenny and found it a great city for a family staycation.

Read: Things to do in Kilkenny with kids

View offer here   
 

2. Montenotte Hotel, Cork, 2 bedroom Apartment: €833

 
Montenotte Hotel in Cork has self catering apartments on site
I have heard so many great things about the Montenotte Hotel, which has been recently refurbished and and offers stunning views of  Cork city. With a state of the art leisure centre, an in-house cinema and this cosy outdoor terrace, it is one of the most popular places to stay in Cork. There are various room types available but this price is based on a 2 bedroom apartment that sleeps up to four. 

View offer here
 

 

 

3. Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge, Dublin, Deluxe Family Room B&B: €329

family hotel deals in Dublin, Ireland

Ideally located in the upmarket suburb of Ballsbridge, the Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge has the advantage of being very close the city of Dublin without the corresponding crowds. Originally a 19th century Masonic School, it offers the perfect blend of tradition with contemporary decor, and is a great base to explore the capital with kids.
 

 

 

 

4. Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Limerick, Family Room: €384

The Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa has the advantage of being located on the borders of Limerick and Clare, so it is ideally situated if you want to explore Ireland’s scenic west coast. As well as a choice of dining options, it boasts a leisure centre, spa and even an outdoor hot tub! Kids will love the outdoor play area, swimming pool, and extensive grounds with a fairy garden.

View offer here
 

 

 

5. Parkavon Hotel Killarney, Family Room: €492

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Parkavon Hotel is ideally perfectly located within walking distance of Killarney town centre and Killarney National Park. It also boasts a leisure centre which should keep the kids happy. This is great value for a family stay in Killarney.

View offer here
 

 

 

6. Bayview Hotel, Killybegs, Donegal, Family Room B&B Sleeps 5, €447  

The popular Bayview Hotel is located in the pretty fishing town of Killybegs in Donegal. With the Wild Atlantic Way on your doorstep, this is an ideal base to explore Donegal’s stunning coastline.

View offer here
 

 

 

7. Hotel Curracloe, Wexford, Quad Room B&B, €447 

Curracloe Beach

The Hotel Curracloe is a small hotel with just 29 rooms, and is located just minutes from the famous Curracloe Beach in County Wexford. Wexford Town is just a five minute drive away, and one of my favourite family attractions in Ireland,  The Irish National Heritage Park is also close by.

Read: 5 Things to do in Wexford with kids

View offer here
 

 

 

8. Maldron Hotel Sandy Road, Galway, Family Room, sleeps 5 B&B, €426  

best self catering breaks in Ireland

Located within walking distance of Galway City and with a kids club on site, this is a great choice for family staycation in Galway this summer. 

View offer here
 

 

 

9. Maldron Hotel, Wexford, Family Room €498

 
A family friendly hotel, the Maldron Hotel Wexford boasts an indoor pool, two outdoor playgrounds, a mini-golf course and family friendly activities during school holidays. It is also close to Wexford’s top attractions including the Irish National Heritage Park,  Johnstown Castle and Gardens, and Wexford’s beautiful beaches.
 
 

View offer here
 

 

 

10. Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel, Adare, Limerick, Family Room B&B €603

family breaks in ireland

Located in the pretty village  of Adare, this family owned, award winning hotel boasts three restaurants, a spa and leisure centre. With the Cliffs of Moher and Clare’s beaches just a short drive away, this is an ideal location to explore the Wild Atlantic Way.

View offer here
 

 

 
I hope this post on family hotel deals in Ireland will help you get away this summer.  It is important to note that some of the facilities / activities listed may not be operating to full capacity – please check with individual hotel for clarification. I always recommend booking a room with free cancellation incase there are any changes to the listed facilities that may not suit you. 

These deals were researched across various hotel booking sites. When you make a booking you do so via a third party website. Prices are correct at the time of publishing but may change. Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.  Read more in my privacy policy.

 
 
 

Like this post? You might like:

The best beach hotels in Ireland – my top 20 picks

Top picks for glamping in Ireland

20 Hotels with lodges in Ireland
 

 

 
Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

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