Frequently Asked Questions

Should I bring cash or use my Credit Card instead?

We recommend using a credit card while in Scandinavia as major credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, Visa, EuroCard, and Mastercard) are honored at hotels, stores, and restaurants, and also accepted in taxis. Please note that some kiosks and retailers in Europe use a Chip and PIN system instead of the magnetic strip technology. Contact your credit card company or bank to see if this option is available and also to notify them that you will be traveling outside the US. If the Chip and PIN option is not available, ATM machines are readily available in Norway. Cash may be exchanged at most hotels and possibly larger stores; however, the best rate of exchange is obtained at a bank or post office. We do not recommend taking travelers checks as they are not widely accepted.

For specific locations of ATM machines, please visit:

Cirrus ATM network: www.mastercard.com
Plus ATM network: www.visa.com
Note: ATM’s in Scandinavia have an English text option. Be aware that ATM’s in Europe only accept 4-digit numerical PINs.

What is the difference between a power adapter and a power converter?

An adapter (which changes the physical plug) and/or converter (which changes the electric current) are necessary if you plan to use an appliance (curling iron, flat iron, rollers, etc.) in Scandinavia. Please note, if your appliance has dual voltage you may still need an adapter for the plug. When packing your electronic items for travel, please review the converter electric current level to make sure it is the same or greater than the items you are planning on using. If you plan on utilizing or transporting a sleep apnea machine, please remember to pack an extension cord & adapter plug to ensure proper function. Most hotels in Scandinavia will have an iron and hair dryer available. You can also purchase dual voltage appliances (travel appliances) before leaving the US. Adaptors are available in the
Brekke Store.

How do I get from the airport to my hotel? How much will it cost?

For Escorted Tour Participants: Airport transfers in Scandinavia are included for passengers arriving/departing on designated flights of Brekke’s escorted tours. Passengers on other flights or dates are required to provide their own transportation to the tour hotel at their own expense. After deplaning and collecting your luggage, you will proceed through Passport Control (a valid passport is the only document necessary for travel to Scandinavia). You will see two exits: green if you have nothing to declare and red if you have something to declare. Choose the appropriate exit. After leaving the Customs area, continue to the Arrival Hall where you will meet your tour director.

For Independent Travelers: To transfer from the airport to your hotel, you can choose from several modes of transportation. Airport buses with frequent departures run from the airport to city center and vice versa in each of the Scandinavian capitals. Trains and taxis may also be available from the airport to the city center. It may then be necessary to take a taxi from the central station to the hotel.

How do I use an Independent Travel Voucher? Why do you use vouchers?

If you are traveling independently or have booked an independent pre- or post-tour option, please ensure that you have received your voucher or confirmation before departing the US. A voucher indicates that you have pre-paid for the activity/hotel/services booked; therefore you will not need additional funds to cover these items. To use a hotel voucher, simply present the voucher at the check-in desk of the hotel. To use a train voucher, you will need to present the voucher at the ticketing window in exchange for tickets. For tour/bus vouchers, present the voucher to the driver/guide before departure. Any special instructions are listed on vouchers—please read carefully and check information on voucher for accuracy. Please re-confirm the time of departure locally in the event of schedule changes.

Can I connect to the Internet while in Scandinavia?

Wired or wireless Internet is usually available at hotels but there may be a fee for use. Most hotels will also have a lobby computer for guest use. Internet cafes are widespread in the larger cities. They offer pay as you go for Internet service, computer usage, etc.

Can I use my cell phone in Scandinavia?

Unless your US-owned cell phone is GSM dual band, it will NOT work in Scandinavia or Europe. US cell phones are not compatible with GSM standards; however, you can purchase one abroad for use. Contact your cell phone service provider regarding international plans and service outside the US.
Finding your Tour Guide
If you are arriving at Oslo Gardermoen Airport, Bergen Flesland Airport, Stockholm Arlanda Airport or Trondheim Værnes Airport:
Your Brekke tour guide will meet you in the Arrival Hall outside baggage claim with a sign.
What to Pack
Clothing

Medium-weight clothes are recommended as a base. A raincoat with removable lining is a good choice for summer visitors. A coat is necessary in fall, winter and spring. Casual clothes are appropriate for sightseeing and touring, as well as dining in the hotels. Some tour participants choose to bring dress slacks / skirts for dinner, but this is optional. We highly recommend comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing along cobblestoned streets and for touring, especially in the mountains of Norway.

Gifts

Gifts for your family and friends in Scandinavia are not expected, but always appreciated, especially if they are extending their hospitality to you in some manner. Ideas for gifts include:

  • American flag or wind sock
  • Books, cap, t-shirts or other items unique to your city/state
  • College or professional team sport clothing/caps
  • Native American or country western themed items
  • Liquor/liquors
  • For children: Disney clothing, candy or cartoon characters

Miscellaneous Items

You may want to add the following items to your travel check-list:

  • Snacks, mints/gum and water bottle
  • Collapsible umbrella or poncho
  • Travel alarm clock / Calculator
  • Band-aids / First-aid kit / Tissues
  • Sewing kit / safety pins
  • Washcloth (not usually provided at hotels)
  • Medications (motion sickness, aspirin, cold medicine)
  • Converter / adapter
  • Plastic baggies (freezer size) for wet items
  • Extra eyeglasses & repair kit, contact lenses, prescriptions
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Maps and travel information
  • Journal to record your favorite memories
  • Spot remover (Tide stick, Shout wipes, etc)
  • Small daypack for sweaters, camera, snacks and water

To purchase maps, adapters and other travel necessities, visit the Brekke Store
Flight and Luggage Information
Flight Itinerary

Carefully inspect your flight itinerary when you receive it to ensure correct travel dates and the correct spelling of your full name (first, middle and last) as listed on your passport. These documents may be subject to considerable penalties for changes and/or cancellation. Remember, a valid passport is required for foreign travel. Each passenger must be in possession of a passport with a validity of at least six (6) months beyond the conclusion of their trip. Please check your passport for dates & validity.

Airline Seating

Seat assignment requests are based on the best available at the time of your reservation. Airlines have the right to change seat assignments at their discretion. Not all itineraries are available for advanced seat assignment, and may be reserved for airport check-in only.
Please note that groups seats are assigned at the discretion of the airline. Brekke Tours cannot guarantee specific seating requests. Seat numbers may not be advised until check-in at the airport or departure gate.

Flight Check-in

Due to increased security measures at all airports, passengers must check in at least two hours prior to departure for international flights. This will allow you time to check your baggage and present your passport and ticket; get seat assignments and boarding passes if you have not already done so; and pass through security procedures to the boarding area. Generally, your bags will be checked all the way through to your destination. Please verify upon check-in.

Brekke Tours has no control over airline booking procedures and is not responsible for and does not accept liability for denied boarding by any airline due to the carrier’s over-booking of a flight. Airline routings are not guaranteed and are subject to change at any time. Brekke Tours is not responsible for any additional expenses incurred as a result of airline cancellations, reschedules, or delays for any reason.

TO CHECK AND VERIFY FLIGHT TIMES/INFORMATION, CONTACT THE AIRLINES DIRECTLY 24 HOURS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE.

Travel Tip: Remember to count all pieces of luggage, including hand luggage, in your and your traveling companions’ possession, and to repeat this check at regular intervals throughout your trip.

Frequent Flyer

To ensure mileage credit, present your frequent flyer card upon check-in. Keep the PASSENGER RECEIPT portion of your ticket until you are certain you have received full credit for your frequent flyer miles. If you receive credit for only a portion of your trip, contact your frequent flyer program and give them the number found at the bottom of the ticket. You may need to talk to an agent instead of using phone prompts. For questions or further information, please contact the airline directly or visit their website:

Delta: http://www.delta.com
United Airlines: http://www.united.com
Icelandair: http://www.icelandair.com
Scandinavian Airlines: http://www.flysas.com

Luggage

Most airlines are now charging for a second piece of checked luggage on international flights. Refer to your carrier’s website for detailed current information.

Icelandair allows travelers on international flights from the US to check 1 piece of luggage free of charge and a second piece for $95 each way. SAS allows international travelers from the US to check 1 piece of luggage free of charge and a second piece from $55 – $110 each way (depending upon location). Additional baggage fees may apply on domestic flights within the Europe and the US to gateway cities. Please refer to your carrier’s website for detailed information.

Size and weight limitations for carry-on and checked baggage on international and inter-European flights vary from airline to airline and are subject to change, so please check with your airline or visit their website before departure. Current restrictions for most international flights are 1 checked piece and 1 carry-on per person, in addition to a purse or briefcase. The overall dimension and weight of each checked piece may not exceed 62 in. (l+w+h) and 50 lbs, while the overall dimension and weight of the carry-on may not exceed 45 in. and 13 lbs. Current restrictions for most inter-European flights are 1 checked piece and 1 carry-on per person, however, luggage fees may apply. Brekke Tours is not responsible for additional fees imposed by air carriers regarding baggage. No responsibility is accepted for loss of or damage to luggage or any of the traveler’s belongings.

For more information on luggage including baggage restrictions and prohibited articles, please contact their airline directly or visit their website:

Delta (DL) / http://www.delta.com / 1-800-323-2323
United Airlines (UA) / http://www.united.com / 1-888-674-4680
Icelandair (FI) / http://www.icelandair.com / 1-800-223-5500
Scandinavian Airlines (SK) / http://www.flysas.com / 1-800-221-2350

Delayed / Lost Luggage

Should your luggage be delayed, please note that it is the responsibility of the airline to ensure that it is delivered to you en route. Claims for reimbursement for the delayed luggage should be addressed to the airline company. To assist in this process, a claim form should be filled out at the appropriate airline desk before leaving the airport; provide the airline carrier with your contact information so that the delayed luggage may be forwarded correctly. If you need assistance later in contacting the airlines for information regarding your luggage, please contact your tour guide. Your tour guide may also be able to assist you when you make the call to the insurance or airline company, but is not responsible for timings or method of luggage retrieval; this is solely in the hands of the airline involved.

Because luggage can be delayed during air transport, we recommend taking a change of clothing in your carry-on luggage or pack some items in your traveling companion’s bag.

Please do not bring anything with you that will create an emotional or financial hardship if lost or stolen. Leave keys, as well as valuable or favorite jewelry, at home.

Travel Tip: Pack a change of clothing in your carry-on luggage or pack some items in your traveling companion’s bag in case of delayed or lost luggage.

Passports and Visas

U.S. citizens are required to carry a valid passport when traveling outside the United States. Some countries require that a U.S. passport be valid for three to six months after your entry or return from their country. Passengers should check with the appropriate foreign consulate for entry and validity requirements. Passports and visas are the responsibility of each client. A visa is not required for Scandinavia or Western Europe for stays of less than 3 months. A visa is required for passengers traveling to Russia. When obtaining a passport, call ahead to your local courthouse or post office to complete instructions and necessary documents.

For further information visit the following websites:

www.travel.state.gov
https://www.usps.com/international/passports.htm

Guard your Passport:

Do not pack it in your luggage or hand it to an unauthorized person. Have a photocopy of the first page, plus two extra passport-sized photos packed separately from your passport. If it is lost or stolen, immediately notify local police and the nearest American embassy or consulate.
Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is recommended to help protect you and your trip investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. For more information and rates, please review the product flyer below:

360° Adult Group Choice
The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. To view/download the policy, go to https://www.travelexinsurance.com/policy/?plannumber=ACGB-1217. Travelex Insurance Services, Inc. CA Agency License #0D10209. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company; NAIC #22276. DL2

Note: Most American medical insurances, including Medicare, will not provide coverage for hospital or medical expenses outside of the United States. Travel insurance can be used to help offset the costs of medical emergencies while traveling outside the US.

Read the complete Travel Hints PDF (pdf)