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Scandinavia sure is pretty, but she ain’t cheap. After doing a little deal-hunting detective work in the region’s dynamic capitals, however, I’ve happily determined that it’s entirely possible to set out for a budget break here, without breaking the bank. Whether you’ve set your budget-savvy sights on Oslo, Stockholm, or Helsinki (tip: though the latter gets a bad rap on value, it’s actually considerably cheaper than its Swedish and Norwegian neighbors), herewith some finds on fun free things to do, public transport “tours” to check out, and money-saving travel cards to help take the expensive edge off your outings. Read more
For American travelers contending with a cutthroat dollar-to-kroner conversion rate, budget Norway travel may read somewhat as an oxymoron. Happily, a bit of budget-savvy planning can help you to tuck a few kroner away during your Norwegian stay.
Fresh off the boat (and train, bus, and ferry) from the country’s popular Norway in a Nutshell tour, which weaves together transportation, lodging, and activities for an unforgettable trip through western Norway’s breathtaking fjord, mountain, and coastal countryside, herewith the full report on how to best crunch those kroner and maximize your wow-factor stopovers when plotting your route.
Granted, a Norway in a Nutshell excursion won’t exactly cost you peanuts, but these money-saving travel tips can help ensure that what you do shell out for won’t leave you plain nuts. Read more
If a Mediterranean, Adriatic, or Baltic cruise is on your 2012 travel wish list, check out the $1,776 July 4th sale fares now being offered by Windstar Cruises (must be booked by July 6). Windstar, which operates three tall-masted luxury ships – 312-passenger Wind Surf and 148-passenger Wind Star (shown at left in Greece) and Wind Spirit – has lowered fares on 20 European voyages sailing from mid-July to mid-November (with some fall voyages priced as low as $1,476 and December Caribbean voyages priced from $976).
I have cruised around Europe extensively and have sailed on both Wind Star and Wind Surf. If, like me, you prefer smaller ships to the behemoths, you’ll enjoy the intimate ambiance, wonderful service, superb cuisine, and easy camaraderie that these ships offer. Here are few of my recommendations for itineraries among those on sale until July 6:
Spring usually means the arrival of warmer weather, blooming flowers, and higher airfare to Europe. Fortunately, KLM is breaking tradition and slashing rates on flights to London, Venice, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Rome, Barcelona, Helsinki, Oslo, Prague, Madrid, Zurich, and Stockholm! This sale coincides with the start of festival season in Europe, so why not pop over to Budapest for the Palinka food and wine festival, Barcelona or Madrid for May Day fiestas, and Stockholm for the popcorn film festival? Fly now through May 15 from Chicago, New York, Dallas, or San Francisco for rates as low as $278 one-way.
Sample Fares (O/W)
• New York City – Barcelona: $278+
• Dallas – Amsterdam: $313+
• Chicago – London: $336+
• Miami-Budapest: $374+
• Washington – Oslo: $379+
• Houston – Venice: $384+
• San Francisco – Madrid: $419+
THE VALUE: Fares to Europe in April and May are often close to $500 each way, so this sale saves you an average of $400 round-trip.
THE CATCH: Taxes and fees are not included, and these one-way prices are based on round-trip purchases.
THE DETAILS: Click here to book your flight with KLM.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the best hotel deals in Europe.
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