Best of both worlds: long haul vs short haul

09 October 2019

Deciding whether to travel long or short haul can be a tricky decision. You’re wondering which destination offers the best in whatever type of holiday you fancy.

Maybe you’re looking for the most immaculate beach or the most delicious food and want to know whether you should stay in Europe or venture further afield. To help you out, we’ve picked our favourite long and short-haul destinations for different types of trip.




So vast is the state of Queensland that it lines the north east coast of Australia, encompassing some 8,300 miles of the country’s coastline. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that some of Queensland’s coastline is truly magnificent.

Sat just a short boat ride from the mainland, the Whitsundays are a collection of picture-perfect islands that attract thousands of visitors each year. The jewel in the Whitsundays crown is the world-famous Whitehaven Beach – home to possibly the whitest sands in the world.

These velvety soft sands are made up predominantly of silica which gives the beach its lusciously soft texture, and thanks to strict regulations imposed by the Queensland Government, the beach remains in immaculate condition for visitors to enjoy.

Costa del Sol


The ever-popular Costa del Sol just keeps enticing visitors back to its golden shores after years as one of Europe’s most popular holiday spots, and for good reason.

With a 90-plus milecoastline, washed by the inviting waters of the Mediterranean and more than 320 days of sunshine a year, this is a beach-lover’s dream. In light of its many beaches, you’re destined to find one that suits your personal taste as the character varies across each beach from the glamour of Puerto Banus Beach to the peaceful seclusion of Playa del Canuelo.


Las Vegas

Standing wide-eyed and in awe on the Las Vegas strip, as the bright lights and dancing fountains captivate you, is enough to keep some people entertained for an evening but Vegas wouldn’t be the entertainment capital of the world if that was all that it was serving up.

Las Vegas is home to exciting nightly on-stage productions, with world renowned singers, DJs and dancers all holding residencies on the strip. With so much entertainment available, you could spend weeks on end in Vegas and never get bored, and that’s without even hitting the roulette tables or slot machines of the exciting casinos.


We sometimes overlook London in search of more distant destinations but it is very accessible to Irish passengers and it is hard to find anywhere that offers such a variety of high-quality entertainment.

Spend a day watching the football at Wembley before heading to a concert by a global megastar at the O2 Arena, or wander Covent Garden watching street performers show off their skills before spending an evening on the red carpet at a movie premier. It’s impossible to discuss entertainment in London without mentioning the West End, where captivating on-stage performances take place every night from globally adored musicals to timeless Shakespearian plays.


Chiang Mai

Punchy bursts of heat and flavour are promised in abundance across Thai cuisine, from the humble Pad Thai to the lip-smacking spice of green papaya salad. Thailand is a country where a reservation at a restaurant really isn’t necessary, the real gems are found out on the streets being served up by food stalls and in family-run cafes.

Head to the beautiful northern city of Chiang Mai for a more relaxed pace of life and to sample the delicious noodle dish, Khao soi. Made up of a tangy curry broth, this creamy dish comes in a variety of forms made using chicken, pork or tofu, and is served topped with pickled shallots and crispy noodles.



The eternal city. Home to beautiful architecture, countless site-seeing opportunities, an ancient culture and most importantly, incredible food.

Italian cuisine is adored across the world and its influences run deep into the culinary tastes of most British people, with popular favourites such as lasagne, carbonara, Bolognese and pizza, all holding special places in people’s hearts.

They say you’ve never tried real Italian food until you’ve tasted it in its mother country so where better to start your culinary journey than in its capital Rome?



With the smell of incense drifting through on the warm breeze, and the sound of windchimes gently ringing in the air, it’s hard to picture somewhere better suited to yoga than the idyllic Indonesian island of Bali.

The spiritual heart of Bali, Ubud, and its surrounding countryside are scattered with tranquil havens of peace and relaxation in the form of Yoga retreats. Here, guests can work on their yoga skills while undergoing a rejuvenating experience, surrounded by one of the most intriguing cultures in the world.  

Cascais, Portugal

While the idea of Portugal may not conjure up images of tranquil yoga studios and unfathomably bendy yogis, some retreats here are giving the more traditional destinations a run for their money.

On Portugal’s central Atlantic coast, just west of the capital city of Lisbon, is the charming fishing town of Cascais. Located within easy reach of the most magnificent beaches in the Lisbon area, Cascais’ golden sands and clean waters invite visitors in for a taste of leisurely living. Home to a collection of yoga retreats promising guests an experience to enhance their mind, body and spirit, Cascais brings the sun-soaked yoga retreat experience a little closer to home.

To top it off, thanks to Cascais’ position on the Atlantic, several of it’s retreats offer programmes combining yoga and surfing so you can be riding the waves by morning and working on your Cobra Pose in the afternoon.


Whether you choose near or far, contact your Travel Counsellor today to start planning your next trip!

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