Western Mass with Louise Daly of Cassidy Travel via Bradley Airport

Located a stone’s throw from Bradley International Airport, the region of Western Mass is renowned not only for its unspoiled natural beauty but also its rich and diverse culture. Boasting a unique collection of museums, galleries, and gardens as well as a delicious selection of restaurants and dining options, Western Mass has something to suit every type of holidaymaker. In this blog, we talk to Louise Daly of Cassidy Travel who spent four days in Western Mass, flying direct from Dublin to Bradley International Airport with Aer Lingus.


Starting off her journey in Dublin Airport, Terminal 2, Louise and her fellow travellers were treated to an upgrade to business class with Aer Lingus, giving them access to complimentary food and drink in the 51st and Green area after security, an ideal way to relax before the flight. Louise was flying to BDL on the new Aer Lingus A320 Neo and really enjoyed her experience onboard “We were wined and dined for the whole flight, which was really good, and it was spotless! What I loved was it is way more relaxing, and you had loads of space and you feel refreshed getting off the flight”.



After a six-and-a-half-hour flight, Louise arrived into Bradley International and within just ten minutes was back down in the baggage hall. From here, the group travelled to the D. Hotel, located just 30 minutes from the airport.  Louise explains “the D. Hotel was perfect for families because the rooms were so big. The restaurant beside it was so nice, we had steak and chips there the first night and it was delicious. It’s also in a good location if you want to do adventuring”.


On their second day, Louise and her fellow travellers went to Zoar Outdoor to experience white water rafting and to the Yankee Candle Village which she thoroughly enjoyed “The Yankee Candle Village was real Christmassy and festive for the Halloween season as well, and you could see how many flavours they had, and if we wanted to make our own, we could if we wished or we could make wax moulds to bring home”.


After spending two nights in the D Hotel, Louise and her group travelled straight into the lively city of Springfield staying in the lovely, modern, one-year old MGM Springfield. Louise loved the location of the hotel “the MGM is in walking distance to the Doctor Seuss Museum, which is really good for families and also adults if they want to discover the history of Doctor Seuss.”. The MGM Springfield is ideally located just 20 minutes from the Hartford airport and Holyoke Mall, one of the largest shopping centres in all of New England!


The highlight of Louise’s trip to Western Mass was attending the Big E, New England’s great state fair, “this is like a huge fair-ground atmosphere, we were there four around eight hours or so, so what the highlight of that was, the CEO of the fair let us go on one of the floats, so we just threw our beads to the festival-goers. The food is really nice, they served lots of traditional New England foods, but even though if you are picky, they do something to suit you, which they did for me.”. Taking place annually across 17 days, the Big E is one of the biggest events in the Western Mass calendar, combining the music, food, culture, and fun of all six New England states.



Overall, Louise had a great time in Western Mass and her trip really demonstrated the diversity of activities available here, from water sports to festival fun and everything in between. Louise explains “The Western Mass is definitely a great destination for Irish visitors, the airport’s in a really good location, and it’s really good for fly drive, if you wanted to travel around Boston and the New England area”. We couldn’t agree more Louise!


The Aer Lingus service to Bradley International Airport operates daily from April to September and four times per week from October through March.

  • Dublin Departure time: 1420hrs • Flight time: 7 hours • Aircraft: A321neo LR  • Arrival time: 1635hrs
  • BDL Departure time: 1800hrs • Flight time: 6.5 hours • Aircraft: A321neo LR  • Arrival time: 0505hrs


Check out Louise’s full review of her trip to Western Mass on Youtube.

10 Reasons we love travel agents

What better way to celebrate Travel Agent Appreciation Day, than to write about the reasons we love travel agents and the lengths they go for us. Here at TTR we love travel agents and found it hard to whittle our list of 100 reasons down to just 10! Read on below to see why travel agents are our favourite types of people!


1. Always up to date

Is there a climate protest in London or an earthquake in Indonesia? Have countries re-opened their borders after the Covid-19 Pandemic or do tourists need a period of self-isolation on arrival?

These are the current events that many people overlook; travel agents keep an eye on happenings around the globe and use this information to make decisions on holiday destinations for their clients.


2. Relationships

As with any relationship, in time a travel agent gets to know you and your wants and needs from a holiday. Maybe you have certain medicines that need declaring or perhaps you have specific dietary requirements.

A simple phone call or email can become more than enough to create your next holiday without having to worry about the follow ups with airlines, airports or hotels.


3. Knowledge

Perceived knowledge of countries and places to travel to is becoming more and more prevalent in recent years, especially with the level of social media interaction the world now revolves around. Though your favourite travel blogger, or even a friend, may have put up posts of somewhere that looks amazing to you, remember, this is just a snap of a singular moment. In today’s climate, as travel rules and regulations change so rapidly, a travel agent’s knowledge is more important than ever.

Travel agents will be able to bring you through the ins and outs of what it takes to get there and help you understand if you will enjoy the journey or whether a different holiday is more suited.


Two people posing at an event for a photo


4. More bang for your buck

Many people have the idea that travel agents are going to be more expensive to book with. In reality they can cost the same or even less than booking online with all the benefits of having an experienced travel booker to help you along the way.

Yes, most agencies will have a service fee but agents have access to real time information, meaning they can find the best deals available at the time of booking. Agents are also bonded, meaning you and your booking are protected, in the event of any travel disruptions.

10 reasons why we love travel agents

5. Save you time and effort

Planning a holiday isn’t easy, it can take hours of googling, comparing flights, locating hotels and that’s not even getting started on the bits and pieces you want to see and do on your trip.

Travel Agents travel the world experiencing hotels, restaurants, airlines, excursions, tours and so much more. If the agent you are booking with hasn’t experienced it, you can be sure they know somebody who has and will be asking their advice, meaning you can relax and wait for your itinerary to be made for you.


6. Help when emergency strikes

Travel agents are well equipped to deal with emergency situations should they arise. As we’ve all seen in recently, sometimes things go wrong, that’s just part of life.

Travel agents will always put your well-being first and try their best to get your holiday up and running again, by suggesting other options and getting any necessary changes made in the fastest way possible.

7. Exclusivity

Some companies offer tours or excursions solely through travel agencies meaning there is only one way to book them.

Looking to adventure to little know ruins of the Incas in Peru or exclusive sites of the Mayans in Mexico?  These are the type of things you won’t find just by looking it up online, but no doubt a travel agent has come across such adventures before.


Reasons we love travel agents

8. Influence

Travel agents have spent years building relationships with hotel chains, airlines and many others over the years.

Whether you are trying to get into an exclusive hotel room or a private showing in a theatre, the odds are far more in your favour if your agent is making the inquiry on your behalf.


9. Budgeting

When an agent books your holiday you can rest assured you will know exactly what you are paying for and what you will need extra for.

Anything from a bag check-in fee with the airline to whether lunch is included on a tour is going to be looked into for you, meaning you will know exactly what you need to bring.


10. Agents are amazing

Rarely will you meet and agent who isn’t chatty, bubbly and just plain fun to be around. Coming from every walk of life, agents always have one thing in common, a passion for travel, something they are more than happy to share with you.

If you are an agent, make sure you join the TTR Travel Industry Group on Facebook to be the first to hear about events, incentives and news!

TTR Spring 2020 Travel Industry Road Show to be postponed

Given the fast and ever-evolving nature of Covid-19 we have taken the decision to postpone our Spring Travel Industry Road Show, which was due to take place from 23rd – 25th March, visiting Galway, Waterford and Cork.

This has not been an easy decision to make, however, the health of our team members, our participating suppliers and our travel agent attendees must be our main priority. While the current Covid-19 situation remains so fluid, it has become impossible for us to proceed with these events, even though many had wished the Road Show to still take place.

These events are postponed – not cancelled. We will return to Galway, Waterford and Cork once Covid-19 is under control and the situation has become more stable. Over the last week we have engaged in numerous conversations with both suppliers and travel agents as we tried to navigate the best way forward – we would like to thank them for their insight and their support.

We will revert as soon as possible with new dates for Galway, Waterford, Cork.

Our Autumn Road Show, Sept 7-9th, Belfast, Kilkenny, Limerick will still take place.

5 ways Bradley International Airport is improving your travel experience with airport upgrades

If you are a traveller, you know that all the little details can quickly add up to good or bad experiences. At Bradley International, our aim is to make that experience as relaxed, convenient, and easy as possible. In short, we want you to love the journey. Here are 5 airport upgrades we’re working on to improve your travel experience!

1. On-Site Transportation Center

Additional public parking, on-site car rentals, and increased access to public transit will all be part of the new “Ground Transportation Center” connected to Terminal A. The construction is set to launch this year and will make it easier to navigate in and around the airport.

2. Indoor Pet Relief Area

Recently, we opened a new, post-security, indoor pet relief area—which is a welcome addition to our two outdoor areas. Special thanks to the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation for their invaluable input during the design phase of the project.

3. Baggage Claim Makeover

Along with our new Information Center and elevator, which were recently completed, the baggage claim area will be getting a makeover. Plans are underway, with upgrades slated to begin next year.

4. Upgrades to Concessions

One of our favorite places to grab a bite before your flight— Black Bear Saloon— just wrapped up undergoing renovations. Expect to see a new look when you visit it next!

5. Upgraded Restrooms

Take a peek into Bradley’s powder rooms in the coming year. Our restrooms are being upgraded with a fresh, modern look! First set of updated restrooms will be opened this summer.

We know these updates will make every traveller’s time through the airport the least stressful part of their trip.

To learn more about Bradley International Airport – BDL visit www.bradleyairport.com

Fly BDL. Love the Journey.

TTR Travel Industry Roadshow 2019 Schedule

Due to popular demand, the TravelMedia.ie / TTR team have just announced the TTR Travel Industry Roadshow schedule for 2019.

Launched in 2013, the TTR Travel Industry Roadshow is the longest running and most established roadshow in the Irish travel industry.

Below are the dates for the TTR Travel Industry Roadshow across Ireland in 2019:


  • Tuesday 26th March – Galway
  • Wednesday 27th March – Waterford
  • Thursday 28th March – Cork


  • Tuesday 27th August – Belfast
  • Wednesday 28th August – Kilkenny
  • Thursday 29th August – Limerick


Why attend as a supplier? See testimonials from suppliers in the trade as well as agent attendees in this video from our February 2018 event!

For each road show we bring together a mix of different supplier types, some new, some established, some well-known, some specialist, ensuring interest and attendance from the agents/operators.

We never go on the road with the same line-up of suppliers.  We are never top heavy with one type of supplier over another, e.g. cruise over bed banks or destinations over airlines. We always have anchor suppliers who we know the trade want to meet.

The TTR Travel Industry Road Shows are a unique opportunity for suppliers to network with travel agents and tour operators, in a structured yet relaxed setting. With multiple travel agents and tour operators all present in one location on the same evening, these events offer a once off opportunity for suppliers to present their latest products and agent incentives.

At each event, guests will also have the opportunity to win some great prizes which have been provided by our suppliers.

Please note these events have a limited number of places. Please RSVP to michael@travelmedia.ie to secure your place.


Bradley International Airport appoint TTR to represent them in the Irish market

Bradley International Airport appoint TTR to represent them in the Irish market

TTR, along with our sister company TravelMedia.ie, have been appointed by Bradley International Airport as their representation within the Irish market.

Bradley International Airport is in Connecticut and is the second-largest airport in New England. In 2017 it was voted the 5th Best Airport in the US by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine.

Aer Lingus (EI) serves Bradley International Airport daily from Dublin (DUB) during the spring, summer and autumn and up to four times a week during the winter. The average flying time from Dublin to Bradley International Airport is 7 hours, with one-way fares starting at €158.99 (as part of a return journey).

Bradley International Airport is located just outside Hartford Connecticut, one of the oldest cities in the US. Hartford was founded in 1637 and hosts many wonderful tourist attractions, including the former home of Mark Twain and the country’s oldest art museum. It is also about the same distance to Springfield Massachussets, which is known as the “The City of Firsts” due to its many innovations. It is also the former home of famous children’s author, Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss).

Commenting on the announcement Bradley International Airport Executive Director Kevin A. Dillon said “At Bradley International Airport, convenience and ease of travel are the hallmarks of our reputation,  which is not only appealing to our local travellers but also those travelling from Ireland. We look forward to working with  TTR to build stronger awareness about Bradley Airport and partnerships with the travel trade community. The Irish route is very important to us.”

Michael Collins, Managing Director of TTR said “We are delighted to be working with Bradley International Airport. I had the pleasure of travelling through Bradley International Airport recently. It’s a brilliant airport, so efficient. Touchdown to taxi in less than 20 minutes, and ideally located between Boston and New York.”

If you want to get more information on Bradley International Airport or would like to work with them, please contact michael@travelmedia.ie

How to prepare for a FAM trip

Let’s face it, the main highlight of working in the travel industry is the opportunity to travel. In order to really sell a product, one must experience the product. Thus the FAM (or familiarisation) trip was born. While these trips are a fantastic way to get out of the office, don’t forget there is still an element of work involved. You were chosen to take part for a reason and will be expected to deliver in some way upon your return.

Make sure you’re ready to go with our useful tips on how to prepare for a FAM trip.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Though you may spend your days preaching to others about the practicalities of travel, it is very easy to forget the simple things when it comes to travelling yourself. It’s also very easy to get caught up in the excitement of heading away yourself or to take things for granted, such as an in-date passport. Always make sure your passport is up-to-date and valid for at least six months after your trip. For some countries this is a requirement upon entry. You should also look into any travel vaccinations that you may require for your trip, as these generally won’t be covered by the organisers.

Make introductions

Before you embark on your FAM trip, always introduce yourself to the organiser. Not only is it polite and will get you started off on a nice note but they will also be able to answer any questions that you may have. Yes, they are hosting this trip in the hope that you will be able to increase sales for them on the particular route, destination, hotel, etc. but remember they are going out of their way to put together the best itinerary possible for you. If possible, also get the contact info for your fellow attendees. You’ll be living in close quarters with them for the duration of your trip. First impressions can go a long way to building longer lasting relationships.

Read up on the destination

Chances are the trip will be relatively short – a whistle-stop tour of the highlights that the area has to offer. You’re always best to do your research beforehand so you’re ahead of the game when you get there and not struggling to keep up. It will also make your visits more enjoyable and beneficial as you’ll know the key points to look out for or any hidden gems that there may be.

Research social media handles/hashtags

The main reasoning behind the trip is, essentially, promotion. While you’re away you should utilize any social media channels that you have at your disposal – both personal and business – and document your trip online. Not only will the organisers love the coverage but all your pals back at home will be seething with jealousy! Research the relevant hashtags and handles of the organisers, hotels, tourist boards, attractions etc. to save yourself time and hassle while away, and to also give back to those who you are being hosted by.

Set out a plan

Always embark on a FAM trip with an objective. From your business point of view, look  at how the items on the itinerary best appeal to your clients and outline which selling points will work best. If you go into the trip thinking “This will make a great blog post” or “It would be great to have some high resolution images to use online” then you can focus on that while you’re away. That way, you’re not back in your office a week later regretting something that you didn’t do. Take as many photos and videos as you can – you’ll never know what could crop up later on and you’ll be kicking yourself.

Pack the essentials

This is definitely not the time to be packing the kitchen sink. Pack light and pack well. Chances are you’ll be moving location each day and lugging a giant suitcase on and off planes, trains and automobiles is not fun. Read your itinerary beforehand and pack accordingly. The number one item is comfortable footwear. You will likely have the legs walked off you over the course of the trip so a decent pair of walking shoes is key. Also, a battery pack for your phone will always come in handy as well as sun-cream and a copy of your itinerary saved to your phone.

Follow up

ALWAYS follow-up with your hosts. You may need them again down the line, they’ll be able to assist you with any follow-up questions and it’s just plain polite. After all, it’s nice to be nice! ?


Did you know we also assist with planning FAM trips? If you would like to know more then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

5 things you didn’t know about TTR

5 things you didn’t know about TTR

You may have seen the name TTR – Travel Trade Representation floating around attached to roadshows, events and other trade relations over the last few years. However, do you really know who we are, what we do or, in fact, where we came from?

Below are five things you may not know about TTR to get you started. Have more questions? Let us know!

We are a sister company of TravelMedia.ie

TTR was established in 2013 as TravelMedia.ie expanded further into trade relations in the Irish travel industry. As demand for Irish based trade representation grew it was evident that there was a market for a travel specialist and so TTR – Travel Trade Representation was born. TTR allowed specific team members to focus solely on trade relations. Our core representation activities include roadshows, trade events, training, trade introductions, trade marketing and advertising, monthly e-zines direct to agents and operators.

We organise the longest running Irish travel industry roadshow

The TTR Travel Industry Road Show was launched in 2013 and is now the most established and widest reaching roadshow in the Irish travel industry. The roadshow brings together a diverse group of over 20 suppliers from at home and abroad and takes them on the road around Ireland twice annually – Spring and Autumn – to meet with hundreds of travel agents and tour operators.

The events are very well-known and received, visiting at least six cities each year but reaching even further afield thanks to complimentary agency transfers to and from each event. This ensures ease of access for agencies located outside the city centre and an even wider reach for the events. On average over 150 agents attend our events each year. We never go on the road with the same line-up of suppliers and are never top heavy with one type of supplier over another. We always have anchor suppliers who we know the trade want to meet.

We arrange FAM trips

As well as organising a range of events on Irish shores, we also put together FAM trips for suppliers and destinations looking to target Irish agents. Thanks to our years on the road, we are know all of the agencies across Ireland and have a very comprehensive contact database consisting of every Irish agency that is updated weekly. Therefore, we are in a perfect position to assist with hand-picking those who would best suit the product. We can assist from start to finish – putting together lists of relevant agencies, sending invitations, liaising with attendees, acting as chaperone on the trip, documenting the trip across social media and managing all follow-ups with those who participated.

We have both national and international clients

TTR works with the Irish travel trade on behalf of  clients from all over the world, not just in Ireland. These include airlines, hotels, cruise and ferry companies, airports, tourist boards and CVBs, car hire companies, tour operators, travel insurance companies and OTAs. Aside from our offices in Dublin, we meet with clients in London on a monthly basis. Want to know how we do? Check out testimonials from current and former clients. We also attend many of the major travel industry events across the world such as ITB Berlin, TBEX, WTM, Phocuswright and IPW. If you would like to see how we can work with you just drop us a line.

We run bespoke events nationwide

As well as our national TTR Travel Industry Road Show we also arrange bespoke events for suppliers, whether it is an airline promoting a new route, a tourist board looking to increase sales to a particular destination or a small group of companies coming together. We can advise on the best dates, times, cities, etc. to hold your event, as well as manage all invitations, reservations, venue arrangements and attendees. One example of this is the Caribbean Tourism Organization Roadshow, which we helped establish in Ireland in 2015 and is now in its third year.

Hopefully you will have learned something new about TTR – Travel Trade Representation. If you like what you see and would like to know more then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!