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Travel

Top 10 Family Holiday Deals In July – 2ad & 2ch From €1648!

children water

I have teamed up with TUI, the family holiday specialists, who have some amazing family holiday deals in July. Here are my top ten picks!

 

***UPDATE – USE PROMOCODE HOLIDAY100 AND SAVE A FURTHER €100 OFF ALL OF THESE PRICES***

 

Whether you want self-catering in Greece or an All Inclusive holiday in Salou, a water park holiday in Tenerife or a relaxing break in the Algarve, I have something here to suit everyone! All holidays are hand-picked, have great reviews and are ideal for family holidays. Another added bonus is that there are no hidden extras. All TUI holidays include flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage. I have priced these holidays for two adults and two children for seven nights in July, but you can change dates, durations, or number of people travelling, by selecting ‘EDIT SEARCH’, once you click on the links below.


 

Salou: Villa Dorada, All Inclusive, €2384!

One of the most popular family holiday destinations, the Costa Dorada, ticks all boxes. Whether you want to stay in the lively resort of Salou or the quieter towns of Cambrils and La Pineda, there is something here to suit all families. With Europe’s largest theme park, Port Aventura on your doorstep and Barcelona only an hour away, the Costa Dorada combines, fun, sun and culture in one family holiday.

family holiday deals
While TUI have numerous choices of accommodation in Salou, I thought the Villa Dorada was particularly good value. Highly rated on tripadvisor, the Villa Dorada has an entertainment programme, kids club and sports activities on site. This is an ideal choice for families looking for a lively holiday in the heart of Salou, with all meals and drinks included in the price.

Click here for more details:

 

Lanzarote: All Inclusive, 4* TUI Family Life Flamingo Beach, €3072 ex Shannon; €3194 ex Dublin

Lanzarote has been a firm favourite with Irish holidaymakers for many years, in fact it is constantly voted best sun destination at the Irish Travel Trade Awards. You can expect warm temperatures, sandy beaches and plenty of entertainment options. I have chosen an All-Inclusive resort but TUI also have a wide selection of self-catering apartments available.

family holiday deals

Formerly known as the Holiday Village, the TUI Family Life Flamingo Beach is super family complex with kids clubs for children, teenagers and even babies. With three pools, three restaurants, a host of sports activities and nightly entertainment, there is something here for kids of all ages.

Click here for more details: €3072 ex Shannon

Click here for more details: €3194 ex Dublin

 

Tenerife: All Inclusive, Splashworld, Villa Mandi & Siam Park, €3454

One of the main reasons families flock to Tenerife each year is to visit one of the world’s best water parks – Siam Park. There is a wide choice of slides here for kids of all ages. The Tower of Power and The Dragon will keep adrenaline junkies happy, while the Mhai Tai River and the huge wave pool, are great for all the family. Younger kids will love the Lost City – a fortress teeming with bridges, waterfalls, tipping buckets and 9 slides!

family holiday deals

This popular All-Inclusive resort offers free access to one of the world’s best waterparks, Siam Park, throughout your stay. Located off the beaten track, you can enjoy some quiet time but are also within easy reach of the lively Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos. This large complex resembles a Mediterranean village and comes with four swimming pools, two playgrounds, a kids club and plenty of activities for adults and children, including a football pitch and live music shows.  The beauty of staying here is that not only are all meals and drinks included, but you have added advantage of staying in a 2 bedroom apartment, and not a small hotel room. Of course you also have free access to Siam Park which is accessible by a free shuttle bus. Highly rated on tripadvisor, this is sure to please an active family.

 

Click here for more details:

 

Majorca:  Self Catering Mariners Club Apartments, €1861

Majorca is very popular with families. With short flying times and family friendly resorts, it’s not surprising Irish holidaymakers flock here during the Summer months. The Mariners Club is a highly rated self-catering apartment and is ideal for families looking for a relaxing holiday, without pool games and parties! There is a water park beside the complex for those who fancy some adventure and there is a large swimming pool, kids pool, playground and pool table on site. The complex also hosts shows twice a week with mini discos.

top picks for family holidays

Click here for more details: 

 

Majorca: All Inclusive, Splashworld, 3* Saturno Hotel, 2 ad & 2ch from €3008

The Saturno Hotel is part of a complex of 3 hotels known as the Club Mac. Complete with a water park, 8 swimming pools and a host of sports and entertainment facilities, if you are looking for a lively holiday with non-stop action, then this is for you. All meals and drinks are also included in the price, making it a great value family holiday.

family holiday deals

Click here for more details:

 

Costa del Sol: All Inclusive, Globales Cortijo Blanco from €2300 ex Cork, €3095 ex Dublin

TUI have a wide range of holiday options along the Costa del Sol and Marbella is one of their most popular resorts. The beautiful old town of Marbella is full of shops bars and restaurants and you are also close to the stylish marina in Puerto Banus, if you fancy a change of scene.

The Globales Cortijo Blanco’s white washed exterior has a villa style appearance, with pretty courtyards and plenty of family friendly facilities on site. There are three main swimming pools, two childrens pools, a brand new outdoor play-zone, daytime entertainment programme, mini discos and a large open-air entertainment stage for evening shows. Located just 10 minutes walk to the beach and a shuttle bus ride from Puerto Banus (free of charge), this is a great value property, with all meals and drinks included

Click here for more details: €2300 ex Cork

Click here for more details: €3073 ex Dublin

 

Algarve: Self Catering Alvorferrias Apartments, €2144 

One of my favourite family friendly resorts, Alvor is the picture perfect Algarve village. With white washed buildings and narrow streets, expect a small selection of bars and restaurants, but all good! The long sandy beach here is superb with plenty of rock pools for kids to explore.  The Alvorferrias have been welcoming Irish holiday makers for many years. Although basic, they are ideal for families looking for good value accommodation within walking distance to the pretty resort of Alvor and the beach. The on-site facilities include a kids club, two swimming pools and an à la carte restaurant.

Click here for more details:

family holiday deals

Algarve: All Inclusive, 4* Alvor Baia, €3389

The Alvor Bahia is a four star All Inclusive property which is highly rated on tripadvisor and offers something for all the family. The kids club, entertainment programme, sports facilities and pirate themed play area, will keep the kids amused all day long. If you fancy some quiet time, why not chill out in their spa!

family holiday deals

Click here for more details:

 

Lake Garda: 4* Poiano Hotel, Half Board, €2982

Lake Garda is becoming more and more popular with families. Not only is it visually beautiful, but there are many activities on the lake for families to enjoy. Gardaland theme park is  also close by which is a great day out for all the family.

family holiday deals

The Poiano Hotel is a great choice for a family holiday. There is an Olympic-size swimming pool on site as well as a kids pool and a host of activities such as tennis, archery, beach volleyball and yoga. There is a kids club (5-12 years), restaurant and a spa as well with live music a few nights each week. You can hire bikes and cycle into nearby Garda or take the free shuttle bus, it is only 2km away. You will be staying in a junior suite which has lake view and balcony, with breakfast and evening meal included each day.

 

Click here for more details:

 

Corfu, Self-Catering, Loulas Village Apartments, €1968

I brought my children to Corfu a few years ago and stayed in this very resort! The scenery, laid back pace, low cost of living and superb restaurants, make a winning combination. So if you are looking to try something different this year, Corfu might just be it!

family holiday deals

Rated number 1 on tripadvisor, the Loulas Village has been receiving Irish holidaymakers for many years. Kostos will be sure to give you a warm welcome and make you enjoy this laid back, family run apartment complex. Ideally located with some excellent restaurants and bars close by, this is a family property with traditional Greek charm.

Click here for more details:

 

I hope one of these family holiday deals will suit you. However if you need to change dates, durations, or number of people travelling, just click on EDIT SEARCH’ on the TUI website and change your requirements there.

All prices are correct at the date of issue, 12th April, but are subject to change. This family holiday deals post was sponsored by TUI but all views, as always, are my own. Note the links above are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

travel deals

Travel

My Top Picks For Family Holidays This Summer – 2ad & 2ch from €1599!

family holidays

I have teamed up with TUI, the family holiday specialists, to bring you my top picks for family holidays from their 2018 January sale.

 

Whether you want self-catering in Greece or an All Inclusive holiday in Salou, a water park holiday in Tenerife or a relaxing break in the Algarve, I have something here to suit everyone! All holidays are hand-picked, have great reviews and are ideal for family holidays. Another added bonus is that there are no hidden extras. All TUI holidays include flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage. And that’s not all, you only need a deposit of €75 to secure a booking, with the balance payable ten weeks before departure. I have priced these holidays for two adults and two children for seven nights in June, July and August, but you can change dates, durations, or number of people travelling, by selecting ‘Edit Search’, once you click on the links below.


 

Best in Salou 

One of the most popular family holiday destinations, the Costa Dorada, ticks all boxes. Whether you want to stay in the lively resort of Salou or the quieter towns of Cambrils and La Pineda, there is something here to suit all families. With Europe’s largest theme park, Port Aventura on your doorstep and Barcelona only an hour away, the Costa Dorada combines, fun, sun and culture in one family holiday.

3* Villa Dorada, All Inclusive from €1998!

While TUI have numerous choices of accommodation in Salou, I thought the Villa Dorada was particularly good value. Highly rated on tripadvisor, the Villa Dorada has an entertainment programme, kids club and sports activities on site. This is an ideal choice for families looking for a lively holiday in the heart of Salou, with all meals and drinks included in the price.

Click here for 15th June: €1998

Click here for 27th July €2257

Click here for 17th August €2099

 

Best in the Canary Islands

Whether you choose Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, or Tenerife, you can expect warm temperatures, sandy beaches and plenty of entertainment options.  I have chosen two All Inclusive resorts but TUI also have a wide selection of self-catering apartments available.

Lanzarote, All Inclusive, 4* TUI Family Life Flamingo Beach from €2695

Formerly known as the Holiday Village this super family complex has kids clubs for children, teenagers and even has a baby club. With three pools, three restaurants, a host of sports activities and nightly entertainment, there is something here for kids of all ages.

Click here for 7th June €2695

Click here for 30th July €2833

Click here for 13th August €2848 

top picks for family holidays

 

Tenerife, All Inclusive, Splashworld, 4* Villa Mandi & Siam Park from €2629

Another excellent All Inclusive resort, the Villa Mandi offers free access to Siam Park, one of the world’s best water parks, throughout your stay. This pretty complex is like a Mediterranean village with four swimming pools, kids clubs and plenty of sports activities on site.

Click here for 8th June €2629

Click here for 20th July €3060

Click here for 17th August €2913

top picks for family holidays

 

Best in Majorca

The north of Majorca is very popular with families and TUI have a wide choice of accommodation to choose from. I have selected two properties, an All Inclusive property with a water park on site, and a quieter self-catering option with family friendly facilities.

Self Catering, 3* Mariners Club Apartments from €1619

The Mariners Club is a highly rated self-catering apartment and is ideal for families looking for a relaxing holiday, without pool games and parties! There is a water park beside the complex for those who fancy some adventure and there is a large swimming pool, kids pool, playground and pool table on site. The complex also hosts shows twice a week with mini discos.

Click here for 12th June €1753

Click here for 18th July €1831

Click here for 10th August €1619

top picks for family holidays

All Inclusive, Splashworld, 3* Saturno Hotel, 2 ad & 2ch from €2489

The Saturno Hotel is part of a complex of 3 hotels known as the Club Mac. Complete with a water park, 8 swimming pools and a host of sports and entertainment facilities, if you are looking for a lively holiday with non-stop action, then this is for you. All meals and drinks are also included in the price, making it a great value family holiday.

Click here for 13th June €2489

Click here for 17th July €2698

Click here for 14th August €2689

my top picks for family holidays

 

Best in Costa del Sol

All Inclusive, Splashworld, 4* Globales Playa Estepona from €2632

TUI have some excellent All Inclusive options in the Costa del Sol, I have chosen the highly rated Globales Playa Estepona. This four star property has a brand new water park, numerous sports activities, kids club, day and night time entertainment and even has its own beach club restaurant. The hotel is situated close to glitzy Puerto Banus and offers a shuttle bus service 2-3 times per day into the centre.

Click here for 29th July €2699

Click here for 19th August €2632

top picks for family holidays

 

Best in the Algarve

One of my favourite destinations for family holidays, the Algarve, offers superb beaches, mouth watering food and great value for money in the resorts. I have chosen two properties, a self-catering option in the lively resort of Albufeira and an All Inclusive property in the pretty village of Alvor.

Self-Catering, 4* Cerro Mar Garden from €1777

Located in lively Albufeira this is an excellent choice for families looking for good quality self-catering accommodation, without entertainment programmes or pool games.  Highly rated on tripadvisor there is a spa, gym and whirlpool on site as well as some sports activities and a children’s pool.

Click here for 10th June €1777

Click here for 29th July €2075

Click here for 19th August €2040

top picks for family holidays

All Inclusive, 4* Alvor Baia from €2798

One of my favourite resorts, Alvor is the picture perfect Algarve village. With white washed buildings and narrow streets, expect a small selection of bars and restaurants, but all good! The long sandy beach here is superb with plenty of rock pools for kids to explore.  The Alvor Bahia is a four star All Inclusive property which is highly rated on tripadvisor and offers something for all the family. The kids club, entertainment programme, sports facilities and pirate themed play area, will keep the kids amused all day long. If you fancy some quiet time, why not chill out in their spa!

Click here for 17th June €2798

Click here for 22nd July €2944

Click here for 12th August €3027

top picks for family holidays

 

Best in Greece

I brought my children to Corfu and Zakynthos and loved them both! The scenery, laid back pace and excellent value for money, makes Greece an ideal alternative if you want to try something different this year. From self-catering to All Inclusive resorts, TUI offer both in abundance. Here are my top picks.

Corfu, Self-Catering, Loulas Village from €1619

Rated number 1 on tripadvisor, the Loulas Village has been receiving Irish holidaymakers for many years. Kostos will be sure to give you a warm welcome and make you enjoy this laid back, family run apartment complex. Ideally located with some excellent restaurants and bars close by, this is a family property with traditional Greek charm.

Click here for 8th June €1619

Click here for 27th July €1799

Click here for 17th August €1699

top picks for family holidays

Corfu, All Inclusive, Splashworld, 3*+ Aqualand Village from €2639

For families looking for some adventure, the highly rated Aqualand Village won’t disappoint. With a waterpark on site and an afternoon and evening entertainment programme, the kids will be spoiled for choice!

Click here for 8th June €2639

Click here for 27th July €3284

Click here for 17th August €3063

top picks for family holidays

 

Kos, Self-Catering, 3* Mayflower apartments from €1597

These family run apartments are situated in the pretty resort of Tingaki. Highly rated on tripadvisor they are the perfect choice for families who are looking for a relaxing Greek holiday, but within easy reach of Kos town.

Click here for 2nd June €1597

Click here for 28th July €1772

Click here for 11th August €1730

top picks for family holidays

 

Zakynthos, All Inclusive 4* Alykanas Beach Village from €2878

This highly rated All Inclusive resort has a small splash park for young children, kids clubs and a great entertainment programme for everyone. There is also a quiet, adults only pool beside the beach if you fancy some quiet time! (I spent many afternoons there)! Visit Shipwreck Beach or swim with the turtles, Zakynthos is a beautiful island with lots to do for all the family.

Click here for 12th June €2878

Click here for 24th July €3266

Click here for 14th August €3125

 top picks for family holidays

 

I hope you enjoyed my top picks for family holidays and that you found something to suit you. Remember you can change dates, durations, or number of people travelling, by selecting ‘Edit Search’ once you click on the links above.

 

All prices are correct at the date of issue , 12th of January, but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by TUI but all views, as always, are my own. Note the links above are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

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Travel

4* All-Inclusive Family Holiday, Algarve, 8th July, 2ad & 2ch from €2799 Inc Flights, Baggage & Transfers!

family

Take the kids to the Algarve next Summer. I have stayed in the pretty resort of Alvor a few times and loved it! Check out this all inclusive family holiday to the highly rated Alvor Baia apartments.

 

falcon holidays

Alvor’s white sandy beach is four miles long and personally one of my favourites in the Algarve.  My kids loved it too, they played in the many rock pools and went crab hunting which occupied them for hours! There are great beach bars that cater so well for families as well as the fantastic choice you will find in the old town of Alvor. Unlike most of its neighbouring resorts, Alvor remains somewhat unspoilt. It’s small town is full of character and is filled with a wide selection of shops, bars and restaurants. The small marina is another alternative if you fancy a change of scene. The beauty of Alvor is that it is nestled between the larger and busier resorts of Praia da Rocha and Lagos so if you fancy a lively night, a short taxi ride and you are there. For more information, read my blog post on Alvor.

all inclusive family holiday to the algarve

I found a great deal staying in the all-inclusive Alvor Baia apartments. These four star apartments are highly rated on tripadvisor, with certificate of excellence and are a great choice for an all inclusive family holiday. Not only have they excellent facilities for families but all meals and drinks are included in the price of your stay. The pool area is huge with plenty of space for sun loungers and the apartments are very spacious too. The children will love the kids club ( open from 10am – 530pm ), kids pool and the large playground as well as the numerous sport facilities on site, including mini football, water polo and dance lessons. In fact there is a daytime activity programme as well as the nightly entertainment programme, including the all important mini disco! Adults are not forgotten with aqua aerobics, aerobics and a spa with sauna, steam room and massages available.

all inclusive family holiday

Unlike many all-inclusive resorts, there is a great choice of food available. Tripadvisor reviewers comment on how good both buffet restaurants as well as the kids buffet are.  There are two bars to choose from, the Grand Bar which opens from 10am to midnight and the pool bar which is open from 10am to 11pm. The bar even serves mocktails for kids!  And if all that hasn’t sold you, there is even free WiFi 🙂 Falcon Holidays have free child places still available throughout July and August but I found the best deal on the 8th of July. Fly direct from Dublin and enjoy a seven night stay for only €2099  based on 2 adults and 1 child or €2799 based on 2 adults and 2 children.  These prices include flights, transfers, checked baggage and accommodation on an all-inclusive basis with NO HIDDEN EXTRAS! This is a traditional package holiday where you will have a Falcon Holidays representative in resort and the best part – a deposit of €75 per person will secure your booking!

 

Click here for more details: 2 adults & 1 child €2099

Click here for more details: 2 adults & 2 children €2799

 

falcon holidays

 

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

 

Sarah

 

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Family HolidaysTravel Tips

Top Tips to Keep Babies Safe In The Sun

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For families with new babies, hot temperatures can be a worry. Read my top tips to keep babies safe in the sun and get planning that next holiday!

 

I remember that anxious feeling when I was travelling abroad with my son for the first time. I think the poor child was covered from head to toe in full body swimsuits for the first few days! I’m pretty sure most first time parents are the same, we want to make sure we protect our kids in the best way possible. Over the years I have found that applying high factor sunscreen regularly, taking advantage of the free apps which will give UV forecasts as well as some other top tips mean I am no longer worried about going on holidays when temperatures are very high. In fact if this year is anything to go by, it is impossible to predict what the weather will be like when you are booking your holiday. We have just seen temperatures soar above 40 degrees in Spain and Portugal recently so if you are planning on avoiding the Middle East or even Greece because you think they may be too hot, think again. My motto is Always Be Prepared! Check out my top tips on how to keep babies safe in the sun that I wrote for the Falcon Holidays blog 🙂

tips to keep babies safe in the sun

Just click on the link below to read the full article.

 

Source: How To Keep Babies Safe In The Sun – Falcon Holidays Blog

 

Sarah

 

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Family HolidaysTravel Tips

Top Tips for Family Holidays

lanzarote easter holidays

          Whether you are travelling with kids for the first time or just looking for some help for future holidays, check out my top tips for family holidays.

 

Luckily I get to travel a lot and I tend to bring my kids with me for most of my trips. From city breaks to beach resorts, Lapland to California, thankfully we have had some great trips together. My kids are 6 and 9 now so I have lots of experience travelling with babies, toddlers and older kids. My 24 years as a travel agent also thought me a lot about what suits cool teenagers! I was asked by Falcon Holidays to write some of my tips for family holidays for their website but I thought I would share it here with you too 🙂

top tips for travelling with kids

Just click on this link to see the full article.

 

Source: Top Tips for Travelling with Kids – Falcon Holidays Blog

 

Sarah

 

Like Travel Tips? See more here!

 

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Featured

Top Holiday Destinations in 2017

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Dublin airport has just celebrated it’s best ever year in 2016 and there are lots of new routes announced from Dublin, Cork and Shannon. It seems Irish airports are set for another bumper year.  So where are the top holiday destinations in 2017?

It looks like firm favourites, Spain and Portugal will remain the most popular short haul holiday destinations. Every other month we are hearing about new routes to the USA so American holidays will probably be the next biggest crowd pleaser. Short break enthusiasts will welcome the 9 weekly flights to Iceland and if you haven’t visited Athens or Amsterdam yet, 2017 might well be the year to do it. Cruise holidays are gearing up for another year of growth and the 14 weekly flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as the new daily Qatar airways service from Dublin to Doha, ensures long haul holidays will be easily accessible. Here are my picks for holiday hot spots in 2017!

Spain

Ireland’s favourite holiday destination never disappoints. Culture vultures or party animals enjoy the numerous choices for city breaks and beach holidays. Why not combine both though? The Costa Dorada looks like it could be the big winner this year. There are flights from Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Knock serving Reus, Girona or Barcelona and Sunway and Falcon Holidays both offer package deals to Salou and Cambrils. The combination of the iconic city of Barcelona and the opening of Ferrari World at the already popular Port Aventura theme park, make it an ideal choice for all the family.

Top holiday destinations in 2017

Portugal

Another Irish favourite, the Algarve has almost fifty flights per week from Irish airports, in the peak Summer months. Aer Lingus have added a new service to Porto, and Lisbon is already a popular city break destination. It looks like lots Irish holiday makers will be flocking to Portugal in their droves in 2017.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Algarve

Italy

Lakes, mountains, cities and beaches, Italy has something to offer all holiday makers. Lake Garda is becoming more and more popular with families as there are numerous self catering and camping options. The Amalfi Coast is always a popular honeymoon destination and the islands will attract couples looking for an upmarket holiday. Sunway have introduced a direct flight to Sardinia for 2017 which should keep the beach enthusiasts happy, and the growing trend for authentic experiences will ensure that Irish numbers to the region of Puglia should continue to grow.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Sardinia

Greece

Always great value for money and appealing to the masses, the Greek islands should have many Irish visitors in 2017. There are direct flights to Zakynthos, Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and Kos with Falcon Holidays and flights to Athens with Aer Lingus, Ryanair and Aegean airlines. This should ensure Athens will be a popular city break destination but also allow easier access to the sought after islands of Santorini and Mykonos.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Santorini

USA

Flights to the States have grown to unprecedented levels. New routes to from Aer Lingus to Hartford and Miami and extra flights to Los Angeles, Orlando and New York, should translate into a bumper year for Irish tourists to the USA. The addition of low cost flights with Norwegian Air from Cork to Boston and New York, as well as WOW air flights via Iceland, should ensure lots of good deals for Irish holidaymakers. San Francisco is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic ‘summer of love’ with a year of events and festivals in 2017. And would you believe Elvis is dead 40 years this year… sure makes me feel old! Why not pay tribute to the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ by visiting Memphis during ‘Elvis Week’, between 11th and 19th August. See American Sky for details.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Universal Studios

Mexico

Mexico is one of our most popular long haul destinations. Falcon Holidays are offering direct flights from Dublin for those looking for a two week holiday in the summer months. Many choose to fly via America and combine with a city break in New York or Vegas. I think Mexico will continue to be as popular with Irish holidaymakers in 2017.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Mexico

Iceland

WOW air introduced flights to Reykjavik in 2015 which proved to be a resounding success. People chased the Northern lights and swam in the Blue Lagoon, with lots of positive reviews. So much so that WOW have decided to increase flights from Dublin and add on a service from Cork. It looks like Iceland will remain popular in 2017 for weekend breaks and as a holiday destination.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Chase the Northern Lights in Iceland

Cruises

One of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry is set for another bumper year. The competition has never been greater. Most major cruise lines have dedicated Irish websites now and many travel agents and tour operators have dedicated cruise departments. Free all inclusive drinks packages, half price kids offers and even free flights, will I am sure, entice Irish holidaymakers to cruise in 2017. New destinations like Cuba will make it easier for visitors to visit Havana without paying the increasing accommodation costs. River cruises are also proving popular for discerning clients. For those who don’t want to fly there are even cruises operating directly from Ireland in 2017.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
American cruise lines are now docking in Cuba.

Croatia

For those looking for somewhere a little different but still close to home, Croatia will be a top choice. The stunning city of Dubrovnik has always been a favourite but now there are flights to Split and Pula with Aer Lingus, as well as Zadar with RyanairFalcon Holidays have also announced package holidays to Croatia and specialists Croatia Tours continue to offer a wide choice of package holidays to the region.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Dubrovnik

Middle East and beyond

With two direct daily flights to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi and now a new daily service to Doha with Qatar airlines, getting to Asia, Africa and Australia has never been easier. No lengthy lay overs in Heathrow and prices should reduce too!

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Dubai

South Africa

Ethiopian airlines‘ Dreamliner aircraft made many news reports when they offered cheap direct flights from Dublin to Los Angeles this year. They have now added extra connections from their hub in Addis Ababa to South Africa. This means that flights from Dublin to Cape Town should be easily accessible and hopefully well priced too.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
South African safari

They are my thoughts on the top holiday destinations in 2017 but please comment below if you have any more to add 🙂

 

Sarah

travel deals

Uncategorized

Last minute deal to Crete, 1 week, Flights & Apartment, 2nd October €265,

crete-497922_1280_opt

With temperatures still in the late twenties, Crete is the perfect place to catch the last of the Summer sun. And with this last minute deal to Crete, there should be nothing stopping you!

Crete is Greece’s largest island so you can expect lots of things to see and do! You will find sun-drenched beaches with stunning mountain backdrops, pretty villages as well as bustling resorts, and of course some of the best Greek food 👌 A trek through the Samaria Gorge, the longest canyon in Europe, and a visit to the Venetian harbour town, Rethymnon are a must. History lovers will appreciate the ancient Minoan palace of Knossos and beach lovers will love the famous pink and white sandy beach of Elafonisi. Whether you are a culture vulture or a party animal, Crete will satisfy all your holiday needs – and then some.

Last minute deal to Crete

I have chosen the popular resort towns of Stalis and Hersonissos. Both situated 20 – 30 minutes from the airport and both have an abundance of bars, shops and restaurants. Hersonissos is the livelier of the two but Stalis is close by so you can easily pop in for a wild night anytime! Stalis, once a small fishing village, is now a cosmopolitan resort. You will find one of Crete’s best beaches here as well as pretty streets lined with great restaurants and local shops.

Falcon Holidays are offering return flights to Crete from only €199 on the 2nd of October. I have found some great deals in the highly rated Ariadni Palace apartments in Hersonissos and the Stalis Bay apartments in Stalis. This means that this last minute deal to Crete is only o€265 on the 2nd of October – it doesn’t get much better than that!

Click here to book flights:  €199

Click here to book Ariadni apartments: €131

Click here to book Stalis Bay apartments: €179

 

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

 

Sarah

travel deals

Uncategorized

Rhodes, 24th May, 1 week, Flights & Apartment, €375!

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Check out this amazing deal to Rhodes at the end of May! Enjoy a one week package deal in a highly rated apartment for only €375!

Rhodes probably has more to offer than any of the other Greek islands. Not only is it one of the largest islands but it has a UNESCO world heritage site as it’s capital! Wandering around the Colossus of Rhodes is like stepping into a fairy tale, but once you step outside the old city walls, you will find a modern town, full of designer shops and trendy waterfront cafés. The hill top town of Lindos is another ‘must see’. Complete with whitewashed buildings and winding alley ways, it is a photographers dream. There are also quieter resorts like Lardos and Pefkos as well as the lively resort of Faliraki. If all of this isn’t enough, why not try some Greek island hopping to some of the neighbouring islands.

 The Travel Expert's deal to Rhodes

Fly from Dublin on the 24th of May and spend seven nights in the Cosmos Maris studios in Lardos for €375 per person. Ranked number 1 on tripadvisor and awarded a certificate of excellence, this is sure to please. The icing on the cake – there are no hidden extras! The price include flights, accommodation, taxes, transfers and 20kg baggage!

Click here for more details:

 

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

 

Sarah

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In The Media

Last Minute Holidays As Seen On TV3’s SundayAM, 24th July 2016

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Looking for a break in July or August? Check out my top picks for last minute holidays as seen on TV3’s Sunday AM.

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Availability to the popular destinations (Spain & Portugal mainly) in July and August is always scarce, and this year is no exception. However, there is increased capacity with Aer Lingus and Ryanair so airfares are quite low. In fact Aer Lingus have a seat sale with up to 25% off European flights during August & September, if booked by midnight on Monday, 25th July. If you are prepared to go off the beaten track and stay somewhere further from the resort centre, you can pick up good deals on last minute holidays. I found that Italy is better value than Spain and Portugal at the moment, here are my top picks.

Last minute holidays as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

Italy Deals:

Crystal Holidays are offering a  2* Hotel in Lake Garda, the Miravalli, from €340 per person on the 6th of August. This is a basic hotel but located in the heart of Garda, so it’s perfect for anyone who just wants to use the hotel as a base. If you want to upgrade your hotel, Topflight have a Summer sale until the 29th of July with savings of €420 per person. They have Sicily, Lido di Jesolo and Sorrento on sale in August as well as Lanzarote, the Algarve and Madeira.

I like the 3* Astoria Hotel, Sorrento, it’s €789 on the 7th and 14th of August. It is situated right in the heart of Sorrento, it is great value for such a fantastic location. All of Topflight’s prices include flights, transfers and checked baggage. Click here for more details.

Last minute holidays as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

Family Holiday:

Menorca is surprisingly good value for the next few weeks. With short day time flights and very family friendly, it is an ideal choice for a family holiday. Sunway are offering package deals where transfers and checked baggage are included, staying in the popular Binimar apartments. They are a nice low rise complex, close to the town centre and the beach and have a small splash park on site. The price for 2 adults & 2 children on the 31st of July and 7th of August is €1876. Click here for more details. Last minute holidays as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

Mid to late August:

With some kids back in school as early as the 24th of August, the last week of August is best time to pick up a bargain holiday. The Aer Lingus sale has some great airfares so you should be able to pick up a package deal to Spain or Portugal for less than €400. If you fancy Greece, Falcon Holidays are offering a week package deal to Zakynthos from €399 on the 30th of August, staying in the popular Katerina Palace Hotel. Click here for more details.

Last minute holidays as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

ClickandGo.com have matched the low airfares with some good city breaks too. I like this one in Madrid, it combines sightseeing, sun and shopping all in one! Fly with Aer Lingus and enjoy a three night stay in a four star hotel for only €247 on the 15th of August. Click here for more details.

Tapas Madid, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

5 Tips to find a last minute deal:

1. ClickandGo.com have a ‘dealfinder’ on their website where you can select sun holidays or city breaks within 30 days, 60 days etc and it will list all holidays that they have available.

2. Use Ryanair’s fare finder’ and Skyscanner’s ‘everywhere’ searches for any destination under a specific price range. Use hotel aggregators such as Trivago & Tripadvisor to search many accommodation websites for the same hotel.

3. The Irish Travel Agents association’s website combines top travel agents offers so you don’t need to search lots of different websites. And I offer my best last minute deals in my best travel deals post which is published every Tuesday on thetravelexpert.ie 🙂

4. Compare like with like. Remember a package holiday with a Tour Operator such as Falcon Holidays or Sunway includes airport transfers and checked baggage. A 20kg checked bag to the Canary Islands with Ryanair is €100 during July and August, so that ‘cheap deal’ you thought you found, might not be so cheap after all.

5. And finally always check with your local travel agent – they are searching late offers day in, day out and will probably know immediately what is the best value at any given time.

 

All prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change.

 

Sarah

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Greece Holiday Sale!

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I love booking a sun holiday at the end of the Summer. The evenings start to get darker, people are talking about going back to school and the 15 weeks until Christmas posts start to appear in your Facebook feed! There is no better way to banish the winter blues than flying off to the sunshine for a week. Check out the Falcon Holidays Greece holiday sale, there are plenty of holidays to suit all tastes and budgets below!

 

Kos: 27th August, Nirides Beach, €374 per person

Enjoy the best of both worlds by staying in the popular Nirides Beach apartments in Psalidi. Situated just outside Kos town you can enjoy a quiet relaxing holiday with the lively resort of Kos town less than 2km away. Located close to the beach and the town centre, it is not surprising that the Nirides beach apartments receive excellent reveiws on tripadvisor.

The Travel Expert's Greece Holiday Sale

Fly direct from Dublin on the 27th of August and enjoy a seven night stay for only €374 including, transfers and checked baggage. Use code ‘AUGUST ‘ to save €25 per person at the checkout.

Click here for more details:

 

 

Zakynthos: 30th August,  Katerina Palace Studios, €420 per person.

Visit Shipwreck beach, the most photographed beach in the world, take a boat trip to see the famous loggerhead turtles or go island hopping and visit the neighbouring island of Kefalonia. I have chosen the popular Katerina Palace hotel, which receives excellent reviews on tripadvisor. Situated in Argassi, this is one of my favourite resorts on the island. There is a great selection of bars and restaurants here to suit all tastes, but without being rowdy.

The Greece holiday sale by The Travel Expert

Fly direct from Dublin on the 30th of August and enjoy a seven night stay for only €420 including, transfers and checked baggage. Use code ‘AUGUST ‘ to save €25 per person at the checkout.

Click here for more details:

 

 

Rhodes: 31st August, Cosmos Maris apartments, €351 per person

Rhodes has so much to offer, particularly if you are looking to do lots of sightseeing.  Rhodes Town is a UNESCO world heritage site and the old town is a fantastic place to explore.  The white washed town of Lindos is perched on top of a hill, and is another place that has to be seen. Rhodes has a cosmopolitan city, lively resorts for students and quiet resorts for couples. It really offers something for everyone.  I have chosen the Cosmos Maris which are popular apartments in the resort of Lardos.  Highly rated on tripadvisor and awarded a certificate of excellence, they are the perfect choice for a relaxing break.

The Greece Holiday Sale by The Travel Expert

Fly direct from Dublin on the 31st of August and enjoy a seven night stay for only €351 including, transfers and checked baggage. Use code ‘AUGUST ‘ to save €25 per person at the checkout.

Click here for more details:

 

 

Crete: 28th August, Mika Villas, €399; Stefania apartments €456 per person

If you are looking for a lively holiday with non stop party action, then the Mika Villas are for you. Situated in Piskopiano, you are very close to the lively resort of Hersonissos. I must point out that these are ONLY suitable for people looking for a lively holiday! If on the other hand you fancy a beachfront property in the pretty resort of Stalis, then check out one of the resorts most popular apartments, the Stefania. Rated very highly on tripadvisor, they offer the best of both worlds. You can enjoy a relaxing day by the beach and enjoy the resort’s ample nightlife later on 🙂

The Greece Holiday Sale by The Travel Expert

Fly direct from Dublin on the 28th of August and enjoy a seven night stay from only €399 including, transfers and checked baggage. Use code ‘AUGUST ‘ to save €25 per person at the checkout.

Click here for more details on Mika Villas:

Click here for more details on Stefania apartments:

 

No matter which option you choose remember there are no hidden extras! All prices include flights, accommodation, taxes, transfers and checked baggage! So what are you waiting for, book a holiday in the Falcon Holidays Greece holiday sale today!

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

 

Sarah

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Travel Tips

Top Tips To Find A Last Minute Deal To The Sun

Last minute deals

Trying to find a cheap week away and wonder where you are going wrong? Check out my top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun and wave goodbye to expensive holidays!

 

1. Be flexible on your dates

This is probably the most deciding factor. Do not expect to get a week in Marbella’s top hotel in August for half price, just because you booked it last minute. You need to be flexible on where and when you go. If you don’t have kids and don’t have to go during July or August – don’t! Choose the middle two weeks of a month or the last week of one month and the first of another. People tend to book annual leave in blocks, i.e the first two weeks of July or the last two weeks of July. Travelling during midweek can also be less expensive than weekends, and the airports are less crowded!

Top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun

 

2. Choose typical times when deals are available

There are times in the year when last minute deals are more readily available so if you have plenty of annual leave, are retired or simply a good planner, these would be my suggestions for optimum times to get the best deals. During the summer season, most sun destinations are reduced in May, June and late September. The last week of August can also be a good time to take a two week holiday. In fact sometimes two weeks are cheaper than one at this time. During the winter time holidays from late November until Christmas time are always very reasonable and holidays also tend to reduce in price in April after Easter holidays. ClickandGo.com have a very useful special offer search where you enter the date you wish to travel and it will give you a list of what is available, in many destinations, at the lowest prices. Use my exclusive promo code TRAVELEXP10 to save 10% on your accommodation on any sun holiday or save €20 on any city break using TRAVELEXP20

ClickandGo

 

3. Be flexible on your destination

Spain, Portugal and the Balearic islands are popular with families so if you want to travel during the peak summer months, look at alternative destinations. The Canary Islands, Greece and Turkey will offer better value at that time, as will city break destinations. If you are looking to get away in September, Greece, Croatia and Italy are very popular with couples. You will find Spain and Portugal better value at that time of year, as children are in school.

Top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun

 

4. Fly out with one airline and back with another

In many cases Ryanair and Aer Lingus fly to the same destinations. You will find that sometimes it is cheaper to fly out with one airline and home with the other. Not only might this save you money, but the flight times might suit you better too.

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5. Use comparison hotel sites.

Trivago and Tripadvisor will offer you prices for hotels or apartments across many different websites. You will be surprised at the price differences for the same property, between one hotel website over another.

Trivago
Summer Vacations

 

6. Use Ryanair’s fare finder and Aer Lingus ‘anywhere’ search

These are really useful tools if you are just looking for a break away and don’t care where you go. You can select specific dates or a particular month and narrow the search to beach, city break, nightlife, family etc. You will see a list of the cheapest prices for the time you wish to travel. Aer Lingus’ search is clear on the home page but Ryanair’s is not as easy to find, so click here. Skyscanner’s everywhere search is also great, particularly if looking to go somewhere further afield.

Top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun

 

7. Compare like with like

Remember many package holidays include transfers and checked baggage. This can save you a lot of money over all, particularly if your accommodation is a long distance from the airport. All inclusive holidays may appear more expensive but when you consider all your food and drink is included, it might be worth paying the extra money before you travel. If you see a cheap holiday online, ask yourself what is included and compare the price with a package holiday to the same destination.

Top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun

 

8. Think longhaul

Sometimes longhaul holidays can be better value than short haul, particularly in the summer months when families are looking for short flights. A week in a luxury hotel in Thailand for instance might cost less than a similar hotel in Spain. And when you factor in the low cost of living, you may find overall there will be a significant saving. Tropical Sky have deals to Asia and the Caribbean from €999. With the introduction of direct flights to Jamaica and Mexico this year, there is incredible value for package deals with prices from €1199 for two weeks staying in a luxury hotel on an all inclusive basis.

top tips for finding a last minute deal to the sun

 

9. Use a Travel Agent

Travel agents are constantly checking travel deals. That is what they do, day in day out. Chances are they will know instantly what the best value is for a particular time of year. Call your local travel agent or check out the top deals by travel agents on the ITAA’s ( Irish Travel Agents Association) website. They will save you time and money searching various websites.

Top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun

Top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun

 

10. Read Reviews

And finally remember a deal is not a deal if you have a terrible holiday! If you are not booking with a travel agent, make sure you check hotel reviews on tripadvisor and check transfer times etc. If travelling further afield make sure your cheap flight to Thailand doesn’t take you three days to get there!

Top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun

 

I hope you found this post helpful and you find a last minute deal to the sun. Where ever you go – enjoy!

Sarah

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The Big June Holiday Sale!

The Big June Holiday Sale

Falcon Holidays have so many amazing deals in June that I thought I would pick some of my favourites and share them with you!

 

As usual, I only recommend places that I have personally been to or have received good feedback from guests. All the prices below include flights, transfers and checked baggage – with NO HIDDEN EXTRAS! Hopefully there will be something to suit you in the big June holiday sale!


 

1. Rhodes, 15th June, 1 week, €299!

The Big June Holiday Sale

I love Rhodes. it’s simply stunning and if you haven’t already visited – well, you just have to go!  Rhodes town is magical, the chic waterfront with trendy bars on one side and the Colossus of Rhodes in the old town on the other. You couldn’t ask for more! There is lots to discover outside the capital too, from the hilltop town of Lindos to the neighbouring islands of Simi, the only problem is, you will wish you booked for two weeks! Stay at the highly rated Cosmos Maris Studios which were awarded a certificate of excellence and have received rave reviews on tripadvisor, for only €299! Want to bring kids? Choose at the excellent 4* Lindia Thalassa apartments for only €1425, based on 2 adults and 2 children in a 2 bedroom apartment.

Click here for more details:

 

2. Algarve, 12th June, 2 adults and 2 children €1,225

The Big holiday June Sale

The Algarve is a great choice for a family holiday. Only a short flight from Dublin, with wide sandy beaches and plenty of family friendly resorts, it ticks all boxes. Stay at the popular Janellas do Mar apartments which are close to the Albufeira and are a good choice for a family looking for a holiday on a budget. The on site facilities include two swimming pools and plenty of sports activities to choose from.

Click here for more details:

 

3. Puerto Rico – 16th June, 1 week €499, 2ad & 2ch €1,720

The Big June Holiday Sale

Puerto Rico is one of the Canary Islands most popular resorts and has been a firm favourite with Irish holiday makers for many years. It is a lively resort with plenty of bars and restaurants that open until the small hours. By day it is more relaxing with most apartments offering plenty of places to enjoy the spectacular sea-views. Stay at the popular Cala D’or apartments which are very highly rated on tripadvisor for only €499 per person. Want to bring kids?  I love the 4* Terrazmar suites apartments, they have a huge pool area on the roof and the apartments have large balconies, ideal for sunbathing. Price is only €1,720 based on 2 adults and 2 children.

Click here for more details:

 

4. Kos 18th June, 1 week, €382; 2ad & 2ch €1,241

The Big June Holiday Sale

Kos has some of the best beaches in the Greek islands. It has a cosmopolitan capital, Kos town, but is also full of medieval columns and castles at every corner! What’s great about this deal is that it offers the best of both worlds. You will be staying at the highly rated Nicon apartments in Psaldi. This is a quiet resort so the perfect place to chill out by day. However if you fancy the buzz and nightlife of Kos town, it is only five minutes away by taxi. You can sip a cocktail overlooking some mega yachts at the harbour, or wander through the old town and enjoy some shopping or some great night life – the choice is yours! Want to bring kids? Price for 2 adults and 2 children is only €1.241!

Click here for more details:

 

5. Jamaica, 2 Weeks ALL INCLUSIVE, 12th June €903 ; 19th June, €954!

The Big June Holiday Sale

Step on board the modern dreamliner aircraft for your direct flight to the Caribbean! How great does that sound? I was on this aircraft last year and loved it. It is so airy and comfortable, the time will fly in ( excuse the pun!). It is hard to believe you could be enjoying a two week holiday with all meals and drinks included for less than €1000! You will be staying at the highly rated Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay. Sitting on a 2km stretch of white sandy beach, complete with it’s own private island and four á la carte restaurants, it’s paradise but without the price tag! Want to bring kids? Price for 2 adults and 2 children is €3,426. Use code Jamaica to save €50 per adult at the check out 🙂

Click here for more details:

 

So there you have it, my best buys from the big June holiday sale. I hope I have managed to find one that might suit you! If so, let me know, I would love to hear from you. Leave your comments in the box below. This post was sponsored in part by Falcon Holidays but all views, as always, are my own 🙂
Sarah

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In The Media

Family Holidays – As Seen on TV3’s Sunday AM – 1st May 2016

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For those of you who are still looking for family holidays this summer, check out my top picks below, along with some top travel tips to help you on your way.

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Algarve, 4* Estrela do Vau, 13th August, 2ad & 2ch , 1 week €1870

This is fantastic value for a four star property in the Algarve during school holidays. The complex is located close to one of the best beaches on the Algarve and it is family orientated with two swimming pools. You are close to the quiet village of Alvor and the larger resorts of Praia da Rocha and Portimao so it offers the best of both worlds. The Algarve also offers theme parks and water parks and plenty of options for family fun days out.

Click here for more details:

A Family deal to the Algarve by The Travel Expert

 

Rhodes, Pefki Islands Resort, 10th August, 2ad & 2ch, 1 week €1969

This is an excellent family property that is highly rated on tripadvisor and was awarded a certificate of excellence. It is situated beside the beach, has two swimming pools with swim up bars, as well as some organised evening entertainment. It is very close to the resort centre and within easy access of Lindos and Rhodes town. I also love that the price includes a large 2 bedroomed apartment, transfers and checked baggage!

Click here for more details:

Pefki Islands Resort, Rhodes as discussed for family holidays on TV3

 

Harry Potter Experience, London. 11th August, 2ad & 2ch , Two nights, €956

If you are looking for a short break away then why not consider London? Visit Warner Bros studios and enjoy the Harry Potter Experience. You will visit the sets where the movies were made and see the famous Hogwarts Express. This trip also includes entrance to the West Midlands Safari Park which has over 165 exotic animals and an adventure theme park. Price of €956 includes a two night stay at the Holiday Inn Express on a bed & breakfast basis, entrance to Warner Bros studio and the West Midlands Safari park, return ferry and coach transfer, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.

Click here for more details:

Harry Potter Experience London as discussed for family holidays on TV3

 

4* Oranmore Lodge, Galway. Two night stay BB, 2ad & 2ch €170.

For any of you who thought you might not get away this Summer, this is a great deal that won’t break the bank!. Spend two nights in the Oranmore Lodge Hotel on a bed & breakfast basis from only €170 based on 2 adults & 2 children, throughout the summer months. This family run hotel has a leisure centre, gym and free wifi and is only 7km from Galway city.

 Click here for more details:

 

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Travel Tips for travelling with kids.

 

 1. Make sure the holiday you are booking offers facilities that suit you.

Different age groups have different priorities. You will find with younger kids a pool or mini disco might be the most important thing, with teenagers it could be free wifi. Remember also to check the season and weather for the destination you are going to, there is a reason why prices to the Algarve are very reasonable in November, you may not get any sun!

Top tips for travelling with kids as discussed for family holidays on TV3

2. Choose your flights wisely

Short flights are handy when kids are crawling or too young to watch tv or play with tablets. Otherwise, I would say don’t let a longer flying time put you off. Kids can watch movies and easily amuse themselves for longer journeys now. Also bear in mind airport transfer times. Northern Majorca or Western Algarve can have two hour airport transfer, Lanzarote for instance might be a longer flight, but the airport transfer time to the main resort, Puerto del Carmen, is only 15 minutes.

If travelling long haul, especially to the USA – pay the extra cost and go direct. Clearing immigration in Ireland will mean when you arrive (tired ) you don’t have to queue to go through customs. You also wont have the stress of missing connections and your bags not arriving, which happened to me twice recently via London. I should have remembered that #smartfliesaerlingus! If there are no direct flights available, give yourself loads of connecting time.

Top tips for travelling with kids as discussed for family holidays on TV3

3. Buy a mediashare – Approx €30.

This was a life saver on our recent family holiday. The Verbatim MEDIA SHARE creates an ad-hoc wifi network of its own so the kids can watch movies at any time on their tablets or phones. Simply put movies on a USB stick or and SD card and plug them in. Install the MediaShare app from the Google Play or Apple App store. Open it, find the Media share device and click on the movie you wish to watch. The device can support up to five devices watching different movies at the one time. You no longer need to bring a portable DVD player and lots of discs. I have used the device in lots of hotel rooms and restaurants when the kids get bored. I will have a full review on this device in my new ‘News & Reviews’ section which will focus on great devices for the twenty first century traveller. Here is a video from the company showing how it all works

 

 

 

4. Bring supplies

Check before you go and if the beach is stoney, bring surf shoes. If you are likely to have mosquitoes, bring bug bands or deet sprays. If the weather is particularly hot, surf tops are ideal to save you worrying about kids getting burnt. If driving, going on a boat or a theme park with rollercoasters, bring seabands. My kids used them for our recent road trip and I found them great.

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change.

 

Like this post? Why not pin it!

 

Sarah

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New Routes from Irish Airports in 2016

Airport

Tired of the same old holiday destinations? Check out the new routes from Irish airports in 2016 and try something new this year!

 

Dublin Airport

We are finally seeing some new longhaul routes from Ireland, something that will be widely welcomed by Irish holidaymakers. Falcon / Thomson holidays will operate a dreamliner aircraft direct to Cancun (Mexico) and Montego Bay (Jamaica) while Air Canada Rouge will offer direct flights to Vancouver for the first time.  Aer Lingus have also introduced direct flights to more US destinations,  Newark, Los Angeles and the surprise choice, Hartford. Ethiopian Airlines are also flying direct to Los Angeles so there should be plenty of choice for people looking to get to the Sunshine State this year. Blue Air will be flying to Cluj (Romania), Ryanair will operate to the Spanish coastal city, Vigo and Aer Lingus will fly to Montpellier in France. There are also extra flights to Athens with Aegean Airlines and Ryanair, perhaps Athens will be on many peoples city break list this year? Aegean Airlines will also be offering online connections to the bucket list destinations of Santorini and Mykonos. And finally, Aer Lingus have added capacity to the popular holiday destinations of Pisa and Murcia, until now these were served by Ryanair only.

Mexico, one of the new routes from Ireland in 2016, by The Travel Expert
Mexico

Cork Airport

Cork airport has announced 400, 000 additional seats available for 2016 and the airport was recently named as one of Europe’s best airports. New routes for 2016 include Cardiff, London City, Leeds Bradford in the UK and Dusseldorf, Germany. Families will welcome direct flights to Nantes and La Rochelle in France and Menorca in Spain, which is operated by Stein Travel. Direct flights to Madrid with Iberia Express should suit people looking for a short city break and Norwegian Air is hoping to fly from Cork to Boston, however this is still subject to US approval. There is also talk of a Cork – New York service in the near future – so watch this space!

Menorca, one of the new routes from Irish Airports in 2016 by The Travel Expert
Menorca

Knock Airport ( Ireland West)

Falcon / Thomson Holidays are flying direct to Salou for 2016, something that has delighted families living in the West of Ireland. The flight will operate weekly from the end of June until the 16th of August. Knock airport will also offer new direct services to the popular cities of Edinburgh and Birmingham this year.

Salou, one of the new routes from Irish Airports in 2016 by The Travel Expert
Salou

Shannon airport

While there are no new routes from Shannon in 2016, extra capacity has been announced to many holiday destinations such as Malaga (Costa del Sol) and Faro (Portugal) as well as popular routes such as Heathrow and New York. 2015 was the third successive year of passenger growth at Shannon airport and this trend will surely continue in 2016.

 

So there you have it, no excuses for resting on your laurels this year – go somewhere new in 2016!

 

Sarah

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In The Media

As Seen On TV3 – 10th January 2016

The-Travel-Expert-As-Seen-on-TV3

Planning a holiday in 2016? As seen on TV3 SundayAM , check out my best reasons to book early, top tips to get the best deals and where I think the hot spots will be this year.

 

Best Reasons To Book Early:

Generally speaking it pays to book early, particularly if you are looking for something specific or if travelling during school holidays. If you have a large family and need a two or three bedroom apartment or have to take particular holidays in work you should book now.  Most airlines including Aer Lingus and Ryanair have Summer sales and prices normally increase closer to departure. Many hotel websites are offering early booking savings of up to 20% if booked before the 31st of January. Tour Operators Falcon Holidays and Sunway are offering great early booking deals, including free child places and low booking deposits.

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Booking early makes budgeting a little easier too. Most travel agents will let you pay a deposit now and pay your holiday in instalments. It also gives you something nice to look forward to as you look out through your office window at the rain! If you over indulged over Christmas, ClickandGo.com are offering €1 deposits on all European holidays booked ten weeks in advance.

Lanzarote Family holiday by The Travel Expert

 

Tips To Find The Best Deals:

Rather than spending hours searching hundreds of different websites, there are a few sites that are worth checking out. The Irish Travel Agents Association and Worldchoice combine special offers from Ireland’s leading travel agents on their websites.  I also combine a list of the best travel deals from around the web every Tuesday and publish it here.

 

ITAA3

 

When comparing package holidays with holidays you design yourself make sure you include baggage charges, airport transfers and local taxes. Most tour operator’s packages will have no hidden extras so make sure the ‘deal’ you think you have is really as good as it seems. Comparison websites such as Trivago or Tripadvisor  will search numerous websites for the same property and you may find significant savings. Check the distance from the airport too. Particularly in places like Barcelona, which according to Ryanair, has three airports! But Girona and Reus are miles from Barcelona. You may think you are getting a great deal and find out you have to pay hundreds of euro for an airport transfer.

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert reviews cruising

 

When booking a flight make sure you check both one way and return airfares. With Aer Lingus and Ryanair for instance, you may find it is cheaper to fly out with one airline and home with another. This can also be useful for good flight times, one airline may have better times on the outward journey and another on the return. The lowcostholidays website will combine all airlines so you can automatically find the best airfares and quite often the lowest priced journey will be with two different carriers. If travelling with kids, Ryanair allow you to select half price bags even if adults are only taking hand luggage. With Aer Lingus you need to book an adult bag in order to get a child’s case for half price.

The Travel Expert's Top Ten Travel Hacks

 

Top Holiday destinations In 2016.

Easter will be big this year. Children have almost three weeks off school with Easter and Patricks day falling together, so get in early before prices rocket! I checked various options and prices are already quite high. The best family option I found is a week in Salou for €925 based on 2 adults and 2 children in the 4* Sanguli Resort. For more details read by blog here.

sanguli_046300_opt

 

I think campsites in Salou and Lake Garda will be particularly popular this year. Many will change from France because of the European championships and the Paris attacks. The ISIS effect also means that people will tend to stick to Spain, Portugal & Italy rather than North African destinations. This will be a European trend so the likelihood is that accommodation in these countries will be priced higher and more scarce than in previous years. This will be particularly problematic if looking for a last minute deal.

The Travel Expert on TV3 10th January 2016

 

There are direct flights to Mexico and Jamaica from June so they should be particularly popular with couples. With prices starting at €1589 for a 4* hotel on an all inclusive basis, including flights, transfers and baggage for two weeks, they are good value for long haul holidays direct from Dublin. You can pay a small booking deposit too, which is always appreciated! Check out Falconholidays.ie for more details.

Fuerteventura by The Travel Expert

 

Ryanair and Aegean airlines have introduced flights to Athens so this could be the big city break destination for 2016 . There are also onward connections with Aegean airlines to Santorini and Mykonos, which are bucket list destinations for many people.

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert offers a travel deal to Santorini in 2016

 

For families looking for a relaxing family holiday Menorca could be the destination of choice this year. This is an ideal family destination. There are direct flights and package deals from Dublin with Sunway and new for 2016 is a direct flight from Cork with Stein Travel.

Menorca, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

 

Cruising is getting more and more popular and prices seem to be getting better each year. MSC Cruises are offering Mediterranean cruise package deals from €1095 in the summer months, including flights and free drinks pacakges. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises are offering buy one get one half price plus free drinks packages. The all inclusive package holiday concept seems to have transferred to cruises now!

 

Wherever you decide to go in 2016 – book now, sit back, relax and just wait for the sunshine ☀

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change.

 

Sarah

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