People may no longer queue overnight for big travel agency sales, but January remains a key month for discounts and special offers.
This is a time when tour operators and travel agents all over the country roll out special offers and perks like early booking discounts and free child places to get the bookings going… and capitalise on the January Blues.
As always, approach travel bargains as you would any other purchase – pay attention to applicable dates or blackout days (e.g. school or bank holidays) and run the rule over claimed savings (a 25pc discount might be based on peak months, for example).
Nobody likes checking the small print, but it’s worth quickly scanning T&Cs for annoying trip-ups, too. Does the hotel offer exclude breakfast? Is a deal only available on pre-paid rates? How many people ‘sharing’ is it based on?
Finally, pick up the phone before you book. Tell the hotel or tour operator that you are shopping around, and ask if the offer is really the best they can do.
Here are 20 great offers to get you started.
January flight, ferry & cruise sales
30pc off with Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus has three million seats on sale with discounts of up to 30pc on European routes, and transatlantic fares from €189 valid for travel from March 1 to June 15 this year. As well as the usual destinations, the airline has two new flights – to Puglia and Sardinia – this year. The sale ends at midnight on January 21. aerlingus.com
Bangkok from €519 with Emirates
Emirates announced its January fare special this morning, which includes eight destinations across its global network for travel from January 16 to November 30. Book by January 26 for fares including Bangkok return from €519, Dubai from €549, or Perth and Sydney from €1,199. It flies twice daily from Dublin to Dubai. emirates.ie.
Toronto from €318 with Air Transat
Air Transat has a Canada Seat Sale, with return fares for the summer season (May – October 2020) from Dublin to Toronto from €318. The sale runs to January 14, and is valid for travel on selected dates throughout 2020 including in May, September and October. It flies direct from Dublin to Toronto. airtransat.com
Fly with Ryanair from €9.99
As always, Ryanair has several deals on the go, with one-way fares from Dublin starting from as little as €9.99 this month to UK destinations, and European routes like Cologne starting from €12.99 each-way. If you don’t mind where you go, try using its fare finder to find random bargains. ryanair.com
20pc off France & Spain holidays with Brittany Ferries
Book by 11 February and save up to 20pc on holiday bookings (5pc during the summer holidays) with Brittany Ferries. You can secure the holiday with an €80 deposit per person. Book seven nights or more before January 21, and you’ll also receive a €25 voucher to spend during your outward crossing. brittanyferries.ie
25pc off with Stena Line
Stena Line has 25pc off motorist fares on routes from Dublin to Holyhead, Rosslare to Fishguard or Rosslare to Cherbourg. To get the saving, enter the code CRACKER25 here before 11pm on January 8. stenaline.ie.
$700 onboard credit with Celebrity
Celebrity Cruises has $700 onboard credit for bookings on select sailings made up to March 3 of this year. The third, fourth and fifth guests in any stateroom will receive an additional 50pc cruise fare discount on select sailings until April 2021, it adds. celebritycruises.ie
January holiday sales
€50pp off with Travel Department
Travel Department has €50pp off any holiday of seven nights or more in a sale running to January 31. Also, it’s offering €50pp off any Iceland holiday and €25pp off any holiday of six nights or less (excluding Iceland). traveldepartment.ie
Free child places and discount codes with TUI
TUI (1850 453 545; tuiholidays.ie) has a range of discount codes and special offers for January, including free child places on select summer holiday bookings (with two full paying adults). The codes, for departures from May 1 to October 31, are:
- Save €75 when you spend €1,000: SAVE75
- Save €125 when you spend €2,000: SAVE125
- Cruise Code: Save €200 per booking using CRUISE200
€1,299pp: Take off to Thailand
Tropical Sky is offering savings on a range of 2020 holidays, it says. One deal sees flights plus seven nights in Mai Samui, Koh Samui from €1,299pp (a saving of €520pp on the regular price). Book by January 31 for travel on April 19. 01 664 9999; tropicalsky.ie.
Save €75 with DirectSki.com
Log on to Directski.com this month and you’ll find every holiday on the site discounted by an extra €75 (for Cork & Dublin departures) or £75 (for departures from Belfast). One eye-catching deal is a week in the 3-star Livigno Ski Apartments from €414pp, based on four sharing (a saving of €186pp). directski.com
€1,075pp: Sneak away to the Seychelles
Cassidy Travel has flights plus seven nights’ B&B at the 3-star Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino in the Seychelles from €1.075pp based on travel in May/June. The deal includes savings of 20pc and two free nights, and you can upgrade to half-board from a further €265pp (Quote ref: 91584). 0818 332500; cassidytravel.ie
€929pp: Nine nights in New York and Orlando
Tour America has a nine-day, twin centre trip including return flights, two nights in New York and seven nights in Florida from €929pp, based on two adults and two children sharing. It’s for travel in October 2020 (Ref. 664107). 01 817-3535; touramerica.ie
Show-only offers at Holiday World
Holiday World Show hits Dublin’s RDS from January 24-26 this year. It’s a good opportunity not only to get holiday advice and inspiration from the 550+ exhibitors, but to book show-only deals and enter competitions. Tickets usually start from around €7pp (register in advance and you can get two-for-one). Shows also run in Shannon (Jan 11/12) and Belfast (Jan 17/18). holidayworldshow.com
PS: Looking for a low deposit? ClickandGo.com allows you secure bookings with a low deposit of just €1pp. Four weeks after booking, you need to pay a second deposit of €150pp, with the remainder due 10 weeks before the holiday date.
Top 5: Five-star hotel deals
January and February can be great months to bag five-star hotel stays on the (relative) cheap. Rates can be up to 50pc lower than at peak times.
€114.50pp: Afternoon Delights at Glenlo Abbey
Galway’s five-star Glenlo Abbey has a package bundling B&B with afternoon tea in the Kentfield Suite from €229 for two sharing. 091 519600; glenloabbeyhotel.ie
€295pp: Do Dromoland
Dromoland Castle has a winter ‘Castle Awaits’ offer including two nights’ B&B, a three-course dinner in Earl of Thomond Restaurant on one evening and a €50 resort credit per room from €295pp sharing. 061 368144; dromoland.ie
€114.50pp: A steal at the Shelbourne
A perfect five-star base for the January sales, The Shelbourne has special overnight B&B rates including valet parking on arrival from €229 per room. That’s a considerable reduction on lead-in rates at peak times, which soar over €350. Add a table d’hote dinner for two in the Saddle Room for a total price of €349. theshelbourne.com
€139pp: winter warmer at The K Club
The K Club is offering an overnight B&B stay with a €40 dining credit per person and a 15pc discount on spa treatments and golf 40 from €139 per person sharing, from now until February 29. 01 601-7200; kclub.ie.
€345: Fly away to Adare Manor
Luxury doesn’t discount, they say – and you won’t find many bargains at Adare Manor. However, rooms in January and February are currently leading-in at half the price of summer rates. Book now, and you could bag a B&B stay from €345 per night – a lot, yes, but a lot less than summer rates of €700 per night. 01 605200; adaremanor.com
January hotel & self-catering sales
€90pp: Kings of Kilkea Castle
Kilkea Castle in Co Kildare has a ‘Taste the Island’ special bundling B&B with a five-course meal in its Restaurant 1180 from €105pp in a Carriage Room or €150pp in a Castle Room. A ‘Spa Winter Detox and Tech Cleanse’ includes B&B and a 30-minute spa treatment from €90/€135pp. Both offers run to March 13. kilkeacastle.ie
20pc off at the Old Ground Hotel
This Ennis four-star has a 20pc discount on B&B rates from January to the end of April; book online up to January 12. It also has a winter escape offer including B&B, tea and scones on arrival and dinner from €89pp. 065 682-8127; oldgroundhotelennis.com
€55.50pp: Pamper yourself at Farnham Estate
Cavan’s Farnham Estate Spa & Resort is offering 20pc off its best available bed and breakfast rates, with rooms from €111 per night on selected mid-week dates until February 27, subject to availability. 049 437-7700; farnhamestate.ie
30pc off: Trident’s ‘Crazy Price’ Weeks
Trident Holiday Homes has discounts of 30pc for bookings of seven nights made this month – on set travel dates, including May 9-16, June 6-19, and June 20-26. Find out more here. You may not know that the company also has 400 rental properties in Spain, which you can book online at tridentholidayhomes.ie/spain.
20pc off: The Hardiman, Galway
The former Hotel Meyrick on Eyre Square is inviting guests to stay at the new look hotel with 20pc off rooms all this January. B&B at the heart of the city starts from €108 per night based on two people sharing. 091 564041; thehardiman.ie
NB: All deals subject to availability/change.