Making the Most of a Trip to Scandinavia

Article excerpt

Byline: Madelyn Merwin

Q. My husband and I (both 75) are interested in a trip to Scandinavia next summer. We have never been brave enough to travel in a group except for a cycling trip with VBT (Vermont Bike Touring Co.). We have been advised to investigate the possibility of joining a group or at least with a travel agency when planning for this trip.

We would like to spend extra time in Stavanger, Norway, as it was the birthplace of my father. We like our creature comforts whenever possible when traveling.

Please share any information you might have from experience or research for this type of trip. Thank you.

A. You're wise to investigate all possibilities and you have plenty of time in which to do it. One thought that immediately came to mind was a combination train/drive trip that would allow you to see the major cities of Scandinavia as well as go off the beaten path and explore the countryside. That means you could drive to Stavanger to spend some time in your father's birthplace.

Here's a "for instance" from Rail Europe. Two adults traveling in second class would cost $750 to $770 (depending on the car size) plus $17 for a rail protection plan - that's total, not each. This gives you any five days of unlimited train travel, two days of car rental with unlimited mileage, two months to complete your travel and local tax included with the rental.

You could start looking now for bargain airfares for next summer as well as studying guidebooks for listings of accommodations ranging from budget to four-star places in the major cities you'll be visiting.

Or check out Rail Europe's Web site, www.raileurope.com, which has hotel recommendations along with other travel suggestions. Soak up the history and culture on day tours with local guides and transportation. …