How 18-year-olds in Norway can win free European train tickets

From this year, 18-year-olds in Norway will be eligible to participate in an EU scheme that sees tens of thousands of European train tickets given away each year.

Trains at Bergen station.
Norway will be included in a EU travel scheme for the first time this year. Pictured are trains in Bergen. Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

For the first time 18-year-olds in Norway will, be eligible to participate in the European Union’s ‘DiscoverEU’ ticket competition which sees 70,000 train tickets are given away each year as part of the Erasmus+ project.

Norway will be allocated 760 free tickets as part of the scheme, which aims to promote cross-cultural exchange throughout Europe.

“Train travel across national borders will create unity and friendship, and from this year, Norway will also be involved. We are pleased that this initiative now also includes Norwegian young people,” Wenche Mobråten from the Directorate for Children, Youth and Families told newswire NTB.

The competition for tickets involves five-multiple choice questions and one final one where they will need to guess. Those who guess the last question correctly win tickets, while the rest go onto a waiting list.

Contestants must be residents of Norway and can enter with up to four friends. Winners who live far from a railway station will also have their travel to the closest one covered by the scheme.

The spring round of ticketing has already opened and closes on April 21st. There will be another round of applications available in October. 

The winners will have the opportunity to travel throughout Europe for up to 30 days between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023.

Applications are done via the EU youth portal

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Norwegian police urge travellers not to book holidays without a valid passport 

The public has been warned by the Norwegian Police Directorate, which issues travel documents, to not book any foreign holidays without a valid passport due to long waiting times for travel documents.

Norwegian police urge travellers not to book holidays without a valid passport 

Due to long waiting times, the public has been cautioned against making holiday plans without a valid Norwegian passport as travel documents may not arrive in time for the trip. 

“We would strongly encourage people to wait to book a holiday abroad before they know that they have their travel documents in order,” Bjørn Vandvik from the Norwegian Police Directorate said in a statement on Wednesday

Previously the police said that those travelling within the EEA this summer should instead order a national ID card which allows for travel within the Schengen area because that form of travel documentation was subject to shorter waiting times. 

Those wishing to travel during fellesferie, the collective holiday period in Norway, have been advised to order new travel documents by the end of May or the beginning of June at the latest. 

Despite the measures put in place by the police to try and ensure that supply meets demand, waiting lists are growing longer, and the authorities don’t expect the backlog to be cleared until the autumn.

The current waiting time for passports is around seven weeks. However, the police have said they expect this to increase to 10 weeks by July. 

READ MORE: How do Norway’s slow passport processing times compare to Denmark and Sweden?

So far this year, the police have received 560,40 passport applications. In contrast, the police registered 270,000 applications in 2019. 

A mixture of the pandemic and war in Ukraine has made getting the materials used to produce national ID cards and passports more difficult.