Looking for the hottest place in town? Check out your nearest friendly volcano!

Volcanoes. They are Nature at her most dramatic and terrifying and they occupy a special place in our collective psyche. The jury is still out in some quarters as to whether the demise of the dinosaurs was due to an asteroid impact or a cataclysmic eruption of a giant volcano that brought about the prehistoric equivalent of a nuclear winter some 50 million odd years ago. In any event, volcanoes are things of beauty and

How cultured are you?

When people are asked why they travel abroad on holidays  they usually cite reasons such as weather (if you're Irish!), cuisine, history, scenery, people. The list is obviously longer and more nuanced than that but I think we would all agree that one of the single most important reasons why many people travel abroad is for a taste of that other country's culture and heritage. The Google dictionary defines the word 'culture' as 'The arts

The Top 10 Destinations in the World in 2013

Let's face it, we all love lists! Compilations of the 10 fastest this, or 10 most expensive or exclusive that appear to exert a magnetic draw on our collective curiosity that has to be satiated! I cam across the following list just today and what amuses me about it is that it claims to indicate the 10 top travel destinations in the world as voted for by Facebook users. How could that be when we're

Looking for a bit of sun and heat?

I think that we are universally agreed that this year's summer was one of the worst on record and with the long range weather forecast for the next eight years not particularly encouraging, perhaps it's time that we had a conversation about the 10 hottest places around the world that we should consider for that next holiday. By some measures, Bangkok is actually considered the hottest big city on earth. The average temperature for the

The World of Travel — where misconceptions abound!

There are many misconceptions that continue to prevail to this day among travellers about various types of travel activity. The famous phrase:  'Newly-wed, over-fed and nearly-dead' was the disparaging comment that was often made in relation to the cruise industry and although that was never the reality, it gained traction, particularly in the minds of people who had never actually cruised. The same phenomenon that causes certain people to condemn some controversial book, song or film even though they've

When paying more money can cost you less!

Regular readers of this blog will know that one of the recurring themes that we re-visit from time to time is that of trying to get people to realise that cheaper isn't always better — in fact it rarely is. Value for money needs to be your constant mantra if you are a consumer who wants to get more bang for their proverbial buck. Some perfect examples of this truism came across my desk earlier this week

€249 for a round-trip airfare to the Far East — where’s the catch?

You've all heard the old adage  '... If it sounds too good to be true ...' and generally speaking, it's usually a reliable rule of thumb to adhere to. Every now and then though, a deal comes along that proves the exception to the rule and the latest example is from none other than Azamara — the boutique cruise division of Royal Caribbean. Azamara  occupies the upper end of the cruise market and boasts small

Paradise — and where you can find it!

Much of our vocabulary in daily use has become increasingly diminished because of the overuse of certain words or adjectives. Common sense would suggest that everything simply can't be 'great' or 'brilliant' or 'unique. A prefect example of this phenomenon is the overuse of the word 'paradise' — in the material, rather than the metaphysical sense! Many destinations claim to be paradise or evocative of it and whilst many of these destinations are undoubtedly beautiful in their own

How the role of the humble travel agent has changed in recent years.

Before the arrival of the Internet, everyone used travel agents to book their travel arrangements because agents were able to access information that was not generally accessible to your average traveller. The Internet changed all that and empowered consumers by enabling them to research and find all sorts of interesting 'goodies' online. This democratisation of  travel created the illusion in the minds of many consumers that they no longer needed travel agents and that they

Summer has arrived!

I'm not talking literally of course — just figuratively — and wearing my travel agent hat! Easter has always traditionally represented the start of the summer season as this is when tour operator summer charter programmes begin and winter charter series end. It is also then an appropriate time to remind people of the kinds of things that they need to think of/prepare for, before setting out on their overseas travels. What follows is a

Five Great Destinations for Foodies

If you're anything like me then you love your food. Indeed they say that the world is basically divided into two types of people: those that eat to live and those that live to eat. I most definitely fall into the latter camp and have the waistline to prove it! Food also happens to be one of the highlights of any trip abroad so I am often surprised that more people don't base their travel arrangements around this fact.

When is the best time to go on holidays?

This is a question that is often asked of travel agents and the answer obviously depends on where in the world that you're intending on travelling to but as a general rule of thumb, if you talking about holidaying anywhere in Southern Europe, then May or September are usually the two best months in which to take your holidays and for the following three reasons: 1. The weather tends to be quite pleasant (like a

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!).