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Barbados Baby! 1 week Flights & 4 Star Hotel, All Inclusive, €1599!

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Barbados is one of my favourite islands in the Caribbean. It has stunning beaches, great night life and so much to see and do, it’s not surprising people come from all over the world to live here. Experience it yourself this summer with a choice of two amazing Barbados deals from Tropicalsky.ie

 

There are so many different nationalities living in Barbados that you feel like you belong as soon as you step off the plane. Everyone speaks English and they even drive on the same side of the road as us! Speaking of which, you can drive around Barbados in a few hours, it’s a lot smaller than you might think. Barbados although perfect for a romantic holiday, offers so much more. The island is full of interesting sights, the night life is excellent and the water-sports are second to none. It is home to some of the best surfing in the Caribbean but if that’s not your thing, you can go swimming with turtles instead! For more info on Barbados read my blog here.

Barbados, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

There are two sides to the island that are sold widely from Ireland. The lively South Coast is home to the capital, Bridgetown and is where the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet. The West Coast is quieter and offers a calmer more relaxed vibe. This is where the islands top hotels are located on the crystal clear Caribbean Sea.

I found two amazing deals staying in the exclusive West Coast but without the expensive price tag! The ‘adults only‘, 4* Sugar Cane Club is rated number 1 on tripadvisor and receives excellent reviews. It is a steal at only €1,599 per person in May, June, July or August. You will have a specious one bedroom suite, a choice of swimming pools, a gym and a spa to unwind after all the hard work 😉

Barbados

If you fancy bottomless cocktails,  a choice of dining options, free water sports and plenty of on site entertainment, then the all-inclusive Almond Beach Resort is the one to choose. Also situated on the West Coast, this beach front property is actually next door to Sandy Lane! You just have to pop by for a look – sure it would be rude not to! I stayed here a few years ago and had a fantastic time. It’s a great place to try lots of new activities that you may not normally try, like paddle boarding, kayaking or reef fishing. They even offer glass bottom boat and speedboat rides, and all of these are complimentary!. They have plenty of land activities too including tennis lessons, yoga classes, golf practice range, gym and even beach cricket (well it is Barbados)! There is nightly entertainment and a weekly beach party – the overall vibe here is fun! There are two restaurants on site, (including the one in the pic below) and the all-inclusive package also allows you to dine in the nearby Sugar Cane Club once during your stay.

Barbados

The Almond Beach Resort is highly rated on tripadvisor and is priced at €2089 per person, including flights, accommodation on an all-inclusive basis and transfers. This price is based on travelling in September or October but there are plenty of other dates available, just check in with the sales team in TropicalSky.ie or click below.

Click here for more details on the Sugar Cane Club:  €1,599pp

 Click here for the Almond Beach Resort; €2089pp

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by Tropical Sky but all views, as always, are my own 🙂

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery
 
 
 
 
 
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Top Ten Holidays For Girls

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Planning a girls weekend away or something further afield? Check out my top ten holidays for girls for some travel inspiration.

From shopping trips to New York to party nights in Ibiza, my top ten holidays for girls has something to suit all tastes and holiday styles.

 

1 New York Shopping Trip.

Top ten holidays for girls

A New York shopping trip has to be one of the top ten holidays for girls! Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Century 21, Chinatown, the list is endless! Although shopping maybe the main reason for going, it will probably not be the highlight of your trip! The buzz of Times Square, the trendy scene in Soho, Central Park and the World Trade Centre – there are so many sights to see. Don’t forget the obligatory ‘ Sex and the City ‘ tour and check out my blog on 25 things to do in New York here.

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2. Sun and fun in Marbella.

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls

A girls holiday in Marbella is all about style and sun. Party until the small hours and then chill out in one of the cool beach clubs during the day. Do some designer shopping in Puerto Banus before having a drink in Sinatra’s bar. However, if you don’t want the club scene, the old town is pretty cool too, without requirements to wear the latest fashion labels or have HD brows! But if you seek the glitz and glamour that Marbella is renowned for, remember the saying, ‘no carbs before Marbs!’

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3. A weekend in Dubai.

top ten holidays for girls

A classy choice for a long weekend away, Dubai ticks all boxes. Enjoy year round sunshine, five star deluxe hotels and the world’s largest shopping malls! Dubai is also a great choice if you fancy some action. Take a desert safari, visit the world’s tallest building, check out Palm Island and have some afternoon tea in the Burj Al Arab. If all this isn’t enough, you can even try skiing! Check out my blog on the top ten things to do in Dubai if you still need convincing.

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4. A holiday in the Côtes d’Azur.

top ten holidays for girls

The South of France is always a good idea, and a great choice for a girls holiday. Choose the stylish resort of Cannes, the old towns of Nice or Antibes or the glitzy resort of San Tropez. The train hugs the coastline so you can take a day trip to Monaco or even pop into Italy for a bite of lunch!

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5. Paris in the spring.

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls

Paris is the sophisticated choice for a girls weekend away. Visit the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and take a stroll around Montmartre. Let a street artist draw your caricature while getting the best view of the city from the Sacre-Coeur. Of course no trip to Paris would be complete with some shopping in the Parisien boutiques on Avenue Montaigne, or the famous department store, Galeries Lafayette!

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6. California.

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls

For a longer holiday, take a trip to California. Enjoy celeb spotting in LA, stroll down Rodeo drive and have some cocktails in West Hollywood’s trendy bars. There are so many cool beach towns to choose from, Malibu, Santa Monica, Long beach, are all close by. For the ultimate Thelma & Louise story, hire a car and drive the Pacific Coast highway, from San Francisco to San Diego. For more inspiration read my blog on my California road trip here.

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7. Island hopping in Greece.

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls

The Greek islands offer something to suit everyone. Visit the stunning island of Santorini and see the most spectacular sunsets. Party all night in Ios or Paros or have a Shirley Valentine moment in Mykonos. If you don’t fancy island hopping, the larger islands of Rhodes, Crete or Kos offer a great choice for a weeks holiday, easily reachable by direct flights.

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8. A full moon party in Thailand.

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls

Clearly a full moon party is not for everyone! However, if you are lucky enough to be travelling the world in your twenties, then the all night, full moon party, just has to be on your list! For the rest of us – well you are as old as you feel, right?

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9. Barbados baby.

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls

One of my favourite Caribbean islands, Barbados has it all. White sandy beaches, great night life, some incredible restaurants and plenty of accommodation to suit all budgets. Unlike some of its neighbours, it is not full of honeymooners! There is great night life on the south coast and plenty to see and do. For the ultimate beach experience take a day trip to the nearby Grenadine islands – pure bliss! Check out my blog post on Barbados here.

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10. Party time in Ibiza.

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls

Contrary to what you might think, nightlife in Ibiza is not just for students. In fact some of the towns have evolved to offer some chic trendy bars and hotels, albeit with a hefty price tag. You can still party all night in San Antonio and enjoy the famous Ocean beach, or the original sunset bar, café del mar. But if you want a more sophisticated choice, choose the cool Ushuaïa or Experimental Beach Club, before dancing the night away at Pacha. Enjoy some boutique shopping in Ibiza town too and some cocktails at Bar 1805.

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I hope you enjoyed my top ten holidays for girls and that they helped you with your travel plans. Have I missed any of your favourites? Please comment below I would love to hear from you 🙂

 

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Happy trails!

 

Sarah

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Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations

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We all have different tastes and budgets, so I think it is fair to say that there are no perfect honeymoon destinations that suit everyone – well maybe Bora Bora…

Lets face it, if we had unlimited holidays and unlimited cash, we would probably all like to stay in a beach villa in the South Pacific. However, being realistic, we need to remember not everyone can take three weeks off to travel the world, and many of us have limited means. You also have to make sure to check the weather before you book, as it could be the rainy or even hurricane season in your dream honeymoon destination. Here are my top  honeymoon destinations – there should be one here to suit you.

 

 

 

1. Short on time – The Amalfi Coast

amalfi coast is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations

For those of you who only don’t have lots of annual leave available, a week in Italy is the perfect choice. Stay in a deluxe hotel in Positano or Ravello and live like a celebrity. Visit the isle of Capri, take water taxis along the coast and soak up the Italian atmosphere.  Bellisimo!

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2. Short on cash – Greece

zakynthos famous beach

I love the Greek islands and if you are getting married during the summer months, then Greece is a great choice. Swim with turtles in the turquoise waters of Zakynthos, explore the hilltop town of Lindos in Rhodes, or chill out in a five-star hotel in Crete. I stayed in a luxury hotel near Chania and loved it.

Read my review of Anemos Luxury Grand Resort.

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3. Like All Inclusive –  Cancun

top 10 honeymoon destinations

If you want a luxury hotel with all meals and drinks included, then Cancun is best for value. Cancun is perfect for anyone who wants to be pampered, without moving too far from your hotel.  Many honeymooners feel exhausted after the wedding, so all-inclusive holidays suit perfectly. You could however, mix it up a little and add in a few days in New York or Vegas on the way back….

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4. Play it safe – The Maldives

maldives is one of the top honeymoon destinations

If you want pure luxury, idyllic beaches and want to wear flip flops for the week, the Maldives is for you. It is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations, but can still be affordable. Combine with Dubai for a great combination of city and beach. 

Read: Where to stay in the Maldives – my guide to the best hotels in the Maldives

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5. Tick all boxes – Island hopping in the Caribbean

barbados is ideal for honeymoons

This is a great choice for couples who primarily want a beach holiday, but want a bit of adventure thrown in. Barbados, The Grenadines, St Lucia and the Cayman Islands, it’s hard to believe they are all so close  – yet so different. If you don’t fancy to much packing and unpacking, try a Caribbean cruise and see them all on day trips!

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6. Like adventure – South Africa

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South Africa is one of my favourite honeymoon destinations. It is the perfect place to mix adventure with beach time. Drive the garden route, go whale watching, take in a safari, explore Cape Town and finish off your honeymoon by chilling out on a wine estate.

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7. Road trip – California

Golden Gate bridge

There is nothing like the wind in your hair as you drive the Pacific Coast highway in a convertible. Combine San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and if  you have three weeks to spare, try to take in the national parks too. Drive from LA to Scottsdale, on to Vegas before hitting Death Valley and Yosemite. From there drive to San Francisco and hit the pacific coast highway back to LA. For a two week trip, make it simple, fly to San Francisco and drive the PCH to San Diego. 

Read the best places to stop on the Pacific Coast Highway.

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8. Adrenaline Junkies – Florida

 honeymoon destinations for adventure

Surprisingly this is a really popular honeymoon choice. If you are looking for non-stop action, then Florida is hard to beat. Mix it up a little and combine with New York or Vegas, or why not add on a Caribbean cruise?

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9. A bit more exotic – Thailand

top 10 honeymoon destinations - Thailand

 

Thailand is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations. Choose to relax on one of its many beaches or choose to combine a stay in Bangkok and Thailand’s cultural centre, Chiang Mai. Opt for five-star glamping in the Elephant Hills Camp, go island hopping in the Andaman Sea, or shop till you drop in Bangkok. Who says you can’t do it all?   

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10. The world is your oyster – Australia

 

If you have plenty of time on your hands, and plenty of cash – then it has to be Australia! See the sights in Sydney, marvel at Ayers Rock and explore the world’s most impressive underwater paradise at the Great Barrier Reef. There is actually so much to see and do in Australia – way to many to mention! And if you manage to tour this massive continent and still want some more action – hop over to New Zealand…

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Sarah

 

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery
 

 

 

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Barbados Holidays – Where to Stay, When to Go, And What to See

Barbados

You only have to talk about Barbados holidays to anyone and you can see they are mentally wishing they were there, sipping cocktails on one of its stunning beaches.

In fact I have yet to speak to someone who didn’t like Barbados. There are more than 700 islands in the Caribbean but for me Barbados is the jewel in the crown. Some islands are blessed with the world’s best beaches,  some with dramatic landscapes, others have UNESCO world heritage sites and vibrant nightlife. Barbados holidays have them all!
 

 

 
There is a great vibe from the people you meet. I know this may sound like a cliché but everyone I met was happy!  You will find people from all walks of life who emigrated there for a better lifestyle. Barbados is English speaking and felt extremely safe. I visited other Caribbean islands and usually feel like a tourist, and in some cases an intruder. I certainly wouldn’t feel safe wandering around the streets of many other Caribbean Islands alone at night time.
 

 

 
Although more developed than some of its neighbours Barbados still has a Caribbean feel, with plenty of charm and character to savour.  It wasn’t long before I felt myself thinking that I would like t0 live there. 

Barbados by The Travel Expert

Some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean are in Barbados too. Choose mouth watering sandwiches from Cutters at Crane Beach where you can even order from the beach and they will deliver it to you. There are numerous Bajan restaurants that are very affordable too, but if you are on holiday for a special occasion, or if you simply have some money to spend, you have to visit The Cliff.
 

 

 
The Cliff is one of the best known restaurants in Barbados, both for the quality of its food and for the stunning setting. Perched on a cliff edge overlooking a bay where sting rays happily swim by, it is breathtaking. The torch lit decks add to the drama, and although it is expensive, it is worth it – it is one of the top things to book in advance if planning Barbados holidays. Top Tip: Ask for a table with a sea view.

The Cliff Restaurant, Barbados, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert
 

 

 

Where to stay in Barbados?

Barbados is actually a very small island, it is only 34km in length and 23 km wide, yet it is extremely diverse. We hired a local moke ( tiny 2-seater car ), and drove around the whole island in a day. The east coast is renowned for it’s excellent surf, and Bathsheba beach is a cool place to hang out – there is no shortage of  billabong and rip curl clad surfers catching the waves.

Barbados Surfer, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

The south coast of Barbados has some of the best nightlife in the Caribbean – it tends to attract a younger crowd or couples who are looking for budget accommodation. Although St. Lawerence Gap is the most popular spot for nightlife, make sure you take a trip to Oistins where every Friday and Saturday night they have a wild street party. The south coast is also home to the capital Bridgetown. This bustling town, although not that visuallly appealing, offers plenty of sightseeing  and some of the best shopping on the island.
 

 

 
The west coast is home to Sandy Lane – need I say more? This part of the island is a celebrity hang out, however, there are plenty of affordable hotels there too. The Caribbean sea is very calm and completely contrasts the Atlantic on the east coast. The white sandy beaches and clear water are a Mecca for sunbathing or swimming. 

Read: Where to stay in Barbados – My top picks of Barbados Hotels
 

 

 
There are plenty of boat trips available, and you don’t have to venture far out to sea to swim with turtles, go snorkeling or try your hand at scuba diving.

Barbados by The Travel Expert

Barbados holidays offer a wealth of day trip possibilities. A visit to a Plantation House is one of the most popular excursions. George Washington’s House, St Nicholas Abbey and Sunbury Plantation House are particularly impressive.
 

 

 
You can also visit some of the nearby Caribbean islands. We took a trip to the Grenadines and spent the day on board a catamaran visiting some of the Caribbean’s most spectacular beaches – it was sublime. If you have some spare time before you fly home, check out the original Concorde aircraft in Bridgetown Airport. This experience costs approx €15 and is worth it if you are even remotely interested in airplanes.
 

 

 

The best time to enjoy Barbados Holidays

The rainy season is from August to October so it is best to avoid travelling at that time if possible, but for the other nine months of the year the weather is very pleasant. The weather from January through to April is less humid and usually the driest.

 

Sarah

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