Check-In: Pittsburgh delights and Galway festivals

Take advantage of cheap transatlantic flights or stay at home in Connemara

News

Pitt Perfect

With WOW air flying from Dublin and Cork to Pittsburgh from mid-June, the Pennsylvanian city is top of our destination hit-list this summer. Its reputation as one of the best culinary cities in the US means visitors are never short of new and exciting food in every inch of the city's cool and unique neighbourhoods. Art lovers will want to visit the Andy Warhol Museum and the Point State Park fountain is a must-see, while outdoorsy types will be suitably satiated by the 24-mile Three Rivers Heritage Trail System. Fly with WOW Air from June 16th from €159.99 one way; wowair.ie.

Travel Scents

Anything that makes packing a little more luxurious is music to our ears. Cue the new range of Max Benjamin scented cards in Mimosa & Sweet Amber and Blue Azure. Pop them in with your luggage and your holiday essentials to keep them fresh while you fly. From €5 at Arnotts, maxbenjamin.ie.

Gone Fishin’

Ballynahinch, the Connemara five-star, has unveiled a new package that promises city slickers the last word in country jaunts. Stay and dine, savour their afternoon tea, enjoy a guided walk of the estate, a fly-fishing tutorial, an islands and lobster experience and a clay shooting tutorial from €800 per person sharing, and experience how the other half really live; ballynahinch-castle.com.

Check In

Exhibitions Worth Travelling For

Venice

Damien Hirst's Treasures From The Wreck Of The Unbelievable is as over the top and awe-inspiring as you would expect. Split between two venues in the Italian city, this is a love-it-or-hate-it spectacle worth seeing, until October 12nd; palazzograssi.it.

New York

The annual Met Costume Institute exhibition celebrates the ever avant-garde fashion designer Rei Kawakubo with 140 pieces of her womenswear for Comme des Garçons. A must-see for fashion lovers, until September 4th; metmuseum.org.

London

Fahrelnissa Zeid's mixture of Turkish, Western and Islamic influences has contemporary art fans' chins wagging. Check out the exhibition at Tate Modern until October 8th; tate.org.uk.

Get Appy

PackPoint

Enter your destination, travel details and itinerary and this app will generate the perfect list of packing essentials specifically for your trip. Available on iOS and Android; packpnt.com.

West Fest

Given Galway's jam-packed summer itinerary – everything from Galway Arts Festival (July 17th-30th), Galway Film Fleadh (July 11th-16th), Galway Races(July 31st-August 6th) and Galway Oyster & Seafood Festival (September 22nd-24th) – it is safe to say a weekend in the west is a worthwhile escape. Stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa with their Galway Getaway package from €215 per person sharing including a two-night stay, breakfast on both mornings and dinner on the evening of your choice in Marina's Grill, or RAW-Sushi in the Sky restaurant. The hotel is at the centre of all of the action, so you won't miss a beat. See radissonhotelgalway.com or call 091 538 521 for more information.

TRAVEL DEALS WITH JOAN SCALES

Thailand – have a quiet leisurely stay at Khao Lak in the Ramada Hotel on the beach. Eleven nights, B&B, flights, transfers from now to June 30th and August/September from €1,229pps , discovertravel.ie, 1850 299544.

Malaysia – Find the sun in Langkawi at the Berjaya resort for nine days from €1,029pps. Price includes flights, transfers and accommodation, Travelmood.ie, 01 4331063.

Dubai – enjoy a VIP trip staying in the Waldorf Astoria, half-board, flights and private airport transfer, five nights in June from €1,199pps, platinumtravel.ie, (01) 8535000.