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Travel Saving Tips

Intro

Norway is considered an expensive country in comparison with other European countries. In recent years, this has been less the case, with the value of the Norwegian krona dropping over 20% on major currencies. Nevertheless, Food & drink, accommodation, and transport will certainly start to add up each day. While we can’t offer you miracles to reduce your budget drastically. There are many simple ways to save money, and it begins the minute you get off the plane or boat. Below, we’ll give you the local knowledge that few visiting Norway will ever know about. 

  • Set up a Budget using this AppIt can give you a good overview of your travel finances, and it is available on your phone at all times.

Arrival

Pre-arrival: SAS has no bike fees if the bike box is under 23kg. 

Arrival Duty Free: Alcohol is very expensive in Norway, and all Norwegians will stock up at the large Duty Free hall on arrival. If you fancy some liquor for the jounrey or some arrival drinks before you set off cycling, this is the place to save money!

Getting to the City

Oslo Airport offers a comfortable 19-minute express train (Flytorget) to the city. However, there is also a local train, which takes 4 minutes longer and is half the price! If you have a bike, you will pay extra on the local train (free on the express train), but it will still be cheaper overall. If your bike is in a bike box, you can class it as normal luggage and take it on board for free.

Other Cities: Bergen and Trondheim have region/local trains from the airport to the cities. In addition, every major city airport has an expensive ‘Flybussen’ (Express Airport Bus) to the centre. To save money, look to see if there is a local bus. Many will have a bus stop very close to the airport, and it will be less than half the price of taking a Flybussen or local train. To find these buses and their bus stop location, download the local transport app and search for buses going to the airport. 

Food & Drink

If you have or purchase a Norwegian sim card, Different grocery stores offer special programs or memberships that you can join online with a Norwegian mobile number.

  • Trumf: gives you rewards every time you shop, like getting back 1% of what you spend. On “Triple Trump” days, this reward goes up to 3%. They also offer discounts on items you buy often at certain stores like Joker, Meny, Kiwi, and Spar. You can also earn rewards from other places like Shell and Esso gas stations. Make sure to link your bank card to your Trumf membership so you can save automatically. It’s free to join Trumf.
  • Rema 1000 Æ: gives you a 10% discount on fruits and vegetables, as well as on your top 10 most frequently purchased items. Membership is free.
  • Coop Membership: gives you an 11% bonus on fruits and vegetables when you shop at Coop stores. You also receive various coupons for discounts. Besides grocery stores, you can get discounts from other businesses too. To join, you pay NOK 300 as a “cooperative deposit,” but you can get this money back if you decide to leave.
  • For women: As a Coop member, you’re automatically part of the “Mens Club” (also known as the “menstruation club”) at Coop Prix. This means you get a 50% discount on bandages, panty liners, and tampons at Coop Prix.
  • The popular gas station franchise Circle K has a membership program (again, a Norwegian mobile number is required). You can receive excellent discounts on coffee, cold drinks and fresh breakfast and lunch produce.
  • The eTilbudsavis app, previously known as Mattilbud, offers a comprehensive view of all the promotions and sales available at grocery stores (and many other stores) in your selected area.
  • Too Good to GoThis app provides a list of surplus food available in your area at a low cost and reduces food waste.
  • The two cheapest supermarkets in Norway are Kiwi and Rema 1000. If you buy most of your food from these shops, you will save a significant amount of money while travelling around Norway.
  • Many chain hotels offer an all-you-can-eat inclusive breakfast. Ask for a ‘matpakke’ (lunchbox), and they will give you some food packaging to make lunch from the breakfast buffet at a small cost. You can usually help yourself to as much as you want!
  • Never buy bottled water; the tap water is free, tastes great and is readily available.
  • Free Wi-Fi: Many gas stations and supermarkets offer free Wi-Fi, which is handy when the signal is bad or you run out of data credit. 

Hotels & Transport

  • Good Hotels: You can find discounted 4 to 5-star hotels using the Hotwire site. You will not know the name of the hotel until you have booked and paid, but usually a high-quality hotel with a discounted price.
  • Campsites: always mention you have a bike at campsites, as some sites give discounts to cyclists

Free Accommodation 

  • Join Warmshowers and find free hosts in the cities and towns you visit.
  • Find a free shelter or hut on this Amateur Site: The map is a bit overwhelming but a lot of work has gone into mentioning as many free shelters as they can: You should note that the majority of these shelters are not suitable for cyclists due to their remote locations and some are no free.

Transport

  • Train Tickets: Tickets come on sales 90 days before departure. The sooner you book the cheaper the tickets. If you’re unsure you will travel on that date buy a ‘Flexi ticket’ that allows you change dates or even cancel on the ‘Full Flexi Ticket’. It will probably still work out cheaper than buying a normal ticket last minute.
  • Local Buses: are highly subsidised by the government. A ticket for you and your bike can be as little as 100kr (9 euros) for a 1-2 hour bus journey. Use the local apps in the arrival section to book local bus tickets. 
  • Taxi: Book a taxi using the VY app to compare prices and taxi operators. Never book a taxi without getting a set price.  

Others

  • Use this site to discover where the cheapest place is to buy a product in Norway: www.prisjakt.no
  • XXL sells the cheapest freeze-dry meals 
  • For travel toiletries and sports energy bars, the discounted store Normal is a good place to find low-priced items.
  • Banking charges and exchange rates can be high when using a foreign bank card in Norway. Ensure you have a prepaid travel card to prevent Bank and currency conversion rates. This can save you a lot over time. Check out https://www.wise.com
  • Unlock your smartphone and use a local SIM to save money on international roaming charges. For full details on how visit our FAQ page. 
  • Ebay of Norway: If you have a Norwegian mobile number, sign up for an account on Finn.no (Norwegian only). You will find people renting bike boxes, bike car racks, and bike trailers at reasonable prices, and you can even haggle! 
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