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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Part Before the Trip

I know I initially promised blogs focusing on Denmark and Iceland for my next two posts but as I started typing, I realized I had SO MUCH to tell you before diving into our trip. Why did we pick our locations? How did we make it happen in such a short turnaround time?

First things first, how did we plan our itinerary for our trip? Daniel is a huge fan of Anthony's Bourdain's (RIP) Parts Unknown. One episode he had to show me was in Denmark. For him, one thing stood out--Noma. If you have not seen this episode or you have not heard of Noma, I suggest you do some research. Because of this episode, we immediately started planning a trip to Europe--Denmark, Sweden, and Norway; Daniel's first trip to Europe.

This was back in early 2018. We made some adjustments and ended up visiting South Korea with Daniel's family as our big trip for the year. If you know me, you know that a trip to Asia is when I thrive so this was a well-accepted transition. However, our initial trip to Europe had been postponed for the time being. Flash forward to December 2018, I received an email from Scott's Cheap Flights that was too good to pass up.

"What is Scott's Cheap Flights?", you ask. It's an email subscription service you sign-up for to receive discounted flights. There is a fee associated with signing up for a premium account. Once you pay the fee and register for a premium account, you can set your desired departure locations. For example, I have mine set to Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, and Atlanta. You're probably thinking what I had previously thought: "Discounted flights? This sounds too good to be true". Trust me, I was right there with you. I did not necessarily believe it until I tried it.

The only catch? The flight days and times are not easily changeable. If the discounted flight is for March, you likely will not be able to find the same price for April. You click the links provided in the email and you are given predetermined flights with layovers, connections, and departure/arrival days.

Anyways, I would constantly receive emails on a weekly basis for these amazing countries with flight prices that were basically cut in half. My response was always the same, I'd read the email and think "one day".

Well, that day came. It was a Thursday evening in December. I checked my email and saw one from Scott's Cheap Flights for Copenhagen. I opened the email (for those located in Charlotte, flights are far & few from CLT, unfortunately). Lo & behold, there it was. Flights from CLT to CPH for $245PP RT. That is unheard of. You cannot even fly to certain places in the US for that amount.

Unfortunately, I did what I normally do. Thought "maybe" and closed my email. But the thought didn't leave my mind. I had been monitoring emails for months and I had never seen one discounted by that much.

The next morning, I kept checking and the flights were still available. Friday morning, I messaged Daniel at work and asked him about it. We talked about the logistics and whatnot. I finally asked: "Do you want to go? Yes or no?" (sometimes you have to push them to a concrete answer). He said "yes", not fully aware that this answer would plunge me into typing in my credit card information into the website. So I took a risk and just booked our flights.

Done & done. Sometimes all it takes for an adventure to happen is to take a little risk. I knew a flight this cheap to Denmark may never happen again.

Our flight was set for February 12th with a layover in Toronto and we were EXCITED. Many weeks of planning ensued and we prepared for travel.

As I've preached before, always be prepared for the worst to happen. The day before we left after lunchtime, we received a cancellation email for our initial flight to Canada. Calmly and prepared for the worst, I called Air Canada and they quickly switched us to another flight, connecting in Chicago before heading to Canada, earlier that morning. No big deal.

Then another cancellation email a few hours later. Toronto was getting such a bad snowstorm, there were basically no flights in or out for the day of February 12th. It's a little difficult to avoid connecting in Canada when you are flying Air Canada.

Panic started setting in. Daniel prepared for my impending stress with Chik-Fil-A and chocolate chip ice cream. Luckily, after being on hold for an hour (these poor people were dealing with hundreds of flights being canceled due to the weather), the Air Canada Support representative I spoke with was able to pull some strings and get us on a flight from CLT to Washington. From there, we connected to our flight to Copenhagen, putting us in Denmark 3 hours earlier than expected. Talk about exceptional customer service.

Finally, after much effort and much anticipation, we landed in the beautiful country of Denmark. Sights to see, food to devour, and adult beverages to enjoy.

To see where we stayed, what we did, what we saw, what we eat, what we recommend... stay tuned. I promise, it's coming (and it's coming sooner than you think!)

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