Travel News


When Can We Travel Again? 5 Things That We Need to Consider


‘When can we travel again?’ was the top searched question on Google last week. Find out my thoughts below.

I was surprised to learn that ‘when can we travel again’ was the top searched question in Ireland last week. I should clarify, I am not surprised that people want to know when we can travel again, (God knows I do!), but I thought the question was a little vague. The answers to this question are completely different depending on where you want to travel to – be it at home or abroad, how much annual leave you have, and whether the airlines will even be flying. (Note this post was published in May 2020).




There are five key questions that need to be asked before we can think about when can we travel again to a foreign country. If you can answer yes to all of these, then get planning! Otherwise you may need to hang on a little longer to find out…



1. Is the country you wish to travel to open for international visitors?

when can we travel again

Currently the Department of Foreign Affairs is advising against non-essential travel to most countries, except those on our Green List. Most of Europe is open to International visitors, but some require visitors to produce a negative covid test to gain entry.  Many countries including Australia, New Zealand and the US are expected to be closed to International visitors for many months.  



2. When will flights resume?

ryanair - when can we travel again


Many airlines have already resumed flying, albeit with reduced capacity. There are temperature checks and covid tests available in many airports, and face masks are mandatory on all airlines. Ryanair’s latest video highlights the new Covid measures than have been put in place. 





3. Are you prepared to self-isolate on entry and on your return?

travel updates due to coronavirus - when can we travel abroad again

Even if a country is allowing foreign visitors entry, there may be restrictions with regard to self isolation. These policies are changing all the time and may be removed in due course. Tests may also be carried out at the airport (see above) to eliminate the need for self isolation. 


Currently Ireland has a policy whereby anyone entering Ireland has to self isolate for 14 days if travelling from a non Green List country – this applies to both tourists and residents.  It is possible that you will need to plan annual leave for up to six weeks if you want to take a two week holiday – this includes two weeks self isolation when you arrive and when you return. If you can work from home this may not be an issue for you, but it should be something you clarify with your employer before you plan a holiday.



4. Are you happy to holiday with restrictions still in place?


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There is no doubt that holidays will not be the same until a vaccine is found. Most countries will have restrictions on the number of people in hotels, restaurants, bars and even beaches. Selected tourist resorts in Europe require you to pre-book your beach space in advance.

However, we have managed to get used to restrictions to a certain extent at home, so perhaps we will get used to it when travelling too. Villas and self catering holidays are already proving to be widely searched, and hotels will have much smaller numbers of guests. Personally, I will certainly be happy to holiday with restrictions in place, once it is safe to do so.




5. Are you concerned about contracting Covid-19 while you are away?

when can we travel again

This might vary depending on your age, reason for travel, and whether you can take time off work if you do happen to contract Covid-19 while abroad. Most countries when open, will have restrictions in place, possibly similar to our own. You may find the likelihood of contracting Covid-19 abroad is not much more than staying at home.


However, it is likely that you wont be able to stick to social distancing guidelines in airports, airplanes and even beaches. Many new insurance policies may have exclusions in place and will not cover you for Covid-19 – however will cover you once the Department of Foreign Affairs says it is safe to travel to your destination. Ts&Cs will apply.


While the free European Heath Insurance card will be allow you to get treatment in a public hospital in Europe, it will not cover you for additional expenses such as hotel bills or rebooking alternative flights, should you need to stay in a country longer than planned. It is important to have adequate travel insurance cover in place before you travel.

It is important to note that travel restrictions and airline policies are changing daily, and that social distancing has become the new normal. Of course if a Covid-19 vaccine is found, travel may back to normal sooner than we think. In the meantime, I am hopeful that the work being done at European Commission level and throughout the world will make sure airports and airlines will be adequately prepared for when can we travel again – lets hope it is sooner rather than later.


Like this post? You might like:

Latest travel updates

Latest updates on refunds and vouchers


Note some of the links in this post are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.



The Travel Expert



AerClub Event at Kildare Village 8th & 9th September. Save up to 20%, Collect Triple Avios & Lots More!

Doing anything this weekend? I know where I’ll be – at the exclusive AerClub event at Kildare Village!


This weekend, on the 8th and 9th of September, AerClub are having an exclusive event at Kildare Village for AerClub members. Not only can you save up to 20% in participating stores, but you can also collect triple Avios, that’s 15 Avios for every €4 spent! You will also get free access to the VIP Lounge during your visit and you could win a shopping trip for two to Barcelona! This exclusive event is a great way to boost your Avios account. Fancy some Autumn / Winter wear or maybe some early Christmas shopping? Popular stores including Hobbs, Asics, Sun Fashion Lab, Watch Station and many more are participating. A full list of participating stores will be released shortly.

aerclub event at kildare village

To put this into context, so you can see how great this promotion really is, if you spend €200 at Kildare Village this weekend, you will receive a whopping 3000 Avios, plus a bonus of 200 Avios (1 per customer for any purchase) when you claim your Avios on the day! You only need 8000 Avios for a return flight to Paris and 26,000 for a return flight to New York (you just need to pay taxes, fees and charges). You can also use Avios to pay for hotels, car hire and travel experiences. See five ways to spend Avios here. I am a big fan of Avios and I have already collected 60,000 Avios, most of which were accumulated by shopping. For more details on how to get flights and upgrades by shopping click here. In case you didn’t know, Avios are a reward currency that are used by many airlines including Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia, as well as various hotel websites and high street stores.

aerclub event at kildare village

How do I receive my exclusive invitation?

Only AerClub members will receive the above benefits. If you are an AerClub member you can click here to register for the event. You will receive a confirmation email. Simply present this at the Welcome Desks in Kildare Village, to receive your exclusive shopping pass for additional discounts at participating boutiques. If you are not a member of AerClub you can join now for free and then register for the event afterwards.

How do I join AerClub?

For those of you who haven’t yet joined AerClub, this is the perfect time to do it. Simply click here to join AerClub, it couldn’t be easier! Once you have joined, click here to register for the event and you will receive a confirmation email.

aerclub event at kildare village

How do I collect triple Avios?

Once you have registered for the event and received your confirmation email, you should present this to the Welcome Lounge in Kildare Village to receive a store directory. This contains a unique barcode which must be scanned at participating boutiques to avail of the exclusive discounts. At the end of your shopping day simply present your purchase receipts at the Tourist Information and the staff will register your purchases. Note, this has to be done on the day to collect the bonus Avios and to collect triple Avios on your shopping. Avios will be credited to your account within 40 days. Note exclusions can apply and discounts may not be available in conjunction with other promotions.

And thats not all – Win a VIP trip for 2 to Barcelona!

If you are an AerClub member, simply present your receipts at the Tourist Information during the event and you will be entered into a prize draw to win 160,000 Avios and a VIP shopping trip for 2 to La Roca Village, Barcelona! 160,000
Avios is enough for return flights for two from Dublin to Barcelona (taxes, fees and charges excluded), plus a 2-night stay in a 4* hotel. This VIP trip also includes transfers from your hotel, a gift card for €250 and lunch for two people
! Competition terms and conditions apply  – see here.

aerclub event at kildare village

And enjoy access to the VIP lounge

You are also invited to access the VIP lounge at Kildare Village from 12pm – 6pm on both days, 8th and 9th of September. So chill out and enjoy something sweet with a coffee or a glass of bubbly before, or after, your shopping! Silver, Platinum and Concierge AerClub members can access the lounge between 10am-12pm each day. So shop like a VIP and treat yourself to some Autumn wear or some do some early Christmas shopping. I hope to see you there!


This post was sponsored by Avios but all views, as always, are my own.




Want To Get Paid To Travel The World This Summer?

all inclusive resorts

WOW air is offering two lucky people the chance to spend the Summer living in Iceland and get paid to travel the world to their 38 global destinations!


Not only will you be PAID to travel the world but you will also be paid to rate restaurants, nightlife and hospitality, for three months!! You will move to Reykjavik and from there explore Iceland as as many other WOW air destinations that you can fit in from June to August.

paid to travel the world

WOW air flies to 38 destinations including New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Miami and Amsterdam. According to WOW air ” the two travellers will be expected to sample the best that each destination has to offer, rating the food, nightlife, activities, hospitality and budget-friendliness. Their content will be shared on the WOW air website and social media pages. “We’re looking for two best friends, a couple—even two strangers—to produce insightful, light-hearted content that fellow travellers and holidaymakers want to watch and read. Not only is the competition an excellent opportunity for travel, it’s a chance for the winners to hone their digital skills and publish their work to a huge online audience”.

paid to travel the world


How to enter:

You and a friend will need to submit a short video guide of your hometown, between 30 seconds to 2 minutes in length. You are being paid as content creators so you will need to make sure your video is creative!  The WOW air Travel Guide competition is open to everyone over the age of 18.

Visit for more details and a full list of Ts&Cs.



The Travel Expert


Travel News and Reviews

Portugal Wins World’s Leading Destination at the World Travel Awards

I have visited Portugal many times so I was delighted to hear it won the World’s Leading Destination award at the prestigious World Travel Awards last week.


It is great to see Portugal being recognised with such an accolade, as well as Lisbon winning the world’s leading city break destination. While the Algarve is one of Ireland’s most popular destinations for holidaymakers, regular direct flights to Lisbon and Porto are making Portugal’s cities, firm favourites too. In fact passenger growth from Ireland has increased dramatically and now Ireland is considered one Portugal’s fastest growing markets. I am just back from a weekend in Porto and I loved it. The city of Porto is UNESCO World Heritage site, full of colourful buildings, delightful streets and has a great food and wine scene. If you haven’t already visited, read my blog on why you need to choose Porto for your next city break.

world travel awards

These awards are a fantastic achievement, particularly as Portugal is the first European country to win the World’s Leading Destination award. Portugal won Europe’s Leading Destination in September which automatically entered them into the final along with 17 other countries. It beat off competition from the USA, Brazil, as well as six time winners, Dubai, to win the coveted prize of at the World Travel Awards, on the 10th of November in Vietnam.

But that’s not all, Portugal also won 6 other awards:

– World’s Leading Tourist Board for Turismo de Portugal
– World’s Leading Tourism Authority Website for Visit Portugal
– World’s Leading Island Destination 2017 for Visitmadeiraofficial
– World’s Leading City Break Destination 2017 for Visit Lisboa
– World’s Leading Conservation Company 2017 for Parques de Sintra
– World’s Leading Luxury Leisure Resort 2017 for Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort

world travel awards

Ana Mendes Godinho, Secretary of State for Tourism said, “It is the acknowledgment of the country that we have. An authentic, innovative, reinvented country that combines a wide variety of experiences and landscapes, a country that combines cosmopolitanism, history, tradition, sun, nature and gastronomy. A country that knows and enjoys to welcome everyone. We must now continue this work of showing all the diversity of what Portugal has to offer and which makes us a tourism destination of excellence”.


So if you haven’t already visited Portugal, go see it in 2018!



The Travel Expert

Travel Tips

Why You Need To Add Travel Disruption Cover To Your Travel Insurance Policy


Last year massive travel companies like Thomas Cook and WOW Air ceased trading, thousands of flights were cancelled over strikes, and currently the Coronavirus is causing havoc for travellers in 2020. If you don’t already have Travel Disruption Cover – get it now!


Insurance is one of those purchases that unfortunately you only really value when something goes wrong.  I always book my travel insurance with and just renew it each year without asking any questions. However in light of recent events, I like many of you, found myself asking what exactly am I covered for?


Read: What to do if you have booked a holiday and are worried about Coronavirus
Most insurance policies will not cover you for ‘acts of God’ like hurricanes or volcano eruptions, or for airline strikes or closures. Remember the Icelandic ash cloud? 100,000 flights were cancelled and many people were left stranded for weeks. however, have a Travel Disruption Cover which can be added to all policies from as little as €10 (single trip policy) and €17 (annual policy) and will provide you with additional cover in the event of adverse weather conditions, airline cancellations and even strikes.


Book here


travel disruption cover



Like all insurance policies however, you can’t purchase Travel Disruption Cover after something goes wrong… Once you have added it to your policy it will be effective seven days later. So don’t wait until you hear that a case of Coronavirus has been reported in the country you are going too – add it to your policy now.  Note: new bookings will not be covered against Covid-19 if there is a travel advisory in place advising ‘all but non essential travel’ – i.e Spain or Italy.

Travel Disruption Cover offers extended cover under delayed departure, missed departure and accommodation sections, should your flight be cancelled or delayed as a result of strike or adverse weather conditions.



    • If your flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 12 hours it covers additional accommodation and travel costs up to €1,000.
    • If your flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 12 hours then you can claim back up to €1,000 for irrecoverable unused travel and accommodation costs should you cancel.
    • Claim back up to €1,000 for accommodation if you have to be moved from your current location or cut your trip short because of flood, earthquake, volcanic eruption etc
    • Covers cancellation or curtailment charges should the Foreign & Commonwealth Office or World Health Organisation advise against travel to the country or specific area you are travelling to.
    • Gives you control of the situation and the added security that you have sufficient cover should an airline cancel, delay or redirect your flight after take-off.




Book Travel Insurance Here


Note some of the links in this post contain affiliate links,where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.

Related articles on the blog:

Cancelled Flight? – What to do when things go wrong.

Flight cancelled with Ryanair – You may be entitled to compensation and expenses.

Top tips for booking travel insurance.



The Travel Expert






It’s Double Avios Points Weekend! Shop Via The Avios Estore From 5th – 8th October!

online shopping

I get very excited when I hear about Avios promotions! Yes, I will no doubt be doing some serious online shopping this weekend, to take advantage of the Avios eStore Double Avios Weekend!


For those of you who have been following me on my journey, I am delighted that have already accumulated almost 30,000 Avios points this year. I just need another 7,000 for a business class upgrade to New York with Aer Lingus – how cool is that! Most of my Avios points were collected by shopping, I have only collected 2469 points by flying. I shop in Supervalu regularly and convert my Real Rewards to Avios. Occasionally I shop in Kildare Village, but the majority of my points were accumulated by shopping through the Avios eStore. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not spending a fortune online, I’m just clever with my purchases. Recently I bought the kids school supplies from Easons, their uniforms from Marks & Spencer and new runners from Adidas. Those three purchases accumulated 6000 Avios! For anyone who is not familiar with Avios, read my first post about how to get flights and upgrades with Avios points.


Here are some of my top store picks from the eStore Double Avios Weekend. I have highlighted a few offers that I think you should watch out for but click here for the full list of all participating stores.


Marks & Spencer: 8 Avios for every €1 spent.

Choose their best selling jeggings, some mens polo shirts, cute kidswear or Rosie’s latest underwear, there is always something to be bought in M&S. If you spend €100 that gives you 800 Avios points. Shop here.

double avios points

Expedia: 14 Avios for every €1 spent.

Planning a Christmas market break or a sun holiday in the near future? You can massively increase your Avios points with accommodation or holiday purchases. A hotel break for €500 will give you 7,000 Avios or a €2000 family holiday will give you 28,000 Avios. You could almost have your business class upgrade in one purchase! Shop here.

double avios points

Adidas: 20 Avios for every €1 spent.

Kids football boots, the fashion must haves – Superstars, or the latest Stella Mc Cartney gym gear, there is something in the Adidas store to suit everyone. With 20 Avios for every €1 you spend, a new pair of Superstar runners will give you 2000 Avios points. Shop here.

double avios points

Groupon: 14 Avios for every €1 spent

From short breaks to Christmas gifts, restaurant offers to teeth whitening deals, Groupon is your one stop daily deals website. Collect 1400 Avios for every €100 spent on top of their already discounted prices. Shop here

double avios points

Lego: 10 Avios for every €1 spent.

Shopping for Christmas already? Parents know too well how expensive Lego can be but if you can accumulate Avios points while buying toys for the kids, it will soften the blow. Collect 1000 Avios for every €100 spent. Shop here.

double avios points

ASOS: 14 Avios; 6 Avios; Pretty Little Thing: 10 Avios, for every €1 spent.

Shopping for yourself or your daughter perhaps? Get the latest autumn winter looks from the UK’s biggest online fashion stores and collect Avios points at the same time. Shop here.

double avios points

Apple: 4 Avios

Planning on a getting a new phone, iMac or apple watch for Christmas? Perhaps you are thinking of treating the kids to new iPads? Buy them now and collect Avios points too.  Collect 1500 points if you buy the new apple watch or 2000 points if you buy a mini iPad. Shop here.

double avios points


How to sign up.

If you are already an AerClub  member, your existing log in and password will suffice. Collect Avios points by logging in to with your AerClub details and clicking through to the Avios eStore. For those who have not yet joined, you can join any of the airline programmes here. Why not download the free Avios app too, it will allow you book flights on the go, check your Avios balance and find out where to collect.


Where else can I collect Avios points?  There are many ways to collect Avios points but here are some of my favourites:

  • Fly with Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia and book car hire with Avis.
  • Shop at SuperValu, Kildare Village and Appleby.
  • Make your restaurant reservation by using Restaurant Circle. Normally you receive 250 Avios for each restaurant reservation but from now until the end of December you receive 500 Avios.  Christmas party bookings perhaps?
  • Irish Independent are giving customers a staggering 30,000 Avios points if you subscribe to the Irish and Sunday Independent for six months.



The Double Avios points offer is valid from 00.01 Thursday 5 October till 23:59 Sunday 8 October on the Avios eStore. Selected retailers are excluded from the Double Avios points offer and certain exclusions apply to each stores, see individual retail pages within the Avios eStore for details.

Click here to shop the eStore


This post was sponsored by Avios but all views, as always, are my own.Sarah
Travel Tips

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


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 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


Telephone number +353-(0) 1-6611700

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 or on 1890 787 787 or + 353 1 6611700.





The Travel Expert



Celebrate World Tapas Day on the 15th of June!


Celebrate World Tapas Day on the 15th of June where many restaurants around Ireland are offering tasty tapas menus and special offers.


Thanks to the Spanish Tourism Board, Ireland is one of thirty countries around the world that will celebrate World Tapas Day. Whether you are a ‘foodie’ or just like an excuse to dine out, there are plenty of restaurants, bars and venues with promotions to help you enjoy Spain’s signature cuisine. Here are some of my favourites:

The Taste of Dublin, Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2.

The annual Taste of Dublin will celebrate World Tapas Day over it’s four day event. There will be a feature stand from the Spanish Tourism Board, beside the Port House Restaurant. Chefs from Lanzarote will perform culinary demonstrations and there will be lots of tasty tapas and Spanish wines for you to enjoy.

#Worldtapasday @tasteofdublin16 #riojatapas #tapas #foodie #rioja 🍷

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The Port HouseSouth William Street, Dublin 2.

One of our most popular tapas restaurants will offer Almejas con Jamon (clams with ham and sherry) plus a glass of wine for €10.

No. 5 VinotecaMerrion Row, Dublin 2.

The highly rated piano bar has a set menu with 6 tapas and 2 glasses of Cava for €50 for two sharing.

PigletTemple Bar, Dublin 1.

The popular Cow’s Lane wine bar will offer two tapas and a glass of wine for €9.50.

Market BarFade Street, Dublin 2.

The large Gastro Bar and tapas restaurant will offer guests a tapas sampler for €15, available from 12-5pm. This will include three tapas, a dessert and a glass of Sangria.

Cava Bodega, Galway.

One of Galway’s best Spanish restaurants will be offering complimentary churros to guests having 5 or more tapas on the day.


As much as I love Spanish cuisine, and tapas in particular, it’s not always about how good they taste. The Spanish tradition of eating tapas brings friends together at mealtimes. There is nothing better than sharing a variety of foods and wine with your friends 🍷 So which ever option you choose, grab a few mates and celebrate World Tapas Day together this year!


Click here for more details on all promotions and activities.



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