Ryanair

Travel Tips

How To Get A Refund From Ryanair – My Step by Step Guide

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My handy guide outlines how to get a refund from Ryanair, if you booked directly on the Ryanair website, or if you booked via a travel agency.

 

Getting refunds is not exactly easy during the best of times, but in a pandemic, it is obviously going to be a lot harder. Ryanair have reported that they have received over 1,000 times the normal volume of flight cancellations, so there is no surprise that we are all experiencing delays getting a refund from Ryanair.
 

 

 
That being said, airlines are obliged by law to refund you within seven days of a flight cancellation. I think most people understand that there will be delays, however, I have received messages from people who have waited five months for a refund – this is clearly unacceptable.
 

 

 
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I have outlined below a step by step guide on how to get a refund from Ryanair, with links to claim refunds if you booked directly on the Ryanair website, or if you booked via a travel agency. I hope you find it useful and it helps you secure a refund quickly.

 

How do I know if I am entitled to a refund from Ryanair?

how to get a refund from ryanair if my flight is cancelled

You are only entitled to a refund from Ryanair, or any airline for that matter, if your flight is cancelled. Ryanair is still operating flights to countries where there are travel restrictions in place. Certain countries require visitors to present a negative Covid-19 test on arrival, while others demand that you quarantine for 14 days – these are not grounds for a refund. If you choose not to travel because of these travel restrictions, or because the government are advising that you should not travel, you are not entitled to a refund.
 

 

 
If you do not wish to travel overseas and your flight is still operating, you may be able to claim on your travel insurance policy if you have government advisory included, or if you have travel disruption cover. This will need to be checked with your travel insurance provider.

Read: 10 Tips for travelling during Covid-19
 

 

 

How do I apply for a refund with Ryanair?how to get a refund from ryanair

If your flight has been cancelled and you have booked with Ryanair.com or via the Ryanair app, you can apply for a refund online. You may have received notification of the flight cancellation via email, and you may have been offered a voucher, however, if your flight is cancelled you can apply for a refund using this link:

Apply for refund here
 

 

 

What if I received a voucher instead of a refund?

ryanair travel voucher

Ryanair may still send you a voucher even if you have applied for a refund. Vouchers are quicker and easier to process and Ryanair will hope you will accept the voucher. However, if you don’t want to accept the voucher, you can redeem your voucher for a cash refund, by submitting your booking details below – note this is only for customers who booked directly on Ryanair.com or via the Ryanair App.

Claim refund here
 

 

 

What should I do if I booked my Ryanair flight via a travel agency or an online travel website?

love holidays
Ryanair have made no secret that they want you to book all of your Ryanair flights directly with them, despite the fact that many package holidays using Ryanair flights and corporate travel are booked via travel agencies. Travel agencies have reported that they have received some refunds, however recently these seem to be harder to secure.
 

 

 
If you have booked via a third party website or travel agency and are still awaiting a refund, the reason for the delay may because Ryanair have not refunded the travel agent. I suggest contacting your travel agency to discuss your options. If you have booked via an online travel agency and are unable to contact them, you will need to apply for a refund directly on the Ryanair website.
 

 

 
Ryanair have introduced a new policy for customers who are seeking a refund, but have not booked with Ryanair.com or via the Ryanair app. You are required to fill out a Customer Verification Form online and attach the following documents: 

 

  • Copy of your ID and signature e.g. passport or driving license
  • Proof of address e.g. household bill
  • Original booking confirmation from the Online Travel Agency 

 

 

 
Ryanair have confirmed that they will refund you directly, and not the travel agency who you booked through. I have filled out one of these forms personally and am currently awaiting correspondence from Ryanair to verify my request. I received no indication of how long this will take, but I am currently waiting 23 days.

View Customer Verification Form here
 

 

 
Ryanair have actively posted about the impacts of  booking with a 3rd party travel agent or screen scraper website. They have highlighted large UK travel sites such as Kiwi, On the Beach, Love Holidays, eDreams and Last Minute.com, rather than local travel agencies. However, it has been suggested by some agencies that they may be applying the same rules for ANYONE not booked directly with Ryanair.

 

 

According to the Ryanair website: “If you receive confirmation from Ryanair that your booking has already been refunded to the screen scraper that you booked with, you must contact them directly to get your money back”.
 

 

 

Is there any further action I can take if I am not satisfied with the outcome? 

 
how to get a refund if your flight is cancelled

Regardless of the pandemic, regulation EU 261 still applies – if a flight is cancelled you are entitled to a refund. If you have exhausted all the steps above, and have still not received your refund from Ryanair, you can make a complaint to The Commission for Aviation Regulation. This is the National Enforcement Body for EU 261, which sets out the rights of Air Passengers if their flight is cancelled or delayed, amongst other things.
 

 

 
It is important to note that they can only carry out investigations in relation to flights departing from Irish Airports and flights arriving into Ireland from outside the EU where the flight is operated by an EU airline. For details on making complaints relating to departures from other EU countries, click here.
 

 

 
Myself and fellow travel journalist Ed Finn interviewed the Air Passenger Rights Manager, Sarah Fischer from the Commission of Aviation Regulation. Sarah explained to us in great detail how to get a refund if your flight is cancelled. You can listen to the full podcast here:

 


 

 

 

Like this post? You might like:

How to get a refund if your flight is cancelled

 

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 
City BreaksDestinationsEuropeFeatured

Why You Need to Choose Porto For Your Next City Break

porto

A UNESCO World Heritage site, full of colourful buildings, delightful streets, with a great food and wine scene. Choose Porto for your next city break.

 

Not only is Porto visually beautiful and excellent value for money, but it also easy to get to, a pleasant 2 hour 20 minute flight from Dublin with Ryanair. Considering Porto is Portugal’s second largest city, it is surprisingly underrated. It was voted Best European Destination this year, but not many people seem to know that. Perhaps that’s not a bad thing. I’m sure once the word gets out, it will no longer be €2.50 for a glass of wine along the Ribeira (Porto’s equivalent to Venice’s St Mark’s Square). Although there are many magnificent churches and landmarks to see, what I loved most about Porto was wandering around it’s dreamy streets. ❤️

Porto

Porto’s colourful buildings:

On our first morning we woke to blue skies and warm sunshine – the perfect combination to really appreciate this colourful city.  The first thing that stuck me was how compact the city was and within minutes we were crossing the famous Dom Luis bridge. This offers the picture postcard view of the Ribeira, the colourful riverside promenade in Porto, which is packed with shops, bars and restaurants. We found ourselves stopping constantly to take photos, each one better than the next. We were lucky to have blue skies to help us but I do believe it must be impossible to take a bad photograph of this view!


While the Ribeira district has an endless display of colourful buildings, these can also be found throughout the city. Many buildings are covered in vibrant azulejos (hand-painted tiles) which make the buildings seem more dramatic. Even the metro stations have walls covered in tiles! Many of Porto’s famous churches, the Saõ Francisco, Saint Illdefonso and Capela Das Almas  have blue azulejos, I was in Instagram heaven!

Porto’s must sees:

When we crossed the Dom Luis bridge we arrived in the pretty town of  Vila Nova de Gaia, on the opposite side of the Douro river. An array of Portuguese restaurants greeted us, as well a wide selection of port cellars offering tastings. If you want to try some Port, this is the place to do it!  Guia is also the best place to take a short cable car ride and a river cruise along the Douro river. If the weather is good, the boat trip is a nice way to chill out for an hour, but you can get similar views from the shore. We spent a full morning in Guia before walking back across the bridge to Porto.

porto

The Sé Cathedral is located in the heart of the old town and is definitely worth a visit. Construction started in the 12th century but it wasn’t finished until 1737, which results in many different types of architecture coming together. The stunning Saõ Francisco church was one of my personal favourites. Don’t be put off by the mundane exterior, once you step inside, you find a lavish interior that is completely covered in gold. We were not allowed to take photographs inside but you will have to trust me, don’t miss it! Not only is the church itself magnificent but the catacombs in the basement are worth exploring too.

porto

Another highlight for me was climbing the Clérigos Tower, one of Portugal’s tallest towers. We did have to wait in line for 45 minutes, but the view from the top was worth it. It has a narrow spiral staircase, that felt a little claustrophobic, but the climb itself isn’t too taxing. There are also lots of openings in the wall on the way to the top, which show off the red roofs of Porto in the optimum way.

After visiting most of the highlights on our first day, we chose to relax on day two and just enjoy the city. We took one of the old trams, which turned out to be a great idea, as we found places we missed on our walk the previous day. We stopped at the famous Lello Bookshop, considered by many as the most beautiful bookshop in the world. It is here that JK Rowling got the inspiration for Hogwarts, while she was living in Porto. Despite the €4 entrance fee (you can offset this against a book if you buy one) there was a large queue outside. We also wandered down Rua das Flores which is one of Porto’s prettiest streets. Filled with souvenir shops and quaint cafés, this tall, narrow street is another place to admire Porto’s beautiful architecture. We enjoyed watching the street artists perform and stopped for a bite of lunch on it’s busy square.

Shoppers will love the main street Rua Santa Caterina which is full of  famous high street stores, with prices at least 20% less than at home. If you fancy a coffee after a few hours at the shops, check out Café Majestic, Porto’s oldest and most famous coffee shop. It is a landmark and is also considered one of Europe’s top historical coffeehouses. Note it closes on Sunday.

porto

After visiting three churches, a cathedral and walking the length and breadth of Porto, we decided we better do something a bit more child friendly! We opted for the interactive Museum of Discoveries. I had read great reviews on tripadvisor so in we went. We met the most enthusiastic host who was dressed as Vasco de Gamma, who duly showed us the highlights. The kids learned all about the places Portugal discovered and were genuinely amazed at the history.  The museum also has a boat trip inside, similar to a theme park ride (although very slow!) which Luke (10) and Alex (7) enjoyed, but it is probably more suited to younger kids.

porto

Sadly we didnt have time to visit the beach town of Matosinhos, which is only 15 minutes drive from Porto.  I am told the seafood is incredible and unbelievably cheap! I also found myself wishing I had another day so I could take the daytrip to the Douro Valley to see the winelands – I guess I’ll just have to come back to do this another time !

TOP TIP: Porto is quite hilly with lots of steps, make sure you wear appropriate footwear. If you find the steps too much, don’t panic, just hail a tuktuk or taxi back to your hotel, it will only cost a few euros.

Porto: The Foodie City:

Our flight arrived in the evening time so after a quick check-in we opted to dine somewhere close to our hotel. The concierge recommended La Ricotta a Portuguese restaurant with an Italian influence. What an incredible first impression!  The food and the service were superb. My prawn risotto was delicious and included one of the largest prawns I have ever seen!  The kids were delighted with their pasta and overall it was a fantastic gastronomic experience.

porto

Porto is a renowned ‘foodie’ city, with a wide array of Portuguese fish restaurants, tapas bars as well as some fine dining options including four restaurants with michelin stars. The value is hard to beat. Every meal we had was excellent with prices to match. A glass of wine is €2.50 and you can get a set dinner menu for €10. I did try their famous Francesinha (little Frenchie). This is a sandwich of fillet steak, chorizo and ham covered with cheese and a spicy sauce, and served with chips. For me it was something that I would fancy at 3am after a night out, rather than over lunch, but each to their own! What I loved about dining in Porto was the variety on offer. As well as top class food at low prices, there is a great choice of dining options to choose from. There are modern brasseries as well as family style Portuguese restaurants. The al fresco eateries in the Ribeira offer stunning sunset views along the Duoro River.

Porto

One of our favourite meals was in a small tapas bar, Tababento. This was recommended to me by a few people and has rave reviews on tripadvisor. However when we arrived we were a little taken aback. The location (beside the train station), the exterior and even the interior, weren’t exactly inviting! Once we sat down, everything changed. The service and the food were absolutely impeccable! Everything we had was delicious but the fois gras toastie (€13) and the wild tuna tataki (€12) stole the show! For anyone visiting Porto – you must go here!

Porto

TOP TIP: We tried to go to Tapabento for the first two nights of our trip and it was fully booked. In fact many restaurants we tried were full, so I would recommend pre booking any recommended restaurants before you go.

Where to stay:

We stayed in the NH Collection Porto Batalha hotel, an excellent four star hotel that was once an 18th century palace! Although quite modern, thankfully it has managed to keep some of the old world charm. Complete with a stunning red painted facade and stone walls in the lobby, it is a beautiful hotel. There is a small indoor pool and a spa offering a wide selection of treatments. Rooms are modern and spacious and if possible, try to get a room on the 4th floor which offer city views from the balcony. Read my review on the NH Collection Porto Batalha here.

Porto

TOP TIP: If bringing kids on a city break, try to book a hotel with a pool. It is a nice reward for kids at the end of a long day sightseeing.

 

Of all the city breaks I have taken in the last few years, Porto has surprised me the most. Choose Porto for your next city break and fall in love with this colourful city and its mouthwatering cuisine!

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

Travel Tips

Flight Cancelled With Ryanair? You May Be Entitled To Expenses And Compensation

Ryanair

Another week, more headline grabbing news from Ryanair.  Ryanair are cancelling 40 – 50 flights every day for the next six weeks. If you have a flight cancelled with Ryanair, you may be entitled to compensation.

 

Although Ryanair say that this is less than 2% of their schedule, this doesn’t offer much consolation for those affected. To make matters worse the only explanation given by Ryanair is

“We have messed up in the planning of pilot holidays and we’re working hard to fix that”.

Ryanair have only offered cancellation notices until Wednesday 20th of September so those who are travelling later in September or October still have no idea of whether their flight will operate. For a full list of flights that Ryanair have already cancelled click here

flight cancelled with ryanair

 

The Commission for Aviation Regulation have issued the following statement:

 

If you have been affected by the Ryanair programme of flight cancellations you are entitled to a choice of refund or rerouting. Compensation may also be payable depending on the notice period Ryanair has given you.

 

Cancellation with prior notice.

Under the terms of the Regulation your entitlement and compensation varies depending on when you were informed of the cancellation.

The airline must provide at least two weeks notice to avoid paying compensation and they must then offer either:

  • an alternative flight at the earliest opportunity or at a later date of your choice subject to the availability of seats; or
  • a full refund of the ticket.

If you have been given between two weeks and seven days notice the airline must offer a choice between:

  • an alternative flight departing no more than two hours before your original departure time and allowing arrival at your final destination within fours hours of the original scheduled time of arrival; or
  • a full refund of the ticket.

Less than seven days notice requires the airline to offer the choice between:

  • an alternative flight departing no more than one hour before your original departure time and allowing arrival within two hours of the original scheduled time of arrival; or
  • a full refund of the ticket.

Airlines are entitled to offer a passenger comparable transport to the final destination if no alternative flight with the carrier is available.

 

Cancellation upon arrival at the airport.

In the event of a cancellation without prior notification the Regulation provides the following:

  • The air carrier shall provide a written notice setting out the rules for assistance in line with Article 14(2) of the Regulation. In addition, a sign must be displayed at the check-in area with the following text:

“If you are denied boarding or if your flight is cancelled or delayed for at least two hours, ask a the check-in counter or boarding gate for the text stating your rights, particularly with regard to compensation and assistance”

  • Passengers must also be offered care and assistance free of charge while waiting for their rerouted flight– specifically, meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time, hotel accommodation in cases where an overnight stay becomes necessary, transport between the airport and place of accommodation and two telephone calls, emails, faxes or telexes.
  • An alternative flight at the earliest opportunity or by comparable transport to the final destination.
  • A full refund of the ticket for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose to the passenger’s original travel plan or when relevant a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity.
  • When a city, town or region is served by several airports, a carrier may offer a flight to an alternative airport to that originally booked. The carrier is then obliged to bear the cost of transferring the passenger to the airport to that which the booking was made or to another close-by destination agreed with the passenger.

 

Compensation.

Compensation in the event of a cancellation depends on the distance of the flight and the reason for the cancellation.

If an airline can prove that the cancellation was caused by an extraordinary circumstance which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures were taken no compensation is payable.

As previously stated, the distance of a flight determines the amount of compensation due.

If the flight distance is:

  • 1500km or less the amount payable is €250
  • 1500km – 3500km and all EU flights over 3500km the amount payable is €400
  • 3500km or more the amount payable is €600.

If an airline can offer rerouting to the final destination that does not exceed:

  • two hours for flights of less than 1500km;
  • three hours for flights between 1500km and 3500km; and
  • four hours for flights over 3500km

the compensation will be reduced by 50%.

It is very important to note that compensation is distinct from and separate to the notion of reimbursement of expenses and/ or the refund of the cost of an unused flight ticket.

Claims Process

If you choose to make a claim for expenses or compensation from Ryanair, you must contact the airline directly.  This is covered in Article 15 of their terms and conditions found on their website.  Ryanair aims to deal with your application within 4 to 6 weeks.

It is important to remember that Ryanair is not required to pay compensation if the cancellation was outside of their control (extraordinary circumstances).   Once Ryanair has finished dealing with your claim and if you do not agree with their decision, you can refer the matter to:

The Commission for Aviation Regulation.

3rd Floor Alexandra House

Earlsfort Terrace

DUBLIN 2

Telephone number +353-(0) 1-6611700

apr@aviationreg.ie

www.aviationreg.ie

Irish passengers who remain unclear about their entitlements as set out in EC Regulation 261/ 2004, or who have further queries in relation to same, should contact this office at info@aviationreg.ie or on 1890 787 787 or + 353 1 6611700.

 

Source:

https://www.aviationreg.ie/news/ryanair-flight-cancellations.803.html

https://www.aviationreg.ie/air-passenger-rights/cancellation.209.html

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

Travel Tips

How to change your ticket with Ryanair within 24 hours, without penalty!

Ryanair

We have all been there, hit the confirm button only to realise you have done something wrong. Sometimes you book the wrong date, or forget your passport is in a different name. Find out how to change a Ryanair ticket without penalty below.

 
 

Did you know that Ryanair have a 24 hour grace period?

You can change a Ryanair ticket free of charge if you contact them.  This is clearly stated on their website:

“Don’t worry, customers who have booked their flight directly on the Ryanair.com website have a 24 hour grace period from the time of original booking, to correct any minor errors (i.e. incorrect routings/dates/times) free of charge. If you are changing your flight date, time or route, we will waive the flight change fee.
 

 

 
However you will be charged any price difference between the original fare paid and the lowest total price available on your new flight. Please note that if the fare/fees on the new flight is lower, no refund will be made.”

To find out more please contact their call centre or chat online to one of their team.

Source: Newstalk

Read: How to get a refund if your flight is cancelled

 

how to change a ryanair ticket

 

 

 

How to change a Ryanair flight that was made more than 24 hours ago:

If you wish to change your Ryanair flight more than 24 hours after the booking was made, charges will apply. These are calculated per one way flight/per person and vary season to season. Fees begin at €35, and vary depending on the route and travel dates selected. Higher flight change fees apply on all flights on the following routes: International Canary Islands (excl. Spanish domestic) and all international Greek routes. You can see a list or Ryanair fees here.

 

 

 

How to change your Ryanair flight:

If you need to change your flight – click ‘Manage my Booking’ and then ‘Manage your trip’ on the Ryanair website.  Select ‘Change your flight’ option and choose the flight you wish to change. You will the need to ‘Search new flight’ and select the new flight and then amend the flight date. If you are happy with the new flight price, click ‘Confirm change.’ Once you enter in your credit card details and select ‘Pay now’ you will receive an updated email itinerary with your revised flight details.
 

 

 

Are there any Ryanair flights that can not be changed online?

If you have booked a domestic flight and wish to change it to an international one, or if one person in your party wishes to change their flight, but the others do not, you will need to call the Ryanair helpdesk or use the online chat service to change this. If you have already checked-in and wish to change your Ryanair flight, you will need to contact Ryanair reservations.

Click here for more details on changing a Ryanair flight. 

 

 

 

So there you have it, there are many ways to change a Ryanair ticket. There is no longer any need for panic when you hit the confirm button!

 

Other posts that might be of interest:

What to do if your flight is cancelled with Ryanair

Cancelled flight? What to do when things go wrong

 

Want to see more Travel Tips ? Click here.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 

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

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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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.

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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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