There is no doubt about it, a holiday to Lapland is pricey, but it is a once in a lifetime trip.
I found booking a Lapland holiday a minefield as there are so many different options available, and my biggest tip is to do your research thoroughly before you make your decision about where to visit.
Top 10 Tips for Booking a Holiday to Lapland
1. Book Early
Lapland holidays are released in September for the following year and this is the best time to take advantage of free child places as they disappear very quickly and to get the flight from your preferred airport. It really surprised me to find the pricing rise on an almost weekly basis. If you are brave though, take a chance and wait until the last minute where travel companies try and sell off their Lapland holidays at great discount.
2. How long should you stay in Lapland?
I looked at 24 hour trips, but for me it is just not enough time to enjoy your stay. 2 nights is fine, but in hindsight, I would have booked a 3 night, 4 day trip as would have liked an extra day to take advantage of some of the extra activities. If you can stay for longer we found that it can work out cheaper if you book a 7 night ski package from Crystal Ski or Inghams to resorts such as Levi, Saariselka and Yllas compared to Santa specific 3 or 4 night breaks.
3. When should we go to Lapland
Obviously Christmas is the premium time to visit Lapland. We went on 2nd December and it was a lovely start to advent, however, they offer trips right up to and including Christmas day, so it is entirely up to you. To save money you can visit any time up until the end of March to see snow and take part in the activities – check out the fun that Five Adventurers had in Salla.
4. Who should we travel with?
There are many companies offering Lapland trips and we chose Santa’s Lapland, but booked through santaclaustrips.co.uk as they were offering the best deal at the time. Take your time to look what is included with each package. My friends has an amazing time visiting Levi with TUI.
5. Where should you stay?
This was the one part of our holiday that I was disappointed by and I wish I had investigated our accommodation in more depth before I went, but it wasn’t until we got back that I found the Trip Advisor comments.
Lapland tour operators take over local hotels for their trips, so check out the individual hotel reviews before you go. I subsequently discovered our hote, the Saariselka Inn, was a basic 2* hotel which although was warm, was very dated with single beds pushed together and not what we were expecting.
6. Invest in the correct clothing
Lapland gets very cold, in winter you can expect little more than five hours of sunlight with temperatures dropping well below freezing and sometimes as low as -20 to -40C and although you are kitted out with external wear with most tour operators, you still need to think about investing in a good base layer and accessories. This can add a substantial amount to the cost of your trip. Check out my post on what to pack for a holiday to Lapland.
7. Don’t book ‘added extra’s’ for the day you arrive
There are lots of extra excursions you can book and we adored our Northern Lights Safari where we got to drive our own Snowmobiles, however, we did see a family who booked this for the day they arrived and as our plane was delayed by over two hours, it was a mad panic to get them checked-in at the hotel and get their gear sorted on time. Use your first day to explore your beautiful surroundings.
8. What is the best age to visit
Most tour operators recommend that the minimum age is 5. We took Isaac (9), Eliza (6) and Sebastian (4.5) and they all loved it. Sebastian is a bit of a daredevil though, so he adored the husky sled ride and zooming along on a snowmobile, but a more timid child may struggle.
9. Travel Insurance is a must!!
Make sure your insurance covers you for winter sports – particularly riskier ones such as snowmobiling and husky dog sleding.
10. Take advantage of FREE activities too
As well as the paid experiences, my children had as much fun playing in the snow or riding a toboggan which are free. We stayed in Saariselkä which is home to the longest toboggan run in Northern Europe at 1.2 kilometers long and a vertical drop of 130 meters.
Is a holiday to Lapland on your bucket list?