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My Top Travel Blog Posts of 2020

Sarah Keem Bay (1)

Travel inspiration for when we can travel again, staycations, and travel updates, were my most popular travel blog posts of 2020. In case you missed them, check them out below.

Despite the lack of overseas travel this year,  I am both proud and thrilled that The Travel Expert website received 1.25 million views this year! I am grateful to all of you who read, commented and shared my travel blog posts – they gave me the strength to keep going, regardless of years challenges.
 

 

 
In fact, there were times throughout the year when my website was actually busier than the same period in 2019 – something I found extremely surprising! As well as my posts on the latest travel restrictions, writing about Ireland proved extremely popular. However, you also liked reading inspirational posts for when we can travel again. In case you happened to miss them, I have outlined my most popular travel blog posts of 2020 below.
 

 

 

Staycations:

 

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


2020 was certainly the year of the staycation. Social media channels were packed with images of sea swims and hikes along the Wild Atlantic Way, while SUP boards and wet suits were like hens teeth. We enjoyed two fabulous staycations in Mayo and Kilkenny this summer, and I hope to see lots more of Ireland next year.

I asked my readers what content they wanted to read during the pandemic and staycations came out on top. So I wrote over 40 posts featuring hotels, Airbnbs and destinations in Ireland, and these were my most popular travel blog posts of Ireland.
 

 

 

23 Luxurious Airbnbs near the beach

luxury airbnbs near the beach in Ireland - one of my most popular travel blog posts of 2020

Holiday homes or hotels with lodges on site, were the most sought after accommodation types this year. Add in a beach near by and you have the holy grail of staycations. This post on luxurious Airbnbs near the beach proved hugely popular, with 39,000 views. I have already seen a huge demand for similar type properties for 2021, so I have no doubt this will be one of my most popular travel blog posts next year too!

View here
 

 

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20 hotels with lodges in Ireland

hotels with lodges in ireland - waterford castle

Similarly to the above post, this one was hugely popular with families this summer. Having the freedom and space of a lodge, with the added benefits of hotel facilities on site, is a win-win. Another one to bookmark, because with 26,000 views to date, I have no doubt it will be equally as popular in 2021.

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40 hotels in Ireland that allow dogs

hotels in ireland that allow dogs - one of my top travel blog posts of 2020

If 2020 was the year of the staycation, becoming a dog owner became a close second. With more people working from home, and overseas travel not possible, this was the year to adopt a four-legged friend. Of course you couldn’t leave your new pet at home, so pet-friendly hotels and Airbnbs were in big demand. Over 12,000 of you loved this post, as well as this one on dog-friendly Airbnbs in Ireland. Another one to bookmark or pin if you have a pet in the family.

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My Irish bucket list – unique stays and luxury hotels in Ireland

best luxury hotels in Ireland and unique stays

This post surprised me the most as it was my own personal bucket list! I wrote it to remind myself of how many amazing places I had yet to visit in Ireland. It turns out you loved them too, as it was one of my most popular travel blog posts of 2020. From lighthouses to beach houses, lakeside lodges to penthouse suites – you name it, they are all here.

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The best beaches in Ireland and places to stay nearby

 

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


This county-by-county guide features Ireland’s best beaches and places to stay nearby. What I love about it is that most of the recommendations came from you, the readers. I asked for opinions on my social media channels and I received hundreds of replies. It was great to hear about so many hidden coves, and beaches only accessible by boat – I would never have known about them without your help. I have already added some of these to my own Irish bucket list. 

I have listed a variety of places to stay nearby to suit all tastes and budgets, including hotels, Airbnbs, and even glamping sites! 

See more here
 

 

 

16 gorgeous walks in Dublin for all fitness levels

 

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


With travel restrictions in place for most of 2020,  I spent a lot of time exploring my own county. There were walks in Dublin that I hadn’t done since I was a child, as well as new walks that I only discovered for the first time this year. We hiked the Dublin Mountains many times over the years but, I didn’t realise until recently how many beautiful cliff walks there are in Dublin. 

I have filled this post with relatively easy walks in Dublin, that are suitable for most fitness levels. With county restrictions in place once again, perhaps now is the time for Dubliners to discover some of these.

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Read more posts on  holidays in Ireland here
 

 

 

Travel Inspiration Overseas

 

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


If there is one theme throughout all my overseas posts this year it was luxury. It seems many of you want to make up for the lack of travel this year by booking a luxury holiday in 2021 – something I hope to be doing myself! These posts should give you plenty of inspiration.
 

 

 

25 luxury villas in Portugal

Portugal is one of our my favourite holiday destinations. It is blessed with hundreds of gorgeous sandy beaches, and some stunning villas overlooking them. I expect villa holidays to be extremely popular in 2021, with many loving the privacy and space that a villa offers.
 

 

 
I have compiled palatial homes, countryside retreats, beachfront Airbnbs and five-star resorts into this post, and I challenge you not to fall in love with every single one of them! Some of them are like celebrity homes and are outrageously expensive, but we have to dream, right?

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20 Luxury Airbnbs in Europe to inspire your next vacation

luxury airbnbs in Europe

I loved researching this post, and would happily stay in any of these! I’ve got beach houses in the Med, luxury villas in Santorini, ski-in ski-out chalets, as well as countryside farmhouses in Italy and France, and lakeside retreats in Iceland and Norway. I was amazed at the variety that is on offer and it seems you were too, as it was one of my most popular travel blog posts of 2020.

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Top 5 luxury family resorts in Europe

 

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


With PCR tests required in many countries for children over 6, testing could cost €200 per person (both inbound and outbound), if you wish to travel overseas this summer. We may not travel as often, or travel to far flung destinations, but may choose a luxury hotel closer to home instead. I combined some of Europe’s best luxury family resorts into one post to whet your appetite. 

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Read more posts on Europe here
 

 

 

25 bucket list holidays to inspire your next big trip

bucket list holidays

If you want to go a step further – this post on bucket list holidays is the ultimate in travel inspiration! From Maldives to Machu Picchu, Antartica to the Amalfi Coast, if you missed this one, grab a cuppa, this post is dreamy.

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Travel tips / updates

travelling during coronavirus - top travel blog posts

Many people had booked holidays and flights long before coronavirus arrived in Ireland. As well as last minute cancellations in March, it was soon clear that summer holidays abroad were not going to be possible. Some airlines cancelled flights, others did not, some provided refunds quickly, others did not.
 

 

 
There was no one size fits all approach and in many cases customers couldn’t get through to airlines to find out if they were allowed to change or cancel their booking.

I soon realised that with flight cancellations, travel restrictions and travel bans changing weekly, it was important to keep people updated on the latest travel updates. I published many travel tips posts this year including information on travel insurance, locator forms and cancellations and refunds, however these three were my most popular:
 

 

 

The latest travel updates due to Coronavirus

travel updates due to coronavirus - most popular travel blog posts of 2020

Updated regularly, this post became the go to travel post for many of you this year. With 52,000 views to date, this is one that I shall continue to update until travel restrictions are no longer in place. 

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

eu traffic light system for travel - travel blog post

Green lists, red regions and travel bans, the constant mixed messages and changes to travel restrictions made planning an overseas trip almost impossible. When the green list was abandoned and the government implemented the new EU traffic light system for travel, we all breathed a sigh of relief – however, it was short-lived. What we actually got was even more confusing, as each EU country adopted their own policy in tandem with the traffic light system.
 

 

 
I decided to write this handy guide as I received many messages from people who found it confusing. Hopefully I have made the new system clear in this post, although it is important to point out that restrictions are changing daily, so always check with your travel agent or airline before travelling.

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How to get a refund from Ryanair

how to get a refund from ryanair - top travel blog post of 2020

This post received over 20,000 views in one month, and I think the title speaks for itself! Thankfully it helped many of you secure refunds from Ryanair this year. I received some kind messages from people to thank me, so it is one post I am delighted I took the time to write. 

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Read more posts on travel tips and advice here
 

 

 
I hope you enjoyed my travel blog posts of 2020 and I will continue to bring you lots more content both at home and abroad in 2021. Lets hope we will all be back travelling overseas soon.

 

Happy New Year!

 

Sarah

 

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