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August 14, 2015 / Practical Information | Scandinavia Attractions | Tours

Before You Leave: 5 Easy, Indispensable Travel Tips For Scandinavia (Or Anywhere)

Sailing in Troms | Scandinavian American World Tours

Traveling to Scandinavia? Here are some tips to get you started.

Not everyone makes the journey to Scandinavia, the Baltics, Russia, or anywhere else in the world more than once in a lifetime. This might be your first and only journey overseas—or it might be your 5th. Either way, you may still need some help making your way to (and through) some of the world’s most beautiful regions: with over 33 years of travel to Scandinavia, we’re experts, and we’ve got you covered.

Here are 5 insider tips that can help you stay sane and keep the focus on your goal: vacation!

A Norwegian fjord view | Scandinavian American World Tours

1. Plug in to the local current.

No, not the water (although the fjord above looks like a good place to take a swim!): we’re talking about the electric. Most of Scandinavia—along with most of the countries we visit—uses 220/240 volt AC current (plug types C and F), while the U.S. uses 120 volt AC (plug types A and B), so you’re going to need a wall socket adapter (universal is good if you plan on traveling more often) and voltage adapter if you want to charge your phone or use other appliances like your laptop. Here’s a good resource for region-specific adapter needs.

Walaker Hotell | Scandinavian American World Tours

2. Find the local internet access points in your itinerary before the trip.

You may or may not be the type to digitally disconnect during vacation, but having the ability to choose whether you’re able to surf the web is an important step, especially if you don’t have an unlocked cell phone—or can’t afford to spend money on a one-time data plan—and need to check in with family or friends back home.

Check the websites of hotels on your itinerary to see whether they have free high-speed internet or Wi-Fi. If they don’t list it there, shoot them a quick email to ask: they may take a little to answer due to time differences, but many offer the service and will be happy to supply you with additional information. If you’re looking for additional options (some are mentioned above), here’s a comprehensive resource on what an unlocked cell phone is and other ideas for staying in touch on your vacation.

Ferry | Scandinavian American World Tours

3. Make sure your flight essentials are set.

Whether you’re booking your own air or letting someone book it for you, double check your luggage allowance before you leave—especially if you use multiple airlines. Not all airlines allow equal luggage sizes and weights, and if you don’t want to pay extra fees, find the common denominator across multiple flights. If you’ve got that down, remember to leave a little extra space (and weight) for any souvenirs you might purchase.

Jostedalsbreen Glacier | Scandinavian American World Tours

4. Outdoor activities? Make sure you’re equipped.

Activities in Scandinavia are incredible due to the scenery and diversity of the region, but this also means that you may want to take extra precautions with any gear you bring on outdoor excursions. You might want to invest in a dry bag to waterproof items like your camera during kayaking or rafting, sunglasses and sunblock to diminish reflections off of ice during a glacier hike, thermal top + windproof clothing for higher-elevation hiking/snow activities, and light snacks to fuel up.

Copenhagen Cooking: Taste the World showcase | Scandinavian American World Tours

5. Create a list of potential local events to visit on your down time.

If you’re on an escorted tour and you’ve got some free time (or if you’re on an independent/self-drive tour and you need a just-in-case backup plan), research the towns you’ll be staying in or near for interesting, free local activities and festivals. This can go a long way toward making your personal time more meaningful: guided tours and planned excursions are wonderful and often the best way to enjoy certain attributes of a country with an experienced chaperone, but sometimes you can only get the flavor of a place by rubbing shoulders with the locals. (Tip: hover over the image above to get information on this fantastic local food festival.)

For more practical tips and suggestions on traveling to Scandinavia, see our FAQs page!


Have we captured your interest? Great!Aarhus Cathedral, Denmark | Scandinavian American World Tours

We’ve got some great new journeys coming up in 2016, and there are still spaces left for 2015. Want to know more?

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