The Suitcase Diaries with Sarah Battle


Welcome to the first of our summer series in which we pick the brains of globetrotters to hear about their favourite adventures.
First up is Galway-based influencer Sarah Battle; a popular successful digital content creator – and home economics teacher – whose grid is peppered with lip-smacking recipes, sea swims and gallivants. Here she reflects on her most memorable trips and gives us a snoop into her hand luggage.
What did childhood holidays typically involve?
They were mostly in Ireland. As kids we show-jumped a lot so spent most summertime weekends travelling the country. There were also lots of day trips to our local beach in Enniscrone, Co Sligo. Picnics, sea swims – the things I now do with my own children.
What do you remember most about your first holiday abroad?
Our first holiday abroad was to Brussels, where my uncle lived. I went with my grandmother and sister, and I remember it so well because I was sleepwalking during the night – this always happened when I was away from home.
As far back as I can remember I’ve been sleepwalking – getting up in the middle of the night, trying on clothes. It was always when there was no light. I could be found scratching the walls to get out of a room. It continued well into adulthood and I drove my college roommates mad, thinking their foot was a phone, shouting in my sleep. Thinking I was falling down the stairs and my roommate turning on the light and I was standing on edge of the bed, holding onto the wall.
It all stopped when I had the kids, so it continued well into my thirties. Maybe it stopped because my sleep is so broken? But one of the three-year old twins I reckon will be a sleep walker. He has already started.
Where was your last holiday?
I recently went to Dubai with my eight-year-old daughter Isabella. And it rained! My sister’s a secondary school teacher and has lived there for the last 13 years. We stayed with her and did the usual brunches: Bubbalicious in the Westin Mina Seyahi hotel was amazing – though a little different with kids. We also went to Nuska Beach at Jumeirah Beach Hotel for dinner on our last night. Single Fin Café in Jumeirah 3 for breakfast and brunch – very cool, it’s a little surf spot.
I’ve been to Dubai three times now and on this occasion we did a desert safari – which it was my biggest regret, my daughter and I thrashed around in the jeep… we were so car sick. We also did lots of indoor ice skating and skiing, which were brilliant. I was wrecked coming home as Isabella has the energy of an I-don’t-know-what.
Money no object, where would you travel to tomorrow?
I’d love to go to Bali and bring the whole family. It looks so beautiful and chilled. I love beach life.
Your Out of Office is on, but how long does it typically take you to switch off from work?
I can usually switch off straight away, thankfully. Life is so busy at times, when I do get downtime I really relish it.
Have you ever had a holiday romance?
Never. But I do love Dirty Dancing and have watched it hundreds of times … Didn’t we all secretly want that holiday romance and that lift in the water?!
Underwear aside: what three daywear staples do you pack into hand luggage, just in case your suitcase is delayed?
A kaftan, swimming suit and sandals – ready to go to the beach.
What are your skincare travel staples?
Love Ella and Jo Melt the Day Away Cleansing Balm; the new Yon-Ka Serum CBD is
divine; The Ordinary for hyaluronic; Ultraceuticals DNA Complex Delivery Night Cream is amazing. Ella and Jo 3-in-1 Hyaluronic Skin Mist; Supergoop Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50.
And a handful of makeup bag essentials?
Chanel Les Beiges Creme-Gel Bronzer, Rodial Banana Lowlighter concealer, Charlotte Tilbury Pinkasm blusher, and a Sculpted by Aimee brown mascara.
How do you pass the time on trains, planes and automobiles?
I wont lie, I sleep – I can sleep anywhere. I’m usually asleep before he plane takes off. If driving, I love listening to a good podcast. My favourites are Ready to Be Real by Síle Seoige, Skin in the Game, The Good Glow, The Great Indoors, Jessie and Lennie Ware’s Table Manners, Unspoken by Dr Clodagh Campbell, and Rip It Up.
Where in the world has surprised you the most?
Ireland, especially since covid. There are so many beautiful spots, especially across Mayo/Sligo. I’m lucky to be about a seven-minute drive from Enniscrone. My husband grew up there too. There’s a sauna by the pier, called Tide & Time, Offshore Coffee that also does acai bowls, and there’s Ait Eile restaurant and the Pilot Bar for waterfront food. Harbour SUP for stand-up paddleboarding, and there are seaweed baths near the pier. Great surf lessons too, and of course swimming.
I think the lockdowns allowed me to slow down and appreciate what’s on my doorstep and get back into swimming. I also had twin boys during the pandemic so I was definitely more relaxed. I’d love to see more of Ireland, but we need the sun.
Are there home luxuries you like to travel with?
A comfy pillow and a silk pillowcase are the ultimate luxuries to take with me.
Beach bum or cultural vulture?
I’m definitely both. If I’m near a beach I’ll definitely soak it all up but I love to see and do everything in a city. Glassilaun Beach in Galway is so gorgeous, and Coral Strand which is famous for its coral beach and crystal clear waters. I love a good coffee and luckily my friends have a barista place nearby [Ballina] called Boho.
Sunrise or sunset?
Sunset for sure. My favourite sunset ritual is a swim in the sea.
Most memorable meal youve had on holiday and why?
We went to Dubrovnik and to a restaurant called BOWA. It’s on the on the island of Šipan so you have to get there by boat. It was incredible, with fresh fish – delicious. It’s located on Vrbova Bay, which has lots of gorgeous deckchairs so you could spend the day there. BOWA is any acronym for the ‘Best of What’s Around’ so expect the daily catch from around the Adriatic. Everything you consume is apparently sourced within a 50km radius from your table.
Have you ever missed a flight or gotten spectacularly lost?
I nearly miss all my flights! I once threw my boarding pass into the bin during a flight to Thailand where I had to get a connecting flight. I literally can’t actually remember how I got on the flight.
Dead or alive, which three dream companions would you travel with?
Victoria Beckham – she seems like fun. Margot Robbie – I love the whole coolness. Stanley Tucci – for the food and laughs.

Sarah's Resort Pick

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