RSVP Magazine

Alan Quinlan And Son AJ Tell Us About Their Favourite Travel Experiences

Let’s be honest, the closest thing we’ll get to a trip abroad right now is a virtual holiday. As celebs around the world  have kicked off their new year with envy-inducing snaps of their antics away from home, we are dreaming of getting some sun, sea and adventure of our own.


Whether it is travelling through the Thai jungle, checking out the Icelandic waterfalls, or simply savouring the Ring of Kerry, everyone has a favourite holiday hotspot. RSVP asked former rugby player turned pundit ALAN QUINLAN for his top travelling tips and must-see places to visit.

His son is like a mini version of him. Lucky guy!


You recently went to Lapland with your son. Was it somewhere your son had always wanted to visit?

I had heard from friends, who brought their child before, that Lapland was an amazing place to bring kids. And my son had asked me a few times in the last few years if we could go see Santa in Lapland so we finally decided to go ahead.

Does it live up to the huge expectations of kids?

Yes and far beyond. The joy and excitement experienced is incredible for everyone, kids and parents alike. The whole experience and location is amazing with the snow, elf characters, the atmosphere and engagement being almost overpowering. Everything from the snow mobile, husky ride and snow covered forest was magical. Then to witness your child meet Santa in his unique Lapland home in the middle of a forest full of snow is the ultimate highlight. You see the unbridled joy in all the children there and to be fair I was equally as thrilled with the experience.

Alan Quinlan

What memories will you treasure from the trip with your son?

His reaction. It was joyous and infectious from the moment we stepped on the plane to each and every highlight of the trip. He hasn’t stopped talking about it since we got back! The standout moments were the husky rides and meeting Santa in the forest. It was definitely the trip of a lifetime and memories that I will cherish when he is older.

What is it like travelling and planning holidays with children? Is it stressful?

It can be if they’re tired and you get stuck in long queues going through airports. It’s important to plan well in advance, make sure they are well rested beforehand, if at all possible, and that you have plenty of snacks for them.


What’s the worst holiday you’ve ever been on and why?

Thankfully I’ve had no bad holiday experiences. I normally do a good deal of research before I book a holiday and also take recommendations from friends but things can still happen! Coming back from the World Cup in London in 2015, I was working and booked to fly back out of Stanstead at 10am. I went to the gate but there was a big queue boarding so I sat down and waited until the last person was checked through. When I went to board I was told the flight was full as somebody on standby had taken my seat. I protested but to no avail. My bag was taken off the flight and all other flights from Stanstead were full that day. I eventually got to book a flight that evening from London City airport. It ended up being a pretty expensive return journey home and also a very long and stressful day.

If money was no object. What would be your dream holiday?

I love to travel and explore new destinations so I would love to do a full six month Round the World trip with stops in Far East Asia and South America.  The question is though, where would I get the time!

Sunway offer one and two night trips to Lapland with direct flights from Dublin, Cork and Shannon. Prices start from €899 per adult and €799 per child. Book now for 2017 and secure your booking at 2016 prices. Offer available for limited time only.

Packages include direct flights, 20kg baggage, hotel on a half board basis, arctic clothing and a full Lapland activity program. Visit for full details on Lapland or call 01-2311800 for reservations or more information.

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