BlogChristmasFamily HolidaysTravel Tips

20 Top Tips for Visiting Lapland

Christmas treats for kids don’t get much better than going to Lapland and meeting the real Father Christmas – do they?  They don’t but you do need to think about a few things to get the best out of it!  So here are 20 Top Tips for Visiting Lapland!

NB: We travelled to Lapland as guests of Santa’s Lapland.

Before you book

1. What’s the best age to take the kids to Lapland?

They should be as old as they can be without the magic having already disappeared. Most of the companies don’t recommend the trip for children under 4 and I can see why. The temperatures can drop (we experienced -32) and the kids need to be able to understand how to keep themselves warm. The huskys and reindeers rides can be lost on the younger ones too, and they are very much part of the overall experience. In my heart of hearts I’d say 6/7/8 are perfect ages.

Santa's Lapland Search for Santa Day | Mini Travellers

2. How long should we stay in Lapland?

A 2/3 night trip seems to be the most popular way to do Lapland but there are also week long trips and also day trips too. If you don’t want/need to do any of the additional activities then a 2 night trip is long enough as you get the afternoon on the day you are arrive and the morning of the day you leave, in addition to your Search for Santa day.  It is also cheaper to do the 2 night trip as with a 3 night trip you get an adventure day and the additional activities can really start to add up.

If you’re kids are adventurous though and you fancy skiing and other additional activities go for the 3 night stay or even longer. The families we met who did the Northern Lights tour really enjoyed it.

A day trip to Lapland is certainly cheaper, but you have to consider if it is worth it. The children are likely to be up at 3ish for an early morning flight, fly three and a half hours, spend the afternoon in Lapland, fly three and a half hours back and arrive home very late.  I know my kids couldn’t really do that without probably being upset during the afternoon (key part of the day) and if there are any delays on your way out, you don’t have much slack in the schedule.. One to be considered really carefully and only you know your children’s limits.

20 Top Tips for Visiting Lapland

3. Which company should we pick to go to Lapland with?

There are many companies out there but we found the experience with Santa’s Lapland fantastic and certainly comparable to trips friends have taken with TUI.  The resort Santa’s Lapland use is a small village, which is very picturesque, Saariselka.

You can journey to magical Lapland for a once in a lifetime chance to meet Father Christmas from £929 per adult, reduced rates for children available. Price includes three nights atSaariselkä Inn with flights and transfers, departing in December 2018 from a choice of UK airports. This magical deal also includes all activities such as a private meeting with Santa, Elves and Igloo Fantasia and husky and reindeer sleigh-rides. Santa’s Lapland staff will also provide the whole family with thermal clothing so they’re fully equipped for the enchanting adventures that lie ahead! For more information please visit or call 01483 791 915.

You can take a look at our video of our trip at the bottom of the post!

4. When during the season should we go to Lapland?

To be honest I don’t think it matters too much. The temperature varies all the time (often between 0 and -32 degrees) and it isn’t warmer or colder at any time in the short six week season.  Go whenever fits in with you and the kids school.  We ended up heading there over Christmas which was very special but also involves more planning due to Christmas presents etc.. at least returning those Santa delivers on Christmas morning.

20 Top Tips for Visiting Lapland

5. Where should we stay in Lapland?

We stayed in a Travelodge style room at the Saariselka Inn. It wasn’t fancy, but it was fine.  If I’d have thought about it properly I would have chosen a room where you don’t have to get dressed for breakfast and dinner. We ate our breakfast in the pub attached to the Inn and our evening meals at the hotel a 5 minute walk away. It would be nicest to be able to simply leave the thermal suits in the room and walk downstairs for food, but that’s probably my only comment on the choice.  Look carefully at the descriptions of rooms if style and luxury matters to you – but do remember that’s not really what this trip is all about!

Once you’ve booked Santa’s Lapland

Once you’ve booked your trip here are a few tips on how to make the  trip to Lapland a little easier.
1. Make sure you have your ski jackets and scarves hats gloves on the plane with you as it is freezing when you land and the kids will want to immediately throw snow!!
 20 Top Tips for Visiting Lapland
2. When you go to get your thermal gear from the shop on the way to the hotel, try the mittens on, you don’t want them to be too big.
3. Take loads of snacks i.e. biscuits and chocolate bars with you for emergency melt downs. Also pack a large picnic for the plane as you’ll fly early and not get to resort until way after the kids want lunch.
4. Take hot chocolate for use with the room kettle! I don’t think you can drink enough hot chocolate when you are out there!
5. Take some charge banks for phones as the temperature means the battery goes QUICK!! Same applies to cameras although our Go Pro Hero 5 coped really well!
6. Get a northern lights app straight away!!! Yes we did see them and without taking a trip to see them too. This was taken just outside the restaurant at the Tunturi Hotel on Christmas Day.
20 Top Tips for Visiting Lapland
7. If you are skiing, and want a lesson book early.
8. The food at the gala dinner is invariably basic (whichever company you book with) forewarned is forearmed!!
9. Take 3 sets of base layers and ski socks, and two sets of gloves and hats each as these get wet (and possibly lost!).
Santa's Lapland for Christmas Day

10. Take Snoods and balaclavas. It was minus 32 when we were there.
11. Consider not booking any excursions before you go, you may find the tasters enough especially if it’s very cold.  We didn’t actually do any of the extra activities due to the temperature, and enjoyed tobogganing and a wander on the hiking trails building snowmen, making snow angels and throwing snowballs – all free!
12. Take hand warmers for the kids, just the air activated kind not the gel ones as they last for the whole day.
 13. Eating out isn’t that expensive but drinking is.
14. The suits are very bulky, and it will depend on the temperature as to whether you wear them or not. At -32 they were the only option but if it’s a lot warmer you may want to wear your own ski gear.
15. Stock up on alcohol at the airport. You don’t get it duty free but it’s still much cheaper. Alternatively pack a couple of bottles of wine is your suitcase (we took champers as it was Christmas after all!).
Why not take a look at our Video!

NB: We travelled to Santa’s Lapland as their guests but all views and opinions and tips are my own!
20 Top Tips for Visiting Lapland
Mini Travellers

Mini Travellers

Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.


  1. January 5, 2018 at 8:52 am — Reply

    Such fab tips, we were looking at going next year as Roma will be almost 4 and Eva almost 8, like you say I didn’t want to leave it too late for Eva to lose that age of magic. Gorgeous pictures and the northern lights just outside look amazing too x

  2. barjerow
    January 5, 2018 at 10:28 am — Reply

    Excellent tips here I’d definitely prefer not to have to get fully kitted up to eat breakfast. Also about clothes and taking snacks for the plane. I always think it’s the small things that can make or break a holiday. Thanks

  3. January 5, 2018 at 10:46 am — Reply

    Great tips. I agree about eating in the same place!

  4. January 5, 2018 at 12:30 pm — Reply

    This looks like it was such a magical trip. Good tip about the hotel room and the airport wine!!

  5. January 5, 2018 at 9:37 pm — Reply

    This looks amazing, great tips and definitely something we are looking into for next year with our little ones!

  6. January 6, 2018 at 5:16 am — Reply

    What a magical trip and perfectly timed for the big day! This is something I definitely need to do with my boys in a couple of years.

  7. January 7, 2018 at 7:34 pm — Reply

    Wow! What a thorough post.. you’ve really covered it all. It’s a once in a life time trip for most people so it’s really important to plan as much as possible!

  8. January 7, 2018 at 7:55 pm — Reply

    Such great tips here Karen. I am desperate to take my little ones, and would love to go this year but my eldest will be 8 (perfect age), middle daughter 4, but my little man will be just 2, which is probably quite young if the temperatures drop to minus 32. It looked so magical, and I absolutely loved following your trip!

  9. January 7, 2018 at 8:10 pm — Reply

    We are looking to visit Lapland next winter, so thrilled to read your tips here. Thank you.

  10. January 8, 2018 at 9:33 am — Reply

    So many fantastic tips Karen and YEAH for seeing the Northern Lights!

  11. January 8, 2018 at 8:15 pm — Reply

    There’s so many fantastic tips here, especially around booking activities and the taster sessions. It looks so much fun even if it was a bit cold 🙂

  12. January 8, 2018 at 9:26 pm — Reply

    Oh wow lucky you getting to see the northern lights! This is everything I would have wanted to know – all the questions I’ve asked myself over the years. I think we’re a bit past it now, with a teenager, and I”m sad I missed the opportunity. Perhaps I’ll take grandchildren one day 😉

  13. January 9, 2018 at 3:13 am — Reply

    Nice tips. Nice place. Just a little too cold.

  14. January 9, 2018 at 10:04 am — Reply

    Although mine didn’t really believe in Santa when we went, at 8 and 10, I think as you say they still believed in magic and were not fussed by the cold. Great tips!

  15. February 17, 2018 at 5:16 am — Reply

    These are really great tips. Thanks for sharing them. I liked this post.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *