Family Travel with Ivan on The Hard Shoulder

Newstalk 6th June 2019 Family travel


This week we a taking our inspiration for the show following an email from a listener wrote in with a family travel request and Michelle is going to pick out some tips and offers for Families.


Hi, I want to bring my family for a week away in Ireland. Preference is Donegal but will consider other areas. Kids at 7, 5 and 3. Ideally some sort of glamping on or close to the beach, close to surf school/activities for the kids. I am looking for something a bit different. If it can be gaeltacht area all the better. Last week in July or August

Thanks Eamonn

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Michelle says

Eamonn your kids are quite young but I take it you’re an active family that want to do a lot together. Here’s a link to teapot lane which has been recommended to me– I’m recently back from a trip to Leitrim and there are tons of family activities kayaking, paddleboarding etc look up the hidden heartlands – Sligo is great for surf and nature activities I’m not sure what the story is with very young kids under 5 for activities however.


Some family hotels in Ireland’s Hidden heartlands and the west include

  1. Lough Allen Resort is a family oriented hotel with two beds in family rooms and they have apartments suitable for bigger families. It’s next door to moorlands equestrian centre.
  2. The Slieve Russell hotel is great for entertainment for the kids.
  3. In Connemara there’s the station house hotel which offers apartment like accommodation in a good location in the centre of Clifden.
  4. Delphi resort offers lots of activities for the over 4+ and family accommodation


Have you thought about Centerparcs? It’s open from August 16th so I’m not sure of availability but it has a wonderful pool area and lots for small kids. Three night breaks start from €299 for a family of four

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Family Travel Tips.


Babies fly free up to the age of two so make the most of travel with your new family member


Be early – Most airlines allow you to board first with babies and small children. You can get your gear into the overhead bins and have snacks, bottles etc to hand. Some airports are better than others in relation to security lines –In Barcelona there’s a family security line complete with little playpens to put babies in so they can’t run way. Ask your travel agent what is on offer at the time of your booking


Try to take only one flight – this doesn’t have to restrict your options though.  You can fly direct to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong and Doha from Dublin. If you time it right the baby will sleep on the flight (baby’s “night time”!) making it quite doable.


Avail of airline choices – Book a bassinet for long haul flights. It’s much more relaxing for you all if baby can sleep in an airline bassinet. These bassinets fasten to the bulkheads. Book early, as airlines are limited in number of bassinets and so can never guarantee in advance that a client will get one. Book an aisle seat in advance so you can quickly and easily get to the bathroom for baby changes.


Book All Inclusive holidays –  At Club Med, you can avail of “Baby Club Med®”, a space created exclusively for children aged 4 to 23 months of age. Outdoor walks, nursery rhymes, motor skill techniques, music appreciation… Many all-inclusive hotels include kids clubs and even movies at night so check this out first. I stayed at several H10 hotels all around Spain and the Canaries when my kids were small and we were always thrilled with the entertainment at night.


Book short flights with short transfers – Salou, Portugal  and Majorca  are short flights and short transfer times to various resorts.


Avoid peak-time flights – You will have more space, more air, more personal service and a nicer experience all round on a half-empty flight.

Buggies and Car Seats – you can bring these right up to the gate and it will be ready for you when you land. Just get a baggage tag at check-in.

Be prepared with snacks and fluids. Keep baby hydrated because airplanes are drying. Best to feed your baby at take-off and landing – giving them something to suck on to help relieve air pressure.

Bring a change of clothes for the entire family in case of spills on the aircraft or during transit. Also bring some swim suits in carry on luggage in case your bags get lost.

Bring entertainment. To keep baby entertained bring books and toys to keep their attention. Download movies for the older kids on short haul flights as they wont have inflight entertainment. Remember to leave home anything that squeaks loudly or makes noises—the other passengers will thank you.

Family Deals

I’ve a few suggestions for family trips to Europe as there is still plenty of availability and one to club med in Florida

Portugal is a favourite of mine especially good for travel with kids but be warned it gets very hot in August and even can be hot in September.


Sunway offer Cheerfulway Acqua Maris Balaia

Portugal Algarve – close to Santa Eulaila Beach

24th Aug

Included 2 Adults & 2 Children



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Click and Go

Spanish deal – with Brexit the British aren’t travelling to Europe in such large numbers as usual so there is lots of availability to Spain…..

  • BelleVue Club Aparthotel
  • Alcudia, Majorca, Spain  €2059

  • Room:
     1 x Apartment two bedrooms


     Self Catering
  • Non-refundable room
  • Child discount

Holiday makers

Adults: 2

Children: 3, aged 10, 10, 10

Dates From: Wed, 14 Aug 2019 To: Wed, 21 Aug 2019

  • Flights*


    Ryanair – FR9997 Dublin – Palma Mallorca Direct flight 20:00 – 23:45


    Ryanair – FR9186 Palma Mallorca – Dublin Direct flight 06:35 – 08:20


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Wallace travel LANZAROTE

7 Nights

23 June 2019

2 Adults + 2 Children Cinco Plaza

Including Flights from Dublin

€2499 Total


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Club Med Sun holidays, Sandpiper Bay, Florida.

Depart 31st August 2019.  Sunway

Adults from €1465p and children from €1035pp.


For holiday makers who love sports, Club Med Sandpiper Bay is as good as it gets, with superb tennis, golf, volleyball and fitness facilities, as well as a water park, sailing centre, paddle-boarding, kayaking and even a circus academy that offers trapeze lessons. There is an activities programme from 7am to 6pm daily ensuring you can opt in or out of quality sports activities.

Everything is included in the price so there’s no need to keep an eye on your spending. You have peace of mind too as the instructors and children’s club staff are excellent.

Its modern, village-style look extends to the gorgeous spa by L’Occitane, while the accommodations are spread out over seven three-storey buildings grouped along the riverfront. There is also a boutique, theatre and marina on site.  Sandpiper Bay is right on the river, where dolphins and manatees often venture in from the sea.


Price includes flights ex Dublin, 20kg bag per person, resort transfer, superior room triple share, all -inclusive for 7 nights. Price includes special offer reduction of €443. Subject to availability and change.






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