Mar292017

I’m on a low budget to Iceland and Baltics

Iceland is spelled ‘Island’ in Icelandic. I find some aspect of that Icelandic spelling to be calming in my perception of this North Atlantic island, considering the actual physical openings to the raw forces of Earth found on the island’s landscape of volcanoes and geysers.

Last month, February 2017, I bought two WOW Airlines tickets to *paradIsland for travel in April 2017. Two tickets one way San Francisco to Copenhagen, Denmark were $70 each during a flash promotional sale February 14, 2017 associated with new route announcements from SFO San Francisco to FRA Frankfurt, Germany and BRS Bristol, UK.

The tickets I purchased to SFO-CPH, include a Keflavik Airport KEF, Iceland 18 hour transit stop. This period of time allows me to visit Reykjavik, Iceland for the first time. I have been to KEF Keflavik Airport three times in the past two years on previous WOW flights. I have never left the airport.

San Francisco SFO

  • Bristol $69.99
  • Copenhagen $69.99
  • Frankfurt $69.99
  • London $69.99

Boston BOS

  • Berlin $69.99
  • Bristol $69.99
  • Copenhagen $69.99
  • Edinburgh $69.99
  • Frankfurt $69.99
  • London $69.99
  • Stockholm $69.99

Miami MIA

  • Berlin $69.99
  • Copenhagen $69.99
  • Edinburgh $69.99
  • Frankfurt $69.99
  • London $69.99
  • Stockholm $69.99

Loyalty Traveler – WOW Air $70 one-way tickets to Europe wasted my best made travel plans (Feb 15, 2017).

Loyalty Traveler – WOW Air SFO to Copenhagen $69 my best low fare deal to Europe ever (Jan 25, 2017).

Sometimes alone, never lonely

After a rough trip for my wife Kelley getting home from Europe to California in February, after missing her flight connection in London LGW, she was not very excited about flying around Europe six weeks later in April. Loyalty Traveler – My London flight plan cranks up wife’s stress level to 11 after she misses flight (March 7, 2017).

This trip is about moving around the Baltics. I planned to cancel our April trip, especially after veterinary and auto service bills in March. But since my two $70 WOW one way tickets only had me $140 out of pocket and there is no refund by canceling, I held out to see what options I could find to salvage the WOW Iceland trip.

I hoped ticket prices would drop in price for dates Kelley needed to travel to be back in California for work. Ticket prices did not drop. They were over $400 one way.

However, surprisingly, Norwegian Airlines ticket prices did drop this past week for  one way flights Scandinavia to California on Norwegian Airlines for weekdays I could travel in April.

Stockholm ARN to Oakland OAK, California on Norwegian Air dropped from $227 on Sunday March 26 one way for dates I wanted to travel to $193 one way on Monday March 27. Then dropped again to $148 one way yesterday, Tuesday, March 28.

I bought a Norwegian Air ticket for $148 ticket to get home from Europe in April, two days after my preferred date of travel. However, the low fare date was only for my dates of travel. Kelley’s dates were still over $400.

Looking over my records, I see the same date for travel on Norwegian Air for my ticket purchase was the same $148 ticket price on March 16.

What is the psychology behind my decision to buy on March 28 compared to the same price on March 16?

Kelley would say I am motivated by selfishness.

For me, everything came together with low airfare deals allowing me to travel San Francisco, California to Reykjavik, Iceland to Vilnius, Lithuania and Fly home from Riga, Latvia to Stockholm, Sweden to Oakland, California for $325 all-in round trip.

Her job, like many readers, prevents her from taking advantage of low fare travel dates.

In my perception, I was waiting for several pieces of a trip budget to ‘come together’; looking for the combination of airfare, hotel rates, ground transportation and dates of travel to fall in place with my ‘value travel’ planning philosophy searches. I was waiting to have the feeling I had an itinerary worthy of booking now rather than risking a delay for a better deal, better finances and a happier wife.

Kelley is right in one sense. I am selfish. I really want to walk the streets around Reykjavik, Iceland, and visit some Baltic country cities, regardless of the April weather.

I canceled an Icelandair June 2004 trip to Iceland after I landed a new job. At the time I did not want to ask my new employer for the week off to travel to Iceland to see puffins.

As my own boss, I can make executive decisions on my travel.

2017 is my time to see Reykjavik, Iceland for a couple of days and travel around Lithuania and Latvia in April.

Puffin

Stuffed puffin at shop in Keflavik, Iceland KEF airport.

* Remember that asterisk from the second paragraph?

Only selfish me reminiscing on music and not related to travel:

Two tickets to Paradise’ is the inspiration behind my use of the word ‘Paradisland’. That is a 1977 song by Eddie Money; California rocker, New Yorker transplant. In terms of sound technology, that album had great audio engineering for the time.

Eddie $ is playing Victorville in May and California State Festival in Sacramento July 23.

Probability Kelley would leave coastal Monterey, California in July on a trip through the Sacramento Valley to see an Eddie Money concert in the likely low to mid 90s summer heat is 0% with bullet precision prediction, based on our past history together.

Kelley passed on going to the Sacramento State Fair to see Til’ Tuesday in the 1980s when they were one of our favorite bands and we lived in Davis, California. The outside venue in the unrelenting sun and clear skies of Central Valley California in summer is something to experience. I passed on seeing Aimee Mann at that fair venue two decades ago in Sacramento due to my personal bias against attending a concert with a Rick Springfield headliner crowd.

Five years later,  Aimee Mann walked into a brewpub in Northampton, Massachusetts, while I was drinking beer. She was scheduled to perform as a solo artist that night and I had a ticket to her show. I spent 15 minutes in the bar in her presence and then found a pay phone on the street to call Kelley in California and describe to her how Aimee is a really tall woman.

We both saw Aimee Mann perform in Denver since then. Aimee did a little better in the rock world than Eddie Money. Aimee Mann was nominated for 1999 Academy Award for Best Song.

 

 

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. The unrest in your marriage or the prickly nature of booking these fares is at least as compelling as your actual flights and experiences.

    I really enjoy them — for many of us, travel on short trips can be considered “crazy” by the “hoi polloi” but, for me, it’s what makes life worth living…

  2. I was in Iceland in June a couple of years ago and it was very cold for me. April? I don’t think I could do it, lol. But I wish you the best and can’t wait for your trip report.

  3. @Michael – Kelley used to be up for short trips to Europe. They are harder these days with her job. I would have likely gone to Gdansk, Poland with Kelley and stayed in one hotel for the week.

    The compromise is I will cancel my May solo trip to London and we will travel to Europe together in June on $150 Level tickets to Barcelona. She will be on summer vacation from school and will be able to relax and go with the flow of travel around Europe.

    On my solo trip I plan to check out hotels in Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda, Lithuania and Riga, Latvia. I’ll be moving around every couple days. This is an exploratory trip to determine which places to return to in July with Kelley.

  4. I LOVE exploratory trips!

    Nothing better than scouting out what will make the wife’s travel more enjoyable.

    And NOTHING better than rediscovering/enhancing your individual self while traveling alone.

  5. ‘Tis true Aimee has done better than Eddie. But I’m biased as I own all the Til’ Tuesday and all her solo stuff. I own zero Eddie Money.

    Keep up the cool posts Ric!

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