Harry Potter and the Portuguese connection!

There’s no doubt about it. The Harry Potter Franchise has been a phenomenal success both in publishing and cinematic terms. Since the publication of the first novel in 1997 — Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone — J.K. Rowling has gone on to sell more than 500 million copies of all (as of 2013) making the Harry Potter series the most successful book series in publishing history. Of course, it is the film franchise where

Seattle, here we come!

The announcement by Aer Lingus earlier this week that they will start direct services to Seattle from Ireland next May is big news — at least in the Travel Centres household. Apart from being the home to both online and tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft and the fictional home of the greatest TV comedy series ever made — Frasier — Seattle is also gateway to the Pacific Northwest, one of the least familiar

Water Babies — Cities that live in, by or on the water!

When one thinks of cities that are dominated by water, the place that almost instantly comes to mind is that unique piece of history that is Venice — one of the most successful city states that ever existed and where, unexpectedly, the concept of assembly lines in manufacturing originated from. The Venetian Arsenal was Europe’s first and largest military-industrial complex prior to the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, when Venice was a major maritime power

And you thought it was all about the destination?

  For many travelers, travel decisions are largely determined by the destination itself. Prague or Budapest? Australia or New Zealand? The USA or Canada? We choose places based on a multiplicity of criteria such as proximity, accessibility, cost, uniqueness, safety and a whole host of other qualities. Increasingly though, travelers (and experienced travelers in particular) are choosing destinations based more on what they can do when they get there. The destinations themselves still must tick

The Pleasure Paradox

The pleasure paradox, also sometimes called the paradox of hedonism, refers to the practical difficulties encountered in the pursuit of pleasure. Unfortunately for the hedonist, constant pleasure-seeking may not yield the most actual pleasure or happiness in the long run—or even in the short run, when consciously pursuing pleasure interferes with experiencing it. At least so says Wikipedia. The subject of this week’s blog is the Amusement Park — that modern construct (both literally and metaphorically) beloved of holidaymakers

Theme Parks with a difference — Part 1

Which of us does not have found memories of Disney films, Disney characters and, ultimately — Disney theme parks. My first ever experience of the Disney ‘product’ was a visit to the original Disney theme park in Anaheim with two of my three kids back in 1992 and it was an amazing experience. Since then, I’ve visited Disneyland Paris twice and Disneyworld in Orlando once. Am I likely to complete the whole set by visiting

The reasons why we travel and the criteria by which we choose our destinations

People travel for all sorts of reasons. For some, travel is the antidote to the way they live the rest of the year. It provides excitement, change, challenge, relaxation, new experiences. People travel to recharge their batteries and get a bit of sun — a high priority indeed, when you come from someplace like Ireland — ‘the land of perpetual autumn’, as I often describe it! (more…)

Shoulder Season — the best time to travel in Europe?

One of the fundamental rules of economics is the concept of supply and demand. The more people want something, the more that demand for the product or service drives up the price. Travel is no different in that respect to any other market, with the result that a room in a hotel in any resort in Spain in August is likely to cost twice as much (or more) as the same property does in May.

Would you like to win €2,500?

The phrase, 'Lies, damned lies and statistics' is generally attributed to have been coined by Benjamin Disraeli, the famous British Prime Minister. The standard definition of statistics is 'the practice or science of collecting and analyzing numerical data in large quantities, especially for the purpose of inferring proportions in a whole from those in a representative sample' The bigger the sample, the greater the likelihood of the inferences that are drawn from that sample in

Don’t miss the boat!

One of the things that we try to do both on our website and through the medium of this blog is to occasionally alert readers to emerging trends so that they can be ahead of the curve when it comes to sampling new travel products or discovering new destinations around the world. This week’s blog is somewhat surprising in that it covers a subject that people assume is extremely popular! You would think that cruising

It’s that time of year again!

The one thing that you can always be sure of at this time of year is that the media and airwaves will feature wall-to-wall editorial content on all things Christmas. From 'How to roast the perfect turkey' or the 'Best way to wrap presents', we, as consumers seem to have an insatiable appetite for all things christmasy (and yes, there is such a word as every one uses it!). So why try to fly in

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!).