So, you’re off to Denmark. Whether you’re heading out just for the weekend or a little longer the best way to make the most of a city break to this popular destination, is to be prepared. It’s not the Scouts’ motto for nothing!
Denmark has lots to offer — and we’re not just talking about their amazing butter, open sandwiches and eye candy such as Viggo Mortensen. More than once they’ve bagged top spot in the World Happiness Report (they’re currently third after Switzerland and Iceland). So, if you want to make the most of your trip to Denmark then read on…
Plan, plan, plan
This is particularly important if you’re heading to Denmark just for the weekend. 48 hours isn’t a long time. So, if that’s all you’ve got then make sure you have an itinerary. Use the internet to research the places you want to visit and activities that you want to do.
Instagram is a great resource for interesting things to do. Particularly for a young, trendy crowd. Also, did you know that Denmark is the Scandinavian leader when it comes to Michelin starred restaurants? Me neither. They have 21 to be precise. Book well in advance and visit at least one.
Pack your trainers
Unless you’re heading out on a particularly boozy excursion such as a stag or hen do then think about hiring a bike. If you’re visiting Copenhagen the first thing you’ll notice is that EVERYONE cycles. And, like New York, Copenhagen’s trains run 24 hours a day so a car isn’t a necessity.
Denmark is at the forefront when it comes to eco-friendly policies and sustainability is a bit thing for the Danes. So, pack your running shoes and prepare to walk and cycle as much as possible. Think of all those extra calories you can consume guilt-free.
Learn some Danish
One of the best things about visiting a new country is learning the lingo. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll benefit from making the effort to learn basic words. Bear in mind however that Danes don’t do small talk. So ditch the ‘hello, how are you?’, in place of more practical phrases such as ‘yes’ (‘ja’) and ‘no’ (‘nej’).
For a short trip it may not be worth your time investing in a paid course. But, if you’re only visiting for the weekend the internet is full of resources that will arm you with the necessary vocabulary to get you through your holiday.
Add emergency contacts to your phone
Nobody plans to have an accident or fall ill whilst on holiday. So, it’s best to always be precautious and ready for any such emergencies. For life-threatening injuries, your first port of call should always be the local emergency service but if you’re just feeling poorly having the address and contact details for the local pharmacist and dentist could save a lot of headache.
Ever had a toothache on holiday? It’s one of the most irritating things ever. It’s worth remembering that most travel insurance policies cover dental expenses (if the treatment is to relieve pain). But, it need not be all doom and gloom. Denmark has some of the best dental practices in Europe so rest assured that you’ll be in safe hands.
Free Wi-Fi is easy to find in Denmark so it’s worthwhile researching a few of the most useful apps to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. One app you definitely should check out is the Bike & Stay (iOS & Android). It’s by the Danish tourist board and is not only free but works offline too. If you’re planning on doing any long-distance bike rides around Denmark this is the app to get.
Even if you don’t fancy cycling long-distance the app highlights some great points of interest to visit as well as cycle-friendly campsites.
Going abroad without travel insurance is a mug’s game. Frankly it’s so cheap that it’s not worth the upset in case anything does go wrong. And, thanks to the internet it’s so easy to find affordable cover with many multi-trip year-long policies averaging around the £20 mark. So, if you know that you’ll be going on at least two holidays in a 12-month period it’s well worth opting for multi-trip cover. That way you don’t have to worry about it each trip you make.
I set a yearly reminder on my online calendar so that I get an alert, two weeks before it’s due to run out (I have it set to auto-renew too). I also keep a printout of it with my passport. However, if you do activities such as skiing, snowboarding or other adventurous pastimes you’ll have to make sure that you have specialist cover.
Get an EHIC card
Yes, Brexit has thrown a lot of things into uncertainty but it’s still worthwhile making sure that you have an up-to-date European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC entitles British Citizens to either free or subsidised health care whilst in Europe.
It’s worth remembering though that the EHIC isn’t a substitute for adequate travel insurance as there will be medical charges not covered by the EHIC. The EHIC is free and can be applied for via the NHS website. You’ll also be able to verify what treatments are covered by the European Health Insurance Card.
Brush up on the culture
Yes, the Danes are amongst the happiest people on earth but they’re also some of the most law-abiding too. Learning the things not to do whilst on holiday in Denmark will save any embarrassing upsets or time wasting. For example, the Danes are very safety conscious road-wise so you’ll rarely see them jay-walking or jumping traffic lights.
They also don’t eat late so heading out at 9.30pm for dinner may result in you being extremely short on options as most restaurants don’t have late dining hours. Also, put those Euros away because Denmark doesn’t use them. They use the krone…
Book your travel money online
Finally, don’t wait until you’re at the airport to change your travel money. You’ll find the best deals online. Bear in mind that for most of these great online deals you’ll need to order your currency at least 24 hours in advance.
Use a comparison site like MoneySavingExpert to get the best rate. You’ll also be able to see the best deals for using your credit/debit card abroad. As the saying goes, ‘…watch the pennies and the pounds watch themselves.’