How does one start an epic 18 day, one bag European trip? For me such a trip would normally start with a spark brought on by watching a movie or TV show. A gloriously interesting setting tends to kindle my wanderlust flame. But this time, this trip was set in motion by random curiosity while perusing the interweb…
When searching for travel deals, it’s convenient to use one website that consolidates all the different travel offers. This website organizes destinations in the following categories: Europe, Asia, United States & Canada, Hawaii, Middle East, Australia & South Pacific, Africa, Mexico & Central America & Caribbean, and South America. On this particular day I thought I would check out the cheapest deals to Europe. I like to sort the many pages of deals by price (as does most of the general population). After about 3 pages of really cheap random hotels, I happened upon a one way flight to Oslo from NYC for $149. Yup, you read that correctly – $149 one way ticket to Europe. My first thought was that there’s got to be a catch. So I clicked through expecting to fall down a rabbit hole of spam infused pop ups, but to my surprise, ended up on the Norwegian Air website.
What I discovered blew me away; inexpensive flights on the new Boeing Dreamliner into major European cities, Morocco, or Bangkok, from NYC, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, LA, or Oakland. Then my worst-case scenario brain kicked in, expecting the return flight to be uber expensive. What I found was another pleasant surprise – cheap return fare as well! To the same destination we came from! With no layovers!
Ripping my calculator from my desk drawer I quickly punched in the numbers, and $394 filled the screen – the total cost of a round trip flight from NYC to Europe.
So like most rational spouses, I sat on the idea for 2 days. The offer was set to expire in 3 days, and I needed a strategy to set my plan in motion. Finally, with hours to spare to activate the deal, I sat sipping my Lingonberry juice in the Ikea cafeteria, and suddenly felt energized.
“What would you say if I told you we could fly round trip to Europe for $394 a person” I blurt out to my wife.
“Are you serious” she responded.
“Yes, quite, but the deal ends today at 6PM.”
She glances at her iPhone and reads 11AM. “When would we be going?” she replied.
“In February. The 6th and returning on the 23rd.”
She ponders. “Can you take that much time off?”
I quickly regrouped and replied “give me your phone and I will text Greg right now. Do you think Rob will give you that much time off.”
“Find out if you can go first and then I will text Rob.”
A few minutes pass and I get approval to go. Now it’s my wife’s turn… She texted her boss and we anxiously wait a reply… Hours of silence go unanswered…
At 4:30PM she finally gets the response we have been waiting for. She turns to me and says, “OK let’s book it!”
The start of a journey…
Norwegian Air Shuttle offers inexpensive flights to Europe year round. A review of the airline will follow once our journey begins.
This is their route map within Europe: