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The popularity of Scandinavian tour operators like TUI, Ving, Tjareborg and others is growing each year among travellers from the Baltics. This is because cities in Scandinavia, like Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, have many last-minute flights and holiday packages for crazy cheap prices. These deals make it easy to visit different places, like the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, Thailand, Mexico and so on. If you haven’t booked a holiday with TUI, Apollo, Aurinkomatkat, Tjareborg and other Scandinavian travel operators before, then this is an article for you, where we compiled all the things that you should know before booking such a trip.
What are the main agencies in Scandinavia?
Here are some of the biggest tour operators and travel agencies in each Scandinavian country:
In Finland, you can use:
In Sweden, there are:
In Norway, you can check out:
For Denmark, there are:
What should you be aware of when booking a holiday package or last minute flights with Scandinavian Tour Operators?
Flights to Scandinavian Airports
One key consideration when looking at last-minute flights from Scandinavian cities like Helsinki or Stockholm is the cost of getting there from the Baltic countries. While there are generally cheap tickets available to these cities, prices can increase if you’re buying just 2-3 days before departure. These tickets can sometimes cost more than the last-minute offer itself. Therefore, the first thing to check is how you can get to these cities at an affordable price.
Thankfully, there are excellent flight connections between the Baltic countries and Scandinavia. Flights are plentiful, with many options to choose from. The cost of return flights ranges from €30 to €100, although prices can go higher. The best place to check for cheap flights is Momondo.com.
Ferries to Helsinki and Stockholm
If you’re traveling from Tallinn or willing to do so, you also have the option of taking a ferry. Getting to Helsinki is super easy. It takes 2.5 – 3 hours to cross the Gulf of Finland and one-way ferry ticket costs between €20 and €30, even if you book one day before the trip.
There is also a ferry between Tallinn and Stockholm which operates during the night (you leave Tallinn in the evening and wake up in Stockholm). Sometimes, it is a cheaper option compared to flights, especially if you travel with a group of 3-4, because you have to book a cabin on the ferry and it’s for 4 persons. So, if you are travelling by yourself, you will have to book a 4-person cabin, while 4 people can split the cost. The best website to check prices and timetable for different ferry companies is Laevapiletid.ee and Tallinn-Stockholm ferry is only operated by Tallink.
Tallinn – Stockholm day-cruise
Also make sure to check the price of a cruise from Tallinn to Stockholm. It may be cheaper than one-way ticket to Stockholm and it allows you to spend time in your cabin, so if your flight is at 17:00, you can relax in your cabin until 14:00 and then leave for the airport.
Accommodation near the airport
Unfortunately, many departures are early, and arrivals are late, which might inconvenience those who don’t wish to spend the night in the airport. As a result, it may be necessary to book a hotel or an apartment near the airport. Accommodation prices vary depending on the city. In Helsinki, near the Vantaa airport, you can find a place to stay starting at €40 per night. Close to Stockholm’s Arlanda airport, prices start from €50. Near Oslo’s Gardermoen airport and in Copenhagen, accommodation begins at €100 per night. These prices are for basic accommodation. If you’re looking for something more comfortable, be prepared to spend between €150 and €200 per night.
Another thing to keep in mind with Scandinavian tour operators is baggage allowance. The free baggage allowance is usually between 5 and 6 kg, depending on the company. If you need extra baggage, it’s cheaper to arrange this in advance.
It’s important to remember not to buy insurance from tour operators. Their insurance typically only covers citizens of their respective countries, which could leave you without coverage if something goes wrong. If something does go wrong, Scandinavia is pretty expensive place, so be sure to arrange for travel insurance in your home country before your trip, that covers you adequately.
Overcoming language barriers: booking on Scandinavian websites
If you’re interested in booking tickets or holiday packages through Scandinavian travel agencies, it’s important to note that most of their websites are not available in English. However, don’t let this deter you. With tools like Google Translate or DeepL, and browser plug-ins to assist, you can easily navigate these sites.
Here’s a simple guide on how to get and use these translation tools:
- For Google Chrome, you can download the Google Translate extension from the Chrome Web Store. Once installed, it will automatically offer to translate pages that aren’t in your default language.
- For DeepL, go to the DeepL for Browser page. Here, you can drag the ‘DeepL for Browser’ button to your bookmarks bar for easy access.
Once these tools are set up, you can use them to translate webpages into English simply by clicking the right mouse button and choosing the option to translate the whole page.
Lastly, when filling in your details during the booking process, your name and surname are the most critical. Other information, such as your address or phone number, can be updated later if required. If the site asks for a local address or phone number, don’t worry – you can reach out to customer service later to provide your correct details. Most of the representatives speak English. If they don’t, you can still use Google Translate or DeepL to communicate.
When planning a last-minute trip from the Baltic countries to Scandinavia, keep these tips in mind. First, check how to get to cities like Helsinki or Stockholm affordably. Also, know the cost of flights and ferries. Then, look for good places to stay near airports. Remember, you can bring a small bag for free, but you’ll have to pay for bigger bags.