Every year our family tries to take a trip abroad, and when it came to choosing this year’s destination, it came down to two things: 1) When we can travel? and 2) Where can we go on frequent flyer miles? Choosing the time was easy. Baseball season lasts through the end of July, so we would have to travel in August. However, it always seems that 90% of the world is on vacation in August, which is a problem for us because we don’t like to go where there are crowds. We also don’t like to travel anywhere hot and humid (because we can have that at home), so southern Europe was off the table. Frequent flyer miles are always tricky, so once we found our destination, I could start playing around with those.
I began researching our options seven months prior to our departure and found we would have to choose somewhere in Northern Europe, middle to late August. I realized there is a direct flight from Chicago to Helsinki (always book a direct flight with kids when possible), and since we had never visited that region of Europe, it was decided. The plan was to fly to Helsinki, visit St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and Stockholm. However, as politics changed between the U.S. and Russia, we decided now was not the best time to travel to St. Petersburg. Changes were made and the new itinerary was set. We would visit: Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Bergen, Norway Fjord Country, Oslo and Tallinn. It was extremely ambitious for us as we have always stayed in one country for a two week period in the past, worried that it might be too much for our kids to always be on the go.
Eventually I will be writing destination and attraction reviews for the cities we visited, but with the start of school, the most I can do at this time is a brief overview. A “best of” list if you will. So here it goes… Continue reading