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July 2, 2015 / Denmark Attractions | Finland Attractions | Iceland Attractions | Norway Attractions | Scandinavia Attractions

Before You Leave: 11 Ways to Prepare

Before Traveling to Scandinavia

A family scouts out the beach around a fisherman’s cabin in the Lofoten Islands, Norway. | Image courtesy Visit Norway

You finally took the plunge this year and used up all of your time off to visit Scandinavia: you’re going on vacation! You’ve got the plane tickets, the hotels, and the sights and sounds lined up. Now it’s time to prepare your home for the long absence, and check off all those last-minute ‘to do’ items.

Here are some helpful tips and suggestions we compiled for our clients heading out on their Scandinavian adventure. Not one of our clients yet? Thumb through our brochure for some great vacation ideas or check out some of the links below as you read!

A dessert at the Roisheim Hotel, located about 9 miles from Lom, considered the gateway to Jotunheimen National Park in Norway. | Image courtesy Visit Norway

1. Wash the dishes.

Let’s be honest: unless you’re a chef, your desserts never come out this good (though they will on your trip to Norway). Your plates, however, will be messy no matter how good you are with a fork, so make sure you put them in your dishwasher at least a day in advance of your trip. You don’t want to know what 2-week-old dish grime looks like. Trust us.

A Tankar radio, native to Finland, rests on a workbench. | Image courtesy Visit Finland

2. Unplug your devices.

Radios included, people. All those cool vintage appliances, alarm clocks, and flat screen TVs cost you—yes, even when you’re out touring Norway’s wilderness or Iceland’s Northern Lights, those electronics of yours are still working hard on your behalf—and they’re driving up your bills. Decide what your house can do without, and pull the plug.

Visitors explore the chapel in the Kirkenes SnowHotel, Norway. | Image courtesy Visit Norway

3. Dial down the thermostat.

Don’t go wild, of course. You don’t want your house to look like this when you get home, do you?

Reine, an intoxicatingly pure city in the Lofoten Islands of Norway. Just look at that pristine water and the wildflowers! | Image courtesy Visit Norway

4. Take out the trash.

Here’s a good way to ensure that you still want to walk into your house when you return: grab that sack of banana peels, coffee grounds, and meat scraps in your kitchen and trash it right before you head out. You’ll thank us: after visiting pristine fjord Norway, the smells in your house will hit you in an entirely different way. The least you can do for your nasal passages is lighten the load.

Dog sledging in wintry Finland. | Image courtesy Visit Finland

5. Make sure your pets are taken care of.

Grab yourself a quality house sitter. Research a good luxury kennel. Make sure no one snatches your fur babies up for other purposes—you know, like a dog sled.

Jewelry at the Tasiilaq Museum, Ammassalik, Greenland. You can’t buy these versions, unfortunately, but there are other stores in the area. | Image courtesy M. Pihl / Visit Greenland

6. Credit cards: memorize PIN numbers + unlock accounts for other countries.

Getting to visit a foreign country for vacation is great—until the moment you get to the local ATM and forget your PIN, or arrive at the counter of a store loaded up with goodies and…rejected!…your card doesn’t work. You want to be able to buy some epic souvenirs for your father’s-cousin’s-daughter’s once-removed-nephew, don’t you? Check our FAQ page for tips on using credit cards throughout Scandinavia.

Introductions proceed between puffin and human on the island of Runde, Norway. | Image courtesy Ida Karoline Sævik / Visit Norway

7. Travel insurance.

Because you never know what tomorrow’s going to bring, and you don’t want to miss letting a puffin peck away at your finger in Norway. Tip: our insurance partner, Travel Guard, is a good place to get started.

A colorful plate at Frantzén Restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, a fabulous culinary-centric capital. | Image courtesy Frantzén Restaurant

8. Exchange currencies from local to international.

If you live in the U.S., make sure you grab currency for the country you’re visiting. You can visit our FAQ page for that one, too. Did we mention how inconvenient it is not to be able to purchase souvenirs? This applies to unplanned food stops, too.

Flying over a snowcapped mountain in Greenland. | Image courtesy Visit Greenland

9. Check the expiration date of your passport.

Many agencies will evaluate your passport’s expiration vs. the dates of your trip when you sign up, but if they don’t, make sure the passport is active for at least 6 months after your return. Just in case.

Mapping out a route with friends near Beitostølen and Jotunheimen National Park, Norway. | Image courtesy Visit Norway

10. Bring a local map or guide along.

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.*” Ain’t that the truth. There’s nothing like taking a self-drive tour where you forgot to bring the map, and then enduring the ensuing squabble over two paths diverging in the wood**. Luckily for you, we include maps with labeled routes for all of our self-drive tours—so you won’t choose the wrong one.

*Henry David Thoreau, **Robert Frost

Taking a break from navigating one of Norway’s most jaw-dropping routes, Trollstigen Road, to hike the local viewpoint. Impressive. | Image courtesy Visit Norway

11. Leave a copy of your itinerary with someone who’ll check in.

After all that squabbling over which path to take, who knows—you might miss the next fork in the road and end up in another country. You’ll want someone to alert authorities that you’ve unintentionally gone AWOL if they can’t reach you at your designated hotel.


Have we captured your interest? Great!tallinntuul03d0316

We know there’s a lot to handle when you travel, and preparing beforehand is just one of them. Have questions? No problem—we’re here to help!

Contact us with your Scandinavian travel questions today!

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