Generally speaking for most of us folk living in the South Island a trip on a plane is the first step of any holiday abroad. We’re lucky that more and more airlines are choosing to make NZ one of their final destinations which means we now have a greater choice of how and where we fly via to reach our final destination. We usually forget the plane ride and assume that the holiday begins when we arrive at our destination because there are few airlines that help you get that holiday feeling from the moment you arrive at the airport. It has to be said though that of those airlines who achieve that feat Singapore Airlines are one of the best.

As one of the most highly awarded airlines in the world, Singapore Airlines ensure your holiday begins the moment you check in for your flight. Staff are delightful and seem genuinely pleased to see you at the check in counter. Once onboard and you’ve relaxed with your hot towel, the service continues throughout the flight with regular drinks and snacks and a veritable plethora of new release movies and entertainment to help you while away the hours. And if you choose to fly Premium Economy, Business or First class, Singapore offer a `Book the Cook’ option- a chance to have your meal specifically hand crafted for you by award winning chefs- a welcome change from rubbery pasta and tasteless curries offered by other Asian airlines.

stockholm-2971339_1920Singapore Airlines fly to over 100 destinations around the globe, and here at xtravel we’re super excited about their newest destination- Stockholm. As the capital of stunning Sweden, Stockholm is a beautiful city with striking architecture and quaint cobblestoned streets. Although being made up of 14 individual islands its 57 bridges make this city feel compact and easy to navigate. Each district within the city has its own distinct character yet they are close enough together that is easy to explore several areas in one day.

Stockholm is the gateway to the rest of enchanting Sweden, but it’s absolutely worthwhile spending a few happy days here. With outstanding museums, pretty parks, brilliant shopping and inventive cuisine Stockholm is an eclectic mix of modernity and traditional. The old town, Gamla Stan, is a saffron-and-spice vision from the storybooks with one of Europe’s most arresting historic hubs with imposing palaces and razor-thin cobblestone streets. Just a few metres from this time capsule, the modern city centre shines like the pages of a magazine. Not the mention the city is surrounded by pristine forests and a vast archipelago of nearly 30,000 islands- a wondrous place to explore on foot and by boat.

canoeing-2945061_1920.jpgWith its colourful seaside cities and inviting landscape of vast forests and soaring mountainsides, Sweden is a charming destination just waiting to be explored. Just 20 minutes out of the capital, the Stockholm archipelago is a world of 30,000 islands

If you think you’ve seen Europe but have missed the wonderful countries of Scandinavia it may be time to rethink your travel list and start planning a trip with Singapore Airlines back to Europe to visit striking Stockholm- there’s a whole new world waiting to be discovered.