08 July 2020

What's happening?

You could jump into a lake in Leitrim. You could snorkel in Connemara, go with the flow on the River Barrow or learn about flying boats in Foynes. All of a sudden, a world of home holiday possibilities has opened up. We've assembled a crack team of travel and food writers to put together 'Ireland's Hot 100', a list of things to do, see and eat in our summer of the staycation. I hope it comes up trumps for you...

What now?

While we are free to move around Ireland, confusion still reigns on overseas travel. The Government's 'Green List' is due around July 20, and Nicola Brady has been asking what future package holidays might look like - from booking breakfast time slots to social distancing by the pool. I checked in on the changes ferry companies have made (expect fresh air, face coverings and fog machines), and Kathy Stevenson has gone in the opposite direction... staying home and finding adventure in the pages of century-old travel books. These promised "to take me to places in the world I knew I would never go," she writes. Not least because many no longer exist.

What next?

Dreaming of your next trip? It feels strange being able to do that... for home holidays, at least. Our #IrelandUnlocks series has looked at 10 great things to do in Kilkenny and Donegal, while Hilary A White pays homage to holidays in Connemara - from his own childhood and now, with his own child.

At last, Ireland is our oyster again.

- Pól Ó Conghaile

Fab 5: Hot off our travel desk...
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Departures: For when we travel again...

Quote of the week

"The way you really have those memorable, life-changing travel interactions is to walk until something interesting happens and ask people where you should go next. I think [Anthony Bourdain] was such an influence on that way of travel."

So says one of the contributors to Natalie B. Compton's fascinating look back at the lessons chefs, travellers and writers learned from Bourdain's work.

The American chef, author and TV presenter, who died two years ago this summer, was remembered widely on his birthday, June 25 - now fondly known as 'Bourdain Day'.

What's making us happy?

Competition time! To celebrate #IrelandUnlocks - our new staycation series - we've teamed up with Ireland's Blue Book to offer one lucky winner a super prize: B&B with dinner for two at Butler House in Kilkenny. Click here to access the competition page.

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