Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Time

The holidays are coming up, and the calendar gods are truly smiling upon us this year! The new year holiday is nine days this year, and if you take just four vacation days you get a whopping 16 consecutive days off. Many people take this rare opportunity to travel abroad, and so will we.

We will go to Sweden and my parents' for Christmas this year. It should be exciting for Ritsuko especially, as she's never celebrated Christmas in Sweden. It's not a religious holiday for us, but there should still be plenty of exotic customs and strange foods in her near future.

Kansai Airport
Departure concourse, Kansai airport, Japan

We fly Thai airlines from Osaka to Stockholm, so we change flights in Bangkok, their major hub. Which means we will not return directly home after Christmas, but go to Krabi in southern Thailand over the New Year. A few days with Thai food and swimming in the sea at a warm summer resort is exactly what we'll need after the cold, wet December weather and all that heavy Christmas food. I'm sure we can squeeze in a cooking class or some excursion too.

When you book early and all with the same airline you can stop at multiple places on the way, and side trips (such as Bangkok-Krabi) can often end up almost free. This is a good way to see new places if you have the time. Perhaps next time to Europe we could fly Air France and catch a weekend in Paris; or fly Emirates and visit Dubai for a couple of days.

Malay air flight attendants
Malay Air flight attendants, Arlanda, Sweden.

On the other hand, it's not the fastest route we could take between Osaka and Borlänge. Thai is a ways off, and we have a fairly long stop there on the way to Stockholm. When we leave our apartment it will take us 38 hours to arrive at my parents. Going via Helsinki would have cut it to no more than 25 hours or so.

It's Security. We're Secure.
Security detail, Charles de Gaulle airport, France.

The bags are packed, the gas is shut off and the Bonsamatic is filled up and running. We're off to the airport well before dawn tomorrow morning. Merry Christmas everyone!


Jordi Pujol said...

Glad to hear, Hope you have/had a great vacation!

I should look further into the sidetrip part. Last time I travelled we did want to try Singapore, but they had a quite big fee for it and we passed on the idea. My dad used to do it a lot in the 80s and he regrets a lot that nowadays they charge for it.

Weather here in the Mediterranian is quite mild and it doesn't quite seem Christmas like weather. If I had to be guided by the weather it should be October.

I have a love-hate relationship with flying. It is not as glamourous as it was and sitting cramped for long hours isn't that nice, but I love moving around places and riding the machinery together with the continuous landscape changes...

The Kansai picture is your personal travel classic.

That said, good trip and nice holidays.

Jan Moren said...

It can cost a fair amount. But if you book really early (we booked this in April) the extra cost can be very low, and if you add flights for a side trip, the final extra may become less than the price of the side trip itself.

Weather in Sweden is depressing this year. it's actually no colder than Osaka, and snow is not going to happen, unfortunately.