Friday, December 17, 2010

WIN a €600 Mystery trip for 2 to Europe

There are just 3 days left to enter the competition to win a €600 Mystery trip for 2 to Europe!!!! Imagine how nice it would be to be jetting off to a secret destination in 2011!  Entering is quick and easy, simply log on to the Mysterytrips Facebook Fan-page for details!  Best of Luck! 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top Travel Gift Ideas

With Christmas just around the corner it is time to think put your own wish list down for a moment and think gifts (to give).  If you happen to have a travel-loving loved one to buy for then you have come to the right place!  I have put together a list of my top ten travel gift ideas.  They may not be the most practical of all travel accessories, but who wants to wake up on Christmas morning to find an international plug adaptor or an emergency mobile phone charger under the tree?  Here are my top ten travel gift ideas-some purposeful, some fun, some stylish, some silly, but most important of all...welcome under the tree!  

Passport Covers 
Practical and stylish, passport covers make perfect accessories for the frequent flyer.  There are heaps of styles and variations available at really reasonable prices.  Check out our recent post on Passport covers for our top picks for passport covers.  We have selected our top picks for boys and girls, and all come in under €15!  

Mystery Trip
If you want to give a truly unique and memorable gift this year, why not give the gift of a Mystery trip!  This is the gift card that retains the element of surprise even after it has been opened!  Your loved one will not find out where they are headed until the day of departure when they arrive to the airport!  All trips are tailored with the particular customer in mind, so you can be assured that they will have a thoroughly enjoyable experience!  This is the perfect gift for a special occasion or to show someone how much you care.  Gift cards are available online from 

Send your loved one packing in style! Check out some of our recent top picks lovely luggage, including the fab bags below!  

Luggage Tags
Make sure they don't lose their lovely new bags with a nice luggage tag that will last long after the airline paper ones do. 

These two tags are available from Cath Kidston

Harlex on Etsy will personalise your tag for you on real hand stitched leather

A Good Book 
You can't beat a good book, especially when you have hours of spare time lounging on the beach, swinging in a hammock or simply just in transit.  If your travel-loving family member or friend has a trip planned then try to get them a book set in or about the destination they are going to.  It will not only entertain them, but also heighten their experience while abroad and let them l arn more about the history and culture of the location they are in. 

Travel Pillows
One  major downside to travelling is the long hours you need to spend in the same tight seat.  Whether it is a bus/train/plane or boat a travel cushion will help your loved one to get comfy and relax as they make their way around the world.  

This cheerful cushion is from Mini Travel Mattters

The Travel Buddy is a good option for the boys 

This elephant cushion from Lilly's shop makes a sweet neck pillow for kids

Sleep Masks
Now you have made them comfy with a travel pillow why not help them to catch some undisturbed sleep as they travel.  Sleep masks are a good way of shutting out the workd and letting everyone know you do not want to be disturbed! 
They are great for simulating nigh-time so also come in handy when trying to shake off jet lag. 

BigBen has over 100 eye masks for sale, something for everyone!  

This cheeky mask from Urban outfitters may not be for everyone, but pretty effective if you don't want to be disturbed....

Glasses Case
Whether it is a selection of stylish shades or a practical spare pair of specs, many people carry more than one pair of glasses with them when they travel. Help them to stay stylish, or sighted, with a glasses case gift.  

These two pretty cases are from Cath Kidston 

I love the old-style fastener on these lovely cases, all available from Kailochic 

Slightly unusual but a very well received gift by tourists!  Have you ever been sightseeing for the day and can't quite understand why your legs ache so badly!  With a pedometer you can track how far you have walked during the day!  Your friend will be surprised at how many miles they clock up!  This also make s a really good gift for people who are into trekking or trail tourism.....the Inka trail won't seem so tough when they can see how far they are actually going!  Argos have a number of different options starting as low as €4.50!

Send them trotting in the correct footwear! Whether it is flipflops, snowboots, hiking boots, sailing shoes.........

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Top Picks Passport Covers

Passport covers are a great accessories for all types of tourist.  They are practical, make great conversation pieces and come in all sorts of styles and price ranges.  Many people don't have them, but want them, so for that reason they make great gifts or stocking fillers!  If you are looking for one for yourself or to give as a present here are some of my favourite picks that are currently available online.  

For the girls:

Both these gorgeous printed covers are from Hanmadewithjoy and cost €10

For those who love to fly!  Under €10 from Dolliebirdies

These three lovely covers are a steal at under €5 each from Owlsay on Etsy

This 'Passport to Paris' is under €10 by HotPinkLemon, I love it!

Red Riding Hood

The Little Mermaid

& Alice in Wonderland covers from Noel are perfect for little girls or big ones who like fairytales, all under €15

For the Boys!

Bear v Robot cover from  Tinymeat under €15


Both of these are under €10 and are available from 

These four are all under €5 from Supercanetrain808

This vinyl cover is under €5 from Kotibeth, a perfect match for the man who wears flowery shirts!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ireland's Christmas Markets

December has arrived in a blizzard of snow!  It is finally OK to talk about Christmas and for once we here in Ireland aren't!  Distracted by the Winter Wonderland outside we seem to have forgotten that it is just 24 days until Santa arrives!  Today on The Top Tip for Trips Blog I want to refocus our attention on the festive season and one of my favouite aspects of!  

Heading to your nearest big town, city or shopping centre to buy the token gift, stock up on seasonal goodies and soak up the festive buzz is an integral part of Christmas.  But  high street and multi-storey are not the only shopping opportunities available to us.  Although  still  a relatively young trend for Irish shoppers, Christmas markets are popping up around the country and growing in popularity!

Christmas markets have thrived in Europe for centuries, with Germany holding the crown when it comes to the sheer size, quantity, standard and atmosphere atmosphere.  A visit to a German Christmas market is a true Yuletide treat that every enthusiastic shopper  should experience at some time in their lives!  But if time, finance and the snow is against you this December, you can enjoy the Christmas market experience a little closer to home!  With a wide selection of gourmet and speciality foods, hand crafted decorations and accessories, one off art pieces, unique gifts, the personal touch and a whole of of Christmas cheer, it is certainly worth paying a visit to your local Christmas market this year! 

 Below is a list of the larger Christmas markets taking place around Ireland this year!  If I have missed any and you want to add it to the list just let me know :)

12 Days of Christmas' Festival at Dublin Docklands
Open From 12 Dec 10 to 23 Dec 10 

Christmas in Killarney
Open From 25 Nov 10 to 09 Jan 11 

Cork, Christmas on the Grand Parade 
Fridays to Sundays only, Open From 26 Nov 10 to 22 Dec 10

Dublin Fitzwilliam Square Christmas Market
Open From 03 Dec 10 to 23 Dec 10 

Galway Christmas Market
Open From 19 Nov 10 to 19 Dec 10 

Limerick Christmas Market 
Thursdays to Sundays plus 7, 8, 15, 21 & 22 December, Open From 25 Nov 10 to 24 Dec 10
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