How to travel from Oulu without ruining your finances

Traveling is usually one of the most popular and common hobbies. Who doesn’t like traveling? And if you are coming all the way to Oulu for your studies, there is a big chance you enjoy traveling as well.
Trip to Helsinki

Travelling from Oulu

Before coming to Oulu, I assumed I would not be able to travel much, since Oulu seemed to be so far away from everything. But, after almost a year of living here, I have come to realize that traveling from Oulu is quite easy. If you are smart about it, it is fairly cheap as well. Through this post, I will touch on two main topics: Tips and tricks to travel from Oulu, and possible destinations you could consider.

I would say the two key elements you need to keep in mind if you want to save money when organizing your travels are:

  • Planning ahead
  • Doing it with a group

These two aspects will be essential to lowering your expenses. Especially since most of the time, to travel anywhere in Oulu you will need to take the train. As a student, VR (Railway company) offers you a discount on your train tickets. For instance, Oulu-Helsinki train tickets are available starting from 18 euros. However, this price is only available for a limited amount of time. In other words, if you are organizing your trip only a couple of weeks ahead, there is a big chance you will end up paying around 30-40 euros, almost double the price! And of course, this is true also for flight tickets and housing. Therefore, make sure to plan ahead.

Pyhä-Luosto Natural park

Travelling with a group

In addition, traveling with a group allows you to save money since you are sharing everything. Therefore, renting a car will be more inexpensive, and housing for big groups of people is often more affordable than if you are traveling alone. Hence, try and convince your friends to travel together!

Regarding the destinations, a very popular destination for students in Oulu (especially in the wintertime) is Lapland. I myself went to Lapland last year, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it. You can rent a car with friends to get there or get the train to Rovaniemi. If you want to save money during your trip to Lapland, I would advise you to buy food from the supermarket and cook it together with friends. Also, if you need ideas- we went to a natural park called Pyhä-Luosto, and we visited the Santa Claus Village (both free activities!).

Other destinations within Finland which are easy to reach from Oulu are Tampere, Turku, and Helsinki. They are all accessible by train, and Turku and Tampere are popular places to be during the summer!

If you want to venture a bit farther ahead, I would recommend Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Tallinn is easily reachable from Helsinki, taking a two-hour ferry. In addition, it makes for a quite inexpensive trip, since the ferry prices are fairly low (around 15-20 euro), and the accommodation is by far cheaper than in Finland. In addition, this is a good destination if you want to eat good food and do a bunch of activities for a low price; Tallinn is a lovely and vibrant city with lots to do!

Porto, Portugal in March

Finally, about other European destinations- keep an eye out for low-cost flights from the Helsinki Airport! Traveling around Europe oftentimes is cheaper than you would expect, and you can find flights for less than 20 euros to other European cities. Also, an interesting fact- Tampere has an airport which offers flights to London for as low as 8 euros, worth checking out! And lastly, don’t forget to go visit (or annoy) friends or relatives who live in Europe! It will allow you to reunite with old friends and family, and at the same time, you’ll save money by not having to pay for accommodation!

About the author

Núria from Barcelona (Spain) is a first year master student of Education and Globalization. Her hobbies include travelling, reading, and complaining about the cold weather despite being secretly in love with winter in Oulu.