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Travelzoo Experience: Visiting Scandinavia in Summer

One of the most coveted perks at Travelzoo is the Travelzoo Experience, in which Deal Experts and other employees take advantage of the same travel, entertainment and local deals we publish to our subscribers and report back on their experience.

Through the summer months in Scandinavia, the sun is as high as the costs of visiting. But it’s an opportune time to experience these pricey, and worthwhile, destinations. With the latest sale from the airline SAS, fares have dropped to $1099 roundtrip for flights to Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki for travel June 1 - Aug. 25. This sale ends Feb. 22.

Europe in the summer is notorious for its swarms of visitors, but cities in Scandinavia draw fewer crowds. That coupled with temperatures averaging in the low 70s make it an attractive alternative destination in Europe.

After purchasing airfare, consider these tips to keep up the savings and make the most of your trip. I booked a family vacation through a similar SAS sale to this one a few years ago, and I picked up some tricks along the way:

  • Using the extensive public transportation options is a good way to get your bearings and save some cash at the same time. We got a 72-hour bus pass for our trip to Stockholm (and a parent with a stroller is also free).
  • Get two vacations for the price of one roundtrip ticket. Trains are an inexpensive way to travel between cities. When we visited, we flew into Stockholm and then out of Copenhagen.
  • Remember, the Scandinavian countries are not on the euro. To avoid confusion and to ensure the best exchange rate, we used our credit cards extensively. That also avoided confusion when the currency valuation in Sweden and Denmark is so different from the U.S. It’s very odd to get a bill with 500 on it and then realize that won’t even buy your family dinner (it’s about US$70).
  • Speaking of dinner, members of wait staffs in Scandinavian countries earn a living wage, and tips are usually included in the final price of a dinner bill.
  • And, remember to keep your receipts. The 25% VAT adds quite a bit to most purchases -- but some of that is refundable after the trip.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, New York
Thursday, February 9, 2012
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Andrew Young