travel tips

CruisesTravel Tips

Cruise Connection Cover – Travel Insurance for Cruise Holidays

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Booking a cruise holiday? Make sure you have cruise connection cover, the travel insurance for cruise holidays.  


Cruising is one of the travel industries hottest trends, with 18 new oceangoing cruise ships launched this year alone. It seems that cruise holidays are growing at a rate of knots – no pun intended! The way travellers book cruise holidays has changed too, so it is vital that we have the right travel insurance for cruise holidays.


Many cruisers don’t necessarily book a ‘cruise package’, with flights and transfers included. Cruise-only prices are advertised with all cruise lines, and savvy travellers think nothing of booking a weeks cruise around the Med, and then searching for flights to coincide with it. While there is nothing wrong with doing this per se, it is important that we realise that if you miss your flight due to adverse weather, strikes, or because of a flight delay, the cruise company, well to put it bluntly, won’t really care… Unfortunately they wont ask 5000 passengers to wait until you arrive at the embarkation point.  

travel insurance for cruise holidays


Ireland’s leading travel insurance provider,, were quick to spot the growing cruise trend and the need for specific travel insurance for cruise holidays. They are now offering cruise connection cover as an add-on to all of their travel insurance policies.


The beauty of having cruise connection cover is this; if you have booked a cruise holiday but happen to miss your flight to the original cruise embarkation point, will cover you for reasonable travel and accommodation expenses to meet your cruise’s next embarkation point. Similarly if your cruise fails to meet its intended disembarkation, you will be covered for any reasonable travel and accommodation expenses incurred to get you home.

travel insurance for cruise holidays


We all know that flights can be delayed at any time, but we are also in an unfortunate age of air-strikes, airline failures and adverse weather conditions, so having the right travel insurance for cruise holidays is vital.
It is also important to bear in mind that if you are booking a cruise holiday with a travel agency, they may be booking the cruise and flights separately, so it is important that you ask your travel agent to add cruise connection cover to your travel insurance policy.


At the time of issue, the add-on fee with was just €12 to a single-trip travel insurance policy or €20 for a yearly policy. A small amount that could save you a fortune in the long run…

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For more details visit or see your local travel agent.


Like Travel Tips? See more here.


Other posts that may be of interest:


What does travel insurance cover?

Top tips for booking travel insurance

5 Reasons why we need travel insurance





The Travel Expert



Family HolidaysTravel Tips

Top Tips for Travelling With Kids

airport with children

Travelling with kids for the first time? Check out my top tips to help make your journey a little easier.

I spent over 20 years as a travel agent and saw many different family dynamics. From parents bringing their baby away for the first time, to families where the five year olds dictate the holiday agenda, as well the families with teens – which are probably the hardest to please! I picked up lots of tips for travelling with kids along the way – I hope they help you with your travel plans.


1. Choose the right holiday for you

travelling with kids

Discuss what type of holiday you want with your partner. Many parents book the top family complexes because they think it is necessary, however, a kids pool may be all you need.

Kid clubs can be handy, but many only accept children from age 3, you may need a specific club or crèche that caters for babies and toddlers. If travelling with an infant, ask yourself are you going to leave your baby in a crèche? – many parents don’t even use the facilities on offer.


When your children are older, you may need to book the best family complexes, where slides in the pool and mini discos will be the best part of your child’s holiday, but while you children are young, take advantage while you can, and book the holiday you want.
When you kids are older, talk to them, ask them what they want from a holiday. There will be times where kids clubs are no longer considered cool, and may children prefer a pool to the beach.

Read: 12 top waterpark holidays in Europe for families


I love bringing my children on city breaks but sightseeing in 40 degree heat is not ideal. If there is a pool or beach on their doorstep, they probably won’t want to leave it! A swimming pool with slides or a waterpark nearby is ideal, but in many cases the most important thing for teens is having fast free WiFi!



2. Check airlines baggage allowance


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Many airlines allow you to bring a buggy / stroller as well as one piece of equipment, i.e car seat, booster seat or travel cot, separate to your baggage allowance. Aer Lingus insist that infants cabin baggage must be included in your own allowance, while Ryanair allow an additional 5kg, free of charge if travelling on an adult’s lap.

Airlines baggage policy, child’s meals and seat requests all vary, so when travelling with kids, it is important to check with the airline you are flying with.



3. Top tips for travelling with kids on flights

travelling with kids on airplanes

With the exception of the crawling age (usually 7 – 12 months), travelling with babies and toddlers on airplanes should not be a big ordeal. In most cases they will have a nap, and once you bring plenty of snacks and toys to keep them entertained, it is usually fairly straightforward.


When planning European holidays, make sure you research airport transfer times. Many people choose to book short flights to top family destinations such as Majorca or the Algarve (two and a half hours), but then spend two hours on a coach to get to their resort. In most cases it is easier on children to spend four hours on a plane to destinations like the Canary Islands, where you may only have a short 10 minute transfer time to your accommodation.


Flight times are important too. Ideally choose times when your children are likely to sleep, or alternatively be wide awake to enjoy the flight comfortably. If travelling on a long haul flight, the inflight movies will be a novelty, and it may surprise you how easily children adapt. Make sure to prebook a bassinet for infants under 6 months.


If you are flying to the USA, try to fly direct if you can afford it. Alternatively check prices with a stop in the USA en route to your destination. For example if flying to Orlando, check prices with a stop in New York, rather than travelling via the UK. Flying directly to the USA from Dublin or Shannon airports will allow you to clear customs before you depart. This means when you land in the US you are treated like a domestic passenger, so you wont have to queue to clear customs when you arrive.

Read: Top travel tips for long flights


4. Ditch the trunkis

lightweight luggage

There are many great travel tips for travelling with kids, but one of my favourites is to invest in lightweight hand luggage so you don’t have to pay to check in bags. As well as expensive baggage fees –  a 20kg checked bag to the Canary Islands costs up to €110 in peak season, there is also the added advantage of not having to worry about your loosing your luggage!


Get rid of the trunkis as soon as your children are able to wheel heavier cases. Kids like wheeling their own cases anyway, and if you invest in the best lightweight suitcase available, you can save a fortune on checked baggage charges.

travelling with kids

I tell my children they can bring whatever fits in their case, this usually works out well when packing! Buy a portable luggage scales and bring it with you to avoid any stress thinking your luggage may be over weight. You can buy them for less than €15.



5. Travelling with kids on city breaks:

city breaks with kids

If travelling on a city break with young children, choose an early flight home. Once you have checked out of the hotel, the kids will just want to go home and you will spend a fortune trying to amuse them on the last day. The €30 saving you thought you made by coming back on the later flight, believe me, you will spend it twice over.

For city breaks where there is a lot of walking involved, buy a cheap fold up scooter. Depending on your weight allowance, leave it behind you if necessary.


Try to fit some sightseeing in the morning while the kids are fresh and plan an activity for them in the afternoon – a visit to a park, zoo. or kids attraction is ideal. Give them maps and let them help plan the day.


My kids bring cameras with them and enjoy taking pictures and selfies. Encourage them to take selfies in front of famous landmarks, they can show them to their friends or teachers when they get home.

Read:  Check out my top 10 city breaks for families here.



6. Bring lots of supplies when travelling with kids

Verbatim 49160 MediaShare Mini Wireless MicroSD Card Reader Black Computers Accessories
If travelling on an airplane with babies or toddlers, make sure you plenty of snacks. Children are always hungrier when they travel. I suggest bringing twice the amount you think will you need, in case of delays. A new toy or colouring / activity / sticker book is also a good idea and whatever you do, don’t forget wipes and a change of clothes!

Read: Top tips for travelling with babies and toddlers


Download movies or the kids favourite TV shows on to tablets or phones before you go, and bring head phones. A powerful power bank is also a must – there is bound to be a device that needs to be charged.



7. Email the hotel before you go


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Try to avoid bringing things you don’t need. Many hotels have baby equipment, so you may not have to bring your own. These are not always advertised in brochures, incase many families ask for buggies, sterilisers or bottle warmers at the same time.

Call or email the hotel before you go and ask them what equipment they have, and pre book it if possible. Ask for an early check-in or late check-out and a ground floor room, if that is your preference.



8. Make lists

Make a list of all things to do/bring and do this in the run up to the holiday and at your leisure. The night before the trip can be fairly hectic and something can be easily overlooked. That way you won’t arrive at your destination, having forgotten something. Make a checklist of the most important items that must come home too, so you know you won’t leave anything behind.



Like this post? You  might like these too:

Read: Top tips about travelling with babies and toddlers 

Read: 10 things to watch out for on holidays


Travel Tips

The Beginners Guide to AerClub – And Why You Should Join

shutterstock_aerclub -compressor

Would you shop in Boots without an Advantage card or Tesco without a Clubcard? So why fly with Aer Lingus without joining AerClub? Check out my beginners guide to AerClub below and find out why you should join! 

If you have booked an Aer Lingus flight within the last few years, you have probably been asked to join their frequent flyer programme, AerClub. I assuming if you haven’t joined AerClub yet, its because you thought you had to fly regularly with Aer Lingus to get the benefits. Believe me, you don’t! My beginners guide to AerClub will explain why.


Even if you have no plans to fly with Aer Lingus this year, you can still join AerClub, trust me, the benefits are worth the effort. Don’t worry if you have left it late to join, with this beginners guide to AerClub, you will be saving money off your next Aer Lingus flight in no time.

beginners guide to aerclub

The benefits of joining AerClub:

AerClub has over one million members. Avios is the travel reward currency of AerClub, which is also used by other international airlines such as British Airways & Iberia. As an AerClub member, you collect Avios points when you fly with Aer Lingus and their partner airlines, as well as with a range of other retail, travel and leisure partners.


Then you can use Avios to save money off Aer Lingus flights. Let’s use one of AerClub’s partners, Marks and Spencer, as an example.

If you spend €100 online with Marks and Spencer via the AerClub eStore, you will receive 400 Avios. The AerClub eStore is an online shopping portal, where you shop in the same way as you would normally shop online, but instead of searching directly on the Marks and Spencer website, you access it via the AerClub website.


There is no extra cost to you for shopping in this way. I should also point out that the 400 Avios that you will receive for spending €100 with Marks and Spencer online, is actually the M&S standard reward rate with Avios. During promotions this rate will be much higher.


You can then use these 400 Avios to save money off your next Aer Lingus flight. There is no filling out forms, no application necessary, simply select ‘Pay With Avios’ when booking an AerLingus flight on or via the Aer Lingus app. See more in this guide to AerClub and Avios in this short video.

See how to pay for flights with Avios here.





How to collect Avios

As well as collecting Avios when you fly with Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and other airlines, you can also collect Avios when shopping in Kildare Village ,Decathalon and online, via the AerClub eStore. I’m not talking about obscure boutiques, I mean your favourite retailers like M&S, ASOS, River Island, Apple, as well as Currys, Disney and JD Sports.


You can get Avios when you travel too, for example when you book car hire with Avis or Budget and also with a range of hotel partners. Fancy afternoon tea in the Merrion Hotel, or want to treat yourself in Appleby Jewellers? Yes you guessed it, these are all AerClub partners too! I accumulated over 100,000 Avios in this way and used them to upgrade my flight to Orlando this year.

See more ways to collect Avios here

See tips to boost your Avios balance here

beginners guide to aerclub



How 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 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.

See more ways to spend Avios here.

beginners guide to aerclub




How to Join AerClub

If by any chance you have not joined AerClub yet – now is your chance!  It is so easy to join, simply click here. By joining AerClub you will enjoy the benefits of being part of a global network of partners and you can pay for flights with Avios. You can also use Avios to pay for hotels, car hire and travel experiences.





Where can I see my membership number and Avios balancee.

Once you have joined AerClub, log in on with your username and password, where you will see your membership number, Tier Credits and Avios balance. You can also log in on the app to view your membership number and account details.

Note it can take up to four weeks for Avios to be shown on your balance, depending on where you have collected them. For hotels and car hire, your Avios will be added to your account after you have completed your booking.



What are AerClub Tier Credits?

As well as rewarding you with Avios, AerClub reward their frequent flyers with Tier Credits. Tier Credits are only given when you fly with Aer Lingus. If you can manage to collect 301 Tier Credits in one year, you will move from a Green Tier (the basic introductory level) to a Silver Tier and can avail of huge benefits, like business class check-in and even flight upgrades. 

See more tips and tricks to boost your AerClub Tier Credits here.


beginners guide to aer club


I hope that you enjoyed my beginners guide to AerClub and that it will help you to accumulate lots of Avios. This post was oroginally sponsored by Avios in 2019, so details are subject to change.



The Travel Expert


AmericaCity BreaksDestinationsEurope

The Best Cities for Christmas Shopping Breaks


Christmas shopping is always a good excuse for a getaway. You can even justify the cost of the trip, by the savings you make! From London to New York, Berlin to Barcelona, check out five of the best cities for Christmas shopping breaks and get planning!



London is one of the best cities for Christmas shopping and with great flight options from all Irish airports, you can fly over on Saturday morning, come home Sunday night and still have two full days shopping! With sterling low against the euro there has never been a better time to hit Oxford Street!


Oxford Street is over 2km in length, and has all the top high street stores, including Primark’s flagship store. It is also home to John Lewis (famous for its amazing Christmas adds) and Selfridges, both of which are worth going for their window displays alone. I also think it is nice to shop in places that we don’t have here in Ireland, at least there will be some unique gifts under the tree!


Covent Garden is a must for quirky souvenirs and trendy boutiques and Bond Street is the best for designer shopping. If the weather is against you, don’t worry, you can always pop into Westfield Shopping Centre. One of Europe’s largest shopping malls, this has 250 shops and 70 places to dine! Of course no visit to London would be complete without a trip to Harrods in Knightsbridge. 

Top 5 cities for Christmas shopping 
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Unlike some of Europe’s big shopping cities, Rome isn’t full of department stores. One of the great things I love are the boutiques. The Via del Corso has most of the familiar high street stores, but don’t neglect the side streets! You will find lots of Italian shoe shops, jewellery and clothing, at very reasonable prices and with different stock to what you will find at home.


Make sure you visit the Via Condotti too, you will see all the top designers here including Prada, Fendi, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace. If you are not in a position to purchase, don’t worry, it is worth going to window shop. Many shops still close at lunchtime from 1pm-3pm, so it’s the perfect city to enjoy some nice Italian food over a leisurely lunch. Save the sight seeing for night time when Rome’s remarkable buildings are illuminated for the Christmas season.
Rome Christmas Market
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New York

Without a doubt, New York is one of the world’s best cities for Christmas shopping. Watching the tree at Rockefeller centre illuminated with the ice skating rink in front, it is magical. I love wandering through Central Park in winter time and ogling at the window displays in Macys and Bloomingdales.


Plan to spend at least a half day in Macys, check out the bargains in Chinatown and visit the designer shops on Fifth Avenue. Early risers will enjoy Century 21 (opens from 7.30am) and the 24 hour Apple store. If you have time, take the trip to the outlets at Woodbury Common or Jersey Gardens.<

Top 5 cities for Christmas shopping

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Read: My Top 25 Things to do in New York




Contrary to what you might think, Barcelona is a great choice for Christmas shopping, it is home to over 35,000 shops! The pedestrianised Las Ramblas is one of the world’s most iconic streets. Witnessing the street artists perform and stopping for some tapas along the way, is all part of the Barcelona shopping experience.


Spanish brands like Zara, Desigual and Custo have flagship stores around Passeig de Gracia and Diagonal Mar, and prices are about 20% lower than in Ireland. If you are looking for some trendy boutiques, head for the Gothic quarter, and you will find some cool tapas bars here to stop for lunch too.
cities for christmas shopping
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A Christmas market break seems like the perfect way to see some of Europe’s top cities, while enjoying the festivities. There are so many cities to choose from, Budapest, Prague, Krakow or Vienna are amongst the favourites. However, Berlin has 50 different markets – staggering isn’t it? Enjoy some mulled wine and carol singers, as you shop the market stalls for hand made trinkets.


Of course Berlin now rivals Paris and Rome in the  shopping stakes, so make sure you check out Kurfurstendamm, Berlin’s longest boulevard, which is lined with high street stores and designer shops. With one of Europe’s largest selection of Christmas markets as well as top high street and designer shops, Berlin is one of Europe’s best cities for Christmas shopping. For more tips and tricks on visiting Berlin, check out my city guide to Berlin here.
Top 5 cities for Christmas shopping
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Check hotels here 


Like Christmas market breaks? See Europe’s top 10 Christmas markets here.

Like City breaks? See my best city break destinations here


The Travel Expert

Travel News and ReviewsTravel Tips

How to Pay For Flights With Avios


Hallelujah! You can now pay for flights with Avios! I am so excited by this new initiative from AerClub, it really is a game changer.


Are you clocking up your Avios balance with no real plan on how to spend them? Is your Avios balance so low that you think it’s worthless? Or are you still not convinced about the benefits of collecting Avios? If you answered yes to any, or all of those questions, this new initiative from AerClub, ‘Pay with Avios’, will change the way you feel about Avios forever! It doesn’t matter if you have only accumulated a few hundred Avios, you can still use them to pay for Aer Lingus flights with Avios. In one simple transaction you can use your Avios to pay for flights online or via the Aer Lingus app. 

Hopefully by now we all know that there are many ways to collect Avios and how we can collect them for free on everyday spend. Let’s face it it’s not often we get something for nothing anymore, but now you can! There are new partners joining all the time, making it easier and easier to accumulate Avios. However, I am not so sure we are all masters at spending them! I have been collecting Avios for a few years and despite nearly spending them on a few occasions, I have accumulated almost 70,000 Avios. I had planned to use them to upgrade US flights to business class, but this never materialised. I have heard similar stories from many people. I am sure there are lots of you out there with Avios balances and no idea what to spend them on – well not anymore! 

pay for aer lingus flights with avios

How to Pay for Aer Lingus Flights with Avios:

I checked out flights to Malaga on the Aer Lingus website and I could’t believe how easy it was to pay for flights with Avios. Various pay options are shown on screen automatically, once you are logged in to your account and you have sufficient Avios balance in your AerClub account. Your discount options will depend on your Avios balance and the total cost of your journey. You can use Avios to discount your entire basket price when booking, including flights, baggage, lounge passes, seats & meals.

You can see from the screen shot below that I can use 3275 Avios to save €23 off my flight, 7075 Avios to save €46, 12625 Avios to save €77 or 42,000 to save €231. You simply click on which ever amount to want to use and it will be deducted from your flight cost.

pay for flights with Avios

Another great benefit is if you pay for Aer Lingus flights with Avios, you will still earn Avios and Tier Credits on the booking! You can also use Avios to pay for CityJet, ASL or Aer Lingus Regional flights booked on 


Book Aer Lingus flight here


Are there any times that I can not Pay with Avios?

1. If you want to pay for Aer Lingus flights with Avios – you need to do it when you are making a booking on You cannot pay with Avios over the phone to the Aer Lingus call centre.

2. If there is a codeshare segment on your booking, or if you have a group booking ( 7 passengers or more ), you are unable to use the ‘Pay with Avios’ system.

3. You cannot use Avios to pay for the addition of other passengers to an existing booking, or to discount the purchase price of flights in existing bookings.

4. You are unable to use Avios to pay for ancillaries such as DAA Fast track.

For a full list of Ts&Cs click here.

pay for flights with avios


Still not joined AerClub?

If by any chance you have not joined AerClub yet – now is your chance!  It is so easy to join, simply click here. By joining AerClub you will enjoy the benefits of being part of a global network of partners and you can pay for flights with Avios! You can also use Avios to pay for hotels, car hire and travel experiences.


Like this post? You might like:


10 Ways To Collect Avios

5 Ways To Spend Avios

Collect Avios with Avis

How to collect Avios at Kildare Village


This post featuring how to pay for flights with Avios, was sponsored by Avios, but all views, as always, are my own.



The Travel Expert


Travel Tips

How To Collect Avios At Kildare Village

Kildare Village

Did you know you can collect Avios at Kildare Village? Shopping is a great way to boost your Avios balance and get closer to that next trip away!   


Have you a special occasion coming up or fancy some nice beachwear for your holidays? Kildare Village is the perfect place to pick up something special at discounted prices. Popular stores including Michael Kors, Karen Millen, Kurt Geiger, Superdry and Mint Velvet are all here and offer discounts of up to 60% off retail prices. You can also accumulate points in sports stores, homewear and even restaurants.


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To put this into context, if you spend €100 at Kildare Village, you will receive 125 Avios. However AerClub run promotions throughout the year with bonus Avios and exclusive discounts, so watch out for my newsletter to ensure you are kept up to date about these. You only need 8000 Avios for a return flight to Paris and 26,000 for a return flight to New York (you just need to pay taxes, fees and charges). You can also use Avios to pay for hotels, car hire and travel experiences. See five ways to spend Avios here.

how to collect avios at kildare village

Why I love shopping at Kildare Village

Not only can I save up to 60% on retail prices and collect Avios at the same time, but I also love the outdoor village atmosphere. It is a much nicer shopping experience than being in a large shopping centre. There some great dining options too, including Saba and my personal favourite, Dunne and Crescenzi. There are over 100 brands in Kildare Village now and each time I visit it seems a new boutique has opened. I have my favourites, Ted Baker, UnderAmour and Kurt Geiger, but I am also enjoying accumulating a full set of Samsonite luggage. It is also the best place to buy a designer hand bag, the savings are amazing compared to high street stores. I rarely leave without something for the kids too, the sports shops are superb and Ralph Lauren always has great bargains for special occasions.


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“You had me at Coach” The moment you know, they know you. 💕

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My Avios journey

I have been steadily growing my Avios balance over the last two years and I now have 68,000 Avios. I just need another 5,000 Avios for two business class upgrades with Aer Lingus to New York, for myself and my husband –  I just need someone to mind my kids! Most of my Avios points were accumulated by shopping, for more details on how to get flights and upgrades by shopping click here. In case you didn’t know, Avios are a reward currency that are used by many airlines including Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia, as well as various hotel websites and high street stores. See the many ways to collect Avios here.

collect avios at kildare village

How do I collect Avios at Kildare Village?

Once you have joined AerClub, simply present your shopping receipts and AerClub card or number, to the Welcome Lounge in Kildare Village and the staff will register your purchases. Avios will be credited to your account within 40 days. 

collect avios at kildare village

Collect Avios at 11 other villages around the world

Kildare Village is a member of the The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, which has 11 villages around the world, including London, Barcelona, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Shanghai and Paris. You can collect Avios in all of these locations too, so if you are planning a city break anytime soon, or a trip to Disneyland Paris, make sure you pay them a visit. For a full list of locations click here.

collect avios at kildare village

Still not joined AerClub?

If by any chance you have not joined AerClub yet – now is your chance!  It is so easy to join, simply click here. By joining AerClub you will enjoy the benefits of being part of a global network of partners where you can collect Avios and turn them into reward flights, car hire and travel experiences. See the many ways to collect Avios here.

I hope this post helps you to collect Avios at Kildare Village,  you never know I might see you there! This post was sponsored by Avios but all views, as always, are my own.


Travel Tips

Five Reasons Why You Must Have Ski Travel Insurance


Having adequate ski travel Insurance is vital if you are going on a skiing holiday, as I learned on my recent ski trip to Austria.


I am just back from Austria, where my luggage didn’t arrive for four days. Yes believe me when I tell you, it was a nightmare! Before I left home I invested in new salopettes, snow boots with retractable spikes, and a ski-jacket with Recco detector on it (technology designed to find you in case of an avalanche!) To say I was well equipped is a massive understatement!


Nevertheless having all this lovely ski-gear was fruitless as my bag only arrived on my last day. Luckily I had taken out ski travel insurance. I have a premier plus travel insurance policy, which automatically includes ski-cover. It was great to be able to purchase some clothes and personal items without worrying about the additional cost. I am able to claim up to €300 expenses, (€75 per day for four days) and with a premier plus policy, there is no excess charges. Fortunately I should receive a nice cheque for €300 in the next few days.

I am a big advocate for travel insurance. It is a fraction of any holiday cost and it literally could save your life. With prices from €17.99 for an annual multi-trip policy and €26.99 for an annual multi-trip policy including ski cover, there really is no excuse for anyone to travel without travel insurance. You can also opt for a single trip travel insurance policy with winter sport cover included, from just €5.38! Of course delayed baggage is only one of the many reasons why you need ski travel insurance – here are four more…





Injury Cover:

Accidents can happen at any time but let’s face it, they are more likely to happen skiing, than sunbathing by the pool! With ski travel insurance you will have the peace of mind that if you sustain an injury, you will be covered. You may need to be airlifted to a medical facility or need immediate private health care if any bones are broken. Remember the European Health Insurance Card (formerly E111) only covers you in a public hospital, not private, and in European countries only. Once you add ski cover to your policy, you don’t need to worry about any additional costs. If you are injured and are unable to ski,’s ski travel insurance will also cover you for the unused portion of a ski pack, lift pass etc.

ski travel insurance




Weather Issues:

Storms and avalanches are not uncommon in ski resorts. In some cases slopes are closed, but’s ski travel insurance will reimburse you with costs (up to a specified limit) associated with transport to an alternative ski resort. In the event of no-snow, where the slopes are closed, you will also be covered for organised transportation by the tour operator to an alternative skiing area.

ski travel insurance



Loss of Ski Equipment / Lift Passes:

For anyone who hasn’t skied before, you may be surprised at how small the lift passes are and consequently how easy they are to loose! Lift passes are a costly thing to loose but luckily if you have ski travel insurance, you will be covered should you need to replace them. Likewise if you happen to loose ski equipment, skis, poles etc this could prove very costly. When you stop for lunch or a drink on the mountain, it is very easy for someone to pick up the wrong skis – especially if they happen to get carried away with the aprés-ski!

ski travel insurance




Ski holidays are not cheap! Between flights, accommodation and ski packs, an average ski trip will probably cost you close to €1000. If for some unfortunate reason you, or an immediate family member, is sick and you can’t travel, having ski travel insurance can be a Godsend. Although missing out on your holiday holiday might be traumatic, receiving the refund cheque will certainly soften the blow!

ski travel insurance



Things to watch out for:

  • While most winter-sports are covered with ski-travel insurance there are exclusions such as heli-skiing. Check your individual policy before embarking on a high risk sport.
  • With the numerous airlines strikes and the possibility of flight cancellations due to bad weather, it is advisable to add Travel Disruption cover to your policy.  You will be covered for additional expenses if your flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 12 hours. You can also claim back expenses due to bad weather or if you are advised against travel to a specific country due to unrest.  See more on why you need to add travel disruption cover to you insurance policy here.
  • Keep a note of your travel insurance policy number or details with you when skiing, just in case of an emergency.
  • Check if there is a limit to winter sports duration with your policy. Different limits apply depending on the level of cover you purchase.
  •  Check that the cancellation cover is adequate on your policy. Some policies have a limit of €1000 per person, you may find that for an additional €5 you can be covered for €5000 per person. Make sure you take out cover at the time you book your holiday to ensure you are fully covered for cancellation.



For prices, bookings and more details on Ski Travel Insurance, visit 


Like Travel Tips? See more here.



The Travel Expert

Travel Tips

5 Tips & Tricks to Boost Your AerClub Tier Credits

Aer Lingus A330 Render View44B HR Sml

I have decided that 2019 is the year I am going to try to move up to AerClub’s Silver tier! So I did some investigating and found out some interesting tips and tricks to boost your AerClub Tier Credits.


I have been collecting Avios for two years now and I thought I knew every trick to boost my Avios balance! However, one thing I couldn’t seem to manage was how to move from the Green Tier (basic entry level) to the Silver Tier with AerClub. Despite having 69,000 Avios, I am still on AerClub’s Green Tier and not looking likely to move off it anytime soon! I would love to be on the Silver Tier, primarily to be able to use the Aer Lingus AerClub priority check-in and fast track facility in Dublin airport, but also to have Aer Lingus lounge access.

There are huge benefits of being an AerClub member if you are a frequent flyer. If you advance to the Platinum Tier, you can get a complimentary upgrade, while the Concierge Tier will guarantee you an economy seat on a full flight. However you don’t have to be a business class traveller to get some of these benefits. You will see below that a few economy class trips to the USA in one year, or one return business class trip, may see you relaxing in the Aer Lingus lounge in no time!

boost your aerclub tier credits

Here are my top 5 tips and tricks to boost your AerClub Tier Credits.


1. Know the difference between Avios and Tier Credits:

Avios is the reward currency of Aer Lingus, many of its partner airlines and a host of online and high street retailers. There are many ways to collect Avios, including shopping at SuperValu, booking hotels and car hire or dining in the Merrion Hotel. You can then use Avios to buy flights or pay for travel experiences – see five ways to spend Avios here. Avios don’t expire, as long as you collect, spend or purchase at least one Avios every 36 months.

Tier Credits can ONLY be earned by flying with Aer Lingus. Unlike Avios which are awarded based on the amount you spend, Tier Credits are awarded based on the type of fare and destinations you book.

2. Watch out for sale and saver fares:

I love a seat sale as much as anyone, in fact as soon as I receive one of the Aer Lingus 20% off emails, I am online immediately researching flights. What I didn’t realise was you get different amount of Tier Credits depending on fare type you choose, so it is always best to check when you are booking. For instance ‘saver’ and ‘sale’ fare types within Europe offer lower Tier Credits than the ‘plus’ fares.

To put this into context, if you book a return sale or promotional fare to Malaga with Aer Lingus you will earn only 15 Tier Credits. If you are not checking in a bag and don’t want to pre book seats, then you are probably still better to go for this option. If however, you are checking in a bag and pre booking seats, you should opt for the ‘plus’ fare. This will give you 50 Tier Credits per return flight. You can check to see what your fare type is by clicking on “About your fare” and you can read more about that here.

boost your aerclub tier credits

3. Know whats required to upgrade to the next tier:

This may seem obvious but until now I didn’t realise how many flights I needed, to change to AerClub’s Silver Tier. Once you know what you need, you can book flights accordingly. You need to earn 301 Tier Credits in one year to move from the Green to the Silver Tier. This equates to 13 one-way ‘plus fare’ flights to Europe, or seven return ‘plus fare’ flights. However if flying to the USA, you only need 7 one-way ‘smart’ flights to upgrade from the Green to Silver tier. Note all of these are quoted as one-way flights, if you book a return ticket you will get double the amount of Tier Credits.

If you can fly business class this will reduce the number of flights required considerably. You will earn 250 Tier Credits with one return business class flight to the USA and remember you only need 301 to move from the Green to the Silver Tier. If you are a frequent flyer with Aer Lingus 601 tier credits will see you advance from Silver to Platinum, while 1051 Tier Credits will see you advance to the Concierge Tier. See more details here.

boost your aerclub tier credits

4. Fly Aer Lingus to the USA

I flew to San Francisco via London two years ago and vowed I would never to do it again. Flying direct from Dublin and clearing emigration before you leave, saves you so much time and stress, with the added bonus that your luggage will more likely arrive on time too! Sometimes you may find prices a little more expensive by flying direct, but believe me when I tell you it is worth it.

For most of us, flying transatlantic will mean you need to check in a bag. If this is the case, opt for a ‘smart’ fare and you will receive 100 Tier Credits per return journey. Just to confuse things, Aer Lingus do have promotional fares in the ‘smart’ category, where you will only earn 50% of the regular smart economy fare, so be careful to watch out for these. Click on the ‘About your fare’ section when booking if you are unsure. If you fancy treating yourself, you can earn 250 Tier Credits with a return business class transatlantic fare.

how to boost your aerclub tier credits

5. Know your AerClub anniversary date:

This is extremely important because every year your AerClub Tier Credits will reset on your anniversary (the date you joined AerClub). You can easily check your anniversary date and your up-to-date Tier Credits by logging into your AerClub account. If you move a tier within your current membership year (e.g. move from Green up to Silver), then you’ll remain in the Silver Tier for the following membership year. Check out this short video for more details.


For more on AerClub’s tiers and benefits, click here.


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



The Travel Expert


The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios

Harry Potter Universal Studios Travel Expert

Even if you have never watched the Harry Potter movies, you will still be blown away by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. It is is one of the best theme park experiences I have ever had. Don’t miss it.


Harry Potter fans need to be prepared for sensory overload, but even if you are not a fan, you can not help but love the whole Harry Potter at Universal Studios experience. There are two Harry Potter rides, the Forbidden Journey at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Escape from Gringotts in Universal Studios. A third ride is due in June 2019. You need tickets to both parks to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter properly.


What to see in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Take a stroll through the streets of London and wander through Kings Cross station in Universal Studios, walk through the ‘magic wall’ to platform 9 and 3/4 and board the Hogwarts express to Hogsmeade. The train journey itself is fantastic, it is the same as the one Harry took in the movie. You have a different experience on the return journey too, so make sure you make a return journey.  

You have a choice of visiting Hogwarts castle and not taking the simulator ride if that suits your party. Hogsmeade itself is fantastic, you can try some butter bear, have some ‘toad in the hole’ at the Leaky Cauldron or send a postcard home with a real Hogsmeade postmark.

Although the Forbidden Journey ride is one of the best, it might not be suitable for younger children as it is a mainly dark ride and has a minimum height requirement of 48 inches. Harry plays quidditch and needless to say you feel like you really are on that broomstick! Like most of the rides at Universal they have a child swap facility. If the parents want to ride but cant leave the kids alone, one parent can wait in the child swap area with their child and they wont have to queue again.

harry potter at universal studios

The newest attraction is Escape from Gringotts in Diagon Alley. I loved exploring Diagon Alley and all it’s magical shops and characters. Like Hogsmeade, the detail is incredible, it’s so like the movie, its uncanny.

Make sure you go to Ollivanders, where they randomly choose a child from the audience to receive a wand. It’s the same way that Harry got his wand, or should I say the wand chose him! You can also buy a wand in the shop afterwards. They are beautifully made and presented in a box with the official Ollivanders bag, a really nice gift around ($30 or so) to bring home. My 6 year old son was very impressed and it was brought into school to show his teacher!

harry potter at universal studios

If you have kids with you, I would recommend getting an interactive wand. They come supplied with a map with locations of where it works in Diagon Alley. After taking a stroll around the area then venture into Gringotts bank and see the animatronic Goblins in the great hall. Enter the lift to take you down 10 imaginary miles for your rollercoaster ride. You help Harry, Hermione and Ron escape from Gringotts. The effects are amazing but be careful. If you get motion sickness at all,  it can be hard on the tummy. It is mainly a dark ride and the minimum height is 42 inches. Remember the child swap facility is available so if the kids are too small you can still enjoy the ride.

Within the whole Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the simulator rides are only part of the experience. The Hogwarts Express train, Diagon Alley and of course Hogwarts are worth the trip on their own.

harry potter at universal studios

Are the queues long at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios?

This is a question I am often asked. Unfortunately there really is no simple answer. Generally speaking peak times, July / August, Christmas and Easter are the busiest, but otherwise you shouldn’t have to queue too long. If you are lucky enough to stay at one of Universal’s Hotels you can enter the park an hour before official opening time and this is a huge advantage, especially in the busy season. Unlike the other rides at Universal Studios, express passes are not valid for Harry Potter so staying at one of their Hotels is one of the only ways to avoid large queues. See my other blogpost on where to stay in Orlando for more details.


Get the best tickets for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios here.


Like this post? You might like:

The Best Rides in Universal Studios, Orlando.



The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

TravelTravel News and ReviewsTravel Tips

Why You Should Do All Your Online Shopping Via the AerClub eStore & My Top 10 Picks!

christmas shopping

Do you shop online? Make sure you do all your shopping via the AerClub eStore and collect thousands of Avios at the same time!


Shopping from the comfort of your own home, there is nothing like it. No trouble getting parking, no battling through crowds and no queuing to pay! I am already a big fan of shopping via the AerClub eStore so when there is an extra promotion, I’m in heaven! My kids are lego fanatics so I was thrilled to hear that the Lego Store are giving 10 Avios for every £1 spent online. Not only were the prices cheaper than what I was paying elsewhere, but I got over 1000 Avios when I spent £100! I also picked up some books from Eason, they are giving 7 Avios for every €1 spent and to get 4 Avios for every euro spent at Apple – well it doesn’t get much better than that! The AerClub eStore offers are not limited to Irish online stores, you can also collect bonus Avios with popular fashion stores like Pretty Little Thing and Topshop and beauty store Lookfantastic.

shopping via the aerclub estore

How does it work?

Once you are logged in to the AerClub eStore you can click through to your favourite retailers and shop online in the usual way at no extra cost, but your purchases will be tracked, and your Avios account will be topped up with points! It really is that simple – you shop in exactly the same way as you would normally shop online but the online shops will see that you came to their website via the AerClub estore. You can also see the stores you have clicked on in your history so you know your transaction is being tracked. For anyone who hasn’t yet joined AerClub, this is the perfect time to do it. Simply click here to join AerClub, it couldn’t be easier!

For those of you who have been following me on my journey, I am delighted to say that I have already accumulated over 60,000 Avios, and most of these were collected by shopping. I’m not spending a fortune shopping, I’m just clever with my purchases. To give you an example I have highlighted some of my favourite stores below, to show you just how easy it is to accumulate points by shopping at the AerClub eStore. For anyone who is not familiar with Avios, read my first post about how to get flights and upgrades with Avios points.

shopping via the aerclub estore

My Top 10 Picks from the AerClub eStore


1. High Street Fashion Stores: Up to 12 Avios, for every £1 spent.

Looking to get something new for Christmas? Get the latest winter looks from the biggest online fashion stores such as River Island, Asos, Pretty Little Thing, Gap, and Topshop – and collect Avios at the same time.

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Fashion Here


2. Apple: 4 Avios for every €1 spent.

Fancy a new phone, iMac or apple watch for Christmas? Perhaps you are thinking of treating the kids to new iPads? Apple are giving a staggering 4 Avios for every €1 spent, so if you spend €300 before the 16th of December and you will €1200 Avios!

shopping via the aerclub estore

 Shop Apple Here


3. Lego: 10 Avios for every £1 spent.

I know too well how expensive Lego can be – I have a 10 year old who is obsessed with it! Thankfully I accumulate Avios while I shop and the official Lego store has the widest range of lego available. Collect 1000 Avios for every £100 spent until the 23rd of December.

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Lego Here


4. Marks & Spencer: 4 Avios for every €1 spent.

With 3 for 2 on Christmas gifts and decorations, Holly Willoughby’s latest edit and the best stocking fillers, there is always something to be bought in M&S. If you spend €100 that will give you 400 Avios!

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop M&S Here


5. Eason: 7 Avios for every €1 spent.

The latest blockbusters, toys, games, or stationary, everyone makes a trip to Eason before Christmas. Do it online instead and collect 7 Avios for every €1 spent until the 19th of December.

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Eason Here


6. Lookfantastic: 14 Avios for every £1 spent.

Lookfantastic is my go-to shop for beauty now. I buy my Murad face creams here all the time and love their ‘brand of the month’ special offers. They also sell GHD’s, perfumes and all the top make-up brands. Prices are so good too, and when you get 14 Avios for every £1 you spend before the 23rd of December, it’s a win-win!

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Lookfantastic Here


7. Not On The High Street 8 Avios for every £1 spent.

I don’t know how I only discovered this shop this year but I absolutely love it. It has so many thoughtful gifts that would never find elsewhere – hence the name I guess! If you haven’t already checked it out, make sure you do, I guarantee you will find some great Christmas gift ideas. Shop before the 23rd of December to avail of this  double Avios promotion.

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Here



8. Expedia: 7 Avios for every €1 spent.

Planning a post Christmas break or a Summer holiday? You can massively increase your Avios balance with accommodation or holiday purchases. A hotel break for €500 will give you 3,500 Avios or a €2000 family apartment or hotel, will give you 14,000 Avios.  

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Expedia Here


9. Adidas: 10 Avios for every €1 spent; Nike 7 Avios for every €1 spent.

Kids football boots, Superstar runners or the latest gym gear, there is something in the Adidas and Nike stores to suit everyone. With 10 Avios for every €1 you spend, a new pair of Superstar runners will give you 1000 Avios points.

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Adidas Here

Shop Nike Here


10. Groupon: 7 Avios for every €1 spent.

Groupon has every type of Christmas gift imaginable. From restaurant vouchers to teeth whitening deals, short breaks to mobile phones, Groupon is your one stop daily deals website. Collect 700 Avios for every €100 spent on top of their already discounted prices.

shopping via the aerclub estore

Shop Groupon Here


Note: certain exclusions apply to each stores, see individual retail pages when you are shopping via the AerClub eStore for more details. This post 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 

The Travel Expert




Travel News and ReviewsTravel Tips

The Definitive Guide to Renewing Your Passports Online!


The Irish Online Passport Renewal Service has been expanded to allow children and ALL Irish citizens to renew passports online, from anywhere in the world!


This announcement will prove to be a massive benefit to families, who until now, had to apply for children’s passports manually. Faster turnaround times of 10 working days are expected for all online applications, although Fiona Penollar, Head of the Passport Service says ” we would hope to beat that, currently 12% of all online applications are processed within a day and 50% within one week”. This is a far cry from the delays that were encountered last Summer via Passport Express and can only be seen as great news for Irish travellers. I asked Fiona Penollar a few questions about how all Irish citizens can renew passports online.




What do I need to apply?

Adults just need a digital photograph, an email address and a debit / credit card. If you are renewing a child’s passport you will  need to verify the identity of children and receive consent of guardians. This comes in the form of a Child Passport Identity and Consent Form, will be generated for printing and witnessing at the end of the online process. This will need to be signed, witnessed and posted back, by freepost, to the passport office. It should be noted that witnesses can now be people who interact with the child and know them and their guardians well, i.e the child’s doctor, school secretary etc.




How long does it take?

It only takes approximately 10 minutes to apply (once you have your digital photo) and the turnaround time is approximately two weeks plus postage time, depending on where in the world you are living. For children the official turnaround time starts from the time the consent form is received.




How do I get my digital photo?

You can now take your own photo at home (not a selfie) and upload it directly when applying online. There are conditions to adhere to, i.e you must have a plain cream / white coloured background, not smile etc. You may find you have to take a few photos to get one that will be accepted. 


You can also get your digital photographs from one of the many Photo-Me booths around the country. They are quick and easy to use and you will receive a unique code which you enter when making your online application. Check out my video below which will show you how easy they really are!  Your local Tesco or Supervalu should have these in place but for more information on photo booth locations please visit  Babies will not be able to use the photo-me-booths so they will need to go into their local pharmacy to get their photograph taken. For more info on photo guidelines click here.





How much does it cost?

The fees for all online applications are being reduced by €5 across all application types.  The standard 10 year passport is €75 and a standard child passport book costs €20.



If my passport is lost, expired or damaged can I apply online?

Yes. If your passport has expired less than five years ago you can apply online. If your passport has been damaged, lost or stolen you can still apply online however it may take longer than the standard 2 weeks application.




If I am changing my name from maiden to married name, can I apply online?

Yes the categories for adults renewals have been expanded to include people who are changing their name due to marriage or  divorce.


What do I do if I need an emergency passport?

There is a Rapid Renewal service available by appointment at the Passport Service, Mount Street, Dublin for applicants travelling within 3 days. The service is for adults and children renewing their passports.  In the case of children’s passports, both parents must be present when submitting the application. As passports have to be turned around very quickly, the number of appointments are limited. Certain Terms and Conditions apply before booking an appointment on https://www. It should be noted that this service is not available to people who have already put an application in the system via Passport Express or online. Therefore it is very important that the correct application channel is chosen depending on the intended date of travel.




More details about the Online Passport Application Service are available at



The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery


Travel Tips

My Top Twenty Travel Gadgets

travel gadgets airport

Whether you are buying for the travel addict in your life, or just want to treat yourself, check out my top ten travel gadgets to help you travel in style!

1. Waterproof  Phone case – £7.99

If you are planning on going on a boat trip, jet-ski or even snorkelling, don’t travel without this. This particular model is big enough for larger phones, and if you like taking photos, it is one of the best travel gadgets you can buy! 

travel gadgets

See more here



2. Media Share – £19.97

I wish I could say that my kids don’t need electronic devices on holidays, but unfortunately they do! I invested in a Media share, years ago and it is one of my favourite travel gadgets. It’s a small portable device that creates it’s own wifi network so kids can watch movies on their tablets or phones anywhere, even on a plane. BTW it is good for adults too!

travel gadgets

See more here



3. Havaianas Luna sandals – £14.99

I never travel without these – they are so versatile! The support around your heel allows you to wear them at any time, even for long walks. They don’t flop, they never fall off and they are even dressy enough to wear at night time – well depending on where you are going 😉. I have them in two colours and I bring them everywhere!


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4. Ultra Powerful Power bank – £26.99

Most of you may already have power banks, but are they much good? Do you just about manage to charge one device before the battery dies? This extremely powerful powerbank can charge most phones five times and has twin USB ports so you can charge multiple devices at the same time! Check out the reviews if you still need convincing.

travel gadgets

See more here



5. Portable steamer – £29.99

Not only is this portable steamer great to bring on holidays, it can be really useful at home too. It looks bigger than some of the others on the market but don’t let that put you off – it is actually lighter ( 721g )  than most of its more expensive competitors. Say goodbye to irons and to creased clothes on holidays!

travel gadgets

See more here



6. Jabra noise cancelling ear buds: £149

noise cancelling ear buds are a great travel gift idea

Noice cancelling ear phones or ear buds are a Godsend when travelling. Jabra are highly recommended for their advanced noice cancellation capabilities and long lasting rechargeable batteries, which last up to 31 hours with the case. They are less expensive than some of the more well known brands, and are a great travel gift.

Shop here


7. Power Strip with 3 USB charging ports and 3 power sockets – £13.95

If, like me, you never have enough travel adaptors with you – this is going to change your life! Not only does this have 3 USB ports but it also means you only have to bring one travel adaptor on holidays. No more arguing over who’s phone is charging or when you need it to dry your hair!

You know the way there are never plugs near a mirror in a hotel room? Not a problem anymore, – simply plug the extension cable in and bring it into the bathroom with you.

travel gadgets

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8. Samsonsite light-shock cabin case – £276

I know these are expensive, but they are SO worth it! I have a this cabin case and it has saved me a fortune on checked luggage. It is so light and expandable that you can fit much more inside than a case of similar size. I have vowed to buy one for everyone in the family and never pay checked baggage fees again!


travel gadgets


See more here



9. Louis Copeland’s Weekender LeatherBag: €399

unique travel gifts for men - weekender and suit bag in one

For men who like to travel, or have to travel for work, this is a practical, yet luxurious Christmas gift. As well as a leather weekender bag it can also be used as a suit bag.


Beneath two zip pockets you will find a suit carrier as well as shoe pockets. If you are looking for unique travel gifts for men, look no further. Available in brown or black. Save 20% during the Black Friday sale.

Shop here



10. Packing cubes – £16.95

Organise your outfits, separate clean clothes from dirty and save on space, packing cubes are essential for frequent travellers. This set contains six separate cubes with a mesh top for easy identification of items.

travel gadgets

See more here



11. Travel pillow, mask & ear plugs – £6.21

This travel pillow, mask and ear plugs set comes in a tidy bag that can hook on to your suitcase. I can’t tell you the amount of travel pillows that I have bought that don’t hook onto my case and they end up being a nuisance!

The specialist hump designed neck pillow provides 360 degree next and head support to help prevent side-to-side swaying and also deflates so can fit every easily into your hand bag.

travel gadgets

See more here



12. Apple Airtag: from €35

luggage tips - how to avoid lost luggage when travelling with Apple AirTags

The Apple AirTag looks like a large coin and can be placed in your suitcase or backpack when you travel. It shows you where you luggage is at all times via the Find my Network app.


Priced at just €35 for one coin, and €119 for a pack of four, these are a good investment if you are concerned about lost luggage. Samsung have a similar device called a Smart Tag, and Tile is another alternative that works with any mobile device, but does not have the same precision finding as the AirTag.

Shop single here


Shop 4 pack here




13. Portable Luggage Scales – £7.99

This can be a lifesaver on holidays. No longer need to worry if your suitcase is over weight. This one is also so light (90g) that it is easy to bring with you. This is one of the best travel gadgets you can have.

travel gadgets

See more here



14. New Kindle PaperWhite – £119.99

Did you know that the new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is thinner, lighter, waterproof and comes with twice the storage? It’s the perfect companion for a long haul flight or for lazy days by the pool.

travel gadgets

See more here



15. Insta 360 x 3 Action camera

If your travel pal likes gadgets – this is the ultimate gift. I bought one of these last year and love it. It is a 360 camera action camera that can be used for photos, videos and live streaming. It is also waterproof and has what looks like an invisible selfie-stick on screen!


I have linked the newer model which has an even longer batter life, larger screen, faster WiFi, increased camera pixels and voice control. Check out the video above to see all the amazing features.

Shop here




16. Travel Gadget / Cable Bag – £16.99

For anyone who travels with lots of gadgets or with kids who have phones, tablets etc – this will save your life. With separate pouches for phone cables, powerbanks, memory cards and charges, you will never leave home without it.

travel gadgets

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17. Drawstring Make Up Bag – £7.98

Say goodbye to bringing two or more cosmetic bags with you on holidays, this lazy drawstring bag holds everything! And not only that it is easy to use, no more rooting to try to find your night cream, everything is easily spotted once you open the bag. It also has two zipped pouches which are ideal for jewellery or hair clips etc.

travel gadgets

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18. Mavic Air Drone from DJI – £599

Drones have become massively popular in recent years and would make a terrific gift for someone who is into photography and wants to get pictures from a different angle. This drone is fantastic and lightweight too, folding down to pack away neatly in its own carry case. It will produce crisp video footage and beautiful photographs and is the ideal gift for the amateur pilot/photographer in your life. Oh and its available in a range of pretty colours too!

travel gadgets

See more here



19.  Pack Reusable Wine Bottle Protector Sleeves – £32.95

travel gadgets - wine bottle protectors

If you like to bring wine home with you from holidays – then you have to buy this product! Designed by an airline pilot, they receive outstanding reviews from anyone who has bought them. The triple seal and sturdy outer plastic skin wrap prevents breakage and the best part – they are reusable. This is the best travel gadgets for wine lovers.

See more here



20. Portable Travel WiFi Hotspot – £99.99

When you need to stay connected whilst abroad and need to keep the phone bill down, this device is invaluable. It is simple to use, is lightweight and easily transportable and because it is unlocked you can just purchase a data card from whatever country you are in and just pop it in to the SIM card holder – it couldn’t be easier. Never be disconnected again!

travel gadgets

See more here


I hope you like my top twenty travel gadgets and that they help you on your next trip. Note this post contains affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you purchase something, but at no additional cost to you.

Like Travel Tips? See more here.



The Travel Expert


Up to 45% Bonus Avios When You Buy or Gift Avios Before 11th November


Tired of waiting to reach the required amount of Avios for your next flight? Want to upgrade to business class but just don’t have enough Avios? Buy or gift Avios now and receive up to 45% bonus Avios!


Buying Avios is the quickest and easiest way to top up your Avios balance. Sometimes your Avios balance doesn’t quite add up to that hotel stay you have got your eye on, or that business class upgrade that you were dreaming about…. Simply purchase whatever Avios you need and stop waiting! Normally you can only buy up to 100,000 Avios in one year, however, during this promotion the limit has been increased to 200,000 Avios. Plus, Avios have ‘reset’ your yearly limit, so if you have already bought Avios this year, it won’t be counted towards your annual limit. This means that you can buy up to 200,000 Avios before the 11th of November and receive up to 45% Bonus Avios!

buy or gift avios

Give the gift of Avios this Christmas

Seeing as though we are approaching the festive season, why not give a gift of Avios? Booking a surprise holiday can be tricky. Will your other half like where you have chosen? Can they get annual leave at that specific time? Are you sure you can get someone to mind the kids? All questions that need to be asked. By giving a gift of Avios you don’t need to worry about any of that, in fact you can have great fun on Christmas Day deciding where to go!

buy or gift avios

Wondering how much Avios to buy?

You can spend as little as €36 on 1,000 Avios and receive a 20% bonus, €385 on 20,000 Avios and receive a 30% bonus or €18,00 on 100,000 Avios and receive a 45% bonus. For a full price list click here.

buy and gift avios

Where can I fly to with Avios?

There are so many variations, depending on when and where you travel but to give you an idea, 13,000 Avios will get you a return economy flight to Paris with Aer Lingus. For 17,000 Avios you can have a return flight to the Canary Islands and if you can buy 26,000 you can have a return flight to New York, Boston, Chicago or Toronto. Note these are based on off peak travel and exclude taxes and charges. For full list of date bands click here. You can also use Avios to purchase flights with British Airways, Iberia Express and other partner airlines.

buy and gift avios

Have you always wanted to fly business class to the USA?

I love that you can use Avios to upgrade your flights and it is such good value too. A business class upgrade to New York with Aer Lingus is 37,000 Avios which will only cost you €569 if you buy Avios before Friday the 11th of November. Simply purchase 30,000 Avios for €569 and you will get 9000 Avios free. This will give you 39,000 Avios, and voilà, you have a business class upgrade to New York – and some Avios left over!

buy and gift avios

How do I buy Avios?

If you would like to purchase Avios for yourself, just click here. If you are giving Avios as a gift, you will need their Avios membership number, name, and email address. Just make sure you do it before the 11th of November.

buy or gift avios

Still not joined Avios? Here’s how to sign up.

For those of you who haven’t yet joined Avios, the easiest way to do it is to sign up to Aer Lingus’ frequent flyer club, AerClub.  Simply click here to join, it couldn’t be easier!

buy and gift avios

Still not sure how the whole thing works? This might help:

How To Get Flights And Upgrades With Avios


Like this post? You might like:

10 Ways To Collect Avios

5 Ways To Spend Avios 


Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by Avios, but all views, as always, are my own.



The Travel Expert



Travel Tips

Top 10 Tips For Travelling To Lapland – What to Wear and What to Bring.

snow lapland

From long johns to power banks, check out my top 10 tips for travelling to Lapland and see Santa in style!

I am often asked about what to wear in Lapland and if there are any specific items to bring to Lapland. Lapland trips are action packed and in many cases you don’t return to your hotel until evening time. It is important that you have all the essentials with you at all times. Most package deals to Lapland will include snow wear, boots and gloves, but I always feel it is no harm to some spare items with you. I also picked up some tips for travelling to Lapland from our trip to Santa in Lapland a few years ago – here are my top 10.

trips for travelling to lapland

1. Thermal underwear

The key to staying warm is lots of layers and you can’t beat old fashioned long johns and a thermal vest! Marks & Spencer have tight fitted thermal pyjamas for adults and children which I found great for underneath snowsuits. If you don’t have these, wooly tights are a good alternative.



2. Underarmour / base layers

Base layers from outdoors shops are ideal but sports tops such such as Underarmour are a good buy too and you may find you already have some of these at home.



3. Snow / ski suit & snow boots

A good ski jacket, salopettes and snow boots are essential. Most package deals will provide these, but if you are travelling independently make sure you bring these with you.

tips for travelling to lapland

4. Normal clothes

A jumper/ fleece over your base layer is ideal and jeans / trousers in case you are going out to dinner.



5. Hats, Gloves, Socks & Scarf

Gloves are supplied with most package deals but I would recommend bringing spares. Gloves have a habit of getting lost, wet, or both, and it is always handy to have spares. Make sure the gloves you buy are waterproof.  Bring a hat that covers your ears or even ear muffs – if they take your fancy! Thick ski socks are essential and a scarf that you can pull up over face to keep your nose warm.

tips for travelling to lapland


One of my top tips for travelling to Lapland is to watch out for the Aldi and Lidi ski sales in November. You can pick up all ski gear including base layers, ski socks and snow boots for a fraction of what they would cost in a ski shop. Sign up for their newsletter now, so you will get advance warning when they are going on sale. You will need to be in the store the day they go on sale, in order to get your choice of sizes. I picked up salopettes and snow boots for my kids last year for €9.99 in Aldi and they were really handy when we had the heavy snow in Dublin.



6. A good camera

Remember a trip to Lapland is a once in a life time opportunity, make sure you get the best photos you can. The light is very low, with limited daylight hours so the camera on your phone may not be good enough to capture the best images. Taking your gloves on and off to use your phone is not ideal either!


If you are using your phone make sure you bring gloves that you can use with a phone (iGlove or similar ) and a good power bank to charge it on the go. You will be out from early morning till late at night and you don’t want your battery to run out. It is also a good idea to delete some of your old photos and videos before you go so you don’t have storage issues, or bring a spare memory card if using a camera.

tips for travelling to lapland


7. Snacks

Days are long and with scheduled times allotted for lunch and dinner, snacks can be a lifesaver. I find TUC snack packs so handy and six-packs of hula hoops are smaller to carry than other crisps. Kids are always hungry!



8. Back pack

A back pack is handy for spare gloves and snacks and is easier to carry than a hand bag, especially when you are going on husky and snowmobile rides. If you are bringing a baby with you, a baby carrier can be a Godsend.



9. Moisturiser

The cold air can be very dying on your skin. Bring a good moisturiser as well as hand cream and lip balm.



10. Christmas jumper

No trip to Lapland would be complete without the obligatory Christmas jumper! These are great for the airport selfie and for your photo with Santa.

tips for travelling to lapland


So I hope you liked my top tips for travelling to Lapland and they help you with your travel plans. Have I left anything out? Please comment below if I have and I will add it into the post.


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The Travel Expert

Travel News and ReviewsTravel Tips

10 Ways to Collect Avios


Flying, hotel stays, car hire, online and in-store shopping, these are just some of the ways to collect Avios, find out how in this post.

Collecting Avios points is now something we can all do, even those who don’t travel often. Avios are a reward currency that are used by many airlines including Aer Lingus, British Airways and United, as well as various hotel websites and high street stores. I’ve got 10 easy ways to collect Avios to help you save towards your next break away.



1. Collect Avios when you fly:

collect Avios when you fly Aer Lingus

Collect Avios when you fly with Aer Lingus, British Airways, United Airlines, Iberia, Vueling and more recently Qatar Airways. You don’t have to be a frequent traveller to join one of their frequent flyer clubs. If you haven’t already joined, simply sign up to AerClub and start collecting now.

Sign up here



2. Collect Avios when you shop online

one of the best ways to collect Avios is by shopping online

Surprise, surprise, this is one of my favourite ways to collect Avios! There are over 100 stores where you can shop online and collect Avios at the same time! Simply go to AerClub eStore, click through to your favourite store and shop as usual – your purchases are tracked and you will collect Avios.


Remember to go via AerClub eStore to get Avios every time you shop – it is so easy! Stores like M&S, River Island, Asos, Currys, Apple, Adidas are all partners with Avios. Once you discover this, trust me, you will never shop online any other way.

See more here



3. Collect Avios when you shop in Kildare Village

kildare village shopping outlet

Michael Kors, Samsonite, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Superdry – need I go on? There are over 100 different brands offering up to 60% off recommended retail prices in Kildare Village. And if that wasn’t good enough, you can also collect 5 Avios for every €4 you spend.

See more here




4. Collect Avios when you dine or stay at the Merrion Hotel

Dining at the Merrion Hotel

Cocktails, dinner or an overnight stay, whatever you choose, you can collect 2 Avios for every €1 you spend in the Merrion Hotel. Simply link your debit or credit card via before you go and your purchases will be tracked.

Also, once you’ve linked your card, you will automatically collect Avios on all your spend on that card, with other selected Avios partners.

See more here



5. Collect Avios when you book car-hire

collect avios with Avis

Simply book your car hire with Avis or Budget car rental enter your Avios / AerClub membership number under the ‘driver details’ and collect 5 Avios for every €1 you spend with Avis, or 2 Avios with every €1 you spend with Budget car rental.

See more here



7. Collect Avios when you book hotels:


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Best Western, Melia, Marriott and lots more offer Avios for every €1 spent on hotels. This is a great way to boost your Avios balance. Simply book a hotel using one of the Avios partners and collect Avios at the same time.

See more here



8. Collect Avios when you shop in Appleby Jewellers

collect Avios with Appleby

With over sixty years’ experience and a worldwide reputation for creative jewellery design, Appleby has become one leading brands in Irish jewellery. Simply quote your AerClub or British Airways Executive Club membership details at the time of purchase and collect up to 1 Avios for every €1 spent.

See more here



9. Collect Avios with an Aer Credit Card

Aer Lingus credit card

Aer Credit Card is the new Aer Lingus credit card that is available to Irish residents. It offers the same benefits as a regular credit card but you collect 1 Avios for every €1 you spend with Aer Lingus and 1 Avios for every €4 you spend on all other transactions on your Aer Credit Card.

See more here



10. Collect Avios when you book travel experiences.

10 ways to collect Avios

Viator, a TripAdvisor company, are specialists in worldwide travel experiences. Whether you want to take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, swim with sharks in South Africa or skydive in Sydney – you can book them all through Viator and collect 4 Avios for every €1 you spend!

See more here



Still haven’t joined Avios?

For those of you who haven’t yet joined Avios, the easiest way to do it is to sign up to Aer Lingus’ frequent flyer club, AerClub.  Simply click here to join, it couldn’t be easier.


Like this post? You might like 5 ways to spend Avios too.



The original post from 2019 was sponsored by Avios, however, I have updated this in April 2022 to reflect new partners.




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