I have a tradition where my kids get to pick anywhere in the world to travel with Dad when they turn 15. My son decided that he wanted to go to Norway because in his words “museums are boring”. I spent tons of hours trying to find a mixture of hiking, scenery, and cool stuff during the summer in Norway at the lowest cost.
My planning started with the discovery of some 50,000 Delta Skymiles redemptions rewards seats from Los Angeles to Ålesund Norway in the summer. I ended up booking two tickets in Economy Comfort from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles to Amsterdam to Ålesund leaving May 31st and returning June 10th. The itinerary left Salt Lake City at 8 am and arrived the next day at 8 pm.
Fortunately, there was a schedule change that happened on my itinerary a few weeks later and was able to call Delta and change the flights to SLC – AMS – AES for free thereby saving 10 hours.
After looking at tons of online reviews and suggestions, I ended up with a mixture of AirBnb stays and regular hotels along the way and settled on this itinerary:
Runde the Puffin Island
The resort town Kalvåg
The fjords in Stryn / Loen / Olden
Sognejord area and Balestrand
Geiranger fjord and staying in Stranda
The return to Ålesund through Trollstigen
I originally booked a car with Sixt rental but ended up cancelling that and going with Avis instead. Once my car was booked, I used the free AutoSlash service in order to be notified of any price drops. In the end, I ended up paying $250 for the rental car for 10 days and unlimited miles.
My son had never traveled outside the United States and therefore I had to go through the process of applying for a passport for him that came in about three weeks time. I also had a free Global Entry credit on one of my credit cards and therefore submitted his application for Global Entry once his passport came. Sadly, there were no interviews in Salt Lake City until after out trip and therefore I ended up doing an interview on arrival for him.
Now I had all of the flights booked, the hotels and AirBnbs booked, the rental car secured and had to wait now for the school year to end in order to start my trip with my son to Norway.