Why Scandinavia is the Best Travel Deal

Too Expensive? Think Again

Author: The Traveling Professor/Wednesday, August 26, 2015/Categories: General Travel

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Hotels and airfare now make up the two most expensive components of a vacation.   Let's talk about airfares on major airlines first.

Use my favorite airfare search engine, matrix.itasoftware.com to look up these fares:

  • Outbound;  June 1 from JFK to Rome.  Return to JFK from Rome June 15.  Price on American Airlines:  $1,707. Round Trip
  • Outbound:  June 1 from  JFK to Oslo.  Return to JFK from Oslo June 15.  Price on American Airlines: $680. Round Trip.

That would give you an additional $1,027 to vacation in Norway as opposed to Rome.   Here are some other R/T airfares using the same dates:

  • JFK<->Copenhagen:  $656 on Iberia.  $694 American Airlines
  • JFK<->Paris:  $1,006 on American Airlines
  • JFK<->Reykjavik: $665 on IcelandAir, Delta, KLM
  • JFK<->Munich:  $1,283 on AirBerlin, $973 on IcelandAir,  $1,655 on American Airlines
  • JFK<->London:  $992 on Iberia, American Airlines, British Airways, Virgin, and Delta

It's clear that the savings on airfare can be significant over flying to other European destinations.

Hotels?  I travel to Paris, Rome, Florence, and Venice on a regular basis.   The typical charge for a 3-star hotel is going to be 250 euros per night.   The price in Oslo, Reykjavik, Bergen (Norway) is the same.   Remember, the value of Nordic currency has devalued disproportionately to the Euro in these oil-dependent countries.   While the euro has decreased 14% in the last year, the Norwegian Kroner has devalued by about 33%.  A year ago it a dollar got 6.16 NOK, this year it gets 8.20 NOK.

But yes, food is more expensive in Nordic countries.   In Italy we spend the equivalent of about $26 to have dinner.  In Oslo, we were spending about $34 per person for dinner.   So, take that $10 extra per night for two weeks and you will be spending an additional $112 for food.

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