The Med / Scandi Travel Triangle Trick...
Nothing sinister like the Bermuda Triangle! Instead this is a great hack/travel tip I have used in the past to save a significant amount of money on Summer holiday flight costs and maybe create a better holiday to boot. (The usual caveat here, this comes from a pre-Covid time and is aimed at a 'post'-Covid time, whatever that looks like). (Prices approximate and correct as of October 2020).
Have you ever noticed how those 'budget' airlines tend to charge you much more for flying back to the UK from the Mediterranean, than you paid on the way out? For example flying out of Gatwick to Mallorca, Saturday to Saturday for the last two weeks of August next year, is going to cost £80 on the way out and an eye-watering £320 on the way back. If you multiply that up for a family of four, you are spending £1,600 on your flights.
Flyback an indirect route, not all flights back off Mallorca are so expensive, in fact ones to Scandinavian countries can be very reasonable, as are the ones from there on into the UK. How much can you potentially save on flights? For a group of 4, anywhere between £500 and £1,000, so you could use this as a straight forward cost saver. However, a long day of flights and then hanging around an unfamiliar airport for non-connecting flights doesn't sound particularly appealing, so why not use this for a city/short break on the way home. Instead of two weeks by the pool you get about 10 days by the pool and a different city/short break at the end of the holiday. The holiday becomes two centre, a triangle with point 1 the UK, point 2 your beach destination in the Med and point 3 somewhere in Scandinavia.
Our 2014 Experience:
We had a week at the end of August in Mallorca flying in from Gatwick, very nice, then flew back out to Oslo Rygge (which I think closed in 2016) with Ryanair, had two nights in Oslo and then flew back from Oslo Sandefjord, Torp, with Norwegian, back to Gatwick and saved about £1,000 on flights.
However, it is not just the cost, it is also how it can enhance your holiday experience. Instead of leaving Mallorca on a sad note to be going home, we were off on a bit of an adventure into the unknown. Over two days we had a good look around Oslo including Thief Island and the Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Ski Jump. At the museum we saw a stuffed huskey which actually went to the South Pole with Roald Amundsen in 1911, I think this impressed me more than the kids! Suffice to say it is a cool place to visit. We also visited the Vigeland Park with it's famous sculpture, hence the terrible photo below! That is me trying to be serious about culture in a Norwegian way. It seemed like we did more in those two days, than in the rest of the holiday.
An example for 2021:
The budget airlines tend to change their routes and the best offers will change year on year. I have looked into what might be possible next year and it might mean stopping off in Denmark. Instead of £1,600 to fly four of you to and from Mallorca in August, fly home via Denmark and spend for three nights there instead. Halfway through your second week fly to Billund, spend three nights and then back to the UK, total flight bill about £600*. What could you do in Billund? If you are at all interested in a certain brand of toy construction brick, then Billund and the theme park right next to the airport should be familiar to you. Alternatively you are only about an hours drive from Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark behind Copenhagen, it goes a bit under the radar and yet is rated as a top destination. See the article link here and video below.
You can save a serious amount of money and have a more interesting holiday. Scandinavian countries are more expensive, but the extra you would pay per day of holiday is usually much less than the flight savings. For example the three days you spend in Denmark instead of Spain might cost you an extra £100-£200. It can also be better for the environment, yes you are taking three flights rather than two, but arguably if you think you are effectively putting a holiday and city/short break together, you are doing this by taking three flights instead of four.
So it would be great to have some feedback, has anyone else tried this in the past, do you think you will try it in the future and how will you make up your triangle? It would be good to hear from you in the comments.
*Using this method you would have to leave from Gatwick and return to the UK at Stansted, which might mean public transport would be a better option for your UK airport transfers. However, on other cases I have looked at, it is possible to leave and come back into the same UK airport.