This is my first post and also my most recent trip. I’ve structured my blog and its posts in a format that I hope will prove to be useful based on what you’re looking for. Simply click on one of the links below or refer to the About Page to learn more about the structure of the blog…
Phase 1: Choosing Where & How to Get There
My ticket to Stockholm was booked at 12:20 AM on March 20th, 2015. It was completely an impromptu impulse driven purchase. As of late I had been feeling an overwhelming need to runaway, to be impulsive, adventurous, and just be out of the comforts and discomfort of my, to put it nicely, uncomfortably comfortable life in Manhattan. So what did I do? I searched on skycanner, kayak, and theflightdeal for the cheapest round-trip flight I could find. In the end it came down to 2 places – Oslo, Norway ($280 RT) or Stockholm, Sweden ($360 RT). After doing some additional research on the cities on Tripadvisor and reading some travel blogs I decided on Stockholm because I was more interested in ‘doing things’ rather than just scenery. Not to knock Oslo, its still on my list of places visit in the future, but as this was my first true solo-solo trip & the quiet of just scenery was less appealing to me at the time.
Now beyond just the ‘doing things’ component was also the timing of the flights. Another big reason why I chose to book this ticket over the Oslo option was because it afforded me the most time at my destination. The flight would take off at midnight and I would wake up some 7 hours later in Stockholm in the middle of the afternoon (1 PM UTC). All in all the time suck of getting from point a to point b was not something I had to tack onto the amount of time I wanted to spend in said destination.
After popping some melatonin, I fell sound asleep, waking up just as we landed. By the time I got myself into the city, settled myself into the hostel it was around 3 PM. Leaving me plenty of time to walk around and explore the city a bit, have a coffee and a treat and do some light reading, get myself a nice dinner, and plan for the next few days.
Next big piece was figuring out where to stay
Phase 2: Choosing Where to Stay
I was traveling alone so I had no one else’s needs or desire’s to accommodate to other than my own. For this I had to take into consideration – price, proximity to major transportation and tourist attractions as well as the type of experience I was looking for. I had decided that for the 4 days I would be in Stockholm I wanted to experience chatting with other travelers passing through but also to see how the locals lived. So initially I planned to book a hostel for the first 2 nights of my stay and finish off the final night in an Airbnb. Now finding the hostel was easy – using Hostelworld by filtering and sorting based on price, ratings, and room type, and read through countless reviews in order to gather information on the final deciding factor which was a combination of multiple things I could not filter on – proximity to city center/major transportation/convenient access to tourist attractions. After reading many reviews I chose City Backpackers Hostel. Though it was was a bit more than I wanted to pay for a hostel it provided me all those things I wanted that I couldn’t filter. After landing, I took an airport shuttle of sorts into the main bus depot of the city – the walk took me no more than 5-7 min to my hostel. Everything else was easy to get to as well – I had many different options from trains to buses and major city attractions within walking distance.
As for that last night – in the end I decided not to stay in an Airbnb. And the reason being was this – I was lazy – I was a girl traveling alone in a city I didn’t know – I didn’t know what areas were good or bad, I did not know how close the Airbnb’s would truly be from major modes of transportation or the things I wanted to see or be close to. So instead I extended my stay at my Hostel for the entirety of my trip.