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Budget Travel Hacks

Come explore where the mountains meet the ocean, where all uncultivated lands are free to enjoy, where you can follow the footsteps of a thousand glaciers.

Norway may be expensive to visit, but if you’re smart and plan ahead, anyone on a budget can still manage to witness the many natural wonders of this unique place.

Norway has already handed you the most important key to unlocking the door, and that is Allemannsrett.

Literally translating to “all men’s rights”, this is a law that states that all uncultivated lands are free to everyone. Bring a tent and camp high on a bluff overlooking Tromso on a clear, new moon night around the Spring or Autumn Equinox to experience the truly breathtaking display of the Northern Lights.

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Bring a portable fishing rod and fish from shore anywhere in the country. A little research on how to find edible plants and berries, and you’re fed for free.

For those who absolutely want to visit civilization, your best bet is a city tourism card. Free entry into all the attractions, plus free local transportation, can go pretty far for exploring cities. For example, venture to \Norway’s third largest municipality, Trondheim, with its myriad cathedrals (some dating as far back as 1070), a fortress, an island that served as a monastery, prison, and WWII anti-aircraft gun station among other things, and so much more.

If you want to see all of the sights at once, renting a car can be cheap if you’re willing to check out places with names like Rent-a-Wreck. Drive the length of the country, camping in national parks, or stay in Gardermoen, a small town just far enough away from the nation’s capital of Oslo that accommodations are cheaper, but close enough that you can enjoy visiting Oslo.

Instead of buying bus fare or paying for a local tour, rent or bring your own kayak or canoe for inexhaustible adventures by sea. Norway is the land of fjords, deep inlets dug by glaciers.

Imagine kayaking along the shoreline from Stavanger across crystal clear waters under the shadows of mighty cliffs, putting in at intriguing places to explore the area before making your way down the Lysefjord to witness the incredible Kjeragbolten, a rock wedged between two cliff faces 1000 meters high. This popular tourist destination attracts the daring and reckless and is a very popular base jumping site. Where else can you stand virtually in midair over 3000 feet in the air?

If sleeping in tents isn’t your thing, you could join the Norwegian Trekking Association for discounts on the use of their lodges. The locations of their cabins make it possible to hike from one cabin to the next for days. Cabins vary from self-run (which are the cheapest) to fully catered cabins with up to 200 beds.

You could hike or bike your way around Kristiansand, enjoying coastline views of the North Sea, putting into town for supplies as you need. If you’re going to cook for yourself it is pretty cheap, as long as you stay away from chicken fillets and vegetables.

It’s always a good idea to book travel and accommodations as far in advance as possible to save money. As much as you can, rely on yourself for transportation and food. Hiking, biking, and canoeing are vastly cheaper options than public transportation, and you can see a whole lot more of the country.

It is possible with planning and saving to visit Norway on a budget. And budget or not, you can’t afford to miss the breathtaking vistas from waterfalls to glaciers, the exciting wildlife, and the life-changing experiences you can find in Norway!

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