holidays

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Searching holidays online is simple with loveholidays.ie

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Not sure when you want to travel or where? Need a hotel with water slides? Loveholidays.ie might just be the travel website you are looking for.

 

I was asked by the lovely people in loveholidays.ie to check out their website. It wasn’t long before I realised why loveholidays are the fastest growing online travel agency in the UK – their website is SO good!

loveholidays.ie

 

Searching holidays online is simple with loveholidays.ie. If you don’t know where you want to go you can search by ‘any destination’. You can then narrow the search down by holiday type, i.e beach, family, luxury, trip advisor rating, or be more specific and choose a villa with an infinity pool! If you are flexible on dates you can search by the month which shows you the lowest price available on any date, within the month.

Although most travel websites have a section for last minute travellers, with loveholidays’ late holidays deals you can also search by temperature. You no longer have to wade through pages of holidays to the Algarve in December – if you want hot sun, just move the temperature bar up to 25 degrees! I am often asked about hotels that are suitable for wheelchairs or for people with walking difficulties. On loveholidays.ie you can narrow your search to include accommodation with disabled facilities. This is a feature that has been long overdue on travel sites and I am sure will no doubt be of benefit to many people.

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Loveholidays.ie have a low deposit option of €49 on most holidays. You can pay by instalments through the manage booking section of their website, and also print off your own travel documentation. They offer a price match guarantee where they will refund any difference, if you manage to find the same holiday on a competitors website at a lower price.  Of course you don’t have to book online, you can also call one of their friendly staff on the dedicated Irish phone number, 01 5138686.

Loveholidays.ie have recently launched in Ireland and are at the moment only specialising in holidays – city breaks may follow in due course. They are of course fully bonded and licensed, so visit loveHolidays.ie and see for yourself!

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This post was sponsored by loveholidays.ie but all views, as always, are my own 🙂
Sarah
 
 The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery
Long Haul

Phuket, Thailand, 9th May, 1 week, Flights & 4* Hotel B&B €839!

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Thailand is exotic, cultural and exciting all at once, and the island of Phuket has all three in abundance.

Once seen as a honeymoon paradise, Phuket has evolved and is now the busiest of Thailand’s tropical islands. It is also the largest island and certainly is the most diverse. You can choose to lounge on a beach all day and enjoy some spa treatments or party all night in one of Patong’s shall we say ‘lively’ bars. Although still a tropical paradise there are numerous things to do here. A trip to one of the neighbouring islands, Phi Phi being the most popular or a visit to the old town of Phuket, with it’s quirky streets will not disappoint. It is also a great place to chill out after a trip to bustling Bangkok or elephant trekking in Chang Mai.

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert talks about honeymoon destinations

Sunway Holidays offer many holiday options in Thailand and at very competitive prices. I have chosen the Old Phuket Karon . Ideally situated this 4* hotel is across the road from the beach and close to many bars and restaurants in the resort centre. It is a perfect choice for those looking for some relaxation yet within easy access of Patong, which is only 15 minutes away. This resort has also received a certificate of excellence on tripadvisor. Facilities on site include two swimming pools, two bars, four restaurants and a fitness centre.

Fly from Dublin on the 9th of May and spend seven nights here for only €839 per person. This price includes flights, taxes and checked baggage.  Mix it up a little and spend four nights in Phuket and three nights in the Phi Phi islands for only €1049. You can also add on a city break in Bangkok or an elephant trek in ChangMai, the choice is yours….

Click here for more details:

 

All prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to availability. This post was sponsored by Sunway but all views as always are my own 😃

 

Sarah

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Top Ten Holidays For Girls

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

 

1 New York Shopping Trip.

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

Top ten holidays for girls

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2. Sun and fun in Marbella.

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

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls
 

 

 

3. A weekend in Dubai.

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

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4. A holiday in the Côtes d’Azur.

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

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5. Paris in the spring.

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

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls
 

 

 

6. California.

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

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls
 

 

 

7. Island hopping in Greece.

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

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls
 

 

 

8. A full moon party in Thailand.

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

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls
 

 

 

9. Barbados baby.

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

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls
 

 

 

10. Party time in Ibiza.

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

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls
 

 

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

 

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Happy trails!

 

Sarah

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Luxury All Inclusive in the Geranios Suites & Spa Hotel, Fuerteventura, 1 week, €569!

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This deal to Fuerteventura offers the best of both worlds. Stay in a deluxe hotel, right on the beach and have all your meals and drinks included in the price!

 

The Geranios Suites & Spa is a luxury beach front hotel in an outstanding location, offering excellent service and a host of on site facilities. Situated only ten minutes from the airport, you can be relaxing by the sea with a cocktail, within an hour of landing! Feel spoilt with a spacious junior suite equipped with all mod cons, including a kitchenette with microwave. The pool area is stunning, although so is the beach, so the hardest decision you will have to make each day is where to sunbathe!

The Travel Expert's luxury all inclusive deal to Fuerteventura

If you are feeling energetic you can enjoy a game of tennis or squash, work out in their gym or try one of the many water sports available at the beach. Reward yourself with a trip to the spa afterwards and enjoy a massage, or simply relax in the sauna or whirlpool bath.

The Travel Expert's luxury all inclusive deal to Fuerteventura

Although meals and drinks are included in the price of your stay, if you fancy a change of scenery the resort of Caleta de Fuste is only five minutes walk away. Complete with plenty of bars, shops and restaurants – it’s lively – but without being rowdy!  You can also take a trip to some of the other resorts on the island, Correlejo or Jandia being the most popular, or take the ferry to nearby Lanzarote. Suffice to say there is plenty to do in Fuerteventura if you are up for it.

The Travel Expert's luxury all inclusive deal to Fuerteventura

The Hotel Geranios Suites and Spa have an early booking discount of €140, throughout the Summer months.  Prices including flights from Dublin or Shannon and a seven night stay on an all inclusive basis, start at €569 for selected dates in May. Travel in June from €689, July from €955, August from €765 and September from €535. Click on the link below to see the full range of dates and prices.

So go on, kick start yuur Summer, go luxury all inclusive in the Geranios Suites & Spa hotel – you deserve it!

 

Click here for more details:

 

 

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

 

Sarah

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Ferrari World, going Italian in Abu Dhabi

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If you have the slightest interest in cars, or indeed a ‘petrolhead‘, and you happen to find yourself in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World must be your first stop!

 

I had a recent whistle-stop visit to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where the very latest in life excesses is on full view to the world. The tallest, fastest, biggest, most expensive of everything is to be seen here. When it comes to cars, if you want to see the fastest and most beautiful cars, a visit to Ferrari World on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi is a must. The first thing that struck me, in the five minute cab ride from our hotel to the theme park, was the enormity of the structure I was travelling to.

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The building was a sleek as it was large, with the crested metal dome rising out of the dry sand. The architecture reminded me a little of Terminal 2 at Dublin airport, but red, and obviously a much grander scale. As the taxi pulls up, all I can see is Ferrari red, and the ‘prancing horse’ insignia is everywhere. Excitement grew. I was like a boy in a toyshop, or a closet petrolhead that was about to have the chance to get up close and personal with some very exotic supercars from the famous Italian stable. This is what Ferrari World is all about.

Beaten by the heat, I quickly made my way inside to the comfort of the air-conditioned building. I made my way to the ticket desk, collected my tickets and was directed towards the entrance gate. That’s when the drooling started!

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Walking across the sleek entrance corridor, I was greeted by Ferrari engines, on ‘thrones’ in the centre of the walkway, set amid the Ferrari red of the walls and glass structure. At the end of the corridor I entered a cavernous building, filled with the iconic Ferrari cars. Some are elevated on plinths, some just close enough to touch. Obviously the expensive ones are elevated to protect the paintwork from hot sticky handprints. They were all there, from the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO (the highest price car ever bought at auction, a snip at $38 million dollars, so I’m thinking this one was a replica), all the way up to the Formula One cars used by the Ferrari F1 Team.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Two highlights for me were the opportunity to ‘drive’ a Ferrari 458 in a simulator. Complete with the full body of the car and racing interior, I sat into bucket seats, with the windscreen fully wrapped around a High Definition screen. I got the count down via digital traffic lights and on green, I ‘drove’ around the Abu Dhabi race track for a number of laps.

The car shunted and wobbled under the power of the engine and I needed to be careful not to run off the track – something I did not manage very often. The car pitched and rolled as I entered corners, and I was thrown back into my seat as I navigated and accelerated down the straight.

Whilst this is an experience in driving, it is a virtual reality ride. That said, my heart was racing after the ride, and I noticed that the perspiration had built up on my brow from the adrenaline. That’s how realistic it was.

There is also an opportunity to do the same thing in a replica of a Ferrari F1 car – I’d tried it too but as I sat into the cockpit of the F1 car, I had to sink further and further down. To be honest, I cried off before the ride started and opted for the regular car. I really found the F1 cockpit particularly claustrophobic and it made me feel really uncomfortable. Also gave me a new found respect for F1 drivers too!

You can also drive a REAL Ferrari California around an outside track for twenty five kilometres. No really, you can!

Driving a Ferrari has been on my bucket list for a while, and now I was finally going to get to do it….or so I thought. I rocked up with my six hundred dirhams (about €150). But when I was asked for my driving licence, I realised I had left it in Ireland – it wasn’t much good to me there. My dream was dashed.

After a short but compulsory visit to the (very overpriced) gift shop, it was time to go. We had arrived in the early evening and spent three hours at Ferrari World. Arriving late in the afternoon, you run the risk of not being able to ride the fastest rollercoaster in the world, the Formula Rosso – admittedly that didn’t really bother me…

Here’s why…

Suffice to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the visit to Ferrari World. If you are in Dubai or Abu Dhabi make it your business to pay a visit, especially if you are a petrol head like me.

Cormac

(Husband of The Travel Expert) 🙂

 

Best Travel Deals

Best Travel Deals As Seen On TV3’s Sunday Am

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Check out my best travel deals as seen on TV3’s Sunday Am on the 20th of September 2015.

 

Christmas Market Breaks:

Christmas markets are very much back in vogue. Ryanair have added extra capacity to many cities throughout the winter with lots of low priced airfares available.  I chose Berlin as it has over 50 markets to choose from and something to appeal to everyone. Sip some mulled wine while enjoying Christmas carols at the traditional markets of Charlottenburg Castle or the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Check out one of the Christmas Rock concerts at the Spandau Old Town market or try Europe’s largest mobile toboggan run at the lively Potsdamer Platz market. For more info on Europe’s top Christmas markets read my blog here.

Fly from Dublin to Berlin on the 1st or 8th of December and spend three nights at the Mark Hotel for only €199. Click here for more details.

Christmas market in Berlin by The Travel Expert as seen on SundayAM TV3

Girls Weekend Away:

Marbella is a great choice for a girls weekend away. There is plenty of style and glamour with a beachfront location, what more could you ask for! Sip a cocktail in Sinatras and simply people watch or dance the night away in the many bars or night clubs. There are lots of great shops in the old town that wont break the bank or if you want to flash the cash, there is no better place with lots of designer shops in the port to tempt you.

Fly from Dublin on the 6th of May and stay at the 3* San Cristobal Hotel for three nights for only €219 per person. Click here for more details.

The-Travel-Expert-offer-on-Marbella as seen on TV3

Family Holiday to Florida:

Florida is THE bucket list destination for families. There are over twelve theme parks and four waterparks so it is an adventure as well as a holiday! Enjoy the magic of Disney and marvel at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Shop till you drop at the outlets or swim with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove. I have chosen the 3* Ramada Gateway Kissimmee Hotel which is close to Disney but also offers a free shuttle bus to all the other main parks.

Fly from Dublin on the 8th of June and spend two weeks here for only €2399 based on two adults and 2 children. Click here for more details.

Universal Studios, Florida by The Travel Expert as seen on TV3

 

Like what you see, click here to see more great travel deals:

 

Sarah
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Magical Madrid, 14th February, Flights & Hotel, 3 Nights €199!

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The Spanish capital of Madrid is often overlooked for a city break but actually it probably has more to offer than most of it’s European counterparts.

 

Take a guided tour of the Royal Palace, probably one of the largest and most beautiful palaces you are likely to see. Enjoy a coffee on the Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s main square, it is a great place to people watch and plan your day. Follow that with a night out in the city, when Madrid comes alive with gastro bars, al fresco eateries and vibrant nightlife. With over three thousand restaurants, it is not surprising that Madrid is now considered one of Europe’s top cities for gastronomy.

There is plenty in  Madrid to keep everyone happy, some may like to shop while the others take in a football match or a stadium visit. A trip to the Real Madrid’s Bernabeu would satisfy even an avid football fan. A stroll along the Gran Via, Madrid’s grandest street is a shoppers paradise, where high street and designer shops combine to tempt you with prices cheaper than at home. A new apple store opened in 2014 with a 360 degrees genius bar, where experts from ‘Apple’ give advice and solve any technical issues, its known as a ‘little apple museum’, worth a look in the area of Puerta del Sol!

Bernabeu, The Travel Expert, Sarah Slattery

So with all of this and a lot more, isn’t it time you visited the city of Madrid? I have found a great deal departing on the 14th of February. Fly with Aer Lingus and stay three nights in the popular HRC hotel for only €199. This modern hotel is situated in the heart of Madrid, close to all the main attractions and it’s excellent nightlife. The HRC also receives excellent reviews on tripadvisor as well as a certificate of excellence.  So what are you waiting for?

 

Click here for more details:

 

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

 

Sarah 

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Seychelles, 11th May, 1 week, Flights & Hotel €1235!

Seychelles, The Travel Expert

When you think about paradise islands, the Seychelles immediately springs to mind.

 

With year round sunshine, perfect beaches and a an abundance of coral reefs, this is the ‘lovers’ island. Renowned as a top honeymoon destination, you would be hard pushed to find anywhere as romantic as the Seychelles.

The islands have a tropical appearance, yet receive little rainfall.  You will discover small cove beaches beside what looks like jungle terrain. Try some scuba diving, interact with their giant tortoises or just snorkel at the waters edge, the choice is yours. If you fancy a bit of life, take a trip to Victoria, the capital. Enjoy some lively bars and restaurants or wander through their bustling indoor market.

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert talks about honeymoon destinationsA trip to the Seychelles is normally a bucket list trip, but it is surprisingly affordable at the moment. Fly from Dublin on the 11th of May and spend seven nights in the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Beach Resort & Casino for only €1235 per person. Situated on a stunning beach and close to Victoria, this is a great choice for a couple looking to discover these islands without the typical expensive tag. The hotel has three restaurants and three bars on site, as well as evening entertainment and a casino. If you are feeling energetic you can enjoy their tennis courts, gym and water sports centre. Their 5 star PADI dive centre is recognised as one of the best in the Seychelles.

So do something spontaneous, be romantic  and book a trip to the Seychelles – you won’t regret it!

 

Click here for more details:

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue, but are subject to availability.

Sarah

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Lake Garda, 9th July, 4* Garda Village, 2ad & 2ch €2529

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Still looking to book a Summer holiday? Lake Garda ticks all boxes, it’s got scenery, sights and plenty of style!

Lake Garda has so much to offer, from quiet lakeside towns to bustling resorts. Take water taxis across the lake and visit the popular towns of Riva and Limone, explore the nearby city of Verona or simply relax and enjoy the scenery for which Lake Garda is renowned.

 

There are so many different resorts to choose from but my personal favourite is Sirmione. It’s situated at the south of the Lake, which is handy for visiting Gardaland as well as being close to Verona.  Sirmione is situated at the tip of a long peninsula that juts out into the Lake. The old town has a fairytale like castle that sets the tone and gives a magical feel to the place. Take time to explore the narrow streets which are buzzing with local shops and Italian eateries.

The Travel Expert discusses Crystal Holidays Discovery Packages to Italy

The Garda Village apartments are situated close to Sirmione near the lakeshore. They are bungalow style apartments in a large complex with plenty of facilities. They have kids clubs, a large swimming pool and plenty of on-site entertainment. Personally I would recommend a car ( there is free parking on site) but they also have a shuttle service to take you to nearby attractions, if you don’t fancy driving. There are so many things to see and do nearby but if travelling with kids, Gardaland is a must. This is one of Europe’s leading theme parks and is a great day out for all the family. I would also recommend a  visit to the amphitheatre in Verona, but for more information on Lake Garda check out my blog by clicking here.

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert offers a family deal to Lake Garda

Fly from Dublin to Verona on the 9th of July for only €389 per person. This includes airport taxes and 20kg checked baggage per person. The Garda Village 1 bedroom standard bungalows are €973 for seven nights. You can also choose to upgrade to the comfort bungalows (bilo) which are €1,169.  These are slightly bigger and more modern than the standard bungalows. This is excellent value for a family holiday during the summer months and one that all the family are sure to enjoy!

 

Click here to book flights: €389 per person

Click here to book accommodation: €973

 

Like what you see? Click here to see all my travel deals in one place!

 

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

 

Sarah

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Barcelona, Easter Weekend, Flights & 3 Nights, 4* Hotel €395

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Barcelona is one of those cities where you can almost taste the atmosphere…

 

The mixture of amazing architecture, mouthwatering cuisine, buzzing nightlife and excellent shopping will leave you wanting to come back for more. And of course, lets not forget its location – situated on the Mediterranean Sea, you can even enjoy a day at the beach, how many major cities can offer all of this? In fact although Barcelona is typically a city break destination, you could easily find yourself spending a week here, and still find you haven’t seen everything.

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert reviews BarcelonaTake a stroll along the famous Ramblas and watch the street artists perform before stopping at a tapas bar for lunch.  Take a tour of the famous Sagrada Familia Cathedral (Spain’s most visited monument) and walk through the narrow streets in the Gothic Quarter. Explore the Park Guell and see some of Gaudi’s spectacular architecture. Shop at some of Spain’s top high street stores such as Zara, Desigual and Custo at much lower prices than at home.

Of course Barcelona is home to one of the biggest football teams in the world. and for any football fans a trip to Camp Nou will be high on the priority list. You may even be lucky enough to take in a game? Alternatively a trip to Port Aventura, Spain’s largest theme park is just over an hour by train. Now can you see why I said you could easily spend a week here?

I found a great deal in the 4* Abba Rambla Hotel. This hotel is situated in the heart of Barcelona, close to the Ramblas and receives great reviews on tripadvisor. Fly from Dublin on Good Friday, the 25th of March and enjoy three nights at Easter for €395 per person including flights.

  

 

All prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to availability. To ensure you receive my weekly best travel deals please click here to sign up to my newsletter.

 

Sarah

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Travel Tips

Top 10 mistakes we make on holidays!

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No matter how organised you think you are, when you are in holiday mode, barriers fall down and mistakes are made! Here are my top 10 classic mistakes we make on holidays!

 

1. Don’t know the exchange rates.

This is a very common mistake. If travelling outside the Euro zone make sure you know exactly what the local currency is worth. There are many stories of people hopping in a taxi from the airport and paying exorbitant taxi fares because they didn’t actually know what they were handing over. Likewise there have been many porters who received very handsome tips from the ‘newbies’ at the resort!

 

2. Have only large notes

We are all guilty of this one! We arrive at a nice hotel where the porters will expect to be tipped and all we have are €50 bills. When changing money ask for small notes or if travelling within Europe make sure you have some small notes or coins with you.

 

3. First day syndrome!

We are so relaxed on the first day, we see the sunshine and all we want to do is jump in the pool! This means we leave activating the safety deposit box until later and leave money and valuables unattended. The first day is prime time for thiefs in resorts so don’t say you haven’t been warned!

 

4. Get sunburnt.

This can happen on the first day too when all you want to do is get out in the sun. The other most likely time is your last day, when you HAVE to get the tan before you go home!

 

5. Eat bad food.

How many times do you walk into a restaurant because a local is asking you to come inside? Ask at reception in your hotel for recommendations or check tripadvisor for restaurant reviews before you go out.

 

6. Get sick.

Sickness on holiday is very common, the chemicals in the water or the sudden change in temperatures can cause a sick tummy. Wait for 10 minutes before turning on the air conditioning in your room and like wise turn it off 10 minutes before leaving. Drink bottled water and have a bottle beside the sink for brushing your teeth. Be careful where you eat and drink, many drinks will contain ice made from local water and salads may not be washed in bottled water. If you are unfortunate to have a tummy bug, the last thing you want to do is rush down to the local pharmacy. Bring small packs of immodium and motilium with you, they will take up no room in your suitcase – you will be really glad you brought them!

 

7. Try to cram everything in.

This happens to most of us, we read the top 10 things to do in a particular place and try our best to fit them all in. You will end up needing another holiday when you come home. Remember to relax on holidays and enjoy the rest. Choose one thing that will leave a lasting memory, and leave the rest to chance. If you get to see everywhere great, but don’t fret if you don’t – you can always come back!

 

8. Don’t check the weather

Remember although your iPhone may say that it is 20 degrees, you need to check what the ‘feels like’ temperature is! A cool breeze in the Canary Islands for instance can mean you will need cardigans during the day and even coats at nighttime! You may also experience some tropical storms so a lightweight waterproof jacket can be a Godsend.

 

9. Think you don’t need travel insurance

People always think the horror story wont happen to them! You never know when you will need travel insurance and it is so inexpensive,  it makes no sense to travel without it.

 

10. Don’t respect the local culture.

Remember you are the ‘intruder’! If the local custom means shoulders must be covered when entering a temple for instance, you need respect this. Likewise topless bathing may be forbidden – make sure you check the pool or beach rules before you strip off!

 

Want to see more travel tips? Click here!

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

Travel Tips

Top tips for travelling with the Elderly

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I have brought my ninety year old Mum on many holidays and I learned a few tips along the way! Here are my top tips for travelling with the elderly.

 

1. Choose your destination wisely.

For many elderly people, travelling is a huge ordeal. Choose somewhere that they would like to see, not necessarily where you would like to go. Scenic destinations with nice views, plenty of sightseeing and most importantly not too many hills or noisy bars! Heat is also a big factor so choose somewhere that is not normally 40 degrees at the time you are going. If there is a nice breeze like in the Canary Islands or the Algarve, that’s a bonus. If they like the beach make sure the water is shallow with no sudden drops or large waves, a travel agent or websites like tripadvisor should be able to advise you of this.

travelling with the elderly

2. Where possible choose short flights.

Long haul flights can be uncomfortable for them and the risk of DVT is slightly higher in flights over five hours. If you are in the fortunate position to be able to travel business class, go for it!  Failing that, make sure they move about on the flight, walk regularly up and down the aisles and stay hydrated. Mind you this applies to all of us!

 

3. Take your time and arrive at the airport early.

Take advantage of the excellent facilities at the airport. If they are unsteady on their feet or simply find the walk from check in to the departure gate too long, book a wheelchair to bring them to the gate. Check in early and have a nice relaxed meal before you go, as the airplane food may not suit them.

travelling with the elderly

4. Email the hotel or discuss requirements with your travel agent before you leave.

If booking with a travel agent request a low floor or a room beside the lift or reception. Some hotels are so big now that the rooms can be quite a distance from the reception or swimming pool. If booking independently, email the hotel before you go and let them know you have an elderly person with you.

 

5. Transfers

Unless your hotel is a long distance from the airport, try to book private transfers or take a taxi from the airport to the Hotel. Some shuttle transfers can be extremely long and the price difference is normally minimal.

travelling with the elderly

6.  Travel Insurance

This may sound obvious but make sure they have adequate travel insurance. The E111 form only covers them in a public hospital. If they have a major injury and require an air ambulance for instance, only an official travel insurance policy will cover that. Make sure they declare any pre existing illnesses to the Insurance provider before they go, otherwise they may not be covered.

 

7. Stock up!

It should go without saying but bring plenty of sunscreen, a sun hat and insect repellent. Their skin is very sensitive and the last thing you or they need is to get bitten or sunburned.

travelling with the elderly

8. Take it easy!

Don’t pressure them to go with you to the beach every day or to visit that ‘must see’ cathedral. They are used to quiet time and would probably be quite happy to chill out and read a book in their room. You may want to trek off sightseeing for the day or go out during the mid day sun, but don’t feel you have to bring them with you each time. Remember holidays are for relaxing too, if they want to take it easy – let them.

 

I still recall the tear in my Mum’s eye when she saw the Vatican for the first time, that memory will always stay with me. Taking an elderly person away with you may not seem like a big deal, but it could mean the world to them.

 

Want to see more travel tips? Click here!

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

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5* Bohemia Suites, Playa del Ingles, LGBT friendly, Flights & Hotel, 10th Sep €799!

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The Bohemia Suites & Spa is a luxury 5* boutique style hotel on the beach in Playa del Ingles.

This adult only hotel is ultra modern and SO on trend at the moment. Facilities include a health club and spa, free wifi, and rooms are equipped with iMacs and iPod docking stations. You have to check out the exceptional reviews on tripadvisor, voted number 2 out of 137 hotels in the resort, I particularly like the comment, “Can i give it 6 stars?'”

The location has to beSarah Slattery, The Travel Expert reviews the Bohemia Suites & Spa Hotel, Gran Canaria one of the best in Playa del Ingles, beside the beach and close to the Yumbo centre, this is perfect for anyone looking for a top class hotel in a lively resort. This is a party town, you can choose disco bars, nightclubs or drag shows, what ever floats your boat, you can be sure it is here in Playa del Ingles. This adults only hotel is actively LGBT friendly and has a great mix of clientele from across the globe, which gives a cosmopolitan and refreshing vibe.

They even have a dedicated Irish website, www.bohemiasuitesholidays.ie which is bonded and licensed for your protection.

Fly from Dublin on the 10th of September and spend seven nights in this luxury hotel for only €799 per person. They even have a dedicated Irish website, www.bohemiasuitesholidays.ie which is bonded and licensed for your protection so if these dates don’t suit you, choose your own flights and click on the link below to book the hotel.

 

Click here to book flights: €219pp

Click here to book hotel: €580pp

 

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert, reviews the Bohemia Suites & Spa Hotel, Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria

 

 

 

 

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All prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to availability. To ensure you receive my weekly best travel deals please click here to sign up to my newsletter.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

Travel

Nice, South of France, 14th September, 1 week flights & hotel €366!

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There is something about the South of France that conjures up images of glitz and glamour.

The town of Nice has universal appeal and it is one of those places that no matter what age or demographic you are, you are sure to love it! Nice has such a stunning old town with an amazing atmosphere. Each of the narrow streets are jam packed with boutiques and local shops selling their wares. The main market square is buzzing with locals and tourists and oozes character. In contrast to this the palm tree lined Promenade des Anglais is a perfect place for an evening stroll or a nightcap to catch the sunset. Filled with luxury hotels and top class bars and restaurants this is where the other half live.

Nice, South of France, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

The great thing about Nice is it is so easy to navigate, you can walk from the old town to the main beach in minutes and if you want to explore the nearby resorts of Cannes, Antibes or even Monaco you can just hop on the train. The train service is excellent and you can even be chilling on the Italian Riviera within an hour.
I found a great deal travelling direct from Dublin on the 14th of September. Stay at the popular Relais Acropolis hotel in Nice for seven nights including flights for only €366 per person.  This has great reviews on tripadvisor and is centrally located to enjoy all that Nice and the South of France has to offer.

Click here for more details:

 

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

 

Sarah

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Cruises

My MSC Splendida Review

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I had the pleasure of boarding the MSC Splendida while it was docked in Dublin. So did it live up to the hype and what is it like inside? Read my MSC Splendida review and find out!

 

There is no doubt it was fantastic for Ireland attracting a ship of this magnitude to our shores, in fact it made history as the largest ship ever to enter Dublin Port. For most of us we imagined enjoying a weeks holiday on board but it was also great for Dublin and Cobh with over 3000 passengers disembarking and spending money in our cities. There is more good news because the MSC Splendida is one of eighty three other ships who are due to dock in Dublin Port this year.

MSC Splendida, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

So what’s it really like?

I have sold Splendida to clients many times and it is always so reasonably priced. The first thing that struck me was the size of the ship, there was eighteen floors or decks!  She can carry over 5000 passengers and crew, weighs 140,000 tonnes, her max speed is 21 knots and she cost almost €500 million to build. It is really hard to grasp the enormity of such a massive ship unless you are on board, it literally is a floating hotel.

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Like most cruise ships the MSC Splendida has fantastic facilities on board. What I did notice is that there was a great sense of space. Despite the fact that it can accommodate five thousand people I got the impression that it wouldn’t feel crowded, there is so much space and so many different parts to the ship, you could even get lost! It is also very lavishly designed, with plenty of ‘bling’. There are Swarovski crystal staircases with each step valued at a whopping €30,000 as well as very high quality fabrics and furnishings throughout. There are numerous bars, restaurants, lounges and relaxing areas. The Aurea Spa is fantastic and could rival any of the top spas you would find in any luxury hotel worldwide. They have excellent facilities for children with a Formula 1 simulator, games rooms not to mention the four different swimming pools. There is a sports bar, disco, a casino and an enormous theatre which features top ‘west end’ style shows. There really is something to suit all tastes so that cliche that you may get bored on a cruise ship – eh I don’t think so.

MSC Splendida, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

The cabins were a welcome surprise and quite spacious. MSC’s prices overall are very competitive and because 80% of their cabins have balconies, these are particularly good value compared to their competitors. There is an excellent choice of dining options and both the buffet and main restaurant served excellent food. As Splendida is an Italian ship, the atmosphere is very Mediterranean and this is also reflected in their dining. Unlike UK or US based cruise ships the clientele is more mixed, in fact you will hear several languages on board with English not necessarily being the predominant one.

If you are looking for a more luxurious option try the MSC Yacht Club, complete with a separate pool, bar and dining area. It has a completely different feel to the rest of the ship. You have a private butler and have access to unlimited snacks and drinks throughout the day, you would think you were on a different cruise ship.

I always knew the Splendida was excellent value for money, with free child places and an a fantastic all inclusive drinks package available, but I was impressed with the ship overall. It is modern, spacious and has excellent facilities on board – go see for yourself!

 

 

Sarah

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