Using your Student Leap Card on the Luas

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Using your Student Leap Card on the Luas

 

Do you use your Student Leap Card on Luas? If so, make sure you Touch On before boarding a tram and Touch Off when leaving a tram.

There are validators at every Luas stop and you can use the validator on either platform. Hold your Student Leap Card to the validator and wait for the beep before removing it.

There are many benefits to Touching On and Off with your Student Leap Card with Luas;

1.    Avoid Fare Evasion

If you don’t Touch On before boarding a Luas you may receive a Standard Fare Notice of €45 or you may be prosecuted for Fare Evasion. Make sure you Touch On and your card will be valid for travel.

2.    Save Money

Touch Off at your end destination so you don’t overpay. By Touching Off you are letting  Leap know you’ve completed your journey and you’ll be charged the correct fare

3.    Avail of Discounts

If you take two or more journeys within 90 minutes of each other on Luas an automatic discount will apply to the second and subsequent fares. For more details see Leap 90 [https://about.leapcard.ie/leap-90].

4.    Avail of Capping

If you make lots of trips with your Student Leap Card in 1 day or 1 week (Mon-Sun) on Luas, Leap Card will automatically cap the price so you don’t spend any more than you need to. Once you hit the cap you can continue to travel on Luas and you won’t be charged for additional journeys. You can find more details on Capping on the Leap Card website [https://about.leapcard.ie/fare-capping].

Remember

Touch On your Leap Card to go on your way,

Touch Off when you’re done so you don’t over pay!

To find out how you could win a Leap Card with €10 credit check out the Luas Facebook page!

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Get Planning your next adventure

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Get Planning your next adventure

 

The trick to getting through the long hours of study and stress is to give yourself something to look forward to. An amazing holiday with your mates could be just the thing.........

Contact SAYIT.ie for full details

Go Ski-ing! 

Fly from Dublin to Andorra on 5th march and spend 7 nights in Hotel Arinsal on B&B basis from only €489 p.p, based on 2 sharing.

USA and Canada Airfare

We have some excellent student airfares for the USA & Canada - book now for 2017 and secure your seat with a deposit of only €50, balance to be paid 6 weeks before departure.

 

Return Airfares:

NYC from only €470 

San Francisco from only €520

Los Angeles from only €530

Las Vegas from only €545

Chicago from only €590

Toronto from only €510 

 

One way airfares:

NYC from only €320

San Francisco from only €340

Los Angeles from only €350

Vancouver from only €350

Chicago from only €320

Toronto from only €250

 

Valid for travel from January to June 2017, subject to availability

City breaks

 

Amsterdam break - fly Dublin to Amsterdam & spend 2 nights aboard a floating hotel - the Amstel Botel in a twin or double room on B&B basis - for only €175 pps

Krakow break - fly Dublin to Krakow & spend 2 nights in The Secret Garden Hostel in a twin  or double room on B&B basis - for only €149 pps.

* Why not add a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial for €38 pp

Barcelona break - fly Dublin to Barcelona & spend 2 nights in the quirky Acta Mimic Hotel in a twin or double room - for only €129 pps.

* why not add on a trip to the legendary Nou Camp for only €25 pp

Travel January - March 2017, subject to availability

 

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Festival and Camping tips for Electric Picnic

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Festival and Camping tips for Electric Picnic

 

Music lovers have plenty to smile about over the summer months. Now, more than ever before, amazing festivals are taking place in all corners of the country. There’s nothing quite like soaking up the chilled out vibes, singing along to your favourite tunes and spending an exciting few days with your best pals.

 

While fun and games are pretty much guaranteed, attending festivals also goes hand in hand with experiencing some inevitable discomforts. We’ve compiled a list of top ten festival tips to ensure you are as prepared as possible and get the most from your festival– especially if you’re attending Electric Picnic this weekend!

 

1. Beware of the sun and insects

Remember to pack plenty of sun cream and insect repellent. Bad sun burn or lots of nasty, itchy bites are a sure fire way to ruin your festival experience. Reapply as necessary to keep your skin safe and the bugs at bay.

 

2. Plan your schedule

Get your hands on the line-up schedule before you go and decide which bands you want to prioritise seeing. You really don’t want to miss out on your favourite act because of lack of planning. Factor in resting time between the different sets – you’re sure to get tired being on your feet all day.

 

3. Drink lots of water

Many festivals have free water refilling stations so make sure you carry a bottle around with you at all times. Staying hydrated greatly reduces your risk of getting sunstroke and feeling unwell. If you’re not too sure about the quality of water, just use some purification tablets.

 

4. Pack festival essentials

Facilities at music festivals are few and far between so make sure you bring the right toiletries. Dry shampoo, hand sanitizer and plenty of baby wipes are a given.  Other useful items include an eye mask, ear plugs and a torch. And don’t forget the toilet roll!

 

5. Be sensible with alcohol

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol in the sun makes for a dangerous combination. Not only does it greatly increase the risk of accidents, it can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea – definitely not what you want! Pace yourself and drink water in between alcoholic beverages.

 

6. Buy decent camping equipment

If you’re camping, make sure your tent is waterproof before you set off. There’s nothing worse than waking up in a pool of water! While you’re at it, pack a decent sleeping mat, pillow and sleeping bag. Getting a decent night’s sleep helps you to feel energised during the day and properly enjoy the music.

 

7. Charge your devices

Can’t live without your smart phone? Fear not! Investing in a mobile power bank will allow you to charge your device multiple times over the weekend. You’ll still be able to keep in contact with your mates and take as many photos as you like.

 

8. Pack sensible clothing

You might want to embrace festival boho chic but remember, you will be lying in a field in the middle of the night. Plenty of layers and a change of clothes are definitely advised. Wellies and big comfy socks will keep your feet warm and dry if it rains.

 

9. Eat healthily

On a tight budget? Bring snacks with you that won’t go off. Cereal bars, crackers and nuts are fantastic for keeping you going in between acts. If you’re buying food onsite be wary of anything that looks undercooked or has been sitting in the sun for too long. Getting food poisoning at a music festival is enough to put you off for life!

 

10. Mind your stuff

Festivals are a great place to make new friends but you still need to be wary of your belongings at all times – not everyone’s intentions may be the same. Leave valuables like fancy cameras or laptops at home and hide your money and phone in your tent when you sleep.

 

So there you have it, some top tips to see you through Electric Picnic! The most important piece of advice – have fun! Festivals are amazing opportunities to meet fellow music lovers, get up close and personal with your favourite bands and even discover some new ones. A little preparation goes a long way towards ensuring you have an incredible time!

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WE HAVE GREAT NEWS!!

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WE HAVE GREAT NEWS!!

 

From September 1st 2016, the price of the Student Leap Card is dropping to just €10!


That’s a whole price-drop from €15 to just €10….. meaning even more value for students than ever.
So make sure you pick-up your Student Leap Card this September to get the best student savings across public transport and our retail brands.


The Student Leap Card is available from our Agents at many Students Unions, by postal application, or from any of our crews on our nationwide Roadshow Tour – find out more here: (include link to Website)

Our aim is to make sure students can get the best value and best savings. This means for an individual who uses public transport regularly you could save back the €10 price of the Student Leap Card in an average of 3-4 days, and then you have the whole life of the card to make savings, through-out the whole year! 

The 2016/17 Student Leap Card will be valid from September 1st 2016 to December 31st 2017. 

For info on how to get the card see HERE

Click HERE for information about our express agents. 

We hope you enjoy travelling and saving with your New, even better value, 2016-17 Student Leap Card! 

 

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Advice for Volunteering Abroad

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Advice for Volunteering Abroad

 


How to ensure you look after yourself when volunteering abroad this summer. 

Volunteering abroad is a life-changing experience but there are many aspects to consider before offering up your time to help others. As well as being enriching and getting the chance to do your part for people in need, volunteering abroad comes with many responsibilities, not just to those you are helping but to yourself. It is important that you look after your own health and needs while you are away, devoting your time to those less fortunate.


Choose an issue close to your heart


The best place to start is by looking for a group that works with issues about which you feel particularly strong about. While volunteering for any organisation in need is very admirable, working with a group that is close to your heart will make you even more passionate about your work. Take some time, look at what is needed where and choose yours wisely. There are many organisations who put together volunteering packages to help get you on your way.


Volunteering Abroad – Research your destination


It is very difficult to maintain any level of fitness while overseas. Make sure you research your destination so you can see what you need to do to stay healthy. One thing you can do is to ensure that you always have access to clean drinking water by bringing water purification tablets.


Consider what you have to offer


When choosing where to devote your time, take the skills that you have to offer into consideration. Play to your strengths and use your time volunteering wisely by using the talents that you already have. For example if you are good with computers or technology or have a knack for working with children then you might be able to slot into a role without too much training beforehand.


Put the organisation’s needs first


While you may have a particular idea of what role you would like to take on, it is wise to look at the organisation as a whole and see exactly what their needs are first. In some instances what groups need most are more hands on deck such as drivers, cleaners, cooks. Every little helps!


Don’t take on too much


Sun exposure and lack of clean water may lead to dehydration especially if the workload is heavy. Pace yourself and don’t take on too much at once. Exciting as the experience is, homesickness often strikes so the support of your new colleagues is essential.


Take care of your health


It’s no fun being sick overseas so many organisations insist on a medical certification confirming that you are in good general health. Make sure that your required vaccines are up-to-date and issues relating to malaria prophylaxis are clearly understood.

For more travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

http://www.tmb.ie

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Tips for your Student Accommodation Search

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Tips for your Student Accommodation Search

 

Whether you are weighing up CAO offers and have your hopes set on moving out or you are a few years into your academic journey and need to make a move, you are sure to have heard A LOT about the accommodation crisis, rental price rises and limited options in the past few weeks or months. This is a story that arises each year yet 2016 comes with tougher facts and figures. Daft.ie's recent rental reports have revealed ,year on year, that rent has risen in cities, and student towns around the country...... but don't give up and don't fret! With careful research and planning you'll find your spot- just be ahead of the game 

You hear stories about people changing their course because they can't live there, about substandard accommodations offered, or impossible budget struggles; all of which can seriously dampen your spirit at what should be an optimistic time of change! That's why we want to focus on what IS possible, offer tips to try work around the rental challenge, and offer some proactive info points to contact in your search for a place to rest your weary head after a day of cerebral acrobatics. Keep the chin up and read on.

1) Get in touch with the right people.

First off! Talk to all of your friends and family- You never know what tips or leads they might come up with. 

Gloom always dominates the head-lines and statistics can leave out the good news stories. There is still hope. Asking around the office here, many of us were left saddened when first applying for on campus accommodation, only to find that the waiting list isn't just a conceptual way to say 'no room at the Inn'. It seems obvious, but make sure you have contacted the Accommodations Office of your college if you want to stay on campus. The waiting list may not be that long, and people's circumstances change all the time. If you are not in you can't win. 

The efficacious Accommodation Officer is not only there to look after campus availability. They can also be key in pointing you in the right direction, putting you in touch with local landlords and giving advise on the market in the local area. They won't be able to hold your hand (they don't get commission!!) but approach them nicely, be flexible, and they might just help put you on to a winner. Check out how helpful CIT's accommodation page is for example. Most try to be as helpful as they can and are invaluable when you are stressing about all the other things you need to get sorted out in the next few weeks. 

2) Be active in your search- daily!

The rental market is ever changing and renter's pounce quickly. Know the best online searches for your location. Register for updates on your preferences and check it everyday...twice a day! Be ready to view at the drop of a hat and have your references, finances and game-face in order! Check out our list of search links at the end of this article to see if one might help you in your search..

3) Can you widen your preferences?

You may have always had your own room since you were born. You might not want to share with people you've never met. You may think on-campus 'or nothing!'. But think about it, in tough times you've got to be flexible and opening your search might open up experiences and chances to meet people you'll end up friends for life with. Your best friend from school might be messy and a snorer BUT that new housemate might be the best person ever to share a tub of Ben and Jerry's and watch bad TV with. Point being...you never know. Sharing a room might make you a new best friend....or it might make you appreciate your own space even more down the line. It's all just temporary; a base for you to study, experience college life and move forward. As long as it's safe, clean (enough!), affordable and you can be yourself, you should let it be an option. Do go with your gut, but try be optimistic! 

4) Consider digs, or non Student-options.

Many people are now renting out rooms to help with their own bills meaning a wide variety of options that you may not have considered before. Living in someone else's home might not be what you had in mind but it can be a home away from home. A good break from the mayhem of freshers week and a little bit of peace perhaps? Some places also supply meals or allow you to pay for 5days if you go home at the weekend. These can be self-catering too. Scour your area and talk to people who have done this before. It can feel like a nice stepping stone before going completely out on your own.

5) Compromise on your commute?

Okay, you are heading to Maynooth so you should live in Maynooth right? Again though, Maynooth is all about students come term-time and the competition for a college home is rife. Why not look into somewhere with good, regular bus routes that mean you have a commute that you can make work for you. Leixlip, Celbridge, Lucan and even places along the Dart such as Clonsilla might be doable? Consider the train journey as good reading time to build up references for that looming paper. Or if you are 20mins away you might want to cycle on good days to squeeze exercise into your busy routines and help keep in the mind and body in shape. Living between Dublin city and your college can also up up your opportunities for weekend work... and nights out!

6) Remember it's not for life! 

We know, it's hard to settle or lower your standards but remember, you are not investing in this house, right now you are investing in your future. You may not have your gleaming mansion today but you will have the experience that comes with shared digs, new housemates.  Even small rooms can be decorated to feel like your own little haven for a short time. And if it's not too comfy you might be less likely to take a duvet day and miss that important lecture! 

We wish you all the best with your search and that wherever you find is a great base to pit-stop, make friends and have a great college year.

And don't forget, even if your place to stay works out to be more expensive than you'd hoped, you can keep saving in lots of ways with your Student Leap Card all year around. 

Some Useful Search Links

Nationwide

www.trovit.ie Good for alerts and house-share advertising

www.daft.ie Well known and trusted. Has the advantage of setting up auto-searches

www.gumtree.ie Good for house sharing lisings

 www.collegecribs.ie Great for advanced search nearby your college.

www.myhome.ie or www.rent.ie General searches for rooms to rent

www.boards.ie Has specific threads with advice for 1st years looking for housing

www.getdigs.ie Matching lodgers with homeowners 

USI Homes for Study search engine.

Dublin

www.StudentHousing.ie Dublin only focus.

UCD 

TCD

DIT

DCU

Cork

Limerick

Galway

Waterford

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WILD AIR RUN

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WILD AIR RUN

 

Wild Air Run brings a brand new alternative to the phenomenon of 5k races.

Wild Air Run is a dynamic fun run that will feature 10 giant inflatable obstacles as part of a 5k course, including Europe’s biggest inflatable slide. This is the first time an event like this will take place in Ireland. The initial event will happen in Cabinteely Park on 1st – 3rd July 2016. 

The Wild Air Run can be undertaken by all fitness levels and the focus is on fun, not endurance. It can be undertaken by the fitness fanatic right through to the armchair athlete and everyone in between. The 10 obstacles combine agility, creativity and a vast amount of fun. The course is suitable for people of all fitness levels above the age of seven. 

Begin the race by tackling the staircase start-line, zig-zag through the maze and have a ball in the giant ball pit. Before you can claim victory over the Wild Air Run you will finish with Europe’s longest slide. There will also be a ‘Chill Zone’, an area for both participants and spectators to relax and enjoy music, games and food and drink from local vendors. Brand Ambassador Suzanne Gray said “An event like Wild Air Run is fantastic, it encourages people that wouldn't usually take part in fitness events to try something new with their family and friends, regardless of their fitness level and it's an innovative event we can all enjoy.”

The Cabinteely Park event will kick off its first wave at 10:00a.m, with additional waves running in 20-minute intervals until 8:20p.m. The event day is broken down into three sessions, the family only session (10:00-11:40), the open session (12:00-19:40) and the adult only session (20:00-20:20). Further events see Wild Air Run setting up in in Fota House Cork from 8th – 10th July, Malahide Castle 22nd – 24th July and Marlay Park from 12th – 17th August, with other cities announced soon. 

Tickets for Wild Air Run are on sale now at www.wildairrun.com with early bird discounts available until 1st June.

Full priced tickets are €28.50 for adults and €16.50 for children. Family tickets (€70.95) and group rates are also available. Spectators can cheer from the side-lines for free. For more information and to buy tickets visit www.wildairrun.com.

WIN  2 TICKETS TO A LOCATION OF YOUR CHOICE!

Simply head over to our Facebook post, tell us which location you would want to go to...and tag the friend you'd bring! Oh and make sure to like our page too! Good Luck!! 

Competition closes on June 1st. Winner must hold a valid Student Leap Card. Prize can not be exchanged for cash value or any other product/service. 

 

 

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One for Ireland

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One for Ireland

 

One for Ireland is a charitable movement created to challenge youth homelessness in Ireland. By asking for €1. From 1 million people. In 1 day: April 29th, 2016.

On Friday April 29th, One for Ireland will give everyone multiple opportunities to give €1 to help in the fight against Youth Homelessness. With over 1,500 retailers participating nationwide, you will be able to add €1 to your bill and 100% of every euro donated will go towards projects in regions all over Ireland. You can also give online , by text and via PayPal. 

With over 1,700 homeless children in Ireland, this is the most pressing issue in Irish society. In partnership with The Irish Youth Foundation, the funds raised by One for Ireland will go the projects run by Focus Ireland, Simon Community, Peter McVerry Trust and SVP. One for Ireland is the first national campaign of its kind. We wanted to create a new fundraising model where, as opposed to seeking large sum from a small amount of people, we ask for a small sum from a very large amount of people. This ensures that it is sustainable because it is affordable.

 

The One for Ireland team is comprised entirely of 7 recent graduates, all under 24, who have previously worked in either charity or startups. They are working on a volunteer basis, which will ensure that 100% of the funds raised will go directly to the causes. We are encouraging everybody go give on April 29th and will ensure that your €1 makes a difference to a project near you. 

 

Give One for Ireland.

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Save money on Holiday with these Travel Tips

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Save money on Holiday with these Travel Tips

 

Fancy an exotic adventure but worried your savings won’t stretch very far? Thanks to the multitude of low-fare airlines on the market right now, jetting off to the golden sands of Thailand, the Mayan temples of Peru or the bright lights of India has never been cheaper or easier. But what about when you touch down? Take heed of our expert budget travel tips and enjoy a fulfilling getaway, without having to rob a bank first!

 

Travel during low season

Flights, accommodation and tours are always going to be more affordable during off-peak times, which usually coincide with monsoon season in Southeast Asia and South America. Be prepared for a little rain and enjoy massive savings. It also helps to be flexible about the day and time you travel – fly mid-week or very early in the morning to nab yourself an amazing deal.

Take Hand Luggage

Budget travel tips don’t come much better than this in terms of saving money. OK, we know this might not be possible if you’re off on a six-month backpacking trip but only bringing hand luggage will save you lots of money, especially if you plan on flying in between several destinations on your trip. Wash clothes on the go, leave books you’ve read for other travellers and refrain from buying souvenirs. Your wallet will be heavier and your backpack lighter – win-win!

Think wisely about food

If you’re staying in a hostel or rented accommodation, use the facilities to cook a delicious meal after your day’s activities. When you’re out and about grab street food (being careful to avoid any dodgy vendors) or make yourself a picnic with tasty produce from a local supermarket. It’s nice to eat out every now and again but avoid restaurants in touristy areas that are likely to hike up the prices for tourists..

Research destinations carefully

Be smart about where you travel to and think of all the costs involved after the flight-booking stage. You might love the idea of exploring Japan or Scandinavia but these destinations can be tough for penny-pinching travellers. It might be best to consider other places instead, such as Southeast Asia. Thailand and Vietnam continue to be a massive hit with backpackers thanks to its gorgeous landscapes, fascinating cultures and “cheap cheap” prices.

Take local transport

This is one of our top budget travel tips. Do as the locals do and catch the bus. Not only is this a great way of cutting costs, it also allows you to interact with your destination’s inhabitants and experience its culture first-hand. Better yet, walk, walk, walk! Over-night buses and trains are a cheaper alternative to daytime transport if you are moving locations. They also allow you to save on accommodation. Remember to be careful of your belongings on board and only book with reputable companies.

Do your Homework

There’s no point in depriving yourself of the wonderful activities and sights that make your destination unique. You just have to do a little research to ensure you get the best price. Suss out museum passes when you arrive in a new city, which can save you money in the long run. Chances are there are lots of free activities you can also try on your trip – maybe even free walking and cycling tours.

Be Wary at the Airport

How often do you hear horror stories of individuals being scammed the moment they step off the plane in a new country? It’s important that you do your homework and know what to expect when you land. Don’t fall for taxi drivers that demand extortionate prices – there’s likely to be a cheap bus or train into the city.

Budget, Budget, Budget

Keep a log of your expenditure in a notebook or using a handy mobile app. This might seem a bit excessive at first but you’ll quickly get into the swing of it. Trust us, your bank balance will seem a lot less scary when you know exactly where your money is going.

Get Travel Insurance

Don’t be tempted to scrimp on travel insurance before you travel. The upfront cost might seem like a lot but this will give you peace of mind throughout your trip. Nothing will kill your budget more than unforeseen hospital costs or having to replace lost luggage. Travelshop.ie have great rates on travel insurance to see you through your trip.

Consider Volunteering

Volunteering is a fantastic way of making a difference, soaking up an exciting new culture and saving money at the same time. Research programmes where you work in exchange for food and accommodation. Wwoofing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) is great for those who want to get into nature and enjoy an enriched backpacking experience.

See, with our great budget travel tips it’s not that difficult to save money abroad when you put your mind to it. Think before you spend and you’re sure to cut costs on accommodation, transport and food. Don’t worry if you go over budget every now and again. A couple of cheap and cheerful beach days and things are sure to balance out. Plus, you’re sure to meet dozens of like-minded travellers in the same boat. The only thing left is your plan your economical adventure!

We hope you found our budget travel tips useful. For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.

 


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THE 12 ESSENTIAL FILMS OF CHRISTMAS

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THE 12 ESSENTIAL FILMS OF CHRISTMAS

 

Okay, this list is always going to be controversial. One man's 'Love Actually' is another mans 'Jack Frost'. There are as many Festive films out there as there are dodgy 'Christmas classics' blaring on the radio from November 1st. Some, however, stand the test of time. Inspire the season's spirit in young and old alike. Demand duvets and hot chocolates and closed curtains and open fires. These are the perfect way to switch off from the frantic study and forget about the woes of daily life. These films ARE Christmas! If there are any you haven't seen, we lay down the challenge now. Watch them this Christmas. 

Check out your local cinema's for screening or try netflix, apple TV or your own streaming services to find them on the cheap. The IFI and Lighthouse cinema in Dublin are showing many throughout the festive period. 

1. Home Alone

Who doesn't know and love this film? The tale of a boy in an enormous, hectic family who are heading to Paris for Christmas but with all the hustle and bustle of packing....they forget to pack their kid! Yet, We can forgive the terrible parenting and suspend belief in the lack of police assistance..for THIS is a David and Goliath story. Cute Blonde Boy Vs Clumsy Crass Criminals in a fight to the marble-induced back pain. Tricks, traps and ingenuity save the day. Starring a once cute Macaulay Culkin alongside a non-cursing Joe Pesci (how times have changed).... this is a True Classic. Keep the change you filthy animal!

2. Elf

A more modern classic with Will Ferrell at the helm, somehow managing to channel the very essence of innocence in Buddy the 'Elf' and drawing you in to the santa-loving spirit too. With an almost unrecognisable Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) singing songs loud for all to hear at every little opportunity, this is a film that mocks itself just enough so you can watch it wishing and hoping for the perfect ending every time. And it's always satisfying! You can not watch this film without smiling at the telly. And if you can, then you too need a trip to the candy cane forest for some festive cheer. SANTA!!! I KNOW HIM!!

3. Die Hard

Yup! YIPPEE KI YAY FILM LOVERS!! If warm and fuzzy isn't your thing then take a study break for one of the greatest action characters of all time. John McClane is not gonna add marshmallow's to your hot chocolate, but is he going to destroy the terrorist plot that is ruining your office Christmas office party. Barefeet, broken glass, crazy Germans with ponytails and machine guns. Nothing is going to stop this man from taking Hans down not even how manky his vest gets. He needs to save his wife. Her name is Holly. Isn't that what Christmas is all about?

4. It's A Wonderful Life

It's a wonderful life is the story of an Angel-in-training named Clarence sent down from Heaven to help show George Baliey that life is worth living. George hit's desperation and wishing he has never been born, but through Clarences eyes her sees that he has all the ingredients for happiness within his grasp. He also realises that his very existence has touched the lives of others. Frank Capra's classic black-and-white will be 60 years old next year but stands the test of time with it's warm wit and special energy that will make it part of your annual traditions. 

5. Trading Places

This is up there as one of Eddie Murphy's greats and has a brilliant twist on a classic rags to riches tale. When the fusty heads of a Stock Exchange company decide to make life interesting by proving that 'Money maketh the man'. Billy Ray Valentine is plucked from his street-con-artist perch and swapped for a snobby silver-spooned stock broker to yield a film of iconic performances and unforgettable moments. With a young Jane-Lee Curtis, Dan Akyroyd, and Jim Belushi, these are comedy heavy-hitters who show a darker side to New York with the help of Inge from Sweden, a drunken Irish priest and a gorrila. Worth a watch for Eddie Murphy's laugh alone.... but you may not want to eat smoked salmon again. Be warned. 

6. The Santa Clause

Another tale of a grouchy man seeing the light through the miracle of Christmas cheer. A divorced, top-business man with no time for frivolities inadvertently finds the jolly bearded man in a red suit has suffered a tragic death and starts magically turning into the big SC himself. He is transported to the North Pole but believes it's all a dream until his beard and belly start taking shape too. He must quickly figure out how to avoid looking like a mentaller, keep his new job secret and keep the magical mystery of Santa alive. This is one of those films that makes young and old insist that Santa is real again! Tim Allen makes a quality appearance in an easy-going classic that will perfectly pass the time. Exams, what exams..... there are toys to be delivered and we need to know the new Santa is up to the task! 

 

7. Love Actually

Okay, first-off! Let's dispell the myth that this is one for the ladies only. It's romantically schmaltzy at points YES, but it beings a quirky level of Christmas-cringiness (chringe) to make up for it.  Director Richard Curtis intertwines the complex romances of 8 different lives in this cosy cross-section of love at different points in life. From the little boy with an all-consuming school crush Colin Firth's language barrier and Pri-minister Hugh Grant's tension with his assistant we are all reminded of how awkward we can be when love is involved, how sometimes the most unlikely of people can turn out to be your soulmate and how telling the truth can set us free. For the walking dead fans you also get to Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) with an english accent and a serious case of unrequited love. A brilliant cast with a heart-warming message. Snuggle down and leave you cynicism out in the cold...for just a little while. 

8. Scrooged

A cynical yet TV-executive who dreads the thoughts of the seasonal TV programming except for seeing them as a rating opportunity, to sex it up a little. He tries to baa-humbug his way through a Charles Dickens adaptation of A Christmas Carol with no regard for the lives of the staff he cracks down hard on..... but You guessed it. The curmudgeon gets the Dickens treatment himself. Visits from a trilogy of ghosts ensue to freak him out and restart his festive engine in the timeliest of fashions. Frank Cross needs to re-evaluate his priorities, be less selfish and learn to love and live again. Success isn't always about winning, and Christmas is all about giving.  Bill Murray is...well...Bill Murray, and that is ALWAYS a good thing. A modern take on a soul-filled classic, with a real late 80's comedy feel.

9. The Muppet Christmas Carol

As with Scrooged, this is another rework of Charles Dickens infamous tale, which itself has become a Christmas tradition in many a sitting room. The Muppet's keep a little truer to the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge with his miserly disdain for the thoughts of Christmas Day. Scrooge won't let up, give a day off, pay fairly or crack the cold-hearted facade BUT #begrand because Kermit, Miss Piggy, a load of furries will turn things around for Michael Caine to impart the true meaning of Christmas. More ghosts, but comical little guys with a distinct agenda this time, make Scrooge see the err of his ways in a way that you can't help but love. Muppets..... what more do you need! Watch it... You Muppet!;)

10. Gremlins

More small furry lunatics take centre stage in this iconic, but always bizarre, 1984 comedy horror. Not Christmassy yet, but bear with us. A father who needs a Christmas present has a browse in a Chinatown store (as you do) to find a small furry creature called a Mogwai named 'Gizmo'. The wise old store-owner Mr Wing refuses to sell it but his grandson decides to sell it behind his back. The Mogwai comes with three rules which his new owner, Little Billy must adhere to; don't expose it to bright light, don't get it wet, and DO NOT feed it after midnight. Seems simple enough, but as we all know nothing is ever so simple. How are they to know that cute little Gizmo could spawn mischievous and evil reptilian gremlins who are happiest torturing and destroying all that they can?  Billy and his folks must figure out a way to stop the mayhem and overcome the gremlins. Along the way many lessons are learned though we aren't sure exactly what. We're thinking giving a kid a living animal for Christmas may not be the best plan now..... because you never know.. 'There might just be a gremlin in your house' Also, Cuteness can kill. 

11. The Nightmare Before Christmas 

Another dark twist on seasonal cheer but one that has inspired fan-fiction, art and tattoos since it's release! Even more apt as Christmas literally starts the day after Halloween these days, the story-line is propelled perfectly by Tim Burton's uniquely angular and spirited animation (making many think he should stick to the drawing board) creating a standalone, original Christmas Tale. In this Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween town is disparaged with the usual Halloween festivities and when one day he stumbles into Christmas town and sees the beauty of Christmas. He decides this is the celebration they should be putting on. The problem is how do you celebrate Christmas if you're raised on scariness... how do you understand what Christmas is? Jack enlists the help of his town's ghouls and goblins and along the way the true meaning of Christmas is lost and then found. This is a film with a difference that you won't regret taking the time out of essay writing or cramming for. (well not entirely anyway)

12. Miracle on 34th Street

A film for all of you Santa nay-sayers again, this time it's Santa defending himself, in court no less and it's not always an easy watch. This film really is all about believing in the modern meaning of Christmas and putting the worries of life aside. When a major department store's Santa get's drunk it's manager, Elizabeth Perkins needs to find a replacement asap! Swiftly she discover an old man, Kris Kringle, and desperately convinces him to be their Santa. He is phenomenal...the real deal even... until he runs into some legal trouble and his absolute belief in himself and Christmas must battle with the judicial system which creates a media frenzy and a real dilemma. You'll have to put some time aside to see the rest but trust us. It's a good'un. The late, Sir Richard Attenborough, IS Santa. His warmth personifies the spirit of Christmas. Truly a Christmas Miracle. 

Share your own Christmas favourites with us on Twitter @StudentLeapCard or let us know what you think of our list. Which one's are we missing? Which one's haven't you seen yet?

Wishing you a happy cosy, stress-free Christmas from Student Leap Card 




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How to have the perfect New Year's Eve on the town

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How to have the perfect New Year's Eve on the town

 

Everyone’s perfect NYE is different, some like to spend it at home with Family and others like to get away and celebrate from an exotic location. These tips are for those who like the rest of us like to get dressed up and head out on the town for one of the most exciting nights of the year. 

 

Be prepared

Most venues, pubs and clubs, and sometimes even your local, might expect you to have tickets or pay in on New Year Eve. The best way to tackle this is decided where you want to go and pre-book tickets where possible.

Send all your Happy NYE #2015 texts before midnight

Every year networks go down so if sending out a text to your nearest and dearest is your thing then get in there before the rest of the country. Don't lose an evening sending texts when you could be living in the moment. 

Ladies, Bring a pair of flats 

Have you tried to get a taxi home in Dublin City Centre recently? Or any city centre for that matter. Be prepared to walk ¾’s of the way home before you grab a free taxi. And make sure you aren't walking it alone! Our top tip is to find your closest 24 hour McDonald’s, where you can try our delicious Festive Menu and hang out until the madness on the streets dies down. 

Enjoy yourself

The last but most important tip. New Year’s Eve is always a great night out, stick with your friends and be safe and make it a night to remember.


Happy New Years to all from the McDonald’s Team

 

Try our Festive Menu- Choose from our Spicy Chicken Winter Melt or Festive Feast with Sweetcure Bacon –

available until January 5th 2016.



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Christmas Travel Health- Visiting Friends and Family

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Christmas Travel Health- Visiting Friends and Family

 

Visiting friends and relatives

Travel health advice for visiting friends and relatives overseas

Christmas is a very popular time to travel with many expats returning home to celebrate with loved ones. Such travel has never been easier or more affordable, thanks to the multitude of low-fare airlines on the market and cheap international flights. There are many perks to this ‘global village’ – who doesn’t want to spend the festive period with their nearest and dearest? Unfortunately this easy accessibility has increased the risk of diseases moving from country to country. Many travellers visiting friends and relatives overseas do not consider the potential health risks involved. They may not get the same vaccinations they would if they were jetting off on a beach break, trekking adventure or volunteering stint.

 

Health risks for expats

What many don’t realise is that the personal protection against many diseases gained by living in an area for many years is frequently lost when an individual moves to a new region where the disease is not prevalent. Individuals returning home need to think long and hard about the diseases they may no longer be immune to.
So, for example, if you’re originally from West Africa but have been living in Europe for the last few years, you will not have the same number of antibodies to fight against malaria as those who still live in West Africa, friends and family included. It is recommended that you take regular adequate malaria prophylaxis if your planned travel includes a return to West Africa to protect against this potentially fatal disease.

 

Visiting friends and relatives overseas - Recommended vaccinations

Vaccinations protect the body against illnesses such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies and meningitis. If you are visiting friends and relatives overseas in a country where these illnesses are prevalent, such as Thailand, Brazil or India, it is recommended that you get the vaccinations offered to the Western European traveller. Your body only maintains protective antibodies against some common diseases as long as it is exposed to that disease.

Travelling with children.

Heading back to your home country with your little ones this Christmas? Extra care is needed to ensure they can enjoy themselves without falling ill. Children who have been brought up in Western Europe have no natural protection against many of the diseases that are present in Asia, South America and Africa.
As part of their National Immunisation Programme, all children born in Ireland since 2008 should be covered against hepatitis B. It’s worth talking with your GP or calling into a TMB clinic to get advice about the other recommended vaccinations for children. In some cases, the child may be so young that they are unable to receive the recommended vaccinations – it’s best to talk with an expert to get all the information you need and access the situation properly.

 

Sun exposure and dehydration

The sun’s rays in Africa, Asia and South America tend to be a lot stronger than they are here in Ireland. It’s important to protect your skin from sun damage, which is the biggest contributor to dehydration and increases the risk of skin cancer in the future. Bring high-factor sun cream on your travels and seek the shade during the hours when the sun is at its highest. Protect yourself further with a wide-brimmed hat and high-quality sunglasses.

Post-exposure screening

The incubation period for tropical illnesses can be a lot longer than you’d think! If an individual falls ill a few months after travelling, it could still be from their time abroad. Put your health first and consider a post-exposure medical screening after your travels to rule out potentially fatal illnesses. This peace of mind really is priceless!
Who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas with their closest friends and family? It’s easy to understand the need to return to ones homeland - to share stories and create new memories. Adults and children visiting friends and relatives overseas where serious diseases prevail need special care. Take heed of our travel health advice to ensure you remain healthy and safe on your festive break.


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