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France Germany Italy Spain Wales

Five Steps to Follow if your Passport is Lost or Stolen

Losing your passport can turn a great trip into a real nightmare.

 

Whether you’re mid-holiday, or had your fill of the sun (or slopes) and have suitcases in hand, realising you’re passport-less isn’t ideal. The costs and time involved in obtaining a replacement is not a holiday memory that you will want to reminisce over.

If you discover that you have lost your passport though, don’t panic. Follow our step-by-step advice on what you need to do, and finish your holiday with that same peace of mind you began it with.

1. If you discover that you have lost your passport, you should report its loss to the local police station within 24 hours of realization. Within that timeframe, you should take all necessary steps to retrieve the loss or theft of your passport. Failure to do so may affect your travel insurance claim.

2. At the police station, obtain a written report from the authorities and make some extra copies for peace of mind.

3. When you receive the police report you should then contact your travel insurance provider, and quote your policy number if possible.

4. Contact the Irish Consulate/Embassy at your destination. You’ll need to produce your police report in order to obtain a replacement travel document from them. A list of Irish Embassies and Consulates can be viewed here.

5. After submitting the police report to the Irish consulate, they will work to provide you with either a replacement passport to finish out your trip, or an emergency travel document if your departure is impending.

To avoid taking any of the steps above, keep an eye on your passport at all times or store it in a locked safe when not in use. If it does get lost or stolen, AA Travel Insurance can cover you.
To get an AA Travel Insurance quote today, click here.

Categories
Ireland

AA Hotels to Visit Over the May Bank Holiday

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]If you’re looking for a sedate and somewhat indulgent weekend, there are plenty of excellent hotel deals on offer around the country this May. Rather than spending endless hours trawling the internet in search of the perfect event, we have selected eleven AA Hotels that will definitely deliver.

Dingle Skellig Hotel & Peninsula Spa, Dingle, Co Kerry[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Enjoy a restorative trip to the Kingdom and escape to the Dingle Skellig Hotel this May. Guests can avail of bed and breakfast plus a €20 spa credit per room for use in the Peninsula Spa. What’s even better is that they are also offering guests complimentary upgrades to a Superior Room, subject to availability; very snazzy. Work off a delicious meal in The Coastguard restaurant by doing a few laps in their 17 meter pool or the hotel’s leisure facilities. If your stress levels are still at level ten, then a trip to their Relaxation Suite in the Spa should do the trick; it includes an outdoor hot tub overlooking Dingle Bay and Harbour. Furthermore, you can make everyone jealous at home by sending them all selfies with Dingle Skellig Hotel’s complimentary WiFi.

Also keep in mind that Feile na bealtaine is happening in Dingle until Monday 4th May with music, art, comedy and other events taking place.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Lawlors Hotel, Bridge Street, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford

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Lawlors Hotel, Dungarvan are offering a May Madness package which includes two nights bed & breakfast and one evening meal for just €85 per person. You can be assured of the best levels of service in this family run hotel in the (sunny) south east of Ireland. Let’s just hope the sun graces us with its presence this weekend.

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Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare, Co Kerry

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If you plan to stay home this May Bank Holiday and have a box set marathon but you still want to get away, the incredible Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare is offering a super midweek ‘3 for 2’ offer until Thursday, 28th May. Guests can enjoy two nights’ accommodation in a room overlooking either Kenmare Bay or the cascading Sheen Waterfalls. A full Irish breakfast is included each day, an ideal start if you plan to cycle the Ring of Kerry. Dinner is also included on two evenings plus a complimentary third night is offered on a bed & breakfast basis. There is complimentary use of the leisure facilities at Easanna Spa too so you can go home looking totally refreshed. Rates are from €540 in total for the three night package based on two people sharing a Classic Room.

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Castlerosse Hotel & Golf Resort, Killarney, Co Kerry

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We promise we love all counties equally, but Castlerosse Hotel and Golf Resort in Killarney is the third Kerry hotel featured in this blog. The Kingdom is just on fire this month. Castlerosse Hotel is offering a May Bank Holiday Weekend Family Package featuring a three nights’ stay in a family room with three nights bed & breakfast and three dinners for two adults & two children. This an excellent resort for families as there’s something for everyone to be kept busy with. The adults can enjoy a round of golf or two whilst the children can run around the gorgeous grounds or the pool and other facilities. Prices are from €379 for the total stay arriving Friday, 1st May and leaving Monday, 4th May.

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Sligo Park Hotel, Pearse Road, Sligo

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The May Sligo Races gets underway on Sunday, 3rd May. Horse lovers who want to make a weekend of it would do well to take up Sligo Park Hotel’s ‘Day at the Races’ offer. Guests can select a double or twin room for one night with a full Irish Breakfast the following morning and tickets for two people to the Races. The cost of this package is from just €134 per room and is only available for arrival on Sunday, 3rd May.

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Tower Hotel, The Mall, Waterford

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Tower Hotel in Waterford City are getting a head start on summer with their Summer Getaway offer. Avail of one nights accommodation with a delicious two course meal in their newly refurbished Lara Restaurant from only €99 per room based on 2 people sharing. If you’re bringing the family with you, they also offer two nights bed & breakfast with dinner on one evening in the Lara Restaurant from only €89.00 per person sharing. Two children (aged between three and twelve) share on a complimentary bed and breakfast basis in a standard family room.  These offers are valid from Sunday to Friday (subject to availability) until Tuesday, 30th June. All rates are subject to availability at the time of booking.

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Maryborough Hotel & Spa, Maryborough Hill, Douglas

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If you want to impress someone or apologise for something, the incredible Maryborough Hotel and Spa in Cork is just the place to do it. Pretend your Jennifer Lopez/Jennifer Lopez’s fella for the night and enjoy an overnight stay for two with one night’s bed & breakfast plus a four course dinner in Bellini’s Restaurant. A bottle of Prosecco and chocolate dipped strawberries are also included in the package alongside a €20 spa voucher per person for a 55 minute treatment and complimentary use of their Spa Thermal Suite. J-Lo eat your heart out. The rate for one night is €165 from Friday 1st to Monday 4th May.

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Castleknock Hotel & Country Club, Porterstown Road, Castleknock

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There is always something exciting happening in our nation’s Capital (sorry anyone from Cork reading this. We know it hurts you to read that). If you’re looking for a great location near to Dublin city centre but also the feel of a country retreat,  Castleknock Hotel & Country Club is the perfect location. Their ‘Summer Beside the City’ offer is available from just €89pps with an evening meal at The Avenue Bar & Restaurant, which is newly opened from May.

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The Waterside House Hotel, Donabate, Co. Dublin

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It is said that there is no such thing as a free lunch but at The Waterside House Hotel in Donabate, they are throwing in a third nights stay absolutely free when you book two nights bed & breakfast. Their sea view rooms boast stunning views of Lambay Island, Howth Head and Irelands Eye but it’s advisable to book early to you secure one of these extra special rooms. Spend an evening having a relaxing dinnerSamphire Restaurant or you could also opt for a more casual dining experience in The Tower Bar and Bistro. If the sun shows up, pop on your togs and make your way from the hotel terrace straight onto Donabate beach which is literally on the hotel’s doorstep. This offer is valid until the 31st May, Sunday to Thursday and is not valid on bank holidays. Rates are from €50 per night.

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The Lodge at Castle Leslie Estate, Glaslough, Co. Monaghan

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A visit to The Lodge at Castle Leslie Estate is always a treat and their Late Spring Break offers a restorative break from the daily grind. Work up an appetite exploring the grounds of the Estate taking in their ‘ancient walks and bridleways’ and lakes before sharing a five course dinner in their 2 AA Rosettemulti award winning Snaffles Restaurant. Also included in this deal are two night’s accommodationplus a bottle of bubbles.

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The Talbot Hotel Belmullet, Barrack Street, Belmullet, Co. Mayo

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You’ve heard all about Fifty Shades of Grey but at The Talbot Hotel, Bellmullet, they’ve got Fifty Shades of Pink for May and June. This offer is definitely one for those with romance on their mind and perhaps a particular question that needs to be popped. Start your romantic break with dinner at The Barony Restaurant complete with ‘romantic treats’ and then retire to the luxury of your room. Each room comes with a king size bed, soft lighting, bathrobes, slippers, mini bar and an iPod dock to play “your song” (too much romance? NEVER!). Room rates are from €180pps.

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Categories
France

Roadwatch Guide to Marseille: Eating Out & Night Life

You certainly won’t be short on places to eat in Marseille with a variety of restaurants dotted throughout the city covering numerous specialities.  One dish that is hugely popular and that you’ll spot on offer in many places is the local bouillabaisse dish, which is basically a fish stew. Considering it’s a port city, this is no surprise.

If you spot somewhere you like the look of, it may be worth calling in or getting their phone number and making a reservation as

1. Chez Ida 

Currently the number one restaurant in Marseille according to TripAdvisor, Chez Ida offers its patrons a mix of cuisine in a homely atmosphere that proves very popular with customers and all at a good price. Keep in mind too that Friday night is usually karaoke night.

Location: 7, rue Ferdinand Rey

2. Les Trois Rois

Located on a bustling street full of restaurants, the area is a little trickier to find as it’s slightly off the beaten track but there is a nice mix of food on offer and at a decent price.

Location: 24, Rue des Trois Rois

3. O’Bidul

Another very popular restaurant with the users of TripAdvisor, somewhat on the small side but your taste buds will be happy with your choice of restaurant. The prices are very reasonable and booking in advance is advised.

Location: 79, Rue de la Palud

Night Life

The stadium is located in an area that is quite residential and while there are a few spots nearby to eat and drink, it’s probably worth heading out in Marseille City Centre if you’re looking for a night out post match (whether it be to celebrate or drown your sorrows), with the Vieux Port probably the most popular area.

Coincidentally enough, two very popular spots around Marseilles are both Irish.

1. O’Brady’s Irish Pub

Located about 10 minutes away from the stadium, O’Brady’s is a popular spot regardless of whether there is a match on. The pub usually attracts a mix of people so you’ll hear more than Irish accents and there’ll be banter aplenty. Many a visitor recommends the Guinness.

Location: 378, avenue de Mazargues

2. Shamrock Irish Pub

A popular spot for sports fans, there’s usually a good crowd in for any match, soccer or rugby. Live music is also part and parcel of the pub’s offering.

Location: 17, quai de Rive-Neuve

Some of the other popular bars around Marseille include the following:

3. Le Caravelle

An interesting mix of jazz and tapas, this old style venue will feel like somewhat of a step back in time but it somewhat legendary in the city. It also offers some pretty decent views of the city and there’s usually live music at the weekends.

Location: 34, Quai du Port

4. Bar De La Marine

Getting a mention more for its famous film connections, more than anything else. This restaurant was the location of Colin Firth’s proposal scene at the end of the 2003 rom-com Love Actually. The famous French writer Marcel Pagnol apparently frequented this charming little restaurant as well and it is apparently the setting for the 1930s film Marius.

Location: 15, Quai du Rive Neuve

5. Le Trolleybus

Spread over a number of areas, Trolleybus exists in a building that used to be a weapons store in the 1600s. Open until the early hours, all musical tastes are catered for across three areas – La Dame noir Dancing , Whiskybar and La Suite – with everything from pop to rock to house. As is to be expected in a major European city though, drinks can be a little expensive.

Location: 24, quai de Rive Neuve

Categories
France

Roadwatch Guide to Marseille: French Rules of the Road

Here are some driving tips to keep in mind if you’re going to be driving while in France:

Firstly, there is a legal requirement for motorists to have a fluorescent yellow bib in the car in case you breakdown, so make sure your car has one and make sure you wear it if getting out of the car when broken down. Also make sure you have a warning triangle with you in case you breakdown and put it on display.

On-the-spot fines can be severe and can cost you up to €750. Bear in mind as well that vehicles that are illegally parked may be towed away and impounded.

Children up to 10 must travel in an approved child seat or restraint, adapted to their age and size. Children under 10 are not allowed to travel in the front seats of vehicles.

Speed Limits

Speed limits are fixed according to the place, the vehicle and the weather. Standard legal limits, which may be varied by signs, for private vehicles without trailers:

In built-up areas: 50km/h. Outside built-up areas: 90km/h, but 110km/h on urban motorways and dual carriageways separated by a central reservation and 130km/h on motorways. Lower speed limits of 80km/h outside built-up areas, 100 km/h on dual carriageways and 110km/h on motorways apply in wet weather and to visiting motorists who have held a driving licence for less than three years.

Additionally, speed limits are reduced on stretches of motorways in built up areas. Minimum speed limit on motorways is 80km/h.

Tolls In France

Driving through France can quickly add up when it comes to tolls. For example if you are travelling from Paris to Lyon by car on the A6, it can cost €33.30, with a caravan/ trailer it will be €52.10. From Lyon then to Marseille it will cost an extra €24.50. If that’s with a caravan/ trailer in tow it will cost €38.50.

One of the most expensive routes is the A26/A5 from Reims to Lyon which costs €40.50 by car. Again, if you’re towing a caravan or trailer, it’s €61.30 instead.

Full details of toll prices on all routes across the country can be found here.

Motorcycles

  • Dipped headlights are compulsory during the day.
  • Crash helmets are compulsory for both the driver and passenger.
  • All helmets must display reflective stickers on the front, rear and sides, by law.

Main Image Credit: Wayne Shipley. Used under CC licence.

Categories
Scotland

Ireland Vs Scotland: Getting There

– Compiled by Noel Byrne & Adrian Harmon, AA Roadwatch

You have a few options open to you to get to Edinburgh, which we have outlined below. As with any journey planning, the key is to book tickets in advance to guarantee yourself a seat.

 

FLIGHTS


Here is a list of airlines which fly directly to Edinburgh Airport, as well as Glasgow Airport, which is about an hour’s journey from Edinburgh.

Image Credit: xlibber. Used under CC licence.

If you click on the particular airline, it will bring you to their website.

Ryanair: Dublin – Edinburgh, Dublin – Glasgow, Derry – Glasgow

Aer Lingus: Cork – Edinburgh, Cork – Glasgow, Donegal – Glasgow, Dublin – Edinburgh, Dublin – Glasgow

Flybe: George Best City Airport – Glasgow

Easyjet: Belfast – Edinburgh, Belfast – Glasgow

 

GETTING FROM EDINBURGH AIRPORT TO EDINBURGH CITY CENTRE

You have a number of options to get to Edinburgh City Centre from the airport, all of which we’ve detailed below.

  • Taxi

When you land, you can make your way to the ground floor of the multi-storey car park and from there, you’ll be able to get a black cab at the rank.

Alternatively, you can pre-book Edinburgh Airport’s official private hire service. You can do this online or by giving them a call on (0044) 844 448 8576. You’ll find the private hire rank also on the ground floor of the multi-storey car park.

  • Bus

There are a few bus options on offer at the airport which will take you into Edinburgh City Centre.

The Airlink 100 leaves every 10 minutes. A single ticket costs £4 and a return ticket is £7 and will take approx 30 minutes to get you into the city centre. Tickets can be purchased at the airport information desk, at the bus stop, from the driver or in advance online.

Image Credit: Matt Davis. Used under CC licence.

The No. 35 Lothian Bus also runs into city centre but stops more frequently along the way and takes about an hour to get as far as Holyrood. Buses run every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and every 30 minutes evenings and Sundays. A single ticket costs £1.50 and a day ticket costs £3.50.

If you land late at night/ early morning, you could also take the Night Bus (N22) into town. This service runs from the airport to the city centre between 12.47am and 4.17am (to be exact) seven nights a week. It runs every 30 minutes and takes around 30 minutes to get you into the city centre. It’s flat fee of £3 to use the service.

  • Car

If you’re renting a car while in Edinburgh, there are various car hire options open to you when you land,including, Europcar, Avis, Hertz and Enterprise. Details of all car rental companies at Edinburgh airport can be found here.

When you’ve picked up your car, the drive from the airport to the city centre is around 8 miles and will take about 25 minutes (in light traffic). Most people make the drive via the A8 Glasgow Rd

Tram

The new tram system in Edinburgh can take you from the airport to Princes St and Waverly Station (as well as plenty other stops, including Murrayfield Stadium itself) rather easily.

The tram runs every 8-12 minutes and takes, on average, 35 minutes. An adult single ticket is £5 while a return ticket is £8. There are reduced prices for children. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket machines at the tram stop.

Full details can be found on the Edinburgh Trams website here.

 

GETTING FROM GLASGOW AIRPORT TO EDINBURGH CITY CENTRE

If you’re flying into Glasgow Airport, and you’re not renting a car, you’re two main options to get to Edinburgh City are via bus or train, with the former the cheaper option.

  • Bus

Scottish Citylink offers a non-stop service from Glasgow Airport right to Princes St in Edinburgh City Centre throughout the day.

It runs seven days a week, every 30 minutes at peak times. The journey takes about an hour and costs £11.40 for a single ticket or £18.60 return. You can also purchase a Family Ticket for up to 2 Adults and 3 Kids for £25 single or £39 return. The Family Ticket can only be purchased from the driver on board the coach. See here for the timetable.

You can also make your way to Buchanan St Bus Station in Glasgow City Centre where there are regular buses to Edinburgh City Centre, operated by Citylink and National Express.

  • Rail

If getting the train, it’s probably easiest to make your way from the airport into the City Centre, to either the Queen Street or Central Train Stations and then make your onward journey to Edinburgh.

Both ScotRail and National Rail are the two main rail companies to travel with on such a journey.

 

FERRY

Image Credit: Harwich & Dovercourt. Used under CC licence.

While there aren’t as many options travelling by Ferry to Scotland, you can go with Stena Linefrom Belfast to Cairnryan. There are several departures every day, running on the every half hour every four hours beginning at 3.30am.

Keep in mind that the last check-in time for passengers is 30 minutes before departure.

 

GETTING FROM CAIRNRYAN TO EDINBURGH

Once you’ve arrived, you can either drive to Edinburgh yourself or get a bus or train.

  • Train

Stena Line offer a rather handy combo “Rail & Sail” ticket which includes your ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan and then a train to get you to Edinburgh (or indeed several other cities). For full details of this, see Stena Line’s website here.

Alternatively, you can make your own way from Cairnryan to Edinburgh via train using one of the several Scot Rail trains that operate along the route. Keep in mind you will need to get from Cairnryan Port to Stranraer railway station to get the train to Edinburgh. See ScotRail for more info and bookings.

Depending on the departure time of your train, you’re looking at a journey time of between 4 and 6 hours. Make sure to pack the Travel Scrabble.

  • Car

If you’re driving, it’s a distance of around 125 miles and will take the best part of three hours, if you go via the A77 and M8. Check out the AA Routeplanner for a more detailed driving route.

  • Bus

Scottish Citylink offers a regular service from the Cairnryan Stena Ferry Terminal to the Bus Station in Edinburgh, which takes approx three and a half hours. See Citylink’s website here.

 

BUSES FROM IRELAND TO EDINBURGH

EurolinesIf you’re considering getting the bus to Edinburgh, that you’re not organising yourself, you can go with Eurolines. You don’t have too many options with the bus, which only runs from Dublin and then goes on to Belfast where it takes the ferry to Cairnryan before going on to Glasgow and then Edinburgh (in St. Andrew Sq. Bus Station). The trip will take approximately 11 hours so make sure to factor that in when planning your trip.

You can see the all the details of the trip here.

Main Image Credit: JoshuaDavisPhotography. Used under CC licence.

Categories
Ireland Wales

Ireland v Wales: Match Day Info

Where is the stadium? How long will it take getting there? Where’s best to park? What bus do I take? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Have a quick look below for all the info on how to get to the Millennium Stadium, hassle free.

The encounter gets underway from 2.30pm at the Millennium Stadium, which is located on Westgate St in the city centre, as you can see on the map. The stadium is within a short distance of Cardiff’s main train and bus stations.

Just in case you aren’t able to get a hold of a ticket for the match but instead you’re going to watch it in a pub nearby, check out our recommendations nearby here.

By Car

Cardiff is easily reached via the M4 and access to the stadium can be made using Gate 4 on Westgate Street in the city centre. Just keep in mind there will be road closures in place around the stadium on the day of the match which are listed below.

If you don’t fancy driving into the city, there are Park & Ride facilities available on match day which are easily accesses via J29 (Pentwyn P&R (White)) & J33 (Cardiff City Stadium P&R(Yellow)) on the M4. The cost is €8 (£6) per car. The car parks will open at 9:30am, with the first bus at the same time. The last bus will leave the pick-up point at 6:00pm, and the car park will close at 6:30pm.

By Train

The stadium is within a five minute walk of Cardiff Central Railway Station where First Great Western operates main line routes to and from England and West Wales. Local connections, operated by Arriva Trains Wales serve various nearby towns and villages. Extra services are common on match-days where high volumes of passengers are expected so for full details check with the operators by clicking the links.

By Bus

Near the train station, Cardiff Central Bus Station is also within a five minute walk to the stadium via Wood Street and Westgate St. The station is the start and end of most local Cardiff Bus services. Be sure though to check their website by clicking the link for full details of services on match-day. They also have a handy appthat works on both Apple and Android operating systems, which you can use to pay for day tickets. Normal fare prices can be found here.

Road Closures

On the match-day, a full road closure will be in place from 12:30pm – 5:30pm, including:

  • North Rd, from Boulevard de Nantes to Kingsway.
  • Kingsway, from North Rd to Duke St.
  • Cowbridge Road East from Cathedral Rd to Westgate St.
  • Tudor St from Clare Rd to Wood St.
  • Plantagenet St & Beauchamp St from Despenser Place to Tudor St.

The following roads will be completely closed:

  • Duke St, Castle St, High St, St.Mary St, Caroline St, Wood St, Central Sq, Westgate St, Quay St, Guildhall Pl, Golate, Park St, Havelock St & Scott Rd.

Main Image Credit: Chris Brown. Used under CC licence.