America, Asia, Countries, Europe

Jet lag cures

I was spooked at the movement in my en-suite, I was home with The Scary One… I should have checked my own Holidos and Don’ts. Jet lag cures.

And then I could have orientated myself on my return from my mini-odyssey to New England.

Earth to Jimmy

Wriggle those feet: And find some earth

Granted your fellow passengers or hosts might look at you funny but..

You might want to take off your shoes and socks and jump about on the earth.

Bare feet and earth: Who says so… only biohacker and Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey who discovered the trick when doing yoga in California.

Of course he did.

Turn on, switch off

Flying high: With Turkish Airlines

In flight entertainment: And you can always catch up on your sleep on the plane.

There’s the more relaxing last film which you can nod off through.

Or classical music or easy listening. And it’ll make you forget you’re up during the sleeping hours.

Water cooler

Refresh: The water


Hydrate: And yes that means staying off the booze… so resist the temptations of airport drinks.

On board now you will have to pay for your alcohol anyway.

And rehydrate so stay off the coffee, tea and sugary drinks.

That’s the business

Lounge back: And take in a Turkish Airlines movie in their airport business lounge

Business class: Of course if you’ve been saving your pennies, you’ll be able to treat yourself to business class.

I’ve been fortunate enough to avail of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Turkish Airlines (there are other flyers).

And the reclining seat-beds will make you feel like you’re at home in bed.

Until you turn around for a cuddle on your trip to the Maldives and Island Marketing’s stubbly boss Brian is looking up at you.

Homing in

Home again: And get some Zzzzs in

The home run: And when you get home after you’re through the all-nighter then you need to get home.

If you’re disorganised like me then it’s better not to have bought a return public transport (tram, bus, train) ticket.

Maybe leave the keys too with the neighbours.

All because these things can get lost in transit.

Get in, get a glass of water and get to bed. Will you sleep later? You bet.

And I think I’ll copywright this… Holidos and Don’ts jet lag cures.





America, Countries, Ireland

An American-Irish Thanksgiving in Dublin

It probably wasn’t like this for the Pilgrims in Plymouth in 1421… but I’ll more than take An American-Irish Thanksgiving in Dublin.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, masks, double dose certificates at the Radisson Blu Royal.

And certainly not what the Pilgrims laid before the natives…

Dried meat and fish, grains and flour, dried foot, cheese and hard biscuits.

Chow on chowder

Catch of the day: chowder

Thankfully culinary fashions have changed and we dined on New England chowder, mini burgers and wings.

All the time listening to the band belting out American standards.

And taking a tour of America, around the stands, from New England, Washington DC, Georgia and Florida.

Right across the Mid-West (Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah).

And over to my old friends in California.

Flying time

Fly the flag: Aer Lingus

And you’ve got it… Aer Lingus and British Airways were there (are there) to take us back.

Now that the borders are open again.

Now like a kid in a candy shop the difficult thing is what to choose first.

Our American Travel Fair resumes in Florida in May.

Orlando, woah, woah, woah

Minnie brwak: Minnie and me

So all roads lead there… to Orlando.

Now if the Pilgrims thought that New England was a good enough starting point to explore the New World who am I to disagree.

The eastern seaboard collection of states and commonwealths I know well from a summer in Boston after university and day trips to New Hampshire.

Connect with Connecticut

Making his Mark: Mark Twain

But I’m grateful here to Sue from Connecticut for clueing me in on her state.

You might be familiar with Mark Twain name-checking it in his time-travelling tome A Connecticut Yankee in the Court of King Arthur.

And you’ll find everything you want to know about the Great American and his great creations Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer in his museum here.

And also take in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s house and get a glimpse of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

She’d be known today as HBS but back in the day to Abraham Lincoln she was ‘the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.’

It’s a rich old history and one I can’t wait to add to in 2022.

But for now it’s enough to acknowledge my dear old friends and embrace (with an elbow nudge) my new ones.

With an American-Irish Thanksgiving in Dublin.


Caribbean, Countries, Flying

Netflix and chill in Anguilla with Timberlake

Well, if it’s good enough for Justin Timberlake who opined: ‘Forget your face, I swear I will, St. Barths, Anguilla anywhere I chill’. An invite then to Netflix and chill in Anguilla with Timberlake and the jet set.

JT isn’t alone in singing the praises of the British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean.

Just dance: Justin Timberlake

Paris Hilton is a fan of the Anguillans and called it her ‘secret island’.

She only revealed this was her dream getaway after she’d left.

Jay-Z and Beyonce decamped to Anguilla in the early days of their courtship.

Paris style: Paris Hilton

While Paul McCartney and his wife Nancy are visitors.

As are Denzel Washington, Liam Neeson, Leo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock and Michael Jordan.

Yeah: Macca’s going to Anguilla

Although not that we know all at the same time.

For us we are restricted to watching on and living our dreams vicariously through things like Netflix.

Money to throw away: Leo DiCaprio

And such as the World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals Season 2.

Each episode explores one unique, one on a budget and one luxury option from destinations around the world.

On the Waterfront explores the ultra-luxury Long Bay Villas Anguilla.

And thanks to our friends at Anguilla Tourism we are reminded that the prices range from £180 to £24,000+ a night.

Flutter by butterfly

Lie back and think of… Anguilla

The Little Butterfly: And this is a one-bedroom luxury apartment on the mezzanine level of Papillon Villa.

Feel like an emperor or empress butterfly.

Social Butterfly: And you can be one

With a king-sized bedroom and Jacuzzi tub, open-plan living and dining areas, and an outdoor deck with vistas of the Caribbean and the mountains of St Martin. Prices are from £183 per night.

Cove love

Peace and quiet: At the Cove

Fletch’s CoveInspired by modern Mexican architecture, Fletch’s Cove is a two-bedroom oceanfront villa which opens onto a pool terrace with views of the Caribbean and the neighbouring islands.

Prices are from £320-£680 per night for two in one bedroom. And from £497-£760 per night for four guests in two bedrooms.

Long and short of it

Walk this way: The Long Bay Villas

Long Bay Villas AnguillaA celebrity spotters’ dream, only they’re secluded, so you’ll have to shell out the £2,500-£10,600 for your five bedrooms in this 7,000sqft villa complex.

The trio of these villas is title Sand, Sea and Sky… sounds ethereal.

You’ll have an oceanfront terrace with heated infinity pool and hot tub and exquisite living and dining areas.

Five-star bespoke services are provided by the butlers, beach attendants, house keepers and concierges.

Villa thrilla

Light up: The Cerulean

Cerulean VillaRight, that’s two at our end of the price budget but we do love to dream so here’s the exotic Cerulean Villa.

Sold in a private group basis, this is a nine-bedroom and multiple beachfront 20,000sqft villa.

With dining and lounging terraces, expansive pool deck, infinity pool, tennis courts, private gym and dedicated spa room.

Guests can choose one of two options: Cerulean A La Carte or The Cerulean Experience.

The Cerulean Experience offers a staff of 18 including a private chef.

Prices from £73,200-£124,425 per week for Cerulean A La Carte while prices for the Experience are on application.

Green for go

A corner of a British authority: Anguilla flies high

And the good news is that Anguilla is green from October 4 for fully vaccinated visitors.

British Airways (Gatwick and Heathrow) and Virgin Atlantic (Heathrow) fly out to Antigua followed by a short flight to Anguilla.

Or by KLM/Air France via Amsterdam/Paris  to St Maarten followed by a boat or plane transfer.

And our friends at American Airlines  which is launching twice-weekly flights between Miami and Anguilla from December 11.

So Netflix and chill in Anguilla with Timberlake and the jet set.

Caribbean, Countries, Culture

Sandals Jamaica I dig it

They’re the best pools, where you don’t have to swim and just drink in the pool and play volleyball. Sandals Jamaica I dig it.

The volleyball is the favoured entertainment of the American visitors.

And if you ask nicely they’ll let you join in.

Be prepared to high five after every winning point.

Pool Sandals

Of course the Sandals pool allows gentle swimming.

Preferably to the bar in the middle.

Or up to your room if you’re lucky enough to get a swim-up room.

As tempting as it is to spend your entire holiday on the hotel grounds.

And enjoy the restaurants, bars, pools and sea, an island of fun is waiting just outside the gates.

Mine was, and is, Barbados but Sandals is part of island life right throughout the Caribbean.

Integrating your holiday between your hotel, your activities and your day trips will enhance your Caribbean getaway.

And pacing.

Constant refills

So while there are refilled comp mini-bars and Champagne, make sure to refuel at the breakfast bar.

And if you’re out limin’ (pre-drinkin’) then plenty of water.

And dance it off at a Mas (a music party).

At the end of your day out (and you’ll snorkel, swim or do water sport of your choice) you’re back at the Sandals gates.

And drowsy of head (and rum) you’re awakened.

And with a jerk you put your arms straight out and hands together in a volleyball dig manoeuvre.

Set for pool volleyball

You’re replaying your pool volleyball match from the morning.

And practising for the next day’s match.

Although it will be tough as the Americans haven’t left the pool all day.

Jamaica remains my next cab on the rank, and that cab is pointed towards Ochi Beach.

The Butler at your service

Where Sandals Jamaica is offering a stay in a Butler Village Poolside one-bedroom villa suite.

Seven nights luxury included. Travel to Marleyland in June from £2199pp.

Save up to 45% off plus up to an extra £700 booking bonus on select rooms and suites.

British Airways Club World Sale is bookable until September21.

Bring on Sandals Jamaica I dig it!

America, Countries, Deals

Hail Caesars Palace

Hail Caesars Palace and 55 years of the most famous entertainment hotel on Earth.

Caesars has no apostrophe maybe because the Ancient Romans didn’t use them, although the pitch is that it’s becasue everybody staying at the hotel is treated as a Caesar.

The pedant in me would say the apostrophe should go after the final ‘s’ then.

But leave your pedants Caesars and Vegas is all about pleasance.

Fab, fab, fab

Yes, it’s Fabulous: Las Vegas

The resort, on the west side of the Strip between Bellagio and the Mirage is truly immense with 121,181 sqft of gaming space, a 22,450ft Colosseum showbiz venue which all the greats have, and do, perform at with Celine Dion the latest.

And 3,960 rooms so there will be one free for you!

You want to know what’s on offer. Me too.

Hail Caesar

Iconic: The Caesars’ statues

Joe Biden who we have all had such high hopes for is dragging his feet on allowing us back in (or is that just me).

And he’s supposed to be making an announcement on Labor Day, Monday, September 6, which makes it tight for me attending my American Travel Fair, IPW

Fear not though whatever happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas either way and I’ll continue to bring news of Caesars and all the resorts and fun you can have in Sin City.

Deals, deals, deals

Miss America meets Mr Scotland in Vegas

Caesars is offering 25% off rooms.

Our friends at British Airways have given us more skinny on what Caesars Palace has to offer. 

The Palace has a choice of eight pools, at the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis.

And you can even play swim-up blackjack. Or unwind in your private cabana with attentive waiters on hand.

Every woman loves a shop and you can treat yourself to luxury retail therapy and enjoy fine dining at Caesars’ exclusive shopping destination, The Forum Shops too.

What happens in Vegas: With Cami

BA is offering three nights in Vegas for less than £1,000, actually £927 which gives some extra bucks to splash on the tables.

While our old friends at Harrah’s which is linked to Caesar’s will offer you party bar fun.

And more than just a room for the night

Hail Caesars Palace. And a big thumbs-up from us.





America, Countries, Europe, Flying

Flyday Friday’s beautiful beasts of the sky

And I’m indebted to my pal Travel doyen and ITNN group editor Fionn Davenport for steering me on this one, as I revisit an old favourite, here’s Flyday Friday’s beautiful beasts of the sky.

The Airbus Beluga XL flew into Shannon Airport this week for some high wind testing.

In the belly of the whale

And got us all dreaming of riding the beautiful beasts of the skies again and reflecting on their eye-catching liveries.

So you say whale Fionn, well, I raise you a shark.

Oh, the Shark, babe has such teeth, dear

Embraer: This beauty has some bite, it’s the Embraer E190-E2 and it swallowed me whole in Ireland.

Sharks in Ireland? Well there are plenty in its parliament, the Dáil, but otherwise this is the closest to the Jaws of the sea that you’ll ever see there.

Of all the strange and wonderful mornings I spent in 13 years in Ireland the hours I spent flying from A-B, or Dublin to Waterford, on a shark is an experience I clearly never imagined having.

The beauty of the Embraer is not just on the outside with the interior spanking and with the best feature no middle seats.

Tiger, Tiger burning bright

Purrfect: The Aeroflot subsidiary

Aeroflot Siberian Tiger: The Russians, of course, are consistently in the world’s crosshairs.

So credit where credit’s due with Rossiya Airlines dressing its plane up as a tiger to draw attention to the plight of the Siberian Tiger.

In 2015 research showed there were only 500 left in the wild.

Panda air

Bear necessities: British Airways

British Airways: Now all of us here around Edinburgh where we have two beauts in the Zoo love a panda.

And so do British Airways who celebrated their route to Chengdu, home of the Giant Panda, marked the occasion with this livery.

Of course, Brits have a lot in common with pandas… sitting around all day doing nothing but graze and scratching our asses with sleepy black eyes.

Oh Mickey you’re so fine

Mouse tales

Now every mouse has a tail, obvs.

Mickey is always guaranteed to put a smile on your face and this is clearly what WestJet had in their mind with their ‘Magic Plane’ which features Our Mouse in his role of Sorcerer Mickey.

Or for big fans of Mickey you might say a Flight of Fantasia.

Tintin can

Shivering tailfins

And we are, of course, suckers for our hero, the adventurous young journalist Tintin.

Brussels Airlines are bigging up the famous Belgian boy on the back of the film Red Rackham’s Treasure and theres’ a submarine theme running through it.

We’d only hope Bianca Castefiore didn’t board. Her singing would shatter any window. 

Stars of the skies

The sky side

Star Wars: And, of course, you would expect Star Wars to be all over the skies.

And the never-ending franchise has plenty of images from which to pick, of course.

We’ll go with a favourite. Airline, that is, and United Airlines and its The Rise of Skywalker livery. 

Of Star Wars we know little but were there for its arrival at Disneyland in Anaheim and got to enjoy the galaxy far, far away.

Now everyone’s got a place in our choir, so whichever is your favourite, let’s get back on these beautiful beasts of the skies.







Africa, Countries, Culture, Deals, Food

Holiday Snaps – Capes of good hope

And, yes, you read that right. I’m talking of the Eastern and Western Capes of South Africa and the Good Hope of returning ine day.

TV chef Gregg Wallace has been conjuring up memories of the Eastern Cape foe me in his ITV travelogue series, sponsored by Saga Holidays.

Where last week he went on safari at the Amakahla Game Reserve, just north-west of Port Elizabeth, and this week goes west to Table Mountain et al.

Chin chin: Gregg Wallace in South Africa

Of course Gregg got stuck into biltong, the dried cured meat they all eat out there.

The promo video shows Gregg toasting us with a South African white you can almost taste.

But a piece of advice, Gregg, if you really want to go native then you need to put ice in the wine.

Bergamo stands alone

Bergamo Molamia: Stay strong

Mola Mia… and I’m glad to see that Ryanair is giving Bergamo back its name in its latest tranche of offers and not just aa an appendage of Milan.

They flag up the medieval jewel of Lombardy at up to €30 off which takes you to their €23.99 one-way deal for Milan Bergamo.

Bur hey, Bergamo wasn’t built in a day… and I’ll share all its history and how it has rallied from being the doorway for Covid in Europe.

Una ciocolatta di calda densa: In Bergamo

Book foe Bergamo and a raft of destinations by January 13. Travel between April 1 and October 31.

Ryanair helpfully shares where you can get a Covid test near you.

Sandals in the sand

Blessed: Saint Lucia

Or more accurately on the runway. Actually the plane on the runway but then my hour in Saint Lucia just whetted my appetite.

My Saint Lucian pal Jerry, the Big Rapper, from my G Adventures tour of Jordan had given me the skinny on his island.

And how he had plans for writing a guide book.

Look out for that when you’re out in Saint Lucia at Sandals who have a January sale on.

They have seven nights at the Sandals Regency La Toc with travel dates in September and October.

Fly with British Airways and stay in a honeymoon luxury.

Now I’ve experience of a couples hotel in Barbados and a Sandals on the south of the island too,

While, if you want to island hop, Saint Lucia is the stop-off for another prize destination Tobago.

Countries, Deals, Europe, Ireland, UK

And hard on Greece’s Croat-tails

Tomorrow, Thursday, is fast becoming my least favourite day of the week though to be fair it has six very close rivals.

Because Thursdays is when the UK Government tells us which new country they are banning us from visiting.

And it’ll be Greece and all its myriad regions which I’ve already gone into bat for. And Croatia.

Of course I know they actually check which country I’m going to next before they drop the bomb.

The sands of time

Croatia first came into my orbit long before I passed through on my way to Medjugorje and Bosnia-Herzegovina last year.

It was a German with whom we dined by Rialto Bridge on our 10th wedding anniversary in Venice who first flagged up Croatia.

By saying that Dubrovnik was even better than the famed Venezia.

Relaxing times

I had, of course, intended to find out for himself only for someone to get in my way… Me!

Throughout all of this our holiday providers, our dream makers, have been enduring a living nightmare.

Pilloried as fluff (it was ever thus) by pampered politicians they have seen their businesses collapse from under them.

I’ll have two of these cocktails

For want of a bailout with our leaders preferring to use their float (our taxpayers’ money, remember) for interpretative dance.

Than the multi-billion Travel industry and to allow hard-working families their God/given right… to travel.

The Adriatic

Thankfully our resilient Holiday providers are persisting with presenting deals for us.

Mostly for 2021 it must be said.

Now you might not recommend me trying something as fancy as a yacht to get to Dubrovnik seeing I failed with something as simple as a bus.

The grass is greener

But you can… Carrier suggests you hiring a private yacht to sail around the Elafti Islands, an archipelago just north-west of Dubrovnik.

Or explore Konavie Valley, the Tuscany of Croatia, although maybe it should be the other way round.

The Old Town

You’ll have your transport of choice… walking, cycling or a horseback ride.

And best of all you’ll frequent traditional konobas, or taverns, serving authentic Mediterranean fare.

Harbour of delights

The world will be your oxter (or oyster) when you visit the Medieval town of Sion by fishing boat.

Where you will get the chance to taste Fresh European Flat Oysters from their beds.

Pictures of Croatia

Your bed will be in the exclusive Hotel Excelsior which has obviously been putting their time to good use with a repaint.

There are spectacular vistas of the Medieval town and the Adriatic.

Which you will be able to enjoy in the hotel’s brand new Sensus restaurant.

While you’ll want to dip your toe too in the ‘sea pool’ and come back to luxuriate in the spa.

Bridge of highs

Carrier offers five nights from £1,050pp based on two adults sharing a Classic room including breakfast.

Return Club Europe flights from London Gatwick and private car transfers.

And if you’re Irish, then you’ll know all about Croatian Tours. I do!

Asia, Countries, Culture, Deals, Flying

Wu, Wu… The Land of the Rising 2021

We all deserve a big treat. And for 2021 we’re looking east, the Far East, and Japan, with our old friends Wendy Wu.

Which is as it should be as it was at the Chinese New Year lunch in Dublin in January that we travel writers first spoke about COVID-19.

The shape of things apart

There are many reasons to tour Japan at any time but the world’s focus will especially be on The Land of the Rising Sun in 2021.

When the delayed Olympics will take place.

Geisha load of this

A big cuddly bear… and a panda

Now as often happens with these things Japan’s charms are currently being flagged up on TV by one of our favourite Travel writers… in this case Joanna Lumley.

Who waxes lyrical about Japan’s stunning rail network and routes.

Pandamonium… that would be me on tour then

As usual Wendy was there first and she has two new tours including the UK’s first three-week fully inclusive rail tour.

Of islands covering the islands of Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido.

Wendy crew

And from now until the end of August there are a range of special offers.

And what’s for the next dish?

  1. Free single supplements for solo travellers (worth up to £1790pp) plus a range of dedicated solo departures.
  2. Free business class upgrades with Emirates, British Airways, Finnair (ex Dublin and Edinburgh), Air China and many more (worth up to £700pp.
  3. BA World Traveller Plus upgrades (worth up to £600pp)
  4. Free Vietnam Airlines Premium Economy Upgrades (worth up to £300pp).
  5. Savings up to £500pp per person across cherry blossom departures through March and April.
  6. Holidays can be booked with a deposit from £99pp with flexible terms and conditions.


Countries, Culture, Deals, Europe, Flying

Hanging on their Croattails

Are you British, Irish, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch… well, we’re hanging on their Croattails?

As we all mourn the heavy-handed shutdown of Spain and particularly its islands…

Isn’t it reassuring that Croatia is open to 30 European countries?


Maybe though not tell Boris Johnson that Forbes has flagged up Croatia (27.8 cases per 100,00) as one of the safest European destinations.

Your own Croat island

Or that Croatia has 617 islands, because he’d only pick them off as he has the Canaries and the Balearics.

I dipped my toe in Croatia although alas not its islands nor indeed Dubrovnik but that’s another story.

If you’re travelling from Ireland go with Croatia Tours through Split as I did on my way to Medjugorje with its sister firm Marian Pilgrimages

And here don’t we know that Ireland’s national airlines carrier Aer Lingus will save me from myself by flying me straight to Dubrovnik’s front door from €39.99.

What’s the Croat deal?

As luck would have it we have some Croatian deals here for you.


British Airways has three routes to Croatia to Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik, with flights from Heathrow and Gatwick.

Ryanair has also resumed flights from London Stansted to Pula twice a week, and to Rijeka once a week.

And because we love an island… Losinj, known as a healing resort, can be reached by private plane or luxury car transfer with Losinj Hotels & Villas.


From many European airports, with Pula, Rijeka and Zagreb the closest options.

You’ll want to check out the Boutique Hotel Alhambra, an Austro-Hungarian Art Nouveau villa built in 1912 in Art Nouveau style.

And which also boasts the world-class Alfred Keller Restaurant which specialises in seasonal and local produce.

Spend fur nights at the Boutique Hotel Alhambra and enjoy one complimentary night from €954 (£866) based on two adults sharing a Deluxe Park Side Room for B&B. Valid for stays until October 3, subject to availability,