Earlier this year I was in Svalbard. Belonging to Norway, Svalbard was one of the most Northern islands on the planet, deep within the Arctic Circle. I was there for 2 reasons, one was a snowmobile safari searching for wild polar bears and the other was to head off to the North Pole for a crazy marathon there at -40 degrees. Norway was also my last country on my journey to every country in the world, so it holds a special place in my heart.

The problem, however, is the sheer expense of Norway. Along with Singapore and Qatar, Norway is the most expensive country in the world. So when my North Pole trip was delayed, and I was stuck there for extra days, it was going to be an expensive few days! I decided it would be better for me to leave Svalbard, and fly back to Oslo for a few days, to then return to Svalbard when the North Pole trip was ready. Now I had to organise accommodation in expensive Oslo.  As you guys know, I’ve used a booking platform called BonWi to book cheap hotels previously, so I logged into my account again to see where I stood. Well they helped me out here this time, with a hotel for $3.82!

snow mobile tour svalbard
On my snowmobile tour in Svalbard


I had used Bonwi to book hotels cheaper than Booking.com, Expedia etc in both Lombok and Komodo, Indonesia, as well as in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Thankfully, through booking with Bonwi, those bookings hadn’t just saved me money, they had also accrued me 13,000 points to use through the Bonwi platform. Brilliant. You can use the points for loads of different things actually:

  • Free hotel stays
  • Free airline tickets
  • VISA Cash cards
  • other gift cards

I personally think though that because Bonwi finds cheap deals, the most efficient way to use the points is with the hotels. I had a couple of nights to spend in Oslo, so I went through their search function and looked at how best to spend my 13,000 points. As you can see, I had a lot of options! In the end I thought I’d spend it somewhere a little nicer at around 6,000 points per night, the Radisson Inn Oslo.

Using Bonwi Points
Using my Bonwi Points

Raddison Inn, Oslo with Bonwi

After choosing my hotel, I selected the dates and proceeded. Super easy, super fast and SUPER cheap. I exceed my points by a tiny margin so the price for my stay at the Raddison Inn, in Oslo – one of the most expensive cities in the world, perhaps THE most expensive hotel – was $3.80. Perfect.

I landed in Oslo airport, took the train to the city and then walked from the train station to my hotel. The place was great. Central location, big lobby, nice breakfast and a big room.

So after the stress of the North Pole delay, I was delighted to be back in civilization, and at the price of less than $4! I spent a few days in Oslo, trained in the cold ready for the marathon, and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. What’s more, Oslo is a great centre of veggie food, so I was eating well, catching up with work and sleeping in a nice, comfy hotel in central Oslo each night. Some balance back in my world.

Before long, my time in Oslo was up. A beautiful few days, and thanks to BonWi points, much cheaper than I had budgeted for! Back to Svalbard, and on to the marathon it was. For the record, I finished 8th – all-in-all a very successful trip! So yup, give bonwi.com  a try during your hotels search, you’ll be delighted with the reward points you can collect

running the north pole marathon
Crossing the finish line at the North Pole Marathon


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