autumn breaks

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Ten Autumn / Winter Breaks To Use With Aer Lingus Vouchers

autumn winter breaks

Have you have an Aer Lingus voucher that you want to use? If you want to have something to look forward to, one of these autumn / winter breaks might do the trick.

I know many of you have Aer Lingus vouchers and would love to plan some autumn or winter breaks – well fortunately you can! Aer Lingus offer flexible booking options, so if you wish to book something now, and travel restrictions are still in place later in the year, you can change your booking free of charge. Some fare types are also eligible for refund vouchers – see more here:

Read: Aer Lingus allow free changes for summer 2021


I advise  you to book hotels or apartments with free cancellation, and for that reason I have priced all of accommodation below with refundable rates, in fact most hotels allow you to book now and pay later – so you don’t even need to pay a deposit.


All hotels and apartments are highly rated on Tripadvisor with great reviews from previous guests. If the dates I have chosen don’t suit you, please click on the links below and edit the search to suit your requirements. I have added links to Skyscanner to provide a direct link to the flights, but if you have Aer Lingus vouchers you will need to book directly on the Aer Lingus website.

Note, these winter breaks contain affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.



 *Prices for Autumn / Winter Breaks include flight cost*


1. A week in Lanzarote, 18th November, €298pp

autumn winter breaks

Lanzarote is a great choice for a winter week away. The year round sunshine and long sandy beaches have been attracting Irish visitors for many years. It’s not all about sun and sand though, there is plenty of good sightseeing, as well as some excellent duty free shopping. 

The old town of Puerto del Carmen has some fantastic restaurants. Having a drink at one of the waterfront cafes as the sun sets over the harbour is a lovely way to end your day.

Read: Why Lanzarote is my favourite Canary Island 


I found a great Lanzarote deal staying in the Tisalaya apartments in Puerto del Carmen. Highly rated on TripAdvisor, they are an ideal choice to explore all that Lanzarote has to offer. Fly from Dublin on the 18th of October and enjoy a seven night stay for only €297 per person. 

View flights here €128pp  

View hotel here €170pp



2. New Year Skiing in Austria, 27th December, 2 adults & 2 children, €1871

I have always loved skiing and was delighted to bring my kids skiing for the first time last year. It is not a cheap holiday by any means, but if you have been cooped up in the house for the last year, can you think of anything better than spending the New Year in the Alps?


I found the highly rated apartments Hechenberger available on Vrbo – Expedia’s vacation rentals company. The apartment was awarded with 4 Edelweiss, (the highest categorisation that private rentals can achieve in Austria), and is located close to the town centre and 1000 metres from the nearest ski lift.

Read: Top tips for family skiing


Fly from Dublin on the 27th of December and enjoy a seven night stay in the Hechenberger apartments for less than €2000. I recommend booking the more expensive ‘Plus’ fare because it includes 20kg checked baggage, seat selection and priority boarding, as well as being eligible for a voucher if you need to cancel your booking.

View flights here €184pp Aer Lingus Fare

View hotel here £978 / €1135 



3. A spa break in the Algarve, 12th October from €240pp 

autumn winter breaks in the algarve

With a stunning coastline boasting some of Europe’s best beaches, its not surprising that the Algarve is one of our most popular holiday destinations. There are many resorts to choose from, from the lively resort of Albufeira to the picturesque town of Carvoeiro, and I found great deals in both.


The Sol Aqua is located just ten minutes walk from the old town of Albufeira and boasts an indoor and outdoor pool, and wellness centre. If you are looking for something more luxurious, the 5-star Vale d’Oliveiras Quinta Resort & Spa is an excellent choice. Rated number 1 on Tripadvisor with excellent reviews.


Located just five minutes from Carvoeiro, you can choose to enjoy its fine restaurants, or dine on site in the hotel’s Olive Tree Restaurant, which offers panoramic views over the gardens and pool. Breakfast is also included in this great deal.

View flights here €80 Aer Lingus

View Sol Aqua €160pp

Vale D'Oliveiras here €282pp



4. Christmas Shopping in New York, 4th December, 4 nights, €780!

christmas shopping in new york

I love visiting New York, regardless of the time of year, but there is something magical about visiting at Christmas time. Parting with your hard-earned cash on Christmas presents is also a lot easier when you are doing it in New York – and who knows, you might pick up some bargains for yourself too. I have posts on shopping in New York and things to do in New York so if you need any more inspiration be sure to check them out.


The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Centre is usually illuminated at the beginning of December. With this in mind I have chosen flights with Aer Lingus to depart on the 4th of December and a four-night stay in the centrally located Shelburne Hotel & Suites by Affinia.

Priced at just €780 including 23kg checked baggage based on 2 sharing or even less if three or four share, this is superb value. When you click on the link below you will notice the saver airfare is €100 less but I recommend booking the ‘Smart’ fare because it includes 23kg checked baggage, seat selection and complimentary meal, as well as being eligible for a voucher if you need to cancel your booking.

View flights here €421pp  Smart fare includes 23kg checked baggage

View hotel here €359pp 

Read: 5 More Christmas Shopping breaks to New York



5.  Autumn on the Amalfi Coast: 14th October, 1 week, €413pp

winter breaks in Sorrento.

The four-star Hotel Zi’ Teresa is centrally located in the resort of Sorrento. With sea views from the terrace, and breakfast included in the cost of your stay, this is superb value for a week in Sorrento. Check out the reviews on TripAdvisor if you still need convincing.

View flights here €99pp

View hotel here €314pp  



6. Disneyland Paris with Park Tickets, 27th October, 3 Nights, 2 adults & 2 children, €2099

halloween festival at disneyland paris

Halloween is a great time to visit Disneyland Paris. The parks are transformed for their annual Halloween festival. Scary attractions like Phantom Manor and Tower of Terror have some spooky surprises in store, while Main Street U.S.A is full of pumpkins, flickering lights and creepy sounds.


The impressive Illuminations Show at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle takes on a Halloween theme, and will surely leave you feeling bewitched.  Read my dedicated blog post on this offer with more information.

View offer here



7.  October bank holiday weekend in Croatia, 5-star hotel, 3 nights, €499 

autumn winter breaks in croatia

If you are looking for a luxury weekend away in beautiful surroundings, look no further than this. The 5-star Hotel Croatia is located in the pretty resort of Cavtat, just a ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik. I stayed here a few years ago and loved it. Cavtat is located close to the airport too, so it is a great option for a weekend break.  


Dubrovnik is very busy during the day time, but you can catch the ferry from Cavtat early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the crowds have dissipated.

Cavtat is also located close to the border of Montenegro. We visited the medieval town of Kotor during our stay. Normally I would highly recommend you do the same, but the Hotel Croatia is a beautiful hotel and offers stunning sea views from the terrace, so you may find it difficult to leave….

Read: Visiting Croatia and Montenegro


Fly from Dublin on the 23rd of October and enjoy a three-night stay with breakfast for  just €499 per person. A deposit of €30 secures the hotel booking with flexible amendments available until 27th of September.

View flights here €189 

View hotel here €310pp



8. Christmas market break in Berlin, 3rd December, 3-nights, €192pp

Berlin Christmas Market breaks.

Believe it or not, Berlin has over 50 different Christmas markets to choose from. The Winter World at Potsdamer Platz offers ice skating and tobogganing, while the traditional Christmas Markets at Alexanderplatz and Charlottenburg house wooden stalls and beer houses. And lets not forget the market in Spandau that has rock concerts every Friday!


Of course with so many other sights to see and some great nightlife, Berlin is a great city to visit at anytime. I found a super deal in the centrally located Titanic Comfort Berlin Mitte hotel. This receives great reviews on TripAdvisor and is a great choice for a festive break.

Read my city guide to Berlin here.
Check flights here €105pp

Check hotel here €87pp



9. Winter week in Gran Canaria, 20th January, Gloria Palace Amadores, €678pp

winter breaks in the canary islands.

Perched on a cliff with stunning views of the sea, and only 300 meters from the beach, it is not surprising why the Gloria Palace Amadores Hotel and Thalasso is very popular with Irish holidaymakers.


Situated between Puerto Rico and Mogan, this hotel offers the best of both worlds – a relaxing holiday with the option to travel to nearby resorts if you fancy a livelier scene. Renowned for it’s high quality cuisine, attentive staff and for having one of Europe’s top thalassotherapy centres, can you think of a better way to beat the January blues?

View flights here €176pp

View hotel here €502pp



10. New Year in Washington, 3 Nights, 30th December €634

Washington break for New Year's Eve.

Washington is one of my favourite American cities. You don’t have to be a lover of politics to be impressed with Washington’s monuments and memorials, and I dare you not to be a little star struck when you see The White House for the first time. Washington has some great shopping options too, as well as vibrant nightlife and a lively atmosphere.  


I found a great deal staying in the university neighbourhood of Georgetown. The Hyatt Place receives excellent reviews on TripAdvisor and it is close to Washingtons most popular landmarks. I have priced this with the Aer Lingus ‘Smart’ fare which includes 23kg checked baggage, a complimentary meal on board and is also eligible for a voucher if you need to cancel your trip.

View flights here €438pp Smart fare includes 23kg baggage

View hotel here €196pp


Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of these autumn winter breaks include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.




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In The Media

Staycations and Short Breaks on RTE’s Marian Finucane Show


As the summer draws to a close why not grab a last minute getaway. I have city breaks in Madrid, Lisbon and Rome, and Irish breaks in Kilkee, Belfast, Enniscorthy, Enniskerry and Westport. Here are my recommendations for staycations and short breaks as discussed on RTE’s Marian Finucane Show this morning.

The Travel Expert, Sarah Slattery on RTE's Marian Finucane ShowFollow me on facebook

August break to Madrid

Late August is always a good time to get a deal and this year is no exception. Kids are ready to go back to school and those looking for a September break tend to overlook late August, when in fact, prices are much lower. have matched the low airfares with some good city breaks. I like this deal to Madrid, it combines sightseeing, sun and shopping all in one! You can take a tour of the Royal Palace and shop till you drop on the Gran Via – one of Europe’s finest shopping streets. Madrid is also home to Europe’s largest Penneys so there is shopping here for everyone! There is over 3,000 restaurants, so its safe to say it’s a foodie destination and there is enough bars and clubs to satisfy any night-owls. Fly with Aer Lingus and enjoy a three night stay in the four star Via Castellana hotel for only €240 on the 28th of August. Click here for more details.

short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane

Lisbon break with river cruise in September

Although the Algarve is one of our most popular holiday choices, the capital, Lisbon is often overlooked. You can choose to go for a holiday (which I did) and stay in one of the beach resorts, or take a city break and stay in Lisbon itself. Temperatures rarely get higher than 25 degrees in Summer and lower than 14 degrees in Winter so it is a great choice for city break. The old style trams are the best way to get around the city and there are numerous sights to see, including The Belem Tower (defence tower), the Castelo de Sáo Jorge  and the Cristo Rei, which is a large statue of Christ that you can climb and see great views of the city. There are some great restaurants, cafes and music clubs, all very reasonably priced. I went with my kids and there was lots for them to do too. The Aquarium is Europe’s largest and well worth a visit. If you have time take the train to the ancient city of Sintra and some of the nice beach resorts along the coast. are offering a three night break in a central four star hotel from €339 on the 25th of September. They are also including a free river cruise too. Click here for more details.
short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane

Cheese & Wine Tasting Weekend in Rome in November

Rome is a great city break destination at any time of year, but personally I think it’s better to go in the winter time, as it’s less crowded. There is so much to see in Rome it doesn’t matter how many times you go, you will always find something new to discover. I found a great deal on where they offer a FREE cheese and wine tasting evening, when you book a two night stay. The price for flights and a two night stay in the popular three star Galileo hotel in November is only €199 per person. They also have offers in September and October from €326 per person. Click here for more details.

short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane

Christmas Market Breaks in December

Christmas markets are very much back in vogue. Ryanair and Aer Lingus have added extra capacity to many cities throughout the winter with lots of low priced airfares available. I like Berlin as it has over 50 markets to choose from and something to appeal to everyone. Sip some mulled wine while enjoying Christmas carols at the traditional markets of Charlottenburg Castle or enjoy one of the Christmas Rock concerts at the Spandau Old Town market. Europe’s largest mobile toboggan run and ice rink are at the lively Potsdamer Platz market, so there is plenty of choice for everyone. For more info on Europe’s top Christmas markets read my blog here. The price for flights with Aer Lingus and a three night stay in the 4* Park Inn by Radisson Alexanderplatz is only €249 on the 7th of December. Click here for more details.

short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane

City Breaks

For those who wish to stay closer to home, there are plenty of options here in Ireland.


August family break: Feather Down, Loop Head, Co Clare.

Recently I had the pleasure of glamping in Ireland’s first Feather Down tents. They have sites all over Europe and have only come to Ireland this year. They are in the grounds of a popular glamping site, Purecamping in Loophead. It is the perfect escape from a big city, you really switch off and it’s a great family experience. The ‘tents’ if you can call them that have 3 bedrooms, a private toilet, shower, stove and also a BBQ if you are lucky to get the weather. They still have availability in August, the price for a three night stay is €599 on the 12th or 19th of August. If you want a cheaper option the Purecamping furnished bell tents are pretty cool too and are priced at €75 per night. You can also choose an unfurnished tent from €35. No matter which option you choose you can avail of the excellent facilities on site, including yoga classes, sauna and a wood fired pizza oven. For more details, read my blog here.

short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane

Spa breaks

The difference between Monart and other luxury hotels is that Monart is Ireland’s only destination Spa property. It offers a unique adults-only environment and is situated on 100 acres – you will feel utterly relaxed here. Monart was recently awarded ‘runner up best spa retreat worldwide’, by Conde Nast Traveller. It was also named as Ireland’s best destination spa for four years in a row. If you are looking for a spa break, there is no doubt – Monart is the best!  They have a three night midweek break from €329 per person, on the 29th of August, other dates are also available at a slightly higher price. This special offer includes breakfast each day plus dinner in their renowned restaurant on one evening. You will have unrestricted access to the thermal suite and they are also including a 30 minute spa treatment. Monart is situated on 100 acres – you will feel utterly relaxed here. For more details click here.

short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane

If three nights seems too long, the Rainforest Spa in Enniskerry ( Wicklow) have an excellent offer for a one night stay at the Summerhill House Hotel You will receive a glass of bubbly and petit fours on arrival, an hours use of the spa facilities, a treatment of your choice ( see website for exact choices), breakfast and evening meal – and all for €129 mid week or €149 at the weekend, available in August. Click here for more details.

Operation Transformation at Hotel Westport

If you have over indulged during the summer months and want to get in shape for Christmas, then the Hotel Westport’s Operation Transformation package might be just what you need! You can choose a three day break from €199 or a five day break from €309 from the 9th of October. This four star family run hotel have been running this program, twice a year for four years and they have proved very popular. You will receive breakfast and dinner each day ( where light options are available) and you can join in the many aerobics and wellness classes that are provided free of charge. There is entertainment nightly and no single supplement – so it’s a great way to meet new people. There is no pressure to participate in all the activities, it is very much a laid back approach, in fact if you do not wish to be assessed, that’s fine too. If you fancy a night out in Westport, he hotel is located only five minutes from the centre. Click here for more details.

short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane

Belfast overnight with Game of Thrones Tour

For any Game of Thrones fans, this is a must! The 4* boutique hotel, Tara Lodge is offering an over night stay with breakfast, and an action packed day visiting filming locations across Northern Ireland. Start your journey along the Causeway Coastal route visiting famous sites from the show. Stop for lunch before visiting the Giants Causeway. The price is only £72 per person and it is still available in August. Weekends are busy but check out their website for more details. The Tara Lodge is rated number 1 of 45 Belfast hotels on tripadvisor and receives excellent reviews. It is a family run guesthouse / hotel and offers friendly service and excellent value. Click here for more details.

short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane


Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. For my reviews and city break deals click here. To listen back to my chat with Marian, click HERE.


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