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Ireland.

Europe can get hot and crowded in summer. So why not try a trip in winter? Air fares and hotels will be less expensive, often wildly so. And you won’t have the crowds. Which means more time to delve deep and really explore. Here are some great spots to try. IRELAND A bit cool, you say? Well, it’s not like summer in Ireland is a guaranteed heat furnace. So why not explore Dublin’s Temple Bar when you don’t need a reservation for the best bar stool? And why not try a night at a sumptuous spot like Ashford Castle in ... continue reading →

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JIM BYERS PHOTO Check out some of the world’s largest sea cliffs in Slieve League on the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland. Jump into Ireland and drive the new coastal route, called the Wild Atlantic Way . Or check out the seacoast, the mountains and the villages of New Hampshire, a surprisingly diverse spot that’s easy to get to. The folks from both destinations brought their displays to Toronto this week to show travel folks some of what’s new and what’s on offer for 2014. And both made some great points. For Ireland, one of the big stories this year is the ... continue reading →

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It’s a touch late for booking that trip to Dublin or Galway (or anywhere else in Ireland) for St. Patrick’s Day. On the other hand, there are great locations right here in North America to go green come Monday. I can’t think of many better places than St. John’s, Newfoundland, which seems more Irish to me than parts of Ireland. They’ll be having a grand old time in town on Monday, for sure. Also awesome would be Cape Breton or Halifax in Nova Scotia, where you’ll find a serious Irish influence and great dancing and music. Of course, you could always ... continue reading →

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Your winter vacation may have just become more expensive. On the other hand, if you work in the hospitality industry in Toronto you might have more money in your pocket for a holiday next year. The Canadian dollar is dropping, in case you hadn’t noticed. After being close to par against the American greenback for some time, the loonie has slipped. Badly. As of Friday afternoon, it was down to 91 cents and change against the mighty U.S. dollar. That’s about as low as we’ve been in four and-a-half years. What that means for many of us is that hotel ... continue reading →

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I was travel editor for five years at the Star. I’ve been travelling the world (on and off) for 25 years or so. But I still can’t figure out why Asian airlines are able to do things North American airlines can’t. Or won’t. There’s just something about the service you get when you fly an airline like Cathay Pacific that you won’t find on American or Delta, and probably not WestJet or Air Canada. It’s little things, I think, such as nicer bathrooms and hand lotion even in economy washrooms. Not to mention a TV screen that showed passengers what ... continue reading →

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