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Home Vacation Inspire your 2024 travel plans with 50 exciting holidays

Inspire your 2024 travel plans with 50 exciting holidays

by Staff

January is the time for holiday inspiration, destination discussions and great travel deals. 

From short city breaks to far-flung tropical escapes, thrilling road trips to affordable family stays, we’ve sought out the most appealing offerings from around the world. 

Broken into city breaks, family holidays, couples’ holidays, activity breaks and blow-the-budget luxury trips, you’ll find 50 exciting holidays to book now. 

Catering for every budget, every age group and every interest, we invite you to sate your wanderlust and turn your dream trip into a real travel plan this year.

CITY BREAKS

Underrated Vilnius

With its cobbled Old Town and thriving cultural scene, Lithuania’s capital is a cool and charming city with architectural riches and underrated museums. Come now before it peaks in popularity.

  • €217 + €78 return, 3-nights B&B at 4-star Best Western, from Cork, October 10-13 with ryanair.com

St Patrick’s Day in New York

An unforgettable experience, St Patrick’s Day in the Big Apple is one big party on the city’s streets. Explore the city that never sleeps on one of its liveliest weekends, sightseeing, shopping or soaking up the atmosphere.

  • €1,899 in 4-star Hotel Riu Plaza New York Times Square including hotel transfers and a guided city tour, March 15-19 from Dublin with traveldepartment.com

Upbeat Naples

The home of pizza but there is so much more to Naples, with its frenetic energy, captivating architecture, museums and intoxicating Mediterranean temperament. The food is sublime too.

  • €424, B&B at 4-star Montespina Park Hotel, May 1-4 from Dublin with budgettravel.ie
Cloth Hall Sukiennice and Church Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Main Market Square, Krakow.

Cracking Krakow

Poland’s former royal capital is a modern city with a medieval heritage. This fully guided break includes exploring the cobbled Old Town with a guided tour and a day trip to the Tatras Mountains.

  • €779.43 B&B with tours at 3-star Vienna House Easy Chopin, September 8-12 from Shannon with traveldepartment.com

Hip Manchester

Cool, laid-back yet high energy, Manchester is the UK’s Capital of the North with excellent food, bars and nightlife. From football and music to galleries and shopping it’s a welcoming, more relaxing alternative to London.

  • €196, 4-star Ibis Manchester Centre Princess Hotel Manchester, room only, March 1-3, from Cork with budgettravel.ie

Multi-cultural Brussels

A lively city packed with enthusiastic European citizens, Brussels’ masterpiece is the Grand Place a magnificent urban square that sets the town for a city break of superlatives. Expect exciting discoveries at every turn while enjoying superb food.

  • €339, 3-star Hotel Central room only, May 3-5 from Dublin with lastminute.com

Intrigue in Istanbul

Exotic and vast Istanbul’s startling location straddling two continents makes it a heady, high-octane city to explore. Pack your walking shoes, come hungry and don’t miss a boat cruise down the mighty Bosphorus.

  • €681, 3 nights B&B in 3-star+ hotel accommodation, private return transfers from Istanbul airport, Istanbul tour, river cruise, various dates from Dublin with trailfinders.ie
The Carmo Church, Porto
The Carmo Church, Porto

Edgy Porto

Cool, charming and dreamlike, Porto is magical to visit. Regal and raw, it’s a dreamy confection of twisting streets, riverside port houses, incredible restaurants and laid-back vibes.

  • €431, 4-star Santana Hotel & Spa, B&B, May 9-12 from Dublin with abbeytravel.ie

Glitzy Dubai

High, shiny, sleek and glossy, this modern Emirates metropolis is a high-energy playground for hedonism, sun-seeking, shopping and holidaying in opulence.

  • €752, 7 nights at 4-star Avani Deira Dubai Hotel, room only, May 1-8, from Cork with sunway.ie

Christmas Markets in Berlin

With 70 Christmas markets, Berlin is a winter wonderland each December. Get swept up in the festivities at the Christmas Market at Charlottenburg Palace, a spectacular experience. Wrap up well as temperatures can creep sub-zero.

  • €328, at 4-star Riu Plaza Berlin Hotel, with flights from Dublin, Dec 3-6 with clickandgo.com
Universal Studios' globe sign at its entrance; Orlando, Florida.
Universal Studios’ globe sign at its entrance; Orlando, Florida.

FAMILY HOLIDAYS

Orlando theme parks

Base yourselves at SeaWorld for an epic two-week trip the family will never forget. In between action-packed theme park days (there’s a free shuttle bus) enjoy lazy days at the hotel’s many pools.

  • €1,328 in 4-star Double Tree by Hilton Orlando, June 1-15 from Cork, with abbeytravel.ie

Easter on the Costa Del Sol

Take the kids to Sunset Beach Club, on Spain’s Costa del Sol, for an Easter adventure. The prime beachfront resort has multiple pools and beach access with apartments with fully equipped kitchens.

  • €549, at 4-star Sunset Beach Club self-catering March 24-30, from Dublin, with sunway.ie

Camping in Croatia

With direct flights from Cork to Zadar, Croatia, now is the time to check out the highly-rated Zayton camping resort on the Dalmatian Coast. With water sports and excellent facilities, pools and restaurants there’s direct access to a Blue Flag beach.

  • €2,250 for family of 5, August 5-12 from Cork with eurocamp.ie

Majorca for tots

With its short flight time and guaranteed sun and calm waters, Majorca is ideal for young families. Globales Bouganvilla with its on-site waterpark is popular with all ages.

  • €1,374, 3-star Globales Bouganvilla all-inclusive August 7-14 from Cork with tuiholidays.ie
Puglia, Italy
Puglia, Italy

A Taste of Puglia

From the caves of Castellana to the beaches and historic Gallipoli, Puglia is an affordable Italian delight. The UNESCO-protected village of Alberobello, sensational food and bustling Brindisi will keep all ages entertained.

  • €1,363 at 4-star Hotel Relais Porta Del Sud, June 11-18 from Dublin, with topflight.ie

The Wonder of Lapland

Take the kids on the most magical journey of their young lives with this one-day adventure to Lapland. Husky sleigh rides and a meeting with the Santa Claus will make this a day trip to remember.

October mid-term in Turkey

A classic Turkish resort and Irish favourite, the four-star Golden Days Wings Hotel offers B&B, an outdoor pool, barbecue and children’s playground just 400 metres from Kusadasi Marina.

Cruising in Europe

All aboard MSC Musica for a jaunt around the Med. Stopping off at Barcelona, Ibiza, Cagliari, Civitavecchia, Genoa and Can the family will enjoy a great mix of onboard activities, entertainment and dining in between the many pretty ports.

  • €793 ex-flights, inside cabin departing Barcelona July 4-7 with e-travel.ie
Karst formations at Halong Bay, Vietnam
Karst formations at Halong Bay, Vietnam

A journey through Vietnam

Surprise the kids with a long-haul adventure to spectacular Vietnam. A friendly country with sensational scenery and food, this Southeast Asian beauty offers up an exotic taste of shimmering Halong Bay, pretty Hoi An, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Luxury Algarve

Enjoy a luxury week in the Algarve with seven nights’ accommodation in the chic Pine Cliffs Resort. A lush luxury resort with superb food, facilities and pools, a holiday here will appeal to all ages.

  • € 1,179, B&B in a two-bed Garden Suite in 5-star Pine Cliffs Residence, June dates with orokotravel.ie
A breaching humpback whale, Frederick Sound, Alaska.
A breaching humpback whale, Frederick Sound, Alaska.

COUPLES’ HOLIDAYS

Canadian Rockies and Alaskan Cruise

Explore Canada and Alaska by land, sea, and air. From beautiful Banff, Jasper, and Vancouver to a week aboard the Celebrity Solstice for your Alaskan cruise, this is one unforgettable trip.

  • €5,752, 11 nights accommodation plus 7-night Celebrity Cruise and 9-day car hire from Dublin, with TravelCounsellors.ie

Guided Tenerife

Enjoy Tenerife with the ease of a fully guided holiday that will help you get the most from this sun-kissed Canary Island. Based in Puerto de la Cruz, with its volcanic-sand beaches, you’ll be taken to all of the island’s most beautiful attractions.

  • €749, with 7-nights 3-star accommodation, full board, transfers and flights from Dublin with traveldepartment.com
The Maldives
The Maldives

Mesmerising Maldives

Steal away to the tropical island of Sirru Fen Fushi where your Beach Sunrise Villa with 14m private plunge pool awaits at Fairmont Maldives. Set amongst lush foliage, you’re steps from the Indian Ocean’s coral beach and house reef with resident turtles.

Music in Florence

Join Andrea Bocelli as he celebrates his illustrious 30-year career with a performance in his home town of Florence in the heart of Tuscany. The special concert fits into a week of culture with tours of Florence, Lucca and Pisa. Pure magic!

Fabulous flowers

For a rosy outlook on life, book a trip to the fragrant and fabulous RHS Chelsea Flower Show and enjoy a day wandering around the impressive gardens.

  • €683 including a day ticket, 2 nights accommodation, from Cork, Dublin or Shannon, May 2024 with shandontravel.ie
Oakland Bay Bridge, San Francisco Bay Area, California.
Oakland Bay Bridge, San Francisco Bay Area, California.

San Fran fun

Discover the energy of San Francisco and all its attractions from the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island, to its thriving food scene, arts and culture and world-class museums and galleries. Stay in the heart of the action just off Union Square.

  • €1,079, 5 nights at The Pickwick San Francisco, September 21-26 from Dublin, with touramerica.ie

Romantic Sicily

Join the White Lotus set-jetters and make for romantic Sicily where the food, wine, scenery and style is superb.

  • €480 at the 4-star Ethna Hotel, Catania May 17-23 from Dublin, with loveholidays.ie

Slow travel by train

Explore two countries on the one trip taking in Amsterdam and Prague. The European Sleeper is extending its route to Prague from the end of March, and means you snooze while on the move saving time and money.

Seats €59 one way, couchette from €89, private compartment from €169, with europeansleeper.eu

A Christmas cruise

Leave tradition behind and spend Christmas bobbing around the Caribbean aboard the MSC Seascape. Sail from Miami stopping off at the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Mexico. Less turkey sambos and more jerk chicken, we say!

Twin Thailand

Two Thai islands in one trip offers the perfect beach holiday in sunny southeast Asia. Add in the warm local welcome, fantastic cuisine and clear waters and this Phuket and Koh Samui stay will be a two-week thrill.

  • €2,849, 5-star Phuket resort and 4-star beach resorts B&B, from Dublin with trailfinders.ie

ACTIVE BREAKS

Walking the French Camino

Marking the final section of the Camino route known as the French Way. Starting in Sarria, this 7-day self-guided 100km route takes you through forests, farmlands and rustic villages en route to Santiago de Compostela.

  • €795, B&B with daily luggage transfers, excluding flights, with travelnet.ie

Cycle the Baltics

Explore the breathtaking cities of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius on this invigorating 11-day trip by bicycle through the Baltic countries. A wild region of forests, crystal lakes and traditional villages, it’s terrain that’s ideal for a cycling holiday.

  • €2,179 including 10 nights B&B in simple accommodation and bike hire. Dates from May to September, excluding flights, with trailfinders.ie

Skiing in Bulgaria

A great value ski offering, the northern slopes of the Rila mountains are home to Bulgaria’s oldest and biggest ski resorts with the resort of Borovets ideal for all abilities.

  • €929, half-board at 3-star Hotel Samokov with resort transfers, 6-day ski pack, lift pass and ski equipment hire (boots, skis and poles) 4-hour lessons per day, and resort rep, from Dublin, resort transfers February 12-19, travelvalue.ie

Yoga in Croatia

With twice-daily guided yoga sessions in a secluded resort on the island of Hvar; you’ll enjoy the scent of pine forests and fresh breeze of the Adriatic Sea. Yoga sessions will be open level with plenty of downtime to enjoy the beautiful resort.

Sailing for solos

Join Pilgrim of Brixham for an epic sailing holiday as she takes part in the annual Falmouth Classics Regatta and Sea Shanty Festival along the Cornish coast. 

The 4-day voyage requires no previous sailing experience and the crew will show you the ropes. Food, tuition and single berth cabin included. No single supplement – and not just for solo sailors either!

Tavira, on the Gilao river, Algarve, Portugal
Tavira, on the Gilao river, Algarve, Portugal

Trekking through Tavira

Embark on a self-guided walking holiday based in Tavira, the Venice of the Algarve. Your 74km route will take you through sweeping countryside and the natural wonders of the Ria Formosa Natural Park.

  • €789 with 7 nights B&B, airport meet and greet and hotel transfers at start and end of trip, with uwalk.ie
Ring-tailed lemur, at Tsimanampetsotsa Nature Reserve, Madagascar
Ring-tailed lemur, at Tsimanampetsotsa Nature Reserve, Madagascar

A Madagsacan marathon

Love to run far? Then sign up for a race unlike any other on spellbinding Madagascar. Choose a marathon or half-marathon in Isalo in the south-central highlands where most of the course is routed through Isalo National Park.

  • €3,419, 7-night full board with all meals race entry and post-race party, excluding flights, with marathontours.com

Wild Scotland

Join Wilderness Scotland on a female-only trip into the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Led by an expert guide, relax in an exclusive-use mountain lodge tucked away in a glen. Wild swims, good food, a sauna and yoga are all on the cards.

Peru Multisport

This 15-day intensive Peruvian tour requires a high level of fitness to conquer its thrilling itinerary. Peru’s Sacred Valley, the Inca Trail, and Lake Titicaca are all super-charged with bikes, kayaks, and loads of high-energy thrills. A guided group trip for the adrenaline junkies and fitness fans!

Self-drive Namibia

Forget a walk on the wild side. This drive on the wild side is the ultimate overland African adventure. A comprehensive 2-week road trip discovering all the best of Namibia’s northern regions you’ll travel In your own 4×4, through spectacular scenery with wildlife encounters and wonderful accommodation all along you route.

LUXURY ESCAPES

Maasai Mara & Maldives escape

Africa experts Mahlatini are the people to take you from a life-changing safari to a swanky beach resort in the Maldives. 

Teaming Kenya’s iconic Maasai Mara with the paradise setting of the Maldives, this is one bucket list itinerary. 

Accommodation in Hemingways Nairobi, &Beyond Bateleur Camp and all-inclusive Constance Moofushi in the Maldives.

South American discovery

Taking you to many of South America’s most famous landmarks, this incredible itinerary starts with 6 nights’ aboard a luxurious Silversea Galapagos cruise, 3 nights’ experiential accommodation in the Amazon and 5 nights’ accommodation in Quito, Ecuador.

  • From €13,999 including all flights and transfers, with orokotravel.ie
Higashiyama district in the old town of Kyoto, Japan
Higashiyama district in the old town of Kyoto, Japan

Family Odyssey in Japan

A country that’s captivating for curious children and teens, take the family for an 11-night holiday to explore Japan’s culture, history, food and traditions. From Tokyo to Kyoto, bamboo forests, temples, sushi and shrines are all on this immersive itinerary.

Antarctica adventure

Board Silversea’s ultra-luxe Silver Cloud in Santiago, Chile and set sail for Antarctica on this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Fine dining and drinks are all included in this epic 10-night all-inclusive cruise as are free Zodiac cruises, shore excursions and landings.

  • €11,200 with limousine transfer from your home to Dublin Airport and return, flights to Santiago, 2 nights in a 5-star hotel in Santiago from Dublin, November 27 – December 11 with jgt.ie

Mauritian magic

A luxury resort on leafy Mauritius, enjoy a fortnight of fun and relaxation at the 5-star Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort. The Indian Ocean resort offers a huge selection of activities, from mountain biking and tennis to a spa, water sports and kids’ club.

  • €3,191 from Cork, September 8-21, with sunway.ie

New York & Las Vegas

Enjoy New York’s culture, food and energy before flying to Nevada and the entertainment capital of the world for its dazzling mix of nightlife, casinos and shows.

  • €1,249, 3 nights in Kixby Hotel NYC and 5 nights at the LINQ Hotel & Experience Las Vegas, August 29 – September 6 from Dublin, with touramerica.ie

All-inclusive Barbados

With powdery beaches, turquoise bay, a Unesco World Heritage–listed capital, surf spots and a warm Caribbean welcome, a week in Barbados is holiday perfection. The O2 Beach Club & Spa offers an all-inclusive stay with land and water adventures on tap.

  • €4,179 in a Luxury Oceanfront Junior Suite, all-inclusive June 10-17 from Dublin with platinumtravel.ie

Glorious Switzerland

A premium 8-day escorted tour through Switzerland is a wonderful way to experience this beautiful country. You’ll visit Geneva, Zermatt, lakeside Lucerne, the Mount Matterhorn to chic St. Moritz (with side trips to Italy and Liechtenstein).

Cancun Peninsula, Mexico
Cancun Peninsula, Mexico

Club Med in Mexico

On the Cancun peninsula, between the Caribbean Sea and a dramatic turquoise lagoon, this popular all-inclusive family resort offers 3 beautiful beaches, ample water sports, family activities, pools and trips to Mexico’s Mayan sites.

  • €4,136 all-inclusive at Club Med Cancun Yucatan with transfers, from Dublin August 3-10, with clubmed.ie

Australia’s Icons

Luxury accommodation in Sydney, Uluru in Australia’s Red Centre and a flight over the Great Barrier Reef are some of the highlights on this premium 12-day trip. Hamilton Island, the Whitsundays and Wolgan near the Blue Mountains complete this spectacular itinerary.

  • All fares are per adult sharing. Child fares and family rooms may vary. 
  • All prices are correct at the time of publication but subject to change.

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