At long last, we’ve done it. After booking, cancelling, rebooking, cancelling again, rebooking a third time and cancelling a third time, we’ve decided to change destinations for our long awaited next trip overseas. So, instead of discovering my wife’s family’s Austrian roots this year, we’re jetting off to Iceland in September. Given that Iceland now admits Americans who can show proof of vaccination from Covid-19, and we can, we’re comfortable that this trip will actually materialize.
Clearly, we have nothing to complain about with the delayed vacation planning. While we know a lot of people who have suffered from the virus, as well as a few whose lives were cut short, we have not been directly impacted healthwise and are thankful for that.
I’m finding that despite a 35-year career in the travel industry working in marketing and sales for several airlines and tour operators, that my travel planning skills have become a bit rusty. And it definitely doesn’t help that the Icelandic language is incredibly difficult to comprehend. Yes, English is widely spoken as the island country relies on visitors to fill their hotels and restaurants, as well as rent thousands of cars for personal exploration, but when I travel I attempt to speak as much of the local language as possible. It’s appreciated by the residents, is lots of fun to try, and helps make at least some Americans less “ugly”.
It will surely be interesting asking for directions to Kirkjubaejarklaustur, Jokulsargljufur or Tindfjallajokull, but that’s one of the joys of exploring the world.
Living in the Twin Cities, we are extremely fortunate to have a major Delta Air Lines hub just a 20 minute drive from home at the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport (MSP). For virtually anywhere you’d like to fly to domestically, and to many international destinations including Tokyo, Amsterdam and Paris, we are just a single flight away from our destination. And Keflavik International Airport (KEF) which serves Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik, is no exception.
Delta recently announced the return of daily 757-200 nonstops from MSP to KEF beginning the last week of May. Delta’s New York (JFK) to Iceland nonstops resumed this past weekend, and new Boston Logan International (BOS) flights will be added this month as well. Flight time from the Twin Cities is just over six hours, so the evening departure at 7:30 p.m. will arrive at Keflavik at 6:30 the next morning.
While I’m in the planning stages of what sites to see and hikes to experience, I’m open to any and all suggestions. Volcanoes, mud boils, geothermal streams and baths, whales, puffins….you name it, we’re interested. Thanks in advance for your input.