Tag Archives: visit Norway

5 Tips How to Save on Hotels

Everyone knows that costs of accommodation is an essential part of all the costs for any travel activities. In order to keep up with the travel habits, first step for budget friendly trips is to look for the ways to lover costs of the trip.

I’m one of those people – I want to keep on going to seminars I’m used to; I want to visit places I havent been; I want to return to the places I like. Well, I’m still looking for some comfort during the trip – internet access, breakfast, access gym / pool or fitness facilities… So, usually I’m interested are  2 – 3 star hotels. If it happens to find great deal – have nothing against 4 stars 🙂 But what I ‘d like to add that this rating of stars depends on country.

Here are 5 tips how to lover costs of accommodation from my experience:

1. – Check out big booking engines to see what are the overage offers for your chosen travel destination. If going to US, Travelocity is the first place to look. I know there are many other sites  but the main idea is to see the options at first. What comes to hotels in European countries I’m choosing Booking. com because they have very good  database for all European destinations. Lately they have added great deals ( with ‘reasonable prices‘)  of Russian main travel destinations as well.

2. Look for special internet offers on hotels website. Not always but very often you can find better price there than big hotel booking engines are offering. My favorite hotel for northern Europe and Scandinavia is Scandic Hotels. Amongst special offers there is one that offers up to 35% discounted price  – if to stay 2 or 3 nights. Often there are some special deals for particular hotels.

If the basic price is around 60 Euros or more, then often there are options to find offers for 44 Euros. For one of my next trips I have already made reservation for hotel in Stockholm for 384 SEK (~$60).  With courtesy breakfast, fitness facilities & free Internet access this price is very reasonable for Scandinavian countries or northern Europe.

3. Actually end of previous tip is beginning of this one – look what’s included in the price.  Maybe there are cheaper hotels, but if you have to pay for the breakfast or usage of internet per hour, then sometimes slightly higher price is better deal. This is why I like Scandic Hotels – always good breakfast & free WiFi access included. Holiday Inn might sounds good as well but mainly you have to pay additional for these services.

4. If you are flexible on your travel time, compare prices of hotel rooms for  weekdays / weekends. Tourist oriented hotels will have lower price during the week but hotels oriented to local business & events often have lower prices during the weekend.

Once while traveling in Norway, I stayed in two hotels while in Oslo. Because with all the prices in Norway, any hotel  accommodation around 600 – 700 NOK ($ 100 – 120)  is already a ‘good price’. So I found that there are two special offers for different days in different hotels. With some planing of activities / attractions to see & because I was traveling light, actually is was not so complicated to use them for my stay. But I saved more than third of total original costs for 2 night stay.

5. Join the club! If you are frequent traveler or usually stay in some certain hotel brand, sign up for the rewards program. One thing is that you will earn free stays, but besides it as a ‘prefered guest member’ might receive upgrades or special amenities. So price might be the same but additonal services are nice 🙂

Often hotels have special discounts for loyal customers up to 20%. If you are a member of some airline loyalty program already, then you can earn additional miles for the stay or get some special offer.

To read more ideas how to save on hotels, check out to my website AmberTravelBox.com. If hotels are too expensive, try vacation rentals or hostels (some might be not bad at all for company of 3 or 4 people).

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Exploring beauty of Norway in winter

Some time ago I participated in contest Norway.YourWay set by VisitNorway. My wish to be amongst 5 lucky persons to explore Norway this winter was great but I was not selected. The prize for the contest winners was great – 10 day trip with a lot of activities and adventures around Norway.

Well, it was already set in the rules for participation that 4 people will be selected from certain countries – UK, Germany, Spain and Netherlands. My hope was to be the one from ‘other European countries’. …not this time 😦 . Girl from Poland was chosen for this spot.

views of Norway

Travel destination - Norway

Anyway, this trip is about showing the world great outdoor travel  opportunities in  Norway during the winter. Norway.YourWay hava created a ‘trip of lifetime’ for participants. Lillehammer, Oslo, Bergen, Flam, Voss, Norefjell, Alesund, Tromso, Alta and North Cape are the places explorers are visiting (trip is going on right now Feb 18 – 27, 2011).

Adventure seekers are sharing with their travel experience &pictures on Facebook, Twitter and blogs. I found two of them very nice. I like Nancy’s blog NancyExpeditieNoorwegen  and VisitNorway Spanish branch blog. Even they are not in English, Google translation does wonders & pictures are wonderful 🙂

10 days is not a short trip to Norway. Not everybody will get a chance to do same route but you can get ideas about places you wish to visit in Norway. I see that if to divide this trip in two parts – southern and northern part of Norway, then there will be two wonderful journeys with a lot of sightseeing and physical activities. 

This Scandinavian country is very special and beautiful. I’ve been in Norway in spring  and in summertime, but now seeing these wonderful images from activities during wintertime I have great temptation to try it despite of cold weather outside.

Winter in Norwegian mountains

My favorite picture from Norwegian mountains

Cross country or downhill skiing, fishing in the sea and dog sledging are just a few activities provided for people getting to know Norway. Will see if 5 explorers and Norway.YourWay team will be lucky enough to find Northern Light.

Otherwise, enjoy the images from places Nancy and 4 other lucky explorers visited so far in Norway:)

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Travel destination – Norway

You know I’ve been in Norway before. At first visited Oslo and  Gjovic few years ago. Then went to Bergen last summer. Norway is the place where after a first visit to it, people wanna return for more. Same has happened to me 🙂

Even more – I have entered the contest NORWAY.YOUR WAY to be part of 10-days journey to explore Norway  all the way from Oslo up to North Cape. There will be 5 winners selected from different countries. Here is my entry video.  Leave your vote on VisitNorway page to support me to be part of this Adventure.

There are few more days to go for this competition. A lot of people are looking forward to hunting for Northern Lights & dog sledging.

Wonderful nature and majestic mountain views are things that make people to fall in love with this country. No wonder National Geographic has put Norway as one of the top travel destinations for 2011.