Mairead put it to the giant Whatsapp group that is the Today FM listeners, and here's what you said!
Mairead got a message from Suzanne, a listener who was looking to book a holiday in Ireland for her family but had no idea where to start. She wrote;
Mairead, could you or any of your listeners recommend a good place to go for a week's holiday this year with 4 small kids. We haven't been away anywhere for nearly 9 years now, and a holiday is long overdue. Thank you so much! We live in Leitrim. Suzanne.
Suzanne and her husband have only had 2 holidays in the 20 years they've been together, and one of those was their honeymoon so this holiday is sorely needed! They have 4 young children and were looking at going somewhere self-catering. We were inundated with suggestions, and here is what you sent us:
CENTER PARCS IN LONGFORD
A lot of you suggested Center Parcs in Longford, which is a great spot for kids and gives the option of self-catering and also using the restautants on site. The prices can vary depending on the dates, so browse through the availabilities was recommended. One listener said, "It'll be the most relaxing holiday she'll get with 4 kids. It's brilliant, there's so much to do and it can be as cheap or as expensive as they like. Very little travel time from Leitrim."
AMBER SPRINGS HOTEL IN WEXFORD
Another popular suggestion was the Amber Springs Hotel in Wexford which is very family friendly. One listener made this point; "Busy exhausted mum should go all inclusive or meals included! I hope you don't mind me saying, cooking and cleaning is the last thing I'd be doing on hols with 4 kids. Amber Springs in Gorey is amazing for families!!!"
There was a huge number of suggestions for where to go in Kerry with a lot of you recommending Castleross Hotel and Self-Catering. Parents of 5 and 6 kids have had great experiences there, and a few of you had great memories of going there as children too.
The Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney got a few votes which has plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained. A listener Julie said, "They have 2 bedroom apartments and you get to use all the hotel facilities. They also have a kids club during the summer and entertainment every evening for families. We spent 4 nights there last year and it was brilliant."
Another suggestions was Banna Beach Resort which is just beside Ardfert in Kerry that one of you described as a "best kept secret". "The self catering cottages are perfect for families, but also has a bar, entertainment complex, indoor and outdoor play area, swimming pool and nightly entertainment for kids and adults. Also 1km for amazing beach. Very reasonable about €800 for a week at height of summer. Also great base for traveling Kerry..!"
Some other family-friendly spots in the Kingdom that were sent in were The Killarney Hotel and Ballybunion.
A self-catering spot in Mayo that was recommended is Breaffy House in Castlebar. It has a pool and a kids club, and you can easily get to Westport or any of the beautiful beaches on the coast.
Another suggestion came in for Lough Lannagh Holiday Self-Catering village in Castlebar, as well as Westport House for kids and a trip to Achill.
One texter had a great experience in Mulranny Park hotel. "They have self catering on site, right on the wild Atlantic way cycle track (bikes can be hired & collected right at the back of the hotel) has a pool & kids club. Food fab. 45 mins from Wesport & also near Achill. Across the road from a beach. We have done it with our three kids & one year even climbed Croagh Patrick with our then 12, 10 (did it on his bday & will never forgive us) & 8yr old. Well worth a look."
You sent in a few recommendations for Sligo, including Enniscrone which has lots to do for kids and parents, including a pool and soft play area which is handy for days when the weather isn't great.
Another place that came highly recommended was Ardagh Suites which is on a working farm, and is close to Lough Key Adventure Centre for lots of activities.
Cork was very popular among the texters, with quite a few of you recommending the Clonakilty Park Hotel, formerly the Quality Hotel. It has a lot to entertain the whole family, including "play zone for small children, pool, cinema, playground. Local Model railway Train collects from hotel, beaches nearby."
Another spot is Fota resort which includes full use of the hotel facilities, and is close to Fota Wildlife Park.
We got a lot of suggestions for the Quality Hotel and Leisure Centre in Youghal, which a few of you had been to multiple times and said it had a lot to offer for children.
Mairead's own suggestion was Trabolgan, and a texter backed her up saying, "Trabolgan is a winner with my brood of 4, (been 5 times). Everyone there in the same boat as yourself and everything under one roof so to speak, and lovely day trips locally, like Fota Island and Spike Island."
A lot of you recommended going north to Donegal. We had suggestions for Donegal Boardwalk Resort which has a kids play area nearby called Kids Kingdom, and the apartments in Rathmullen House.
Another mum in a similar position to Suzanne said, "Hi Mairéad! As a mum of 4 young kids & a dog, holidays abroad are a thing of the past!! So we've been doing a self catering in Bundoran every year!! Heaps to do on dry or wet days, from surfing, sand castles & rockpools to the local adventure centre, waterworld, cinema, falconry, Slieve League, oodles of free hikes/walks & playgrounds in that own itself! We won a holiday (on Today FM!!!) to France 3 years ago, & as much as they loved it, they still prefer Donegal!!"
Some of the suggestions that came in for other parts of the country included Mount Wolseley Houses self-catering in Carlow, which was recommended by a parent of 3 young kids.
Kilkee in Co Clare is another one that has a lovely beach and outdoor activities on offer, and it has lots of self catering options.
Dungarvan got a few nominations, with beaches, a kids park in the town and lots of day trips to take to places like Ballycotton Lighthouse, Ardmore Village and beach, and Waterford City.
Connemara was recommended with lots to do for the whole family, whether it's trips to the beach, national park or an adventure centre.
You didn't stop at places to go for family holidays, a few of you sent some handy tips for travelling with kids! One listener told us the importance of bringing blackout blinds for young children, and another made a suggestion we have to agree with, "I think that nice lady should go to a hotel with a swimming pool if she can. If she does self catering will still end up cleaning and cooking and it doesn’t end up much of a holiday for the mammies. I did it few times when my two were small and you can end up run ragged. Hope it works out."
Tune in to Mairead Ronan Monday - Friday from 12pm.