June 14, 2019

Radisson Blu Airport Hotel Oslo Gardermoen

I think I have to accept the fact that I always need to stay in a hotel before flying back to the Philippines, just to have peace of mind that we won’t miss our flight. The thing is we need to ride Ferry Boat just to reach Trondheim and boat schedule is unpredictable especially if it is a holiday.

Read: Flying Back Home

So I decided to fly to Oslo day before our Oslo - Doha - Clark flight and booked a hotel near the airport. We did this two years ago, we stayed in Radisson Blu Aiport Hotel in Trondheim day before our flight. After our Scandinavian Trip, I immediately booked our flight from Trondheim to Oslo without checking the rates of Radisson Blu Oslo Airport so I was really surprised when I saw their rates.

Read: Radisson Blu Airport Hotel in Trondheim Norway 
SAS Scandinavian Airlines Experience


Radisson Blu Airport Hotel is so expensive pala, I thought they have the same rate of Radisson Blu Airport Hotel in Trondheim. There are two hotels that you can choose from if ever you need a place near Oslo Gardermoen Airport. You can stay in Radisson Blu or Park Inn by Radisson. I checked the rates of both hotels and there is only minimal difference when it comes to price. I chose Radisson Blu Airport since I already tried their hotel in Trondheim so at least I know what to expect.

Read: Glimpse of Oslo Gardermoen Airport

The price of the room depends on your preference, of course, I chose the standard room because we only need a place to sleep on. Aside from that, you have the options of a room only, room with breakfast, prepaid booking or booking with free cancellation. I compared all the options and I chose prepaid booking with breakfast for NOK1543.50 (PHP9,460.95).

Tip: To save money, I joined Radisson Rewards because there is a different rate for the members. The rate above is already a discounted rate. You can be a member for FREE.


Fast forward to our trip, after getting our luggage, we went straight to the hotel. Radisson Blu Oslo Airport is just in front of Oslo Gardermoen Airport so locating it is not a problem. It is near the bus station, train station and of course the airport. This hotel is a nice place to stay if you have an early flight or late arrival. It offers a conference room, lobby lounge, restaurant, and Fit4Flight wellness center.


There is a covered walkway on your way to the hotel, my booking is prepaid but they still require a guaranteed deposit which will be canceled if you have no additional charges. We arrived 5:30PM and it took me ten minutes to get our room key because of the long lines.


Radisson Blu Oslo Aiport has 500 soundproof rooms and suites so even we are just near the airport, you can’t hear any sound. It makes me paranoid nga kasi wala ko naririnig na ingay, feeling ko kami lang ng anak ko sa hotel. Hehehe!


This is our cozy room and now I know why their rate is different because they have better rooms. My son even said that this is his favorite hotel among the hotels and hostels that we have tried during our two months vacation in Scandinavia. Sa isip-isip ko, dapat lang kasi ito rin yung pinakamahal sa lahat ng pinagstayan natin. Hehehe!



The standard room is 22 sqm, we have King-sized bed, the bed, duvet, and pillows are soft and comfy. There is a desk table, couch, TV, in-room coffee and tea, mini bar, in-room safe, steam iron & ironing board. There is no complimentary bottled water but they have complimentary ice. You can see this ice dispenser outside the elevator.

Trivia: Tap water in Norway is potable.


The bathroom has bath tub but there is no bathtub stopper so my son was sad that he was not able to use it. For toiletries, there is shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, soap, vanity kit, and shower cap. There is hair dryer but no bidet.



If you don’t want to get out anymore, they have room service too. The menu is available inside the room and they have 26 North Restaurant & Social Club.


Buffet Breakfast at 26 North Restaurant & Social Club 

Our room package includes buffet breakfast at 26 North Restaurant. It is open as early as 5AM so even you have an early flight, you can have a quick breakfast before going to the airport. As expected, buffet spread in Europe is limited to salad, bread, cold cuts, cheese, cereals, yogurt and few hot dishes.


They have more options compared to Trondheim branch. They have a menu too if you want to order something that is not included in their buffet spread. We stuffed ourselves with bacon, eggs, sausage, bread, potato wedges and mushrooms.






After check-out, my son and I just stayed at the room, we’re reserving our energy for our flight back to the Philippines. Thank God for FREE wifi so we have something to do while killing our time. Check-out is 12NN so we were so early for our 4:10PM flight.

Watch the video here. 

June 13, 2019

SAS Scandinavian Airlines Experience

Scandinavian Airlines System is the flag carrier of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, that is why it is called Scandinavia and its popular name is SAS. If you are traveling in Europe especially in Scandinavia, SAS is one of your airline options.

Whenever we visit my mom, we always book Manila to Trondheim flight and SAS is always our connecting flight from Oslo to Trondheim and vice versa. So when I was looking for Trondheim to Oslo flight, I chose SAS too. I was supposed to book Ørland to Oslo flight via Air Leap but unfortunately, there is no flight on the day of our departure so I have no choice but to travel to Trondheim again.


So we traveled to Ferry Boat Terminal in Ørland, rode the Ferry Boat for one hour, we took the bus to Trondheim Airport for 30 minutes and travel from Trondheim to Oslo via plane for 55 minutes. There were a lot of transfers, we traveled by land, sea, and air just to reach Oslo, the capital of Norway. But if you want a scenic journey, then ride a train. We rode a train from Oslo Central Station to Trondheim Central Station and so far it is my favorite train ride experience.

Read: Oslo Central Station to Trondheim Central Station via NSB Train 

Ferry Boat from Ørland to Trondheim 
Bus to Trondheim Airport 
Flight from Trondheim to Oslo via SAS 

Read: Glimpse of Trondheim Airport

At the airport, you can see self-check-in kiosks but since there were no long lines, I chose over the counter check-in. Since I booked a separate ticket for our Domestic flight, our baggage allowance at SAS is only 23 kilos. It is a challenge for me since I’m used to 30 kilos baggage allowance. Fortunately, hindi naman ko nagover baggage.




This was my fifth time with SAS and I still remember my first flying experience with them, may kasama pa na food and drinks. But two years ago, I learned that you have to pay for your drinks and foods. Check the menu below, they accept Denmark, Sweden, and Norway currency. Since this is just a short flight, my son and I did not order anything.




We arrived safely in Oslo, we picked up our luggage and we went straight to Radisson Blu Hotel Oslo Gardermoen. We stayed there for one night before our next flight back to Philippines. It is an additional travel expense just to be sure that we won’t miss our flight.


Read: Flying Back Home
Radisson Blu Hotel Oslo Gardermoen Review

June 11, 2019

How to Reuse or Recycle Old Notebooks

If you are a mom or dad and you have kids that already go to school, I’m pretty sure that sometime in your life, you are asking yourself “What are you going to do with their old notebooks?”. It is easy to throw those old notebooks and just buy a new set of notebooks every school year. But of course, we all know that we can still use those old school notebooks and used papers.

Ever since my son started going to school, I always have a pile of papers, notebooks, and books. So at the end of the school year, I do my own inventory so I will have an idea what I need to buy, reuse and recycle. Last March, I only spent less than P400 for my son’s school supplies compared to P1431 if I will buy everything at their school bookstore. I saved money because I still have enough supplies and I will reuse most of his school supplies like notebooks.


Having said that, I always collect those notebooks and used papers that I can reuse and recycle. It is my way of helping the environment and saving money too. I already blogged about my DIY Scratch Pad before, so you can check my post here on how I reuse old papers.

Read: DIY Scratch Pad

For now, let me share “How to Reuse or Recycle Old Notebooks”. There are 3 things that I do with old school notebooks.

1. Reuse Old Notebooks 

After the final exam, I will get all my son’s notebook and check if there are notebooks that I can reuse. For this school year, I reused 3 notebooks. Math, HELE and Araling Panlipunan. I just removed all the used pages and replaced the cover so it will look new.


For our Math spring notebook, the cover is not in good condition so I removed the cover, spring and sew the pages of the notebook. Then I used a cardboard to make a new cover. I was able to make two new Math Notebook.


For HELE and Araling Panlipunan, I just removed the used pages and cover it.


2. Make Scratch Paper 

My son is using composition notebooks so I don’t tear the used pages, I cut it so I can reuse the other side. You can use a paper clamp to keep all the papers, make a scratch pad using padding glue or use fastener. This year, I have some fasteners so I used it to make my own scratch paper. It is easier since the pages of the notebook are not uniform. If you notice, I still have writing notebook, leftover from Grade 3 Level.



3. DIY Notebook

Since I have a lot of scratch papers, sometimes I make a DIY notebook. For those school notebooks that my son can’t reuse, because I feel that the pages are not enough, I used it. Instead of buying Filler Refill, I make my own notebook.


After removing the used pages, collect the unused pages. You can use a stapler or sew the unused pages including the cover to bind it. In my case, I just sew the paper, using the present holes as my guide. So now, I have 6 Filler Refills and I don’t need to buy anymore for my notes or journals.



This is an easy DIY project that you can do to save money every school year. I am lucky that my son reuses his school supplies.

Note: I got the pencil wrap PDF file from Pinterest. So I just print the file and used it for our notebooks.

June 07, 2019

Flying Back Home

Time passes quickly and we did not notice that our two months summer vacation in Norway is already over. It also means back to school na kami and I’m not yet so ready. I’m still adjusting with my sleep and weather in the Philippines, ganun yata talaga pag tumatanda na, ang hirap mag-adjust. 


Our family loves visiting Norway if airfare is not expensive mapapadalas vacation namin. Hehehe! Though we love Norway, one thing I dislike is the journey. Flying to Norway and back to the Philippines is kinda stressful because there are a lot of transfers. Halos lahat na ng mode of transportation is masasakyan mo. We rode car, ferry boat, bus and 3 planes just to go back to the Philippines.

Thursday - Ferry Boat from Ørland to Trondheim 
 - Bus to Trondheim Airport 
 - Flight from Trondheim to Oslo via SAS
 - Check-in at Radisson Blu Hotel Oslo Gardermoen
Friday - Flight from Oslo Norway to Doha Qatar via Qatar Airways 
Saturday - Flight from Doha Qatar to Clark Philippines via Qatar Airways 

Just like our experience before, we’re traveling for three days. I booked Clark-Oslo-Clark ticket only so I need to go back to Oslo. I mentioned before that there are several ways to go to Oslo but the fastest way is riding an airplane. There is a small airport in Ørland, Norway so we can take a flight from Ørland to Oslo Gardermoen via Air Leap but unfortunately, there is no flight on the day of our trip so I have no choice but to book a flight from Trondheim Airport.

Read: Oslo Central Station to Trondheim Central Station via NSB Train  

My mom has no more vacation leave so I booked a flight day before our flight in Oslo. It was a holiday so the earliest ferry boat from Ørland to Trondheim is 10:30AM. Travel time is 1 hour and from the ferry boat, we went straight to Bus Station and buzzer beater kami sa 11:40AM bus departure.


My mom just dropped us at the bus station because she needs to catch the 12:10 boat departure or else 4PM na yung next trip. Bus fare is NOK180 and the bus driver said, my son is free if accompanied by 1 adult. Yey! Nakatipid ako sa fare. Travel time is more or less 30 minutes from Bus Station to Trondheim Airport.


Trondheim Airport



Trondheim is not a busy airport so check-in and security check is so fast. It only take few minutes and we’re ready to eat our lunch. Two years ago, we ate at Pizza Hut but we could not fin.d the restaurant so we just ate at Ritazza which is just few meters walk from our boarding gate We just ordered Pepperoni Pizza NOK159 and Softdrinks NOK41.

Read: Glimpse of Trondheim Airport

If in the Philippines, we need 3-4 hours allowance before our flight, here in Norway, you only need two hours before the flight. We were so early for our 4PM flight so when we went to our boarding gate, flight to Stavanger pa ang nandun but my son still waited at the gate. Nagsakayan na pasahero to Stavanger at kami lang naiwan so ang aga talaga namin.


The flight is on time and we were in Oslo Gardermoen after 55 minutes. For our past travels, SAS is always our connecting flight to Trondheim so I chose this airline when I booked our Trondheim to Oslo flight. We arrived early but the luggage was delayed, as in nag-upuan na mga tao dahil walang lumalabas na luggage. This is the reason why I decided to fly to Oslo day before our flight back to the Philippines. I don’t want delays.

Read: SAS Scandinavian Airlines Experience

After getting the luggage, my son and I went to the Radisson Blu Hotel Oslo Gardermoen. This hotel is just in front of the airport so we did not have a hard time looking for it. We stayed in Radisson Blu Hotel in Trondheim so in my mind, they have the same rate but I was wrong, ang mahal pala sa Radisson Blu Oslo Gardermoen but I have no choice so I booked. I will share our experience in a separate post.


Read: Radisson Blu Airport Hotel in Trondheim
Radisson Blu Hotel Oslo Gardermoen 

Qatar Airways Check-in Counter 



Checked-out is 12NN, so we just walked from the hotel to the airport. We’re so early for our 4:10PM flight. The check-in counter opened three hours before our flight. We took Qatar Airways on our way to Oslo Norway so I know that they are very strict with one hand-carry bag but I was surprised when the staff weighed our bag. Waah! Muntikan na ko dun, 6.9kls yung handcarry ko and we all know 7kls lang ang allowed.

Read: Qatar Airways Flight Experience  

Security Check: Family Lane

Security check-in is fast too because they have a separate line for families, you need to scan first the boarding pass of the kid before the parents. We checked the Duty-Free store and bought some pasalubong, konti lang at wala naman kami space sa bag. One thing I noticed, the Freia chocolates that they are selling in the airport is King Sized 250g for NOK35 only compared to 200g in supermarket for NOK40 to NOK45, price depends on the flavor so mas mura pala sa airport.

Immigration 

At the immigration, the Immigration Officer asked me how long we stayed in Norway and I said two months and then she checked our arrival date and computed our number of days. Then she said, “Oh that is correct!”. She really checked if I overstayed, I only applied for 60 days. They are really strict now compared to my previous experiences. If you remember my Biyaheng Europe post, mahigpit din yung IO.

Streets Eats


After the Immigration, there is a small Duty-Free shop and Food Trucks at Gate F. Two years ago, wala pa nito so we had lunch at Pizza Wheel. Pizza is our comfort food so we always eat pizza if we don’t know what to eat. We ordered Pepperoni Pizza NOK159 and Softdrinks NOK36.

Qatar Airways Experience 

Our Clark - Doha - Oslo flight was a smooth flight so I was expecting that we will have the same experience flying back home. But our Oslo - Doha - Clark was a little bit stressful because of the waiting time. On our way to Doha and Oslo, we’re just waiting at the boarding gate before our boarding time but on our way back to Clark, the boarding gate in Oslo and Doha were still closed by the time we reached the gate. They only opened it an hour before our flight and there is seating arrangement depending on your seats or zone. It is not fun to be early because you will sit on the floor while waiting for the boarding gate to be opened.

Oslo to Clark 

Oslo to Doha 6 hours and 30 minutes 
Layover 2 hours and 20 minutes 
Doha to Clark 8 hours and 55 minutes 

Oslo to Doha

From Doha to Oslo flight, my son did not receive any flight entertainment kit so I was surprised when the staff gave one on our Oslo to Doha flight. So nakalimutan siya bigyan ng flight attendant before and we failed to ask. Sayang ang souvenir. This time, they did not give flight kit, same with my husband’s experience.


They did not give a menu so when the FA informed me about the options, chicken lang naintinidihan ko sa mga sinabi niya so for our flight puro chicken meals ang napili ko. Hehehe!




When we landed, I was expecting that we will ride a bus and train but I was happy that we just walked until we reached the Security Check-In and Boarding Gate. So it was a different experience for us. I wanted to explore the Qatar Airport but my son doesn’t like to walk anymore so we went to the boarding gate only to find out that it is still closed. There is free wifi but the signal is weak, maybe it depends on the boarding gate, dulo na yata yung Gate A.


Doha to Clark

For our Doha to Clark, there is flight kit for adult and kids, entertainment kit for my son, and menu but they forgot to give the lunch box for my son. But I asked for it, I ordered Kid’s Meal so I was expecting that they will serve Kid’s meal to my son but I don’t know what happened but we did not receive it. But anyway, they fixed everything and we got our lunch box before touchdown. It is better to be late than never.

Doha to Clark Menu 

Main Meal 

Appetizer: Seasonal Salad Mains: Thai Green Chicken Curry served with Jasmine Rice
Beef Strogranoff with Spatzie, Carrots and Green Beans
Egg Noodles in Chili, Ginger and Garlic Sauce with Mushroom and Tofu
Dessert: Peach Mousse Cake

Brunch 

Mains: Beef Cobbler with Savoury Scone, Cheese, and Herbed Mashed Potato
Scrambled Eggs with Breakfast Sausage, Fried Potato Cubes, and Tomato Wedges
Stir Fried Egg Noodles with Mixed Vegetables
Accompaniments: Seasonal Fresh Fruit and Fruit Yogurt

Beverages

Wines: Red wine, White wine
Spirits: Gin, Whisky, Vodka
Beer: Heineken
Liqueur: Brandy, Baileys Original Irish Cream
Cold Beverages: A selection of soft drinks, ginger ale, soda water, tonic water, a selection of juices, still water
Tea and Coffee: Freshly brewed Ceylon Tea, Longjing tea, coffee





Our Qatar Airways experience varies depending on our flight, there are some flaws but overall we still enjoyed our Qatar Airways experience. I do recommend this airplane especially if you have kids in tow because they serve the kid’s meal first and they have flight entertainment kit. But don’t forget to order for your kid’s meal before your flight.

Flight and luggage were delayed so 6PM na kami nakaalis ng airport and we reached home after 3 hours and 30 minutes. Yey! We’re finally home after the long travel.
Klook.com