If you are worried about the expenses of travelling in Sweden it is good to know that there are ways you can cut your costs while travelling. Also even better to know, if you are Australian like me, prices are scarily on par and sometimes cheaper than in Australia. I knew Australia was expensive but travelling to Sweden reinforced that. I bought alcohol for New Years for a fraction of the price it would cost in Australia and even buying groceries was slightly cheaper. Going to a Cafe for coffee and cake (Fika) was also slightly cheaper than it would be in Australia (Melbourne more specifically).
These are my tips for saving money while in Sweden:
- Food: Don’t go to restaurants/dine out or only do it rarely. As I mentioned in my last blog post, Swedes actually go to Ikea for meals (around $4.50 AUD for a meal with a refillable drink) because they have a nice range of food at really great prices – so give that a go. Otherwise, head to a supermarket like ICA and prepare your own food. You can even get delicious pastries from ICA for Fika.
- Card is king: In Sweden, they use card practically everywhere for payments (I only withdrew cash once to payback my friend) – so make sure you have debit or credit card which has no fees for foreign transactions in-store (I use both Citibank & 28 degrees). This tip helps for a lot of places. There are, however, countries like Germany for example where cash is king, in that case, you need a card that has fee-free withdrawals from international ATM’s (for that I have my Citibank and Westpac card – FYI: I rarely use my Westpac card as it is only free with some ATM’s from particular banks).
- Discounted Public Transport: My friend uses an app called ‘UL’ for discounted travel in Uppsala (up to 20% off), there is a similar app for Stockholm which is called ‘SL’. You connect it up to your debit or credit card and show the bus driver the ticket from your phone. This would be particularly useful if you are staying for a while. For longer distances look into travelling with Flixbus.
- Accommodation: If possible Couchsurf because accommodation is super expensive. I was fortunate enough to be able to stay with my friend for my entire stay. Keep in mind though, using my other tips you can probably compensate for the price of ‘cheap’ accommodation. You can also camp in a lot of places for free (in huts even) due to rights of public access to land but for some that might be intolerable or impractical until the weather is warmer.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Until my next blog post…