Many would have hesitated. According to Telegraph UK, Norway is ranked 4th most expensive country to live in. Imagine buying a McDonald’s burger meal for about S$20.00.
That’s right! You can’t deny that things aren’t getting any cheaper.
Does that you mean you need to sleep at the railway station to save every dime? You can if you wish but not for me, probably not for the usual traveller.
So, ditch the idea.
There are several ways to spend your dollar wisely and witness the beautiful fjords in Norway during summer.
1. Sign up for Airlines’ mailing lists
A big chunk goes to airfare. Save the cost by booking directly to the airline website. Subscribe to their mailing list. Usually, the offers are advertised a year before within a specific period. So if you travel in 2016, you will get a beep in your mailbox in 2015. Book it early (and I mean immediately) to get your preferred dates. I would prefer Lufthansa, the German carrier. Simply because their fares are reasonably cost-saving. For example, a return ticket to Oslo costs me S$789.00 all taxes inclusive during the low peak season.
For my fans in gowheretravel.com Facebook, I’ll try to post cheap airline deals.
2. Pack healthy takeaway food in your bag
I don’t mean you should eat stale bread daily. Neither you can eat MacDonald everyday. Buy some healthy snack bars in your home country, pack them into small ziplock bags and bring them on the go. You can save the extra buck for a good old fish meal at Bergen Norway.
Avoid the fancy restaurants – minimally, an average meal cost about NOK300 – NOK 500. If you must, plan one night during dinner to try out. The rest of the time is “bring your own food” concept especially lunch time. You can also pop by the nearby convenience store to buy a hotdog. Tasty and well-priced. Your bottled water can be refilled at the hotel or boil the tap water and bring along a small flask.
3. Go for the free tours and activities
What’s the best way to feel the sights and sounds without forking out exorbitant fees? Yes, you got it. It’s complimentary tours. Great local folks, they are happy to bring you around – check out this group at Oslo. There are free activities in Bergen, one of Norway’s most popular cities. Take a stroll alongside Bryggen, hike up Mount Floyen to get a picturesque view and join in the song and dance at the wharf. All for the fun and laughter!
4. Get Oslo Pass and Bergen Card
One pass, several attractions. Use them for free travel, entry passes and much more. Instead of paying individual ticketed prices, consider one-stop access. You can keep the card or pass as souvenirs. There are options for 24 hours, 48 hours. Just make sure you plan your routes properly since the opening hours are pretty short in Oslo – some close at 3.30pm to 4.00pm local time. I wouldn’t recommend 72 hours as you would be a little familiar in the next couple of days, thus knowing where to go and how to do it.
5. Forget exquisite hotels, book rooms that are worth it
Don’t think of 5 star hotels but think of rooms that bring value and it’s affordable to you. Value means the accommodation is situated in front of the fjord, near to a flowing river or boast a majestic view that will blow your mind off. Therefore, don’t just hop right on to Airbnb right away.
Of course, you must be prepared to pay a little more. Usually the rates for lower floor are cheaper or you can take a coffee at the cafe’s verandah which is mostly located at the hotel lobby.
For me, I stayed at the Radisson Blu hotel at Alesund, an art nouveau town. It’s facing right in front of the port of call. I get a serene and quiet time by sipping my hot tea without the hustle of life.
If you decide to choose another option, you can also think of staying in a Rorbuer, a local fishing hut found across smaller islands such as Svolvaer, capital of Lofoten Island. The key here is to experience something different.
There you go, 5 great tips to ensure you are stress free from money. Norway may not be as costly as you think.