So hard to concentrate on work when you know an awesome holiday is impending! The intense trip planning and prep had me doing some serious wanderlusting this past few weeks…
I’m headed up to…
I’m going because…
My initial trip plan was just to visit Prague, but it turns out that TBEX Europe 2013, a travel blogging conference, was gonna be happening during the period I was up in Europe, and since I haven’t been to Ireland and it’s pretty convenient from Prague, I bought my TBEX ticket (just US$77 for the early bird price) and started making my plans for Dublin!
I’m flying up by…
My SIN-PRG tickets were bought at a terrific rate from Swiss Air during a crazy promotion earlier in the year – just S$850 to Prague, with a quick stopover in Zürich (that’s like half the price on their website now)! I still can’t believe I scored such an awesome deal! Usually from Singapore to Europe, it’s at least S$1,200 on average for an economy class ticket, so there was no question about whether I was going to go, just a matter of where and when.
Getting to Dublin from Prague is surprisingly convenient thanks to Aer Lingus, Ireland’s budget airline with flights from USA and Europe to Ireland; it has a direct 1hr+ flight between Prague and Dublin once a day. My initial cost was quite reasonable at around S$300 because I booked quite early on, but I had to change one of my flight dates after my booking so that cost went up by 50% :/
Still, my initial plan was to spend 2 days in Prague before heading up to Dublin, but due to other circumstances (see below), I’m going to be headed up to Dublin straight away with a 6-hour layover at Prague Vaclev Havel airport, anyone have any ideas on what I can do during my layover? Apparently there are internal airport tours available which do sound interesting…
Flight Details for reference:
SIN-PRG (via SWISS air, stopover in Zurich)
LX179 / LX1484: 2300 – 0610 (+1) / 0805 (+1) – 0925 (+1)
LX1499 / LX178: 1935 – 2030 / 2245 – 1710 (+1)
PRG-DUB (via Aer Lingus)
EI0645: 1455 – 1630
EI0644: 1055 – 1415
In case anyone’s interested in just visiting Dublin, there aren’t any direct flights from Singapore – a quick check shows that you can fly via Emirates or KLM.
I’m staying at…
One awesome thing about this trip and the reason I had to change my plans around is because I got accepted into #BlogHouse Ireland! In short, it has established travel bloggers from the Navigate Media Group working with a select group of ten aspiring travel bloggers (like myself) in a pretty intensive 3-day travel blogging workshop. I honestly never expected to get selected (which was why I had gone ahead to make my travel plans in the first place), and though that meant some shifting of flight/accom plans and forking out extra money for those changes, I’m quite excited about this and besides making new friends and networking, I think it’ll give The Occasional Traveller that much-needed boost to grow in future.
The cool thing about Bloghouse is that we’re going to be staying at Bansha Castle for the full duration. Bansha Castle is located in Tipperary, about an hour outside of Dublin, so it’s going to be an adventure in itself getting there – I will be on the road for almost 24 hours straight once I leave Singapore…
For the rest of my stay in Dublin, I’m booked at Avalon House – once again I’m going for a private room in a backpackers for that mix of privacy and sociability for a decent price. It’s under the same family as my Munich Hostel Euro Youth Hotel (Europe’s Famous Hostels), so hopefully it’s lives up to that reputation!
The total cost for 5 nights in a single room is 160euros (30-35 euros/night). If you’re willing to stay in a dorm, you can get rooms for half that price!
I’m going to…
Besides intensive travel blogging at BlogHouse and TBEX, some other cool things on the plate include
- Attending the TBEX opening party at Guinness Storehouse (how awesome!)
- A day tour of Boyne Valley for TBEX participants with Irish Day Tours and Extreme Ireland
- I’ll probably do the Sandeman’s free walking tour of Dublin just to get my bearings in the city
- And I’m still debating if I should sign up for more TBEX tours or really spend a day kicking back and just exploring Dublin on my own… there is SO MUCH to do I think I’m going to have to come back again some time!
I’ll also be…
Naturally I’ll be carrying out my usual reviews, and this time I’ve got a couple of interesting things on hand to test:
I’ll be carrying the Microsoft Surface RT around instead of my laptop for this trip – I’m finding my Macbook Pro a little bulky for convenient travel, and I’ve been kindly lent this tablet to test out. I’ve been carrying it around with me these past few weeks just to get used to it and the interface, and so far it’s been quite promising – it’s definitely easier and more convenient to surf the web and blog on a tablet instead of on my dinky iphone!
Also, the Leathershop Wallets will be facing the road with me to see how convenient they are for travellers. (Check out my keyholder review if you missed it earlier)
There’s so much jam-packed into Dublin, but the best part is that it’s just HALF my trip, look out for the next installment where I talk about my Prague trip wanderlusting!