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

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

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

Last minute holidays as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

Italy Deals:

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

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

Last minute holidays as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

Family Holiday:

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

Mid to late August:

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

Last minute holidays as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

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

Tapas Madid, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

5 Tips to find a last minute deal:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Sarah

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Sorrento, 13th May, 1 week, Flights & 4* Hotel, €559!

Amalfi Coast

What better than a week in stunning Sorrento to start of the Summer! Chill out, relax and enjoy the stunning scenery or explore the Amalfi Coast and neighbouring islands.

The Amalfi Coast is one of those places that if you haven’t seen it, you just have to go! The views from the coastline combined with colourful hilltop towns make it a bucket list favourite. Sorrento is one of the biggest resorts along the coast and also one of the liveliest. The streets are crammed with al fresco eateries and plenty of designer shops. Sipping a cocktail as you watch the stylish Italians pass you by, is a nice start to the evening. And a nice meal in one of Sorrento’s fantastic restaurants is a nice way to end it. It is not all about Sorrento though, you simply have to explore the neighbouring resorts too. Take a water taxi to Positano, Amalfi or Ravello and admire the local villages. Visit the isle of Capri or if you are feeling adventurous, take a trip to Pompeii or even climb Mount Vesuvius!

Sorrento dining, by The Travel Expert

I found a fantastic deal in the 4* Grand Hotel Flora.  This is situated in an excellent location, only ten minutes walk to the centre of Sorrento. Highly rated on tripadvisor this hotel is not only a great choice to explore the Amalfi Coast, but is great value too! Fly from Dublin to Naples with Aer Lingus on the 13th of May and spend seven nights here for only €559 per person.

Grand Hotel Hermitage Sorrento, by The Travel Expert

 

Click here to book flights to Naples: €127pp

Click here to book hotel: €432pp

 

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

 

Sarah

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Destinations

Sorrento & The Amalfi Coast

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Sorrento is a firm favourite with Irish holiday makers for many years,  it is not difficult to see why.

Sorrento is the largest resort on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, but still retains it’s old world charm. Complete with cobblestone pedestrianised streets, it is the perfect place to explore at your leisure. The historic buildings house everything from designer shops to local souvenirs so there is plenty of choice for even the avid shopper. The town comes alive at night with numerous al fresco dining options so you can admire the well dressed Italians as they pass you by.

Sorrento & The Amalfi Coast by The Travel Expert

It is not just the town of Sorrento that draws thousands of tourists to this coastline each year. The neighbouring towns of Positano, Amalfi and Ravello are all highlights and have to be seen. In fact if you are confident behind the wheel, I would recommend hiring a car and driving the Amalfi coast. Marvel at the breathtaking views across the bay of Naples with houses and hotels nestled perfectly on the cliffs edge. Stop off at small hilltop villages and sample some local dishes, it has to be one of the worlds greatest road trips.

Sorrento & The Amalfi Coast by The Travel Expert

There are numerous sights to see in this part of Italy, the ‘coast with the most’! Take a trip to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii or if you are feeling energetic  enjoy the panoramic views from the top of Mount Vesuvius. It is a three hour climb, round trip, but worth it for the profile picture alone!  There is nothing like a boat trip when you are away and no visit to Sorrento would be complete without sailing to the isle of Capri. Take one of the many ferries from Sorrento or pre book an excursion, either way Capri is a ‘must see’. Visit the blue grotto, the summit of Anacapri or try celebrity spotting in some of the designer boutiques in the centre of the island.

Sorrento & The Amalfi Coast by The Travel Expert

A stay along the Amalfi coast should be on everyone’s bucket list and staying in Sorrento is a good base to explore the area.  Go on spoil yourself, I dare you not to fall in love with the place.

Sarah

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