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About Time is one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time and you can’t tell us any different.

The heartwarming movie starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy never fails to make us smile, melt our hearts and leave us bawling like a newborn baby at the end (that beach scene).

Set in both London and Cornwall, About Time always leaves us lusting to jet away to where Tim and Mary’s love story takes place.

Country House charm by the sea

You can even go a step further now and stay in Tim’s gorgeous family home in Cornwall.

That’s right, the actual house where the famous New Years party took place, where many a table tennis tournament occurred and plenty packets of biscuits were opened.

The family home, which is located on Cornwall’s south coast is the perfect place to getaway from the dull realities of everyday life.

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The decor hasn’t changed much since the movie was filmed in 2013 so now our dream of being in a rom-com can finally come true.

All we need now is to bump into Domhnall Gleeson.

You can check out the Porthpean House on Airbnb here.

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Recent reports circulating in the media on the disastrous effects of humankind on the planet and resulting climate change are pretty terrifying.

The greenhouse effect includes rising sea levels, famine and climatic alterations, and is caused by the emission of certain gases into the atmosphere such as man's use of fossil fuels. If we want to reverse the damage, it needs to be in the next 11 years.

The latest findings by the United Nations are alarming, at worst. The sweeping assessment has concluded that humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so extensively that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction.

Populations worldwide depends on these threatened ecosystems.

Transportation is imperative to this problem and bears responsibility for one fifth of all carbon dioxide emissions currently. Cars and lorries contribute 80-90 percent of all transport emissions, and traffic congestion is drastically worsening in Dublin.

It's time that Ireland declared a national emergency on climate change, and we found solutions. How can we make small but significant changes to our daily lives for the sake of the planet? Diet, travel, fashion and plastic; four key areas.

Your life can't totally cease to contain any fun, and why shouldn't you still be able to travel despite the troubling findings? We've made a comprehensive list of ways to travel in an eco-friendly, guilt-free way. The planet will thank you for it…

1. Travel by train, if possible, or boat.

Trains are more energy-efficient than other modes of transport, and can easily adapt to different sources of energy. Renewable energy is the key, so using cars and planes for travel can cause problems. Of course, we in Ireland are surrounded by water and generally have to fly everywhere, but at least the first waste-free plane journey has taken place.

Steps are being taken to reduce the plastic intake on flights; Quantas operates the 'world's first zero-waste' airline journey, which is SO exciting. They disposed of all their waste via compost, reuse and recycling.

Why not try inter-railing as a means of travel? The European journey tickets offered by USIT feature some great offers at low prices.

Ferry journeys also save a lot more energy than flying, though many people find long journeys on the sea unnerving. 

2. Ride that bike and give your planet a like

As well as saving you a rake load of cash on transportation, cycling is an amazing way to improve your general health and fitness as well as reducing your carbon footprint.

By riding your bicycle for just four miles, you stop roughly 15 pounds of pollutants from being released, in comparison to car journeys. 

Places like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Oslo, Prague and Tuscany offer some incredible views and cycling tours. From riding your bike through the Italian countryside to pedalling the coastal roads of France, you're seriously missing out if you think bikes aren't a brilliant holiday opportunity.

They contribute zero negativity to the planet, yet can get you to some beautiful places, so it's worth giving it a go.

3. Do you ever feel, like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind….

DITCH those plastic bags, it's easier than ever. Plastic bags can take up to 500 years to biodegrade, so why not take a reusable bag with you when you're grabbing goods or groceries?

You can get some gorgeous tote bags made ethically, and are perfect if you want to support independent artists while making a moral statement. 

4. If you can, try to book non-stop flights

It’s actually the takeoffs and landings that create most of a plane's carbon emissions, so by only booking one flight to a destination rather than two or three, it saves energy.

Studies have found that stops can increase emissions by a shocking 35 percent per person, all because of the takeoff.

5. Shame on you if you still buy plastic bottles

Okay, granted sometimes it's necessary to buy plastic water bottles in countries which have undrinkable tap water. We've all been there, just desperately trying to avoid getting a stomach parasite in some remote part of Asia.

If you're in an area that has tap water freely available and it's drinkable, you have no excuse not to carry around your own water bottle to refill it.

Considering the news that, by 2050, the world's oceans will contain more plastic than fish., we definitely need to reduce our plastic water bottle use.

6. Ask if your hostel, Airbnb or hotel has a recycling policy

If they don't have one, why not leave a comment on their feedback cards asking them to start one? 

If you can find a nearby recycling area with bottle bins, etc, try to bring your rubbish with you to dump somewhere eco-friendly. You can also quiz your hostel or hotel on their policies regarding issues like solar power, wind turbines, rainwater harvesting, energy-efficient lighting, and low-flow toilets.

7. Carpool with your pals

Road trip, anyone? Carpooling with friends or family is a big method of reducing your pollution contribution. It brings down the volume of vehicles on the road, which helps lower emission rates.

It's also a lot more fun than embarking on road trips by yourself, with nobody in the car to appreciate your killer Spotify playlists…

8. Get that Keep Cup out at all times, people

Nurse your Keep Cup like it's your baby, gals. If you carry it with you in your bag (there are foldable ones that barely take up any space too), you'll cut down on the amount of cardboard takeaway coffee cups you use.

While some of these cups and lids are recyclable, many of them aren't and cause needless harm to landfill sites.

9. Keep the energy down

Treat your hostel or hotel like you would at home; turn off lights whenever you can, switch off appliances like a television or kettle, don't use clean towels when you have a perfectly good one already, take shorter showers if possible. Showers use 10-25 gallons of water, but baths use up to 70 gallons, so choose showers.

Of course, a holiday is supposed to be relaxing. Treat yourself, but keep in mind that the planet needs treating too. Eating and drinking local food also cuts down on the travel mileage of your meal, instead of having meals or beers which have been transported from halfway across the world.

10. Wildlife lover

If you're hiking or travelling in protected sites, make sure not to wander off the beaten track and risk endangering more species of plants and wildlife.

When in another country, it's so important to respect the ecosystems there and do your research before the trip. Especially with snorkelling and scuba diving, take caution with disrupting coral reefs.

Know the laws for example about hunting, or trespassing on specific grounds. NEVER touch or feed animals you meet along the way, unless it's in a protected area or you're visiting an animal sanctuary alongside knowledgable guides.

Don't visit tourist sites which cause animals distress or harm, like elephant grounds in Thailand which allow you to ride the animals or walking with lions.

Do your homework before visiting anywhere involving animals to ensure there are no cruel practices.

You can even adopt an animal safety through the correct websites, and give them some love. by sponsoring their care. 

11. Walk this way

If you can walk around cities or countrysides on your holidays, make sure to try and do as much as you can on foot. Walking tours of cities are always brilliant for discovering the history of the places you are staying in, and don't waste any money or energy on transport.

Walking also gives you bonus health benefits which extend beyond the environment. Reduce your risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease by walking only 30 minutes every day, at home or abroad.

12. Beep Beep: Electric Cars

Electric cars produce zero emissions during your travels, but can increase a power plant's emission when charging. The only issue with them is their production, which takes place in factories often powered by fossil fuels. This actually means the vehicle has already caused pollution before hitting the roads, but if the factories started using renewable energy, this could all change.

Make sure to do the research when it comes to your choice between electric cars or diesel powered machines.

13. Reduce plastic in your shopping habits

Try your best not to buy goods from major corporations which use unethical worker policies and produce large amounts of plastic waste. It's important to support independent companies and eco-friendly, ethical shops. 

Research online before you travel somewhere new about the location's best shops and companies for the environment, and get groceries that aren't pre-wrapped in plastic. Carrier bags are ideal for loose fruit and vegetables. 

14. Bamboo toothbrushes and natural toiletries

It's cheap and cheerfully easy to buy a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one, which takes 400 years to break down in landfill. Holland and Barrett sell a great range, and you can also switch to natural shampoos and deodorants.

Irish brand Indeora sell a beautiful-smelling spray-on deodorant (vanilla, YUM) and Lush is famous for it's bars of shampoo and skincare products using either zero packaging or 100 percent recycled packaging.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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15. Mini carrier fans

This was an absolute GOD-SEND when I travelled Asia (50 degrees Celsius, permanently). Instead of using a monumental amount of air condition, try limiting your energy consumption by just using battery powered mini-fans.

They work insanely well if you pay a tad bit more for a decent brand, and last for ages too. 

16. Break up with your make-up

We highly recommend buying reusable make-up pads or remover face cloths, because make-up wipes are incredibly harmful for the environment.

They usually end up in landfill, or the ocean, and don't break down well. More and more brands are releasing their machine washable face cloths, buy enough to keep you going and they'll last for years.

17. Paper planes

If you're handed leaflets or paper maps during your trip away, either hang on to them or return them to the companies so that they can be re-used.

Whatever you do, don't let them just get dumped on the street, They could be useful for someone else, so why waste them? Try to use Google Maps instead of buying paper maps, if you can.

18. Waste not, want not.

Hang on to any unused shampoos or toiletries that are provided to you by hostels or hotels. They most likely just end up in the bin, which in turn ends up in MORE landfill.

Also, if you're having some sexy fun times abroad with your significant other or just feel like a spontaneous summer fling, why not try using vegan condoms or eco-friendly latex? Greenpeace have a great article about eco-friendly sex. No, seriously…

You can even reuse the plastic containers or bottles for another purpose. Many ethical brands allow you to fill up your plastic bottles with their products to reduce waste.

19. Fast fashion

Many of us can't resist the temptation to buy a whole new wardrobe for our summer holidays. Bear in mind, most holidays are only a week or two long, out of 52 in the entire year.

Try to refrain from buying brand new clothes unless you absolutely need them. Most high street brands like Penneys, Zara, Missguided, PrettyLittleThing, H+M, Boohoo, Berskha and Pull and Bear don't use ethical working conditions, and don't pay their employees a living wage.

The textiles industry is also the second biggest polluter of water on earth, and needs to massively reduce ASAP. Try going for ethical brands, charity shopping or vintage clothing instead of getting brands new threads. Depop is a brilliant app for buying used but stunning clothes and giving them new life. You can also put your own clothes up for sale.

Good On You is a great website which can tell you if your favourite shops are ethical or eco-friendly, so give it a go.

20. Local loving

Try to seek out indigenous artisans, because if you shop from them rather than a typical assembly line, your money goes directly towards feeding that person's family. Do your best to ensure that your money doesn't go towards tourist traps that don't pay the workers properly.

If you keep up to date on foods, such as those containing palm oil, you can also avoid harmful products made in unethical circumstances. Avoid meat, especially beef, if you can. The World Wildlife Fund have loads of information on their website along those lines.

It's our duty to protect the environment from even more harm, before it's too late. Be conscious on your travels, sustainability benefits everyone on earth.

 If you don't listen to me, at least listen to Obama…

barack obama clean energy GIF by NowThis

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I recently went on my first ever mother-daughter trip and according to science, it was good for my health.

It was nothing glamorous or expensive, but it was really eye-opening. We didn’t fly off to New York or explore a sunny Greek island, we got the 9am train down to Mallow for one night but it has made me appreciate my Mam so much more than before.

We wandered around the town, popping into dinky shops and bookstores, we ate hearty cheese toasties and drank gallons of tea. We acted like giddy schoolkids when we saw the size of our beautiful room at The Hibernian Hotel, we listened to Sunshine 106.8 and argued about what time we should have dinner.

We ate like kings, drank pints and nattered about things we rarely got the chance to talk about. 

We went for a walk around Mallow Castle grounds, met up with some of our Cork family for a well overdue catch up and read our books in a peaceful silence as the train rolled out of the station.

It was a short break, nothing crazy, pricey or lavish, but it has strengthened our relationship. It helped me see my Mam in a completely different light, we laughed so much and spent quality time together that is far too rare these days.

Harvard Medical School recently found that going on a trip with your mum has a positive impact on both your mental and general health.

A mother-daughter trip has the power to lower your stress levels, boost your immune responses and lowers your risk of heart disease, according to the study.

If anyone needs us we’ll be planning our next getaway with mother dearest.

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There are so many places in the world that I’d love to visit. Canada, New York, Denmark, South Africa… the list is never-ending.

However, at the end of the day, there really is no place like home. No matter where I go I always look forward to coming home to the Emerald Isle. Ireland has a certain charm that, in my eyes, is simply unbeatable.

We may be a tiny island but there are just so many incredibly beautiful places to visit across the country, including Kerry.

I was lucky enough to visit Tralee to stay at the Ballygarry House Hotel recently and have fallen head over heels in love with the charming country house hotel.

The staff welcome you with the warmth that you feel when reuniting with a childhood friend. They were so kind and accommodating and couldn’t have made me feel more welcome.

From the moment we stepped inside the hotel felt like a home away from home.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Ballygarry House Hotel caters for everyone. If you’re a bookworm you can cosy up by the fire and get lost in a story.

For those adventurers out there, you can take one of the bikes available at the hotel down to the Ballyseedy Woods.

If you’re in need of a little bit of chill time then look no further than the tranquil Nádúr Spa where you will be treated like royalty by the lovely Gina and her team.

Enjoy a soothing stroll through the hotel’s gardens and take in the stunning view of the Sliabh Mish Mountains on a crisp winter morning.

You certainly won’t be short of things to do during your time at the Ballygarry House Hotel. And you certainly won’t go hungry either.

I was lucky enough to dine at both The Brasserie and the lavish Restaurant 58. Trust me, the food is simply divine. Restaurant 58 is a soothing spot that has a menu to die for and the sweetest staff who will ensure you have everything you need.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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If you’re in the mood to splash out then try the Char Grilled Prime Irish Steak and thank me later. My stomach has never been as happy or full as it was after our visit.

Be sure to roll into Owen Mac's bar after your dinner to wash it all down with a beverage of choice. The recently renovated and revamped bar has everything from wine to whiskey and pink gin to craft beers.

You’ll be wowed by the talents of a live pianist at the weekends which adds even more charm to the hotel.

After a night of sheer luxury, you can doze off in the comfiest bed ever or tune into one of your favourite movies on Netflix on the hotel TV.

I truly didn’t want to leave the Ballygarry House Hotel. I was so close to asking if I could move into The Lodge, which is a little nugget of history right on the hotel’s doorstep.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The mid – 18th Century Lodge was formerly the gate lodge of the O'Connor farmhouse and is now being used as a private event room for celebrations with a personalised Butler Service for Afternoon Tea.

A visit at The Ballygarry House Hotel is an essential trip for all you travel bugs out there. You just need to add to your bucket list. The charm, warmth and kindness of the staff alone will make your visit one you’ll never forget. There’s no doubt it’ll become a home away from home for you, right in the heart of Kerry.

Do yourself a favour and book a stay at The Ballygarry House Hotel. Check out their website for more information.

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If you love haunted houses, spooky places with f*cked up histories, listen up.

As the holiday for thrills and chills are almost upon us, ditch the local creepy haunt and stick these on your bucket list.

For a real scare, Holiday Guru has hooked us up with some of the most terrifyingly haunted places on the planet. 

1. Island of the Dolls, Mexico

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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First up is one you might be familiar with, chilling on a small island outside Mexico City is probably one of the most freakish tributes to a young girl.

A man named Don Juliano Santana Barrera was the caretaker and lone inhabitant of the island, and legend tells that he found a young girl's body who had drowned in the canals

In the 1950s, he hung her doll to a tree to remember her little life, and supposedly many believe the man was then possessed by the girl's spirit – JUST, NOPE.

He began decorating the place with more and more dolls, turning it into a bizarre wonderland of cracked, dirty toys.

If you want to see this little hellish island, grab a boat and get ready to see one of the weirdest collections of dolls in the world.

2. Poveglia, Venice

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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If creepy dolls ain't your thing, why not try the bubonic plague?

This island in the Venetian lagoon was home to imprisoned people suffering from the disease in the late 18th century, which means there are thousands of pissed off souls lurking here.

Get out your ghostbuster gear, as the island also hosted a mental asylum in 1922, and the doctors were reportedly d*cks, as they tortured patients.

The story goes that they would perform crude lobotomies and using hammers and drills as surgical instruments. – which is probably why the island is said to have a morbid atmosphere.

Tourists have reported screams and if your travels aren't entertaining enough, why not risk becoming possessed, as some people say visitors to the island have been – joyous. 

3. Aokigahara, Japan

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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At the base of Mount Fuji, forget the compass as the paranormal activity is rife. 

Aokigahara, is better known as Japan's ‘suicide forest’. The forest has sadly become known as the world’s second most popular place to take one’s life. 

The forest’s malevolent energies are said to swallow up unfortunate visitors and the atmosphere is unlike anywhere else.

And, if you do frequent the forest, just don't make a Youtube video about it – *cough, cough*

4. Centralia – Pennsylvania Ghost Town

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Don't fall for the pretty colours in the image, this used to be a high way and there's a very good reason why nature is reclaiming this city.

The town of Centralia, Pennsylvania is a modern-day ghost town because they suffered a coal mine fire in 1962 – which is still burning today.

It's a real-life horror story as people began to fall ill as lethal levels of carbon monoxide billowed towards the surface.

Sinkholes literally appear in people’s back gardens – one of which nearly killed one young boy. Fewer than 10 people live here today.

While the town isn’t necessarily haunted, it does get an influx of curious, seek-thrilling tourists around Halloween. 

5. The witches of Salem, Massachusetts

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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In the late 17th-century, the children of Salem Village, Massachusetts experienced something rather baffling. Cue the young ladies going into fits, making strange noises, throwing objects and contorting their bodies.

Instead of looking for a logical explanation, witchcraft was the obvious cause.

Hysteria erupted which led to the infamous Salem Witch Trials when over a dozen people were executed.

The judges involved in the trials and future sheriffs died under mysterious circumstances and today, strange noises and mysterious floating lights have been reported at the local cemetery. 

6. Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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You couldn't pay me enough money to visit this place. Why I hear you scream? – Well, only controlled visits at night for ghost tours are allowed – which sends alarm bells ringing.

Would you actually risk being abused? Visitors often leave with bruises, scratches, bite marks and burns and fainting is a regular occurrence – that's some serious head rush.

But why is this place so locked with a dark aura? Well, it is said that the hundreds-year-old graveyard is protected by the ghost of George McKenzie, a ruthless judge who imprisoned and starved over 1,000 Scottish Presbyterians in the 1600s – So don't f*ck with him.

7. Ballygally Castle, Northern Ireland

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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This tale involves one evil husband and the male ego. Lady Isabella Shaw was unfortunately wed to James Shaw and couldn't produce a male heir – it's your swimmers, mate. 

When she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, James snatched the child and locked Lady Shaw in the room, leaving her to stave.

In a bid to escape, some say she fell from the window, others say she was pushed – either way, it's a grim way to die.

She has remained in the hotel ever since, gently knocking on bedroom doors and walking the corridors, looking for her child. Today, you can lap up luxury in the hotel and visit the “Ghost Room”.

8. Lawang Sewu Semarang, Indonesia

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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A truly spooky place, Lawang Sewu translates to “a thousand doors”.

During WWII, the Japanese used its basement to imprison, torture and kill Indonesian nationalists and Dutch colonials.

Among the ghostly residents, there's one badass b*tch, a Dutch woman who supposedly committed suicide inside as well as the beheaded rebels who were killed by the Japanese.

 9. Château de Brissac, France

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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You really couldn't get more cliche than this: in 1477, Lady Charlotte de Breze was caught doing the dirty on her husband with Jacques de Breze. 

In a fit of rage, her husband murdered her and since the incident, guests have reported seeing the ghost through the window of the tower room of the castle’s chapel, with holes where her nose and mouth should be.

Her moans are said to be heard throughout the chateau early in the morning.

10. Bhangarh Fort, India

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Last but not least, we meet an abandoned 17th-century fort, known as one of the most haunted places in India. So much so, tourists and locals under government orders are forbidden to enter the fort after the sun sets. 

As the tale goes, a magician, Singhia fell in love with the beautiful Princess Ratnavati. The tantrik attempted to use magic to win her over, but the Princess learned of his plan and sentenced him to death. Before Singhia died, he cursed the fort's residents to die and for the surrounding houses to remain roofless forever.

Nowadays, the surrounding village is abandoned and Bhangarh Fort attracts plenty of curious tourists who have reported hearing the screams of ghosts and seeing strange lights. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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You couldn't offer me enough to get me to willingly go to any of these places.

But if you're brave, adventurous and curious, these are a definite in the travel plans, but remember – BE RESPECTFUL.

If restrictions exist, they're for your own safety – don't be that person.

 

Feature image credit: Josh Perrett/Instagram

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Global icon Barbie just added Airbnb Host to her extensive list of careers and accomplishments! Later this month, Barbie will hand over the keys to her Malibu Dreamhouse for the ultimate fan stay. Located in the heart of Malibu and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the fabulous life-size Dreamhouse will be available to book on October 23 at 11a.m. PDT by one guest and up to three friends for a two-night stay. The one-time reservation will take place from Sunday, October 27 to Tuesday, October 29.

With panoramic ocean views and beachy, glamorous decor, the home is a larger-than-life recreation of Barbie’s signature style and hospitality. From her hobby room and personal cinema, to the infinity pool and outdoor meditation zone, every corner of the house reflects Barbie’s lifetime as a role model to young women everywhere. 

The two-night stay is available for only $60 a night (plus taxes and fees) to commemorate the Barbie brand’s 60th anniversary.

Barbie’s invited some of her most accomplished and entrepreneurial pals along to welcome and inspire her guests. Ibtihaj Muhammad, world-class fencing champion and inspirational role model (who even has her own Barbie Shero doll!), will give guests one-on-one fencing lessons, while pilot and aerospace engineer Jill Meyers will take them on a behind-the-scenes tour of Columbia Memorial Space Centre to encourage them to aim for the stars.  

There’s so much to learn and try, but guests can count on time for R&R back at home. Because Barbie is always a little glam, hairstylist to the stars and girl boss Jen Atkin will stop by for makeovers with her Mane Addicts Creator Collective. And for a true taste of the farm-fresh and flavorful food native to California, renowned local chef Gina Clarke-Helm will provide a cooking lesson in Barbie’s spacious kitchen.

Barbie’s home has plenty of space to relax and play and can accommodate up to four guests. Barbie is excited to share the comfort of her home and to welcome new friends to her charming neighbourhood.

To celebrate this unique offering, Airbnb will make a donation to the Barbie Dream Gap Project GoFundMe initiative, which aims to help level the playing field for young women so they can follow their dreams.

For more information on how to book Barbie’s Dreamhouse, go to www.airbnb.com/barbie

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The sunny weather has finally made an appearance and we can’t help but daydream about summer adventures. Spending the summer in New York sounds perfect, but unfortunately, our bank accounts are stopping that dream from coming true.

Luckily, there are plenty of places to visit around the Emerald Isle that are perfect if you’re in need of some time away from reality.

There's one place you must visit this summer and it’s the charming town of Clonakilty, Co.Cork. The West Cork town is one of the nicest parts of the county with the stunning Inchydoney Beach, snug pubs, plenty of dinky cafes and dozens of historical sites including Michael Collins House.

Once you arrive in the colourful and vibrant town you’ll never want to leave. The locals and their cheery disposition will make you feel like you’ve lived there your entire life.

There are plenty of hidden gems in Clonakilty that will make your trip all the more memorable.

1: Cafe On The Lane

This quirky spot is hidden down Spillers Lane, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the main streets. The cafe is covered in bunting and fairy lights, with fresh flowers donning every table. The main seating area is full of mismatched, vintage furniture that adds to the character of the place. Treat yourself to a croissant or a brownie and a cup of coffee and listen to Elvis play on the cafe's record player.

Image result for cafe on the lane clonakilty

2: Cycle around Clon​​​

Clonakilty is the first rural community to offer a bike rental scheme. There’s no better way to see the glorious town than cycling around Clonakilty, especially when the sun is shining. The Clonakilty Bike Scheme even shares advice on how to cycle safely on West Cork roads. Cycle out to Long Strand, which is only 20 minutes away from the town. Take in the breathtaking scenes and breathe in that fresh sea air.

3: Pints in Scannells

This gastropub is the heart of the town, known as the small pub with the big garden, you just have to visit Scannells for a quick pint and a bite to eat. You’ll struggle to leave the pub with the infectious atmosphere and assortment of live music, from jazz to trad, Scannells has something for everyone.

4: A bookworm’s paradise

The Children’s Project charity shop may just look like every other charity shop, but once you go upstairs you’ll be greeted by mountains and mountains of books. The second floor of the shop is a bookworm's idea of heaven. They have shelves full of best-sellers, horror tales, young adult novels, well-loved classics, popular chick-lit books more. You’ll go in for a quick browse and end up leaving the shop hours later with bags full of books.

Clonakilty is the perfect place to visit if you need to escape to the country, especially when the sun is shining!

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We have been bitten by the wanderlust bug and have been itching to get away from gloomy Ireland for far too long.

We are forever checking airline prices, swooning over travel blogger’s Instagrams and wishing we could just drop everything, grab our passports and abandon the dull realities of everyday life.

There are too many places we want to go to but one at the very top of our list is Iceland.

The Irish Globetrotter aka Niamh McDonnell sat down with us to share her words of wisdom after a recent trip to Iceland.

Niamh headed to Iceland for three full days and managed to squeeze everything and anything into her quick getaway.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Flights:

“We flew into Reykjavik on Thursday afternoon with Icelandair, who are so lovely to fly with. The two-hour flight was a breeze, especially because of the TVs.”

The flight cost €120. Niamh recommends booking your flights at least three months in advance to get the best deal.

Accommodation:

Airbnb is extremely popular over in Iceland so you’ll have a much easier time finding somewhere to stay if you rent an apartment as opposed to staying in a hotel. Niamh and her pals found an apartment that slept up to six people.

The apartment cost €625 between their gang, which works out just at a little over €100 each.

“Staying near the main strip will make your trip a lot easier, as that’s where all the bars, pubs, restaurants and shops are. Staying close by will save you a lot of hassle, especially on nights out.”

The other great thing about renting an apartment is having a kitchen to rustle up meals throughout the day. “The food in Iceland isn’t the best and is extremely overpriced, so making breakfast and sandwiches to snack on during tours was a huge help financially,” Niamh shared.

Night Life:

Speaking of nights out, like every Irish person on holidays, Niamh ended up going to an Irish pub during her trip to Iceland. She said the best thing about the Irish bars is the mix of people you unexpectedly meet there.

“There were international students and Norwegian sailors drinking in one Irish bar, and the atmosphere was so different.”

“Dubliners is a great spot, as is the Drunken Rabbit, where you can order food from the fish and chips next door whilst you’re enjoying a pint.”

"Appy Hour is a life-saving app that will show you all the local drink offers, which will be a huge help to you as Iceland can be super pricey,” Niamh shared.

Sightseeing:

“We booked our tours with Reykjavik Excursions for €330. This price included the Northern Lights tour, pick up at the airport, Blue Lagoon entrance and drinks, Golden Circle tour, a glacier tour and even pick up on our last day.”

“Head to the Blue Lagoon in the early evening because you will experience it during daylight and as the sun sets.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The main reason she headed to Iceland was to see the Northern Lights, so it’s safe to say Niamh was gutted when the weather meddled with her plans.

“We were scheduled to go see the Northern Lights on Friday evening, but the tour company cancelled the trip because of the weather.”

September and October are supposed to be the best months to go, but the weather wasn’t on Niamh’s side. It was extremely overcast and cloudly on the second night they tried to see the lights.

Despite the Northern Lights disappointment, Niamh adored seeing the glaciers and waterfalls Iceland is so famously known for.

“We went on a four-hour tour to see glaciers and waterfalls, which was an experience I’ll never forget,” Niamh said.

“The only thing is the weather is extreme. There was one point where I had to get down on my hunkers because the wind was so harsh, so dress warmly.”

Forget about your Nike runners and OOTD Instagram snaps, because all you want to wear in Iceland are a pair of boots and about 50 layers.

Flights: €120

Accommodation: €125

Spending money: €350

Sightseeing/tours: €330

Total: €925

Niamh experienced all Iceland has to offer and more for less than €1000 so if you’ll need us we’ll be booking our flights immediately.

 

 

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Now, we've all packed a laughable amount of things for a holiday and been mocked by our travel buddies when we show up at the airport.

Many of us have brought a suitcase for an overnight stay, or added extra baggage onto our flights for no reason. Especially in Ireland, when we can never predict what weather we're going to have.

Forgetting a key item while packing is a deep psychological fear. What if we forget our core makeup items? Our medical bag? Our passport? OURSELVES? It's a worrying time.

The latest statistics from QS Supplies have shown that 10 percent of people take BED SHEETS to hotel rooms with them, because they won't want to use the provided sheets. Um, okay?

The survey of 1008 people revealed that many of the population (we won't name names) have taken their own bedding on holiday with them to avoid catching germs or contracting bacterial infections.

5.9 percent of survey respondents also admitted to taking personal cutlery to a restaurant, meaning one in every 16 eaters in any restaurant you go to have possibly snuck in their own knife and fork.

We can't imagine using up vital bag space to stuff in our own sheets and bedding. Those people clearly have some strange priorities that don't involve bringing five pairs of shoes and a shop's worth of cosmetics.

12 percent of people apparently don't think hotel sheets are washed enough to warrant sleeping in them, but we wonder why?

Unless they're stained or have a weird odour or appearance, we're more than happy to sleep in a big, fluffy hotel bed with extravagant pillows and throws.

Now,if someone could just pay for us to head on a weekend away, preferably to a spa, that would be lovely. Thanks in advance xoxo

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Many of us are now turning to buying smaller versions of our favourite beauty and skincare products, but many brands don't offer the right size for travelling.

With much of the population booking a last-minute trips before the summer draws to an end, the issue of transporting your entire beauty regimen abroad can be a challenge.

One brand has risen above the rest for their travel-sized skincare goodies, and we simply have to rave about them; Eau Thermale Avène.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Just because you're holidaying or exploring different parts of the world doesn't mean you need to ditch your favourite products.

With the dangers of the sun abroad, you actually need your skincare routine even more. 

We've curated a list of your travel must-haves, based on their extensive range of mini-treats:

Eau Thermale Avène’s Thermal Spring Water 100ml: €5

With so many benefits, this product has become a cult favourite. Spritz on the plane to refresh the skin or use it to cool down when you’re poolside.

Thermal Spring spray has soothing, healing and anti-irritant properties, so you won't want to part with it once you're hooked. Thanks to its high tolerance, it is suitable for all skin types.

For your base:

Eau Thermale Avène B-Protect SPF 50+ 30ml: €17

This long-lasting tinted sun cream offers high-factor coverage and antioxidant protection, giving the perfect summer glow so you can ditch the make-up during the day.

Its velvety texture with a non-greasy finish provides an immediate feeling of comfort in the sun and its strong rays.

Always wear SPF, even when you're not in the blistering sunshine. Recent studies have shown that blue light from our screens can now affect your skin.

For cleansing:

Eau Thermale Avène Cleanance Gentle Cleansing Gel 100ml: €11

Suitable for face and body, this multi-tasking product gets to work on blemish-prone skin to help purify skin and regulate oil production, leaving skin feeling fresh and clean.

Its formula, rich in thermal avène water and monolaurin, also prevents irritation and gently combats spots, excess sebum and blackheads. 

Eau Thermale Avène Hydrance Intense Serum 30ml: €26

A day in the sun can leave skin dehydrated and feeling rough and tight, but Avène has the answer once again with an intense moisturising treatment.

Hydrance Intense Serum increases hydration by 45 percent, 4 hours after first application and can be felt for up to 24 hours after stopping applications.

It has been specially formulated with 3 active ingredients which work together to hydrate dull, dry skin. A smooth, radiant complexion is the result.

For your hands:

Eau Thermale Avène Cold Cream Hand Cream 50ml: €9

Perfect for dry or sensitive skin, Avène’s Cold Cream is formulated with nourishing properties of white beeswax to help protect the skin’s barrier against external aggressions, leaving hands soft and supple.

This smooth, non-greasy hand cream offers your hands an immediate feeling of comfort while you're away.

Why not pick up the goodies before you hit the airport? You'll thank us later when they all fit perfectly into your purse and your skin is glowing.

Feature image: Instagram/@avene_uki

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Relying on public transport can get the better of you at times, especially when you've had a draining day in work, it's lashing rain outside and your bus has magically vanished from the Real Time.

We're approaching back-to-school season which means the traffic is going to be far worse than it was this summer. Oh how we'll treasure those blissful mornings when our bus could actually drive through Rathmines.

Google Maps has always helped you get from place to place, whether you’re driving, walking, biking or taking public transport. And we know that journeys can be complex, often involving multiple modes of transportation to help you get around town.

Today, we’re making it easy to pair public transport directions with biking options so you can travel that first or last mile with ease — like when you’re headed to work at the peak of the busy back-to-school season so you need to ride your bike to the nearest bus stop to make that important 9 a.m. meeting on time. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Enter your destination in the search box, tap on “Directions” and then on the public transport tab. 

  • From there, you’ll automatically see routes that feature cycling options paired with public transport directions. 

  • If you’re biking, you’ll see routes tailored for cyclists along with everything you need to know about the public transport portion of your journey. 

  • All of this information is automatically factored into your total travel time and ETA so you can know exactly when you’ll get to your destination. 

Public Transport directions paired with biking will be available on iOS, with Android rolling out in the following weeks.

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The phrase; "Boys have cooties" was always circulated when I was a child, mainly from other kids who watched way too much American television. In my four months of living in a Berkeley fraternity house among college-aged American boys (they 100 percent couldn't be called men, they needed full-time agony aunts), I learned numerous life lessons whether I wanted to or not. Mainly that personal hygiene and a basic understanding of women are deeply lacking, and there's nothing I can do to change either of those things. Bear in mind that this frat house is just one of dozens in Berkeley alone, and that sarcasm will be heavily used in this article. I won't be naming any names (though I'd love to) and many frat boys I met were positively lovely. It was just the few that needed basic lectures about toxic masculinity and domestic chores that will be targeted by my literary wrath.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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1. If they make eye contact with you, they're most likely drunk or high and have obtained a mysterious confidence.

Waking up in the morning and emerging through the jungle of empty beer bottles and fast food takeaway boxes, if you make it to the disgusting kitchen and run into a boy, he'll scutter away into the darkness or refuse to look you in the eye. Whether we'd be standing only centimetres apart while frying off eggs or toasting bread, chances are high that you won't be addressed. They're probably terrified of you, or don't know how to communicate with a woman without downing a keg of beer first.

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Many of these boys are spectacularly wealthy (well, their families are.) You need to have some connection to cash to get into college in the USA, usually but not always of course. Many of these boys also went to prep schools, with other boys surrounding them. Their only opportunity to talk to women often is on nights out in clubs or bars, and the heteronormativity is honestly unavoidable. I made some great friends while living in Berkeley, but never felt entirely safe unless there was a female friend or just a regular ol' female around. Boys have no idea the lengths that women have to go to in order to feel safe, just walking down the street. Especially in a strange city without your family.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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2. The issue of consent is a major epidemic across US college campuses

Men in America often objectify women, and one of the first things I noticed about our frat house when we moved in was the consistent posters regarding consent. The alarming feeling that only an incident would spur on the sudden mass influx of posters plagued me for a lot of my trip, and Irish women who also lived in the house were all very safe. The rumours about US college campuses lacking safety didn't help, as well as the security guards who insisted on escorting us around the campus at night. According to AAU Campus Climate Surveys (2015), 23.1 percent of female undergraduates, 5.4 percent of male undergraduates, and 24.1 percent of TGQN (trans, gender-non conforming, queer) undergraduates reported being sexually assaulted since starting college. Among graduate students and professionals, the estimates were 8.8 percent female, 2.2 percent male, and 15.5 percent TGQN. Sexual violence is far more prevalent in colleges, compared to other crimes. RAINN claim that only 20 percent of female student victims, aged between 18-and 24, report sexual violence to law enforcement. Frat houses are yet more spaces where women aren't always protected.

3. Their mums have cleaned up after them and spoiled them silly since they emerged from the womb

The boys of our frat house made a 'chore list' for the Irish students alone, and overcharged us absurdly for rent. They essentially exploited us; we paid them handsomely for gross accommodation while they lived there for free, and they spent the money on drugs and then drove to In 'N' Out. They were incapable of cleaning up after themselves, so old food and cooking tools were stacked up, while dirty dishes were consistently in a Mount Everest pile up in the sink. I learned of new smells I never thought existed, thanks to mould and bacteria. I'm convinced that I'm immune to many diseases because of living there. Boys have an astounding ability to leave a mess rotting the place for days, if not months, and play chicken with you until you can't take it anymore and give in. I have the distinct memory of cleaning out green mould from our fridge for three hours and inhaling Stranger Things 'Upside Down' like materials. A gas mask would have come in handy. They also don't know that sheets are meant to be changed.

4. Become Bear Grylls overnight if you have a rodent problem

We had numerous Snow White-esque pets in our abode, such as a Skunk (we named him Larry), ferrets under the floorboards and even bed bugs. We even had to trap a bed bug (insanely difficult task) in order to show our landlord, in order to get a $50 reduction in rent. Yes, just $50. He never actually gave us that reduction in the end…

The point is; Get a thick skin for bugs and unwanted pets. You will suddenly turn into a complete Lara Croft badass and will learn to live amongst nature.

bear grylls bad decision GIF by NETFLIX

5. Certain toxic, alien practices surrounding fraternity houses and sororities continue to exist

During the weeks before college actually begins, 'Rush' occurs. This is basically where you semi-audition to be in a frat house or sorority, with some houses being significantly more difficult to infiltrate than others. It becomes a common occurrence to see boys with their shirts off and abs painstakingly arranged in a six-pack wandering around screaming; "ALPHA KAPPA LAMBA 'TIL I DIE, BRO!'. They may not be entirely made up of brain cells, but just ignore them. Sorority girls will walk around in matching outfits and sky-high heels, screeching chants that sound like sirens to you. Music will be blasting from 16 different speakers, signs and balloons will line the street. Every house puts the maximum amount of effort in when it comes to attracting the most attention, and future members. The 'hazing' rituals still exist too. One rule which infuriated our entire group was that frat houses could throw parties in Berkeley, but sororities couldn't. The rule had never been changed, and it was part of the college campus law now. 

zac efron GIF

6. They will clog every toilet in existence

In Berkeley, at least, weed was absolutely everywhere. You couldn't make coffee in the morning before scraping your hungover self into work without a frat boy shoving a bong in your face.

From edibles to hemp products to the grass plant itself; marijuana is unavoidable in the area. What are the results of a house full of boys smoking weed until they KO? The digestive system going into meltdown. Who suffers from this surprising turn of events? Normally women, who actually need to use the toilet more often than most boys due to sanitary needs etc. They also need to sit on the toilet seat constantly.

There were four bathrooms in the sizeable fraternity house. You would assume that at least one toilet was always available to use, then. How wrong you are. All four toilets were consistently blocked thanks to the bowel movements of 15 boys, all permanently high. Basic human hygiene went out of the window in days from when I arrived, and I began using public bathrooms in the area to just experience what a regular toilet is meant to be like. Never take your pristine white bathroom for granted, ladies. Some day, it could be compromised by Snoop Dogg & Co. 

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7. You will never take privacy for granted again

Sharing a house with 25 people at the same time can make it extremely difficult to get any time alone. You're probably sharing a room with at least one person, and even small errands like trying to do laundry can take hours with everyone queueing up.

Many of us don't enjoy the feeling of being alone, but if you're accustomed to having your own room as I was (my identical twin and I fought viciously over bunk-beds so our parents separated us) then sharing that space can be a huge shock. Arguments over whose side of the room is messier occurred daily, and clothes went missing all the time. Random strangers would walk into our house, seeing as only the house manager had a lock on his door, so every room was fair game. The house itself was never locked, and it became difficult to know who was one of your frat boys and who was a randomer.

This made privacy a long-lost friend who you ached to see once again, for however short a time. Going to the bathroom or showering was blissful even for those few moments alone. Despite the grubbiness of the bathrooms themselves…(Hello, Cif? Cillit Bang? Lost but not forgotten.)

leave me alone privacy GIF

8. Someone will eat your food, and you will be fuming over it

You could do a full grocery shop in Trader Joe's down the road and within minutes, hungover boys or high boys who have the munchies will have annihilated your entire snack stash. Most people tried to spend as little money on food as physically possible, either by stealing food from wherever they worked or by stealing food from the house. Now, I took the odd slice of bread or splash of milk for my (Barry's) tea, but that was all. I advise you to create your own bunker of sorts, where you hide all your treats and actually decent-tasting food from everyone else in the house.

season 1 nbc GIF by The Good Place

Never tell anyone, not even your closest friend, where it is. Or else have a password so you can know who to trust. Surviving in a frat house takes buckets of crisps and dip, microwave popcorn, Cadbury's chocolate and pot noodles. Trust me.

9. American's can't drink legally until the age of 21, and they can't handle it

One of the reasons why frat houses are so obsessed with drugs in California is that it's easier to get them, rather than getting their fake IDs rejected while trying to score alcohol. When they DO manage to get booze, boy are they bad at handling it. Mainly due to the insane levels of peer pressure from the Bro Mob. If you told one of them during a game of Beer Pong that he had to poison himself with weed killer then do a backflip in front of a sorority house naked, they'd probably do it. It was toxic as f*ck. We went on a bar crawl with our house manager for his 21st birthday (we thought he was 30-years-old, so that was a shock…) and he drank a bottle of hot sauce and tequila and vomited bright orange puke down the stairs of the bar, and all of us were then banned. There were only two bars in town, so it was a low blow. While they can handle their weed, when it comes to binge drinking there's nobody like an Irish person to put them in their place. 

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10. You'll miss Ireland more than you expected

From basic teabags and bread that isn't made entirely of sugar to Irish carveries and homemade meals, there's a lot that you'll miss about the Emerald Isle. Finally having food that isn't processed, being able to afford a meal again, being around people who understand sarcasm and whose country isn't politically dangerous and immoral will be blissful. Seeing proper forestland and greenery is often hard in America, due to the difference in climate. Flying back and seeing the patchwork field of bright green fields, you'll forget all about the dried up desert backyard of the frat house. Also having your own room again will bring tears of gratitude to your eyes, if you can grab one. 

sad rugby world cup GIF by World Rugby

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