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car rentalsAt The Travel Broker, we understand how complex the car rental process can be. Unless you’ve had lots of experience, you may be intimidated by the whole process. As a full-service travel agency, that's one reason we suggest booking car rentals through us. We know the tricks of the trade and can help find the best pricing.

However, if you do need to reserve your own car rental, there are a number of lesser-known tips to understand at all stages of the booking; the reservation, when you pick up the vehicle and when you return the vehicle. Here are some pointers for getting the best car rental prices.

ireland Prettiest TownAdare, renowned as one of Ireland’s prettiest villages, was founded in the 13th century as a strategic location and market town on the Maigue River. The original town was located north of the Maigue but was destroyed during the wars in the 16th century.

Between 1824 and 1850, Edwin Richard Wyndham-Quin, 3rd Earl of Dunraven, designed the beautiful streets of Adare as we see them today. The Earl built Adare Manor and village houses which were rented to the tenants working on the Earl’s lands. With its thatched roofed cottages and monasteries, Adare is rich in history and beauty. It was designated as a heritage town by the Irish government. 

Ireland blarney castle flowersBlarney Castle is one of the most iconic images of Ireland. It is located in the small village of Blarney in County Cork and was built almost 600 years ago. The castle that we see today is actually the third castle that was built here.

The first Blarney Castle was built in 10th century. Two centuries later, around 1210, a stone fortification replaced the original wooden structure. In 1314, the King of Munster, Cormac McCarthy, gave Robert the Bruce of Scotland 5,000 soldiers to help him defeat England’s King Edward II in the Battle of Bannockburn. Bruce presented the McCarthy clan the Stone of Destiny which is the stone that was to become the Blarney Stone. The stone was placed in the Blarney Castle's battlement.

In 1446, King Dermot McCarthy demolished the stone structure and enlarged Blarney Castle. The McCarty Clan fought several rivals in order to maintain possession of the castle. Even after Queen Elizabeth I commissioned the Earl of Leicester in 1586 to take the land from the McCarthy Clan, the clan held onto Blarney Castle until the Confederate War (1641 to 1652). During the battle to take the castle, Oliver Cromwell’s General Broghill destroyed the tower wall with gunfire but when he entered the castle he found that everyone but two old servants had left via a cave. By the end of the war, Cromwell had seized several properties, massacred two-thirds of the Irish population and converted a most of the country to Protestantism.

ireland cliffs of moher2

The Cliffs of Moher, stretching eight kilometres along the Atlantic coastline of County Clare, are one of the most iconic features of Ireland’s landscape. The cliffs are believed to be over 320 million years old. Ireland’s ancient rivers laid down sediments of sandstone, siltstone and shale on the seabed to form the cliffs. They stand 702 feet at their highest point and on a clear day one may see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay to the west as well as the Dingle Peninsula and the Blasket Islands in Kerry. The Cliffs of Moher mean ‘the cliffs of the ruined fort’ although there is no trace remaining of the two-thousand-year-old Mothar or Moher Fort. This fort stood until at least 1780 until it was demolished in 1808 to provide material for the new Moher Tower. The current tower stands close to the old fort. It stands on Hag's Head at the southern end of the cliffs.

irish coffin ships3As mentioned in a previous blog, the Irish Potato Famine between 1845 and 1849 had a huge impact in Ireland with the greatest impact being in the western and southern areas of Ireland. It was a time of mass starvation, disease, and emigration. During the famine, about one million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland.

The tenant farmers could no longer grow potatoes to feed their families and could not afford to pay their rent. Landlords would apply for a legal judgment against the male head of the family for outstanding rent. He would be thrown in jail and his wife and children would be left homeless. Hundreds of notices to appear in court were handed out causing most poor families to just flee.


Russia is a fascinating country with rich culture and history. The country is the largest land mass sharing borders with 14 countries. Join The Travel Broker as we explore this vast country.

The Trans-Siberian Railway was built between 1891 and 1916 to connect Moscow and Vladivistock Russia. This unprecedented project at a length of 9258 kilometers cost nearly one billion U.S. dollars at the time of completion. A voyage along this route passes through 7 time zones.

blog travel insuranceAt The Travel Broker and Today’s Woman Traveller, we always encourage our passengers to sign up for insurance before they head out on a trip. No matter how healthy you are or how certain you are that you won’t need it, just get it!

We don’t like to think about it, but how do you know when a car will hit the taxi you’re riding in or when your mother will become very ill and you need to cancel your trip? Without medical insurance, the cost of treatment in other countries can be staggering. In 2015, the average cost per day for a hospital stay in the U.S. was $5220, in Switzerland $4781 and in New Zealand $2142 (in US $).  Insurance is a small price to pay for travel peace of mind.

There are five main types of travel insurance:

Ireland Travel Broker

Belleek Pottery Ltd. is a porcelain company that began trading in 1884 as the Belleek Pottery Works Company Ltd in Belleek, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Pottery in the region began around 1849, when John Bloomfield had discovered that the land that he had recently inherited from his father was rich in minerals and hoping to provide employment for his tenants who had been affected by the Irish potato famine, he went into partnership with London architect Robert Williams Armstrong and Dublin merchant David McBirney to set up a pottery business.

Ireland mural

The Murals in Northern Ireland depict the area’s past and present political and religious divisions and are the symbols of Northern Ireland. There are approximately 300 quality murals on display and many more in varying degrees of age and decay.

shipPolar exploration is often considered “unique” and “one of a kind” as it draws people towards the ends of the Earth.

Weather is the biggest factor that affects voyages; most Arctic expeditions are conducted between June and August and most Antarctic expeditions between November and January when the ice has receded or melted to make exploration possible.

bird of paradise kauaiALOHA!  Hawaii is usually at the top of most people’s “bucket lists”. Almost 9 million tourists visit the islands annually to vacation, sightsee, hike, explore, golf, snorkel, surf, and to celebrate milestones. Tourists are welcomed and made to feel like ohana (extended family).

There are daily flights from most major Canadian and US airports. “Island hopping” is easy and convenient with several inter-island flights connecting the islands.


In the last couple of weeks, since my return from Paris, I've been receiving e-mails and calls from so many of you asking me how our first 'Getaway to Paris for Christmas' went. Well, I'm here to tell you it was absolutely fantastic ... everything we'd hoped for and more.


An artist friend of mine contacted me this past summer to let me know that she had just seen the movie "Miss Potter" illustrating the life of Beatrix Potter in England's Lake District and quite glibly asked if I would build a painting tour for her to lead in this lovely corner of England. She didn't realize that I was thinking of looking into this very region to build a walking tour for Canadian Woman Traveller.


Being on safari is a little surreal. It is the ultimate field trip. All safari's usually begin with a briefing after breakfast before setting out from Nairobi, Kenya or Arusha, Tanzania.

africa map

When one thinks of Africa, they will usually think of a untamed continent with wild animals, thick tropical rainforests, vast barren deserts and a hot and wet climate. Though somewhat true, Africa is so much more than those typical stereotypes!Any idea of the size of Africa? Well Africa is the world's second largest continent spanning 30.2 million sq kms or 11.6 million sq miles with a whopping 61 countries, territories and islands. To put that into perspective it is larger than Canada, the United States, China and Mexico combined!

shutterstock 163501805If you know Rome, you likely know it was built on seven hills but few of us know the names of those hills or the historical stories connected to them. So we have compiled the information below to give some background which will tie into the history of this ancient city.

photography toursAll the ideas here are but a few suggestions of exciting and rewarding holiday ideas that will expand your personal horizons and give you memories that will stay with you forever.

cambodia angkor thom bayonIn AD200 Indian traders followed the monsoon winds eastward to Southeast Asia, where they traded their goods with China, Europe and Champa (modern day Vietnam). Once in the Mekong Delta, they would have to wait up to six months until the winds reversed for passage back to India.

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