It’s no secret that the Scandinavian countries of Europe are among the most expensive countries in the world to visit; especially when you are coming from the Philippines. Sobrang layo na nun,beh. You can already breathe in the cold air from the north pole, at di mo na ramdam yung equator from there. Chot! Intimidating puntahan? Medyo siguro at first. Posibleng nakakatakot yung gasto? Pag demanding ka,definitely. Pag mababa naman standards mo sa pagbabakasyon, carry na yun. Para sa mga pusang gala tulad ko, lahat naman pwedeng gawan ng paraan para makamura.
Scandinavia as a backpacking destination? kayang kaya!
Sa mga nagtatanong lang, Scandinavian peninsula covers the Northern region of Europe. Sali dito ang Kingdoms of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. May ibang articles din na sinasali ung Greenland. Kung meron man akong na miss-out, then sumbong nyo lang sa barangay.
Sa article na to, I will be discussing how to budget a 10-days backpacking trip across Stockholm(Sweden), Oslo(Norway), and lastly, Iceland, which was really the purpose of my trip. Lalatag ko na secret formulas ko sa planning ha? Wag kayong ano jan.
How I booked my flights. To be honest, wala sa plano ko magbackpacking ng Europe this year. Gasto beh. Nag iipon sana ako pambili ng pag-ibig. Chot. Pero seriously, all these only started when I encountered a super-sale ticket with Norwegian Airline last Feb 2016. It only costs around Php 18,000.00 roundtrip Bangkok to Stockholm, then Oslo back to Bangkok. This Round trip ticket is already too good to miss. (Hello Europe yan, nasa 40k to 50k ang regular nyan.) Pero ang catch kung bakit sobrang mura? 1) No check-in baggage, and 2) No food included. If I added food, + Php 5,000.00. Pero sa totoo lang, hindi yun issue sa akin. Sanay ako magbaon, at di naman yun bawal sa plane (basta wag lang masabaw o beyond 100ml ang sarsa ng afritada mo). Sandwiches,Pizza slices, apple, pears, etc.. ok na un for an 11 hours ride, and usually may pabenta tlga nito sa mga airports abroad. Tsaka, matutulog ka lang din naman mostly. Aside sa binili kong mineral water dun sa departure hall, may dala ako water bottle. Refill ko lang before departure. And also in flight, pwede naman humingi ng tubig.
Yung flight from Manila to Bangkok and back,I did not worry so much kasi madalas naman un sale with Cebu Pacific.
As proof,here are my tickets.From Stockholm, relatively affordable na lang ang plane tickets to Iceland. Salamat sa skyscanner.com to help travellers book a good deal. Ito ang pasample kung pano ako mag hanap ng cheap. Though the screenshots below are not the exact flights that I got into last month, the concept of finding tickets is the same. For the purpose of costing, I will be using the values given below as reference.
Stockholm to Reykjavik Ticket comparison in Month mode. This is among skyscanner.com’s most convenient feature.
How I applied for Tourist Visa and other requirements. Here’s a reference to check. https://iamjosemanuel.com/2015/06/16/applying-schengen-visa-through-the-netherlands-embassy-in-the-philippines/
Airport Transfers when you get there. Mahalagang factor din ang pagcocommute from the airport to the city, because unlike NAIA, malalayo tlga airports nila dun; Say around 1 hour travel pa. As I’ve read, mas logical pa din if you choose public bus over train. Though the public(regional) trains are some pesos cheaper, it might require transfers pa, which would be a hassle. Maliban sa Reykjavik, All my airport transfers were settled at the airport na upon arrival. May wifi naman so you can connect and purchase online. Cheaper that way. Will discuss more of his as soon as I blog for the individual cities nah.
THE ESTIMATED COST. 10 DAYS, 3 SCANDINAVIAN CITIES. Ito po yung inabot ng gasto ko.Ito naman ung Itinerary that I followed when I was in Stockholm,Oslo and Reykjavik. Maliban sa Northern Light tour ng Reykjavik (see https://iamjosemanuel.com/2016/11/06/backpacking-iceland-on-a-cheap-things-to-dowhere-to-stay-and-stuff/ ), everything on the list is based on my personal experience and budgeting.
Overall Summary of Cost
- Yes po, Scandinavia definitely isn’t the cheapest backpacking destination. Pero beh, Iceland pinunta ko dun, at lahat ng pinaghandaan kong budget was worth all the feels. Sobrang ganda. Incomparable. Kaya nga sinadya kong maging relax ang pace ko when I was there, kasi di tayo basta bastang makaka balik dun.
- Kung gusto nyo makarami ng European countries na pupuntahan with relatively the same cost as above, then choose the cluster of countries near France.
- My spending could have been cheaper by say 20%, if I tapped with couchsurfing. Kaso with the limited time, at malalayo from the city yun hosts, mas pinili ko nalang mag hostel/dorm within, o that is walkable from the city center, nang makarami. The 1200-1500 Pesos per night is not bad na actually for a dorm bed. May standard naman na sinusunod ang Europe to provide accommodations. Sa magtatanong, Couchsurfing is like an organization ng backpackers,na pwede kang makitira o mai-host sa destination mo. Google nyo lang.
- On going around Iceland, some backpackers tend to just rent a car and share the fee and gas. Mas makaka mura kyo sa ganun if ever. However, I opt to join na a group tour, particularly with Reykjavik Excursions for my Golden Circle Tour, kasi nakaka tuwa din naman ung ma brief ka with the country’s history (and intrigues). =)
- All my hostels/Dorms have been prebooked with Agoda.com and Hostelworld.com
- Sa pagkain naman, nagtipid ako, pero definitely di ko ginutom sarili ko noh. Masaya naman ako kumain sa mga street food at average diners lang. OK na ako dun. Cguro sa bawat destination, I only allow myself 1-3 above average priced meals. Lalo na sa Iceland, nag grocery ako dun sa “Bonus” supermarket.
- Di ako masyado nag museum during the trip. Mas ok ako sa city tour tlga than museums. Sa Oslo lang ako pumasok at Astrup Fearnley.
- No shopping policy applied. Di ako pumasok sa H&M kahit alam kong may sale. haha. Kapagod din mag dala pauwi. Wala pa nmn ako check in baggage.
Sana naman ay may maicontribute ang post ko sa mga nagbabalak mag backpacking ng Scandinavia. Though there were cheaper options, my ways and means for this trip had been rather practical, than just going for the cheapest. Feel free to pattern your preparations with mine. Better yet, improve it. =) Will share a more detailed for each city, on a separate blog posts to follow.