Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Travel Guide: Ibiza, Spain.

Hi All,

Hope you all enjoyed the weekend. As you know, I was recently in Ibiza, Spain to celebrate my 30th Birthday. It was my 2nd time on the Beautiful Island, the last time was for my 21st Birthday and I had been wanting to go back ever since. I previously spent 2 weeks but this time we had 4 full days, however, in total I've seen a good bit of what the Island has to offer. I would highly recommend a visit whether it's for a Birthday, a girls holiday or with your partner. It has something to suit everyone, we even saw many families holidaying there so it doesn't have to be a party destination if that's not your cup of tea.


  • Flights

From what I could gather, if you book the flights and accommodation separately, Ryanair and British Airways from Dublin are the 2 available airlines. We weren't flexible with our dates as I wanted to be away for my actual birthday day and the weekend suited us better with having River looked after. So, we flew with British Airways on a Friday - our flight was late that night at 10.30pm. We didn't arrive into Ibiza until 2.30am and it was 3am by the time we arrived at our hotel. British Airways are lovely to fly with but I was exhausted with the late arrival so I wouldn't advise going for that time.
However, in saying that our other option which wasn't much better was with Ryanair at 6.30am Saturday morning so we would of been in Ibiza for roughly 9/10am and not be able to check in until the afternoon. But at least you wouldn't be paying for an extra night that you barely spent in. The times seem to be much better for during the week so if you can be flexible with your dates, choose then.
Another tip - keep checking the price of the flights if you choose Ryanair. They were a fortune when I was first looking in late April and they reduced down by almost half the price by May and again a few weeks later. They are notorious for raising the flights and lowering them shortly afterwards again so a complete kick in the teeth if you get stung by forking out. Our Departing flight with British Airways don't fly as regularly as Ryanair, I think it's just Fridays and Tuesdays. Also, they offer you a complimentary drink and snack on board which was lovely. But, If you want another drink - they wouldn't give it so just be aware. We flew home with Ryanair and you could buy as many drinks and snacks on board as you pleased.

  • Transport from the Airport
As we arrived into Ibiza in the early hours of Saturday Morning, our only choice was to get a taxi. We were staying in San Antonio and it cost us 40euro for roughly a 20 - 30 mins cab journey. We got the bus on our return home to the airport on the Wednesday and it cost us only 4euro each so that's a massive saving. Again, there's a lot to be said for getting a flight at a more convenient time so you can avoid a taxi if you are on a budget. The bus journey took roughly 45 mins.


I had my doubts about staying in this area as to be honest it has a bit of a bad reputation. However, I was pleasantly surprised and couldn't fault our experience there. I think if you go looking for trouble you'll get it, do your research as to where you'd like to go, check the reviews and avoid the obvious rowdy places. It has a lively atmosphere around the place which I like when walking around but do your research as to where you stay as you also want to be able to get some sleep. Where we stayed had the perfect location which I'll chat about shortly. I loved wandering around the area in which we were staying as there was a lot of street art decorated along the walls.



I previously stayed in Playa d'en Bossa but I found it quite far from everything I wanted to be near at the time and to walk around it wasn't as lively as San Antonio. They are both very different though and Playa d'en Bossa has it's own stunning beach which is very clean and is long enough to have a nice walk through it. It's also much more expensive accommodation wise.
The day we arrived in Ibiza, we spent the day at San Antonio beach, which again was better than I had expected. It was clean and not as packed or rowdy as I had pictured. There were plenty of sun lounger beds available and a sun lounger with an umbrella cost me 10euro. Many of the bars along the beach own the various loungers so a waiter is available to serve you drinks and food and bring it to you if you want to relax.

  • Accommodation
We stayed at Hotel Tropical which was perfectly located and had the BEST Air Conditioning in our room. I did a lot of research into where to stay, reading many reviews and eventually chose here. At the time of booking it said there was 70% of the accommodation gone in San Antonio. I soon discovered that what was available within our budget and what I was looking for was declining over the time I spent looking. Also, I booked on Booking.com and chose to pay when we got there to cut the cost of spending all at once so that also made our choices limited. However, if you book in enough time you will have plenty of options in whatever you choose. The accommodation is pretty basic, but it's sufficient when we weren't planning on staying in our rooms all day.

Hotel Tropical is located in a quiet area and the security guard who works there makes sure the noise level after hours is kept under control so rest assured you get a good sleep. Our breakfast was also included in our package at no extra cost which was a buffet style and had enough choice to suit everyone. There was a fry, fruit, pastries, cheeses and meats, yoghurts, coffees and teas or also fresh juices.
The hotel had a pool which was located across the street which opens at 10am until 8pm. I advise get there early if you want a lounger as other hotels share the pool so it can tend to get quite busy. Food served there isn't great but the staff are friendly, pool is clean and there's also a bar serving cocktails, beers etc.

The west end strip, which has a strip of bars is a short walk if you fancy it but we avoided it as it wouldn't be our cup of tea. Cafe Mambo is also a short walk from there which I definitely recommend heading down to. I loved the vibe there, the music and the setting. Many flock there to watch the sun setting which is stunning to watch as the sky changes from blue to shades of red then dark. There's a rocky beach where you can sit to watch it and bring your own drink if you'd like or you can dine in Cafe Mambo overlooking the sunset or grab a drink in Cafe del Mar.




When I stayed in Playa d'en Bossa, I stayed in the Jet Apartments which again were basic but they are dear and can be quite noisy. They are located in front of the beach though which is great and Bora Bora is next to it too which has great music.

  • Clubbing
If Dance music is your thing then you will love the Clubs. It's known for the Party Island after all, therefore you are guaranteed to have the best Djs in the world playing throughout the Summer. Ibiza Spotlight is a fantastic site that has a Party Calendar with all of the Clubs and who is playing where and when. You can buy tickets on the site beforehand which is cheaper than paying on the door or when you arrive. It's also useful for lots of other information about the Island.
Prepare yourself for the cost of the clubs, they're not cheap but also bare in mind you are paying to see a few Djs and Ibiza is not cheap to begin with. Expect to pay anything between 45 euro to 100. It depends what club it is and the particular club night. Pacha seemed the most expensive when I was looking up what was on. We went to two Club nights while we were there which were at the same night club, Amnesia.

I really wanted to make DC-10 this time as I haven't been but it clashed with Cocoon on the day of my birthday so we didn't make it unfortunately.
Brace yourselves for the drink prices inside Amnesia. A bottle of water is 9euro, a beer is 13euro and a spirit with a mixer is 23euro!!! It is so hot inside there that you have no choice but to fork out so what I would suggest, when purchasing your tickets, there is an option to buy a drinks package beforehand which works out much cheaper. The clubs mainly open at midnight and continue until dawn. I definitely felt my age as I only lasted a short time until I found the heat unbearable as the later it gets and busier it gets, it also gets much hotter. I couldn't see any air conditioning either so you can imagine the heat. I can't remember it being as bad last time I was there, but I was 21 after all and 30 is much different. I get tired much faster and trying to fit in as much as we did in the short time we were there was tiring when you're not used to going out or staying up late much anymore. Taxi to Amnesia was 20 euro for both of us one way and the party bus was 4euro each.

Next time I'd be enclined to check out some pool parties and day time parties as you would be able to cool down in the water and at least you are outside. In San antonio the clubs that are there are Eden, Es Paradis and Ibiza Rocks Hotel which hosts pool parties. In Playa d'en Bossa, there is Bora Bora, Ushuaia and then Hi Ibiza which is in the same venue Space used to be. Privilege which is the biggest club in the world is in San Rafael and also Amnesia. DC-10 and Sankeys are in Sant Jordi de ses Salines.



  • Shopping

The best shops that I came across were in Ibiza Town. They have KIKO, Zara, Bershka, Pimkie, Springfield, Religion and beautiful boutiques. If you wander up to Dalt Villa there are more boutiques full of stunning jewellary and also clothing.

Other Things to do

  • We took a day trip to a nearby island Formentera which to be honest I found a bit of a waste of our day. If you plan on renting a car or mopehead around the Island then go for it but the fact that we were on foot completely limited what we could do. I definately didn't do my research properly on that one as the beach that we wanted to go was overpacked and to get to the beach, the bus cost us 16euro for both of us which was a rip off. It was no more longer than our 4euro bus to Ibiza town from San Antonio to get to the Ferry. The Fast ferry which ran more frequent was 25euro each return and went from Ibiza Town.
  • Ibiza Town is stunning to wander around and the food is much better there. 
  • Dalt Villa which is located there is a must as you can see incredible views of the island when you get o the top.
  • You can take a bus to one of the hippy markets as there are numerous ones around the Island. I previously went to the market in Es Cana which I loved. Check more here.
  • If you like Outdoor Sports you can take a Kayak with a group around specific areas of the Island for 50euro for a few hours. You can also take out Jet Skis, go diving and more. Check out here.
  • Check out some of the beaches like Las Salinas Beach.

There is so much more to offer on the Island than just partying so I definitely recommend checking it out. Hope you found this guide somewhat helpful if you plan on taking a trip to the white island.



Thanks for reading,

Aifric x



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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Holiday Prep. Tips

Hello all,

I was lucky enough to recently head away to Ibiza, Spain for my 30th Birthday. It was our first holiday away on our own, toddler free and the longest I've ever been away from River. I will be doing a separate blogpost all about it. We headed away on the Friday but beforehand I had been preparing myself to get Holiday Ready. Below is a guide that helped me feel comfortable and ready for our vacation.



I was kindly invited in to try an inch loss body wrap in Beauty Secrets Salon in Park Road, Killarney. I know I'm slim but I think everyone can be somewhat conscious of getting into a bikini or a swimsuit when it's not your usual attire so I was delighted to be asked to try it out. My lower half of my body is where I wanted to see the results, particularly my thighs and the results were impressive.




About the Treatment
First off you must strip to your underwear minus your bra. Sarah who is the proprietor and the therapist will make you feel comfortable, shes seen it all before and has a down to earth personality you can relax with. After she measures your body, She dry body brushes your whole body from your ankles working her way up to the shoulders. She then massaged Minimi oil which smelt fab into my body and wrapped me in a clear MiniMi membrane which is basically like cling film. After this you lie down on the beauty bed where she wraps a heat retaining foil blanket around you to allow the process to begin. It's time to relax and stay still as you literally can't move so if you get any way claustrophobic this treatment wouldn't be for you. I dozed in and out of sleep until around an hour later it was time to take it all off. The entire treatment lasts roughly 90 mins.


Aftercare
You will be bursting for the loo over the next few days which eliminates any toxins in the body and you will also be really thirsty. You are required to increase your water intake. You're advised to avoid tea, coffee, fizzy drinks, alcohol and any processed foods over the next few days and also look after your diet. Basically don't eat a load of rubbish as you will be undoing the inches you lose.

Results
My measurements were taken beforehand and compared afterwards. I lost a whole 8 inches off my body and 1 whole inch off my thighs. Wahoo! The cost of the treatment is 65euro which was well worth it in the words of my partner, Gary. He couldn't get over the difference of my thighs and told me I should get it done on a regular basis. Men are such smooth talkers eh! Cheeky pup haha. Either way it got a thumbs up from us both and I definitely felt more confident in my denim shorts and bikini. I even could feel the difference in my skinny jeans so if you even had an occasion coming up that you found a dress a bit tight, this would help it feel more comfortable. Of course it all comes down to maintaining it, diet and exercise but this was a bit of a cheat to get things started.

Results

  • Waxing

I've been going to Sarah of Beauty Secrets for the past couple of years and I'm always happy with the results. Bikini wax is a must for me before holidays, I can't shave that area as it irritates my skin and in a bikini I wanted no hair. She uses Lycon wax which is meant to be one of the best. I get the Hollywood and it's 35euro.

  • Spray Tan

I've never gotten a spray tan before holidays in the past, however, we were only going for a few days and I didn't have much of a base tan going. Irish Summer & all that. I also didn't want to be like Casper arriving over there and who doesn't feel more confident in bare skin with a tan? So, I decided to be faux tanned before leaving and I'd definitely recommend it. I go to Ann Elizabeth Beauty and she has a special on Thursdays for Tanning Thursday for 20euro for full body. She uses Cocoa Brown and I loved the result. You can have the normal or there's a darker version. I went for the normal as I knew I'd tan easily so I didn't want to be too dark to begin with. It develops in an hour and the longer you leave it on, the darker it gets. I was quite busy that evening as it was the day before we left so I showered it off roughly 4 hours later. You can leave it overnight if you prefer too, again, it depends how dark you like to be.

How did it wear?
I found the tan wore perfectly over the few days that we were there. The only areas I noticed the tan had to be exfoliated a bit if it was wearing was on my chest and my ankles. I used the swimming pool daily and also swam in the sea, showered etc and it was still perfect. It wore off completely after around 5 and by then my skin was already sunkissed so I had forgotten I even had a spray tan to begin with.

This was the result, the day after and the day we were flying.

This was on the Saturday, the shade was perfect for me. I felt if I was darker it would of looked obviously fake which I didn't want. This was subtle and perfect for me.
Thanks for reading, hope my tips were helpful if you are heading off or even have a Special Occasion coming up that you need to prep for.

Aifric xx


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