One of the biggest reasons people don’t travel is that they think it’ll cost them an enormous amount financially. Now the act of ‘going somewhere’, I have categorized as two types, you’re either going on a ‘vacation’ or you’re ‘traveling’. The former term connotes it’s a time of indulging and pampering (spendthrift vacations) while the latter term suggests a more frugal approach to exploring a destination (of course, this is just my personal observations).
One of the first thing I did this year was finding myself an extremely cheap return flight to Oslo and that in itself is already paid off. What’s left is the 21 Days I get to stay in Europe, namely the 20 Nights I’d have to find somewhere to sleep. And the cost of hotel/hostel is going to be a big portion of cost (sometimes even more than the plane ticket itself). To lower that cost, I highly suggest looking into hostels, AirBnb, friends’ couch, or couchsurf.
How to balance the cost? As Northern Europe is notorious for being pricey? Here are some of my travel tips:
1) Estimate budget say you’re willing to spend $100 / day, for 20 days, then put aside $2000 and work from there. The $100 should include, food, transport, and housing. Of course, I do realize that this might be hard to come by in pricy places such as Scandinavia. Which brings us to: 2) Research ahead of time, or better yet don’t make the same mistake you did last time or last year. (Like last year, I didn’t even need the Welcome Copenhagen Card as all museums were closed around Christmas time so I did free tours outside. It was cozy and fun but a waste of $60 bucks on the card right there.) 3) Look out for deals or see if you could decrease your expenditure and save yourself some money. This is something I highly recommend for winter in Northern Europe, as most people are looking for some sun and fun. In fact when I told most my friends I’m heading to Norway in the middle of Winter, “Are you crazy???” yeah, but hey I see it as perfect museum going time. Plus I’m betting on a snowy (or perhaps rainy) winter wonderland. 4) make sure you have a balance of budget places and more pricy places, because at the end of the day, you still want to enjoy yourself thus don’t penny pinch too much, so one or two night of splurging somewhere nice (because why not) should definitely be a part of the plan. 5) Add it all up then book, make sure you’re happy with the budget and book away. The strategy here is to pay everything off so you don’t have to worry about it at a later date so you can enjoy yourself.