Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! If you checked out my Instagram or Facebook stories this weekend, you know that a member of the Hidden Gem Travel team was at the Taylor Swift concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina last Thursday night which was the first night of her Eras tour in South America. By all reports, it was an epic experience for fans and anyone wanting to witness this cultural moment.
You may not be a Swiftie but perhaps you have a football team you love (yes, her boyfriend Travis Kelce was spotted with her in Buenos Aires last Friday) or are a huge fan of another musical group? Planning a vacation around a special event/interest of any kind is an extra-memorable travel experience. I’m often able to get those hard-to-get tickets through my connections. For example, earlier this year my clients built their Italy trip around seeing Bruce Springsteen, and next summer clients will be going to Paris for the Olympic Games. Do you have a dream to see your favorite team/band/sport/passion in outside of the USA? If so, let’s talk!
Moving onto the topic of this newsletter, I was fortunate to be invited to a ‘Nordics Roadshow’ in New York City this fall. It was a day to meet tourism professionals from the Nordic countries and learn about the plethora of amazing experiences they offer for my clients.
In case you were wondering, the Nordic countries include Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. If you love Europe but looking for a vacation beyond the usual requests (looking at you Italy, France, Greece, England), then consider a Nordic country. English is widely spoken, and blistering summer temperatures won’t be a concern.
Interest piqued? Read on for scoop on the Nordics…
Why Vacation in the Nordics?
According to the Nordics tourism boards, the midnight sun, northern lights, beaches, island-hopping, creative/fine dining, fjords, lakes, snow adventures, mountains, beautiful cities, small villages, inspiring arts and design, rich history, train travel – all these experiences are found in the Nordics: Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
Nature and the great outdoors are a huge draw for these vacations, and the outdoor experience you’ll enjoy varies by season. Summer is peak season, and winter comes in second. Spring and fall are ‘shoulder seasons’ when crowds are lighter so that you can easily feel connected to local life and culture. I’ve been to some of the Nordic countries in the last half of the year and can vouch for how lovely it is in the late summer, fall, and early winter.
Which Nordic Country For You?
But how to choose which country/s for your Nordics vacation? Working together, I’ll ask you questions to help find the best match. For example, if viewing and photographing the northern lights is at the top of your list, Abisko National Park in Sweden might be a great fit. I work with partners who are locals and tourism professionals in the country to vet accommodations and experiences for my clients, some of which you can’t easily find through an internet search.
Alternatively, a cruise on Hurtigruten, a cruise line that specializes in Norway, guarantees that you’ll see the Northern Lights! This option is fantastic for those who love to be on the water, covering a lot of ground, and not moving from hotel to hotel, continually packing and unpacking. But there are many choices because one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to vacation planning.
Volcanic landscapes and thermal lagoons your jam? Iceland is a winner and must-see country for all ages.
If going off the grid where few travel, Finland, Greenland, or the Faroe Islands are fantastic choices. Did you know that the inhabitants of Greenland originate from Central Asia? The country is part of the North American continent, but geopolitically the island is part of Europe.
💎Hidden Gem Tip: 2023 marked Hurtigruten’s 130th anniversary so you know you’re in solid, experienced hands for exploring Norway and Scandinavia by sea.
Cool & Unique Accommodations
If the idea of staying in cool and unique accommodations lights you up, the Nordics are definitely a match. Think ice hotels, treetop hotels, gorgeous lodges, spa or log cabins, safari and nature ‘glamps’, and more. Of course, there are modern hotel options too. There’s a hotel in Sweden where your transfer from the airport can be in a dog sled!
Alternatively, the Nimb Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark is luxurious while being unique. A Virtuoso network hotel, Nimb is a seriously stylish boutique hotel with only 38 rooms and suites. Overlooking Tivoli Gardens, Nimb Hotel resides in an impressive early 20th-century Moorish-styled building, complete with arches, onion domes, and decorative minarets. With a French brasserie, a stunning rooftop terrace with a pool and bar, and a luxurious wellness area, this extraordinary boutique hotel is full of charisma and amenities. This is the polar opposite of a chain hotel stay. I met their sales manager who said she would personally be involved with Hidden Gem Travel clients who are booked for a stay, and you’ll get your Virtuoso perks as my client too.
Inspired? Reach out to me now to get your questions answered and begin the planning process.
Wishing you unforgettable travel adventures,
NEW Section: Travel News You Can Use
💎 Hidden Gem Tip: Luggage Delayed? Here are a few tips to make this common inconvenience less inconvenient.
Before you depart:
- Take a photo of your checked bag and note all identifying characteristics (color, brand, estimated size, luggage tag/ribbon, etc.).
- Pack for your first night and day in your carry-on so you don’t have to take the time to go shopping on your arrival day (unless you want to!). Reminder that ALL essentials should be packed in your carry-on too.
- Invest in an air tag or similar luggage tracking device and place it inside your checked bag.
- Make sure that you keep the luggage receipt that you’re given when you check your bag – be careful not to lose it. I keep it in my passport wallet.
When you arrive:
- As soon as you realize that your luggage didn’t arrive with you at your destination, immediately head to the lost luggage office (which can be a service that’s used by multiple airlines) near the baggage claim area.
- Don’t leave the luggage office without documentation and an estimate of when your luggage will arrive at the airport and then delivered to your hotel; often the arrival vs delivery times can be hours apart.
- Alert your hotel concierge that your luggage will be delivered and show them the paperwork; if you’re staying at a quality hotel they will follow up for you!
Make your own Wanderlist for 2024! As a reminder, Wanderlist is an online portal where you can research, explore, and create shareable lists of destinations and experiences. Share your list with me so I can make it happen for you. Check it out here: https://bit.ly/wanderlisthgtc