Norway’s terrain and climate are pretty much the opposite to my flat, beach ruled, hot and humid home in Florida as you can get. But you know what they say, opposites attract.
Norway’s appeal is difficult to put into words, because the scenery, literally, takes your breath away. The rugged mountain ranges dominate the land, cut deep by colossal Fjords of turquois and blue. Thousand of island speckle the coastline that is bordered by three seas. Spruce trees shoot high towards the heaven, displaying a soft forest green blanket between the earth and the sky. Monet himself couldn’t have portrayed such natural beauty.
I fell in love with this country mid 2012, after a month long backpacking trip through Europe. Its incomparable beauty managed to tug on this Florida girls heartstring. Since then I’ve tried to spend 3-6 months here yearly.
There is only one problem with with this Scandinavian destination… it’s expensive! Luckily, with some trial and error, I have figured out a few secrets to budget my way through living and traveling in my favorite European sanctuary.
As of recent, Norwegian Airlines Airbus offers a round trip ticket from America to Oslo for under $400! Yes, you
heard me right, $350! Tickets to Europe from America average $1,000, so right off the bat you are saving over $600 just in airfare. Search flights directly on Norwegian Airlines website rather than using a search engine. Make sure to choose the “Show Low Fare Calendar” option. Flexibility in dates will increase your savings.
Keep an eye on the value of the USD and save on every purchase! Visit www.xe.com for live exchange rates. At the moment the dollar is very high, and I am smiling every time I purchase a Norwegian “cacao” (hot chocolate) to keep me warm during this frosty winter season.
Restaurants are extremely pricey in Norway. When you are paying $50 for a meal, your travel budget will diminish quickly. I recommend stocking up at the grocery store for most meals. This gives you an excuse to enjoy a picnic atop a mountain on a long summer day. Try to find accommodations with a kitchen and you are a step ahead of the savings game! Also, whatever you do, don’t buy bottled water! Norway has some of the freshest water supplies I’ve ever tasted. Just bring your camelback and fill up wherever you go.
Norway is a small country, as are the cities. They are easily biked or walked. Most major cities offer “city bikes” to cruise about on. Or, to take a stroll through Oslo’s many green parks and clean streets by foot is a delightful way to spend the afternoon. Another bonus is there are free walking tours in most cites. Also, utilize mother-natures beauty at its finest, and explore the great outdoors! The country is full of scenic trails and mountainous hikes… all free! I took an unforgettable day long hike around Bergen with its 7 surrounding mountains to choose from.
Alcohol is the quickest way to drain your wallet. It’s highly taxed and expensive. At $10 a beer, affording a night out is difficult. So choose the free and refreshing water over a $15 glass of chardonnay.
Norway is a must see! Don’t sell yourself short because of price, there are ways around emptying your bank account when exploring to this Nordic delight.