Destination Europe

Our Top 10 Tips for booking a Holiday to Lapland

Posted on
January 5, 2018

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
High Five Bear
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?
Saariselka
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
Santa's 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?
Santa's Lapland
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?
Saariselka Inn
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
Saariselka
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
Northern Lights Tour
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
Santa's Lapland
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!!
Santa's Lapland
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
Saariselkä
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?
Top ten tips for booking a holiday to Lapland

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28 Comments
  1. Reply

    Hannah

    January 5, 2018

    I went in December and loved it so much i want to go back this year. I stayed in Saariselka too and went with TUI, who did a fantastic job. I dont see the point of a day trip as they are very rushed and price wise are not much different to a 4 day. As for the trip being expensive i didnt think it was. I paid around 900 for 3 nights, just myself. You can pay close to 200 a night for a 4 star (which my hotel was) in England. Including flights too, so isnt really a bad price. I went in Thomas Cook the other week to get a quote and the man in there said they are booking out now.

  2. Reply

    Asha Carlos

    January 5, 2018

    Loving all your photos and tips and I have book marked this for when we do go visit Lapland, thanks for sharing x

  3. Reply

    Samantha Donnelly

    January 5, 2018

    Love your photos, some great tips here for booking a great holiday. This is somewhere I have always wanted to go unfortunately my kids are too old now, so have to wait until the grandchildren are old enough x

  4. Reply

    Leona

    January 5, 2018

    great to know the best age. we have a few years to wait but one day!

  5. Reply

    Nickolai Kinny

    January 5, 2018

    Looks like a lovely holiday. Adding this post to my bookmarks for future reference 😉

  6. Reply

    Sarah Bailey

    January 5, 2018

    I would absolutely love to go to Lapland one day – I love the advice on how long to stay, I can’t imagine getting it done in 24 hours, it would be very rushed.

  7. Reply

    Vicky

    January 5, 2018

    This one has been on my travel list for a while now. If pretty much paused most exciting holiday plans as I’m expecting this year so it’s good to know that 5 years is the recommended minimum as it gives me ages to plan haha

  8. Reply

    Tracy

    January 5, 2018

    Aw, gorgeous shots! I wish we’d taken the boys when they were little – my friend went this Christmas and she said it was amazing.

  9. Reply

    Jacqueline

    January 5, 2018

    I’ve never considered visiting Lapland since it’s so much like Canada (where I now live). It would be a magical trip though because this is where Father Christmas is meant to reside. Although in my opinion I believe he and is Mrs. reside in the Bahamas for most of the year and only come to Lapland for the month of December 😉

  10. Reply

    Baby Isabella

    January 5, 2018

    We are currently researching this, so these tips have come in handy. It would be a dream come true to visit Lapland! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun x

  11. Reply

    Rhian westbury

    January 5, 2018

    I would absolutely love to go to Lapland and I saw quite a lot of people who went last month so I’d been keen to go one year and stay for a few days x

  12. Reply

    Suzy McCullough

    January 5, 2018

    Thanks for these great tips. Pretty sure we will be going in December this year but we won’t be booking until the Spring so I am bookmarking your post ready. I didn’t realise you could book Santa’s Lapland through other sights. We have zero thermals etc so I may have to beg and borrow from friends lol

  13. Reply

    Dean of Little Steps

    January 5, 2018

    We’ve talked about visiting Lapland too, but I’m afraid of the cold! As always doing research on any trip is the key to a less stressful travel/visit isn’t it? I agree, I think staying at least 3 nights is better than 2! x

  14. Reply

    Elizabeth

    January 6, 2018

    Great tips, these! Lapland is definitely on my travel bucket list. One day!

  15. Reply

    kirsty

    January 6, 2018

    This is such a great guide for those wanting to book a magical winter getaway. I love the fact you’ve included a how many days as I wouldn’t be so sure at first and also the best age as you would want the children to remember the holiday and have the best experience from it

  16. Reply

    Rebecca Smith

    January 6, 2018

    I would love to visit Lapland one day- it is the epitome of Christmas holidays – magical, festive, wintery. I would definitely agree that travel insurance is a must as you will often be doing much more riskier things than you normally would, it is all part of the fun of Lapland!

  17. Reply

    Melanie

    January 6, 2018

    Fab tips and great pics. I think early December is a perfect time to visit Lapland x

  18. Reply

    Cath - BattleMum

    January 6, 2018

    We’re going this December but we’re no booking through a tour operator. We’re going to combine seeing Santa with visiting Helsinki too. And I can’t wait!

  19. Reply

    Patrick

    January 6, 2018

    While I’ll admit this looks like so much fun,with enduring sub-zero weather right now,I am thinking more of a sunny day at the beach then more snow!! Love your pictures however!!

  20. Reply

    Anosa

    January 7, 2018

    I went to Lapland as a kid and it was absolutely the best holiday! I am hoping to take my son in the next couple of years and plan to do 4 nights like I did, its so magical I cannot wait. Thanks for the tips.

  21. Reply

    Deborah Nicholas

    January 7, 2018

    oh this looks amazing and something we are already looking in to for next year!

  22. Reply

    Shoshana sue

    January 7, 2018

    I would love to take my kids to Lapland and I am so glad to hear that the 2* hotel was quite modern and you liked it. Such a memorable experience!

  23. Reply

    Rachel

    January 8, 2018

    I had no idea you had to book so far in advance! A trip to Lapland is definitely on my bucket list ????

  24. Reply

    Jenni

    January 8, 2018

    It looks stunning, I would love to take my son, maybe next Christmas would be good as its the year before he starts school

  25. Reply

    Laura H

    January 9, 2018

    Great to hear there are a couple of fun, free activities for everyone too!

  26. Reply

    Lubka Henry

    January 9, 2018

    I would have never thought of going on a holiday in Lapland, but it looks great. Thanks for sharing such good tips.

  27. Reply

    emma

    January 9, 2018

    Great tips, a 3-4 night stay sounds like it would be perfect!

  28. Reply

    Chloe Ciliberto

    January 10, 2018

    I’ve bookmarked all of your pages on Lapland. We’re planning on going when Evie is 5 (which is in two Christmas’s time). We’ll definitely book early, I bet it gets super packed. x

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KARA GUPPY
Bournemouth

Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk