Travel Tuesday is going Solo!

Travel Tuesday

On this weeks Travel Tuesday on Tv3’s Midday we are going solo! Solo Travel is getting more popular and becoming more accessible with lots of operators offering trips that won’t penalise you for wanting to travel on your own or preferring not to share a room.

I’ve found some novel trips and hotels that might inspire you to get away on your own.


Abu Dhabi

GTI-Ireland are experts in group travel and this is a great way to see country while making new friends. Based in Dublin they are a small operators who like to organise bespoke tours and are great for clubs and small groups. At a very reasonable price all the below is included. And there is no room supplement for

The itinerary includes cultural tours and plenty of free time. This is a lovely time of year to visit the UAE as the weather is at its very best. As GTI’s escorted holidays are sold exclusively to the Irish Market it means we have small and friendly groups that are suitable for solo travellers.uae_sheikh_mosque_shutterstock_253215310


02 Mar 2017 – 07 Mar 2017
€ 979
  • Return flights with Etihad Airways from Dublin to Abu Dhabi including taxes & charges
  • Professional tour manager & executive coach transfers
  • 4 nights at the 4* Radisson Blu Yas Island in Abu Dhabi with breakfast
  • Guided city tour of Abu Dhabi including Corniche Area, Saadiyat Island & the Date Market
  • Full day cultural tour including Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Heritage Village, Orient Art Gallery, the UAE Currency Museum plus Traditional craftwork in action at Women’s Handicraft Centre
  • Shopping Experience at the Marina & Yas Mall
  • Plenty of free time to relax & unwind
Booking Remarksexquisite-abu-dhabi
  1. Price based on 2 sharing including all airport taxes & charges
  3. Upgrade to included 5 meals from €180pp (choose either lunch or evening meal)
  4. Non refundable / non transferable deposit of €350pp required at time of booking
  5. Balance due 10 weeks before departure (2% charge
    on balance payments made by credit card)
  6. Price includes 1 standard piece of checked-in luggage
  7. Optional insurance available from €35pp (terms & conditions apply)
  8. Irish Passport holders require a visa for this holiday. A cost applies and details will be sent after booking. Non-Irish passport holders please contact us for further information.
  9. City taxes may apply, payable locally at your hotel
  10. Flights, hotel, taxes, prices & itinerary subject to change
  11. Booking terms & conditions apply

To book this trip or to take a look at some other itineraries go to


The Flight Centre have recently opened up in Dawson Street in Dublin. As specialists in travel to Australia I have two amazing offers for solo travellers.

Best of Australia
The 14-day Best of Australia tour takes travellers down Australia’s East Coast starting in Cairns and ending in Sydney. Offering a solid mix of must-do experiences and uncommon adventures, travellers will learn to surf at Byron Bay, sail the Whitsundays and trek through Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest. This small group tour is an ideal way for solo travellers to explore Australia with the comfort and security of knowing they’ll be travelling with like minded people who share a passion for travel.


Flight Centre Ireland ( 01 6950365) is offering a 14-day Best of Australia tour from3,995 per person. Price includes 11 nights in hotels, two nights in a rainforest cabin, four breakfasts, two lunches, a guided rainforest walk, a Whitsunday Islands sailing excursion, a surf lesson at Byron Bay, orientation walk in Sydney, a jet boat ride in Sydney Harbour, Blue Mountains stay with hikes, a visit to the Jenolan caves, a Jamison Valley walk and return economy flights from Dublin airport flying with Etihad Airways and return airport transfers. All relevant transportation is included along with a local guide. Valid for travel on 05 May and 16 June 2017.sydney_harbour_bridge_shutterstock_1937099-4888f41eb81626f204825272c4804dc5

Explore Australia

The 12-day Explore Australia tour is ideal for travellers wanting a stress free, luxury experience with higher quality accommodation, greater exploration, freedom to roam and more activities and inclusions. From its world-class cities and sacred Red Centre, to the Great Barrier Reef and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, this itinerary leaves no stone unturned. With meaningful cultural immersion, included internal flights, and a guided foodie walk through Melbourne, this is a trip down under travellers will not forget.


Flight Centre Ireland ( 01 6950365) is offering a 12-day Explore Australia tour from5,279 per person. Price includes 11 nights in luxury hotels, a Sydney Harbour cruise, city orientation walk, an aboriginal dreamtime walk through the Daintree Rainforest, James Cook University Aquarium visit, a cultural excursion with the Jirrbal Rainforest, a sunrise interpretive walk at Uluru, a walk through the Valley of the Winds in Kata Tjuta, a Melbourne orientation walk and a Melbourne foodie walk with a three-course meal with local author and culinary storyteller and return economy flights from Dublin airport flying with Etihad Airways and return airport transfers. All relevant transportation is included along with a local guide. Valid for travel on 18 January and 01 February 2017.

If you want to see what else the flight centre have on offer see here Flight Centref

Don’t forget to check out the Irish Travel Agents Association for deals at

I’ve found two novels ideas from them this week. A painting holiday in France and a trip to China



Painting Holiday in the South of France with professional artist Maura O’Rourke

Have you always longed to learn to paint? Or perhaps you already enjoy creating your own art but would welcome some expert tuition to improve your skills? Well, why not join professional artist, Maura O’Rourke on the beautiful Cote d’Azur and indulge in a week of painting with like-minded people?


This relaxing holiday on the Cote d’Azur is ideal for solo travellers, friends, people of all ages and abilities with an interest in unleashing – or improving – their creative abilities. It’s the perfect opportunity to paint in a beautiful and stimulating environment, under the expert tutelage of Maura O’Rourke.


Price includes:

Accommodation for 7 nights on a self-catering basis in the beautiful Mimozas Resort.

Return flights from Dublin (including taxes and one 15kg check-in bag.

Return airport transfers.

painting by Maura O’Rourke

5 morning Art Tuition Sessions with renowned international artist Maura O’Rourke.

3 half-day excursions to local places of interest.

Cost is €1,099 per person


(01) 833 3921 /


What about the trip of a lifetime to China and get to see the Great Wall and the Terracotta Army. This is something worth saving up for




Wonders of China Single Occupancy Offer

16 nights – Ireland-Beijing-Xian-Yangtze River Cruise-Guilin-Yangshuo-Shanghai
From September 2016 – November 2017
All Inclusive
FR € 3990pp
Flights Included ex Dublin

021 4274417 / 01 6636536



I love Portugal and I couldn’t resist putting in this deal from the travel department

The Algarve Coast & Country – Solo Friendly

  • 7 Night Holiday
  • Half Board

Stretching across the southernmost tip of mainland Portugal, the Algarve is famous for its year round superb climate, fantastic beaches, dramatic landscape and quaint villages.


The Algarve is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, with modern resorts offering every amenity a holidaymaker could wish for, as well as historic whitewashed towns and fishing ports, full of tradition and atmosphere. The resorts offer an abundance of great bars, shops, cafés and restaurants, while trips to colourful local markets provide an entertaining and rewarding pastime. With warm sunshine and a lively ambience in summer, the quieter, cooler months are also an ideal time to enjoy this most appealing destination.

What’s more, as this is a Solo Friendly holiday there is no single room supplement! 

The trip includes free days and tours of the Algarve including Sagres, Lagos and Silves.

To book this deal from €479 which includes flights from Dublin, hotels and tours leaving on November 17th 2016 go to the website link below

travel department

Staying in Ireland? 

Perfect Painting at The Lodge at Ashford Castle with Angela Essen-West, 

24th & 25th October, 2016

Join highly acclaimed watercolour artist Angela Emsen-West at The Lodge at Ashford Castle on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th of October for a two-day course with a difference. Do you consider yourself a budding artist or simply spend time dreaming about creating beautiful water colours? If so, Angela’s two-day water colour painting workshop is for you. Whether you have never tried water colours before, consider yourself a Picasso in the making or simply need a refresher course to hone your skills you will find it all in Angela’s classes.


Angela believes that everybody can draw and with the right information you can learn how to develop good techniques and material knowledge. Over the two days you will learn the basic techniques of water colour painting and composition, wet on wet, wet on dry and dry brush work. Develop your understanding of watercolour paints, paper and materials involved and learn how to “grid up” for drawings in your first painting.

With breath taking scenery all around you on the Ashford Estate, Angela will focus on helping you to further your own natural way of working and enhance what you already know. If you are a total beginner, Angela will guide you through to a finished painting at the end of two days so you will leave with at least one masterpiece of your own which you can display proudly in your own home.

painting by angela essen-west the artist

This two day ‘Perfect Painting’ takes place on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th October, from 9.30am to 4.30pm and costs €195 per person. Add a two night stay with dinner in the Quay Bar & Brasserie on both evenings from €555 per room including painting class.


For more information visit  

T: 094 954 5400 

Notes to Editor:

Time table for beginners 2 day workshop

Day 1 

9.30 -10.00: Meet and greet with tea and coffee

10 00-12.30: Mediums and creative composition

12.30 – 1.30: Lunch

1.30 – 4.00: Backgrounds for two pieces

4.00 -4.30: Recap and question and answers

Day 2

9.30 -10.00: Meet and greet with tea and coffee

10 00-12.30: Mediums and creative composition

12.30 – 1.30: Lunch

1.30 – 4.00: Development of two pieces of work

4.00 -4.30: Recap and question and answers.

Constructive review and exhibition of every bodies work


Skills Learnt over the 2 day course: Basic water colour painting skills, such as stretching paper, colour selection. knowledge on paper choices, brush techniques, palette mixing, brush care and choices,, keeping colours clean, mixing colours[ on paper and in the palette}, grid making to help with drawing, wet on wet, wet on dry, dry brush, techniques. To put your new skills to the test you will then paint at least one painting of your own from a choice of two photographs, to take home with you!

All course materials included.

Novel Travellers Pick of the week is Monart Destination Spa Wexford, Ireland

I’ve saved the best until last as my very favourite place to travel in all the world is only down the road in county Wexford. Monart Destination Spa is the ultimate resort for the solo traveller. Voted in the top three spas in the world year after year by Conde Naste Traveller it was also voted number one spa in Ireland by Irish Tatler Magazine.

I love this place and at the moment the Shaolin Monks are visiting as they have done for the last six years. I enjoyed Qi-gong and meditation classes with them followed by probably the best massage I’ve ever experienced anywhere.


You can read my review of my time spent there recently and as the monks will be in situ until December it’s not too late to book a retreat for yourself. Go Solo is my advice and you won’t regret it!

Read my review on my website and see this great offer.

During the Shaolin Experience at the adult only Monart Destination Spa guests can enjoy two nights accommodation with breakfast on each morning and dinner at the renowned restaurant on one evening plus an hour long Shaolin Warrior Massage and access to all of the Shaolin classes including Meditation, Qi-gong and Tai Chi. Complete unrestricted access to the 2,000 square foot luxury thermal suite and relaxation areas in also included; from €309pps mid-week and €379pps during weekends until December 12th 2016.  For further details see and read my review here monart review


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