winter breaks

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 29th March 2022

Best Travel Deals

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, summer holidays, city breaks, long haul deal and staycations for couples and families.

This week’s best travel deals include Easter breaks to Croatia, summer in Tuscany, Majorca and Madrid, a California road trip, an Alaska cruise, glamping in Donegal and an overnight escape to Wicklow.

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It is important to be aware of the latest travel restrictions of the country you are travelling to. Boosters or pre-departure tests are required for travel to most countries in Europe if initial vaccination is over 270 days.  Please check the latest travel restrictions on the DFA website before you travel.
 

 

 

Best last minute:

The Travel Expert, Sarah Slattery on the old walls of Dubrovnik

Spend Easter in Croatia! This five-star deal is amazing value, and you can choose a three or seven-night stay. Fly to Dubrovnik on Easter Sunday and enjoy a three-night stay in the fabulous 5-star Hotel Croatia for just €399 per person, or relax and enjoy a seven-night stay for just €569. And that’s not all – breakfast and dinner are included!

View offer here
 

 

 

Best overnight escape:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

Walk or cycle the Blessington Greenway followed by an overnight escape in Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort. We stayed here recently and loved its location overlooking Blessington Lakes.
 

 

 
There are many offers to choose from with prices from €66 per person including breakfast, €104 per person including a three-course dinner in the Fia Rua Restaurant, or enjoy a round of golf with breakfast and dinner for just €129 per person. A glass of Prosecco is also included if you book directly on the hotel’s website.

I priced this deal on the 24th of April arrival, but many more dates are available.

See more here
 

 

 

Best summer sun:

short breaks to Tuscany from Ireland

There has never been a better time to visit Tuscany – the airfares to Pisa from Dublin and Cork airport are great value this summer. Some of the flights arrive in late at night, so I suggest spending a night in Pisa, exploring the Leaning Tower and its surrounding Cathedral Square, and then hiring a car and leaving the city for some of Tuscany’s more interesting towns and villages.

Read: Top towns and cities to visit in Tuscany
 

 

 
I have priced this trip based on a seven-night stay in San Gimignano – one of my favourite Tuscan towns, an overnight in Pisa and car hire. Total cost for this eight-day trip is €725pp in June. Prices are similar from Dublin or Cork, and durations can be shorter or longer – simply edit the dates via the links below to suit your requirements.

Search flights here 15-23 June €90 

View Pisa here  €76pp

San Gimignano €384pp

Check car hire €175pp
 

 

 

Best city break:

city break to madrid

With Aer Lingus, Ryanair and Iberia Express all flying to Madrid from Dublin, there has never been a better time to grab a city break deal to the Spanish capital.
 

 

 
I found great value flights departing on the 12th of June. The price for flights and a two-night stay in the centrally located 4-star Hotel Mayorazgo is only €191 per person. Highly rated on TripAdvisor, this is great value for a summer city break.

Read: 10 city break deals less than €199

Search flights here 12th – 14th June €71pp
 
View hotel here €120pp
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

Globales Bouganvilla family holiday deal from Ireland

With many schools offering an extended break over the June bank holiday weekend, that might be a good time to book your family holiday this year. I found a good deal to the Splashworld Resort, Globales Bouganvilla in Majorca. This All Inclusive resort has its own waterpark on site, and all meals and drinks are included in the cost.
 

 

 
Price for flights, checked baggage, transfers, and a seven-night stay from the 2nd of June is €2481 based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. Use code SUN150 to save €150 off the listed price of this, or any holiday departing in May or June – minimum spend €1000.

Read: 12 Top waterpark holidays for families

View offer here
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

glamping family deals in Ireland

Treat the kids to a glamping stay before they go back to school. I’ve got the lakeside Lough Mardal Lodge in Donegal on my own wish list – just check out the yurts with king-sized beds, wood burning stoves and a veranada overlooking the lake!
 

 

 
Price for a two-night stay in a Skydome yurt is €360 based on a family of four sharing on the 19th of August.

Read: 20 Top picks for glamping in Ireland

View offer here 
 

 

 

Best cruise:

Alaska cruise holiday deal

Alaska, a place most of us only ever dreamed of visiting, has suddenly become more affordable, thanks to direct flights to Seattle from Aer Lingus, and some great cruise deals.
 

 

 
Sunway has a super September offer that includes direct flights with checked baggage, an overnight stay in Seattle, and a seven-night Alaska cruise on Crown Princess, all for just €1699. Add on a premium drinks package, WiFi and gratuities for just €245. 

View offer here
 

 

 

Best long haul

american holiday deals

Is a California road-trip on your bucket list? With Aer Lingus now flying direct to San Francisco and Los Angeles, you can fly into San Francisco, pick up a car, drive the Pacific Coast Highway and fly home from LA. I’ve put together a great itinerary, based on a similar trip we did a few years ago.
 

 

 
Price for direct flights, 14 days hotel accommodation and car hire is €2354 in September. You can see this and lots more USA holiday ideas in this post:

Read: Top 10 American holidays from Ireland
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 15th March 2022

Best Travel Deals

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, summer holidays, city breaks, early booking offers, and staycations for couples and families.

This week’s best travel deals include city breaks in Rome and Porto, summer holidays in Greece, Spain, Morocco and Mexico, a Med cruise, a family break at Easter, and Day Spa ideas for Mother’s Day.

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It is important to be aware of the latest travel restrictions of the country you are travelling to. Boosters or pre-departure tests are required for travel to most countries in Europe if initial vaccination is over 270 days.  Please check the latest travel restrictions on the DFA website before you travel.
 

 

 

Best last minute:

Colosseum at night

Always wanted to fly off to Rome at a moments notice? Aer Lingus is offering €20 off return flights to Europe in April, so you can enjoy return flights to Rome from just €75. A three-night stay in the 4-star Best Western Hotel Artdeco hotel is just €176 per person, making the total cost just €258. 

View flights here €75pp

View hotel here €183pp

I have lots more hotel options in this post:

Read: Where to stay in Rome, my top pick of Rome’s 3, 4 and 5-star hotels
 

 

 

Best Day Out:

Aqua Sana Spa day

With Mother’s Day just round the corner, now is the perfect time to consider treating yourself or your Mum to a Spa day.  I’ve compiled 8 great Day Spa deals in one post, including a full day at Center Parcs’ Aqua Sana Spa from €110 per person, Chill at the Ice House Hotel for €115 per person, and a Mom and Me Spa package at Dublin’s Day Spa from €135 per person.

See more here
 

 

 

Best value summer sun:

best travel deals to Morocoo

Want to try somewhere new this year? Ryanair’s direct flights to Agadir, Morocco offer superb value, with return airfares from only €63 on the 20th of June! I found a great deal staying in the 4-Star Tildi Hotel & Spa, which is located close to the beach and marina in Agadir.

Price for a seven-night stay including breakfast is just €183 per person, making the total cost for a week’s holiday €246!
 

 

 
Note: Currently only fully vaccinated visitors can enter Morocco, and a negative test taken 48 hours before departure is also required. This may change – see DFA.ie for up to date restrictions.

Search flights here 20th-27th June €63pp

View hotel here €183pp
 

 

 

Best luxury summer sun:

Atrium Palace Thalasso Hotel, Rhodes

Its rare to find a luxury hotel that has over 4,000 reviews on TripAdvisor and still retains a 5-star / Excellent rating. The Atrium Palace Thalasso Spa Resort in Rhodes is one of them, and I challenge you to find a hotel of this standard for this price in August! 

I found a great deal for seven-nights from the 20th of August. The price including flights, transfers, checked baggage, and hotel on a B&B basis is €917 per person. 
 

 

 
When you click on the link below you will see a price of €983 per person. If you upgrade the room to a partial sea-view it will bring the total cost over €2000. You can then use the promo code HOLIDAY to save €200 off the total price, making the total just €917 per person.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best city break:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

I loved our trip to Porto and would highly recommend it for a city break. As well as being home to a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is packed with colourful buildings, delightful streets, and has a great food and wine scene. I found a great deal on flights over the May bank holiday weekend.
 

 

 
Enjoy a three-night stay at the highly rated Reis de Gaia Aparthotel. Superbly located on the waterfront, next to Porto’s cable car and Porto’s famous Port wine cellars,  it is also just minutes from the Dom Luis Bridge. 
 
Read: Why you need to choose Porto for your next city break

Search flights here 1st – 4th May €83pp

View hotel here €104pp

Read: 10 city breaks for less than €199 – Flights & highly rated hotels included
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

self catering family holiday to Menorca

For families looking for great value this summer, its hard to beat Menorca. Airfares are particularly low, compared to other Spanish hotspots, and it is an ideal family friendly destination.
 

 

 
I found a great deal staying in the Blancala apartments on the 27th of July. Price for flights and a seven-night stay is just €1608, based on two adults and two children. I also found some great all inclusive and villa options in this post:

See more here
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

Family breaks in Wexford at Riverside Park Hotel at Easter

Still searching for an Easter break? The 4-Star Riverside Park Hotel in Wexford has a super family offer for a two-night break over Easter holidays.

Price for a family of four with breakfast each day, a 4-course evening meal on the evening of your choice, a family activity pass to one of Wexford’s top attractions, and full access to the Leisure Club, is just €420.  

View offer here

 

Read: Family breaks at the Riverside Park Hotel over Easter holidays
 

 

 

Best cruise:

best cruise deals
 

Cruise the Med on the fabulous MSC Seaside this summer with complimentary drinks included in the cost! I cruised on its sister ship MSC Seaview a few years ago and loved it. This cruise departs from Rome and calls to Sicily, Ibiza, Valencia, Marseille, and Genoa, before returning to Rome for your flight home.
 

 

 
Price for flights, transfers, checked baggage, all meals, snacks, gratuities and Premium drinks package is just €1369 on May 15th. Add on two speciality dining options including Asian Market Kitchen and Butchers Cut for €60 per person.

Read: My review of MSC Seaview

View offer here
 

 

 

Best long haul:

best travel deals to Mexico

Go all-inclusive in Mexico this summer. Spend seven-nights at the 5-star Grand Sunset Princess Resort for just €1329 in June. Price includes flights, transfers, checked baggage and a seven-night stay with meals and drinks included.

See more here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 1st March 2022

Best travel deals

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, summer holidays, city breaks, early booking offers, and staycations for couples and families.

This week’s best travel deals include last minute holidays, easter breaks, summer holidays in Greece and Spain, a luxury cruise, New Year in Iceland and staycations in Killarney and Clare.

InstagramIt is important to be aware of the latest travel restrictions of the country you are travelling to. Boosters or pre-departure tests are required for travel to most countries in Europe if initial vaccination is over 270 days.  Please check the latest travel restrictions before you travel.
 

 

 

Best last minute:

best travel deals to Malta

Treat yourself or your Mum to a week in Malta for Mother’s Day. With prices from €234 for a seven-night stay in a four-star hotel, you can’t deny it is superb value! This deal departs on March 23rd for seven nights but duration can be changed to suit your requirements.

Read: Top 10 reasons to visit Malta

See more here
 

 

 

Best overnight escape:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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


Enjoy an overnight escape at the popular Falls Hotel in Clare. We stayed here last summer and as you can see above – I enjoyed the spa! For only €90pp you can enjoy an overnight stay with breakfast, dinner, chocolates, and discounted spa treatments. Price is €120pp for a two-night stay and €125 for a three-night stay! 

View offer here
 

 

 

Best Easter deals:

short breaks over Easter holidays

I have had lots of requests for Easter breaks this year, so I searched the web and found 10 great short breaks to tempt you. All deals include flights and four-star hotels for three or four nights, and prices start at only €254.
 

 

 
Ive got city breaks and seaside escapes in Spain, Italy, France, Sweden, Croatia, Germany and lots more. Deals include Biarritz from €291, Menorca from €360, and Sardinia from €379.

See more here

 

 

 

Best summer sun:

the travel expert has the best travel deals to Zakynthos

Struggling to find a summer holiday that won’t break the bank? Check out this amazing deal to Zakynthos in August. Price for flights, transfers, checked baggage and a seven-night stay in the popular Katerina Palace apartments is just €399!

Use code HOLIDAY to save €100 off the listed price. But you better be quick – this is one of my best travel deals this week!

View offer here
 

 

 

Best short break:

girls weekend in Marbella, staying in a luxury apartment

It’s never too early to plan a girls trip away! I found a stunning 3-bedroom penthouse in Puerto Banus on the Costa del Sol that would be perfect for a weekend away. Price for flights and a three-night stay in September is €436 based on four sharing, or €327 based on six sharing. 

See more here
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

TUI Magic Life All Inclusive resorts for families

Did you know there is a 5-star All Inclusive resort in Greece with 24 hour service? TUI Magic Life holidays take All Inclusive resorts for families to another level. As well as drinks and snacks available 24/7, they have a wide range of entertainment and activities available, including fitness classes, sports programmes and nightly shows.
 

 

 
Enjoy a seven-night stay in the TUI Magic Life Plimmiri by Atlantica, Rhodes from €3807 on the 10th of August. Price includes flights, transfers, baggage and hotel on an all-inclusive basis, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. See this and 9 more all-inclusive holidays here:

See more here
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

Are your children off for an extra day or two over the June bank holiday? If so, why not plan a little staycation in Killarney. The hugely popular Park Palace Apartments are available from Sunday the 5th of June for two or three nights. Price for a two-night stay in a two-bedroom apartment is €394.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best cruise:

holidays to Santorini from Ireland

Spend three nights exploring the ancient city of Athens, before cruising the Greek Isles and the Med for seven nights on the brand new Regal Princess! This fabulous trip departs on the 26th of August and includes stops in Santorini, Naples and Montenegro, before sailing to Barcelona for your flight home. 
 

 

 
Price of €1375 includes flights, checked baggage, a three-night stay at the Wyndham Grand Athens Hotel on a B&B basis, and seven-night cruise including meals, premium drinks , WiFi and gratuities!

View offer here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

If you want to getaway for New Year then now is the time to start looking. I found flights to Iceland for €239 and a four-night stay in the 4-star Icelandair Reykjavik Natura Hotel is just €280 per person, making the total cost €519 for four nights. So, why not scratch one off the bucket list and chase the Northern Lights in Iceland over New Year.

Read my top things to do in Iceland

See more here
 

 

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 15th February 2022

best travel deals_opt (1)

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, summer holidays, city breaks, early booking offers, and staycations for couples and families.

This week’s best travel deals include last minute holidays to the Algarve, spring breaks in Nice and Croatia, summer holidays in Sorrento and Menorca, Lanzarote for New Year, and staycations in Galway and Roscommon.

InstagramIt is important to be aware of the latest travel restrictions, and that they are subject to change. Boosters are required for travel to most countries if initial vaccination is over 270 days.  Please check the latest updates with your airline or travel agent before you travel.

Read: Latest travel restrictions
 

 

 

Best last minute holiday:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

Would you believe the forecast in the Algarve is 20+ degrees and sunny next week? Take advantage of low airfares and discounted 5-star hotels and book a luxury spa break for just €230 per person. Price includes flights and a four-night stay with breakfast at the 5-star Vale d’Oliveiras Quinta Resort & Spa.
 

 

 
This is the best hotel in Carvoeiro according to TripAdvisor and the reviews from previous guests are excellent. If you prefer to stay longer, a seven-night stay is available from €392 per person including flights.

Check flights here €69pp 28th February  

View hotel here €162pp

See lots more hotel options here:

Read: The best beach hotels in the Algarve
 

 

 

Best overnight escape:

special offers to g Hotel

Treat yourself to an overnight escape at the 5-star g Hotel in Galway for just €80pp including breakfast. This Five Star Steal is valid on selected dates in February and March, booked directly on the hotel website.

See more here
 

 

 

Best spring break:  

croatia for Easter holidays

I’m a big fan of Croatia, and the pretty town of Cavtat in particular. I love to see offers coming in for the 5-Star Hotel Croatia as its one of those hotels that everyone seems to love.
 

 

 
I found a great deal over Easter weekend, where breakfast and dinner is included in the cost of your stay. Price for flights and a three-night stay on a half-board basis is just €439!

See more here
 

 

 

Best summer sun: 

best travel deals to the Amalfi Coast from Ireland

I had to do a double take when I saw the prices of flights to the Amalfi Coast this summer. Ryanair is offering return flights to Naples for €130 on the 19th of July! There are so many great hotels to choose from but I found a good deal in the 4-star Hotel Prestige. Price for a seven-night stay including breakfast is €503 per person, making the total cost only €633 for a week’s holiday in July!

Check flights here €130 19th July

View hotel here €503pp

You can find lots more hotel options here:

Read: The ultimate guide to the Amalfi Coast and where to stay
 

 

 

Best family holiday:  

family deal to Prinsotel La Caleta, Menorca

Did you know that Ryanair are flying direct to Menorca this summer? It seems many did not, because unlike most destinations in Spain, flights to Menorca are still relatively low – return flights from Dublin are just €114 on the 3rd of August for seven nights.

The highly rated Prinsotel La Caleta is €1874 for a seven-night self-catering stay. I have some more accommodation options for July in this post:

Read: Family holiday to 4-star Zafiro Menorca, 6th July, €2500

Check flights here €114pp 3rd August

View hotel here €1874
 

 

 

Best family staycation:  

Lough Key Forest Park

Self-catering breaks in Ireland are always popular during July and August, so if you are looking for a holiday home over the summer months its best to book in advance. I found a good deal staying in a 3-bedroom house beside Lough Rynn Castle. Price for a 3-night stay in July or August is €450.
 

 

 
With Lough Key Forest Park, the Blueway Waterpark and the Wild Atlantic Way within easy reach, it is a great base for a staycation in Ireland this year.

View offer here

 

Read: 10 self-catering breaks in Ireland this summer
 

 

 

Best city break:  

city break in Nice

Nice isn’t always the first place you think of for city breaks, but I urge you not to overlook it. Flight times are only 2 hours 30 minutes and the town centre is only 4 miles from the airport, so you can be sipping cocktails on the Promenade des Anglais within a half hour of leaving the airport🍸.
 

 

 
Nice has some gorgeous boutiques, amazing restaurants, and of course a fabulous long sandy beach, but that’s not all. Its location in the South of France is ideal for visiting Cannes,  St Tropez, Monaco, you can even pop into Italy on the train for your lunch!
 

 

 
I found great value flights for only €44 on the 2nd of April for three, five or seven nights. A three-night stay in the top rated Palm Hotel Nice is just €197 per person, making the a city break just €241 including flights.

Search flights here 2nd April €44

View hotel here €197pp
 

 

 

Best early booking offer: 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

Flights are on sale now for post Christmas breaks, and the earlier your book, the better price you will get. I found a good family deal to Lanzarote departing early morning on New Year’s Eve and returning the following Saturday, 7th of January. FYI Schools reopen after Christmas holidays on Thursday, 5th of January…
 

 

 
Price for return flights and a seven-night stay at the popular Hyde Park Lane apartments is €2087 for a family of four. Alternatively choose flights and a two-bedroom villa with private pool from €2748, or the five-star all-inclusive Dreams Tagoro Family & Fun Hotel, with all meals and drinks included for just €3691.

Search flights here  31st Dec €360pp

View Apartment €647

View Villa €1308

View All Inclusive €2251

I have lots more hotel and apartment choices in this post:

Family holidays to Lanzarote – My top 20 picks on where to stay
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 1st February 2022

Best Travel Deals Image_opt (1)

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, summer holidays, city breaks, early booking offers, and staycations for couples and families.

This week’s best travel deals include last minute holidays to Lanzarote and Rome, summer holidays in Greece and Majorca, New York for New Year, and staycations in Sligo and Kilkenny.

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It is important to be aware of the latest travel restrictions, and that they are subject to change. Boosters are required for travel to most countries if initial vaccination is over 270 days, and Italy and Portugal also require negative tests at present.  Please check the latest updates with your airline or travel agent before you travel.
 

 

 

Best last minute holiday:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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


Jet off to sunny Lanzarote and enjoy a seven-night stay at the Villa Canaima apartments for just €387 per person. Price for return flights on the 7th of February are just €155, and a seven-night stay in a one-bedroom apartment with pool view is €232 per person.

Rated number 1 on TripAdvisor for speciality lodging in Puerto del Carmen, this is great value for a spring break in the Canary Islands.

Check flights here €155 7th February

View hotel here €232pp
 

 

 

Best city break:

Colosseum at night

Always wanted to fly off to Rome at a moments notice? Well now is your chance! Surprise your loved one this Valentines Day and enjoy a two-night break in Rome for just €177! 
 

 

 
Return flights from Dublin to Rome are just €50 on the 13th of February, and a two-night stay at the 4-star Liberty Boutique Hotel is just €127pp.

Check flights here €50pp 13th February

View hotel here €127pp

See this hotel and lots more hotel options in this post:

Read: Where to stay in Rome, my top picks of 3, 4 and 5-star hotels and apartments
 

 

 

Best overnight escape

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

Many of you already know I am a big fan of Mount Juliet, but its not just the setting and service that I love, it is also so handy for an overnight escape. Kilkenny is accessible from most counties, so if you fancy a luxury break away that won’t break the bank, I found it!
 

 

 
Price for summer stays in June are available from €90pp including breakfast – a nice Valentines Day gift perhaps?  See this deal and more five-star hotel offers here:

See more here
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

family holiday deals from Ireland

The Protur Bonaire in Majorca is one of the most highly sought after family properties in Spain. Its kids clubs, splash park and overall family friendly facilities have seen it become a firm favourite with Irish families. However, it is rare to find Free Child Places still available in peak season, but I found some available in early August.
 

 

 
Price for flights, transfers, checked baggage, and a seven-night stay on a Half Board basis is €2,972, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. Note price will show at €3,222 when you click on the link below, but if you use the promo code SALE you will save a further €250 off the price.

See more here
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

family breaks in Sligo at the Clayton Hotel

Plan your Easter break now and enjoy a three-night stay with breakfast at the Clayton Hotel Sligo from just €437. This super hotel has great family friendly facilities including a fully supervised kids club, swimming pool, kids pool, mini-golf course, and fairy trail. Large family suites are also available that can accommodate families of five.

See more here
 

 

 

Best luxury holiday:

best travel deals to Rhodes

The Sentido Asterias Beach Resort is a brand new 5-star beachfront hotel in Rhodes that offers great value for a luxury holiday in Greece this summer. The reviews on TripAdvisor are excellent and prices are sure to increase.
 

 

 
I found return flights to Rhodes with Ryanair from €163 on the 27th of August, and a seven-night stay here on an All-Inclusive basis is €804 per person.

Check flights here €163pp 27th August

View hotel here €804pp

I have spent the week ogling over the best luxury five-star hotels in Greece for my latest post,  you can find lots more options here:

Read: The best luxury hotels in Greece for adults – my top 20 picks
 

 

 

Best cruise:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

The brand new Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Wonder of the Seas is cruising the Med this summer, and you can enjoy a seven-night cruise from Barcelona from just €1325 in September. Price includes return flights, cruise, meals and activities.

See more here
 

 

 

Early booking offer:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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


Ring in the New Year in New York! Direct flights are on sale to Newark with United Airlines and return airfares start at just €442 per person for the Basic Economy fare, but I recommend opting for the Economy fare of €532 which includes checked baggage, seat selection and free changes if required. 

There are numerous hotels to choose to suit all tastes and budgets, but you can find my top picks here.

Read: Where to stay in New York – from great value apartments to luxury hotels

Check flights here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 18th January 2022

Best travel deals

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, summer holidays, city breaks, early booking offers, and staycations for couples and families.

This week’s best travel deals include a last minute holiday to Gran Canaria, spring breaks in Venice and Iceland, summer holidays in Croatia and Amalfi Coast a Med cruise, and early bookings offers to Miami and Portugal.  I also have staycations in Belfast and Kilkenny.
 

 

 
It is important to be aware of the latest travel restrictions. In Europe most countries only require you to show your Digital Covid Certificate if vaccinated, however there are exceptions, including Italy and Portugal where a negative test is also required. Currently no pre-departure tests are required returning to Ireland, as long as you are fully vaccinated.

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I have some advice and tips in these posts that you may find useful, but please check the latest updates with your airline or travel agent before you travel.

Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Travelling overseas? Make sure you fill out passenger locator forms in advance
 

 

 

Best last minute holiday:

Gold by Marina hotel, Gran Canaira

Want to stay in the best rated hotel in Gran Canaria? This amazing deal to the Gold by Marina Hotel is just €471 for seven nights, including flights, transfers and checked baggage – this is almost 50% off the original price.
 

 

 
Ranked number 1 out of 134 hotels in Gran Canaria by TripAdvisor, this adult-only hotel is just what you need to beat the January blues. Price will show €521 below, but if you use code WINTER you will save a further €100 off the total price. Price is based on 24th January departure, but travel January 31st or February 7th for a supplement of €72 per person. 

See more here
 

 

 

Best overnight escape:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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


To coincide with the 50th birthday of the historic Europa Hotel in Belfast, you can enjoy a Golden Moments package from €66 per person sharing, which includes an overnight stay, full Irish breakfast, signature cocktail in the Piano Lounge, signature truffles in your room, and an exclusive golden Hastings duck!
 

 

 
The Europa is a world famous hotel that welcomed the numerous celebrities as well as The Clintons and the Dalai Lama. There has never been a better time to visit!

View offer here
 

 

 

Best spring break:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

Chase the Northern Lights, swim in the Blue Lagoon and marvel at the Iceland’s Golden Circle. This super weekend in Iceland includes flights and a four-star hotel from just €386, departing March 26th.

See more here
 

 

 

Best summer sun:

best travel deals to the Amalfi coast

A summer break on the Amalfi Coast doesn’t have to cost the earth. Check out this deal to Sorrento, departing June 8th. Price for flights and a seven-night stay in the 4-Star Hotel Prestige is just €585 including breakfast.

See more here

 

See more accommodation options here:

Read: My ultimate guide to the Amalfi Coast, where to stay in Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi & Capri
 

 

 

Best city break:

best travel deals to Venice

Aer Lingus’ sale has been extended to January 24th so why not take advantage and plan a cheeky city break. With up to 20% off European destinations up to 31st May, cities such as Venice, Bilbao, Vienna and Madrid, are available from less than €100 for return flights – see more here.

I found a great deal to Venice departing March 28th. Price for flights and a three-night stay at the superbly located Mercurio Hotel is just €235 per person.

View flights here €82pp

View hotel here €153pp

 

See lots more accommodation options in Venice here:

Read: Top things to do in Venice and where to stay
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

zaton holiday resort, Croatia

Looking for something different for your family holiday this year? Try Croatia! The highly rated Zaton Holiday Resort is a huge resort with a wide selection of mobile homes and self-catering apartments to suit families of all shapes and sizes. Located by the sea, with a waterpark, slides and kids clubs on site, it has everything you need for a fun-filled family holiday.
 

 

 
I found a great family deal from €1411 including flights from Dublin for seven nights on the 8th of June, based on a family of four. Price for return flights are €142 per person from Dublin to Zadar, and self-catering apartments are available from €843. The Zaton Holiday Resort is located just 20km from Zadar airport.

Superior apartments and larger two-bedroom homes are also available. If this date doesn’t suit, simply edit the dates below to suit you.

Check flights here €142pp

View Apts here from €843

 
Read: The Best Family Campsites in Europe – Top 20 Picks
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

family hotels in Ireland - Newpark Hotel Kilkenny has a pet farm.

The Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny is often regarded as one of the best family hotels in Ireland – I have no doubt your kids will agree. It was voted Family Friendly Hotel of the year in 2020, and the fact that there is a wildlife park and a go-karting track (8+) on site might have something to do with that.
 

 

 
It tends to get booked out quickly during school holidays, so if you are planning a family break during Easter holidays, now might be a good time to book. Price for a two-night stay is €500 for a family of four, or €540 for a family of five, including breakfast. 

Read: Top 10 things to do in Kilkenny with kids

Read: 20 family hotel deals in Ireland during Easter holidays

See more here
 

 

 

Best long haul offer:

all inclusive holiday deals

Can you think of a better combo than Miami and Mexico? Enjoy a three-night stay in the 4-Star Gates Hotel on the world famous South Beach, before flying to Cancun for a seven-night stay at the 5-star Grand Sunset Princess Hotel on an all-inclusive basis – and all for just €1429 in September! Price includes all fights and checked baggage.

See more here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

You may recall I flew to Lisbon and the Algarve over the October mid term break, and managed to bag cheap flights with TAP Air Portugal by booking in advance. Well these flights are on sale now for next October…
 

 

 
You can choose a city break in Lisbon during school holidays, with return flights from €80 per person, (3rd – 6th November), or fly to the Algarve (via Lisbon) for seven-nights from €147 per person (29th October – 5th November).

I have linked flights to Skyscanner below, and based flight prices on convenient flight times (not the cheaper 0450 departure!), but regardless of which flight you choose, I recommend clicking through to the TAP Air Portugal website to make a booking.

View Lisbon here €80pp

View Faro here €147pp

 

You can see a wide selection of hotel and apartment choices in these posts:

Read: Where to stay in Lisbon, my top picks of 3, 4 and 5-star Lisbon hotels

Read: Family holidays to the Algarve, my top picks on where to stay
 

 

 

Best cruise:

Princess Cruises

Cruise the Med with Princess Cruises this summer, with all-inclusive cruise deals from just €1249 including flights, meals and drinks on board. There is a wide selection to choose from, including a seven-night cruise on Regal Princess from Athens, visiting Santorini, Montenegro, Sicily and Naples, before returning to Barcelona for your flight home.

Price for this itinerary is from €1299, departing June 4th, and includes return flights, airport transfers and cruise on an all-inclusive basis.

See more here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 14th December 2021

Best travel deals

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, winter breaks, city breaks, cruise deals, early booking offers for next summer, and staycations for couples and families.

This week’s best travel deals includes a city break in Lisbon for €181, winter sun in Gran Canaria, Easter in Madeira, a family holiday to Boston and Cape Cod, an all-inclusive deal to Mexico,  a cruise around the Emirates, as well as staycations in Mayo and Laois.
 

 

 
It is important to be aware of the latest travel restrictions. In Europe most countries only require you to show your Digital Covid Certificate if vaccinated, however there are some exceptions. In some cases testing will also be required, and currently a negative Covid test is required when you return to Ireland.
 
Instagram
 
I have some advice and tips in these posts that you may find useful, but please check the latest updates with your airline or travel agent before you travel.

Latest travel restrictions for entry into Ireland

Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Travelling overseas? Make sure you fill out passenger locator forms in advance
 

 

 

Best last minute holiday:

holiday deals to Gran Canaria

Want to beat the January blues? Jet off to Gran Canaria and enjoy a seven-night stay at the Bahia Feliz apartments for just €300 including flights, transfers and checked baggage! Highly rated on TripAdvisor and a Travellers Choice award winner this year, this is incredible value for a week in the sun.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best overnight escape:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

We have just returned from an overnight stay in the Midlands Park Hotel and were really impressed with its contemporary style and choice of dining options. Located just an hour from from Dublin, it is the perfect place for a quick getaway. 
 

 

 
I found this great Winter Indulgence deal available on selected dates from this Sunday right up to March. For only €99 per room you can enjoy an overnight stay with breakfast, Irish Coffee or Baileys Hot Chocolate, €10 off Jule Day Spa when you spend €50, and a 10% discount card for Kildare Village Outlet!

Top Tip: Make sure to pre-book Kellys Steakhouse, the food is superb! 

View offers here
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

Boston and Cape Cod Holiday

I love a good road trip, and Boston to Cape Cod is firmly on my family holiday bucket list. I spotted this luxury deal with Platinum Travel and it looks very tempting!
 

 

 
Price for flights, a three night stay in Boston, followed by a seven night stay in Cape Cod, with car hire and a Boston Trolley Tour included, is only €4,399 per family. This price is based on travel in May, but other dates can be arranged.

View offer here

 

Read: Boston and Cape Cod travel guide, top things to do and where to stay 
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

twixmas breaks in Ireland

Treat the family to a Twixmas break in Breaffy House Hotel in Mayo. We stayed here twice now and love its family friendly facilities and proximity to Mayo’s gorgeous coastline.
 

 

 
Price for a two-night stay on the 29th of December is just €408 based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing, or €486 for a family of six sharing a family bunkbed room.

Read: 15 family Twixmas breaks, 2 night stays from €338

View offer here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Visit Madeira (@visitmadeira)

Ryanair have just announced a year round service from Dublin to Madeira, and now is the time to book to get the best value. A holiday over Easter holidays including flights and a seven-night stay in the 4-star Savoy Signature Hotel, is just €394 per person, based on two sharing. Prices are even less if you travel outside of peak times.

Search flights here 13th April €152pp

View hotel here €242pp
 

 

 

Best city break

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

Lisbon is super city break destination. There is so much to see and do, its on the coast, and it has a great food scene! I found weekend flights departing on the 2nd of April for just €56 return, and a three-night stay in the popular Ibis Styles Marquês de Pombal with breakfast included is only €125 per person. A weekend in Lisbon for just €181 is a super Christmas gift idea 🎁

Read: Top 10 things to do in Lisbon, with or without kids

Search flights here 2nd April €56pp

View hotel here €125pp

See more Lisbon hotel options in this post:

Read: Where to stay in Lisbon, my top picks of Lisbon hotels
 

 

 

Best long haul holiday:

Best travel deals to Mexico

Want to dance like nobody’s watching? Enjoy a week in the lively RIU Cancun Hotel, where the all-inclusive arrangement is available 24 hours a day, for only €1095 including flights! Yes you read that right!
 

 

 
This amazing deal includes flights to Cancun Mexico and a seven night stay on in the beachfront RIU Cancun an all inclusive basis, departing May 2022. 

View offer here
 

 

 

Best cruise:

image of Dubai from above

Cruise Dubai and the Emirates on the brand new MSC Virtousa for just €1229 per person. This super deal includes flights to Doha with Qatar Airways, an overnight stay in Doha, return airport transfers, and a seven night cruise with meals and gratuities included. 

View offer here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

 

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 9th November 2021

best travel deals_opt (1)

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, winter breaks, city breaks, cruise deals, early booking offers for next summer, and staycations for couples and families.

This week’s best travel deals include a last minute holiday to Lanzarote, Christmas market breaks to Munich, a city break to Boston, family holidays in Portugal and Clare, a summer offer to Sorrento, a Royal Caribbean cruise and an overnight escape to Cabra Castle.
 

 

 
It is important to be aware that each country has their own entry requirements. If you are vaccinated, you will beed to bring your Digital Covid Certificate with you, and non-vaccinated people will need to produce a negative Covid tests on arrival. 
 
Instagram
 
Most countries require passenger locator forms to be filled out in advance of travel – in some cases these have to be done 24 hours in advance. I have some advice and tips in these posts that you may find useful, but please check the latest updates with your airline or travel agent before you travel.

Top 10 tips for booking holidays during Covid-19

Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Travelling overseas? Make sure you fill out passenger locator forms in advance

 

Best last minute holiday:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

With temperatures a balmy 21 degrees in Lanzarote, why not enjoy a winter sun break before Christmas? Price for flights and a seven-night stay in the highly rated La Penita apartments in Puerto el Carmen, is just €379, departing the 28th of November. 

Read: Why Lanzarote is my favourite Canary Island

Search flights here €171pp

View hotel here €208pp
 

 

 

Best overnight escape:

hotel deal to Cabra Castle

Enjoy an overnight escape in the luxurious 18th Century Cabra Castle for just €65 per person including a Full Irish breakfast – this is a saving of 47% off the standard room rate. Price is available on selected dates until 31st  March 2022.

View offer here 
 

 

 

Best winter break:

Christmas market break in Munich

Kick start the festive season with a Christmas market break in Munich. Bavaria’s capital has over 20 markets to choose from and is covered in twinkling lights and market stalls.
 

 

 
Price for a two night break, flying out early morning on the 8th of December and returning late on the 10th of December including Aer Lingus flights and the highly rated Bold Hotel Munich Centre, is just €226 per person. See more hotel choices in this post:

Read: The best Christmas markets in Munich and where to stay

View flights here €92pp

See hotel here €134pp
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

I had many enquiries about staying at Martinhal Sagres since my recent visit and I found a good deal on the hotel’s website for the end of June.
 

 

 
Flights from Dublin to Faro with TAP Air Portugal are just €140 per person including hand luggage – you can choose to stop in Lisbon if you wish, or continue on to Faro. A seven-night stay at a 2-bedroom Mimosa Townhouse is €2222, making the total cost including flights €2,782, arriving the 24th or 25th of June.

Search flights here €140pp

Search hotel here €2222
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

Cliffs of Moher

Dust off the cob webs with a post-Christmas stroll along the Cliffs of Moher. This super deal staying in Clare’s Woodstock Hotel is just €325 per family, based on a two-night stay, arriving December 28th.
 

 

 
The onsite Leisure Club with pool, kids pool, sauna and jacuzzi will be a warmly welcomed after spending a day along the Wild Atlantic Way.

View offer here

 

See more festive family breaks here:

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

 

 

Best city break:

Weekend in Boston

With the USA back open to international visitors, I simply had to include a city break Stateside this week. Aer Lingus if currently offering €100 off return flights to the USA for travel up to 31st December, however I chose a spring weekend in Boston instead – for just €482 including a 4-star hotel!
 

 

 
Return direct flights to Boston are available in February (including Valentine’s weekend) for just €298 per person, and a three-night stay in the 4-star Staypineapple, South End is available from just €201 per person.

See more here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

The ultimate guide to the Amalfi Coast, where to stay in Positano, Sorrento, Amalfi and more

I found some great deals from Dublin to Naples in August from just €123 return. Enjoy a week in sunny Sorrento, staying in the 4-star Hotel Prestige for just €547 per person, making the total cost for a seven-night stay on the 12th of August, with flights included, just €670 per person. This hotel rate includes breakfast and free cancellation too!

View flights here €123pp

View hotel here €547pp

I have lots more hotel choices along the Amalfi Coast in this post:

Read: The ultimate guide to the Amalfi Coast and where to stay
 

 

 

Best cruise:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

The brand new Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Wonder of the Seas will be launching in March 2022. What will be the world’s largest ship will have even more award-winning facilities and dining options available.

It will be cruising the Med next summer, and you can enjoy a seven-night cruise from Barcelona from just €1489 in June. Price includes return flights, cruise, meals and activities.

See more here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 27th October 2021

Best Travel Deals Image_opt (1)

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, winter breaks, city breaks, cruise deals, early booking offers for next summer, and staycations for couples and families.

 

This week I have a last minute wellness break in the Algarve, winter sun in Fuerteventura, city breaks to Lisbon, a cruise around the Emirates, and a family holiday to Lake Garda for next summer. I also have a post-Christmas family break in Sligo, and an amazing offer to Mount Juliet. 
 

 

 
It is important to be aware that each country has their own entry requirements. If you are vaccinated, you will beed to bring your Digital Covid Certificate with you, and non-vaccinated people will need to produce a negative Covid tests on arrival. 
 
Instagram
 
Most countries require passenger locator forms to be filled out in advance of travel – in some cases these have to be done 24 hours in advance. I have some advice and tips in these posts that you may find useful, but please check the latest updates with your airline or travel agent before you travel.

Top 10 tips for booking holidays during Covid-19

Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Travelling overseas? Make sure you fill out passenger locator forms in advance

Latest travel updates on international travel – your questions answered
 

 

 

Best last minute holiday:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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


Treat yourself to a luxury Wellness break in the Algarve. Flights and luxury hotels are superb value in November – like this deal to the 5-star Real Marina Hotel, with indoor pool and luxury Spa. Price for flights and a five-night stay is just €284 per person.

See more here
 

 

 

Best overnight escape:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

Why not treat yourself or a loved one to an over night stay at Mount Juliet Estate? I found a super deal for a Sunday night stay in January. Price including breakfast at Hunters Yard is just €80 per person – the perfect Christmas gift perhaps? I stayed in Mount Juliet last summer and loved it – you can read my review here.

Read: My review of Mount Juliet 

Read: 10 Five-Star hotel deals in Ireland

View offer here

 

 

 

Best winter sun:

Get some sun before the festive season, with a week in Fuerteventura. Price for flights and  a seven-night stay in the highly rated Las Marismas apartments is just €298 per person, departing December 2nd. 

Search flights here €95pp

View hotel here €203pp
 

 

 

Best city break:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

If you were following me this week, you will know that I had a fabulous time in Lisbon. I have some great Lisbon deals available on my website at the moment, including a 5-star break for Valentines weekend from €278, and an Easter weekend offer from €372 per person.
 

 

 
I also have a family break over Easter weekend from €1084 including flights and a 4-star apartment – the price is even less if you can travel midweek during school holidays.

See Valentines Offer

 

See Easter Offer
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

Sirmione, Lake Garda

With airfares set to increase, now is the time to secure your family holiday for next summer! Flights to Verona are surprisingly good value – with return flights from just €190 per person on the 15th of July or €150 per person on the 10th of August.
 

 

 
There is a host of accommodation options available, from mobile homes to luxury apartments. I have selected two below that might be of interest – simply edit the dates to suit your requirements.

Search flights here 10th August €150pp

See Poiano here €1400

See FamilySPA Resort €2352
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

Enniscrone Beach.

Brisk walks along Enniscrone beach are the perfect way to kick start the New Year. The Ocean Sands Hotel is ocated in the heart of Enniscrone, overlooking one of Ireland’s best beaches, the location couldn’t be better. Children will love Waterpoint Aqua Park too, which is only a few minutes walk away. 
 

 

 
Price for a two-night stay on the 28th of December is €422 per family – this is a large family room and sleeps up to five.

Read: 15 family breaks between Christmas and New Year

View offer here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

Always wanted to visit Las Vegas? I spotted flights with British Airways for just €335 return next September! With prices like that, why not treat yourself to a deluxe suite at Signature at the MGM Grand Hotel? Price for a four-night stay is just €375 per person.

View flights here €335pp

View hotel here €375pp
 

 

 

Best cruise:

MSC Virtuosa

I spotted MSC Virtuosa in Lisbon yesterday, so thought it timely to include it in this weeks Best Travel Deals post. It is cruising around the Emirates this winter, and you can enjoy a seven-night cruise with flights, checked baggage, all meals, drinks and gratuities included, from just €1289 in February!

Visit Dubai, Sir Bani Yas Island, Dammam and Doha, before returning to Dubai for your flight home.

See more here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 12th October 2021

Best travel deals

I’ve searched the web so you don’t have to! My best travel deals include last minute holidays, winter breaks, city breaks, cruise deals, early booking offers for next summer, and staycations for couples and families.

 

This week I have a last minute five-star holiday for less than €400, Christmas lights in Malaga City, Christmas on the ski slopes, a luxury river cruise, and early booking offers to Greece for next summer. I also have a post-Christmas family break in Wexford, some Dublin hotel deals for your Christmas party this year, and an Aer Lingus seat sale.
 

 

 
It is important to be aware that each country has their own entry requirements. If you are vaccinated, you will beed to bring your Digital Covid Certificate with you, and non-vaccinated people will need to produce a negative Covid tests on arrival. 
 
Instagram
 
Most countries require passenger locator forms to be filled out in advance of travel – in some cases these have to be done 24 hours in advance. I have some advice and tips in these posts that you may find useful, but please check the latest updates with your airline or travel agent before you travel.

Top 10 tips for booking holidays during Covid-19

Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Travelling overseas? Make sure you fill out passenger locator forms in advance

Latest travel updates on international travel – your questions answered
 

 

 

Best last minute holiday:

Luxury hotel deals in Greece

Fly off to Corfu this weekend and enjoy a seven-night stay in the 5-star, adult-only, Kairaba Mythos Palace Hotel, for just €385. Price includes return flights and hotel on a bed and breakfast basis, departing 19th October. I stayed very close to this hotel some years ago and there are some super restaurants and beach bars in the nearby resort of Messonghi.
 

 

 
If you prefer to travel at the weekend, the price is just €400 on Saturday 16th October.  Short stays of 3 and 4 nights are also available with Ryanair, just edit the search dates to suit your requirements on the hotel link below.

Search flights here 16th /19th Oct €63pp

 
View hotel here €322pp
 

 

 

Best overnight escape:

Dublin hotel deals at Christmas time

Now is the time to start planning your Christmas party nights out, but why book a cheeky overnight stay too? When you think of the cost of taxi fares, and that you can enjoy a nice cooked breakfast the following morning, its a win-win…

Prices are available from €50pp in Dublin’s city centre, and I have a choice of 20 Dublin hotel deals in this post:

Read: 20 Dublin hotel deals – Overnight Stays in December from €45pp
 

 

 

Best winter holiday:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

Spend Christmas on the ski slopes! Fly off to Sestriere in Italy on the 19th of December and enjoy a seven-night stay in the Residence Tabor in Bardonecchia from €508, based on two sharing.
 

 

 
Families can enjoy a skiing holiday at the Olympic Village Apartments in Sestriere from just €1532, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing – this includes a discount of €75 by using code TDRQ9LVDP. Prices include return flights to Turin, checked baggage and airport transfers.

See more here 
 

 

 

Best family holiday:

top picks for family holidays

Greece is proving very popular with families, and with airfares set to rise next year, now is the time to secure your family holiday for next summer. I have just published a post with 20 family friendly properties, but this one in Zakynthos caught my eye today, and there is a free child place available.
 

 

 
The All Inclusive Aqua Bay Suites Hotel is located near a waterpark, and if you book a package holiday you are granted free entry to the waterpark throughout your stay. You also have access to Kids Clubs, restaurants and pools at its two sister hotels, and airport transfers and checked baggage are included in the price.
 

 

 
Family Rooms are modern with sliding doors, and you can choose to upgrade to swim-up rooms, or rooms with private pools. Price for a family of 2 adults and 2 children for seven nights on an all-inclusive basis with flights, transfers, baggage, and water park access, is €3,870. If you upgrade to a room with a private pool, the cost is €4,728, departing 26th June.

Read: 20 Top Family Holidays in Greece for 2022

View offer here
 

 

 

Best family staycation:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

Enjoy a post-Christmas break at the 4-Star Riverside Park Hotel in Wexford. I stayed here during the summer, and they have great value family breaks from just €188. With most schools not returning until the 6th of January, this is the perfect way to finish the Christmas holidays in style.
 

 

 
Price of €188 includes a two-night stay with breakfast, dinner on one evening, and a family activity pass to one of 8 family attractions, based on two adults and two children sharing, arriving the 3rd of January. Superior family rooms are available for families of five from €234. You may recall we visited Wells House and Gardens and loved it, this is one of the attractions that is included. 

Read: Top 10 things to do in Wexford with kids

View offer here
 

 

 

Best city break:

Christmas lights in Malaga city

Despite visiting the Costa del Sol many times, I have yet to spend some time in Malaga City. I have heard great things about this city and its Christmas lights are famous around the world. From Friday 26th November the city will be illuminated with 1000’s of lights and it is a great way to kick off the festive season. 
 

 

 
I found return flights to Malaga from €79 on Saturday the 27th of November, and a three-night stay at the 4-star Petit Palace Plaza Hotel is just €169 per person. Rated as Excellent on TripAdvisor, this is one of the most popular hotels in Malaga City.

Search flights here €79pp

View hotel here €169pp
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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


Flights to Thessaloniki in Greece are on sale for next summer. I just bagged myself cheap flights for my own family holiday, but this is an area that is suitable for couples and families alike. Flights are available from €55 each way in June, and there are numerous hotel or apartments to choose from.
 

 

 
The adult-only 5-Star Alia Palace Hotel is just €371 for a seven-night stay, and there are numerous self-catering options available for families. If you want to splash out, choose the 5-star Sani Resort.

Read: My ultimate guide to Sani Resort

Search flights here  €110pp 

View Alia Palace €371pp B&B
 

 

 

Best cruise:

Uniworld's SS Antoinette

Luxury river cruise specialists Uniworld are offering savings of €1,000 per person on selected European cruises in 2022. Enjoy an eight-day, five-star river cruise through Venice the Gems of Italy from €1,899, or trips through Bordeaux, Paris and Normandy, or along the Danube or Rhine from €1999.
 

 

 
Price includes all meals, unlimited premium drinks, shore excursions, gratuities and airport transfers. Excludes flights. Book by 31st October.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best seat sale:

Aer Lingus seat sale

Aer Lingus is having a 72 hour flash sale to Europe, with flights to Paris and Barcelona available from €19.99 each way. Book by midnight 14th October for travel between 1st November and 16th December 2021.
 

 

 
The North American sale has also been extended for sale until midnight 25th October, with flights from €149 each way, for travel between 1st November and 17th February 2022.

See more here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Travel

Ten Autumn / Winter Breaks To Use With Aer Lingus Vouchers

autumn winter breaks

Have you have an Aer Lingus voucher that you want to use? If you want to have something to look forward to, one of these autumn / winter breaks might do the trick.

I know many of you have Aer Lingus vouchers and would love to plan some autumn or winter breaks – well fortunately you can! Aer Lingus offer flexible booking options, so if you wish to book something now, and travel restrictions are still in place later in the year, you can change your booking free of charge. Some fare types are also eligible for refund vouchers – see more here:

Read: Aer Lingus allow free changes for summer 2021
 

 

 
I advise  you to book hotels or apartments with free cancellation, and for that reason I have priced all of accommodation below with refundable rates, in fact most hotels allow you to book now and pay later – so you don’t even need to pay a deposit.

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All hotels and apartments are highly rated on Tripadvisor with great reviews from previous guests. If the dates I have chosen don’t suit you, please click on the links below and edit the search to suit your requirements. 

Note, these winter breaks contain affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.
 

 

 

 *Prices for Autumn / Winter Breaks include flight cost*

 

1. A week in Lanzarote, 18th November, €298pp

autumn winter breaks

Lanzarote is a great choice for a winter week away. The year round sunshine and long sandy beaches have been attracting Irish visitors for many years. It’s not all about sun and sand though, there is plenty of good sightseeing, as well as some excellent duty free shopping. 

The old town of Puerto del Carmen has some fantastic restaurants. Having a drink at one of the waterfront cafes as the sun sets over the harbour is a lovely way to end your day.

Read: Why Lanzarote is my favourite Canary Island 
 

 

 
I found a great Lanzarote deal staying in the Tisalaya apartments in Puerto del Carmen. Highly rated on TripAdvisor, they are an ideal choice to explore all that Lanzarote has to offer. Fly from Dublin on the 18th of October and enjoy a seven night stay for only €297 per person. 

View flights here €128pp  

View hotel here €170pp
 

 

 

2. New Year Skiing in Austria, 27th December, 2 adults & 2 children, €1871

I have always loved skiing and was delighted to bring my kids skiing for the first time last year. It is not a cheap holiday by any means, but if you have been cooped up in the house for the last year, can you think of anything better than spending the New Year in the Alps?
 

 

 
I found the highly rated apartments Hechenberger available on Vrbo – Expedia’s vacation rentals company. The apartment was awarded with 4 Edelweiss, (the highest categorisation that private rentals can achieve in Austria), and is located close to the town centre and 1000 metres from the nearest ski lift.

Read: Top tips for family skiing
 

 

 
Fly from Dublin on the 27th of December and enjoy a seven night stay in the Hechenberger apartments for less than €2000. I recommend booking the more expensive ‘Plus’ fare because it includes 20kg checked baggage, seat selection and priority boarding, as well as being eligible for a voucher if you need to cancel your booking.

View flights here €184pp 

View hotel here £978 / €1135 
 

 

 

3. A spa break in the Algarve, 12th October from €240pp 

autumn winter breaks in the algarve

With a stunning coastline boasting some of Europe’s best beaches, its not surprising that the Algarve is one of our most popular holiday destinations. There are many resorts to choose from, from the lively resort of Albufeira to the picturesque town of Carvoeiro, and I found great deals in both.
 

 

 
The Sol Aqua is located just ten minutes walk from the old town of Albufeira and boasts an indoor and outdoor pool, and wellness centre. If you are looking for something more luxurious, the 5-star Vale d’Oliveiras Quinta Resort & Spa is an excellent choice. Rated number 1 on Tripadvisor with excellent reviews.
 

 

 
Located just five minutes from Carvoeiro, you can choose to enjoy its fine restaurants, or dine on site in the hotel’s Olive Tree Restaurant, which offers panoramic views over the gardens and pool. Breakfast is also included in this great deal.

View flights here €80 Aer Lingus

View Sol Aqua €160pp

Vale D'Oliveiras here €282pp
 

 

 

4. Christmas Shopping in New York, 4th December, 4 nights, €780!

christmas shopping in new york

I love visiting New York, regardless of the time of year, but there is something magical about visiting at Christmas time. Parting with your hard-earned cash on Christmas presents is also a lot easier when you are doing it in New York – and who knows, you might pick up some bargains for yourself too. I have posts on shopping in New York and things to do in New York so if you need any more inspiration be sure to check them out.
 

 

 
The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Centre is usually illuminated at the beginning of December. With this in mind I have chosen flights with Aer Lingus to depart on the 4th of December and a four-night stay in the centrally located Shelburne Hotel & Suites by Affinia.

Priced at just €780 including 23kg checked baggage based on 2 sharing or even less if three or four share, this is superb value. When you click on the link below you will notice the saver airfare is €100 less but I recommend booking the ‘Smart’ fare because it includes 23kg checked baggage, seat selection and complimentary meal, as well as being eligible for a voucher if you need to cancel your booking.

View flights here €421pp  Smart fare includes 23kg checked baggage

View hotel here €359pp 

Read: 5 More Christmas Shopping breaks to New York
 

 

 

5.  Autumn on the Amalfi Coast: 14th October, 1 week, €413pp

winter breaks in Sorrento.

The four-star Hotel Zi’ Teresa is centrally located in the resort of Sorrento. With sea views from the terrace, and breakfast included in the cost of your stay, this is superb value for a week in Sorrento. Check out the reviews on TripAdvisor if you still need convincing.

View flights here €99pp
 

View hotel here €314pp  
 

 

 

6. Disneyland Paris with Park Tickets, 27th October, 3 Nights, 2 adults & 2 children, €2099

halloween festival at disneyland paris

Halloween is a great time to visit Disneyland Paris. The parks are transformed for their annual Halloween festival. Scary attractions like Phantom Manor and Tower of Terror have some spooky surprises in store, while Main Street U.S.A is full of pumpkins, flickering lights and creepy sounds.
 

 

 
The impressive Illuminations Show at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle takes on a Halloween theme, and will surely leave you feeling bewitched.  Read my dedicated blog post on this offer with more information.

View offer here
 

 

 

7.  October bank holiday weekend in Croatia, 5-star hotel, 3 nights, €499 

autumn winter breaks in croatia

If you are looking for a luxury weekend away in beautiful surroundings, look no further than this. The 5-star Hotel Croatia is located in the pretty resort of Cavtat, just a ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik. I stayed here a few years ago and loved it. Cavtat is located close to the airport too, so it is a great option for a weekend break.  
 

 

 
Dubrovnik is very busy during the day time, but you can catch the ferry from Cavtat early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the crowds have dissipated.

Cavtat is also located close to the border of Montenegro. We visited the medieval town of Kotor during our stay. Normally I would highly recommend you do the same, but the Hotel Croatia is a beautiful hotel and offers stunning sea views from the terrace, so you may find it difficult to leave….

Read: Visiting Croatia and Montenegro
 

 

 
Fly from Dublin on the 23rd of October and enjoy a three-night stay with breakfast for  just €499 per person. A deposit of €30 secures the hotel booking with flexible amendments available until 27th of September.

View flights here €189 

View hotel here €310pp
 

 

 

8. Christmas market break in Berlin, 3rd December, 3-nights, €192pp

Berlin Christmas Market breaks.

Believe it or not, Berlin has over 50 different Christmas markets to choose from. The Winter World at Potsdamer Platz offers ice skating and tobogganing, while the traditional Christmas Markets at Alexanderplatz and Charlottenburg house wooden stalls and beer houses. And lets not forget the market in Spandau that has rock concerts every Friday!
 

 

 
Of course with so many other sights to see and some great nightlife, Berlin is a great city to visit at anytime. I found a super deal in the centrally located Titanic Comfort Berlin Mitte hotel. This receives great reviews on TripAdvisor and is a great choice for a festive break.

Read my city guide to Berlin here.
 
Check flights here €105pp

Check hotel here €87pp
 

 

 

9. Winter week in Gran Canaria, 20th January, Gloria Palace Amadores, €678pp

winter breaks in the canary islands.

Perched on a cliff with stunning views of the sea, and only 300 meters from the beach, it is not surprising why the Gloria Palace Amadores Hotel and Thalasso is very popular with Irish holidaymakers.
 

 

 
Situated between Puerto Rico and Mogan, this hotel offers the best of both worlds – a relaxing holiday with the option to travel to nearby resorts if you fancy a livelier scene. Renowned for it’s high quality cuisine, attentive staff and for having one of Europe’s top thalassotherapy centres, can you think of a better way to beat the January blues?

View flights here €176pp

View hotel here €502pp
 

 

 

10. New Year in Washington, 3 Nights, 30th December €634

Washington break for New Year's Eve.

Washington is one of my favourite American cities. You don’t have to be a lover of politics to be impressed with Washington’s monuments and memorials, and I dare you not to be a little star struck when you see The White House for the first time. Washington has some great shopping options too, as well as vibrant nightlife and a lively atmosphere.  

 

 
I found a great deal staying in the university neighbourhood of Georgetown. The Hyatt Place receives excellent reviews on TripAdvisor and it is close to Washingtons most popular landmarks. I have priced this with the Aer Lingus ‘Smart’ fare which includes 23kg checked baggage, a complimentary meal on board and is also eligible for a voucher if you need to cancel your trip.

View flights here €438pp Smart fare includes 23kg baggage

View hotel here €196pp
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of these autumn winter breaks include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.

 

Sarah

 

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Family HolidaysHolidays in Ireland

Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs – Why You Should Visit & My Top Tips

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With 57,600 fairy lights, 90 Christmas trees and 3 tonnes of snow, you can imagine the excitement when we arrived to Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs Longford Forest. 

 

‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’ was on repeat on my Spotify playlist, and despite the fact that it was only the 8th of November, I was as excited as the kids! We were fortunate to be invited to Center Parcs Longford Forest for the opening in July, and after a fabulous few days we couldn’t wait to return. Temperatures in July were over 20 degrees. During Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs the average was only 4 degrees, but surprisingly that didn’t matter.

 

instagram center parcs

 

The outdoor swimming pool reminded me of the Blue Lagoon – the combination of the hot pool (29.5 degrees) against the crisp cold air was invigorating. Cycling around the resort was just as enjoyable as it was during the summer time, once we were wrapped up with hats and gloves. Even the biodegradable snow suited the temperatures perfectly!
 
winter wonderland at center parcs
 
All we could see from 5pm was thousands of fairy lights lighting up the resort. The whole village was illuminated – it was an amazing sight. Garlands filled with twinkling lights lined the lake, and massive Christmas baubles beamed in the village. The Christmas tree at Santa’s Woodland Workshop is 10 meters tall and has 4,450 lights! The whole experience was magical and one that all of us throughly enjoyed. It was, to coin the phrase from Center Parcs – Epic Family Time. As I write my my 12 top tips for visiting Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs, I am already planning my next visit…

winter wonderland at center parcs
 

 


 

** Edit – Please note this review was written in December 2019. There may be restrictions to activities including the swimming pool due to Covid-19. Please check if there are any updates to activities with Center Parcs directly, before making a booking. 

1. If price is a factor, book a Woodland Lodge. 

All of the lodges in Center Parcs are modern, spacious and well equipped. We stayed in a Woodland Lodge during the Winter Wonderland experience and an Executive Lodge during the summer. I found very little difference between the two, especially if you are staying for a short break. The executive lodges have house-keeping services, TV’s in all rooms and all bedrooms are ensuite – but otherwise they are very similar. 

woodland lodge at center parcs ireland
 

 

 

2. Book a lodge close to the village centre

With rain being a common occurrence during Irish winters, I would recommend paying an additional €49 to stay in a lodge close to the village centre. Although we loved cycling, it is nice to walk to the village and the swimming pool if the rain is heavy – wet saddles are not very pleasant either! This is also a great solution for anyone who doesn’t want to rent bicycles.

winter wonderland center parcs

 

 

 

3. Enjoy a cosy night in

Pop down to the Parc Market when you arrive and pick up some supplies and some fire logs – you can buy three for €6. Treat yourself to dinner from the extensive Dining In menu and light the fire! We did this the night we arrived and it was a great success. We ordered four different types of cuisine: Pizza, Thai, Indian and Asian, and all meals were delivered to our lodge at the same time. The pizza was a big hit, and I loved the prawn rogan josh. Prices were reasonable too, you could even order a bottle of wine to your lodge for €13.95! Make sure you order early, as popular delivery times get booked out. 

dining in center parcs
 

 

 

4. Book a Santa Visit

You need to book the Santa Experience separately. The cost is €18 per child and parents are free. Each child receives a gift and a free photograph afterwards. We thought this was great value. Envelopes will be left in your lodge, one for children to write their Santa letters, and another for parents to help keep the Christmas magic alive… There is a post box in Santa’s Woodland Village where the kids can post their letters before their visit.  

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Depending on the age of your children, try to book a Santa visit at night time. The Woodland trail is all lit up and it adds to the experience. If the night time slots happen to be booked out, don’t panic. Santa’s Woodland Village is lit up every night and you can walk through it anytime. The Santa visit lasts about 10 minutes, so if you are booking a restaurant, book the time for a half hour after your scheduled Santa visit.  

winter wonderland at center parcs longford

 

 

 

5. Pre-book restaurants

I tried to book restaurants two-weeks in advance, and still only managed to get 9pm slots. You don’t have to pre-book the Sports Cafè, but it can be quite noisy and I didn’t think the food was as good there as it was in other restaurants. If you have young children it is vital you book restaurants in advance, especially if you want early sittings. The restaurants are extremely family friendly, with kids play areas and great kids menus.

There isn’t evening entertainment in the resort, with the exception of live music in Cara’s Restaurant every Saturday and Tuesday at 8.30pm. We booked Cara’s for Saturday night and really enjoyed listening to The Dixie Micks. The menu was limited, but the food was very tasty.

caras restaurant at center parcs longford forest
 

 

 
We also enjoyed Bella Italia. We dined there twice and found the food great, and reasonably priced. There is a wide selection of pasta dishes, and not just the typical spaghetti bolognese. The Cacio e Pepe pasta: a mix of roast chicken, pancetta and pecorino cheese in a tasty wild garlic and black pepper sauce, is delicious. I had this during the summer too! I also love that they have a Piccolo kids menu for 3-6 year olds (€6.95) and a Grande kids menu for for 7-11 year olds, (€8.95).  I’ve been told that the Carbonara isn’t great so maybe avoid that! 

winter wonderland at center parcs

 

 

 

6. Pre-book activities

Popular activities like the Aerial Adventure, where you Zipline across the lake at Center Parcs, get booked out very early. We did this during the summer and loved it – well it scared the hell out of myself and Cormac, but the kids loved it! Luke and Alex wanted to book it again but it was booked out throughout the weekend – I can’t say I was too disappointed…

center parcs longford forest ireland
 

 

 
Festive activities like the Festive Pony Rides and Festive Chocolate Chefs (age 3-7) are particularly popular with younger children and also need to be booked in advance. You don’t need to pre book too many activities though, one or two activities should be ample on a short stay, as you will probably spend a lot of time in the pool.

winter wonderland at center parcs longford
 

 

 
We really enjoyed the Festive Treasure Trail. It is a super family activity and one I would encourage all families to do. We were given a map with nine wooden markers to find around the forest. There were clues on each one and once we had all nine, we had to report back to the booking desk to collect our prize. We were competing against lots of different families and I was surprised how competitive we all were. However despite racing around the forest in just over an hour, we came 4th! It was a simple but very enjoyable family activity and a great way to explore the whole resort. Price is €5.50 for children under 12 and €6.50 for 12+years.

treasure trail at center parcs longford forest
 

 

 
Luke and Cormac loved the Laser Clay Shoot. It was Luke’s first time to try this and he was a natural. He not only came first place within the group, but he set a new record score for Center Parcs Longford Forest – he was delighted with himself. I have no doubt it was due to too much Fortnite, but it was a great achievement nonetheless! Price €27 per adult, €23 per child.

laser clay shoot at center parcs longford forest
 

 

 
Myself and Alex opted for the Festive Roller Skating. It is a handy indoor activity if the weather is bad. I didn’t find it particularly festive, but I was delighted that despite being 30 years since I has last on skates, I was able to keep up with Alex! Price €9.50 per person.

roller skating at center parcs longford forest

See more info on activities and restaurants in my Ultimate Guide to Centre Parcs Longford Forest

 

7. Don’t miss the Light and Sound Show

The Winter Wonderland light and sound show takes place over the lake every Sunday and Wednesday evening during Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs. Unfortunately it was lashing rain during our visit, but nevertheless, the 9-minute animation was really impressive. There are animals, fish and even snowmen projected on to the water, with the North Pole and Santa Claus in the finale. It takes place right outside The Pancake House so it might be an idea to pop in for one of their delicious ice cream sundaes before it starts! I am told they have mulled wine and mince pies too.

pancake house at center parcs longford forest

 

 

 

8. Check out the shops

I was really surprised by some of the prices in the shops. Luke picked up a Harry Potter Lego set in JustKids that was cheaper than Smyths. I bought a lovely Christmas decoration in The Store Room – it wasn’t particularly cheap, but was a lovely souvenir. You may not have considered it, but you may pick up some Christmas gifts in Center Parcs. Ask about the 10% off promotional evening – this is on twice per week.

christmas at center parcs
 

 

 

9. Come early and stay late

Although the official check-in time to your lodge is 3pm, you can access the resort from 10am. Similarly on the day you are leaving, you need to vacate your lodge by 10am, but are free to stay and enjoy the facilities as long as possible. We did the later and enjoyed a fabulous day at the pool…

swimming pool at center parcs longford forest
 

 

 

10. Spend your last day at the pool

We loved the subtropical swimming pool during the summer, but it was equally as good this time. We tried all the slides numerous times but our favourites were the Wild Water Rapids (need to be a competent swimmer), and Tropical Cyclone – a tube ride that we could all go on together, (minimum height 122 cm).

winter wonderland at center parcs
 

 

 
Once you have checked out, you can leave your suitcases in your car, return your bikes and walk down to the pool. The pool is quieter on changeover days too. You can shower afterwards, dry your hair in the vanity room, and leave for home feeling refreshed. There is a cafe beside the swimming pool so you can even pick up lunch there. The chicken wraps and burgers were tasty – as fast food goes, it was pretty good. 

cafe at center parcs longford forest

There are large cabanas in the Subtropical Swimming Pool. These are equipped with TVs, towels and soft drinks. Priced from €50 for three hours, they can be a great help if you have a small child who needs a nap, and older children who want to stay at the pool. 

cabana at center parcs longford forest
 

 

 

11. Bring warm clothes and a back pack.

Remember just because you are on holidays, don’t forget you are in Ireland! Gloves and hats are a must if you are cycling, and don’t even think about wearing skirts on a bike…Most people tend to dress casually, even in restaurants. Backpacks are a Godsend for the pool and are easier than hand bags when cycling.

winter wonderland at center parcs

 

 

 

12. Just book it!

If you haven’t already booked it – do it! Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs is an amazing family experience and one that all the family will love. If price is an issue, check out the prices for midweek (Monday – Friday) rather than weekend, (Friday – Monday).  Winter Wonderland short breaks start from €459 for a family of four in a 2 bedroom Woodland Lodge. Christmas and New Year short breaks are also available – you can dine in the resorts restaurants, or even cook a turkey in your own lodge! However if you are unable to go this year – all is not lost! You can book Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs for 2020 already. For availability and prices visit CenterParcs.ie

winter wonderland at center parcs lights
 

 

 

Like this post? You might like:

How to claim money back with the Spend & Save scheme

Ultimate Guide to Center Parcs Longford Forest

How to save money at Center Parcs Ireland

 

** Edit – Please note this review was written in December 2019. There may be restrictions to activities including the swimming pool due to Covid-19. Please check if there are any updates to activities with Center Parcs directly, before making a booking. 
 
 
Note we were guests of Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs, but all views, as always, are my own. 
 

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 

Travel

5-Star Winter Wellness Break in the Algarve, 14th February, 4 Nights, €245!

Real-marina-compressor

Treat yourself to a wellness break in the Algarve next Spring. Spend four nights in the five-star Real Marina Hotel & Spa, with breakfast included, for only €245!

With a stunning coastline boasting some of Europe’s best beaches, it is not surprising that the Algarve is one of our most popular holiday destinations. With regular flights throughout the year, the Algarve attracts many visitors looking for a relaxing holiday with warm temperatures. Winter and Spring is also a popular time for golfers and walkers, so it is an ideal time for a wellness break in the Algarve. 

wellness break in the algarve
I found a great deal staying in the five-star Real Marina Hotel & Spa, which includes breakfast, and offers free cancellation. Located just 15 minutes from the airport, you can be relaxing by the pool within a few hours of leaving your own home.
 

 

 
Overlooking the Ria Formosa National Park with a luxurious spa onsite, the superb Real Marina Hotel is the epitome of a wellness hotel. As well as an indoor heated swimming pool, steam room, Turkish bath, sauna, jacuzzi, Vichy shower and gym, it has nine treatment rooms offering a wide range of Hydrotherapy treatments and massages.

wellness break in the algarve
 

 

 
Fly from Dublin to the Algarve on the 14th of February and enjoy a four-night stay in the Real Marina Hotel & Spa for only €245 per person, including return flights. This hotel rate includes breakfast too! The Real Marina Hotel is rated as ‘Excellent’ on TripAdvisor – making this wellness break in the Algarve superb value.

 

Search flights here €67pp

 

View hotel here €178pp
 

 

 
Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change. Note some of the links in this wellness break post contain affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.

 

Sarah

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Weekend in Rome, 21st March, Flights & 4 Star Hotel, 3 Nights, €198!

colosseum-792202_1280_opt

A weekend in Rome is a great idea at any time of year. No matter how many times you visit you can’t help but marvel at its beauty. 

 

You would want to be made of stone if Rome did not impress you. There are ancient wonders at every corner: the Vatican, Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain – need I go on? I love admiring the stylish Italians on the Via Veneto, as well as spotting the locals hanging their washing on their side street balconies. There are Italian trattoria’s serving fresh pasta on every street and the aroma of fresh coffee fills the air – a weekend in Rome is a feast for the senses.

weekend in Rome
 

 

 
I found a great deal flying out on Saturday the 21st of March, a great time to enjoy a weekend in Rome. Fly from Dublin and stay in the 4-star Hotel Milton Roma. Highly recommended on TripAdvisor and ideally situated to explore this marvellous city, it is a steal at €198 for flights and three nights accommodation!
 

 

 
View flights here €72pp

View hotel here  €126pp

 

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change. Some links in this post are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.
 

 

 
Sarah

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Weekend in Iceland, 30th March, Flights & Hotel, 3 Nights, €297!

aurora-borealis-69221_1280_opt

Scratch one of the bucketlist and enjoy weekend in Iceland! This super deal includes direct flights and three nights in the city centre hotel.

 

I went to Iceland in last year and I loved it. It was everything I hoped it would be and so much more! The scenery, the people, everything about the trip was amazing, even though we had crazy snow storms! We saw the Northern Lights, something that was on my bucket list for years. Winter time is the optimum time to see them, so fingers crossed you will too. We also swam in the Blue Lagoon. Bathing in the steamy waters of the Blue Lagoon with snow all around us was something really special. In fact the whole island looked like a Winter wonderland! You can read all about my adventures in Iceland here.

iceland after christmas

I found a great deal staying in the popular City Centre Hotel. Situated in the heart of Reykjavik, this is a great option for weekend in Iceland Fly direct from Dublin on the 30th of March and enjoy a three night stay for only €297 per person.

View flights here  €127pp

View hotel here  €170pp

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change. Note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

 

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