Cleared for takeoff? Travel ideas to get the year off to a flying start – The Irish Times

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Expo 2022 Dubai runs until the end of March
Travel halfway round the world to see a showcase of Irish culture? Sure why not? Riverdance has been wooing the world at Expo 2020 Dubai, but as we’re just one of 191 countries participating, you can go from Angola to Antigua, Zambia to Zimbabwe all in a sunny afternoon. The site is vast though, so if you really want to see the world, you probably need to give it a little more of your precious time. Expo runs until the end of March, Fly direct from Dublin with Emirates, and book before January 24 for fares from €489 return for travel until July 15th. Your ticket also includes a free day pass for Expo. Usual price is 45 Emirati dirham (€11), so you’re not really saving that much, but free stuff is always lovely.
It’s easier to pursue good intentions when you’re doing it somewhere gorgeous and warm. Ronan McLoughlin and Jessie Wilkinson’s Tara Flow takes place on Tenerife. Each week-long retreat has a different theme, so choose between Yoga, Tai chi, Dance, Flow Arts and Fire. Or if you’re really in the mood for self-love and care, go for all four. It runs from February 12th until March 12th, and prices start from €650 for a full week sharing, including all meals, excluding flights. Aer Lingus currently has fares direct to Tenerife from €53 one way.
Who doesn’t love a really good service station? While I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Junction 8 off the M8 outside Cashel, another of my favourites, Junction 14 Mayfield, off the M7, has just scooped second place in the Chill Insurance Service Stations of Ireland survey. Crowned with glory in the top spot is Lusk service station, which features showers, play areas, ace catering and more. Sure with all that, you could almost make it your actual destination. And now that we’re spending more time hanging out waiting for our electric cars to recharge, we all need a bit of a distraction on site. The honourable third place goes to Athlone services in Moate. See the full line up at
Taking place across Limerick City, Belonging is a major international exhibition featuring artists including Anish Kapoor, Paula Rego, Isobel Nolan, Marlene Dumas, Sean Scully and more. See it at the Hunt Museum, Limerick City Gallery, St Mary’s Cathedral and other sites, from February 10th to April 24th. The art is all on loan from the European Investment Bank, so it will be interesting to see what works they reckon are good bets for the future. (Although we all know that’s not the way to value art, now don’t we?) Admission free, discover more at, and stay at the Absolute Hotel in the centre of town, from €99 room only.
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