Highly renowned Irish travel blogger, or ‘travel expert’ if you will, Sarah Slattery has gone on a journey to becoming one of the country’s most looked up to people in the field of travel, so why not have a chat with her to see what inspiration she can bring to all of us! :D
The Travel Expert – Tips & Tricks!
You were of course a Travel Agent before the whole blogging journey started – how did the transition come about?
As much as I am a huge advocate of travel agents, in fact most of my deals are through agents, there are still people who want to book online themselves. I was able to witness first hand how people wanted to research or book holidays online but they still felt it necessary to call into a travel agent for advice. I spotted a gap in the market and decided to set up my own travel blog to offer independent advice to consumers. I offer travel deals, how to book them and where to find them, as well as advice on destinations and travel tips.
You still have a ‘Travel Deals’ section on your blog, so I guess in a way you’re still doing the task of finding people cheap and suitable holiday deals… what’s the rough process you tend to take with that, or have you any general tips for people just looking to get away for as cheaply as possible?
I decided that I put my 24 years experience as a travel agent to good use! I knew where to look to find the best deals so I thought I might as well share them with people who followed the blog. Each week I search through travel agent websites, airline and hotel sites and put together what I believe are the best travel deals on the market. I publish a weekly ‘best travel deals’ blog post and highlight the best last minute deal, best summer holiday, best city break, best cruise, best family deal and best longhaul offer. I only offer accommodation that has had good reviews and what I think is good value, this can be anything from two to five star holidays.
What’s been the best holiday you yourself have been on? And have there been any travel disasters!?
That’s a tough question as I have had many great holidays! I love a holiday where you experience something completely different to anywhere else. I guess Tanzania did that for me. It blew be away. We stayed in luxury tented camps and the game viewing was amazing. I really switched off, in fact not only was there no internet available, most of the time there wasn’t even a phone signal. I also loved Lapland with the kids. It is an experience that the kids and I will never forget. More recently I’m just back from a road trip, driving the PCH in California. It was a 17 day family holiday, something we have never done before, we normally have short breaks with the kids so it was fantastic to do something like that for a change.
As far as disasters go, thankfully nothing major. Thailand was a let down for me, we were robbed and it lashed ( I mean torrential) rain for a full week. It was the only time I ever changed my flight and came home early from a holiday. I need to go back I think, I still feel I need to experience it again – hopefully with sunshine this time!
With a regular slot on TV3, what’s the spotlight pressure like? Is it hard to find time out to just take a holiday now or does it always feel like you’re travelling for something work related or to blog about it or come up with tips for someone? I guess if you enjoy it, it makes no odds?
I don’t find any spotlight pressure at all but I do feel that every time I travel I have to write about it. That’s not a bad thing though, I do realise I am so fortunate to be doing a job I love. I know that probably sounds like a cliché but it is actually true!
When it comes to the ‘Travel Destinations’ section of your blog – is that solely on personal experiences with places, or do you sometimes give advice just on knowledge you’ve picked up about a location?
Yes all of my destinations blog posts are places I have personally visited. Sometimes I might write posts such as top 10 romantic destinations and I might include places that I have knowledge of but haven’t actually visited – Bora Bora for instance, in my dreams maybe!
What would be a dream holiday for you that you’re still yet to conquer? Anywhere coming up in the not so distant future?
South America is definitely on my bucket list but I know that is a place that I will need plenty of time to see it properly. It probably wont happen this year anyway – maybe next year if I’m lucky! I would like to visit Iceland this winter and hopefully see the Northern Lights, I haven’t booked anything yet but I am hopeful Ill get there this year. I am really excited to be going on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas (the biggest cruise ship in the world) in June and I will most definitely have a family week in the sun during the school holidays – that’s compulsory in our house!
Hopefully Sarah’s able to inspire you to travel to plenty of destinations around the globe… just keep up to date with all her deals, tips and news at the links below and I’m sure she’ll have all the wanderlust cravings kicking in!! :)