As you all know, I am leaving for Norway tomorrow. My main goal is to see the world on a dime. This trip to Norway was completely unplanned when I got to England. An offer came in from Ryanair for a round trip flight from Liverpool (20 miles away) to Oslo, Norway for €19 which I know is approximately the same as US dollars. I googled pictures of Oslo to see if it looked like somewhere I would like to take pictures, and after a couple, I deemed it was.. I then looked up what dates and times I would have to fly, checked my sisters calendar to make sure I wouldn’t be missing any of our plans with m nephews school Christmas play, and birthday.. And found that I could make this work for dec 4-7 .. Not a huge amount of time, but it’s a new country! Last thing I needed to do was find an affordable place to sleep. I typically start this hunt by opening my hostelworld app and pricing a bed in a hostel for a base bottom dollar price. I have a baseline $27 per night.. $81 .. I then open my couchsurfing app, create a new travel itinerary, and send 5-8 hosts a message with my dates, and why I think they would want to host me while staying in their hometown. Free is always good! I then open Airbnb and set the location, the dates, adjust the filters to include “entire home” and “private room” and drop the price down to $0-$30 .. The research begins. I’m typically looking at cleaning service fees, (this is how some hosts falsely advertise low prices) I look for the actual location versus the location I’ve entered, as this can sometimes be quite far, or inaccessible with public transportation. If I find a place, I then read the reviews, the information in the listing for general area information, the reviews give me an insight as to what the experience is like, what the hosts are like and how accurate the listing information is. As a host, I am aware that some people just love to critique and I take that into consideration. Reading listings in their entirety has helped me to provide more information for my guests at my own Airbnb listings. After hours of research I find the one that speaks to me. I make sure it has a flexible cancellation policy, just in case I get accepted by a couchsurfing host, and I book.
This was the case in Oslo. Unfortunately, I was unaware that there are three airports in Oslo, and as it turns out, the Oslo Torp airport is actually a 1 1/2 hour bus ride away from Oslo city centre. This is additional cost of $20 each way, so now my transportation cost is up to $59. I found an “entire home” for $24 a night, and after discussing with the host, it seemed that the home was 12 minutes by train from Oslo city center. The train fare would be $6 each way, so that’s $12 per day making the daily $36 per day. I booked the house, and resumed planning my original task of Dublin.
I’ve had a gutt feeling that something wasn’t right with this Norway trip, and with further research, it became apparent that the house is actually a 15 minute walk, and a bus ride to the train that would then take 12 mins to get to the city center. This doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but with only 6 hours of daylight a day, and additional bus fares, it gave me reason to start redoing my research and planning specifics of the next few days.. Attractions.. Bus routes or walking maps to them. Cost effective ways to eat.. Best places to take pictures. I’m always researching. Well, after all was said and done, I decided to cancel the house, and book a slightly more expensive private room in the city center. The place has hundreds of reviews, the boys seem very kind and knowledgable, and the extra cost is almost completely absorbed by saving the train and bus fares. I’m quite excited now actually! Just in case I wasn’t convinced, there is a girl from Mississippi also staying there! What’s the chances of that? 😊 so I cancelled, and sent a very polite, thank you for considering hosting me but I have changed my mind, and cancelled my reservation per the lady’s cancellation policy, only to be sent this in response.
Needless to say, I am quite relieved that I am not staying in this lady’s house. I responded by letting her know how she can adjust the cancellation policy for her listing so that either 5 days notice is required, or a week, or a zero refund. Again, she replied with obscenities and threats.
My gutt felt there was a problem long before I looked for lodging again, but I didn’t know why, and thought it was just nerves of traveling alone to a foreign country hours after England declared war.. Though those things do have me unsettled, it is my intuition talking to me, and my gutt that I can trust, even if I don’t understand why.
I can keep myself safe.
Thank you for reading… Whose excited for Norway???!?!!