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Guide to driving in the USA

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Driving in the USA is both a sensible and convenient way to get around what is an enormous country. From obtaining your International Driving Permit to abiding traffic laws, find out all you need to know about driving Stateside with our handy guide.

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Shop around for car hire

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]If you’re driving in the USA, there are lots of choices and every airport has a huge selection of car hire companies operating there or nearby. You don’t have to go with the first option. Hertz offer 10% off pre-paid rates for all AA members.

Also be aware that many car hire companies in the USA are geared towards American drivers and so won’t offer car insurance in their total price. Make sure you know what you’re buying, and always ask about insurance if it’s not obvious that it is included in your full cost.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1433512831965{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

The Ts & Cs of hiring a car

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Make sure you have the answers to the below before you drop any dollars on hiring a vehicle.

  • Do you have to pay for a child car seat?
  • Do you need to have a full tank when returning the vehicle?
  • Are you of the correct age requirement to take out the vehicle?

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Choose wisely

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While a Ford Mustang convertible is tempting remember that you’ll need luggage space, too. SUVs are ideal for families and cost around the same to run in the US as a small car here – just be prepared to exercise caution when parking.

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Automatic Transmission

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Familiarise yourself with an automatic transmission; they are easier to use than our “stick-shifts” but it’s still a good idea to borrow a friend’s automatic car for a quick spin around on a quiet road before you go Stateside. It will make it less of a surprise when you’ve potentially got so many other “firsts” on the day you rent the car.

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Driver’s licence

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Get an International Driving Permit (IDP); it’s an internationally-recognised document that accompanies your Irish/EU driving licence and ensures you’ll be accepted as a qualified driver by the authorities across the US. IDPs are issued on behalf of the State by the AA and the fee is €15 (inclusive of admin/postal delivery charge).

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Motor insurance

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Car rental companies will offer whatever basic insurance is required in the state you’re renting but will try to sell you a more comprehensive level of cover, often at extortionate prices. The basic insurance often just covers you with an enormous excess, so search for deals on car hire excess insurance before you leave – many companies will cover you to that higher level for a fraction of the price.

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Traffic laws

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Familiarise yourself with traffic laws; most of the signs on US roads are either familiar or self-explanatory but no-one will explain a California 4-way stop to you before handing you the car keys, so ensure you know all about the unique customs and practices in whichever state you’re visiting. In some, for example, it’s perfectly acceptable to turn right at a red light; in others, it’s as illegal as turning left at a red light would be in Ireland. In general though, it’s the things that are legal which will surprise an Irish driver, such as helmet-free Floridians on motorcycles and New Hampshire drivers behind the wheel without seat belts (yes, in 2016!).

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Public transport

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Avoid driving in certain cities; US cities are often car-dependent and the idea of getting around by taxi or bus is ludicrous. But in a host of cities – Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle – public transport is so good that driving is not only stress-inducing, it’s eye-wateringly expensive. $45 is a reasonable parking garage charge in San Francisco, so consider holding off on car rental until you absolutely need it – even in the land of the automobile.

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US national average fuel prices:

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Fuel is incredibly cheap and costs a fraction of what it does in Ireland. This is in part due to our high taxes; we pay about 64% of the cost of petrol and 67% of diesel to the Irish Government.

Oil trades on the world market in US Dollars which works in their favour as they wouldn’t have to worry about their exchange rate weakening, unlike us Irish. In comparison to Ireland it works out less than half the price we pay for petrol here. However, as demonstrated in the table above the price of fuel varies from state to state.

While diesel is the same in both America and Ireland, trying to identify a direct comparison of unleaded petrol in the US is not as straight forward. Unleaded petrol contains about 95 RON rating; to find the nearest US comparison watch out for anything over 91 AKI which is generally found in “premium” branded fuel.

It is also worth noting that when you see the listed price in US fuel stations they are listed in gallons as opposed to Ireland where the listed price is calculated per litre. A quick tip to calculate the price of fuel per litre is to divide the price by 3.8 (gallons).

US petrol is also weaker than what we use in Europe. Most European cars wouldn’t have the capacity to function on US petrol, which can be as low as 87 RON (EU cars run on 92 or higher), without an adjustment that would likely reduce its power output. However, US cars are designed to run on lower octane fuel, so using cheap fuel in a car wouldn’t damage it like it would European cars.

One little tip when filling up in the US; unlike in Europe, where petrol is a green pump and diesel is a black pump, US petrol (gasoline) pumps are marked black and diesel pumps are marked green.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1433512831965{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Toll fees

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Go with the toll tag. Unless you’re planning to avoid every single highway and freeway in the state, you’ll likely encounter a toll booth or electronic toll and paying for that can be tricky and awkward, especially using a non-US credit card or scrambling for change. Many car rental companies offer a toll tag that covers all tolls for around $40 a week and we would advise that it is certainly worth the investment. See Cost to Drive where you can calculate the cost of tolls you meet on your route.

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Don’t fear motoring Stateside

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The roads are straight and wide, the cars are big and comfortable and between cruise control, sofa-esque suspensions and ultra-assisted steering (just how Americans like it), driving in the United States is a doddle for most Irish people. It will give you a new sense of appreciation for the truly-daunting situation a visiting American must find themselves in when driving an Irish rental car.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1433517982393{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”1/1″][action full_width=”yes” content_in_grid=”no” type=”normal” show_button=”yes” button_text=”Get a Travel Insurance Quote” button_link=”http://www.theaa.ie/travel” background_image=”18625″ button_text_color=”#ffffff” background_color=”#0a0a0a” button_hover_text_color=”#e5e5e5″ button_background_color=”#ffcc00″ button_hover_background_color=”#ffcc00″ button_border_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0.01)” button_hover_border_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0.01)”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories
Europe Featured USA

5 reasons to book your 2017 holiday now

[vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1433512803702{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text]With the panic and busy rush that comes with Christmas it’s only natural that shortly after the 25th our minds turn to thoughts of a holiday spent sipping cocktails by the pool, or dizzyingly tall palm trees swaying in the warm breeze. However, it’s not long before we’re shunted back to the present courtesy of the rain and cold outside. It all sounds a bit bleak, doesn’t it? Well there is one sure-fire way to kick-start 2017 – by planning your dream holiday. Savvy travellers will know that the early bird catches the worm, with plenty of bargains to be bagged.

Still not convinced? We’re here to help change your mind with five reasons why booking early is best:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1433512831965{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

For all the holiday extras

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Hotels and travel operators often reward early holiday-bookers with the likes of free child places, room upgrades, spa treatments and day trips.

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For the low deposits

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They also understand that January can be a lean month and many offer low booking deposits so don’t let finances put you off snapping up a great holiday deal.

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For easy pickings

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The first in the queue gets their choice of destination, accommodation and flights. Scooping up those last minute holiday deals is great but only if you’re completely open to where you go and where you stay.

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For the bargains

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Like retail sales, there tends to be plenty of money off deals this time of year on holidays. If you can manage to cough up your booking deposit now it can really pay off.

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For the peace of mind

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Last but certainly not least, booking your holiday early will give you plenty of time to pay off your trip before you travel. No one wants to be scrimping and saving with a week to take-off – you want to come home more than the shirt on your back.

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Categories
England Featured

Where to stay and eat from Holyhead to the Channel Tunnel

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Travelling from Holyhead to the Channel Tunnel but haven’t found anywhere to stop off yet? This year you may want to ensure your family is well taken care of, and with AA Hotels and Restaurants that’s guaranteed. The AA has been recommending and acknowledging Hotels for almost half a century, with a focus on hospitality and the ‘guest experience’ all being cornerstone’s of the property’s success.

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Below are handpicked places to stay and eat at if you’re road tripping through the United Kingdom, allowing you to take in the scenery along your route without worrying about where to stay and what to eat mid-trip.

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Source: Trearddur Bay Hotel

[/image_with_text][vc_column_text]Trearddur Bay Hotel
Trearddur Bay, LL65 2UN
3 star rating
82%[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]

A real seaside theme runs through this bright and welcoming hotel situated only 100 yards from a Blue Flag beach. Bedrooms include a large number of recently refurbished, contemporary rooms; some with balconies and stunning views of the bay. Guests have a choice of dining in the more formal Bay Restaurant, or the Inn at The Bay which has an outdoor area for summer dining. Facilities include function rooms, an indoor swimming pool and children’s play area.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Tel: 01407 860301

Facilities
Parking: 200 open
Children welcome
Night porter
Wi-fi

Leisure facilities
Indoor swimming pool

Bedrooms
En-suite rooms: 43
Rooms with four-poster beds: 1
Ground-floor rooms: 3
Family rooms: 6
Freeview TV available
Tea/coffee making
Direct dial from rooms
Internet connection
Dogs allowed[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19172″]

Source: Southcliff Hotel

[/image_with_text][vc_column_text]The Southcliff Hotel
22-26 The Leas, Folkestone, CT20 2DY
2 star rating
71%[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Located on the town’s panoramic promenade with a bird’s eye view of the sea, this historical Victorian hotel is perfectly located for cross channel connections and is only minutes from the town centre. The bedrooms are spacious and airy with some boasting balconies and sea views.

Enjoy a freshly prepared breakfast in the spacious breakfast room on the lower ground floor or relax in the bar. The front lounge is perfect to peruse newspapers or get stuck in a nice book. Plenty of street parking available.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Tel: 01303 850075

Facilities
No children under 5yrs
Passenger lift
Night porter
Wi-fi

Leisure facilities
Live entertainment

Bedrooms
En-suite rooms: 68
Freeview TV available
Tea/coffee making
No dogs allowed except guide dogs[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19170″]

Source: Novotel

[/image_with_text][vc_column_text]Novotel Coventry
Wilsons Lane, Coventry, CV6 6HL
3 star rating
78%[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]

Novotel Coventry is a modern hotel convenient for Birmingham, Coventry and the motorway network, offering spacious, well-equipped accommodation. The bright brasserie has extended dining hours, alternatively there is an extensive room-service menu. Family rooms and a play area make this a child-friendly hotel, and for adults, there is also a mini-gym and a selection of meeting rooms.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Tel: 024 7636 5000

Facilities
Parking: 120 open
Children welcome
Passenger lift
Night porter
Wi-fi

Bedrooms
En-suite rooms: 98
Ground-floor rooms: 25
Satellite TV available
Tea/coffee making
Direct dial from rooms
Internet connection
Dogs allowed[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19171″]

Source: Rocksalt Restaurant

[/image_with_text][vc_column_text]Rocksalt Rooms
2 Back Street, Folkestone, CT19 6NN
4 star rating
Restaurant with rooms
2 rosettes[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]

Overlooking the busy harbour, often crowded with small leisure boats, with wonderful sea views, Rocksalt enjoys a great location in Folkestone. Bedrooms are stylish, well appointed with original antique beds and equipped with a host of thoughtful little extras. Continental breakfasts are delivered promptly to the guests’ rooms each morning, and dinner is served in the award-winning restaurant that is also blessed with panoramic views.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Tel: 01303 212070

Facilities
Children welcome
Central heating
WiFi
No coach parties catered

Meal information
Dinner available
Last orders for meals: 10pm

Bedrooms
En-suite rooms: 4
Rooms: 4
Family rooms: 1
Tea/coffee making
4 rooms with TV (Freeview)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19169″]

Source: The Marquis at Alkham

[/image_with_text][vc_column_text]The Marquis at Alkam
Alkham Valley Road, Alkham, Dover, CT15 7DF
5 star rating
2 rosettes[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]

Located between Dover and Folkestone, this contemporary restaurant with rooms offers luxury accommodation with modern features; flat-screen TVs, WiFi, power showers and bathrobes to name but a few. All the stylish bedrooms are individually designed and have fantastic views of the Kent Downs. The award-winning restaurant, open for lunch and dinner, specialises in modern British cuisine guided by Head Chef Charlie Lakin. Both continental and a choice of cooked breakfasts are offered.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Tel: 01304 873410

Facilities
Children welcome
Central heating
Lounge with TV
WiFi
Coach parties catered

Meal information
Dinner available
Last orders for meals: 9.30pm

Bedrooms
En-suite rooms: 10
Rooms: 10
Ground-floor rooms: 1
Family rooms: 3
Direct dial from rooms
10 rooms with TV (Freeview)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19173″]

Source: Sticky Walnut

[/image_with_text][vc_column_text]The Sticky Walnut
11 Charles Street, Chester, CH2 3AZ
2 rosettes[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]With its shop front exterior and rough-and-ready rustic vibe, The Sticky Walnut is a neighbourhood restaurant for the 21st-century-unpretentious, chilled-out and serious about the end product. It is spread over two floors, with chunky wooden tables, blackboards and an open kitchen. On the plate is some seriously good stuff based on excellent seasonal ingredients. There’s a broadly European spin to much of the menu and both concept and execution are pretty much bang on.

First course chicken liver pâté with apple and pear chutney and buttery toasted focaccia delivers complementary flavours and shows refinement in its presentation. Or choose squab pigeon breast with quince, salsify, caraway and meat juices, before a main course of fillet of brill matched with pumpkin and parmesan risotto and sautéed wild mushrooms. Meaty mains bring full-bore flavours, perhaps braised beef shin with truffle chips and onion purée. With cracking desserts like a deconstructed lime cheesecake with pecan butter biscuits and chocolate sorbet, this is a kitchen that delivers real impact in a relaxed, modern manner.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Tel: 01244 400400

Open/closed
Dates closed: 25-26 Dec
Sunday lunch available.

Restaurant information
Cooking type: Modern European
Chef: Gary Usher
Number of seats: 50
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Children welcome.
Children’s portions.

Restaurant price guide
A La Carte Dinner Main Course from: £14.00
Sunday lunch: £16.00-£20.00
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]European Breakdown Cover

If you’re driving to France, remember that breakdowns aren’t cheap. It’s well worth protecting yourself and your wallet by taking out European Breakdown Cover.

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Categories
England Featured

Where to stay and eat from Cairnryan to the Channel Tunnel

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Travelling from Cairnryan to the Channel Tunnel but haven’t found anywhere to stop off yet? This year you may want to ensure your family is well taken care of, and with AA Hotels and Restaurants that’s guaranteed. The AA has been recommending and acknowledging Hotels for almost half a century, with a focus on hospitality and the ‘guest experience’ all being cornerstone’s of the property’s success.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Below are handpicked places to stay and eat at if you’re road tripping in the United Kingdom, allowing you to take in the scenery along your route without worrying about where to stay and what to eat mid-trip.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19160″]

Source: Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel

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Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel
Corsewall Point, Kirkcolm, Stranraer, DG9 0QG
3 star rating
80%
1 rosette

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Looking for something completely different? This is a unique hotel converted from buildings that adjoin a Grade A listed, 19th-century lighthouse set on a rocky coastline. Situated on the headland to the west of Loch Ryan, the lighthouse beam still functions to warn approaching ships. Bedrooms come in a variety of sizes, some reached by a spiral staircase, and like the public areas, are cosy and atmospheric. The cottage suites in the grounds offer greater space. The restaurant menus are based on Scottish produce such as venison and salmon.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]Tel: 01776 853220

Facilities
Parking: 20 open
Children welcome
Wi-fi

Bedrooms
En-suite rooms: 11
Rooms for smokers: 3
Ground-floor rooms: 2
Family rooms: 4
Freeview TV available
Tea/coffee making
Direct dial from rooms
No dogs allowed except guide dogs[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19162″]

Source: Wikipedia

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Glenapp Castle
Ballantrae, KA26 0NZ
5 star rating
3 rosettes

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Friendly hospitality and attentive service prevail at this stunning Victorian castle, set in extensive private grounds to the south of the village. Impeccably furnished bedrooms are graced with antiques and period pieces, and include two master rooms and a ground-floor family suite.

Breathtaking views of Arran and Ailsa Craig can be enjoyed from the delightful, sumptuous day rooms and from many of the bedrooms. Guests should make a point of walking round the wonderful 36-acre grounds, and take a look at the azalea pond, walled vegetable gardens and restored Victorian greenhouses.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Tel: 01465 831212

Facilities
Parking: 20 open
Children welcome
Passenger lift
Night porter
Wi-fi

Leisure facilities
Croquet
Tennis
Woodland walks
Falconry
Archery
Photography
Stargazing

Bedrooms
En-suite rooms: 17
Rooms with four-poster beds: 2
Ground-floor rooms: 7
Family rooms: 2
Freeview TV available
Internet connection
Dogs allowed[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19161″]

Source: Wikimedia

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The Cosmopolitan
2 Lower Briggate, LEEDS, LS1 4AE
3 star rating
80%

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]This smartly presented, Victorian building is located on the south side of the city. The well-equipped bedrooms offer a choice of standard or executive grades. Staff are friendly and helpful ensuring a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Discounted overnight parking is provided in the adjacent 24-hour car park.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Tel: 0113 243 6454

Facilities
Children welcome
Passenger lift
Night porter
Wi-fi

Bedrooms
En-suite rooms: 89
Rooms for smokers: 14
Family rooms: 5
Satellite and Freeview TV available
Tea/coffee making
Direct dial from rooms
Internet connection
Dogs allowed[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19158″]

Source: Oulton Hall

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Oulton Hall
Rothwell Lane, Oulton, Leeds, LS26 8HN
4 star rating
80%

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Surrounded by the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, yet only 15 minutes from the city centre, this elegant 19th-century house offers the best of both worlds. Impressive features include stylish, opulent day rooms and delightful formal gardens, which have been restored to their original design. The hotel boasts a choice of dining options, and extensive leisure facilities. Golfers can book preferential tee times at the adjacent golf club.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Tel: 0113 282 1000

Facilities
Parking: 260 open
Children welcome
Passenger lift
Night porter
Fully air conditioned
Wi-fi

Leisure facilities
Gym
Indoor swimming pool
Croquet
Putting green
Golf course
Beauty therapy
Aerobics

Bedrooms
En-suite rooms: 152
Rooms with four-poster beds: 2
Satellite and Freeview TV available
Tea/coffee making
Direct dial from rooms
No dogs allowed except guide dogs[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19164″]

Source: Midsummer House Restaurant

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Midsummer House Restaurant
Midsummer Common, Cambridge, CB4 1HA
5 rosettes

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]In a city used to topping league tables, Midsummer House does its bit to make Cambridge an essential stopover on any culinary tour of the country. Daniel Clifford took over this Victorian villa on common land by the river (where cows do actually freely roam as if they own the place) back in 1998 and set about creating the divertingly handsome, dynamic and high-powered restaurant we see today.

It is an exceedingly civilised series of spaces done out with good taste in fashionably neutral shades with a warmth that is enhanced by the service team who make a visit seamless, easy and fun. The place has been improved and upgraded year-on-year, which reflects Daniel’s single-minded approach to constant improvement. The conservatory looks over the pretty garden and there’s a small bar upstairs with a terrace looking out over the River Cam.

A window gives a view into the kitchen without allowing the action to distract too much. The menus are of the tasting variety – five-, seven- and ten-course options – with the shorter version offered at lunch in the week and in the private dining room (it’s worth mentioning at this point that there’s a rather glam first-floor private dining room). Whichever of the menus you go for, whether your decision is made by appetite or budget, rest assured that the kitchen has done everything to ensure there are plenty of thrills along the way.

With a background at the top end of classical dining, combined with a creative mind and astounding technical abilities, Clifford delivers flavour combinations that hit the mark again and again, with outstanding ingredients and everything looking gorgeous on the plate. First up might be smoked haddock with pickled onion and grilled cheese in a clever partnership that brings the best out of the immaculate produce, followed by beetroot baked over hot coals and matched with quinoa and goats’ cheese.

Braised pork cheeks arrive tender and packed with flavour, and roasted scallops with an accompanying tartare, Jerusalem artichokes and some black truffle. If pot roasted chicken, leeks and mushrooms sounds humble, rest assured it is not. There’s a lot of ground to cover if you’ve gone for the ten-courses, but it is so well judged that you don’t want it to end. Adding a cheese course from the trolley before dessert is one way of keeping things going.

The sweet courses (two of them) might include a stunning chocolate dome or an exotic poached kumquat number with tamarind yogurt sorbet, carrot and cardamom. The wine list, like everything here, is a class act.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Tel: 01223 369299

Open/closed
Days closed: Sun-Mon
Dates closed: 2 wks Xmas
Days closed for lunch: Tue

Restaurant information
Cooking type: Modern British
Chef: Daniel Clifford
Number of seats: 45
Accessible for wheelchairs
Vegetarian meals available
Children welcome
Children’s portions[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19159″]

Source: Restaurant Alimentum

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Restaurant Alimentum
152-154 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 8PB
3 rosettes

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]If your Latin’s a bit rusty, the name of this operation in a modern building near the city’s leisure park, means ‘food’, and the place comes with bags of contemporary swagger. It has seats upholstered in red at black-lacquered tables, scarlet padded walls and smoked glass, plus an open-to-view kitchen giving a window onto chef-proprietor Mark Poynton and his brigade at work. Poynton puts ethics and sustainability at the top of the agenda when it comes to sourcing his ingredients, while the kitchen follows a broadly modern European path of diverting originality.

The set-price lunch and early-evening menu offers storming value, and trading upwards, there’s a carte, a seven-course ‘Taste of Alimentum’ and a ten-course ‘Surprise’ menu, all keeping step with the seasons. This produces starters such as duck foie gras mousse with passionfruit, walnut and spring onion to leaven its richness, or a dish of grilled plaice with langoustine, fennel, cucumber and seaweed that armchair gourmets might recognise from the chef’s appearance on the Great British Menu.

Tight-lipped menu descriptions belie the complexity and multi-layered flavours in dishes: a straightforward-sounding main course of beef fillet with snails and red wine, for instance, is a tried-and-true marriage of complementary flavours. Fish is treated inventively, with butternut squash, chorizo, apple and samphire bringing explosions of distinct flavours to roast halibut fillet cooked with pinpoint accuracy. It’s all beautifully presented, too, through to show-stealing puddings that might unite apple caramel and vanilla with an Arctic roll theme, or a thought-provoking combo of barbecue orange parfait with mojito and liquorice.

The judiciously curated wine list covers the principal French regions before moving on to the rest of Europe and the New World.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Tel: 01223 413000

Open/closed
Dates closed: 24-30 Dec, BHs
Sunday lunch available.
Days closed for lunch: 31 Dec

Restaurant information
Cooking type: Modern European
Chef: Mark Poynton
Number of seats: 62
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Disabled toilets
Children welcome
Children’s portions[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19163″]

Source: Hole in the Wall

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The Hole in the Wall
2 High Street, Little Wilbraham, Cambridge, CB21 5JY

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]The name of this 16th-century village pub and restaurant between Cambridge and Newmarket comes from the days when farm workers used to collect their jugs of beer through a hole in the wall so as not to upset the gentry in the bar. Customers nowadays can enjoy ales from the Milton Brewery and the Indian Summer Brewing Company.

The heavily-timbered pub is owned by former BBC MasterChef finalist Alex Rushmer, and first-class modern British cooking is prepared from fresh local produce. You could explore the five or seven course tasting menus, or stick to the set menu, with choices like game terrine with carrot and pear chutney and sourdough; Suffolk pork belly, roasted cauliflower, curried granola and raisin agrodolce; or fillet of hake, chorizo hash, red pepper sauce and wild rocket. Finish with Cambridge burnt cream, mango compôte and black pepper shortbread.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Tel: 01223 812282

Principal beers
Milton Brewery, Indian Summer Brewing Co

Open
11.30-3 6.30-11

Closed
2wks Jan, 25 Dec, Mon, Tue L, Sun eve

Facilities
Children welcome
Garden
No coach parties catered[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]If you’re driving in the UK, don’t forget that with AA Ireland you’re automatically covered.

If you happen to breakdown, all the benefits you have on your package here in Ireland applies in the UK. If you have AA Roadside Rescue, we will tow you locally and if you have Rescue Plus, we can arrange to recover your vehicle back to Ireland if it’s beyond repair.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][action full_width=”yes” content_in_grid=”yes” type=”normal” show_button=”yes” button_text=”More Info” button_link=”http://www.theaa.ie/membership”]I am test text for Call to action.[/action][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories
Europe Featured USA

7 in 10 of us have a bucket list we can’t tick off

Over 70% of Irish people will have to rethink their travel wish list, which includes destinations such as The Great Wall of China and The Grand Canyon, as they cannot afford the excursions, a new survey shows.

While 54% of poll respondents have a travel “bucket list” – a wish list of places to see and things to do before they die – over seven in ten admitted that financial reasons are preventing them from fulfilling their personal challenges. A further 26% report that work responsibilities are thwarting their travel plans, with a further one in five citing family life as a likely dampener.

The survey, commissioned by AA Travel Insurance, revealed that young Irish adults aged between 17 and 24 years old are least likely to be able to afford ticking off their bucket list, despite the cohort aspiring to travel most. Young adults also professed that their “fear of the unknown” is a barrier to their travel desires – the highest of all age groups at over 10%. Poll respondents over the age of 65 years old are least likely to have a travel bucket list (57%), with one in four saying their health is foiling such adventurous excursions.

The AA Travel Insurance survey also revealed Irish people’s top 10 things to experience before they die. A trip to view the aurora borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights, ranked first place with over half of respondents agreeing it is a must-see. Would-be travellers nominated a visit to the Grand Canyon in second place (38%), with the Great Wall of China coming in third (29%). These were followed by going on a Safari trip (25%), trekking the Inca Trail in Peru (20%), visiting The Himalayas in Nepal (14%), taking an elephant ride in Thailand (12%), sky-diving over the Great Barrier Reef in Australia (12%), and deep-sea diving with great white sharks (8%). Just 4% of those polled admitted they want to climb Mount Everest, a perhaps unsurprising statistic due to its mammoth height of 29,029 feet.

“It appears that we are a nation of would-be globetrotters and aspire to live life to the full,” says Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs at The AA. “While our little island has plenty of undiscovered gems, we’re getting our kicks in far flung destinations. I’m no different: my bucket list includes seeing the giant redwood trees of northern California, the northern lights and the Southern Cross. I haven’t traveled enough yet, but I will.”

 

Image: E Palen

Categories
Featured

Young Irish women least likely to take out travel insurance

  • Almost 1 in 5 young women skimp on cover
  • Men aged 17-24 now more likely to take adequate precautions abroad
  • Young tourists set for globetrotting summer, outnumber older generation

 

Almost 1 in 5 young Irish women are taking unnecessary financial risks this summer by shunning travel insurance before going on holiday, according to a recent AA Travel Insurance survey.

The poll of nearly 8,000 people finds that some 18% of young female tourists aged between 17 and 24 years old are regularly travelling abroad without proper cover in place. The figures represent a trend in young women failing to adequately protect themselves from financial risk, says The AA. Results from a 2013 poll showed 20% of women continued to forgo travel cover, despite the dangers involved.

According to the AA Travel Insurance survey, of the young women holidaying without cover nearly 1 in 5 are visiting countries outside of Europe, which fail to come under the European Health Insurance Card remit. A further 13% are travelling to North America, where they will have to foot high hospital bills in the event of an accident or illness.

In a surprise reversal of trends, young men aged between 17 and 24 years old are now more likely to take adequate precautions abroad with 76% investing in cover before they jet off. This is in stark comparison to 2013, when just 45% admitted to protecting themselves with some form of holiday insurance. The number of those neglecting to take out cover has dropped significantly since 2013, from 34% to 16%.

The survey’s findings should be a wake-up call for young people and their families,” says Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs at The AA. “Whether it’s a weekend trip with their mates or backpacking around Europe, for a lot of parents this summer will be their child’s first holiday without them. If the unthinkable happens, the costs stemming from these events often fall to parents, putting financial pressure on already cash-strapped families.”

The AA survey further reveals that overall, young Irish adults have a poor reputation for investing in insurance before going on holiday. This is despite the fact that most report they are set for a globetrotting summer: 45% are partying in destinations around Europe, while Spain is a hot-spot for 40% of young holidaymakers this year.

And although a whopping 70% of us are committing to taking a holiday this summer, over 1 in 3 older families are abandoning sunshine breaks and opting to put their money towards an Irish trip. The AA Travel Insurance survey finds that some 35% of us will be basking in the “Irish sun” over the coming months, with those aged between 36 and 45 years old most likely to take a staycation.

The poll also reveals the top hot spots Irish tourists are hitting this summer, with 1 in 3 opting for the sunnier climes of Spain. The majority of the remaining destinations fell inside Europe, suggesting short-haul travel is the winner in 2015.

Disasters don’t just happen in far-flung destinations; you can find yourself in the middle of a holiday drama even when you’re on a weekend break,” says Conor. “It’s a question of being conscious of your surroundings and protecting your belongings, ensuring they’re as inaccessible as possible.  I’d always advise travellers to know what’s covered in their travel insurance, too.   That way you can at least get the maximum benefit from your cover if thieves do strike.”

Top destinations for Irish tourists this summer:

  1. Ireland: 35%
  2. Spain: 33%
  3. Other European country: 24%
  4. Great Britain: 23%
  5. Portugal: 16%
  6. France: 15%
  7. North America: 14%
  8. Italy: 13%
  9. Northern Ireland: 9%
  10. Australia: 4%
  11. New Zealand: 3%
Categories
Europe Featured Greece

Family holiday in Greece? Here’s what you need to know

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1433512803702{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Unfortunately, financial uncertainty doesn’t have a monopoly on Greeks; thousands of tourists travelling to the south-eastern European country will be affected by the current upheaval. AA Travel Insurance is advising everyone to consult their insurance providers to ensure they’re covered if things go wrong whilst abroad.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1433512831965{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]What to look out for in your Travel Insurance policy[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Despite being the sensible thing to do before jetting off, taking out basic travel insurance doesn’t mean that every box is ticked. If you’re covered under a cheaper policy, it might be the difference between being able to claim for insolvency or not. Put simply, make sure that your level of cover provides for End Supplier Failure. This covers any irrecoverable, unused costs and charges relating to third party companies that become insolvent within your booking, such as accommodation providers, hotels, car hire, ferries, coaches, which you have paid or are contracted to pay. This benefit comes as standard under AA Travel Insurance policies and allows you to claim up to €2,000.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1433512831965{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Why buying early is best[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]After Greek citizens delivered a resounding ‘No’ vote in the referendum on Sunday, no clear outcome to the crisis is on the horizon. It appears then that financial insecurity will continue with the likelihood of short-notice strikes or industrial action more acute.

With AA Travel Insurance, you’re covered for unforeseen industrial action if it leads you to abandon your holiday. This benefit can be invoked if you’ve been delayed for more than 24 hours from the scheduled time of departure. For this reason, it is best to take out travel insurance at the time of booking your holiday. Without it, or even by leaving it to the week before you depart, could be the difference in losing a chunk of your accommodation costs due to a flight delay.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1433512831965{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]When not to travel[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs is invoked in most policies. Currently, the DFA has advised tourists to Greece to ‘take normal precautions’. Due to the current financial turmoil, however, it is best to keep abreast of goings-on and regularly check its security status in the run up to your departure. If bouts of social unrest lead the DFA to caution against travel, flouting this advice could result in a claim being rejected by your insurance provider. You can check the security status of countries worldwide by clicking here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1433512831965{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Keep your money safe, and your valuables safer[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Although the Greek Government has indicated that Capital Controls will not affect tourists, the DFA has advised that you bring enough cash to get by. It’s best to take more than one means of cash with you – cash, debit and credit cards. Some tourists will most likely resort to carrying around high amounts of cash, due to the fact that ATM activity is limited in Greece. Also be aware that most businesses on Greek islands will not accept debit and credit cards. Therefore, increased levels of cash on your person can arouse a higher risk of theft or loss. It’s best to make sure your policy covers for this should the unfortunate happen.

As a precaution, ensure that cash is kept secure within a safe in your hotel/apartment – they generally come with insurance in case money is stolen from it.  It’s also a good idea to check that suitable protection is in place with your accommodation provider.

AA Travel Insurance provides cover for up to €350 cash per person travelling and €100 per person for those under 18.  If your personal belongings (valuables etc.) are stolen we’ll cover this up to €3,000, alongside luggage and baggage which are covered up to €3,000 per person.

AA Travel Insurance also has a 24 hour emergency assist English-speaking helpline if something goes wrong. Contact us immediately on + 353 1 431 1205[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1433512831965{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1433517982393{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”1/1″][action full_width=”yes” content_in_grid=”no” type=”normal” show_button=”yes” button_text=”Get a Travel Insurance Quote” button_link=”http://www.theaa.ie/travel” background_image=”18625″ button_text_color=”#ffffff” background_color=”#0a0a0a” button_hover_text_color=”#e5e5e5″ button_background_color=”#ffcc00″ button_hover_background_color=”#ffcc00″ button_border_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0.01)” button_hover_border_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0.01)”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories
England Europe Featured France Germany Ireland Italy Northern Ireland Portugal Scotland Spain USA

How to Protect against Lost Luggage

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]It’s something we all dread: losing our luggage. It’s up there (alongside sunburn between the toes) as one of the worst things that could happen whilst on holidays. However, if you follow some simple steps it can help take some of the stress out of having lost luggage.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Don’t pack any valuables

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]If you must bring a valuable item we advise you keep it on your person at all times. Some airlines state in their contract that they are not held liable for unique or expensive items.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px” image_repeat=”no-repeat”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Think ahead

When packing your bag think ahead of the worst possible case scenario. If you lost your luggage and all the external tags were ripped off how would your baggage be identifiable? Top tip: pop a business card or note inside your bag stating your particulars that will ensure the airline can identify you are the owner of the luggage.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px” image_repeat=”no-repeat”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Take a photo of your luggage

Though it may seem a little extreme but you will be glad if the unthinkable arises – it could be the difference in reclaiming and losing your luggage permanently.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px” image_repeat=”no-repeat”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Flag your loss to an airline employee before leaving the airport

Perhaps one of the most important tips of all is to ensure you don’t exit the airport without making a report with the airline. Go to the baggage claim office to complete a missing baggage claim form. This office is generally on the same floor as the baggage carousel.

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px” image_repeat=”no-repeat”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Note airline contact details

Lost baggage is usually found within a day or two as it may arrive on the next flight. If you are not as lucky and your baggage is confirmed lost, having traveled with multiple airlines who should you contact? The airline that you must contact is the airline that flew you to your final destination.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px” image_repeat=”no-repeat”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]If your luggage does get lost, AA Travel Insurance can cover you for up to €3,000. This covers which covers for baggage, baggage delay, passport replacement and emergency travel.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px” image_repeat=”no-repeat”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Image: Flickr[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories
France

10 Best Airbnb Rentals in Bordeaux

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Need a break? Travel to the French region known for its sweet wine and rich history.

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Source: AirBnB

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Rue Charles Monselet

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If you want to splurge on your nearest and dearest, we suggest taking them to this palatial mansion set in the heart of Bordeaux. Boasting a bar room, cellar, projector with a wide screen, and – most importantly – WiFi, you’ll probably never want to leave.

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Source: AirBnB

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Rue Borie

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Set over three levels, this stunning apartment has something for everyone and just as well, because it sleeps up to 10 guests. Boasting a terrace for the sun-worshipper in your life, the French apartment also houses a fully-equipped, top of the range kitchen that would make Gordon Ramsay jealous. There’s also an in-house pool, BBQ, and large communal living room with a sofa that seats 10 people.

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Source: AirBnB

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Place Puy Paulin

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The maxim ‘less is more’ was definitely in the mind of the architect responsible for this 2-bedroom duplex. With clean lines and a minimalist rustic design, it’s a haven for the clutter-minded in need of a break. There’s a music room if you fancy some tunes, as well as a private, decked garden.

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Source: AirBnB

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Rue Raymond Poincaré

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At first glance it wouldn’t look out of place in the Cotswolds, but this property is definitely a modern take on the quaint country-life we’ve come to affiliate with an old-English town. Bring 10 of your closest friends and family and have a pool party out the back, or sip some mimosas on the fully decked garden space – it’s as modern as it can get.

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Source: AirBnB

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Chemin la Chicane

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The juxtaposition of this sleek property and its vineyard setting only adds to its charm. With a pool, terrace, and kid’s area out the back you won’t want to ever come inside. If you do, you can enjoy the high finishes this home has to offer; a large living room, quality kitchen and four spacious bedrooms make up the rest of the space.

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Source: AirBnB

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Route de la Poste

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Play Lord or Lady for a day and visit this Chateau. The period property boasts stone statues in its private gardens, alongside a mini bar, swimming pool, lounge, fitness rooms and spa – yes, a spa. It also sleeps up to 15 – what more could you want?

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Source: AirBnB

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Avenue Georges Clemenceau

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Located in a quiet, residential neighbourhood near plenty of shops and restaurants, this home is ideal for a family wanting to holiday with young kids. It’s close to transport (less struggling with the buggy) but there’s also plenty to keep the kids occupied: a heated pool and designated play area sit in the private garden. For the adults in tow, there’s a BBQ, sun terrace and fully equipped kitchen to whip up some delicious meals for the family.

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Source: AirBnB

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Route du Leu

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If you’re really in need of the royal treatment we recommend this Chateau that comes with its own vineyard. Sleeping 26 guests, it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted. It boasts turrets, 3 levels, 8 ensuite bedrooms, and an entertainment room. With close proximity to the Golf de Bordeaux-Cameyrac, it’s the perfect location for a family vacation, or as the owner states, a “team building session.”

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Source: AirBnB

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Tizac de Curton

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If you’re more low key and enjoy the rustic life, pay a visit to this recently restored villa. With stone walls, wooden overhead beams and four-poster beds it’s the perfect place to relax and re-fuel. There are many vineyards to explore nearby, as well as a host of local attractions and hiking trails.

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Source: AirBnB

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Alle Van Gogh

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This property certainly wouldn’t look out of place in the Hollywood Hills. A pool adorned with palm trees and a fitness room that looks out on to the luscious garden, it’s the perfect location for the high-fliers in your life. It benefits from its quiet, residential location but if you want to get out and about the beach is just 25 minutes away.

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