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Stockholm – Introduction

January is always a very busy time for me at work – so much so that I have a rule that no one on my team can take any time off from Christmas until mid-February.  There is one sweet spot in January where we have 3-4 days where we’ve finished our year end work and can’t start our year-begin work. This sweet spot is when I try to escape for a little bit. Last year I headed off to Shanghai for 4 days.  I chose Shanghai because MS was there for work, and I found really cheap airfare.

View of Stockholm - a winter wonderland

View of Stockholm – a winter wonderland

How did I pick Stockholm…in January no less?  Well, MS was heading to Brazil for a two week work trip and I initially planned on joining him – until I started checking airfare. For the weekend (a/k/a my work calendar sweet spot) in question, the airfare was nearly $3K for a simple economy plus seat on United.  That’s absolutely insane – I have never spent that much on a single ticket in my entire life. I can’t imagine ever doing so.

I still wanted to take a trip that weekend so I headed on over to Google to search for destinations with reasonable airfare that fit my very restrictive travel schedule.  Not surprisingly, the cheapest destinations were cold weather destinations – Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm.  These destinations were all about $800 round trip.  I found trips to Addis  Ababa for $900 and Beijing and Shanghai for about $950.  I was really tempted by Addis Ababa, but the timing wasn’t ideal (I’d only have about 30 hours in the City).  MS had already been to Stockholm and had a good time, but wasn’t really interested in returning anytime soon.

My trip was quick – technically the timing was pretty much like the prior year’s trip to Shanghai.  Since I had to connect in Newark, my travel time from ORD to ARN took about 13.5 hours (including the layover).  I even had the same amount of time on the ground in Stockholm as in Shanghai.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll tell you all about my quick trip, including:

Have you been to Stockholm?  Do you think it’s nuts to go to Sweden in January?  Do you have a time at work where you really want to get away, but cannot because of sill schedules?  Does the idea of a 4 day trip with 26 hours in transit and 52 on the ground seem absolutely stupid to you?

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