Perceptions, assumptions and misunderstandings

Nothing is set in stone. Things change. Reality is fluid and few things in life adhere to a precise and inviolate template. What on earth am I waffling on about this time? One of the biggest mistakes that people make (and I include myself in this) is that we treat everything as gospel. We read an article somewhere that advises against travel to such and such a place because there was ‘an incident’ and forever

In India, they drive on the left …

… and the right, in the middle, on the hard shoulder and in the opposite direction — even on dual carriageways and motorways but for some perverse reason, it all seems to work. India is not a country where you simply hire a car to get around. You hire a car and a driver because only Indians have the steel nerves, 360-degree panoramic vision, built-in radar and the reaction times of the domestic house fly

When a man is tired of London …

The full quote is ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford’ and it was written by Samuel Johnson (aka Dr Johnson), who was the author of the ‘Dictionary of the English Language’ which was published in 1755. Johnson was also a renowned poet, essayist, literary critic, biographer, editor and philanthropist. London is, according to the Globalisation and World Rankings Research

When they’re gone, they’re gone!

Back in the mid-eighties, I secured a booking for a large GAA group that wanted to undertake a multi-city tour of the US, taking in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. As is standard practice with large groups, I brought two of the group leaders out with me on an inspection tour of all three cities so that they could stay in the various hotels that we had chosen for them and deliberate on

Where to stay in London?

London is, without doubt, one of the greatest cities in the world and it is a destination that is often overlooked by Irish people — partly because of its proximity to home but also because of that phenomenon of ‘familiarity breeds contempt’. It is also an expensive city to visit, particularly when it comes to hotel accommodation, but I think that I’ve found the ‘sweet spot’ when it comes to a hotel that represents that

Some of the most beautiful destinations are on our doorstep.

It has almost become a cliché for Irish people to bemoan the fact that but for the bad weather that we constantly experience here, we would probably never set foot outside our own country — such is the beauty that can be found in our little piece of rain-sodden paradise. Whilst I am one of the people who partially subscribe to that theory, the fact is that there are simply some things that our neighbours

Georgian on my mind

The city of Bath has always been one of those places that I wanted to visit but just never got around to. Part of the problem was its proximity in that I repeatedly rationalized that I would get to it one day but in the meantime, it made more sense to explore the furthest corners of the planet while I still had the stamina to do it. Anyway, I eventually managed to get to Bath

Is Barcelona the perfect short break city destination?

I have been to Barcelona on four or five occasions over the past few years but each one was a flying visit — either joining a cruise ship departing the Catalan capital or disembarking from one! I was therefore determined to finally set aside two whole days so that I could take time to experience just some of what this Spanish jewel has to offer, and the destination didn’t disappoint. The term ‘short break’ has

Is Singapore the perfect city?

I’m an outdoorsy kind of person who is big into his mountains, forests and wide-open spaces but every now and then, I like to up gear a notch or three and spend a few days in a big city. It’s not just because of the change of scenery, shopping, nightlife or even the infinite choices available in which to eat or be entertained. There is an energy that such places generate and I’ve yet to

WHERE TO GO IN 2018? — PART 3

‘Familiarity breeds contempt’, so the saying goes, and it is always a disappointment to me when people denigrate Spain as a holiday destination as it is still, in my opinion, one of the most amazing countries in the world and indeed that is one of the many reasons why it is still the most popular destination with Irish people. Ironically, the expression ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’ was never about places but about people — children in

WHERE TO GO IN 2018?

‘Let’s Talk Travel’ has become one of the most popular features of the Holiday World travel exhibition that is held at the RDS each year. At last weekend’s event, yours truly was one of the panellists asked to contribute to a session entitled ‘Holiday Trends’. The other two panellists were Paul Hackett, founder and managing director of Click & Go and Catherine Grennell-Whyte, MD of ATTS — a GSA (general sales agent) for companies such

The most sparsely-populated country in Europe is becoming increasingly crowded!

Now there’s an oxymoron if ever I heard one but it’s true! Iceland, that large Island that sits directly northeast of us (Reykjavik is approximately 1,473 kilometres from Dublin) is almost 103,000 square kilometres in area, making it roughly 25% larger by area than the entire island of Ireland and yet it boasts a population of just 332,000 citizens — two thirds of whom chose to call Reykjavik, the capital, home. The reference to crowding

The art of getting a quote that is both competitive in price and relevant to your needs starts with gathering all the right information about what you want to do (or think you want to do!).