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Thrifty Travel for Senior Couple

We'd both have Norwegian backgrounds and would like to travel there without using up all our retirement. Are there some money saving tips for folks over 65? Such as discounts on trains etc.?

Posted by
53 posts

Hi..that is a loaded question, as we have no idea of your financial situation. R. Steve's travel guide gives many ideas about less expensive lodging, discounts on train and public transportation. I highly recommend it. That said, Scandinavia and particularly Norway has a very short tourist season, and tends generally to be more expensive than Western Europe. I spent many hours planning a driving tour of Norway and ended up booking a Rick Steve's tour as is seemed we would get more for our money. Happy travels.

Posted by
2081 posts

Kathleen,

Im getting close to that age, but am trying to avoid it. Unfortunately i didnt take any of the cross country trains when i was up there. But i will the next time.

Did you check any of the local train web sites or if youre lucky, maybe some is old enough on here to take any advantage and will chime in.

happy trails.

Posted by
1195 posts

Thanks for replies! I have friends in my genealogy society that have traveledl in Norway and have tales of the expense. I was hoping to get clever ideas so we can outdo (under pay) them on our trip. We might consider Rick's tour to make life simple. When we traveled in the UK we stayed at country b & b's or business class hotels in the towns. We often had deli food instead of restaurants; we had a picnic or ate in our room. We'd rather visit interesting places then to live fancy. I just found out the Norway train discount starts at age 67.

Posted by
2081 posts

Just an fyi,

what i determined/found out on my travels is that food and souvenirs are the least expense i have. when im traveling, my food consumption is erratic due to the travel and to/see schedule.
buying food in stores/delis are a great way to save $$ too, but i think the big ticket items like transportation and lodging would go along way.

also, i havent checked on this yet, but i do my large city visiting first and then head outside since i think its less expensive for lodging once you leave the big city. There are exceptions like how touristy and how few places to stay and im sure otheres, but thats how i do and am planning my travels.

happy trails.

Posted by
1195 posts

Thanks Emma: I just read that link and it has made me more hopeful that I can actually afford to go!

Posted by
5658 posts

We feel poor in the wallet traveling in Norway but rich in the experience.

Hostels are not just for the young, and economy hotels in Oslo are clean and comfortable. Weekend rates are better in the city where travelers tend to be visiting on business. Norway is a very first world country so economy hotels are not dumps. . Eat big at the breakfast buffet and a light lunch will get you through the day.

If you need alcoholic beverages, follow the Norwegians on landing to the duty free shop before exiting. Stock up on Aquavit and don't order alcohol at restaurants. Beer is more expensive than the pizza. But treat your selves and eat big at least one night.

If you enjoy the mountains, join the DNT and take advantage of DNT huts.
http://english.turistforeningen.no
DNT huts serve traditional meals. Again, eat a big breakfast. Brown cheese and fish with a big bowl of grain will keep you going for the day. Bring a sleep sack for huts and hostels.

Take trains or busses and don't rent a car. A car is a liability in the cities. Trains have discounted advance purchases. Check the
nsb.no
website. You can advance book and claim your tickets at the station ticket machine. Chip cards are not needed but you need a pin.

Posted by
3 posts

We will be travelling for 6 weeks this coming August/September in Norway. With the exception of going on the Hurtigruten boat from Bergen to Kirkenes we will be using a rental car for 3 days, flying a couple of legs of our journey, using the train and bus system and hiking from hut to hut. Booking as far out as possible saves a lot of money, staying in Youth hostels where you can use the communal kitchen also saves a substantial amount of money. We generally stay in hostels booking a private room rather than staying in a dorm and cook our own meals. By joining the DNT and staying at their mountain huts which are very large and in some cases quite fancy we have cut the cost down again.
I don't know if you are into hiking but if you are, the trail system is very good and the huts are spaced about 6 hours apart. Needless to say you have to carry your own gear but no need for a sleeping bag just bring a sleeping sheet for the places that don't provide linen. Hope you have a great holiday and remember in Norway a group consists of 2 people so ask for the group discount when travelling on the public system.

Posted by
12040 posts

If you're traveling in the summer, you'll get much more hotel value for you money. It's not exactly cheap, but there's far less business travel, and hence, you're not competing against a corporate expense account.

I've found few other places in Europe where the quality of the food so closely parallels the cost. I've had some excellent, but expensive meals, and some really awful cheap ones. If you're trying to save money, then I wouldn't eat out, except maybe take-out sandwiches.

In Oslo, the Oslo ticket is a good value if you visit at least three sites per day and plan to take the trams around the city.

Good luck. Your money just doesn't go as far in Norway as it does in other parts of Europe.