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Orlando, Easter 2017, 2ad & 2ch, Flights & Hotel €2440!

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Book now for Easter 2017 and plan a holiday to the best family holiday destination in the world – Orlando!

With twelve theme parks, four waterparks and a host of other activities on International Drive, you will be spoilt for choice of things to do in Orlando. Take the kids to the Magic Kingdom, enjoy the parades, the fireworks and let them meet their favourite characters. Enjoy the amazing simulator rides at Universal Studios and experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it will take your breath away. For the dare devils amongst you try the world famous roller coaster rides and slide down the tallest water slides in one of the aquaparks. Shop till you drop at the Premium Outlet Mall or swim with the dolphins at the stunning Discovery Cove. I can’t stress enough how much there is to do here. It’s an amazing holiday for adults and kids and that’s what makes it such a good family holiday destination – there is something for everyone! Check out my blog on Orlando by clicking here.

Universal Orlando, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

Easter is an ideal time to travel, its not as hot as the summer months and I’ve chosen dates at the start of the Irish Easter holidays, these are earlier than the US holidays so hopefully it wont be as busy in the theme parks.

Fly from Dublin on the 10th of April and spend 10 nights at the Rosen Inn International for only €2440 for 2 adults and 2 children. This hotel is in a great location on International Drive and gets great reviews on tripadvisor.  You can choose to extend your stay in Orlando or spend a few nights at the beach, but either way you should book now before the airfares increase – which they definitely will!

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There are a range of flight options with this deal to Orlando that vary in price. Some connections are better than others, I have priced this holiday based on flights with American Airlines with one stop in Philadelphia. There are cheaper options available with two stops, so try to select the one with the best connections and the least flying time. For the best prices on theme park tickets and plenty of other things to do in Orlando please click here.

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

Sarah

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Orlando 29th Dec, flights & hotel, 8 Nights €699!

IOA_Universal_Orlando

Fancy ringing in the new year in style? No where does it better than Orlando, amazing fireworks, long lasting celebrations and balmy weather… tempted?

Orlando is one place that will definitely guarantee you a holiday full of fun. There are over twelve theme parks and four water parks to choose from as well as numerous entertainment facilities on International Drive, you will literally be spoilt for choice. The biggest surprise for me was that Orlando is not just for kids, most of the theme parks are great for adults too. It’s not all about Mickey Mouse and roller coasters. My favourite theme park is  Universal Studios, the Harry Potter experience is amazing and the simulator rides are remarkable. And if thats not enough you have the Florida Mall and the Premium Outlets on your doorstep with plenty of bargains waiting to be snapped up! Read my blog on Orlando for more information.

This fantastic offer includes flights with Virgin Atlantic on the 29th of December and 8 nights in the Ramada Gateway Hotel, based on two adults and two children sharing. This accommodation receives good reviews on trip advisor and is centrally located. You can choose to stay longer or upgrade your accommodation but bear in mind there is so much to do in Orlando you won’t spend too much time in your hotel.  This price includes all taxes and charges based on four sharing, supplement for 2 sharing is only €100 per person.

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LowCost Holidays

Sarah

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Barbados Holidays – Where to Stay, When to Go, And What to See

Barbados

You only have to talk about Barbados holidays to anyone and you can see they are mentally wishing they were there, sipping cocktails on one of its stunning beaches.

In fact I have yet to speak to someone who didn’t like Barbados. There are more than 700 islands in the Caribbean but for me Barbados is the jewel in the crown. Some islands are blessed with the world’s best beaches,  some with dramatic landscapes, others have UNESCO world heritage sites and vibrant nightlife. Barbados holidays have them all!
 

 

 
There is a great vibe from the people you meet. I know this may sound like a cliché but everyone I met was happy!  You will find people from all walks of life who emigrated there for a better lifestyle. Barbados is English speaking and felt extremely safe. I visited other Caribbean islands and usually feel like a tourist, and in some cases an intruder. I certainly wouldn’t feel safe wandering around the streets of many other Caribbean Islands alone at night time.
 

 

 
Although more developed than some of its neighbours Barbados still has a Caribbean feel, with plenty of charm and character to savour.  It wasn’t long before I felt myself thinking that I would like t0 live there. 

Barbados by The Travel Expert

Some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean are in Barbados too. Choose mouth watering sandwiches from Cutters at Crane Beach where you can even order from the beach and they will deliver it to you. There are numerous Bajan restaurants that are very affordable too, but if you are on holiday for a special occasion, or if you simply have some money to spend, you have to visit The Cliff.
 

 

 
The Cliff is one of the best known restaurants in Barbados, both for the quality of its food and for the stunning setting. Perched on a cliff edge overlooking a bay where sting rays happily swim by, it is breathtaking. The torch lit decks add to the drama, and although it is expensive, it is worth it – it is one of the top things to book in advance if planning Barbados holidays. Top Tip: Ask for a table with a sea view.

The Cliff Restaurant, Barbados, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert
 

 

 

Where to stay in Barbados?

Barbados is actually a very small island, it is only 34km in length and 23 km wide, yet it is extremely diverse. We hired a local moke ( tiny 2-seater car ), and drove around the whole island in a day. The east coast is renowned for it’s excellent surf, and Bathsheba beach is a cool place to hang out – there is no shortage of  billabong and rip curl clad surfers catching the waves.

Barbados Surfer, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

The south coast of Barbados has some of the best nightlife in the Caribbean – it tends to attract a younger crowd or couples who are looking for budget accommodation. Although St. Lawerence Gap is the most popular spot for nightlife, make sure you take a trip to Oistins where every Friday and Saturday night they have a wild street party. The south coast is also home to the capital Bridgetown. This bustling town, although not that visuallly appealing, offers plenty of sightseeing  and some of the best shopping on the island.
 

 

 
The west coast is home to Sandy Lane – need I say more? This part of the island is a celebrity hang out, however, there are plenty of affordable hotels there too. The Caribbean sea is very calm and completely contrasts the Atlantic on the east coast. The white sandy beaches and clear water are a Mecca for sunbathing or swimming. 

Read: Where to stay in Barbados – My top picks of Barbados Hotels
 

 

 
There are plenty of boat trips available, and you don’t have to venture far out to sea to swim with turtles, go snorkeling or try your hand at scuba diving.

Barbados by The Travel Expert

Barbados holidays offer a wealth of day trip possibilities. A visit to a Plantation House is one of the most popular excursions. George Washington’s House, St Nicholas Abbey and Sunbury Plantation House are particularly impressive.
 

 

 
You can also visit some of the nearby Caribbean islands. We took a trip to the Grenadines and spent the day on board a catamaran visiting some of the Caribbean’s most spectacular beaches – it was sublime. If you have some spare time before you fly home, check out the original Concorde aircraft in Bridgetown Airport. This experience costs approx €15 and is worth it if you are even remotely interested in airplanes.
 

 

 

The best time to enjoy Barbados Holidays

The rainy season is from August to October so it is best to avoid travelling at that time if possible, but for the other nine months of the year the weather is very pleasant. The weather from January through to April is less humid and usually the driest.

 

Sarah

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Why Lanzarote Is My Favourite Canary Island

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With year round sunshine, numerous sandy beaches and plenty of interesting sights, Lanzarote is my favourite Canary Island.

 

When you land in Arrecife airport the landscape is startling. There are no high rise blocks, just barren terrain and pretty white washed buildings as far as the eye can see. Thankfully building laws prohibit high rise buildings in Lanzarote and all houses, hotels and apartments have to be painted white. This makes even the commercialised holiday resorts, such as Puerto del Carmen, very pleasing on the eye. There are many resorts to choose from, Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise are the largest but there are also smaller resorts, such as Los Pocillos, Matagorda and Puerto Calero – suffice to say there is a resort here to suit all tastes!

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Puerto del Carmen

Puerto del Carmen is one of those holiday resorts that ticks all boxes. Located just ten minutes from the airport, we arrived at our accommodation within a half hour of the plane landing! There is just the right amount of night-life, but you would never consider it ‘rowdy’. For this reason it tends to attract plenty of families, couples as well as girls looking for a nice break away. There are plenty of different areas to stay, the growing ‘new town’ leads in to the neighbouring resorts of Los Pocillos and Matagorda. I stayed in the Aqua Suites, an four star boutique hotel which is superb for families, read why I think the Aqua Suites is the best place to stay in Puerto del Carmen with kids.

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I love the ‘old town’, which has some lovely restaurants and excellent duty free shopping, with shops like Zara and Mango about 20% cheaper than what you would find at home. The harbour is the best place to catch the sun set. There are plenty of bars and restaurants as well as a playground for kids. You can enjoy sundowners while the kids play happily – its bliss!

 

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Families will love the wide sandy beach. With pedalos and an inflatable waterpark, you could easily spend the day here. Don’t miss the open air cinema and enjoy a day out at Rancho Texas Park. This theme park has dolphin and seal shows, a small water park as well as hundreds of animals. For more details read my post on things to do in Puerto del Carmen with kids.

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Puerto Calero

Less than ten minutes by taxi from Puerto del Carmen will bring you to the pretty town of Puerto Calero. Purpose built, its marina is home to many luxury yachts and designer shops. Restaurants are reasonably priced though and it is a great option for lunch if you happen to be staying in Puerto del Carmen. If you are feeling adventurous you can take the coastal walk ( about 90 minutes ) from Puerto del Carmen all the way into Puerto Calero, enjoy a tasty lunch and catch the water taxi back.  You can also take boat trips on stylish catamarans or if travelling with kids, they will love the submarine safari.

Playa Blanca

With plenty of five star hotels and an upmarket marina, Playa Blanca is becoming the ‘sophisticated’ choice. The promenade stretches for 7km from the Marina Rubicon to the small old port where you can catch the ferry to Fuerteventura. There are plenty of inexpensive restaurants here along the seafront and most with stunning sea views. The marina has plenty of upmarket restaurants and designer boutiques, all surrounded by some luxurious yachts. The big draw is the choice of golden sandy beaches as most of the other resorts in Lanzarote have darker sand. 

 

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Playa Blanca is also very popular with families as there are numerous self catering options to choose from, most of them offering an entertainment programme and facilities for children. Aqualava, waterpark is sure to keep the kids entertained and the more adventurous can dive to Europe’s only underwater museum. If you fancy a change of scene take the ferry to nearby Fuerteventura. Once you see it’s white sandy beaches, you will think you are in the Caribbean!

One week package deal to Fuerteventura

Things to do in Lanzarote

Lanzarote is the perfect size for exploring. It is very easy to navigate so I would suggest hiring a car and visiting the main tourist spots yourself. Timanfaya National Park is a must see, the volcanic landscape is spectacular. Over 100 volcanoes erupted between 1730 and 1736 but due to limited erosion, the area still looks almost Martian. It was made a National Park in 1968 and you are no longer allowed walk freely through the park. Coach trips, guided walks and camel rides are all possible but go early as it can get very busy in the afternoon. Try El Diablo restaurant, where you can enjoy meat barbecued by the heat from the Volcano – a truly unique experience. 

 

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Don’t miss a trip to Jameos del Agua, in the north of the island. Famous Lanzarote artist César Manrique created this tourist site in the 1960s, inside lava caves that were formed 4,000 years ago by the eruption of La Corona Volcano. Walk down stone steps into the volcanic tunne,l which is one of the longest in the world, at 6 kilometres in length, to discover a unique restaurant which over looks a small lake. The lake looks almost translucent, which probably has something to do with the small blind albino crabs that are only found here.

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You then emerge from the dark cave to find hundreds of tropical plants and a stunning swimming pool. The fact that you are not allowed to swim in the pool only makes it more magical! The Jameos del Aqua is also home to a large auditorium where cultural events and concerts are housed throughout the year. The Jameos del Agua is said to be the perfect harmony between nature and artistic creation.

A short drive from Playa Blanca brings you to the small village of El Golfo. This is a great spot to stop and have lunch, the seafood is fantastic and the setting is perfect. Situated on the coast, with sea views but extremely authentic and thankfully still unspoilt. If you like to haggle, visit the old town of Teguise. With its cobbled stone streets is probably the pettiest town on the island and holds a market every Sunday.

Like this post? You might be interested in these:

Five Things To Do With Kids In Puerto del Carmen

 

Why The Aqua Suites Is The Best Place To Stay In Puerto Del Carmen With Kids

 

Sarah

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