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Long Haul Holidays On a Budget


Looking for an tropical holiday without breaking the bank? From Miami to the Maldives, check out my travel tips and best travel deals to find the perfect long haul holidays on a budget.


The trend for Irish holiday-makers seeking more authentic experiences and adventure holidays is definitely on the rise! There are now over 40 direct flights each week to the Emirates and Asia from Dublin airport, which is resulting in very competitive airfares. Long haul destinations grew by 19% in 2017 from Dublin airport alone! New direct flights to Hong Kong and Beijing have opened up Asia even further and Qatar Airways direct links to Chang Mai in Thailand and Penang in Malaysia means you only need one stop to get to these tropical destinations. But is it possible to find long haul holidays on a budget?

The biggest mistake people make when booking long haul holidays is not comparing package deals with holidays that are booked independently. Sometimes specialist tour operators will be able to offer cheaper packages than if you bought a flight and hotel separately. They may book a larger number of rooms in a particular hotel or get discounted rates from an airline which will offer you a better rate than if you booked direct.


Similarly with airlines, low cost carriers, like Norwegian charge high amounts for baggage, allocated seating, even meals on long haul flights. Compare these with airlines such as Turkish Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines who include a generous baggage allowance, all meals and even drinks on board. My advice is always compare like with like when booking any holiday. Here are some long haul holidays on a budget that I have found with travel agents and tour operators in Ireland. With most of these holidays you can add on extra nights, either with the travel agent before travel, or decide to book independent options and tours locally.






Sri Lanka, Flights, Transfers & 4* All Inclusive Hotel, 7 Nights, €1169


I climbed #sigiriya today, all 1202 steps 😱 It’s often referred to as the 8th wonder of the world and once you climb it you will see why. It was a fantastic experience and I’m delighted I made it to the top! How the monks carried up stones to build their city in the 5th century is mindblowing! The climb wasn’t that difficult but it was quite scary in parts. The fact that it is a holy day here didn’t help, it was packed! Check out my stories for more 👆 . . . . #srilanka #sigiriyarock #sigiriyasrilanka #wonderoftheworld #wonder #climb #climbing #hiking #proud #travelblogger #irishtravelblogger #asianwonders #wearetravelgirls #picoftheday #dreamdestinations #passionpassport @srilanka @srilanka.travel @destination_srilanka @turkishairlines @travelcounsellorsireland #widenyourworld #lovemyjob #monks #monastery

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This is a great deal to experience one of South East Asia’s real treasures. The price includes flights and a seven-night stay with all meals and drinks included. I went to Sri Lanka last year and loved it. There is so much to see and do, you really need to look beyond the beaches. I suggest booking this beach week but adding on at least 4 / 5 days in the cultural centre. This can be done with Tropical Sky at the time of booking or directly with a tour company locally. There are eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka (FYI Ireland has three), thousands of elephants, hundreds of leopards, tea plantations, amazing food and it is so cheap on the ground. The island practically screams adventure. I climbed the 660 foot tall Sigiriya rock fortress  (1202 steps ) and felt a great sense of achievement, you can read my highlights of Sri Lanka here.

View offer here




Thailand: Flights, Transfers & 4* Khao Lak, Hotel, 7 Nights, €1049

long haul holidays on a budget

Luxury long haul specialists Hayes & Jarvis, have some great deals to top class hotels in Thailand for next year. My personal favourite is the highly rated Apsara Beachfront Resort and Villas in Khao Lak. This is the perfect spot for couples who are looking for a relaxing holiday on a superb beach. Price includes airport transfers, an upgrade to a superior room and a local free Thai cookery class. Flights are via Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific so if you wish to add on a few nights in Hong Kong or in any other part of Thailand just talk to the staff in Hayes & Jarvis. Check out the reviews on tripadvisor if you still need convincing.

View offer here


Mauritius : Flights, Transfers & 4* All Inclusive Hotel, 7 Nights, €1339

luxurious but affordable resorts in the indian ocean

Mauritius, one of the Indian Ocean’s most idyllic islands offers year round sunshine, white sandy beaches, but surprisingly so much more! Explore the hidden waterfalls at the heart of the jungle and go in search of some of its extraordinary wildlife. Veranda Pointe aux Biches is a hotel that epitomises laidback luxury –  guests are encouraged to go barefoot during their stay. Feel relaxed in the wellness lounge, enjoy some spa treatments or try the host of watersports available. If you fancy a change of scene, you can pop into the nearby village of Grand Baie, which has a wide selection of restaurants, shops and bars. Highly rated on tripadvisor, with all meals and drinks included in the price, this is excellent value for such a great hotel.

View offer here


Maldives: 4* Cinnamon Dhonveli, All Inclusive, Flights & Speedboat Transfers, €1949

luxurious but affordable resorts in the indian ocean

If a trip to the Maldives is on your bucket list but your bank balance is telling you not to go – then this is the place for you! The Cinnamon Dhonveli is one of the best value ALL INCLUSIVE resorts in the Maldives. With all meals and drinks included in the price of your stay, you will need very little spending money. Located just 25 minutes by speedboat from Male airport and surrounded by stunning views of the Indian Ocean, this tropical island is highly rated on tripadvisor and is extraordinary value for a week in the Maldives!

View offer here


Check out this post for more all inclusive resorts in the Indian Ocean





Flights & 2 Night Stays in New York & Miami & 10 night Caribbean Cruise €1999

long haul holidays on a budget

New York and Miami, two of our favourite American cities are included in this fourteen night trip of a lifetime. Enjoy a two night stay in Times Square New York followed by a two night stay in South Beach Miami, before boarding MSC Divina for a ten-night Caribbean cruise. Visit Antigua, Martinique, St Maarten and lots more. With numerous dining options including Eataly, a Broadway-size theatre and an infinity pool that offers superb Caribbean seaviews, you will be spoilt for choice for things to do.

View offer here


Hopefully one of my long haul holidays on a budget will suit you but if you still need inspiration, check out all my long haul destination guides here. All prices are correct at the date of issue, 15th November, but are subject to change.



travel deals




Ras Al Khaimah, Flights & 5 Star All Inclusive Hotel, €869 or Waldorf Astoria B&B, €889!

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Looking for a sophisticated and relaxing alternative to Dubai? Ras Al Khaimah, or ‘Rak’ might just be what you are looking for. The diverse scenery in the rising Emirate includes white sandy beaches, desert dunes and rugged mountains.


There are a staggering 35 direct flights every week to the Emirates from Dublin airport. Many of you may have travelled to Dubai or stopped there en route to other destinations. Next time why not take the road less travelled and visit the quieter, more unspoilt Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah? You will discover a relaxed atmosphere, lower hotel prices but still the same great beaches and expansive deserts. But it doesn’t have to be completely relaxing…. RAK is home to the world’s longest zipline – Jebel Jais Flight. Thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies can travel at speeds of up to 120kph to 150kph at a height of 1,680 metres above sea level on top of Jebel Jais mountain, and land on a breath-taking transparent platform completely suspended in air. 

If that sounds a little too adventurous for you, check out the the Al Hamra shopping mall or enjoy a round of golf at the championship Al Hamra Golf Course. If you want to try something completely different, why not explore the ‘Omani Fjords’ on a traditional dhow, visit a Bedouin desert camp or see ‘Rak’ by gyrocopter at nearby Jazirah Aviation Club. If all of this is not enough, let’s not forget the dazzling city of Dubai is only an hour away


Tropical Sky feature many holidays to Ras Al Khaimah but I have hand picked two favourites, the all-inclusive Double Tree by Hilton Marjan Island and arguably the best hotel in Ras Al Khaimah, the luxurious Waldorf Astoria.

Ras Al Khaimah


5* Double Tree by Hilton Resort & Spa, Marjan Island, Flights & 4 Nights, All-Inclusive, €869!

Situated on a private white sandy beach, this five star resort is only an hour from Dubai, yet feels world’s apart. Seven seems to be the lucky number at the hotel with a choice of seven swimming pools, seven spa treatment rooms and seven bars and restaurants, including a roof-top bar. Sports enthusiasts will love the host of water-sports available, fitness centre and tennis courts. The resort is all-inclusive so meals and drinks* are included until midnight each day. For a full list of what is included on the all-inclusive arrangement, click here.

Ras Al Khaimah

Reviewed as one of Ras Al Khaimah’s most popular hotels by tripadvisor, it’s not only adults who love this hotel – kids do too! The aqua zone with water slides, kids club with climbing wall and large outdoor playground, will keep children of all ages entertained throughout the day. And for a limited time kids under 12 go free when sharing a room with parents! The hotel also runs a free shuttle bus every Tuesday and Saturday to the marine and waterpark at Atlantis the Palm, Dubai, when you book an Aqua-venture or tickets to Dolphin Bay.

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Fly from Dublin to Dubai and enjoy a four night all-inclusive stay at the five star Double Tree by Hilton Resort & Spa, Marjan Island from only €869. Price includes flights, accommodation with meals and drinks and return airport transfers.

Click here for more details:


5* Waldorf Astoria, Flights & 5 Nights B&B, €889!

 The Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah was inspired by Arabian palaces and the building is an architectural masterpiece. It’s location is perfect too. Situated on it’s own private beach it also has the luxury of a dramatic mountain backdrop, a golf course and the Arabian Gulf, all visible from the hotel. The interior also has the wow factor. The stylish décor compliments the five star service and facilities on offer. This room is a King Classic Room which this offer is based on.

There is a also wide selection of international restaurants and bars to choose from. The half board deluxe package includes two complimentary drinks with meals and allows you to dine in their main buffet restaurant or use dining credit to eat in any of their 3 a là carte restaurants. Facilities at the hotel include an 18 hole golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool and a luxury spa. This spa has an undersea theme and uses our very own Voya seaweed products, which are produced on the west coast of Ireland. There are plenty of water sports available at the beach, including jet skiing, scuba diving and snorkelling. The chances are you won’t want to leave the hotel! Rated number 1 on tripadvisor and the 2018 travellers choice winner, this is amazing value for such a luxurious hotel.

Prices from €889 for a five night stay include flights, breakfast each day and return airport transfers!

Click here for more details:


Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by Tropical Sky but all views, as always, are my own 🙂  *Note Eid Al Adha is the 21st of August for 4 nights, so alcohol restrictions will apply at this time.


The Travel Expert

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