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The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 18th January 2022

Best travel deals

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, summer holidays, city breaks, early booking offers, and staycations for couples and families.

This week’s best travel deals include a last minute holiday to Gran Canaria, spring breaks in Venice and Iceland, summer holidays in Croatia and Amalfi Coast a Med cruise, and early bookings offers to Miami and Portugal.  I also have staycations in Belfast and Kilkenny.
 

 

 
It is important to be aware of the latest travel restrictions. In Europe most countries only require you to show your Digital Covid Certificate if vaccinated, however there are exceptions, including Italy and Portugal where a negative test is also required. Currently no pre-departure tests are required returning to Ireland, as long as you are fully vaccinated.

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I have some advice and tips in these posts that you may find useful, but please check the latest updates with your airline or travel agent before you travel.

Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Travelling overseas? Make sure you fill out passenger locator forms in advance
 

 

 

Best last minute holiday:

Gold by Marina hotel, Gran Canaira

Want to stay in the best rated hotel in Gran Canaria? This amazing deal to the Gold by Marina Hotel is just €471 for seven nights, including flights, transfers and checked baggage – this is almost 50% off the original price.
 

 

 
Ranked number 1 out of 134 hotels in Gran Canaria by TripAdvisor, this adult-only hotel is just what you need to beat the January blues. Price will show €521 below, but if you use code WINTER you will save a further €100 off the total price. Price is based on 24th January departure, but travel January 31st or February 7th for a supplement of €72 per person. 

See more here
 

 

 

Best overnight escape:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)


To coincide with the 50th birthday of the historic Europa Hotel in Belfast, you can enjoy a Golden Moments package from €66 per person sharing, which includes an overnight stay, full Irish breakfast, signature cocktail in the Piano Lounge, signature truffles in your room, and an exclusive golden Hastings duck!
 

 

 
The Europa is a world famous hotel that welcomed the numerous celebrities as well as The Clintons and the Dalai Lama. There has never been a better time to visit!

View offer here
 

 

 

Best spring break:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

Chase the Northern Lights, swim in the Blue Lagoon and marvel at the Iceland’s Golden Circle. This super weekend in Iceland includes flights and a four-star hotel from just €386, departing March 26th.

See more here
 

 

 

Best summer sun:

best travel deals to the Amalfi coast

A summer break on the Amalfi Coast doesn’t have to cost the earth. Check out this deal to Sorrento, departing June 8th. Price for flights and a seven-night stay in the 4-Star Hotel Prestige is just €585 including breakfast.

See more here

 

See more accommodation options here:

Read: My ultimate guide to the Amalfi Coast, where to stay in Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi & Capri
 

 

 

Best city break:

best travel deals to Venice

Aer Lingus’ sale has been extended to January 24th so why not take advantage and plan a cheeky city break. With up to 20% off European destinations up to 31st May, cities such as Venice, Bilbao, Vienna and Madrid, are available from less than €100 for return flights – see more here.

I found a great deal to Venice departing March 28th. Price for flights and a three-night stay at the superbly located Mercurio Hotel is just €235 per person.

View flights here €82pp

View hotel here €153pp

 

See lots more accommodation options in Venice here:

Read: Top things to do in Venice and where to stay
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

zaton holiday resort, Croatia

Looking for something different for your family holiday this year? Try Croatia! The highly rated Zaton Holiday Resort is a huge resort with a wide selection of mobile homes and self-catering apartments to suit families of all shapes and sizes. Located by the sea, with a waterpark, slides and kids clubs on site, it has everything you need for a fun-filled family holiday.
 

 

 
I found a great family deal from €1411 including flights from Dublin for seven nights on the 8th of June, based on a family of four. Price for return flights are €142 per person from Dublin to Zadar, and self-catering apartments are available from €843. The Zaton Holiday Resort is located just 20km from Zadar airport.

Superior apartments and larger two-bedroom homes are also available. If this date doesn’t suit, simply edit the dates below to suit you.

Check flights here €142pp

View Apts here from €843

 
Read: The Best Family Campsites in Europe – Top 20 Picks
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

family hotels in Ireland - Newpark Hotel Kilkenny has a pet farm.

The Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny is often regarded as one of the best family hotels in Ireland – I have no doubt your kids will agree. It was voted Family Friendly Hotel of the year in 2020, and the fact that there is a wildlife park and a go-karting track (8+) on site might have something to do with that.
 

 

 
It tends to get booked out quickly during school holidays, so if you are planning a family break during Easter holidays, now might be a good time to book. Price for a two-night stay is €500 for a family of four, or €540 for a family of five, including breakfast. 

Read: Top 10 things to do in Kilkenny with kids

Read: 20 family hotel deals in Ireland during Easter holidays

See more here
 

 

 

Best long haul offer:

all inclusive holiday deals

Can you think of a better combo than Miami and Mexico? Enjoy a three-night stay in the 4-Star Gates Hotel on the world famous South Beach, before flying to Cancun for a seven-night stay at the 5-star Grand Sunset Princess Hotel on an all-inclusive basis – and all for just €1429 in September! Price includes all fights and checked baggage.

See more here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

You may recall I flew to Lisbon and the Algarve over the October mid term break, and managed to bag cheap flights with TAP Air Portugal by booking in advance. Well these flights are on sale now for next October…
 

 

 
You can choose a city break in Lisbon during school holidays, with return flights from €80 per person, (3rd – 6th November), or fly to the Algarve (via Lisbon) for seven-nights from €147 per person (29th October – 5th November).

I have linked flights to Skyscanner below, and based flight prices on convenient flight times (not the cheaper 0450 departure!), but regardless of which flight you choose, I recommend clicking through to the TAP Air Portugal website to make a booking.

View Lisbon here €80pp

View Faro here €147pp

 

You can see a wide selection of hotel and apartment choices in these posts:

Read: Where to stay in Lisbon, my top picks of 3, 4 and 5-star Lisbon hotels

Read: Family holidays to the Algarve, my top picks on where to stay
 

 

 

Best cruise:

Princess Cruises

Cruise the Med with Princess Cruises this summer, with all-inclusive cruise deals from just €1249 including flights, meals and drinks on board. There is a wide selection to choose from, including a seven-night cruise on Regal Princess from Athens, visiting Santorini, Montenegro, Sicily and Naples, before returning to Barcelona for your flight home.

Price for this itinerary is from €1299, departing June 4th, and includes return flights, airport transfers and cruise on an all-inclusive basis.

See more here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

Best Travel DealsTravel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 14th December 2021

Best travel deals

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, winter breaks, city breaks, cruise deals, early booking offers for next summer, and staycations for couples and families.

This week’s best travel deals includes a city break in Lisbon for €181, winter sun in Gran Canaria, Easter in Madeira, a family holiday to Boston and Cape Cod, an all-inclusive deal to Mexico,  a cruise around the Emirates, as well as staycations in Mayo and Laois.
 

 

 
It is important to be aware of the latest travel restrictions. In Europe most countries only require you to show your Digital Covid Certificate if vaccinated, however there are some exceptions. In some cases testing will also be required, and currently a negative Covid test is required when you return to Ireland.
 
Instagram
 
I have some advice and tips in these posts that you may find useful, but please check the latest updates with your airline or travel agent before you travel.

Latest travel restrictions for entry into Ireland

Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Travelling overseas? Make sure you fill out passenger locator forms in advance
 

 

 

Best last minute holiday:

holiday deals to Gran Canaria

Want to beat the January blues? Jet off to Gran Canaria and enjoy a seven-night stay at the Bahia Feliz apartments for just €300 including flights, transfers and checked baggage! Highly rated on TripAdvisor and a Travellers Choice award winner this year, this is incredible value for a week in the sun.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best overnight escape:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

We have just returned from an overnight stay in the Midlands Park Hotel and were really impressed with its contemporary style and choice of dining options. Located just an hour from from Dublin, it is the perfect place for a quick getaway. 
 

 

 
I found this great Winter Indulgence deal available on selected dates from this Sunday right up to March. For only €99 per room you can enjoy an overnight stay with breakfast, Irish Coffee or Baileys Hot Chocolate, €10 off Jule Day Spa when you spend €50, and a 10% discount card for Kildare Village Outlet!

Top Tip: Make sure to pre-book Kellys Steakhouse, the food is superb! 

View offers here
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

Boston and Cape Cod Holiday

I love a good road trip, and Boston to Cape Cod is firmly on my family holiday bucket list. I spotted this luxury deal with Platinum Travel and it looks very tempting!
 

 

 
Price for flights, a three night stay in Boston, followed by a seven night stay in Cape Cod, with car hire and a Boston Trolley Tour included, is only €4,399 per family. This price is based on travel in May, but other dates can be arranged.

View offer here

 

Read: Boston and Cape Cod travel guide, top things to do and where to stay 
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

twixmas breaks in Ireland

Treat the family to a Twixmas break in Breaffy House Hotel in Mayo. We stayed here twice now and love its family friendly facilities and proximity to Mayo’s gorgeous coastline.
 

 

 
Price for a two-night stay on the 29th of December is just €408 based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing, or €486 for a family of six sharing a family bunkbed room.

Read: 15 family Twixmas breaks, 2 night stays from €338

View offer here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Visit Madeira (@visitmadeira)

Ryanair have just announced a year round service from Dublin to Madeira, and now is the time to book to get the best value. A holiday over Easter holidays including flights and a seven-night stay in the 4-star Savoy Signature Hotel, is just €394 per person, based on two sharing. Prices are even less if you travel outside of peak times.

Search flights here 13th April €152pp

View hotel here €242pp
 

 

 

Best city break

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

Lisbon is super city break destination. There is so much to see and do, its on the coast, and it has a great food scene! I found weekend flights departing on the 2nd of April for just €56 return, and a three-night stay in the popular Ibis Styles Marquês de Pombal with breakfast included is only €125 per person. A weekend in Lisbon for just €181 is a super Christmas gift idea 🎁

Read: Top 10 things to do in Lisbon, with or without kids

Search flights here 2nd April €56pp

View hotel here €125pp

See more Lisbon hotel options in this post:

Read: Where to stay in Lisbon, my top picks of Lisbon hotels
 

 

 

Best long haul holiday:

Best travel deals to Mexico

Want to dance like nobody’s watching? Enjoy a week in the lively RIU Cancun Hotel, where the all-inclusive arrangement is available 24 hours a day, for only €1095 including flights! Yes you read that right!
 

 

 
This amazing deal includes flights to Cancun Mexico and a seven night stay on in the beachfront RIU Cancun an all inclusive basis, departing May 2022. 

View offer here
 

 

 

Best cruise:

image of Dubai from above

Cruise Dubai and the Emirates on the brand new MSC Virtousa for just €1229 per person. This super deal includes flights to Doha with Qatar Airways, an overnight stay in Doha, return airport transfers, and a seven night cruise with meals and gratuities included. 

View offer here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

 

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 9th November 2021

best travel deals_opt (1)

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, winter breaks, city breaks, cruise deals, early booking offers for next summer, and staycations for couples and families.

This week’s best travel deals include a last minute holiday to Lanzarote, Christmas market breaks to Munich, a city break to Boston, family holidays in Portugal and Clare, a summer offer to Sorrento, a Royal Caribbean cruise and an overnight escape to Cabra Castle.
 

 

 
It is important to be aware that each country has their own entry requirements. If you are vaccinated, you will beed to bring your Digital Covid Certificate with you, and non-vaccinated people will need to produce a negative Covid tests on arrival. 
 
Instagram
 
Most countries require passenger locator forms to be filled out in advance of travel – in some cases these have to be done 24 hours in advance. I have some advice and tips in these posts that you may find useful, but please check the latest updates with your airline or travel agent before you travel.

Top 10 tips for booking holidays during Covid-19

Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Travelling overseas? Make sure you fill out passenger locator forms in advance

 

Best last minute holiday:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

With temperatures a balmy 21 degrees in Lanzarote, why not enjoy a winter sun break before Christmas? Price for flights and a seven-night stay in the highly rated La Penita apartments in Puerto el Carmen, is just €379, departing the 28th of November. 

Read: Why Lanzarote is my favourite Canary Island

Search flights here €171pp

View hotel here €208pp
 

 

 

Best overnight escape:

hotel deal to Cabra Castle

Enjoy an overnight escape in the luxurious 18th Century Cabra Castle for just €65 per person including a Full Irish breakfast – this is a saving of 47% off the standard room rate. Price is available on selected dates until 31st  March 2022.

View offer here 
 

 

 

Best winter break:

Christmas market break in Munich

Kick start the festive season with a Christmas market break in Munich. Bavaria’s capital has over 20 markets to choose from and is covered in twinkling lights and market stalls.
 

 

 
Price for a two night break, flying out early morning on the 8th of December and returning late on the 10th of December including Aer Lingus flights and the highly rated Bold Hotel Munich Centre, is just €226 per person. See more hotel choices in this post:

Read: The best Christmas markets in Munich and where to stay

View flights here €92pp

See hotel here €134pp
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

I had many enquiries about staying at Martinhal Sagres since my recent visit and I found a good deal on the hotel’s website for the end of June.
 

 

 
Flights from Dublin to Faro with TAP Air Portugal are just €140 per person including hand luggage – you can choose to stop in Lisbon if you wish, or continue on to Faro. A seven-night stay at a 2-bedroom Mimosa Townhouse is €2222, making the total cost including flights €2,782, arriving the 24th or 25th of June.

Search flights here €140pp

Search hotel here €2222
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

Cliffs of Moher

Dust off the cob webs with a post-Christmas stroll along the Cliffs of Moher. This super deal staying in Clare’s Woodstock Hotel is just €325 per family, based on a two-night stay, arriving December 28th.
 

 

 
The onsite Leisure Club with pool, kids pool, sauna and jacuzzi will be a warmly welcomed after spending a day along the Wild Atlantic Way.

View offer here

 

See more festive family breaks here:

Read: 15 Family breaks between Christmas & New Year, 2 Night Stays from €310
 

 

 

Best city break:

Weekend in Boston

With the USA back open to international visitors, I simply had to include a city break Stateside this week. Aer Lingus if currently offering €100 off return flights to the USA for travel up to 31st December, however I chose a spring weekend in Boston instead – for just €482 including a 4-star hotel!
 

 

 
Return direct flights to Boston are available in February (including Valentine’s weekend) for just €298 per person, and a three-night stay in the 4-star Staypineapple, South End is available from just €201 per person.

See more here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

The ultimate guide to the Amalfi Coast, where to stay in Positano, Sorrento, Amalfi and more

I found some great deals from Dublin to Naples in August from just €123 return. Enjoy a week in sunny Sorrento, staying in the 4-star Hotel Prestige for just €547 per person, making the total cost for a seven-night stay on the 12th of August, with flights included, just €670 per person. This hotel rate includes breakfast and free cancellation too!

View flights here €123pp

View hotel here €547pp

I have lots more hotel choices along the Amalfi Coast in this post:

Read: The ultimate guide to the Amalfi Coast and where to stay
 

 

 

Best cruise:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

The brand new Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Wonder of the Seas will be launching in March 2022. What will be the world’s largest ship will have even more award-winning facilities and dining options available.

It will be cruising the Med next summer, and you can enjoy a seven-night cruise from Barcelona from just €1489 in June. Price includes return flights, cruise, meals and activities.

See more here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 27th October 2021

Best Travel Deals Image_opt (1)

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, winter breaks, city breaks, cruise deals, early booking offers for next summer, and staycations for couples and families.

 

This week I have a last minute wellness break in the Algarve, winter sun in Fuerteventura, city breaks to Lisbon, a cruise around the Emirates, and a family holiday to Lake Garda for next summer. I also have a post-Christmas family break in Sligo, and an amazing offer to Mount Juliet. 
 

 

 
It is important to be aware that each country has their own entry requirements. If you are vaccinated, you will beed to bring your Digital Covid Certificate with you, and non-vaccinated people will need to produce a negative Covid tests on arrival. 
 
Instagram
 
Most countries require passenger locator forms to be filled out in advance of travel – in some cases these have to be done 24 hours in advance. I have some advice and tips in these posts that you may find useful, but please check the latest updates with your airline or travel agent before you travel.

Top 10 tips for booking holidays during Covid-19

Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Travelling overseas? Make sure you fill out passenger locator forms in advance

Latest travel updates on international travel – your questions answered
 

 

 

Best last minute holiday:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)


Treat yourself to a luxury Wellness break in the Algarve. Flights and luxury hotels are superb value in November – like this deal to the 5-star Real Marina Hotel, with indoor pool and luxury Spa. Price for flights and a five-night stay is just €284 per person.

See more here
 

 

 

Best overnight escape:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert) on

Why not treat yourself or a loved one to an over night stay at Mount Juliet Estate? I found a super deal for a Sunday night stay in January. Price including breakfast at Hunters Yard is just €80 per person – the perfect Christmas gift perhaps? I stayed in Mount Juliet last summer and loved it – you can read my review here.

Read: My review of Mount Juliet 

Read: 10 Five-Star hotel deals in Ireland

View offer here

 

 

 

Best winter sun:

Get some sun before the festive season, with a week in Fuerteventura. Price for flights and  a seven-night stay in the highly rated Las Marismas apartments is just €298 per person, departing December 2nd. 

Search flights here €95pp

View hotel here €203pp
 

 

 

Best city break:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

If you were following me this week, you will know that I had a fabulous time in Lisbon. I have some great Lisbon deals available on my website at the moment, including a 5-star break for Valentines weekend from €278, and an Easter weekend offer from €372 per person.
 

 

 
I also have a family break over Easter weekend from €1084 including flights and a 4-star apartment – the price is even less if you can travel midweek during school holidays.

See Valentines Offer

 

See Easter Offer
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

Sirmione, Lake Garda

With airfares set to increase, now is the time to secure your family holiday for next summer! Flights to Verona are surprisingly good value – with return flights from just €190 per person on the 15th of July or €150 per person on the 10th of August.
 

 

 
There is a host of accommodation options available, from mobile homes to luxury apartments. I have selected two below that might be of interest – simply edit the dates to suit your requirements.

Search flights here 10th August €150pp

See Poiano here €1400

See FamilySPA Resort €2352
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

Enniscrone Beach.

Brisk walks along Enniscrone beach are the perfect way to kick start the New Year. The Ocean Sands Hotel is ocated in the heart of Enniscrone, overlooking one of Ireland’s best beaches, the location couldn’t be better. Children will love Waterpoint Aqua Park too, which is only a few minutes walk away. 
 

 

 
Price for a two-night stay on the 28th of December is €422 per family – this is a large family room and sleeps up to five.

Read: 15 family breaks between Christmas and New Year

View offer here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

Always wanted to visit Las Vegas? I spotted flights with British Airways for just €335 return next September! With prices like that, why not treat yourself to a deluxe suite at Signature at the MGM Grand Hotel? Price for a four-night stay is just €375 per person.

View flights here €335pp

View hotel here €375pp
 

 

 

Best cruise:

MSC Virtuosa

I spotted MSC Virtuosa in Lisbon yesterday, so thought it timely to include it in this weeks Best Travel Deals post. It is cruising around the Emirates this winter, and you can enjoy a seven-night cruise with flights, checked baggage, all meals, drinks and gratuities included, from just €1289 in February!

Visit Dubai, Sir Bani Yas Island, Dammam and Doha, before returning to Dubai for your flight home.

See more here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 14th September 2021

Best Travel Deals Image_opt (1)

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, winter breaks, city breaks, cruise deals, early booking offers for next summer, and staycations for couples and families.

A last minute deal to Greece, a Royal Caribbean cruise, and a family trip to Dubai feature in my best travel deals this week. I also have winter sun in Lanzarote, a city break to Venice, an early booking offer to the Algarve in July, a girls night away, and a family break between Christmas and New Year.
 

 

 
It is important to be aware that each country has their own entry requirements. If you are vaccinated, you will beed to bring your Digital Covid Certificate with you, and non-vaccinated people will need to produce a negative Covid tests on arrival. 
 
Instagram
 
Most countries require passenger locator forms to be filled out in advance of travel – in some cases these have to be done 24 hours in advance. I have some advice and tips in these posts that you may find useful, but please check the latest updates with your airline or travel agent before you travel.

Top 10 tips for booking holidays during Covid-19

Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Travelling overseas? Make sure you fill out passenger locator forms in advance

Latest travel updates on international travel – your questions answered
 

 

 

Best last minute holiday:

the travel expert has the best travel deals to Zakynthos

Jet off to the beautiful island of Zakynthos this weekend, and stay at the popular Alykes Garden Village for just €308 per person – yes you read that right! Highly recommended on Tripadvisor, you can’t beat this price for a week in the sun. Price includes flights, apartment, return airport transfers and checked baggage for seven nights.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best overnight escape:

Girls night away in Ireland hotel

Due to popular demand, this exclusive offer from the Clayton Hotel Limerick is back for a second time. From a mere €80 per person you can enjoy a night away with breakfast, a 4-course à la carte dinner, a complimentary cocktail, and Prosecco in your room on arrival – can you believe the price? You also have full access to the Club Vitae swimming pool, health and fitness centre.
 

 

 
This exclusive deal is valid right up to the end of the year, even on Friday nights. Price of €80pp is based on three sharing, and is aimed a ‘girls night away’, but you can of course bring your partner, mother etc. Price for two sharing is €95 per person. Supplements apply for Saturday night stays. 

See more here
 

 

 

Best winter break:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

Beat the January blues with a week in Lanzarote for just €293. Aer Lingus’ Seat Sale is now on with return flights from just €120 per person on the 27th of January. I found a great deal to the Bitacora apartments in Puerto del Carmen for just €173 per person.
 

 

 
Alternatively choose the 5-star All Inclusive Gran Castillo Tagoro for just €577 (refundable rate), making a total stay here just €697 per person.

View flights here €120pp

View Bitacora €173pp

View Gran Castillo €577pp
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

family offer to Dubai in the travel experts best travel deals

Emirates holidays has a superb family offer in the 4-star Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts from 4th January – 30th September 2022. Enjoy a free upgrade from bed & breakfast to half board, as well as complimentary park tickets to Dubai Parks and Resorts – home to Legoland, Legoland Waterpark, Motiongate and Bollywood Parks. 
 

 

 
I looked at the June bank holiday weekend and price for direct flights with Emirates to Dubai with 25kg checked baggage per person, and a seven night stay with breakfast, evening meal and park tickets included, is €3,645 based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. Offer is available throughout the year – price seven nights over Easter holidays is €4,529.

Read: Top tips for a family holiday to Dubai

View offer here
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

irish hotel deals for families in wexford

Rated number 1 on TripAdvisor  the luxurious Talbot Suites at Stonebridge, Wexford is a super choice for families looking for a break between Christmas and New Year. There are two and three-bedroom apartments available, and all have access to the swimming pool and Talbot Quay Leisure Centre and the facilities of the Talbot Hotel Wexford.
 

 

 
Price is €360 for a two-bedroom apartment and €500 for a three-bedroom apartment, arriving on the 28th of December for two nights.

Read: Top 10 things to do in Wexford with kids

See more here
 

 

 

Best city break:

City guide to Venice, best things to do, and where to stay

Now is the time to explore Venice – get there before the crowds arrive! Aer Lingus is offering great value airfares from just €39.99 each way in October, and there are super hotel deals available too.
 

 

 
Price for flights on the 19th of October and a four-night stay in the Hotel Dell’Opera is €362 per person. Highly recommended on TripAdvisor, this hotel is located just five minutes walk from St. Mark’s Square.

Read: Venice travel guide – top things to do and where to stay

View flights here €80pp

View hotel here €282pp
 

 

 

Best cruise:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

The value on cruise holidays at the moment is second to none! Did you know you can cruise the Med for seven days on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas for just €899 in October? This amazing offer includes flights, 20kg checked baggage, all meals and entertainment on board, gratuities, and an upgrade to a neighbourhood balcony cabin!
 

 

 
Visit Barcelona, Palma, Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples before returning to Barcelona for your return flight home. I had the pleasure of cruising on this ship many years ago – you can read my review here. See this and lots more cruise offers here:

See more here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

Algarve beach

If you believe Michael O Leary’s comments this week, airfares for next summer are set to increase! If you you are in a position to book now, you can secure return flights to the Algarve from €152 in July.
 

 

 
The beachfront Santa Eulalia Hotel & Spa near Albufeira is also offering early booking discounts, so you can secure a week in this popular holiday resort for just €510 per person on the 7th of July.

Search flights here €152pp

View hotel here €358pp 
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 31st August 2021

Best travel deals

This weeks best travel deals include a last minute sun holiday, city break and cruise deal, winter breaks, early booking offers for next summer, and staycations for couples and families.

Last minute deals to Gran Canaria and Bordeaux, as well as a super Greek Isles cruise in September feature in my best travel deals this week. I also have staycations in Sligo and Wexford, a short post-Christmas ski trip, and early booking offers to Sorrento and Lanzarote for next summer.
 

 

 
It is important to be aware that each country has their own entry requirements, and these can change at any time. Most countries require non-vaccinated people to produce proof of negative Covid tests on arrival. Some require PCR tests, others will accept Antigen tests, and child ages vary from country to country.
 
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It is also vital that if you are vaccinated or have recovered from Covid that you have proof of this. If you have not yet received your Digital Covid Certificate, or need more information on testing or entry requirements, you can find out more in this post:

Latest travel updates on international travel – your questions answered
 

 

 
Most countries require passenger locator forms to be filled out in advance of travel – in some cases these have to be done 24 hours in advance. I have some advice and tips in these posts that you may find useful, but please check the latest updates with your airline or travel agent before you travel.

Top 10 tips for booking holidays during Covid-19

Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Travelling overseas? Make sure you fill out passenger locator forms in advance

 

Best last minute holiday:

Puerto Mogan

Treat yourself to some five-star luxury and enjoy a week in Gran Canaria, staying at the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Mogan for just €579. This hotel is located close to the seafront in the pretty fishing village of Mogan.
 

 

 
There are two swimming pools, as well as a Spa and fitness centre with running track and climbing tower. This hotel has been on my wish list for some time, I have personally had great feedback from previous guests. 

This price is based on flying from Dublin on the 14th of September, and includes a seven-night stay with breakfast, in a superior room with balcony. This price is similar throughout September, so if this date does not suit, simply edit the search dates on the links below.

Search flights here €140pp 

View hotel here €439pp
 

 

 

Best overnight escape:

Special Offer at Riverside Park Hotel, Wexford

Looking for a quick getaway that won’t break the bank? This super deal of just €50 per person from the 4-star Riverside Park Hotel in Wexford includes breakfast, as well as a bottle of Prosecco and chocolates in your room on arrival! I stayed here in July – this is fantastic value for an autumn break. 

See more here
 

 

 

Best winter break:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Always wanted to try skiing, but not sure if it is for you? This short post-Christmas break to France is the perfect way to try it, and beat the January blues at the same time!
 

 

 
Price of €366 per person includes flights, a four-night stay in the 4-star Le Belmount Arc 1800 apartments, 20kg checked in baggage and return airport transfers, departing January 4th.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I had many requests from people asking about luxurious family hotels for next summer – it seems you want to make up for lost time! I found a great deal in the 5-star Gran Castillo Tagoro in Lanzarote in July. This all-inclusive resort is hugely popular with Irish visitors and currently has a discount of €568 on the 17th of July.
 

 

 
Price of €3640 includes flights, transfers, checked baggage, and all meals and drinks throughout your stay, based on a family of four. The best part – you don’t need to pay in advance for the flights. As this is a package holiday so you only need a deposit of €75 per person to secure a booking.

Read: Why Lanzarote is my favourite Canary Island

View offer here 
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

The Diamond Coast Hotel is one of the best hotels with large family rooms on the wild atlantic way.

Located close to one of the best beaches in Ireland, the Diamond Coast Hotel in Sligo is one of the most popular places to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way. Families love its large family rooms, and it is a great choice for a staycation over the October mid term break. Price of €480 is based on a family of four for three nights, and includes breakfast too!

Read: 20 family staycations over the October mid term break

View offer here
 

 

 

Best city break:

Saint-Emilion close to Bordeaux in France
Saint-Emilion

Explore the wine lands and historic city of Bordeaux for just €203 per person. Ryanair is offering flights from just €26 return from Dublin to Bordeaux in September and October. I found a great deal in the highly rate StayCity apart-hotel which is located right in the heart of the city for just €354, making a three night stay just €207 per person including flights.

I have linked the 9th of October below but simply edit the search dates if this date doesn’t suit.

Search flights here 9th October €30pp

View hotel here €177pp
 

 

 

Best cruise:

holidays to Santorini from Ireland

Cruise the Greek Islands on Norwegian Jade this September from just €788! Set sail from Athens on September 26th and visit Crete, Rhodes, Mykonos, Corfu, Olympia and Santorini, before returning to Athens for your flight home.
 

 

 
This amazing cruise deal includes flights and a seven-night cruise with meals and entertainment included. For an extra €99 you can avail of an unlimited drinks package as well as WiFi or two speciality dining meals. 

View offer here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer: 

The ultimate guide to the Amalfi Coast, where to stay in Positano, Sorrento, Amalfi and more

Secure a week on the Amalfi Coast next summer with this super deal to the 4-star Hotel Prestige. Flights to Naples are available from €69 return in June, and a seven-night stay with breakfast is just €425 per person, making the total cost just €494 per person for a one-week holiday in Sorrento on the 8th of June.

The Prestige Hotel is rated as Excellent on TripAdvisor and was a Travellers Choice Award Winner this year. Read my ultimate guide to the Amalfi Coast for more ideas on where to stay and which resorts to visit.
 
Search flights here 8th June €69pp

View hotel here €425pp
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 17th August 2021

best travel deals_opt (1)

This weeks best travel deals include last minute holidays to Italy and Greece, family deals at home and abroad for the October mid term break, a luxury cruise, and a girls weekend in Marbella.

It is great to see so many people travelling overseas again, but for those who haven’t booked a holiday yet, hopefully you will find something in this weeks Best Travel Deals post to tempt you.
 

 

 
I have last minute deals to Sorrento and Belfast, amazing value to Zakynthos in September, a Celebrity cruise, winter sun in Lanzarote, family holidays to PortAventura and Clare during the October mid term break, and a girls weekend in Marbella for next summer.  
 

 

 
It is important to be aware that each country has their own entry requirements, and these can change at any time. Most countries require non-vaccinated people to produce proof of negative Covid tests on arrival. Some require PCR tests, others will accept Antigen tests, and child ages vary from country to country.
 
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It is also vital that if you are vaccinated or have recovered from Covid that you have proof of this. If you have not yet received your Digital Covid Certificate, or need more information on testing or entry requirements, you can find out more in this post:

Latest travel updates on international travel – your questions answered
 

 

 
Most countries require passenger locator forms to be filled out in advance of travel – in some cases these have to be done 24 hours in advance. I have some advice and tips in these posts that you may find useful, but please check the latest updates with your airline or travel agent before you travel.

Top 10 tips for booking holidays during Covid-19

Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Travelling overseas? Make sure you fill out passenger locator forms in advance
 

 

 

Best last minute holiday:

last minute deal to the Amalfi Coast in Italy

Ryanair is having a Flash Sale to Italy, with airfares from €19.99 each way. Book by 20th August for travel from 17th August – 31st October 2021. I found flights into Naples on the 28th of August for just €83 return, and a seven night stay in the 4-star Hotel Cristina in Sorrento is just €504 including breakfast.
 

 

 
Located just 700 metres from the beach and within walking distance of the town centre, this is rated as Excellent on TripAdvisor.

Search flights here €83pp

View hotel here €504pp
 

 

 

Best last minute staycation: 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Enjoy an overnight stay in the heart of Belfast city this weekend. Stay at the highly rated Maldron Hotel ( rated 5 out of 55 hotels in Belfast on TripAdvisor ), which is located just 500 metres from the popular Cathedral Quarter and within walking distance of Belfast’s top attractions. Price is just €58pp for an overnight stay this Sunday.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best september sun:

Shipwreck Beach, Zakynthos

Gran some September sunshine in the beautiful island of Zakynthos in Greece. Visit the world famous Shipwreck beach, take a boat trip to see the Loggerhead turtles, and enjoy some delicious Greek food. I found a great deal to the highly rated Danny apartments for just €330 on the 19th of September.
 

 

 
Price includes flights, transfers, checked baggage and a seven night stay in this gorgeous island – this is less than half price!!

See more here
 

 

 

Best family holiday

Best travel deals to PortAventura theme park

Treat the kids to a short break in Salou over the October mid term break. Visit one of Europe’e best theme parks, PortAventura, explore the vibrant city of Barcelona, or chill out at the hotel’s indoor or outdoor pool.
 

 

 
Price for flights, a four-night stay at the highly rated Villa Romana hotel with breakfast and evening meal included, and two-day park passes to PortAventura and Ferrari Land is just €1496, based on two adults and two children sharing.

Read: Top 10 reasons to visit PortAventura

See more here
 

 

 

Best family staycation

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Enjoy a two-night break in the Falls Hotel in Clare for just €377 during the October midterm break. Price includes bed and breakfast in a family room, and an evening meal on the night of your choice – kids eat free from the kids menu. Price is based on the 26th of October arrival, but other dates are available.  

Search & Book here
 

 

 

Best winter break:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Fancy some winter sun? Spend a week in Lanzarote for only €309 on the 30th of November! Price includes flights and a seven-night stay in the highly rated Bitacora apartments in Puerto del Carmen. Want to go All-Inclusive? The 5-star Dream Gran Castillo Villa Tagoro is just €677 for seven nights, including flights.

Read: Why Lanzarote is my favourite Canary Island

See more here
 

 

 

Best cruise deal:

Search The Travel Expert for the best travel deals, including cruise deals.

The term ‘best cruise deal’ is very apt considering this cruise ship is one of the most luxurious cruise ships sailing the Mediterranean right now. Treat yourself to a five star all-inclusive cruise on Celebrity Apex, with mouth watering food and unlimited drinks on board, return flights, 20kg checked in baggage, return transfers, tips, port taxes & all ship entertainment, all for €1750 per person.
 

 

 
Set sail from Athens on the 5th of September and visit Santorini, Rhodes, Mykonos and Dubrovnik before returning to Athens for your return flight home.

See more here 
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

Search The Travel Expert for the best travel deals for a girls weekend away.

Missing your girly getaways? I think it is time to bring back one of my most popular Best Travel Deals! Plan ahead and secure a weekend in Marbella for just €288 next May. Price includes flights and a three-night stay at the highly rated Princesa Playa apartments. This is one of my most popular Best Travel Deals 

See more here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

Travel DealsTravel Deals Abroad

Weekend Break in Venice – 3 Nights, Flights & Hotel, 2nd April, €332pp

Vaporetto on the Grand Canal, Venice

There has never been a better time to visit one of the world’s most beautiful cities. This weekend break in Venice is the perfect way to make up for lost time!

The unique floating city of Venice simply has to be visited at least once in a lifetime. It is romantic, captivating and will inspire you at every corner. There are so many iconic sights to see and this weekend break in Venice will give you the perfect opportunity to see them.
 

 

 
With international visitors starting to return, you should be able to enjoy a holiday atmosphere, but without the massive crowds. Sipping a latte on St Mark’s Square and taking a gondola ride through the canals, both cost a small fortune, but simply have to be done! There are plenty of things you can do for free though.
 

 

 
Visit the Basilica di San Marco and the Campanile Tower, cross the famous Rialto bridge or simply wander through the back streets and alleyways and see every day Venetian life. Read my post about the top things to do in Venice here.

Weekend Break in Venice

I found a great deal in the superbly located Mercurio Hotel. Located just five-minutes walk to St. Mark’s Square, with views over the Barcaroli Canal, this is one of the best value hotels in Venice.
 

 

 
I have chosen Saturday the 2nd of April, but if these dates don’t suit simply edit the search via the link below, to suit your requirements. The flights to Venice are with Aer Lingus and cost just €104 return, and should you need to change dates, you can do so free of charge up to seven days before departure.
 

 

 
This weekend in Venice also includes a hotel rate with free cancellation – the price is even less if you choose a non-refundable rate. I lots more hotel options in this post: 

Read: Top things to do in Venice and where to stay
 

 

 
View Flights €104pp

 

View Hotel €228pp

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Travel

New Year In Iceland, Flights, Baggage & 4-Star Hotel, 4-Nights, €579

aurora-borealis-69221_1280_opt

Plan ahead and spend New Year in Iceland – who knows the Northern Lights might even light up the skies on New Years Eve…

I went to Iceland a few years ago and I loved it. It was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. The scenery, the people, everything about the trip was amazing, even though we had the worst snow storms. We saw the Northern Lights, something that was on my bucket list for years. This time of year is a good time to see them, so fingers crossed you will too.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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We also swam in the Blue Lagoon. Bathing in the steamy waters of the Blue Lagoon with snow all around us was something really special. In fact the whole island looked like a Winter wonderland.

Read my top things to do in Iceland.

weekend in Iceland
 

 

 
I found a great deal staying in the 4-star Icelandair Reykjavik Natura Hotel. This eco-friendly hotel is superb value and is home to the only heated indoor hotel pool in the area. You will also find a 24-hour gym, steam bath, sauna and hot tub.

Rooms are small but modern, and are equipped with tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge. This can be useful in a country that is not cheap on the ground!
 

 

 
I have based this deal for New Year in Iceland on a four night stay, which should give you time to see the highlights. TOP TIP: Make sure you book the Northern Lights tour for the night you arrive. If it is cancelled due to poor visibility (which happens regularly), this will give you time to re schedule for another night.
 

 

 
I have added direct links to Skyscanner below which show flights departing on the 29th of December for €242, but the cost I have highlighted below is €334. It is important to note that the cheaper fare of €242 is non changeable and does not include checked baggage. Iceland will be freezing in December – you will need to bring a checked bag!
 

 

 
Therefore. I have priced this package on the Economy Standard Fare which includes cabin baggage, checked baggage, seat selection, and a free date change. I recommend scrolling down to the Icelandair website to book these flights, and not to book via the third-party website.

So go on, plan ahead and ring in the New Year in Iceland! 

 
View flights here €334pp economy standard fare
 
View hotel here €245pp
 

 

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

 

 

 

Sarah

 

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Top Ten City Breaks For Families

Family Dubrovnik_opt

Check out my top ten city breaks for families, with plenty of activities for both adults and kids to enjoy.

City breaks for families should be embraced. Describing ancient Rome to your kids is so much easier when you are inside the Colosseum, Barcelona no longer becomes just a football club, and tapas become something they enjoy eating. Talk about World War Two or the Cold War at home and you will probably be ignored – however, at Checkpoint Charlie, its a different story.

Top ten city breaks for families

City breaks are the best way for kids to understand different cultures, taste new foods and enjoy some quality family time. You will be together 24/7 without kids clubs, pool games and only each other to talk to. Sitting down for a nice meal at the end of a days sightseeing, and listening to your kids describing the highlights of their day is very rewarding.
 
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However, there are only so many museums kids can take. You do need to make sure there are some ‘cool’ things for them to see too. I have some tips for taking kids on city breaks  which you might find useful, and in my list below, you will find my top ten city breaks for families. 
 

 

 

Berlin

Top ten city breaks for families

There is so much to see and do in Berlin, you could easily spend a week here. The DDR museum is a good choice for families as it is an interactive museum where kids are encouraged to touch things and interact, while Checkpoint Charlie will be popular with teenagers, they can even get their photo taken with armed guards!
 

 

 
The National History Museum has three huge dinosaur skeletons, including the largest skeleton in the world, and there are numerous technology and science museums that are very child friendly. There is also a Lego Discovery Centre, a fantastic Zoo, and if travelling in the Summer, the outdoor waterpark at Friedrichstein is worth a visit.

Read: My travel guide to Berlin
 

 

 

Lisbon

family city breaks in Lisbon

I love Lisbon and we had a super time there recently. It is so easily accessible, with Aer Lingus, Ryanair and TAP Air Portugal all offering daily flights from Ireland. I love that the city is by the sea, especially as it tends to have warm weather, but its great to have the choice of a beach day as well as exploring its pretty old town.
 

 

 
Take a Tuk Tuk or Tram tour to see most of the highlights, and make sure you visit Europe’s largest Aquarium – the kids will love it.
 
Take the train to nearby Sintra. The fairytale-like Pena Palace is like a Disney Castle, and if time allows visit Quinta de Regaleira too. It is full of dungeons and dragons – my kids thought they were in Hogwarts and loved it.  

 

 
 
 
 
 
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There are many great places to dine in Lisbon with kids too – make sure to visit TimeOut Market and LX Factory.

Read: Cascais and the Lisbon Coast

Read: Where to stay in Lisbon – My top pick of 3, 4 and 5 star hotels and apartments
 

 

 

London

City Breaks for families - London

Right on our doorstep, London is a great city for a family break. Check out the London Dungeon and Tower Bridge, visit the Harry Potter Experience, or spend a day in Legoland. And if your kids are like mine, they will love seeing Big Ben and taking a spin on the London Eye.

Read: Top things to do in London with kids and where to stay
 

 

 

Los Angeles

city breaks for families

So this might seem like a long way to go for a city break, but with so many direct flights from Dublin airport, it is more attainable now than ever. Kids will love seeing Hollywood boulevard, the stars on the sidewalk, as well as their favourite characters dressed up.
 

 

 
It is also home to Universal Studios, Disneyland California and the California Science Centre. We combined a stay in Los Angeles with a great California road trip,  it was one of our favourite family holidays.

Read: Our California road trip.
 

 

 

Verona

 ten city breaks for families

The gateway to Lake Garda, Verona is ideal for city breaks for families. In Verona you can’t miss the amazing amphitheatre and Juliet’s balcony, while kids will love trying water sports on the lake.

Like most cities in Italy, kids will receive a warm welcome in the Italian bars and restaurants, and the city has a ‘holiday resort’ feel to it. For a great day out, take a trip to the nearby theme park, Gardaland and Peppa Pig Land. Packed with rollercoasters, water rides and shows, it is a great day out for all the family.
 

 

 

Paris

DIsneyland Paris at Christmas time - great city break for families

Disneyland Paris is a reason in itself to warrant an inclusion on this list of best city breaks for families. We visited Disneyland Paris at Christmastime and it was magical. However, there are also plenty of other things that kids will love, particularly the Eiffel Tower, and a cruise on the Seine.
 

 

 
A Parisian food tour is a great way to see the city on foot and gives kids something to look forward to, as you stop in various chocolate and pastry shops along the way. 

Read My Paris travel guide – top things to do and where to stay in Paris

Read: Top tips for visiting Disneyland Paris at Christmas time
 

 

 

Barcelona

best city breaks for families - barcelona is close to portaventura

Where else will you find a beach, one of the biggest football clubs in the world, Europe’s largest theme park, PortAventura, and some of Spain’s best tapas bars? Barcelona definitely ticks all boxes for a family city break. It can get very crowded in July and August so my advice is go off peak, and don’t miss a day out in PortAventura.

Read: 10 reasons to visit PortAventura

Read: Barcelona travel guide – top things to do and where to stay in Barcelona
 

 

 

New York

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Older kids will want to shop, younger kids will think they are in the movies, and as for adults, well you will just be happy to be in New York! Climb to the Top of the Rock, go ice skating in Central Park, take a tour of the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier, and pay a visit to the massive Lego Store at the Rockefeller Centre. They are just a small sample of what families will enjoy in New York.
 

 

 
 TOP TIP: If you plan on shopping and are bringing a relatively empty suitcase, pack a cheap scooter from your local toy shop. Kids will love to scoot around the city and if you have to leave it there, so be it!  

Read: 12 things to do with kids in New York
 

 

 

Dubai

things to do with kids in Dubai

Waterparks galore, Palm Island, aquariums, desert safaris, and even skiing – there is nothing you can’t do in Dubai. They have just opened the world’s largest indoor theme park and it is a whopping 1.5 million square feet! Being completely enclosed, it will offer a welcome relief from the hot temperatures. Expect a Dinosaur adventure zone, MARVEL superhero zone with thrilling rides, live shows, movies and lots more.
 

 

 
Of course in Dubai, kids will love to spend time on some of the world’s best beaches. We had a fabulous few days in Dubai with the kids, it is certainly one of my top recommendations for city breaks for families.

Read: Top tips for family holidays in Dubai
 

 

 

Copenhagen

Tom ten city breaks for families

Copenhagen is a great city break during the winter time, particularly at Halloween or Christmas. Tivoli Gardens, the world’s oldest theme park is home to roller-coasters, family rides, an aquarium, restaurants and has regular fire work displays. It closes down for weeks before Halloween and Christmas to prepare for the festivities and is decorated with 120,000 lights. It is magical experience for adults and kids. 

Read: My city guide to Copenhagen
 

 

 
So now that you have seen my top ten city breaks for families, let me know which one is your favourite, by commenting below.

 

Like city breaks? See more here

 

Sarah

 

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

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Easter Weekend in Lisbon, Flights & 4-Star Hotel, 3 Nights, €379!

Lisbon

A beautiful coastal city renowned for terrific sightseeing and a great food scene, take advantage of this early booking offer and spend Easter weekend in Lisbon. 

Lisbon is one Europe’s top city break destinations, and after my recent visit I now know why! It has a beautiful old town, with pastel-coloured buildings with terracotta rooftops as far as the eye can see. Lisbon is very easy to navigate too, but if you don’t fancy walking it, there are fantastic old trams that will bring you around all the highlights.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The food scene is superb, and a visit to TimeOut Market is a must! I loved Lx Factory too, an eclectic mix of restaurants, bars and shops all in one great open space. 
 

 

 
There is plenty to see in Lisbon itself, but if you want to travel, you can take the train to the coastal towns of Cascais or Estoril, or explore the UNESCO World Heritage City of Sintra, and it’s palaces, castles and museums.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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TAP Air Portugal, Aer Lingus and Ryanair all fly to Lisbon from Dublin airport, so take advantage now and secure flights at a low price.

There are many flight options available so you can choose to fly out with one airline and home with another, depending on your preference of flight times. If you wish to stay longer or shorter, simply edit the dates on the links below.
 

 

 
I found a great deal staying in the superbly located Lx Boutique Hotel, which is close to trendy Chiado and Baixa areas – very close to where I stayed recently. This hotel receives excellent reviews on TripAdvisor and was a Travellers Choice award winner this year. Price for a three-night stay including flights is just €379.
 

 

 
Want to bring the kids along? A family suite in the highly rated Altis Prime apartments is just €540 over Easter weekend. Airfares and hotels will be even less if you can travel mid week or the first week of Easter holidays – simply edit the search dates when  you click on the link below.
 

 

 
However, for this deal I have chosen direct flights from Dublin on Good Friday, 16th April and returning on Easter Monday – so no time off work is required. So go ahead, secure Easter weekend in Lisbon and have something to look forward to!
 

View flights here €141pp

View hotel here €238pp

View hotel here €540 per family

 

Want a different hotel? 

Read: Where to stay in Lisbon – my top 10 Lisbon hotels

 

 

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

Travel

5 Handpicked Christmas Market Breaks With 4-Star Hotels From €194pp

christmas  markets

Choose one of my handpicked Christmas market breaks to Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Berlin or Krakow, from only €194!

 

Some cities are best seen in winter and Christmas market breaks provide the best excuse to visit. Market stalls have the perfect stocking fillers, aromas of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine waft through the crisp cold air, and if you are lucky you might even catch a Christmas concert. Many markets open late November and stay open until the New Year so you can choose a pre or post Christmas break.

christmas market breaks

I have searched the web to bring you some of my favourite Christmas market breaks, so hopefully there will be a break here to suit you. All 4-star hotels are highly rated on Tripadvisor and all breaks are for three nights. If you want to travel at a different time, or for longer or shorter duration, just click on the links below and edit the search to suit your requirements.
 

 

 

Prague, 10th December, 3 Nights, €208pp

christmas market breaks

Prague’s Christmas markets are the perfect picture postcard. The old town square, Charles bridge and Prague’s famous castle are all magically illuminated – it is a stunning sight to behold. The old town square and Wenceslas Square are transformed with market stalls selling local hand crafts, traditional hearty food and plenty of mulled wine.
 

 

 
Enjoy school choirs performing in traditional costumes, or better still go to a classical concert. Housed in ancient churches and grand concert halls around the city, it will add a touch of style to your Christmas market break. Prague’s markets are open from 30th November to 6th January.
 

 

 
Fly from Dublin on Thursday the 10th of December and enjoy a three-night stay at the 4-star Art Hotel for only €208 – with breakfast included! This hotel offers free amendments before the 5th of December and a €10 deposit secures a booking. The Art Hotel is highly rated on Tripadvisor and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence.

View flights here €130pp

View hotel here €78pp
 

 

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Budapest, 5th December, 3 Nights, €294pp

Budapest Christmas market

Budapest has several Christmas markets, but Vörösmarty Square is the most popular. Gerbeaud House is transformed into an enormous Advent Calendar and a new window opens daily at 5pm. Street artists perform, Santa makes an appearance and there are plenty of places to relax and take it all in.
 

 

 
St Stephen’s Basilica, is lit up at night time and resembles a Disney like castle – it is spectacular. Take time to visit the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue, which are all UNESCO world heritage sites. Most markets open from 22nd November until 1st January. 
 

 

 
Fly from Dublin to Budapest on the 5th December and enjoy a three-night stay in the 4-star La Prima Fashion Hotel, with breakfast included for just €294pp. Rated as excellent on Tripadvisor, this is a great choice to explore all that Budapest has to offer.

View flights here €142pp

View hotel here €152pp
 

 

 

Berlin, 6th December, 3 Nights, €199

Christmas market breaks in Berlin

Berlin has a staggering 50 Christmas markets! Winter World at Potsdamer Platz offers ice skating and tobogganing and is perfect for families, while Alexanderplatz and Charlottenburg have traditional wooden stalls and beer houses. Most open late November but some close before New Year. For a full list of Christmas market dates click here. Don’t miss the Spandau market where rock concerts are usually held every Friday and there are over 500 stalls.
 

 

 
Try to make time to see some of Berlin’s top sights too, the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate – the list is endless. 

Read my city guide to Berlin here.
 

 

 
Fly from Dublin to Berlin on the 6th of December and enjoy a three-night stay in the highly rated Heckers Hotel for only €199 per person. This hotel receives excellent reviews on Tripadvisor and is superbly located to explore this vibrant city. This hotel rate also allows for free cancellation. 

View flights here €96pp

View hotel here €103pp
 

 

 

Krakow, 8th December, 3 Nights, €194!

christmas market breaks in Krakow

The old town of Krakow has Europe’s largest market square, and is packed with market stalls selling local hand crafts and tasty food. The city comes alive at night time with live bands playing in trendy basement clubs.
 

 

 
Krakow is a great choice for a city break at any time of year. The historical centre is very easy to navigate and I loved its relaxed vibe. Take time to visit the stunning Wawel castle, walk through the Jewish quarter to see Oscar Schindler’s factory, and if you can bear it, visit nearby Auschwitz . Krakow’s Christmas Market is open from the 27th November until 26th December.
 

 

 
Fly from Dublin to Krakow on the 8th of December and enjoy a three-night stay in the highly rated Ostoya Palace Hotel. Centrally located with great reviews on Tripadvisor, this is superb value to enjoy a Christmas market break in Krakow.  

View flights here €113pp

View hotel here €81pp
 

 

 

Vienna, 11th December, 3 Nights, €279pp

christmas market breaks

Christmas markets in Vienna have been a tradition since 1298. Would you believe there are over 20 different markets here? International choir singers perform free of charge and the Christmas atmosphere is truly magical. The Viennese Christmas Market in front of the City Hall is the most popular and even offers a specific children’s area, where they can learn how to make Christmas cookies and decorations.  
 

 

 
Vienna’s markets start a little earlier than most but most close on the 26th of December– see more here.  
 

 

 
Fly from Dublin on the 11th of December and enjoy a three-night stay in one of Vienna’s most popular hotels, the Zeitgeist Vienna Hauptbahnhof Zeitgeist Hotel. Rated as excellent on Tripadvisor this hotel will ensure a memorable stay in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

View flights here €104pp

View hotel here €175
 

 

 

Looking for more inspiration for Christmas market breaks? 

 

Read: Europe’s Top 10 Christmas Market Breaks 

 

This post contains affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.
 

 

 
Sarah

 

travel deals

 
Travel

Family Christmas Market Break in Copenhagen, 27th December, 3 Nights, €1048!

christmas-carousel-shutterstock-compressor

Want to go away for Twixmas this year? Enjoy a Christmas market break in Copenhagen. Experience the magic of Tivoli Gardens as it is transformed into a winter wonderland.

 

Open since 1843, Tivoli Gardens is one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. Over one million people descend on Tivoli at Christmas time, to experience one of Europe’s best Christmas markets. It is lit up with 500,000 fairy lights and has Christmas decorations at every corner. Tivoli Gardens is now open from the 16th of November to the 5th of January, making a Christmas market break in Copenhagen a great choice for all the family, either before or after Christmas. 

christmas market break in Copenhagen by The Travel Expert
 

 

 
There are theme park rides in Tivoli Gardens throughout the year, but at Christmas time there are added light shows, market stalls, and top class concerts. It is no doubt one of the best places to soak up the Christmas atmosphere.
 

 

 
Of course Copenhagen offers so much more than Tivoli Gardens. Enjoy some of the excellent cuisine that Copenhagen is renowned for, or shop along the longest pedestrianised shopping street in Europe.

No visit to Copenhagen would be complete without visiting The Little Mermaid. Personally, I wasn’t overly impressed by her, but the kids should enjoy the story behind it. When in Rome and all that…
 

 

 
Something that does live up to the hype are the pretty streets of Nyhavn. The multicoloured houses are an Instagrammers paradise. I loved pottering in and out of the numerous coffee shops, restaurants and souvenir shops.

Copenhagen
 
Read: My Guide to Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen
 

 

 
I found a great deal staying in the 4-star Scandic Copenhagen Hotel. Located just eight minutes walk from Tivoli Gardens, this is ideally located for a Christmas market break in Copenhagen. This modern hotel has family rooms available that are similarly priced to standard rooms, and include a free buffet breakfast and free WiFi.

copenhagen christmas market break
 

 

 
Treat the kids to a Christmas market break in Copenhagen this year – what a wonderful way to spend Twixmas and keep the festive spirit alive.

Fly from Dublin to Copenhagen on the 27th of December, and enjoy a three-night stay in the Scandic Copenhagen Hotel with breakfast included for just €1048, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.

 
View flights here €146pp 

View hotel here Family Room €464
 

 

 
This Christmas market break in Copenhagen contains affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.

 

Sarah

travel deals
 

 

 

 
Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 10th March 2020

Best Travel Deals

This week’s best travel deals include April holiday deals from €249, a wine tasting weekend in Bordeaux, summer in Portugal and Mauritius, a Mother’s Day break in Westport, Christmas in Disneyland Paris and an early booking offer to Las Vegas.

 

Best last minute:

Jet off to sunny Puerto Rico in Gran Canaria on the 2nd of April, for just €285! Price includes flights, transfers, checked baggage and a seven-nights stay in the Tamanaco apartments.

View offer here

 

Missed last weeks Best Travel Deals post? See it here:
 

 

 

Best April / May deal:

Sunway have super deals to Turkey during the month of April, a country where no cases of coronavirus have been reported. Price for flights and a seven-night stay in the 4-star Golden Day Wings Hotel is €299 during Easter holidays, and only €249 on the 25th of April. Prices include flights, hotel with breakfast, airport transfers and checked baggage.

See more here
 

 

 

Best family deal:

Visit Disneyland Paris for Disney’s Enchanted Christmas Festival. We visited at Christmas time a few years ago and it was magical. Price for flights, transfers, park tickets and a three night stay in the Disney Sequioa Lodge Hotel with breakfast and evening meal included, is just €515 per person, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. They will also give you a FREE Gift Card worth €100 to spend in the parks.

See more here

 

Read: My top tips Disneyland Paris at Christmas time.
 

 

 

Best staycation:

Treat your Mum to an overnight escape with breakfast included in the 4-star Westport Hotel, for just €30 per person! Choose to relax in the brand new Spa Veda, complete with swimming pool, jacuzzi and thermal suite or enjoy the vibrant city of Westport. This deal is available arriving on Mother’s Day, March 22nd. 

View offer here
 

 

Read: 10 Mother’s Day breaks that won’t break the bank
 

 

 

Best summer sun:

Finish off the summer with a week in the upmarket resort of Vilamoura on the Algarve. Price for flights and a seven-night stay in the highly rated Vilamour Golf Aparthotel is only €374 on the 26th of August.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best city break:

Can you think of anything better than a wine tasting weekend in Bordeaux 🍷? Flights are so cheap at the moment so why not escape the stresses of home for a few days in May. Price for flights and a three-night stay in the highly rated 4-star Best Western Plus Gare Saint Jean is just €219 per person. Note: when you click on the hotel link below the lowest rate is bookable via the hotel website – €107 per room per night.

View flights here€59pp

View hotel here €160pp
 

 

 

Best long haul offer:

Another country that has recorded no cases of coronavirus is Mauritius. Enjoy a seven-night all-inclusive stay in the highly rated Veranda Pointe Aux Biches Hotel for just €1469! Price includes flights, transfers and all-inclusive accommodation, based on travel in June. You can save up to €800 per person when travelling between 1st June and 31st August.

View offer here

 

Read: Where to stay in Mauritius
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

Choose Las Vegas for your Christmas shopping break this year. Price for flights and a five-night stay in the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino is only €560 on the 24th of November. Price includes flights, 23kg checked baggage and hotel for five nights. Deposit of €50 secures booking. Many more hotels and dates available.

See more here
 

 

 
Missed last weeks Best Travel Deals post? See it here:

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made
 

 

 
Sarah
 

travel deals

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 3rd March 2020

Best-Travel-Deals-updated-compressor

This week’s Best Travel Deals include Easter offers in Lanzarote, a week in the Algarve for €199, all-inclusive deals to Greece and Mexico, a city break to Washington and super staycations for couples and families. 

 

 

Best last minute:

Escape the the Costa del Sol at the end of March – Aer Lingus have return flights to Malaga for just €100! Add on a seven-night stay in Marbella for €175pp in the San Cristóbal Hotel, or €230pp in the Princesa Playa aparthotel.

View flights here €100pp

 
View hotels here from €175pp

 

Missed last weeks Best Travel Deals post? See it here:
 

 

 

Best Spring /Summer deal:

Kick start the summer with a week in the Algarve for just €199 in May! Choose the Vale de Carros apartments in Albufeira or the Vilamor apartments in Alvor, both highly rated and both available for just €199 including return flights, departing the 5th of May. 

See more here
 

 

 

Best summer sun:

Go all-inclusive in Greece this summer. I found some great all-inclusive deals departing in August with flights, accommodation, all meals, drinks, transfers and checked baggage included! Price for the Rodos Star Hotel in Rhodes is only €584 per person, while the Cavo D’oro in Zakynthos is only €667 per person. Both deals are departing in August and a deposit of €75 secures booking. Use code PAYDAY to save €100 of the listed prices.

See Rhodes here €584pp

 

See Zakynthos here €667pp
 

 

 

Best family deal:

Enjoy a family holiday in Lanzarote this Easter. Prices are particularly good value if you fly on Monday the 13th of April. I found great family deals staying in Puerto del Carmen. Price for flights a seven-night stay in the Oasis apartments is only €230 per person, or choose the popular Rosamar apartments for just €258 per person. #StealOfTheWeek

View offer here
 

 

 

Best long haul offer:

Plan ahead and secure a great deal to Mexico this winter. Price for flights and a seven-night stay in the 5-star Ocean Riviera Paradise Hotel, with all meals and drinks included 🍹 is just €1017 per person! This super hotel is located right on the beach in Playa del Carmen and is rated excellent on Tripadvisor. Price includes flights and hotel on an all-inclusive basis for seven nights, departing the 12th of November.

View flights here €578pp

Note: This airfare has just one stop. I adjusted journey time to less than 17 hours to guarantee best connections.  

View hotel here €439pp
 

 

 

Best ferry / cruise:

Sail across the Irish Sea for just €7 one-way on the brand new Stena Estrid. This amazing deal is even valid during the summer months! You can also sail from Rosslare to Cherbourg in April, May and from 10th September – 18th December, for just €14! You must book these amazing deals before the 9th of March – so don’t delay.,

See more here
 

 

 

Best staycation:

The highly rated Lough Allen & Spa Hotel in Leitrim have superb deals available until the end of June. Price for an overnight stay with full Irish breakfast, unlimited leisure access, and a €20 spa voucher is only €35 per person! Stay for two nights for just €60 per person. Valid Sunday – Thursday until the end of June.
 

 

 
Want to bring the kids? Price for two adults and two children (under 12) in a standard family room from Sunday – Thursday is only €109 for one night, €199 for two nights and €249 for three nights – these prices are less than half price! If you want a weekend stay, the price is €199 for two nights and €249 for three nights. Prices includes breakfast, complimentary kids club for primary school children, and access to the leisure facilities.

See more here

 

See family deal here
 

 

 

Best city break:

Explore the wonderful city of Washington this summer. Price for flights and a three-night stay in August is only €699 per person based on 2 sharing, or €619 per person based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. 

See more here
 

 

 
Missed last weeks Best Travel Deals post? See it here:
 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made
 

 

 
Sarah
 

travel deals
 

 

 

 

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