Monday, January 29, 2018

Top 7 Swedish Travel Hacks

If you are planning a trip to Sweden, here are my top tips for a smooth, economical trip.


1.  Free Lockers

I was pleasantly surprised that throughout Stockholm, free lockers appeared to be everywhere.  This certainly makes decision making a little easier in terms of whether or not to carry a daypack.  So, feel free to pack those snacks, cameras, and water bottles.  The museum or attraction you visit will most likely have a locker that you can stash them in for free!


2.  Debit/Credit Card Usage

I tried to book admission to one particular museum, and train tickets online and ran into difficulty.  It turns out that some (but not all) companies will not allow you to make purchases online using a non-Scandinavian issued debit or credit card.  So, if you seem to be unable to check out when purchasing some sort of fare online, that is likely the reason why.  Don't be too concerned though; you shouldn't have any problems taking care of these reservations and payments in person.  Additionally, be sure to know your PINN for any chipped cards you have to ensure smooth credit/debit card usage.

3.  24 Hour Transit Tickets

In the United States, we're accustomed to purchasing an "all day" fare on public transportation and having it run out at midnight.  This is not the case in Sweden.  A 24-hour ticket is exactly that!  In an age where time is money, this can save you both.  Side note: This same hack applies to the Stockholm Pass.  The number of hours listed on the pass genuinely reflect just that: the number of hours you can use it.


4.  Free Museums

There are many free museums in Stockholm.  So, if you have partial days or days without the Stockholm Pass, they don't have to be expensive to provide a rich cultural experience.  A visit to the local visitor's center will provide you with maps and lists of museums, attractions, and their associated fares.  You'll be surprised by how many of them are free.


5.  Alcohol

Alcohol is terribly expensive in Sweden.  So, if your tastes are somewhat eclectic, you will certainly save money by choosing beer over wine.  Wine is pretty much always imported and spendier, but there is a fair amount of beer that is made locally.  While it still isn't cheap, it is entirely less expensive than wine or other spirits.  Additionally, grocery stores sell beer relatively inexpensively.  So, you can always make a purchase for your hotel room.


6.  Cell Phone Charges

In order to avoid international charges on your cell phone (especially if you don't have an international plan), simply turn off your cell phone data.  This means you are only going to use your phone for internet purposes when you are able to connect to wifi in your hotel or another business.  Alternately, take a look at your roaming options and make sure that it is all turned off.

7.  Directions

Google is pretty amazing.  Even if you turn off your cell phone data, you can still use Google Maps to give you directions. Just pop into a local coffee shop for a beverage and hop on their wifi.  Once connected, you can initiate your route using the Google Maps App.  The app will continue to give you directions even when you become out of range of your wifi signal.  The app isn't entirely perfect, and occasionally makes mistakes, but for the most part, it works pretty well.

Are there any other Swedish travel hacks that you've tried and recommend?  If so, leave them in the comments below.

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    1. How did your trip go? I do not have children. I only know what I do for myself. I try to stay awake longer a day or so ahead of time so that I can start to adjust my sleep patterns. I typically end up with one day that feels incredibly long, but it tends to switch my internal clock relatively quickly.

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