Top Budget Travel Tips: How to Save Money in Scandinavia

Saving money on your next vacation in Scandinavia (or anywhere else, for that matter) is crucial to all budget travelers. It helps you keep control of your money and might even let you enjoy a longer trip. Find out here what the best ways are to save money on your trip.

  • 01 of 10

    Compare Before You Book

    Finnair Airbus at Helsinki Airport
    Valentin Hintikka/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Naturally, comparing flight and hotel prices before you book is the most important thing for budget travelers. Learn which websites are best for finding available rates and comparing prices, while offering online booking and secure, guaranteed payment.

  • 02 of 10

    Pick a Few Free Activities

    Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)
    Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Getty Images

    Check out these lists of free things to do in Stockholm, Copenhagen and Bergen, Norway. You can also enjoy natural phenomena at no cost, especially in the region of the Arctic Circle in Iceland and northern Norway and Sweden. This free show of three Scandinavian Natural Phenomena includes the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), the Midnight Sun, and the Polar Nights. These are experiences that will last a lifetime.

  • 03 of 10

    Consider City Cards

    Ledaal, official residence of the King of Norway in Stavanger
    Julio J González-López/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

    City Cards in Scandinavia offer free admission to museums and other local attractions, along with free local transportation and many other travel-related discounts and coupons! They're available online and can be purchased for a day or more. Learn more about prices and local information about the city cards in Sweden and the city cards in Norway.

  • 04 of 10

    Keep Your Travel Date Flexible

    lille lungegårdsvann, bergen
    Vidar Flak/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Stay flexible with the exact travel dates, and you'll probably cash in on it on your flight tickets. Airline ticket prices to Scandinavia can vary widely from one date to the next. When searching for a flight (or hotel), try out at least 2 or 3 different departure dates to make sure you get the lowest fare possible. Plus, an overbooked flight on a Sunday might be a flight with several free seats on Monday. Speaking of which - try to fly Monday through Thursday to avoid weekend surcharges!

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Consider Low-Cost Dining & Great Budget Hotels

    Restaurant Narknoi in Stockholm
    Restaurant Narknoi in Stockholm. Restaurant Narknoi in Stockholm

    If you want to save money during your stay, head for family-owned restaurants. Your hotel in Scandinavia will be able to give you a few tips and directions. Another favorite for budget travelers can be the Scandinavian cafes and bars, which usually offer filling meals at reasonable prices. To save even more, some budget travelers book an accommodation with cooking facilities and cook their own meals. And one more tip: eat BEFORE you go to a theme park.

  • 06 of 10

    Don't Pay Unnecessary Fees

    Currency in Europe
    Currency in Europe. Getty

    Two things travelers often don't anticipate are customs fees and ATM fees. You don't have to pay either. Educate yourself on current customs regulations in Scandinavia to find out what you can take duty-free and how much. And instead of using ATMs, pay for things using your regular debit or credit card, or Traveler's Checks. If you have to use ATMs, check with your bank before you leave to find out if there are partner banks in Scandinavia (e.g. Citibank), which may charge lower fees. Current exchange rates can be calculated with an Online Currency Converter.

  • 07 of 10

    Get a Useful Travel Book

    Travel Guide Book
    Travel Guide Book. Getty

    Instead of buying several travel guidebooks that focus on a certain city or country, get just one travel guide that covers everything. They cover all of Scandinavia and will come in handy for trips to other Scandinavian destinations as well.

    And, useful free city-specific travel guides of Scandinavia's capitals are found under capitals of Scandinavia!

  • 08 of 10

    Pack a Variety of Clothing

    Norwegian Sweater, Scandinavia
    Norwegian Sweater, Scandinavia. Getty

    Yes, pack for different types of weather. Don't just take a few skimpy pieces of clothing just because you're traveling in the heat of summer. Weather in Scandinavia changes all the time and it can suddenly be rainy or windy, and you end up buying a new jacket even though you could have brought your windbreaker from home. Sturdy shoes are always a good idea as well.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Set a Spending Limit

    Souvenir Shop, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Souvenir Shop, Copenhagen, Denmark. Getty

    This is an important point, especially during your vacation. Set a spending limit on souvenirs, gifts, and similar expenses. Don't send a postcard to that aunt in Alaska you haven't heard from in 5 years. If you set an overall spending limit for the entire trip, and it is a little low, you might have to shorten the vacation by a day or so. Adjust your plans accordingly.

  • 10 of 10

    Use Your Credit Card Miles/Rewards

    Icelandair Hotel in Keflavik (formerly Flughotel)
    Icelandair Hotel in Keflavik (formerly Flughotel). Icelandair Hotel in Keflavik (formerly Flughotel)

    Redeem your miles to get cheaper fares or free nights. You haven't racked up enough points yet to get a free trip? That's ok, too. When paying for your flights and hotel, just use a credit card that earns points or miles and apply them toward your next trip.