Stockholm Adventures (a.k.a. how to travel on £250)

May 02, 2017




So if you have been keeping an eye on my Instagram (shameless plug I know XD ) then you would know that 2 weeks ago I went to Sweden for 3 days for my birthday. It was the most spontaneous thing I have ever done, my friend having suggested it 3 weeks before we left, but it was also one of the best things I have ever done. It has given me so many memories I will treasure for ever! And the best part? It cost me a total of just under £250! So today, I'm gunna share with you some cheap travel tips I picked up along the way :)


Travel


Keep an eye on travel prices - they fluctuate! 

The whole reason my friend suggested a random trip away was because she saw that RyanAir were doing cheap flights cause Britain had just triggered the Brexit process. We spent a good hour finding the cheapest places to fly to (and from - the return flights always flattened many hopes as they were so darn expensive in comparison to flights to the country) and it turned out that Sweden - somewhere I have wanted to visit for a while - was one of the cheapest. We ended up booking a few days later, when the flight prices had been reduced to £16 both ways for each of us! We then had to organise a transfer bus into Stockholm so the money we saved on flights was used here (we used Flygbussarna which cost us around £27 each for both ways).
Finally, our wonderful parents were willing to drive us to and from the airport, meaning we didn't have to pay for a taxi to get us there and back or for parking at the airport, had we driven.


Luggage

As we only went for 3 days, we were able to put everything we needed into our hand luggage so didn't need to pay to put things in the hold. I took my Osprey Questa 27 rucksack which did the job perfectly - and meant for easy carrying when we had a day to kill and had booked out of our hotel (it was too far away from the bus terminal for us to leave our luggage there and collect later). Only a few changes of clothing were needed as we were only there for 2 nights and makeup was left behind. These travel bottles for shampoo and shower gel are some of the best things I've bought this year (and 50p each!) - I love Wilko! I wore my bulky coat and walking boots (the best things to wear if you're gunna be walking everywhere for 3 days straight!) onto the plane so it didn't take up valuable packing space.

If you would like a holiday packing essentials guide then let me know in the comments below!

Walk everywhere!
And save yourself money from not using public transport!

Don't forget about insurance!

My friend and I completely forgot about insuring ourselves before we travelled. I thought my EU healthcare would cover me  healthcare wise- it doesn't for everything - and I only realised it was out of date the night before we left (you can order a new one and access it if it doesn't arrive in time - follow the links at the end of the ordering process if this happens to you.) We also got travel insurance - my friend got a year long one from American Express for around £16 (I think) which is a fab deal!

Hotel

Go as cheap and as basic as you can. If you want to Hostel it, go for it; there were loads when we started looking - including one on a ship! But if, like us, you're young and your parents aren't happy with you sharing a room with strangers, then a basic, cheap hotel is your best bet. Look for somewhere where breakfast is included, to save money, and pretty central so you don't have to walk far or encounter the temptation to use public transport!

We stayed at Rex Petit which was PERFECT! The room was tiny but clean, with super cosy bunk beds! Bought through Expedia for £63.67 per night (for both of us, so we paid for one night each), it was such a great find and I can't recommend the place enough!

Food



The downside of going to Stockholm on a budget is that food is bloomin' expensive. Most main meals will cost £20+ so you have to be money savvy to do it on a budget. Eat a big breakfast so you don't need to buy as much for lunch, and make your own lunches instead of eating out - for instance, buy things like bread and cheese or ready made sandwiches from a supermarket (we used the Coop Sveavägen, as it was near out hotel so en route into the city. Be warned though, they only have card-machine-only self service!). When it comes to eating main meals, make sure you have budgeted enough in for it, and if you save enough money during the day you should be fine.

On day one, we ate at a vegan Chinese restaurant called Lao Wai, which was delicious, but expensive, costing us around £25-30, but that was including pudding. While it wasn't authentic Swedish food, we just needed somewhere to eat, and as my friend is lactose free, it meant that we knew she would be able to eat what was on the menu.

On day two, we ate at IKEA. Yes I know, judge all you like, but we could eat sort of Swedish food (meatballs) and the prices were so much more budget friendly - around £6. Furthermore, there is a free bus there so we saved on travel. It took us two attempts to find the stop however, so if you're looking for the bridge it stops under, and walking up the hill, it is the bridge before the one that has a McDonalds underneath (we were waiting at the McDonalds stop and had to dash down the hill to get to the bus when we saw it arrive). The stop has an IKEA sign on a post by the seating area, but it was well hidden...

On day three, we ate at Hamnkrogen Vaxholm, having visited the island for the day. The meals were around £16 I think, but just what we needed. We also ate at the Skavsta airport restaurant, which served burgers and the like. It did the job, and was, again, around £16, but not the best food.

We took £100 worth of Kronor in cash and the majority went on food. You've been warned! But with good planning, it can be done much better than we did, I'm sure :)

Activities



If you are a student, make the most of it. One of the best things we did was go round the Royal Palace. It was around £8, instead of £16, to see the royal apartments, kronor museum and treasury - bargain!



On day one we walked around and explored the city - using the life saver that is this free app I downloaded before we went away. Its a map of Stockholm that requires no internet or data and will even give you directions when you get lost. It's called Stockholm Map Offline, and saved our butts on so many occasions - especially when we got off the boat back from Vaxholm one stop too early, with no idea where we were... The other option is to download a section of google maps so you can view it offline (found under 'offline areas' in the menu bar), though I don't know how great it is as I only discovered this feature on the last day. 

The Archipelago



We had many options with the Archipelago - either go on a day long tour - which included food and therefore solved that problem - or travel to one Island and explore it (instead of sailing past them). We decided - mainly cause the other option was booked up until May - to just travel to one island, Vaxholm, and it was truly the best thing we did all trip! You got to see some of the islands on the way there so got a feel for it, despite not going round the whole thing - though, as they all look quite similar, I don't think a tour of the whole thing is worth it - especially as you can't get off. Having been told by the tourist information board that there was nothing to do but a walk along the coastal path (the castle was not open yet), we ended up climbing up the side of the coastal route to view some of the most stunning sights around. The best part? It only cost us £11 - and that was for the boat trip there and back (We used Waxholmsbolaget)! 

Don't go for long

3 days was enough time for us to get a feel for Stockholm, at a budget price. If you arrive early and leave late you are able to spend as much time there as you can, without paying for an extra night at the hotel!

Only use cash!



When you're on a tight budget, using physical money, instead of spending everything on your card, makes you more conscious of what you're spending. It also makes it easier to see what you have left. Count out what you have left at the end of each day and work out how you will split it up for the remaining days to work out which activities will be possible. If you know you can't be trusted to not over spend, only take the money you have budgeted in for the next day with you, not everything you brought. Hide the rest away in your hotel room.

So there you go, my experience of travelling cheap, student style. Next on my list - Germany!

Any budget travel tips you have? Share them below :)

June xx


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2 comments

  1. Amazing! Its so cool you actually set a good budget :) Just goes to show that you don't need to spend a fortune on exploring a new place :)

    x Helen www.lumieredhelen.com

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    1. You really don't if you plan well (Though even I'm surprised we were able to do it haha, I was honestly expecting to go over). In other news, can I just say that you are the first person to ever comment on my blog, so thanks a million x

      June

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