Ask Joan

Seeing Man United, exploring Canada, doing the Fat Duck

Manchester United captain  Wayne Rooney in action. A number of travel agents  arrange trips to see the team play at Old Trafford.  Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney in action. A number of travel agents arrange trips to see the team play at Old Trafford. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

 

I want to treat my two sons to a trip to see their favourite football team, Manchester United, play in the Premiership, preferably at home. How do I go about organising this trip and getting tickets in a reasonably cheap way? – PH, Dublin A number of travel agents arrange packages for football matches in England. An overnight to see Manchester United play a Premiership match at Old Trafford with a seated Quadrants ticket, tour of the trophy room and museum and an overnight in a hotel costs from €179pps; day trips cost €149pps.

Flights to Manchester cost as little as €20 return with Ryanair, celtichorizontours.com, abbeytravel.ie and keithprowse.ie.

You can book tickets on the Manchester United website. Adult tickets to Premiership games cost from £41; over 16 from £22 under 16 £13 if you are club members. If not, add £32 for adults and £22 for children for memberships, manutd.com.

My friend and I plan to travel to Canada in May 2015. We are looking at a cruise to the Arctic and also doing the Rocky Mountaineer. We don’t like big cruise ships: a smaller Canadian company would be preferred. We would like to use public transport and reasonably priced hotels. In all, we would spend around three weeks in Canada and would be budget conscious. – AC, Down

There will be plenty of flights to Canada again next year with Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Air Transat and Westjet. Smaller ships cruising to the Arctic are thousands of dollars more expensive than the bigger liners, see alaskacruiseexperts.com for some idea of prices.

The Rocky Mountaineer is also expensive, with the cheapest package for May for two days and one night in the Redleaf service from €730pps. You can get around using Viarail.ca, the national rail network. They also cover the Rockies, with services to and from Vancouver, at slightly lower prices. They also offer rail tours.

Next year John Galligan Travel will have a tour of Canada that will include the Rocky Mountaineer and an Alaskan cruise from about €4,995pps, jgt.ie, 00353-1-207 6555. You could also talk to Canadian Affair, the tour company of Air Transat. They have a good selection of holidays at keen prices, canadianaffair.ie, 028-90243999.

My boyfriend is turning 30 next year and I would love to surprise him by bringing him to Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant, the Fat Duck, in Berkshire, England. I was wondering if you could advise on the best place to fly into and where we should stay. Are there any other attractions nearby? I would be looking for a budget-friendly option.

– FW, Dublin

The Fat Duck is relocating to Melbourne, Australia from February 2015 for six months, so it is even busier than usual. Reservations, at fatduck.co.uk, can only be made up to two months in advance and you have a better chance of getting a table for lunch than dinner. The Fat Duck is in Bray, a suburb of Maidenhead – which is quite an enclave for great restaurants . Bray also has Hinds Head, Waterside Inn, Hand and Flowers and The Crown.

Maidenhead is 40-50 minutes from London Paddington so you could stay in London where there is a good selection of budget hotels like Travel Lodge and Premier Inn.

There is also a variety of hotels in the Maidenhead area, and you are close to Windsor to explore too. Heathrow is the nearest airport.

Send your queries to jscales@irishtimes.com

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