travel tips

Travel Tips

How to Get a Refund If Your Flight is Cancelled, And What Are Your Rights

airport-2373727_1280_opt

My handy guide will show to how to get a refund if your flight is cancelled, and advise when you are entitled to compensation.

Travel has bounced back quicker than anyone anticipated, and airlines like many travel companies are struggling to get staff to meet the pent up demand of travellers. Flight cancellations are happening regularly, and often at very short notice. This post on how to get a refund if your flight is cancelled should help if this happens to you.

Read: Latest update on Aer Lingus flight disruption

While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, information is subject to change. This post only refers to flight bookings, and not package holidays, hotel accommodation etc. 

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When are you entitled to a refund or compensation

If your flight is delayed by more than 5 hours, or your flight is cancelled, you are entitled to a full refund. If an airline cancels your flight then they MUST offer you the choice of the following:

  • re-routing as soon as possible;
  • re-routing at a later date at your convenience; or
  • a refund.

 

 

 
If you choose the first option then your airline must provide you with care and assistance while you wait for the alternative flight. Care and assistance comprises of:

  • meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time;
  • hotel accommodation where an overnight stay becomes necessary;
  • transport between the hotel accommodation and the airport;
  • two free telephone calls/access to email.
what to do if my flight is cancelled
Image from FlightRights.ie

 
If your airline does not provide the care and assistance, or you are forced to make your own arrangements, you should retain all receipts and submit copies of these receipts to your airline for reimbursement.
 

 

 
You are NOT entitled to compensation if any of the following occurred:

  • You received more than 2 weeks notice of the cancellation.
  • You received less than 7 days notice of the cancellation and were offered re-routing which departed no more than 1 hour before the original departure time and arrived no more than 2 hours after the original arrival time.
  • You received between 7 days and 2 weeks notice of the cancellation, and were offered re-routing which departed no more than 2 hours before the original departure time and arrived no more than 4 hours after the original arrival time. 

 

 

 
You ARE entitled to compensation when:

  • You chose to be re-routed as soon as possible (option 1 above) and were given re-routing outside of those timeframes.

However, if the airline can prove the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided, such as adverse weather conditions, air- traffic control restrictions, or security risks, they may refuse to offer compensation.

 

 

 

How much compensation are you entitled to:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)


If your flight is cancelled, or delayed beyond certain timeframes, your airline should provide you with written information about your entitlements and also with care and assistance. The timeframes are as follows:

  • for all flights less than 1500kms, the delay must be greater than 2 hours.
  • for European flights of more than 1500kms and all other flights of between 1500 – 3500kms, the delay must be greater than 3 hours.
  • for all non-Community flights of more than 3500kms, the delay must be greater than 4 hours.

 

 

 
The amount of compensation payable depends on the distance of the flight. If the flight is classed as:

  • Up to 1500kms: €250 per person.
  • Flights over 1,500 km within the EU and other flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km: €400 per person.
  • Flights over 3,500km: €600 per person.

However the amount of compensation payable in respect of non-Community flights of more than 3500kms may be reduced by 50% if you arrive at your destination less than 4 four hours after the scheduled arrival time. Compensation is also reduced for re-routed flights.
 

 

 
The law states that when calculating the distance of a flight, you must use the ‘Great Circle Method’. This method is traditionally used across the aviation sector to determine the distance between two airports – you can calculate the distance of your own particular flight here.

The above information was available from Flight Rights.ie and the Commission for Aviation website on September 10th 2022, but exemptions from compensation may are possible, and information is subject to change. 
 

 

 

How to get a refund if your flight is cancelled:

 

1. Apply via the airline refund form.

how to get a refund if your flight is cancelled

Most airlines have a travel disruption or refund section on their website. If the airline has cancelled the flight, the refund process should be straight forward, however you may find the refund page difficult to find!

Check the Frequently Asked Questions, as well as any travel disruption pages or information on vouchers – there will possibly be a link for a refund at the bottom of the page.
 

 

 
If you can not find this link, try to contact them by email or web chat. Failing that try their social media channels. I have added some of Ireland’s top airlines refund links below:

Read: How to get a refund from Ryanair, my step by step guide.

Apply for Aer Lingus refund here

Apply for Ryanair refund here
 

 

 

2. Keep an acknowledgement of your request.

how to get a refund if your flight is cancelled

When you have applied for a refund you should receive an email to say that your request has been received. If not, take a screen shot of your application showing the time and date that you applied. If neither of these are possible, contact your airline via email, chat or social media to confirm that your refund application has been received.

 

 

3. Follow up with your airline if your refund has not been received within six weeks. 

If a flight is cancelled, airlines are obliged to refund you within seven days. However, refunds are generally taking a lot longer to process. I would expect refunds to take up to six weeks from the original application, but I suggest following up your request two weeks after your initial application to check on the status of your refund.
 

 

 

4. Make a complaint to the Commission for Aviation Regulation 
 how to get a refund if your flight is cancelled

In some cases airlines will try to offer vouchers instead of refunds, however, they are still obliged by law to offer a refund, under regulation EU 261. The Commission for Aviation Regulation is the National Enforcement Body for EU 261, which sets out the rights of Air Passengers in the event that their flight is cancelled or delayed, or if they are denied boarding or downgraded.
 

 

 
If your airline is not responding to you, or you are unhappy with the length of time that the refund is taking, you can make an official complaint to the Commission for Aviation Regulation via www.flightrights.ie. They will will take up your claim with the airline on your behalf, at no additional cost to you. 
 

 

 
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. Listen to the full podcast here:
 

 


 

5. Claim from your travel insurance

If for some reason you are still unable to secure a refund if your flight is cancelled, check to see if your travel insurance will cover you. Travel insurance companies insist that you try all other methods of securing a refund before you make a claim.
 

 

 
If you can prove that you have tried to secure a refund and it is not forthcoming, you may be able to submit a claim. Travel Insurance can also be useful to claim out of pocket expenses for accommodation or meals if your flight is cancelled.
 

 

 

Like this post? You might like:

How to get a refund from Ryanair, my step by step guide.

Why you need to add travel disruption cover to your travel insurance policy

 

 

 

 
Best Travel Deals

The Best Black Friday Travel Deals – Hotel Stays from €35pp, Seat Sales & Holiday Discounts

I have searched the web to bring you the Best Black Friday travel deals, with Irish hotel stays from €35pp, return flights to the Maldives from €686, up to €250 off package holidays and some great Christmas gift ideas.

I publish a Black Friday travel deals post every year, and its always a great success! I compile a list of the best hotel deals in Ireland, flight sales, and holiday deals abroad. I also have some nice travel gifts, which are ideal stocking fillers 🎁.

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Note all of these hotel deals are subject to availability, but in most cases there are multiple dates available, so if the date you click on is not available, search for alternatives. I will be updating this post throughout the week as I receive more offers – so make sure to check back regularly so you don’t miss any Black Friday travel deals.

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

 

 
 

Seat Sales:

Qatar Airways Black Friday Sale:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

Qatar Airways Black Friday sale includes return flights to Zanzibar from €535 and the Maldives from €686. Returning residents or family members of Australian citizens can fly to Sydney from €987. Business class fares are also on sale, with return flights to Maldives from €2269.

Qatar Airways guaranteed flexibility allows unlimited changes or refunds for travel up to 31st May 2022.  Note these offers are not available to book until Friday November 26th. 

View all offers here

 

Read: Qatar Airways Black Friday Sale Includes Maldives from €702
 

 

 

Aer Lingus:

Aer Lingus is offering 20% off European city breaks and €100 off return flights to USA and Canada.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)


Travel 1st December – 31st March 2022 for European breaks. Book by 28th November 2021.

Travel 1st January 2022  – 31st May 2022 for USA and Canada. Book by 30th November 2021.

You can also change your flights for free before if necessary – just pay the fare difference.

See more here
 

 

 
Ryanair has a different offer each day during this week’s Cyber Sale. Today’s offer features 10% off flights to Europe in from April – June. New offers are released daily.

See more here

 

TAP Air Portugal is offering 20% off all TAP destinations. One change is permitted free up to 3 days before departure. Book by 30th November. 

See more here
 

 

 

Long haul holidays:

Kuramathi Island, Maldives:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

Kuramathi Island is offering 25% off room rates with a free upgrade from Full Board to Basic All Inclusive, or a free upgrade from Basic All Inclusive to Select All Inclusive, for travel between 1st May – 31st October 2022. 

Prices for seven nights in a deluxe water villa (same one I stayed in last week ) with Qatar Airways flights and speedboat transfers is €2998 per person. Upgrade to the Select All Inclusive ( dine in any of the a la carte restaurants ) from €455 per person.  

In addition to the above I have secured an exclusive discount of €200 off per booking with the following travel agencies – for bookings made before 1st December only. Quote The Travel Expert 

Sunway, Dublin

Travel Counsellors, Country wide

Travel Focus, Cork
 

 

 

Attraction Tickets.com: 

Planning a trip Stateside? Attraction Tickets.com has a wide range of offers for Black Friday including:

dine for free with disney

  • Up to $50 spending money per person plus free Starwars Galaxy’s Edge Magic Band when purchasing
  • Disney Magic tickets or Disney combo tickets.
  • Up to 44% off Discovery Cove Packages
  • 5% off Disney World and Universal Hotel Packages
  • 20% off Dubai Parks and Resorts tickets
  • Free Covid Cover on new bookings 

 
See more here

 

American Holidays is offering up to €550 off Royal Caribbean cruise and stay holidays in the USA. Highlights include a 3-night stay at the 5-Star Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Studios with express pass, with a seven-night cruise on Harmony of the Seas. Price including flights, baggage and meals on cruise is €1940pp.
 
See more here
 

 

 

Sun & Package Holidays:

Booking.com

Booking.com always have some of the best Black Friday deals, and this year is no exception. Save 30% on selected hotels in Ireland and around the world for travel up to 30th June 2022. Book by 1st December 2021. I have selected some hotel deals in Ireland below, but you can view all hotel deals here:
 
See more here
 

 

 
TUI Holidays:

TUI is offering up to €250 off holidays departing from 22nd November 2021 – 31st October 2023. Book by 29th November 2021.  Use the following codes at the check out:

Use code BF100 and save €100 when you spend €1,000
Use code BF150 and save €150 when you spend €2,000
Use code BF250 and save €250 when you spend €3,000

Read: My top picks for family holidays in Greece for 2022
 
View offer here
 

 

 

Sunway Holidays:

sunway holidays black friday deals

Sunway is offering 5% off ALL bookings made on line before 28th November. Use code EXPERT 

 
See more here
 

 

 

Click&Go has a variety of offers for Black Friday including a three-night stay in New York with Aer Lingus flights from just €379!

View offer here
 

 

 
Crystal Ski is offering €100 off ski bookings from December 2021 to April 2023 inclusive. Minimum spend €1000 before ski packs, room upgrades etc are added.  Book by 29th November and use code SKIBF100

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

See more here
 

 

 
The Irish Travel Agents Association has a selection of Black Friday offers on their website, including €50 off bookings on the Camino with uWalk.ie , Las Vegas and New York from €999 with American Holidays, and five-star luxury in Croatia from Cassidy Travel.

View offers here
 

 

 
Travel Department is offering €50pp on all new bookings of 7 nights or more departing January – April 2022 with the code VP-BF50, and €75 off any holiday of 8 night or more departing January – April 2022 with the code VP-BF75 . Book by 29th November 2021.
 

 

 
TD active Holidays is offering  €50pp off any 7 night holiday departing January to June 2022 with the code VP-BFTDA50 , and €75pp off any holiday of 8 nights or more departing January to June 2022 with the code VP-BFTDA75

Travel Department

 

View TD Active
 

 

 

Black Friday Hotel Deals in Ireland:

 

5-star Mount Juliet Estate, B&B from €83pp

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

This super deal is based on staying in Mount Juliet’s Hunter’s Yard and includes breakfast. Why not treat yourself to a meal in the Michelin-starred Lady Helen restaurant, and make it a stay to remember. I stayed in Mount Juliet recently and loved it, you can read all about my stay here:

Read: My review of Mount Juliet Estate
 

 

 
This deal is valid on selected dates from January – April. I have selected a few dates below but if the dates don’t suit, simply edit the search to suit your requirements. Supplements apply for Friday / Saturday nights. 

Book 27th February

 

Book 24th April 
 

 

 

Berehaven Pods, Castletownbere, Cork : €39pp

Berehaven pods

Situated on the Beara Peninsula in beautiful West Cork, these glamping pods are offering 30% off stays until 1st July 2022. I selected a date in March below, but many more dates are available.

Search & Book here
 

 

 

Clayton Hotel Limerick: 30% off selected stays

sunset over the Limerick Clayton hotel
The Clayton Hotel Limerick is offering 30% off stays up to 30th April 2022. Prices available from €95 per room including breakfast and full use of Club Vitae Leisure Club. Book by 3rd December.
 
Search & book here
 

 

 

Wyatt Hotel, Westport: €35pp

Wyatt Hotel, Westport

The boutique Wyatt Hotel is superbly located in the heart of Westport and is offering overnight stays from €70 per room through Booking.com’s Black Friday Sale. I selected a date in February below, but many more dates are available. It also happens to be Westport’s only pet-friendly hotel.

Read: 40 Hotels in Ireland that allow dogs

Search & Book here
 

 

 

Castle Leslie, B&B, Afternoon Tea & Spa Treatment from €149pp

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

Enjoy an overnight stay at the Lodge at Castle Leslie with breakfast, afternoon tea and a choice of either facial or massage for just €149pp! This is an incredible price for such a superb hotel, I stayed here a few years ago and loved it.

Read: Captivated by Castle Leslie

See more here
 

 

 

Midlands Park Hotel: 20% off selected stays, room rates from €71

Midlands Park Hotel

The Midlands Park hotel is offering 20% off selected stays, with room rates from €71 per night including complimentary use of its award-winning Health & Leisure Club. It is also adding 20% to gift vouchers purchased before 30th November. 

See more here
 

 

 

Riverside Park Hotel, Wexford: 30% off selected stays 

black friday hotel deals in Ireland

The 4-star Riverside Park Hotel is offering 30% off selected dates until May 2022. This offer is only available to book from Friday 26th November – Monday 29th November.

Search & book here
 

 

 

5-star Intercontinental Hotel, Dublin: 25% off

dublin hotel deals

The luxurious InterContinental Dublin is offering 25% off the best available rate on rooms or suites for travel between the 29th of November to 4th September 2022. Book between the 26th November and the 3rd of December 2021. There is also a 7 days cancellation policy and no deposit is required to book.

View offer here
 

 

 

Post-Christmas family break in Woodstock Hotel, Clare: 2 Night Stay: €325

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

The 4-star Woodstock Hotel in Clare has a tw0-night family stay from €325 on the 28th of December. Price is based on a family of four sharing a superior family room, and includes access to the onsite Leisure Centre with pool, kids pool.  

View offer here

 

See more festive family breaks here:

Read: 15 Family breaks between Christmas & New Year, 2 Night Stays from €310
 

 

 

Radisson Blu Belfast: Overnight Stay from €40pp including free parking  

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

Enjoy an overnight stay with breakfast in the 4-Star Radisson Blu Hotel Belfast for just €40pp! This super deal is valid on selected stays until 31st December and includes a glass of Prosecco on arrival, and free parking. Stay for two nights for €75pp and enjoy a bottle of Prosecco to share 🥂.

View offer here
 

 

 

West Cork Hotel, Cork: €40pp

The West Cork Hotel is offering rooms from €80 including breakfast from Black Friday until 3rd of December.

View offer here
 

 

 

Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links, Dublin: €53pp

hotel deals in Dublin

The Portmarnock Hotel has 30% off on selected dates with prices from €105 per room from January – June. Supplements apply for Friday / Saturday night stays.

Search & Book here
 

 

 

Claregalway Hotel, Galway: €35pp

The Claregalway Hotel is offering rooms from just €70 per night through Booking.com’s Black Friday Sale – various dates are available from January – March 2022.

Search & Book here
 

 

 

4-Star stay Shop & Stay in Dublin: B&B, Dinner, Cocktail & Shopping Collection: €99pp

Fancy a shopping trip in Dublin? For a limited time you can enjoy an overnight stay with breakfast, dinner, cocktail, late check-out and an organised pick up for shopping bags for just €99 per person. This rate is available pre and post-Christmas.

Search & book here

 

Read: 20 Dublin Hotel stays from €45pp
 

 

 

Clayton Whites Wexford: 20% off and more.

The popular Clayton Whites Hotel in Wexford Town is offering 20% off stays with breakfast and a snipe of Bubbles and chocolates in your room on arrival. Boo by 28th November for stays up to March 2022.

Search & book here
 

 

 

Hardiman Hotel, Galway: Up to 30% off

Hardiman Hotel Galway

The centrally located Hardiman Hotel has a selection of Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers. On Wednesday 24th November you can get pre-sale Black Friday offers of 30% off Luxury B&B for 48 hours only.

On Black Friday you can get 20% off Luxury B&B, and on Cyber Monday 20% off gift vouchers to use on accommodation, dining etc.

See more here
 

 

 

5-star g Hotel, Galway: Up to 30% off selected stays:

g hotel Galway

Enjoy a night or two in Galway’s only five-star hotel. The g Hotel & Spa is offering 20% off selected stays if booked between the 26th and 29th of November. However, I have an insider tip – sign up to the g Hotel’s newsletter and receive a pre Black Friday VIP offer of 30% off selected dates.

View offer here
 

 

 

5-star Lough Erne Resort, Fermanagh, B&B: £119

lough erne resort

Lough Erne is offering savings of up to 50% for Black Friday! Enjoy an overnight stay with breakfast and complimentary use of the infinity pool for just £119 midweek or £159 weekend. Lough Erne is also offering  discounts on spa treatments, meals and golf.

Read: Living it up at Lough Erne Resort

View offer here
 

 

 

Shopping & travel gifts:

The Loop Black Friday

Travelling anywhere this week? Clinique and Estee Lauder have free gifts available at the Loop if you spend €30 or €35 respectively, and Joe Malone London is offering a free miniature candle and cologne with purchase of €100 or more. Pre-order online via Click & Collect before 29th November 2021.

Read: Top 10 tips for travelling through Dublin Airport

See more here
 

 

 

Travel gifts make nice stocking fillers!

I’ve got some great Christmas gift ideas for people who like travelling as much as I do! From travel bags to travel themed jewellery and prints, Ive got plenty of ideas in this post.

unique travel gifts

 

See more here
 

 

 

The Perfect Christmas Gift Box –  Hotel Stay & 3 Irish handmade products: €230

This fabulous Christmas Gift Box includes a one-night stay for two people including breakfast, at any of the 28 Select Hotels of Ireland, as well as three handmade Irish products.

This gift is beautifully presented in a presentation Christmas gift box that can be simply placed under the tree. It can be delivered anywhere on the Island of Ireland and delivery is included in the cost. Not only are you supporting small businesses, but also 28 Irish hotels too.

Buy here
 

 

 

Collect Double Avios when you shop online

When you are shopping online this week make sure you shop via the AerClub eStore. You will collect Double Avios as well as discounts in many online stores. Apple, Marks & Spencer, ASOS, Currys, Feelunique are participating in the event.

shop via the aerclub estore

See more here
 

 

 
Prices and information is correct at the time of issue but is subject to change. It is important to note that some of the facilities / activities listed may not be operating to full capacity. I have taken the facilities, location and reviews from third party websites, these are subject to change so please check with individual hotels for clarification.
 

 

 
Please note some of my Black Friday travel deals contain affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no extra cost to you. When you make a booking, you do so via a third party website  Read more in my privacy policy.

 

Travel News and Reviews

Mandatory Hotel Quarantine In Ireland – What are the Costs, Conditions & Countries Involved

woman confined to bedroom for work

Visitors from countries considered as ‘high risk’ are now required to pre-book mandatory hotel quarantine in Ireland.  

Mandatory hotel quarantine in Ireland is now required for arrivals from high risk countries, as well as people who fail to produce a negative PCR test on arrival. The booking portal is available to access here.
 

 

 
Passengers are required to pre-book accommodation in a designated hotel and have to pre-pay handsomely for the privilege. The Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel in Santry is the first hotel ready to accept visitors, but additional hotels from the Tifgo Hotel Group will be added as required.
 

 

 
The Tifco Hotel Group will provide ground transportation, security and wellbeing services, as well as providing meals to guests at the designated hotel. Guests will be transported from ports or airports to hotels on arrival.

hotel quarantine in Ireland - what is required

What visitors are required to use hotel quarantine in Ireland?

All arrivals from high risk counties, as well as those  who transited through a port or airport in the designated ‘high risk’ state in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Ireland, must enter mandatory hotel quarantine – this is regardless of nationality. Those who can not produce a negative PCR test are also required to quarantine in Ireland at a designated hotel. High risk countries currently are as follows, but this list is subject to change and will be updated here 

Angola, Anguilla, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bonaire, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Guyana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Maldives, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda,  San Marino, Seychelles, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Somalia, South Africa, Suriname, Turkey, Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
 

 

 

How much does hotel quarantine in Ireland cost?

 It is important to note that the passenger bears the total cost of mandatory hotel quarantine in Ireland.  Price for sole occupancy are €1,875 for 12 nights including three meals per day and services. Additional rate for one adult sharing a room is €625, means the total cost per couple is €2,500. Children sharing cost €360 per child (age 4-12), which equates to a cost of €3,220 for a family of four. Children up to 3 are free of charge. 
 

 

 

How long do I have to stay in mandatory hotel quarantine?

The mandatory period is 14 days, however, this can be reduced to 12 days if you receive a negative PCR test result after ten days. Guests are tested on arrival and again after 10 days.
 

 

 

What is included in hotel quarantine in Ireland, and what freedom have passengers got?

hotel facilities during hotel quarantine in Ireland

The hotel will deliver three meals per day (from hotel menu) directly to the passengers door. Additional food and beverages can be purchased separately. WiFi and in-room movies are included in the cost of hotel quarantine in Ireland. Guests will have access to an designated outdoor area up to three times per day for 15 minutes – these times need to be pre-booked and will be overseen by security personnel.

If people try to leave hotel quarantine in Ireland they are subject to a €2000 fine and / or a prison sentence up to 1 month. The Irish Defence Forces will be onsite to enforce compliance.
 

 

 

Who is exempt from mandatory hotel quarantine in Ireland? 

Ryanair flights still operate in and out of Ireland during travel restrictions.

  • Passengers arriving in Ireland in course of duty and who hold a valid Annex 3 certificate (ensuring the availability of goods and essential services)a
  • Drivers of a heavy goods vehicle, airline pilots, aircrew, maritime master or maritime crew  
  • Passengers travelling to the State pursuant to an arrest warrant, extradition proceedings or other mandatory legal obligation
  • A member of An Garda Síochána or Defence Forces (or their equivalents from another state) and travelling to the State in course of duty
  • Travelling to the State for unavoidable, imperative and time-sensitive medical reasons and these reasons are certified by a registered medical practitioner or person with equivalent qualifications outside the State
  • Having been outside of the state to provide services to or perform the functions of an office holder (under any enactment or the Constitution) or a member of either house of the Oireachtas or the European Parliament
  • Diplomats and certain other categories of persons entitled to privileges and immunities in the State

You should be aware that requests for review can be based only on a limited number of grounds and that public health will remain a paramount consideration. See more here.
 

 

 

How to book mandatory hotel quarantine in Ireland.

hotel staff during quarantine in Ireland.

There is a dedicated website available to book mandatory hotel quarantine, if the room configuration that you require is not available please email  reservations@quarantinehotelsireland.ie

Book here 
 

 

 
Note: This post is correct at time of issue ( 22nd March 2020), but travel advice and updates are changing on a daily basis. It is important to check with the company / airline you are booking with before taking any steps to cancel or travel abroad. It is important to note that the list of designated states will be subject to change at short notice and passengers are required to check the list before travelling to Ireland, to be sure of their obligations.

See up to date information on www.gov.ie/quarantine.
 

 

 

Like this post? You might like:

Read: Latest travel updates due to Coronavirus

Read: Make sure to fill out Passenger Locator Forms before you travel overseas 

Read: Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19
 

Sarah

 

 

Travel

What Is The EU Traffic Light System for Travel – My Step By Step Guide

airport travelling with masks

Confused by the new EU traffic light system for travel? My handy guide has all the categories, restrictions and quarantine rules.

On Sunday 8th November 2020, the Irish Government implemented the new EU traffic light system for travel, and following a few amendments, it appears we finally have a workable system in place – well almost!

map of EU traffic light system for travel
The EU traffic light system approach provides for regions across the EU to be categorised as green, orange, red or grey, on the basis of the risk levels associated with COVID-19. A combined indicator map will be published each week by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, (ECDC), based on the 14-day cumulative notification rate, testing rate and testing positivity rates.
 

 

 
The ECDC traffic light system will be updated every Thursday, and the changes applied will come into effect for travel into Ireland from the following Monday. The proposed measures for arrivals from orange, red and green regions, once implemented, will be reviewed fortnightly. It is important to note not all countries are adopting the same timelines  – see more below.

how does the new EU traffic light system for travel work

What’s new in the EU traffic-light system for travel?

The categorisation of ‘regions’ instead of ‘countries’ is a significant one for Ireland, as popular hot spots such as the Canary Islands has seen significantly lower incidence rates than the rest of Spain.
 

 

 

 

 

 
The other significant change is in relation to testing. When the EU traffic light system was introduced, Ireland did not have testing requirements – this has now changed. From 16th January 2021 ALL passengers arriving in Ireland will need to produce a negative/not detected PCR test on arrival. In some cases it is possible to reduce quarantine times by obtaining a further test in Ireland five days after arrival – see more on this below.
 

 

 

Additional requirements have been introduced to combat the spread of the virus.

Arrivals into Ireland from ALL countries will have to produce a negative/not detected PCR test that was taken within 72 hours of arrival.  

All passengers are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days. Arrivals from South Africa and Brazil are subject to mandatory quarantine for 14 days, date when this will come into effect is yet to be announced. It is important that you check up to date entry requirements before you travel on gov.ie.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert) on

 

 

Countries adopt different approaches within the EU traffic light system

mums weekend away

Currently many countries including Ireland require visitors to provide proof of a negative PCR test to be shown on arrival. This must be taken within 72 hours of departure. It is therefore vital that you check the requirements for the country you are travelling to in advance of travel. While Ireland updates its list of countries on the traffic light system every Monday, (taken from the ECDC Map published the previous Thursday), many other countries adopt different methods.

For instance, Spain updates its list every 15 days, giving tourists a window of certainty to make travel bookings, so that the countries will not change classification in two weeks. The results come into effect seven days later. 


 

 

 

What does this mean for Irish people travelling to Spain and The Canary Islands?

If you are travelling to Spain, including the Canary Islands from a red or grey region, you will need to produce confirmation of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.

As long as the Canary Islands remain a ‘red‘ region you will be required to restrict your movements for 14 days when you return to Ireland. You can take a PCR test five days after your return, and if this is negative, you will not have to restrict your movements for the remaining nine days – see more below.
 

 

 
If you are travelling to Spain, excluding the Canary Islands from an Amber / Orange region,  you are NOT required to provide a negative PCR test.

Requirements for entry to Spain from 11th January
However, The Canary Islands has a separate regulation in place. ALL visitors who are staying in tourist accommodation must produce a negative test taken in the 72 hours prior to arrival. This test can be an antigen or PCR test that detect SARS-COV-2 antigens with an accuracy of 97% and a sensitivity of over 80% as defined in their supporting documentation. Transcription Mediated Amplification (TMA) tests are also permitted.

For anyone looking to get a PCR test before you return home, the Canary Islands have published a list of clinics where these are possible here.

However, it is important to note that regulations are changing on a daily basis. Additional restrictions have been introduced in many countries due to the new faster transmitting strain that is prevalent in Europe. You should check with your airline / travel agent before flying.
 

 

 
There is also confusion over the governments current travel advice. The current public health advice is that there should be no non-essential international travel, however the Department of Foreign Affairs website states:

“Our current advice for travel to these countries (meaning those included in the ECDC map) is ‘exercise a high degree of caution’. Our general advice for any other overseas travel remains ‘avoid non-essential travel’ or in some cases, ‘do not travel’ ”
 

 

 
While the outlook for international travel still remains bleak in the short term, hopefully by adopting the new EU traffic-light system for travel, it should mean there will be more overseas travel in 2021, providing of course, that it is safe to do so.

travel in 2021 will be more accessible with EU traffic light system in place 

The new EU traffic light system for Ireland is as follows:

Regions are considered Green when:

The 14-day notification rate is lower than 25 cases per 100,000 of population and the test positivity rate is below 4%.

What restrictions apply?

Negative PCR test required for all visitors to Ireland. Persons arriving from EU green regions are not required to restrict their movements for 14 days.
 

 

 

Regions are considered Orange when:

The 14-day notification rate is lower than 50 cases per 100,000 of population and the test positivity rate is 4% or higher.

OR

The 14-day notification rate is between 25-150 cases per 100,000 and the test positivity rate is below 4%.

What restrictions apply?

Negative PCR test required for all visitors to Ireland. Persons arriving from EU amber regions are not required to restrict their movements for 14 days.

 

 

 

Regions are considered Red when:

The 14-day notification rate is 50 cases per 100,000 of population or higher and the test positivity rate is 4% or higher 

OR

The 14-day notification rate is higher than 150 cases per 100,000.

What restrictions apply?

Negative PCR test required for all visitors to Ireland. Travellers are required to restrict their movements for 14 days, except where travel is for essential purposes as outlined here.  It is possible to reduce quarantine times by taking a PCR test in Ireland, five days after arrival – see more below.

 

 

 

 

Regions are considered Grey when:

There is insufficient information provided, or if the testing rate is lower than 300 cases per 100,000 of population.

What restrictions apply?

Negative PCR test required for all visitors to Ireland. Travellers are required to restrict their movements for 14 days, except where travel is for essential purposes as outlined here. It is possible to reduce quarantine times by taking a PCR test in Ireland, five days after arrival – see more below.
 

 

 

If I take Covid-19 PCR test, can I eliminate or reduce quarantine times in Ireland?

travel updates due to coronavirus

The request to restrict movements for 14 days can be reduced for passengers arriving from a Red or Grey region, if they take a second PCR test in Ireland five days after arrival. If the test is negative/not detected, they will no longer have to restrict their movements – this reduces the quarantine time from 14 days to 5. If the test is positive, they will have to restrict their movements for 14 days.

 

A PCR test with certification is currently available from Randox at a cost of €99, and Tropical Medical Bureau from €120, as well as other suppliers throughout the country. 
 

 

 
Please note, there is currently a separate travel advisory for passengers arriving from UK and South Africa. All passengers, including those travelling for essential purposes are requested to self-isolate for 14 days. This can not be reduced by taking a further test after arrival in Ireland.
 

Read: Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Read: Make sure to fill out Passenger Locator Forms before you travel overseas 

How to get a refund if your flight is cancelled
 

 

 

Is there anything else I should know?

eu traffic light system for travel will see more Irish people travelling in 2021

Notwithstanding the above, travellers are required to adhere to the public health advice and not travel if they are symptomatic of Covid-19, a close contact of a confirmed case, or have been advised to restrict movements by doctors. Everyone arriving in Ireland excluding essential transport workers must complete a passenger locator form and are expected to following the Government’s current public health advice.

Read: Make sure to fill out Passenger Locator Forms before you travel overseas

Note: The above guide is researched from reputable websites, however, travel advice and updates are changing on a daily basis. It is important to check with the country and travel provider you are booking with before taking any steps to to travel abroad.

 

 

 

Sarah

Travel

Latest Travel Updates Due to Coronavirus

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Latest Travel Updates: ALL passengers arriving into Ireland are required to produce a negative PCR test. Arrivals from high risk countries require mandatory quarantine. Fines in place for any non-essential travel. 

I will be updating this post regularly with travel updates due to coronavirus, so bookmark it and make it your go-to post for the latest travel information. If you have queries in relation to airline refunds and vouchers or the EU traffic light system,  these posts might also be of interest:

Read: Make sure to fill out Passenger Locator Forms before you travel overseas 

Read: Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

How to get a refund if your flight is cancelled

 
 
Instagram

 

ALL passengers arriving into Ireland are required to produce a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. 

All passengers arriving into Ireland (except those from Northern Ireland) are required to produce a negative / not detected result from a PCR test carried out no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland.
 

 

 
Passengers who fail to present evidence of this are subject to a prosecution, punishable by a fine not exceeding €2500, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both.

International Transport Workers, including aviation workers, maritime and road haulage sectors, are exempt from this requirement, if travelling in the course of performing their duties. Transit passengers who do not leave the airport, and children under 6 are also exempt from the testing requirement, although they are advised to restrict their movements for 14 days. For more information visit Gov.ie
 

 

 
Arrivals from higher risk countries will have to complete mandatory hotel quarantine.

does travel insurance cover coronavirus

Mandatory quarantine has been introduced for arrivals who have been in any high risk country in the previous 14 days, or who fail to produce a negative PCR test on arrival.  This list of countries is subject to change and will be updated here. Countries that are currently considered high risk as as follows:

Angola, Anguilla, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bonaire, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equador, Eswatini, Ethiopia,  France, French Guiana, Guyana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Malawi, Maldives, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda,  San Marino, Seychelles, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Somalia, South Africa, Suriname, Turkey, Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
 

It is important that you check up to date entry requirements before you travel on gov.ie.

Read: Mandatory Hotel Quarantine in Ireland – What are the Costs, Conditions and Countries Involved
 

 

 

Fines in place for anyone to who travels abroad for non-essential reasons.

Fines for people caught travelling to a port or airport for non-essential reasons are now in place. The fines are currently set at €2,000 per person, but this may increase. These fines can be placed on departure and on return, so a passenger may incur a fine in both directions.
 

 

 

Travel Updates: Ireland adopts new EU traffic light system:

travel updates from ryanair

Ireland has adopted the EU ‘traffic light’ system for travel, which provides for regions across the EU to be categorised as green, orange, red or grey, on the basis of the risk levels associated with COVID-19. A combined indicator map will be published each week by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), based on agreed criteria, including the 14-day cumulative incidence rate, testing rate and testing positivity rates.
 

 

 
The categorisation of ‘regions’ instead of ‘countries’ is significant, as popular hot spots such as the Canary Islands has seen significantly lower incidence rates than the rest of Spain. Arrivals from other countries outside Europe including USA and Canada will be treated in the same way as Red countries, and it is possible to reduce quarantine times by obtaining a post departure tests five days after arrival, which must be arranged and paid for privately.
 
Read: My step by step guide to the EU traffic light system for travel
 

 

 
Airport testing now in place in Irish airports from €99

COVID-19 testing facilities have opened in Dublin Cork and Shannon airports as well as various locations around the country. Prices start at €99 for PCR tests in Dublin Airport, and €129 in Cork and Shannon. The testing facilities are fully open to the public, whether they require a test for travel, or for another reason.
 

coronavirus

Many countries including Spain now require proof of a negative PCR test for tourists arriving from high risk countries, while other countries such as Ireland, Turkey and Netherlands require a negative PCR test for tourists from ALL countries. This negative PCR test taken with 72 hours of arrival, must be shown on entry. 
 

 

 
The Canary Islands require a negative PCR or antigen test to be produced from ALL countries, including Ireland, while Germany now requires a negative PCR test to be shown that was taken within 48 hours of arrival. It is vital that you check with the Department of Foreign Affairs and / or your airline before travelling for the entry requirements.
 

Read: My step by step guide to the EU traffic light system for travel
 

 

 
It is imperative that you check the entry requirements with the country you are due to travel with before you fly. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs website:

“Inclusion on the list does not imply the absence of any restrictions on arrivals in those locations. Citizens should be aware that countries continue to announce new restrictions on arrivals from abroad, including the requirement to quarantine on entry. This can include restrictions on arrivals from Ireland. The situation will continue to evolve quickly. Citizens who are considering travel to particular locations are advised to monitor news and information from the public authorities in their destination. The list and our Travel Advice is under regular review, based on ECDC data and advice from experts, and will be updated on a regular basis.”
 

 

 
Read: Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Read: Make sure to fill out Passenger Locator Forms before you travel overseas 
 

This website is a handy source to have, it shows you the number of Covid-19 cases in each European country, and may be useful if you wish plan overseas to a country with a lower infection rate than our own.

Ireland currently advises against non-essential travel overseas, other than to countries that are part of the EU ‘traffic lights’ approach, where the advice is to exercise a high degree of caution.  
 

 

 

What if you don’t want to travel?

If you do you wish to travel, but your flight is operating, you are not entitled to a refund, regardless of your health situation. You should be able to change your travel dates, but if you cancel because you do not want to fly, that is seen as your own personal decision and no refund will be due.
 

 

 
Many airlines are waiving change fees but there may be a difference in airfare if you wish to change your date. However it it important to check the booking conditions at the time of booking with your  airline.
 

 

 
If the government advice is still in place against non-essential travel to the destination that you are due to travel to, then you may be able to claim on your travel insurance. You will need to have had a policy taken out with travel disruption cover or government advice, before the advice came into effect.
 

 

 

Refunds and Vouchers:

Many airlines are offering vouchers instead of refunds and there has been a lot of confusion across the travel industry. The Irish government has recently backed a new refund credit note that can be used by travel agents and tour operators to give to customers instead of a refund – note this is not applicable to airlines.
 

 

 
These credit notes will be guaranteed by the state in the event that the travel agent or tour operator ceases trading. It will be issued with a future redeemable date, and on that date it can be exchanged for its cash, or can be used to book another holiday. According to Shane Ross, ‘the refund credit note aims to strike a balance between preventing sector-wide bankruptcy (with associated immediate job losses) and consumer rights.’
 

How to get a refund from Ryanair

How to get a refund if your flight is cancelled
 

 

 

 

US bans travel from Europe including UK & Ireland.

President Donald Trump has amended the US travel ban to include Ireland and UK effective midnight 16th March.The ban applies to anyone who has been in Europe within 14 days prior to their arrival in the US. This does not apply to US citizens, however they will have to undergo health screenings on arrival.
 

 

 
Note: This post is being updated constantly but travel advice and updates are changing on a daily basis. It is important to check with the company / airline you are booking with, and the Department of Foreign Affairs before taking any steps to cancel or travel abroad.

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.

 

 

Other related posts on the blog:

Coronavirus: What travel insurance covers:

Why you need to add travel disruption cover to your travel insurance policy

 
Like travel tips? See more here.
 

 
Sarah

The Travel Expert
 

 

 

Travel

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

woman-4373078_1280-compressor

‘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).

 

Instagram

 

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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A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert) on

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 Multitrip.com 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.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

 
 
Travel Tips

How To Collect Avios at Home – Top Tips To Boost Your Avios Balance

online shopping

Shopping online these days? Fancy some new loungewear or toys for the kids? Collect Avios at home now, and pay for flights with Avios later in the year.

 

I love online shopping, no hassle with parking, no crowds and no queues! However, with more and more retail stores closing, shopping online is no longer a lifestyle choice, it is a necessity. So why not take the opportunity to collect Avios at home when you shop online?

We all want something to look forward to, and having a nice pot of Avios to spend when we are back travelling again sounds good to me! Avios don’t expire as long as you collect or spend at least one Avios point every 36 months. I recently paid for flights to Spain in July and it was so easy!

See how to pay for flights with Avios here.

 

pay for aer lingus flights with avios
 

 

 
For anyone who is not familiar with Avios, it is the travel reward currency of Aer Lingus’ AerClub and other international airlines. As an AerClub member, you can collect Avios in a wide range of retail, travel and leisure partners. You can then use these Avios to pay for Aer Lingus flights and other travel related services.

Read my beginners guide to AerClub and find out why you should join.

If you still haven’t joined AerClub, now is the time to do it. There are so many ways to collect Avios, but in this post I am going to show you my top three ways to collect Avios at home.  

beginners guide to aerclub
 

 

 

1. Collect Avios at home in over 100 online stores via the AerClub estore:

 

I have been collecting Avios via the AerClub eStore for many years now. I find it is the easiest way to boost my Avios balance. You can collect up to 12 Avios for every €1 spent, and there are over 100 online stores to choose from. However, if you haven’t used the AerClub eStore yet, there has never been a better time to start… AerClub members who haven’t shopped online via the eStore before will get 20% Bonus Avios on their first transaction! 

 

High Street Fashion & Sports Stores

Fancy some new loungewear or sports gear? Get the latest looks from the biggest online fashion stores such as River Island, ASOS, Pretty Little Thing, Boohoo.com and Nike – and collect Avios at the same time.

collect avios at home when you shop loungewear

Shop here

 

TV & Tech:

Spare time on your hands? Now is the time to gather all those photos off your phone and turn them into a photo album. Photo companies, Snapfish and Optimal Print are also AerClub partners.

Fancy a new phone or tablet? Want to connect with your loved ones via Zoom? Perhaps now is time to invest in technology for your parents. You can collect Avios with Currys PC World, Apple and iTunes via the AerClub eStore. TV has never been so popular – you can also collect Avios with SKY and NOW TV.

collect avios from home when you purchase electronics

Shop here

 

Toy & Book Stores: 

The latest blockbusters, toys, games, or stationary, are all available at Eason. The Lego store, which has the largest collection of Lego online, is also an AerClub partner –  just what you need to keep the kids entertained over the next few months.

collect avios at home via the aerclub estore

Shop here

 

Department Stores: 

With Brown Thomas, Arnotts and Debenhams retails stores now closed, you have no option but to shop online. So why not collect Avios at the same time? Marks and Spencer is also available via the AerClub eStore. With a wide range of clothes for adults and children, as well as some great sleepwear and home comforts, there is always something to buy in M&S.

collect avios at home at marks and spencer

Shop here
 

 

 

2. Collect Avios at home when you shop online at SuperValu

Did you know that you can collect Avios by shopping in SuperValu, both online or in store? Many of you may know that SuperValu have their own reward currency called Real Rewards, but did you know that one Real Rewards point equals one Avios? 

In fact right now they are worth even more – Avios have just launched a bonus offer with SuperValu! If you convert your Money Back Vouchers or Real Rewards into Avios before the 4th of May, you will receive an extra 50% bonus, so if you convert 1000 Real Rewards points, you will receive 1500 Avios.

how to convert supervalu real rewards to avios

It is so easy to convert SuperValu Real Rewards points to Avios. You can convert them on the SuperValu Real Rewards app or on the SuperValu website in minutes.  

Read: How to convert SuperValu Real Rewards and Money Back Vouchers to Avios

See more here
 

 

 

3. Get up to 18,000 Avios by subscribing to The Economist for 1 year

Want to keep up to date with current affairs around the world? The Economist weekly newspaper focuses on world news, international business, and politics. Right now you can get up to 18,000 Avios for a one year subscription. AerClub members can choose from a print or digital subscription and earn 15,000 Avios, or subscribe to both print and digital and collect 18,000 Avios. Offer ends 31 May 2020.

collect avios at home

See more here

 

 

 

This post on how to collect Avios at home, was sponsored by Avios, but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Like this post? You might like:

10 Ways To Collect Avios

5 Ways To Spend Avios 

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert 
 

 

 

 
Travel

Coronavirus: What Travel Insurance Covers – Your Questions Answered

airport problems

I have all your travel insurance questions answered below, as well as some top tips to make sure you are adequately covered for future travel plans.

 

 

Before you think of booking or cancelling a holiday due to coronavirus, you should check the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs website. They ultimately decide against non-essential travel to a particular region (FCO website in Northern Ireland and UK ). All airlines, travel agencies and travel insurance companies use the advice of the DFA before making any decisions about whether to cancel or alter flights, or allow refunds to be authorised. If the DFA advise against travel to a specific country or region, flights should be cancelled. 

Instagram

I also recommend downloading the Travelwise app. You can set alerts for the destination you are travelling to, and you will receive notifications if there are any status updates.

 

 

 
I have received numerous emails and messages from travellers asking what travel insurance covers in relation to coronavirus. I decided to ask Ciaran Mulligan, Managing Director of Blue Insurance and Multitrip.com to answer your questions. Of course, all insurance policies are different and these answers will not apply to every individual case, but hopefully most of your questions are answered below.
 

 

 
Note: This post is published on 11th of March 2020. Answers are correct as of today, but cover can change at any time and it is important to check your own individual policy to confirm cover.

what does travel insurance cover with coronavirus
 

 

 

If the Department of Foreign Affairs announces advises against non-essential travel to a particular country or destination, will my travel insurance cover me for cancellation?

If you have Government Travel Advice on your policy – standard with Blue Insurance policy booked via a travel agency and blueinsurance.ie, yes you will be covered for cancellation. Note this cover only comes into effect 14 days prior to departure. Premier Cover has a limit of €500 per person and Premier Plus has €750 per person. Note: new bookings will NOT be covered against Covid-19 to a country deemed as unsafe to travel to.
 

 

 
If you have Travel Disruption added to your policy this will increase to €1000 per person. Insured persons who have premier plus cover with Travel Agents selling Blue Insurance, will have Travel Disruption included automatically. Travel Disruption is also available at Multitrip.com

Read: Why you should add travel disruption cover added to your travel insurance policy
 

 

 
What happens if my holiday cost €2000 per person – will I get all my money back?

No. The level of cancellation cover varies from €500 – €1000 per person, depending on the type of policy you have.
 

 

 

If I am due to travel to Spain in a few months time, can I cancel now and get a refund?

No. You must wait until 14 days before departure to see if the Department of Foreign Affairs travel advisory is still in place. However, many airlines and cruise lines are waiving change fees, so it may be possible to postpone your trip to a later time. Some hotels have small cancellation fees, so you may find all is not lost, should you decide to cancel.
 

 

 

If I have booked to go to a sporting event or concert that has been cancelled, will I be reimbursed for my concert tickets?

If you have tickets booked to a sporting event which is cancelled, but there is no advisory against non-essential travel in place, then you would not be covered for cancellation of your holiday. Example: The Ireland-France rugby match is cancelled, but flights are still operating to Paris, so no refund of flights, hotels etc, would be given. 

travel insurance coronavirus
 

 

 

If I have booked flights and a non-refundable hotel, and the airline changes or cancels my flights, will my travel insurance cover me for the hotel cost? 

This will only be covered if you have Travel Disruption cover added to your policy and the Department of Foreign Affairs advise against ‘all but essential travel’ to your destination.
 

 

 

Is it too late to take out travel insurance now?

No. Travel insurance can be taken out at any time, however a 7 day moratorium will be in place. If you are due to travel on holidays during the summer months and you book insurance now, it will come into effect in seven days time. 

Book Insurance Here
 

 

 

If I contract Covid-19 while I am away, am I covered for medical expenses and repatriation?

Yes. However, if you are travelling to a country where there is a travel advisory against non-essential travel, you would not be covered. 

coronavirus and travel insurance
 

 

 

If I make a claim, how long will it take me to get my money back?

At the moment claims are averaging a three to four week turnaround. It is important to note that you need to apply for refunds from your travel agent, airline or hotel before submitting a travel insurance claim. Claims will only be dealt with once all other avenues have been tried.
 

Book Insurance Here
 

Listen to the podcast here:

 


 

 

 
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.

 

Like travel tips? See more here.
 

Sarah

The Travel Expert
 

 

 

 
EuropeFamily HolidaysSki HolidaysTravel Tips

Top 10 Tips For Family Ski Holidays

kids-ski-school-compressor-compressor (1)

Bringing the kids skiing for the first time? Check out my top 10 tips for family ski holidays and get off to a flying start!

 
I’m just back from our first family ski holiday in Austria, and to say I learned a lot is an understatement. I had skied five times previously, but it was a completely different experience with kids! We had a wonderful time and I picked up lots of tips that I thought I would share with you. I hope they help you plan family ski holidays of your own.

 

1. Bring the kids to a dry slope before you travel.

dry slope skiing

I recall what it was like wearing ski boots for the first time – it’s not pleasant, and does take some time to get used to. By taking lessons (even one) on a dry ski slope before you ski, it cuts out on any teething problems that may arise in resort.
 

 

 
The first time kids try on ski boots they usually assume their boots are too tight or uncomfortable, and may wish to try to change them. This isn’t easy when you have started a lesson on the mountain. Let them get a feel for boots and skis before you fork out €200 a day on ski lessons in resort, only to miss half of it!
 

 

 
I also recommend that adults take lessons on the dry slope too, especially if you are new to skiing. If you arrive in resort and you are not a complete beginner, you may progress quicker if you have experience on a dry slope, as you will likely but placed in whats known as a ‘beginners two’ group. This can make a huge difference to how much you learn over a week’s holiday. 

 

 

 

2. Book a morning flight and get your ski boots / sticks organised the day you arrive.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Most ski resorts have changeover days at the weekend – this means that everyone is trying to get their ski boots and sticks on the same morning. If you have the opportunity to book a morning flight, and are not skiing until the following day, go to the ski rental shop when you arrive and get fitted for your skis and boots. This will cut out the queues in the morning and the inevitable stressful start to your holiday, which you don’t need. 

 


 

3. Choose a ski resort suitable for family ski holidays

family skiing holiday - tabogganing

Not only do ski resorts vary considerably, but so do transfer times. Resorts along the Ski Welt in Austria: Söll, Westendorf etc. are just ninety minutes from Munich or Salzburg airports. Some resorts in France and Andorra can have a three hour transfer. This is not ideal with kids, and can lead to ridiculously early starts on your return journey.
 

 

 
It is also important to choose a resort that is good for beginners, with plenty of blue runs. If money is no object then opt for a Club Med Ski resort. The facilities are second to none, with equipment and all meals included in the cost.
 

 

 
There is also the possibility that your kids many not like skiing. Hopefully this will not arise, but some resorts have indoor water parks, toboggan runs, or are located close to big cities, with lots of day trip opportunities.

Read: Skiing in Söll – All you need to know and why you should go.

Read: My love affair with Club Med Val d’Isere
 

 

 

4. Hire a locker beside the lifts 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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If your hotel is located away from the lifts (most tend to be), don’t panic. Hiring lockers at the ski lift is a game changer, in fact I would go so far as to say – make sure the resort you are going to has lockers before you book it. The alternative is you carrying your children’s skis and boots everyday, or attempting to navigate the ski bus with tons of equipment – believe me it is a nightmare.
 

 

 

5. Bring the right clothes

 

 
 
 
 
 
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As well as the appropriate ski jacket and salopettes, it is important to bring plenty of layers. Skiing is a tough sport and you will probably be hot on the mountain, even if it is -10 degrees. Light layers are better than thick jumpers, as you can take them off as required. You will also be stopping for lunch during the day, and possibly enjoying some après-ski in the bar after skiing, so you want to be able to be comfortable in what you are wearing.
 

 

 
People rarely dress-up in ski resorts, in fact you will often see people dining out at night time in their ski gear, as they haven’t bothered to get changed. I would suggest bringing plenty of light long sleeve tops, rather than heavy jumpers. Ski socks and good gloves are a must, and under armour can be useful if temperatures are particularly cold.
 

 

 

6. Go half-board in a hotel, rather than self catering.

family ski holiday in soll

I rarely choose half-board on holidays as we always enjoy dining out. We really enjoyed dining out in Söll recently as the restaurants are particularly good. However, I think a good hotel on a half-board basis is probably a better option for family ski holidays.
 

 

 
The après ski in the afternoons usually starts at 4pm and you will probably enjoy this for a couple of hours before the kids (and adults) start to fade after a long day’s skiing. Arriving back at our apartment or hotel at 7pm and having to get ready to go out again and look for a restaurant isn’t ideal. I think it is easier for families to pop downstairs, enjoy dinner in their hotel and have an early night, so they are fresh for a full day’s skiing the following day.

 

 

7. Book ski lessons for everyone.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Regardless of your skiing ability, everyone should book skiing lessons. Every mountain is different and it is impossible to know the best runs and lifts to take without having a ski instructor with you. If your children are beginners I would recommend putting them into the ski school / ski kindergarten. They will be skiing with kids their own age and ability. You can meet them for lunch during the day, and depending on their ability, go for a short ski with them when their lesson ends.
 

 

 
If you are all of similar ability, private lessons are a great option. They are expensive for couples, but if you are travelling with a group or a large family, they can work out at a similar cost to group lessons. You can also be much more flexible and opt for four or five days, half days etc. 

 

 

 

8. Leave the last day free to ski together.

family skiing holiday
Regardless of which lessons you choose, try to leave the last day free so you can all ski together. The kids learned so much in the ski school in just three days, and we were able to use the chair lifts and ski down the mountain together – it was a great experience. Depending on your budget, you can also book a one-day private lesson for the whole family, so the instructor can bring you on the slopes he feels are the most suitable for your ability. 

 

 

9. Taste the local food.

family ski holiday - dining
Local food in ski resorts tends to be good hearty grub! Don’t be put off by the names or how the food looks, it is usually very tasty. The local goulash in Austria is delicious, as is Gröstl, (a bacon, onion and potato fry-up). Kids menus are not always available so if you opt for a Wiener Schnitzel or a Currywurst, instead of a burger or a pizza, you might save yourself a lot of money by the end of the week. Believe me your kids will love Wiener Schnitzels! 

 

 

10. Make sure you have ski travel insurance

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Most people tend to take out annual travel insurance, however, make sure you are adequately covered for winter sports. This is in addition to the standard policy, with a nominal fee. With a higher than normal risk of injuries and adverse weather conditions, it is vital you have the correct travel insurance for family ski holidays.

I use Multitrip.com every year and make sure to add on winter sports and travel disruption cover.

Read: 5 Reasons why you should have ski insurance here.

 


 

 

 
Sarah

 

Travel Tips

15 Travel Apps That Make Travelling Easy

shutterstock_travel-apps-compressor

Travel planning, tips to help you on your journey, and how to navigate strange cities safely – check out how to use travel apps to make travelling easy.

 

Did you know you can point the camera on your phone at a building and it will tell you what its called, its purpose and even opening hours? This is Google Lens, something I recently discovered, and will now never leave home without! I also love the new features on Google Translate, where you can just speak into your phone and it will translate it into your language of choice. I’ve also got travel apps to help with travel planning: from hotel bookings to trip organisers and how to help save money on local attractions.
 

 

 
I have travel apps to help you stay out of trouble too: from getting safe taxis to avoiding banking charges, helping with currency conversions and storing important documents. I’ve even got an app to help with jet lag, and how to keep you entertained when travelling long distance. All of these travel apps are very highly rated on the Google Play Store and App Store, and most of these I use myself when travelling. I hope by using these travel apps, it will make travelling easy for you too. 

travel apps
 

 

 

1. Google Lens

Google Lens is your ultimate travel companion and one of my favourite travel apps. As much as I think tour guides are invaluable in certain cities, sometimes you just want to go it alone. Perhaps you are returning to a city and don’t feel you want a guide, or perhaps you are just an independent traveller. If so, you will love Google Lens. Google Lens searches the web based on what you see. Did you ever walk past a particular building and wonder what it is used for, or see exotic flowers and wonder what they are called? Once you have downloaded the Google Lens app, simply open it and point the camera on your phone to the building, flowers, or even an item of clothing. Google Lens will search the web and tell you the name and lots more information about the object you are searching for. If it happens to be for sale, it will even tell you where to buy it!

google lens travel apps
 

See more here

 

 

 

 

2. Revolut

The number of people using Revolut is growing at a phenomenal level – over 8 million people are using it now. You can open a virtual bank account in minutes from your phone – they don’t even have branches. You can spend money in over 150 countries without any fees (a fee of .5% for anything above 6k per month) and withdraw €200 a month in foreign ATMs for free – anything over €200 incurs a €2 fee. You can freeze your card if you have misplaced it, and unfreeze it when you find it again. You don’t have to cancel it completely, something I wish other banks would introduce. 
 

 

 
I love the exchange functions. If you are travelling to the US for instance, you can keep an eye on the exchange rate on your phone, and exchange money instantly if you see a favourable rate – you can even set up alerts for when your currency hits a certain value. I also love that you can set your account to round up card payments to the nearest whole number. For instance if you buy a coffee every day for €2.60, you can set Revolut to round this up to €3, and it will stash the 40 cent into a separate vault. You can have multiple vaults for holiday funds, special occasions etc.


 

Sign up here
 

 

 

3. Hotel Tonight

Over 285,000 people have given the Hotel Tonight app a 4.9 out of 5 rating – so you really don’t need to look elsewhere if you are searching for a last minute hotel. It will allow you to book hotels up to seven days in advance. Because it specialises in last minute bookings, it tends to get great prices direct from hotels with empty rooms available. This is a great app to use if you are travelling to multiple countries or cities on one trip, and happen to be booking hotels as you go. It’s categories are pretty cool too, you can search basic, hip, luxe, charming and high-roller hotels.  

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Download from App Store

 

Download from Google Play Store
 

 

 

4. Google Translate:

I love Google Translate, it can translate over 100 different languages within seconds. You don’t even have to type the words anymore! You can translate text by using the camera on your phone, or have a conversation with a local by speaking into your phone. If a restaurant doesn’t have an English menu, its not a problem, simply point the camera on your phone at the menu and Google Translate will translate it for you. Google Translate works offline too, just download the language packs from the country you are travelling to before you go. Google Translate is without a doubt one of the world’s best travel apps.

google translate travel apps

 

Download from Google Play Store

 

Download from App Store
 

 

 

5. Timeshifter – The Jet Lag App

I am often asked about cures for jet lag and I usually reply with the same answers: set your watch to the destination time the minute you take off, and drink plenty of water. However, I now have another tip to add to my list! I recently discovered the Timeshifter travel app. Timeshifter was developed by world-renowned scientists and appears to have excellent results in reducing jet lag. You can create your own personalised plan, depending on your age, regular sleep patterns, length of flight etc. The developers are so convinced that it will work that they offer your first plan free – so why not give it a try?

jet lag app

 

See more here
 

 

 

6. Google maps

Officially the world’s top rated travel app, I like most people, have used Google Maps for years. However it wasn’t until recently I realised how much information is actually available to us. Did you know that there is an ‘Explore’ tab at the bottom of the map, that tells you about unknown places favoured by locals? When you are searching for an individual restaurant or museum, you can also check the google reviews, see photos from fellow travellers, opening times, and even prices.
 

 

 
I used to find it awkward using Google Maps when walking. I found myself turning my phone upside down, trying to figure out the correct way to go. Not anymore! With Google Maps new ‘Live View’ function, augmented reality (AR) will guide you in the right direction with arrows and directions. I used this recently in Palma and it was terrific.

google maps live view travel apps

Don’t make the common mistake and forget to download a map in advance of travel. Maps can be used offline, so you don’t need to use your data roaming. I even find this useful when travelling in Ireland, as there are places outside the big cities where the network coverage is poor, so having an offline map can be a Godsend. 

Download from Google Play Store

 

Download from App Store
 

 

 

7. XE Currency converter

We have gotten so used to travelling within the Eurozone, and most of us are aware of the approximate rate of the US Dollar, so we rarely think about currencies anymore. But what happens if you are visiting China or Japan, or maybe European countries that are not in the Eurozone, like Switzerland or Iceland? Trying to figure out the currency conversion can be quiet frustrating, especially if you are in a hurry to pay for something.
 

 

 
A classic mistake when travelling in a strange country is getting ripped off by the airport taxi driver, or giving an outlandish tip to the luggage porter, mainly because you are unsure of how much you are actually handing over. This has happened to tourists all over the world, including myself. Inevitably you are tired after travelling and are unaware of the currency exchange. It is only when you arrive at your hotel you realise that you have paid way too much.  The XE currency converter is a great app to have on your phone. You can convert currencies in seconds and use it offline too, as it saves the last updated exchange rates.

currency converter travel apps

 

Download from Google Play Store

 

Download from App Store
 

 

 

8. TripIt

TripIt is the world’s highest rated travel organising app. As soon as you book a flight, hotel or car, forward the email to plans@tripit.com and it will be added to a master itinerary. You won’t have to search your emails, WhatsApp messages, calendars or anything else – they will all be stored in the one place.  

If you upgrade to TripIt Pro, it is like a personal travel agent. It will advise you when you leave for the airport, send real time alerts if flight times or gate numbers are changed, and even let you know how long security queues are!  

tripit travel app

Download from Google Play Store

 

Download from App Store
 

 

 

9. UBER

Travelling in a strange country can be daunting. Using UBER instead of local taxis will give you a great sense of security. It is available in over 500 cities around the world – check if it is available in the city you are visiting here. Not only are all taxis tracked, but you will see your driver’s picture and car details before he arrives. You can pay with credit card, pay pal, apple pay, or cash. You will automatically be sent a receipt by email and be asked to rate your driver, which means drivers are usually on their best behaviour.

uber travel app

 

Download from Google Play Store

 

Download from App Store
 

 

 

10. TripAdvisor

We are all familiar with TripAdvisor, but how many of you are familiar with the app? As well as checking reviews for restaurants, bars, hotels etc, the ‘Near Me’ function will help you find highly rated places close to you.  You can also see if any of your friends have visited a particular place and if they recommend it. TripAdvisor also offers deals on hotels, tours and attractions and you can book directly via the app.

best travel apps

 

Download from Google Play Store

 

Download from App Store
 

 

11. Netflix 

Ok, so Netflix is a household name, but you would be surprised how many people pay the monthly subscription but don’t download movies or their favourite shows to watch online. You can download anything you see on your regular TV at home, on to your phone or tablet (make sure you do it using WiFi) and then watch them on the plane, train, or even in your hotel room. Having Netflix on your device, makes travelling long distances painless.

netflix for travelling

 

Download from Google Play Store

 

Download from App Store
 

 

 

12. WhatsApp Messenger

If you don’t already have WhatsApp – download it now! Use to to make free calls, send free texts, even pictures when you are abroad. It uses your phones network connection, so once you are in a WiFi zone there will be no charges. It can also be a useful tool for group texts, both at home and abroad. 

travel apps

 

Download from Google Play Store

 

Download from App Store
 

 

 

13. Audible

Audible is the highest rated books app in the App Store. Owned by Amazon, it is the the audio version of the Kindle app. I personally suffer from travel sickness if I read in a car or bus, so I would prefer to listen to an audio book than read a paper book or kindle. I also like to look out the window when I am travelling and take in the local scenery. You can do this while listening to an audio book. Audible will give you your first audio book free. After that you pay per book, or you can join their various subscription services.

audible travel apps

 

Download from Google Play Store

 

Download from App Store
 

 

 

14. Groupon

Groupon is a well-known shopping website, but did you know that they have deals in countries all over the world? Get deals on hotels, restaurants and activities in your chosen city – some with up to 70% off retail prices.  At the time of publication, I found shopping deals to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets from New York. The return bus journey is usually $42 but it is only $27 now on Groupon – a saving of 35%!

using travel apps to save on shopping

 

See more here
 

 

 

15. Google Drive

Store images of your passport, travel documents and photos in Google Drive, so you can access them anywhere in the world. They are backed up safely so you can’t loose them. You can also share your folders with friends, partners etc. Google accounts get 15GB of free storage across Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos, but you can opt for premium plan with larger storage space if you wish. 

passport

 

Download from Google Play Store

 

Download from App Store

 

Like Travel Tips? See more here.

 

 

 
Note some of the links in my favourite travel apps post contain affiliate links, where I receive a small payment if a booking / purchase is made, but with no additional cost to you.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

Travel

Collect Double Avios On All Holidays With Aer Lingus Booked in October!

Aer-Lingus-A330-Render-View44B-HR-Sml-compressor

Book a 2019 or 2020 holiday or city break before October 31st, through Holidays With Aer Lingus, and receive Double Avios! I’ve picked city breaks from €198, sun holidays from €248, New York getaways from €546, and cruise holidays from €799!

 

I have teamed up with Holidays With Aer Lingus to tell you about their Double Avios promotion, which is available on all bookings made during the month of October. You can book beach holidays, city breaks, USA getaways, and cruises – and collect double Avios at the same time! Normally when you book through Holidays With Aer Lingus, you collect one Avios for every €1 you spend, but if you book by 31st October, you will receive two Avios for every €1 you spend. 

collect avios with holidays with aer lingus

Holidays With Aer Lingus has a wide selection of offers on its website and I have listed some of my favourites below. If you are looking to travel in 2020, you may also be able to avail of their super €1 deposit. This is eligible for bookings made more than 10 weeks in advance of departure, to the UK, Europe or the Canary Islands, including Aer Lingus flights. See full terms and conditions here.

   

Sun Holidays With Aer Lingus – 7 Night Deals from €248pps

Aer Lingus flies daily to Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands, so a sun holiday is always possible, regardless of the time of year. Holidays With Aer Lingus has some great winter sun breaks, including seven nights in the 4-star Beatriz Playa Hotel in Lanzarote on 29th November for only €471 per person sharing. This includes breakfast and evening meal each day, and return airport transfers. 

aer lingus holidays to lanzarote

View offer here

 

The Balaia Atlantico Apartments in the Algarve is another popular choice, and Holidays With Aer Lingus is offering a seven-night stay on a bed & breakfast basis, with return airport transfers included, from only €248 per person sharing, departing 24th March. 

holidays with aer lingus to the algarve

View offer here

 

European City Breaks With Aer Lingus – 3 Night breaks from €198pps

Holidays With Aer Lingus has many city break deals too. I have chosen a city break to Prague for only €198 per person sharing departing 3rd November as one of my highlights. You will be staying in the 4-star Kinsky Garden, which is ideally located just 10-minutes walk to Charles Bridge. Price includes Aer Lingus flights and a three-night stay on a bed & breakfast basis.

weekend break to prague with aer lingus

View offer here

 

If you are looking to try somewhere different for your Christmas market break this year, why not take a trip to Venice on 8th December? Price of only €199 per person sharing includes Aer Lingus flights and a three-night stay in the centrally located Pausania Hotel with breakfast.

venice city break with aer lingus

View offer here

 

USA Holidays With Aer Lingus – New York breaks from €554pps, Orlando from €599pps

Holidays With Aer Lingus offer great package deals to New York, Orlando and even Las Vegas. I have chosen a three-night stay in the centrally located New York ROW Hotel, which is only €554 per person based on two sharing, departing 27th February. An ideal Christmas gift perhaps?

 

 
 
 
 
 
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View offer here

 

Release your inner Harry Potter and visit the theme park capital of the world – Orlando. Enjoy a seven-night stay in the 4-star Holiday Inn Orlando for only €599 departing 28th January, based on two sharing.  

orlando direct flights with aer lingus

View offer here

 

Family Holidays With Aer Lingus – Disneyland Paris & New York Deals

Holidays With Aer Lingus is offering super Disneyland Paris breaks with park tickets included. I spotted this great deal, departing 2nd February. Price of €1553 includes Aer Lingus flights and a four-night stay in the Disney Santa Fe Hotel, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. 

 

View offer here

 

Want to bring the kids to New York during the Easter Holidays? Enjoy a three-night stay in the 4-star Westin Hotel, for only €2595, based 0n two adults and two children sharing, departing 16th April. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert) on

 

View offer here

 

Cruise Holidays With Aer Lingus – 7-Night Fly-cruise deals from €799pps

Did you know that Holidays With Aer Lingus sells cruise holidays too? There are cruise specialists waiting by the phone, on 01 539 7799, to recommend the right cruise for you. You can also find some great cruise deals on the Holidays With Aer Lingus website. Choose an 11-night winter Mediterranean cruise for only €799, visiting Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Israel. Price includes flights from Dublin, 10kg carry-on bag, return transfers, 11-night cruise, meals and entertainment.

cruise holidays with aer lingus

If you are planning a cruise for next summer, stay in a balcony stateroom on the brand new Enchanted Princess when it cruises the Med from Athens to Barcelona, visiting favourites such as Santorini and Sicily. Price of €1599 includes flights from Dublin, checked-in bag, return transfers, seven-night cruise, meals and entertainment, departing 18th July.    

See more here

 

How to collect Avios when booking through Holidays With Aer Lingus

Simply enter your AerClub membership number when you book online, or advise the Holidays With Aer Lingus travel consultant if you are booking by phone, on 01 539 7799. Avios will be credited to your AerClub account once you have travelled. Avios are issued and redeemed in accordance with AerClub Terms & Conditions, click here for more details.
 

How to spend Avios

Once you collect Avios by booking through Holidays With Aer Lingus, there are many ways to spend them. You can use them to pay for reward flights, hotels, car hire, and travel experiences. You can also use them to upgrade from Economy Class to Business Class, or part-pay for Aer Lingus flights. So even if you have only accumulated 400 Avios, you can use them to get a discount off your next Aer Lingus flight.

avios with aer lingus

How to get started

The easiest way to get started is to join AerClub, the Aer Lingus loyalty programme. It is so easy to join, simply click here. Once you join AerClub, you will enjoy the benefits of being part of a global network of partners and you can pay for flights with Avios. For anyone who is not familiar with Avios, read my first post about how to get flights and upgrades with Avios points or my beginners guide to AerClub and start your journey now.

 

 

This post on how to collect Double Avios through Holidays With Aer Lingus was sponsored by Avios, but all views, as always are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 
Travel Tips

What To Do If You Miss Your Flight

travel gadgets airport

Miss your flight? Don’t panic. Check out my top tips to get you to your destination as soon as possible, and hopefully without much additional cost.

 

It’s your worst nightmare. You spend months organising, preparing and even packing for your important break away, and in a split second your dreams are shattered. Maybe your alarm doesn’t go off, or you get stuck in a traffic jam, or maybe you miss a connecting flight through no fault of your own. Hopefully my handy tips on what to do, will help alleviate some of the stress caused when you miss your flight.  

what to do if you miss your flight
 

Contact the airline or your travel agent immediately.

If you are lucky enough to have booked with a travel agent, they should be your first port of call. Hopefully they will be able to find you an alternative flight as soon as possible. They may even have a contact in the airline and be able to change your flight without a penalty.
 

 

 
If you have booked directly with the airline, call them immediately. Try to get a number for your airlines ticket desk at the airport. The airport staff usually have more lee-way when it comes to waiving change fees than the average reservations agent at a call centre.
 

 

 
If you have managed to make it to the airport but are too late for your flight, go straight to the ticket desk and explain your circumstances in a calm, collected manner – the odd tear might help too! Appeal to their better nature, remember you have missed your flight and want them to help you. Now is not the time to rant about your airlines policy of closing the gate too early.

what to do if you miss your flight

 

Check your travel insurance policy.

Some travel insurance policies will cover you for Missed Departure. Multitrip.com’s Premier Plus travel insurance policy will cover you for up to €1000 in reasonable accommodation and travel expenses, depending on the reason you missed your flight. If, for instance, your hired car broke down or there was an accident on the motorway which caused an unexpected delay, these could be adequate reasons.
 

 

 
As a general rule of thumb,  you would need to persuade the insurance company that the reason you missed your flight was completely beyond your control – so needless to say ‘sleeping it out’ wouldn’t be covered! Adverse weather conditions and strikes are also covered if you have travel disruption cover. See my post on why you should add travel insurance disruption cover to your insurance policy here.
 
TopTip: If you are changing your travel plans and extending your return date, make sure you advise your travel insurance provider of your new travel dates.

what to do if you miss your flight
 

 

 

Don’t pay for new flights without checking alternatives.

If you are unable to persuade your airline to change your ticket free of charge, check alternative flight costs before agreeing a change fee. You may find it is cheaper to book a one-way flight with an alternative airline. Skyscanner show same day flight availability with multiple airlines.
 


 
TopTip: If you manage to re-book an alternative flight with a different airline, make sure your original return flight is not cancelled. It is very important that you advise your original airline that you will be using your return flight.
 

 

 

What to do if you miss your flight connection due to a flight delay.

The answer to this depends on how your flight was booked. If you booked two separate reservations and the first flight was delayed, resulting in a missed connection, you will need to follow all of the above rules. 
 

 

 
If, however, you have booked connecting flights under one reservation and you miss your connection, it is the airlines responsibility to book you on the next available flight without any additional cost to you. You are also entitled to accommodation and meal expenses if necessary. See my blog on what to do if your flight is cancelled or delayed here. 

missed flight connection
 

 

 

Contact your hotel and airport transfer company.

Once you have a new flight booked, contact your hotel and airport transfer company to let them know of your new arrival time. If you are not going to travel, cancel your hotel as soon as possible. You may be entitled to a refund of some of your hotel cost.

 

 

Relax in the airport lounge

Now that the panic is over and you have a new flight to look forward to, book into the airport lounge while you wait for your next flight. Many airports have a general lounge that you can pay to access, such as Dublin Airport who charge €25 for up to three hours. Sit back, relax and enjoy some complimentary refreshments!

what to do if you miss your flight
 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

Travel

How to Convert SuperValu Real Rewards Points to Avios

Supervalu Avios

Convert SuperValu Real Rewards points and Money Back Vouchers to Avios and get planning your next break away.

 

I am a regular SuperValu shopper and love that by shopping there, I can boost my Avios balance. I collect Real Rewards points when I shop in SuperValu, but I never use them to pay for my groceries. I convert my Real Rewards points to Avios instead. Did you know that one Real Rewards point equals one Avios? It is so easy to convert SuperValu Real Rewards points to Avios. You can convert them on the SuperValu Real Rewards app or on the SuperValu website in minutes. You can convert as little as 50 Real Rewards points or wait until your Money Back Vouchers arrive in the post and convert them all at the one time.

See more here

 

SuperValu have just posted out their Money Back Vouchers so the timing couldn’t be better to convert them to Avios.  You can collect 1000 Avios for every 1000 Real Rewards points or €10 Money Back Voucher that you convert. You need to convert your Money Back vouchers online and you can use the SuperValu Real Rewards app to convert Real Rewards points.

convert supervalu real rewards to avios

 

How to convert SuperValu Real Rewards and Money Back Vouchers to Avios

I have just converted my SuperValu Money Back Vouchers to Avios on the SuperValu website – this took 47 seconds! Watch my video to see how easy it is. Once you are logged in to your account, just follow follow along with the video below.  


 

How to spend Avios

So the big question is once you convert SuperValu Real Rewards points to Avios, what do you spend them on? There are many ways to spend Avios. Once you accumulate Avios, you can use these to pay for reward flights, hotels, car hire and travel experiences. You can also use them to upgrade from economy to business class or part-pay for Aer Lingus flights. So even if you have only accumulated 400 Avios, you can use these to get a discount off your next Aer Lingus flight.

convert supervalu money back vouchers to pay for aer lingus flights

For those of you who have been following me on my journey, I am delighted to say that I have accumulated 75,000 Avios now! My husband and I can now avail of business class upgrades the next time we fly to New York – I just need someone to mind my kids! Most of my Avios were collected by shopping and taking advantage of the many promotions that Avios run during the year – such as this one! For anyone who is not familiar with Avios, read my first post about how to get flights and upgrades with Avios points or my beginners guide to AerClub and start your journey now.

how to convert SuperValu real rewards points to avios

How to get started

If you are a SuperValu shopper but are new to Avios simply join AerClub, the Aer Lingus loyalty programme. It is so easy to join, simply click here. Once you join AerClub, you will enjoy the benefits of being part of a global network of partners and you can pay for flights with Avios. 


 

This post on how to convert SuperValu Real Rewards points to Avios was sponsored by Avios, but all views, as always are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

 
AmericaEuropeTravel TipsTraveling With Kids

15 Top Tips and Tricks for Visiting Theme Parks

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I have visited many theme parks, thankfully without enduring massive queues or spending a fortune. Check out my top tips for visiting theme parks and maybe you can too.

 

1. Book your tickets in advance

This may sound obvious but booking tickets in advance is one of the top tips for visiting theme parks! Tickets are ALWAYS dearer at the entrance to a theme park, and you won’t have to queue. Attraction Tickets.com have the LOWEST theme park ticket rates on the web, with free delivery and no credit card fees 😎
 
Attraction Tickets.com also offer many combination tickets that are not available to buy at the gate. You may get 2 days for the price of 1, or get discounted tickets to multiple theme parks, that are only available on their website. 
 

2. Research, research research.

I can’t stress this enough. You WON’T be able to go on every ride, no matter how fit you are, or how small the theme park is. Check the height and or age restrictions before you go, so you can rule out rides that are not applicable for your children. Not only will this save you time, but by preparing your kids in advance you may avoid any upset, if they are too small to go on a top attraction.

top tips for visiting theme parks
Mark the attractions that are ‘must see’ and go for them first. Check the times of shows or parades and decide what you want to see. Rides are usually quieter during parades, so bear that in mind if the parade is repeated and take advantage.
 

 

 

3. Parking tips:

Before you decide to drive, check the price of the parking. In some cases it can be exorbitant. It may be quicker and cheaper to take a shuttle bus or UBER to the park. If you do decide to drive, take note of where you parked. You will probably arrive at the park early, when the car park may be somewhat empty. Leaving however is a different story, so if you don’t know you where you parked your car, you could be in for a long night…
 

 

 

4. Bring supplies.

tips for visiting theme parks

If there are water rides, bring swim suits, and if you don’t want to get wet bring a poncho. A waterproof casing for your phone is also a good idea, as is a powerbank for your phone. You will probably take hundreds of pictures so you will want to re-charge it.
 

 

 
Bring snacks, they will come in handy when you are waiting in line for a long time, and will be a lot cheaper than buying snacks in the park. Most parks also have free water dispensers so I suggest bringing your own water bottle.
 

 

 
A lightweight back pack is ideal as sunglasses and phones are not allowed on some of the fast rollercoasters. Most parks have lockers available, take advantage of this rather than carrying a bag around all day. If travelling during the summer time – don’t forget your sunscreen!
 

 

 

5. Arrange a meeting place if you get lost.

Hopefully this won’t happen, but having a meeting place pre-arranged will alleviate some of the stress if you manage to get separated from your friends of family. Remember there will be rides that only some of the family will go on, and on some occasions the rides finish in a completely different place to where they started from. Having a meeting place is essential.
 

 

 

6. Plan your route

tips for visiting theme parks

Don’t follow the herd. Most people tend to turn right when they go into a theme park. Why not go anti-clockwise, or go to the rear of the park and work your way towards the entrance. Another good option is to go straight for the rides that you really want to go on.
 

 

 
The most popular rides will have the longest queues, so go on them first when you have more energy and don’t mind queueing. Trust me, this is a much better than standing in line for an hour at 5pm with exhausted children.
 

 

 

7. Check out express passes / fast track

Express passes vary from park to park. Disneyland Paris for instance has a great ‘free’ fast pass system. You simply go to a ride and get a time slot for later that day, then come back to a shorter queue. Other theme parks are not so good, or indeed free.
 

 

 
Fast pass tickets in some parks can be a Godsend if you are travelling during peak season, and if you want to go on the most popular rollercoasters. If however, you happen to be travelling off peak and/or you have small children who are unable to go on the big rides, they may be a waste of money. Fast passes in many parks are not valid on the top attractions, make sure you check each park for their individual offering.
 

 

 

8. Use the single rider lanes

tips for visiting portaventura

There may be one or two people in your group who want to try the fast coasters. Make use of the single lanes where there is usually little or no queue. It may mean that you wont be able to sit next to your partner, but you may be seated in the row behind them, and if that means saving a half hour in the queue, it might be worth it!
 

 

 

9. Use the baby swap.

The baby swap facility is not available in all theme parks, but if you see it – take advantage. They are used primarily for people who are travelling with a small child. You all queue together, one person stays with the baby in a room at the top of the queue, while the other goes on the ride. When your partner is finished the ride, you simply swap places.
 

 

 

10. Go at night time

tips for visiting theme parks
Not only are queues way shorter at night-time, but many parks offer discounted tickets for evening visits. You may also catch a parade or fireworks display.
 

 

 

11. Bring ID

This is one of the top tips for visiting theme parks in America. You have to have picture identification if you want to buy alcohol, regardless of what age you are in America. A nice cold beer after an exhilarating (or terrifying) ride might be needed, so make sure you bring ID with you.
 

 

 

12. Consider staying in one of the theme park hotels for a few nights.

tips for visiting universal studios

Many theme parks including Universal Studios, Disney World and Disneyland Paris have hotels on site. These can be handy if you are planning on spending a lot of time in these particular parks. You will usually have early access to the park before the general public, so you can go on top attractions without large queues.
 

 

 
It can also be handy at night time for dining options, and for easy access to the park for firework displays, parades or shows. Some of Universal’s top hotels include express passes in your stay.

Read: My top things to do in Universal Studios Orlando
 

 

 

13. Check the shows are in English

We got caught out in Disneyland Paris when we queued for 45 minutes for the French version of Frozen! Many shows in theme parks are shown in different languages. Make sure the show you are planning your day around, is the English version. Sometimes there is a small icon on the park guide showing which language the show is in, failing that, check in with the information centre beforehand.
 

 

 

14. Pre-purchase Disney’s Fast Pass+ and Memory Maker.

tips for visiting theme parks - disneyworld

Disney’s Fast Pass+ allows you to pre-book your favourite rides and attractions online before you go. This is automatically included with Disney tickets purchased through Attraction Tickets.com. Similarly Disney’s ‘memory maker’ which normally costs $199 is free if you buy your Disney tickets through Attraction Tickets.com. This allows you to keep ALL photographs that are taken of you in the park.
 

 

 

15. Download the App

Many theme parks have their own free apps with tips for visiting theme parks, as well as wait times for rides, showtimes and availability in restaurants. Download the app before you go.
 

 

 
Remember to pre book your theme park tickets through Attraction Tickets.com , who have the LOWEST theme park ticket rates on the web, with free delivery and no credit card fees. If you prefer to book by phone or are confused about what tickets to buy, why not call the expert staff in Attraction Tickets Dublin office. They are open from 9am-9pm, 7 days a week, call free on 1800 936 640. All they sell is theme park tickets and hotels, so they know all the theme parks inside out.

 

I hope you enjoyed my top tips for visiting theme parks. If you have any to add, just comment in the box below I would love to hear them.  This post was sponsored by Attraction Tickets.com but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Like this post? You may like:

 

The best tickets to buy for PortAventura

The best tickets to buy in Orlando

10 things to know about Universal Orlando before you book

 

Sarah

 

 

 

Travel Tips

How To Save Money On Aer Lingus Checked Baggage

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I love a good travel-hack but this one has to be one of my favourites! Read on to see how to save money on Aer Lingus checked baggage.

 

When I travel to Europe I like to fly with Aer Lingus, but one thing that I don’t like, is the price of Aer Lingus checked baggage. When travelling alone I usually travel light and bring cabin baggage, but when travelling with kids, I like to check in cases and let them bring their own luggage too.

aer lingus checked baggage
 

 

 
We, like many families usually opt for two 20kg checked bags between us. If travelling mid-haul to places like Spain, Portugal etc the cost is €80 return for a 20kg checked bag, so the total is €160 for two bags. If travelling to the Canary Islands the cost is even higher, at €110 return per checked bag, therefore €220 for two bags.
 

aer lingus checked baggage to lanzarote
 

 

 
Now prepare to be amazed….
 

This is how you how to save money on Aer Lingus checked baggage!

 
Instead of selecting one 20kg bag per person, select 40kg checked baggage under one name. The cost changes from €160 to €140 on mid-haul routes and €220 to €170 on longer flights. That’s a saving of €50 if you are travelling to the Canary Islands, simply by using this travel-hack!

aer lingus checked baggage

You will see that it clearly shows that the 40kg you have selected is to be made up of two 20kg bags. This is exactly the same as if you selected them separately, only they are both allocated to one passenger instead of two! It is such a great travel hack but I’m bet you are wondering how you never spotted it before?
 
Book Aer Lingus flight here
 

 

5 More tips to save money on checked baggage fees:

 

Invest in a lightweight cabin-sized bag.

Try to bring hand-luggage only. Invest in the lightest case on the market! As soon as the kids are old enough, ditch the trunkies and buy them one too. I have a samsonite light-shock cabin case and I love it. It is super light but the frame is expandable so I can fit much more into this case, than cases of similar size.
 

 

 
I find if I am travelling to hot climates where jackets and boots are not needed, I manage easily to travel with only this case. I have a portable luggage scales and I bring it with me to avoid any worries that my case might be over-weight on the return. You can buy them for less than €10.

travel gadgets
 

 

 

Purchase sun-creams and toiletries in the airport once you pass through security.

One of the main reasons people purchase checked baggage is because you cannot bring liquids more than 100ml in size in your hand luggage. However with Aer Lingus new cabin bag policy, you can check in your cabin bag for free, which means you can bring liquids with you, once you check in your bag.
 

 

 
If you need to bring you bag on board with you, you will pay up to €8.99 for the privilege. If you are going on a sun holiday you can pick up sun creams in Boots once you pass through security. Simply slot them into your hand luggage before boarding and avoid the hassle at security.
 

 

 

Select different cabin-baggage on your outbound and inbound flights.

If travelling to places where you are likely to be doing a lot of shopping, select a 15kg checked bag on your outward journey and a 25kg checked bag on your return journey. Similarly if you are planning a Christmas shopping break to the USA you can select add an extra suitcase to your booking for the return journey only.

aer lingus checked baggage
 

 

 

Always book checked baggage online.

Most airlines charge much higher rates if you book baggage at the airport, so always make sure you have your baggage booked before you go. Some airlines charge more if you add on bags at a later stage, so if possible try to book baggage at the time of booking.
 

 

 

Check airlines baggage policies when booking flights.

More and more airlines are not including checked baggage in their cheapest airfares, but some still do. Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and many others have generous baggage allowances, while some low-cost carriers even charge for hand luggage.

It is important to check with the airline before you book, in some cases it might be better value to flying with a premium airline.

my review of turkish airlines
 

 

 
I hope this guide, how to save money on Aer Lingus checked baggage, and I hope it will see you saving lots of money on upcoming trips! Let me know in the comments below if you do.

 

Like this post? You might like my top 10 travel hacks here.

 

See more travel tips here.

 

 

 
Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 

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