TravelBug

Welcome to TravelBug

TravelBug is the new online initiative from Travel Centres – Ireland’s largest grouping of independently-owned, licensed and bonded travel agents with outlets located throughout the country.

Taking the sting out of travel

TravelBug is the new online initiative from Travel Centres – Ireland’s largest grouping of independently-owned, licensed and bonded travel agents with outlets located throughout the country.

Taj Mahal, India

Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times*

Stop dreaming and start doing! Our network of independent travel agents can find you the very best deals and share the kind of insider knowledge you only get with experience. Send us a no-obligation enquiry and let us find the right agent to start ticking off that bucket list!

*Asian Proverb

Elephant safari at Kilimanjaro

Not all those who wander are lost*

Stop dreaming and start doing! Our network of independent travel agents can find you the very best deals and share the kind of insider knowledge you only get with experience. Send us a no-obligation enquiry and let us find the right agent to start ticking off that bucket list!

*J.R.R. Tolkien

TRopical Beach at Bora Bora

Your time is limited, so don’t waste time living someone else’s life*

Stop dreaming and start doing! Our network of independent travel agents can find you the very best deals and share the kind of insider knowledge you only get with experience. Send us a no-obligation enquiry and let us find the right agent to start ticking off that bucket list!

*Steve Jobs

Patagonia

I haven’t been everyplace, but it’s on my list

Send us a no-obligation enquiry and let us find the right agent to start ticking off that bucket list!
– Susan Sontag

Welcome to TravelBug

TravelBug is the new online initiative from Travel Centres – Ireland’s largest grouping of independently-owned, licensed and bonded travel agents with outlets located throughout the country.

TravelBug aims to provide online shoppers with the best of both worlds: The 24/7 convenience of the Net with the vast accumulated knowledge of dozens of travel consultants who, between them, have already visited many of the countries that you may wish to travel to. And if they haven’t, they certainly know of someone who has so you’re never more than one degree of separation away from such hands-on knowledge. More importantly though, unlike many online web sites, you can be safe in the knowledge that any monies that you pay out for travel products or services are 100% fully insured against loss as every single agent providing you with services via this site is both government licensed and bonded!


Travel Bug is the new online initiative from Travel Centres – Ireland’s largest grouping of independently-owned, licensed and bonded travel agents with outlets located throughout the country. To find an agent located near to you, either click on one of the pins in the map or scroll down through the alphabetical listing of agents below it. Read more


One of the most important and oft-cited reasons for the phenomenal success of various social media sites in recent years has been the value that we place in peer review — we value the opinions of others, particularly others like ourselves. Read more


Think that the Internet is the greatest thing since sliced bread or that the best deals can only be found online? There are numerous reasons why the ‘smart money’ continues to favour the travel agent. Read more

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Ask an Expert

In this always on, 24/7 world of ours where everyone is connected and has access to the seemingly limitless resource of all information online, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that we are all experts because of that information. The reality though is that there is a big difference between information and knowledge. There is an old analogy that explains the difference between information and knowledge and explains that difference thus: ‘Information is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Knowledge is knowing not to put it into a fruit salad.

So, what is an expert, exactly. The dictionary definition describes an expert as ‘a person who is very knowledgeable about, or skilful in a particular area’. Just over 10 year ago, author Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called ‘Outliers’ which went on to be an international bestseller. Gladwell was already a well-established and successful author of several previous books such as Blink — published three years earlier in 2005 and his first book ‘The Tipping Point’ (published in 2000) has since gone on to become a phrase that has been included in the global lexicon of English, following in the footsteps of ‘Catch-22’. The central tenet of ‘Outliers’ was the so-called ’10,000 hour rule’ in which Gladwell posited that it took a minimum of 10,000 hours of practice to become ‘expert’ in any discipline you care to mention such as a concert violinist or Olympic gymnast and so on. By way of example, the book went on to provide copious examples of the 10,000 hour rule by comparing the back story of various successful people such as Bill Gates (of Microsoft fame); the Beatles and so on, explaining how, in each instance, the unique confluence of factors such as opportunity, time, repetition, place etc all positively conspired to produce the results that they did. Outliers ss a fascinating read (like all of Gladwell’s books) so check it out, the next time you’re in your local library or in a bookshop.

Travel experts are formed in more or less the same way. They accumulate knowledge through a combination of repeated exposure to certain experiences and destinations over an extended period of time (in my case, 44 years), such that they acquire a more holistic overview of things and are in a better position to make qualified and unbiased evaluations of different products, destinations, services and experiences so that casual travelers don’t have to take any unnecessary chances when choosing somewhere different or outside of their comfort zone for their next trip abroad.

My reason for raising the issue of what constitutes an expert in this week’s blog is because Holiday World starts later this week in the RDS and a regular feature of the event each year are the travel clinics held by Eoghan Corry in which he discusses various travel-related issues with a selection of experts from various sectors of the Irish travel industry such as airlines, cruise lines, tour operators and so on. Yours truly will be on duty on Sunday afternoon when the subjects up for discussion include emerging trends in travel and changing holiday habits. If you’re in the area on the day, why not drop by and check out all the stands and meet the experts!

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How cynicism created a new travel publication

In Oscar Wilde’s famous play, ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’, the character Lord Darlington utters the immortal words ‘A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing’. No truer words were ever said as sometimes it feels as if everyone is a cynic with an unhealthy fixation on price without ever considering the more important issue of value. Indeed, it is one of the great disadvantages of the Internet in general and advertising in particular that most products or services have to be distilled down to the inescapable question of ‘how much does it cost?

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Premium economy anyone?

On a recent flight to the States, my flight was delayed by almost six hours because of bad weather. There were strong cross winds at Dublin airport which were blowing above the safety threshold of the aircraft in question and we couldn’t use another runway because the aircraft size and load needed a longer runway to take off.

Flight delays are an unfortunate inconvenience of air travel and are usually beyond the control of all concerned. Unfortunately, on this occasion, we had already boarded the aircraft and were stuck in the queue to take -off. After a couple of hours just sitting there, we briefly returned to the gate to allow two passengers to disembark and have their luggage removed. We were getting dangerously close to the crew going out of hours which would have meant everyone deplaning and starting all over again. Thankfully, the winds subsided to below safe operational levels and we managed to take off around 3.55 p.m. — having boarded the aircraft at 10.00 a.m. that morning. The flight duration was just under eight hours so almost 14 hours in total or the approximate time it would take to fly from Dublin to Singapore.

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Philadelphia here I come!

Truth be told, I was there last week but who could resist such a headline! It was my first time in ‘Philly’, which is even more surprising, given that I have been to the States at least 40 times over the years and the city is the 6th largest in the US. I was attending the annual conference of the ITAA (Irish Travel Agents Association) — their first to be held outside Europe in their history (next year, the event is being held in Cordoba in Spain.)

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The best fun you can have standing up!

2018 will go down as one of the best Irish summers ever — certainly the best one that I can recall in almost 60 years. Eight weeks of almost unbroken sunshine, warm temperatures and blue skies created feelings of ambivalence in travel people such as myself because the selfish hedonist in me wanted it to last for ever whereas my pragmatic side new that it wasn’t good for business — after all, our job is to get people to leave the country, not remain in it!

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