Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world, making it very difficult to budget for as a traveller. Local buses can be as expensive as £20 for an hours ride, and a few of these a week can completely blow the budget.
Here are some top tips for reducing costs when travelling to one of the most expensive places in the world:
It is legal to wild camp in any of the countryside, woodlands or mountains in Norway for free due to the legal right to roam 'allemannsretten'. It is a traditional right from ancient times and it's purpose is to encourage everyone to experience nature, even on privately owned lands. You just need to make sure that you pitch up your tent no closer than 150m to the nearest inhabited house or cabin. There are other things to bear in mind if you want to wild camp, including actual bears! All info can be found here
There are hundreds of campsites across Norway that have fantastic facilities, and compared to other outgoings come up very cheap. Our first campsite in Otta was only 75 Nok (£7.50) per person per night and compared to a block of Norweigian cheese at 90 Nok £9, I think this is a great deal! Campsites can be found online here:
2. Eat On The Cheap
Eating out in Norway can be extortionate and is not really suitable for anyone travelling on a budget. We would recommend taking a lot of your own food into the country for the best way of saving money, and just topping it up along the way. Because we knew we would be camping, we pre-portioned off porridge for breakfast every morning - a combination of rolled oats, milk powder, cinnamon and sugar. We brought pasta in sauce and flavoured noodles for dinner, and then lots of protein bars, nuts, dried fruit and chocolate for the bits in between. Every now and again we have needed to pick up a few groceries in local convenience stores, but on the whole we haven't spent very much money on food.
3. Plan Your Transport
It is best to book transport in advance as it can be very expensive booking on the day. Norway is extremely well connected, and it is possible to travel to lots of places by train, coach, bus, ferry and bike. Just assess all options online first to find the cheapest route. Bus fares are cheaper for students so if you are lucky enough to have a youthful face then you should be able to request a student ticket on boarding, which could save you a third of the price. A bit sneaky, but worth the saving.
For train fares and timetables, follow the below link:
There are lots of companies that run bus services in Norway, follow the links below for the two most established companies for long distance travel:
Local buses are pay on board, so unfortunately you won't be able to make much of a saving there, unless you opt for a student ticket.
4. Walk Over Ride
In the National Parks, there are lots of connecting buses and ferrys to take you to the start of the trekking routes. If you get yourself a good map and a strong set of legs, then there is no reason why you can't walk from one part to the next without the need for public transport. You could arrange to do a small circuit and wild camp, or if you need a few more amenities then check into a campsite or dorm. Just be aware of the difficulty level of the route you are planning to take as some are unsuitable for large rucksacks especially if the weather is bad.
5. Slow Down
Norway is a country best enjoyed at a leisurely pace to really get into the Norweigian way of life. Rushing around from one place to the next is going to prove to be tiring and expensive. Norway is a huge country, approximately three times the length of the UK, and so planning on going from North to South and East to West all in a couple of weeks really isn't going to be feasible. Just chill out, pick one or two areas of interest, and explore what's going on around them in a local scale. A couple of hours spent wondering through the woods is relaxing and won't cost you anything, or a bike ride through some of the stunning landscapes will leave you feeling exhilarated and energised without breaking the bank. The fewer long distance coach journeys the more money in your pocket, so just think on a smaller scale. The Norwegians aren't the happiest people on the earth because they are rushing around all the time!
We hope you find these tips helpful on your adventure to Norway! If you have any more suggestions then we would love to hear them.
(so you can find it again next time)