Our trip to Oslo, Norway last month was the first time we’ve been to a whole other country just for the day. We’re super grateful to London’s very own day trip travel plug, Caroline of Travel Eat Slay, for putting the trip together. She has organised an impressive series of day trips in 2019, all departing from London Stanstead! We had missed the opportunity to join one previously, but as this one took place on a Saturday we knew we’d be lacking if we missed out; not having to use up any annual leave is a MAJOR plus for us as 9-5’ers.
We’ve talked to some people about our Norway day visit and found it’s been met with interest every single time; people ask us how much it cost us and if it was worth it, what we saw and whether we’d do it again. So without further ado, here are our 5 need-to-knows about taking an international day trip, based on our Oslo adventure!
1. You need to put aside less money for the flight to Oslo than a train trip from London to Manchester
Other than not needing to take any leave, the most compelling reason for us to go was the low cost flights. Our flights could have been secured for as low as a £20 return, however we booked at £43.42 each for a return from London Stanstead to Oslo; these were booked 41 days in advance. In comparison, the cheapest day return from London to Manchester for, let’s say, Saturday 15th June 2019 is £48 (£24 each way, checked on Trainline.com). Both trips have a similar travel time of 2 hours!
Now, full disclosure – overall, the Oslo day trip cost us around £68 each (in terms of getting there). This includes £43 for the flights, with the additional costs being airport parking, petrol and the Dartford Crossing charge divided between the two of us. Considering this is only an extra £20 more than going from London to Manchester wouldn’t you want to fly outside of the UK instead? Or do you not like using your passport much? …Up to you!
2. You need to travel light
No cabin bag needed, just your small bag or backpack which can fit under the seat in front of you! You may want to pack a couple of snacks in case locating a suitable place to stop and eat takes longer than you’d like – say no to being hangry!
Also ladies, we can let a whole heap of those cosmetics go – we’re only away for the day! Essential liquids under 100ml for a day trip might be:
- hand cream
- anti-bacterial gel
- travel size deodorant
- some kind of lip balm or gloss situation, and
- potentially some concealer to touch up, but definitely not the whole foundation bottle!
Taking minimal liquids and cosmetics on your day trip will make for the speediest experience through security you could ever imagine!
3. You need to take comfortable shoes
One thing we probably should have figured out, but we didn’t let sink in, is that having a limited amount of time to explore a whole city means you’re probably going to be on your feet for longer than you’re used to! While it is a sensible idea to wear trainers, it is probably not a sensible idea to wear new trainers (Lulu, please read this twice and once more for good measure)!
4. You need to be prepared for all weather types
One memory of our late April Oslo day trip we won’t forget is sitting on the stairs of the Royal Norwegian Palace in the rain. During the day we had it all: blazing sunshine, overcast skies, and then incessant showers towards the end of our day – typical indecisive Spring weather behaviour! Wearing a light jacket, a jumper over a t-shirt and packing a compact umbrella kept us ready to face it all.
5. You need to have a tight itinerary
With only so many hours to get stuck into the city, knowing where we were going to go ahead of time, when we’d be there and how we’d get there was so crucial. We didn’t bank on having transport routes disrupted by 5 and 10km races being held that day, but despite this we still managed to see and visit:
- The Gustav Vigeland sculptures at Frogner Park
- The National Theatre
- The Royal Palace
- The Opera House, and
- The Mathallen Food Hall
We also took a rest break in a pub called The Lannisters – the Game of Thrones obsession in Lulu’s heart definitely jumped out!
We took the flight to Oslo, and we’re feeling… tired!
With all this being said, we definitely found ourselves completely wiped out by committing to explore an entire international city in just one day. We would have benefitted from more rest breaks, potentially hiring a car for the day or taking cabs… but we recognise this isn’t exactly very green and eco-friendly!
We like to think of ourselves as Queens of the Long Weekenders, which has a completely different pace and wouldn’t attack or make a mockery of our fitness levels to quite the same extent as Oslo did. We also found routine spending – snacks, drinks, travel – to be fairly expensive in Oslo and we spent an additional £30-40 during the course of the day on a variety of things.
We wouldn’t write off the prospect of another day trip, however we remain in the business of enjoying an overnight stay or two, and having the freedom to see most of what a city has to offer over a slightly longer period of time.
Have you been to Oslo, or on a day trip to another city? How did you find it – would you do it again? Let us know!