Since we had the boys I’ve always wanted to take them to Lapland, Finland to meet the big man himself as I love Christmas so much and I thought it would add to the Christmas magic.  So in 2017 we decided to book a trip to this magical place and take our family there to experience this amazing snow-capped adventure.

 

Research

We carried out our research and looked at both the day trips and 3 day trips but, after careful consideration we decided to book a day trip adventure.  Both of these options have their own benefits and drawbacks, but for us we decided to choose a day trip adventure.  Our reasons for doing this were that we were restricted with school holidays as both the boys and Richard were in school meaning we could only go during a weekend.  We explored the 3 day trip and we personally felt that we would do exactly the same activities during a one day trip that we would do in a three day trip.  The other consideration for us was the weather, it can vary between 3°C to – 25°C {and sometimes even lower than this} and we felt the boys may struggle with very low temperatures so one day was enough for us.

 

The Big Disappointment

In the run up to this once in a lifetime adventure we began to get very excited and when the day came to go we arrived early at the airport to get checked in.  Sadly, as we made our way to the departure lounge we discovered that there was a fault on the aircraft which meant we were unable to travel that day and they cancelled our trip.  Unfortunately, this meant we had to make alternative arrangements for that day as we couldn’t go to Lapland after-all so we headed to the cinema and bowling alley so the boys had something to look forward to at least.  Luckily our boys handled the news well and were happy with a day at the Metro Centre, we did promise them they could definitely go back though next year!

Rather disappointingly they were unable to bring in a last minute aircraft and even though we stayed in a hotel the night before the flight, TUI didn’t refund us at all for this cost and only reimbursed us for the cost of the holiday.  So when it came to booking up again for 2018, we decided not to book with TUI again and decided to do our research and find another travel agent to help us with our booking.  So in September 2018 we found a local travel agent, Spear Travel in Northallerton whom were extremely helpful and provided lots of information for us. We then booked out trip with them and were set to go on 8th September.

 

Our Trip

The 8th December arrived and we were all soooo excited and we were keeping our fingers crossed that this year we actually got to go without any hitches.  We were also going with another family {our close friends} so the boys and I were excited to share this experience with them too.

We arrived at the airport all wrapped up and ready to go.  The flight was delayed by just over an hour but, by the time the boys had watched the Christmas movie that was playing in the airport and ate a few Christmas chocolate treats, the time flew by.  The flight was 2 hours 50 minutes to Enontekio, Finland and the boys played games the whole way. Technology had a huge part to play in keeping them amused whilst the adults indulged in hot drinks and sweet treats!

Upon arrival we all headed to our coach transfers where we were took to our first stop, the ‘Suits & Boots’ store where we were kitted out with our snow attire.  It was pretty hectic as it was a free for all and everyone was trying to find  their size in snow boots and snow suits. Unfortunately, by the time we got there they had very few sizes left which was a little disappointing. However, we managed to eventually get sorted and Richard borrowed boots from them and the boys and I stayed in our wellies for the whole day. 

 

Winter Wonderland

We were then taken to the resort and our guide took us to Winter Winderland where we would meet Santa, this is where the real fun began. We had 4 hours in the resort and we took part in a range of activities including; Husky dog rdies, reindeer rides, skidos rides, sledging and a trip to see Santa in the woods.

All of these activities were such good fun and the boys enjoyed meeting Santa the most.  We were taken on a sleigh through the snow-capped forest in the night sky – it was truly magical! The other activity we all loved was the husky dog ride, I was so surprised at how friendly they were and they even encouraged the boys to pet them. We had a taster session with them and were taken around the surrounding fields led by huskies, the boys loved it.

 As we were only there for an afternoon we wanted to do as many activities as possible so that’s what we did.  We then met the rest of our group for tea and we ate in the only restaurant in the resort, it was small yet quaint but, most of all it served hot food.

 Afterwards, we headed outdoors for sledging and raced against one another which was such good fun.  I think it was good for the boys to see Mum and Dad getting involved in the activities too, the weather was -10°C so at times it got pretty cold but, there was a cosy little wooden hut with a roaring fire that served hot chcolate and marshmallows where everyone gathered around the fire. Little James really appreciated it as his socks got wet so Richard took him in there to dry his socks on the fire and drank hot chocolate.

 The whole day was magical but there was a lot of travelling to do in one day, but it was worth every penny and we’ve created memories that will last a lifetime.

Top tips for family trips in Lapland

1.      Wrap Up – wear plenty of layers. Wear ski socks and wellies or snow boots (in case the ‘suits and boots’ store run out of your size)

2.      Take a hat, scarf and ski gloves.

3.      Take plenty of socks and chocolate treats for the journey.

4.      Take a couple of pairs of spare socks as the ice has a way of getting everywhere and there’s nothing worse than being wet (and cold).

5.      Take a battery pack as the cold plays havoc with the battery on your mobile and other devices.

6.      Take a camera with a good flash as Lapland only has a few hours of day light so a lot of your photos will be taken in the night sky.

7.      Consider the age of your children when visiting Lapland as it is very cold and young children may struggle with the low temperatures.  Travel companies advise that the ideal age to visit Lapland is when children are 7-8 years old

 

Summary

This trip is an expensive one but it’s well worth it and I can promise you that you’ll create memories that will stay with you forever!

 

Kelly x