Making Lapland a Reality
Not everyone has the thousands and thousands you’d expect a week’s holiday in Lapland to cost and even if they did, not many families want to spend a huge chunk of their savings on one trip. For me, I never thought a budget Lapland holiday would become a reality. The extortionate package prices were just too much to stomach and would mean sacrificing all other trips that year. No Thank You
A Frugal Mindset
I’ve always been a budgeter and like to save money but didn’t think I could apply this to Lapland until I read an article showing an alternative way to get the winter wonderland experience. This coupled with seeing a friend go away last Christmas, motivated me to make a budget Lapland trip actually happen.
Package Holidays aren’t for Everyone
Even with all the money in the world, the short, sharp package trips to Lapland wouldn’t have been our first choice. If we were going to spend a lot of money and time and effort, we wanted a proper family holiday out of it. Not just a whirlwind of carefully timed, conveyer belt ‘experiences’.
How to Keep Costs Down
Keeping the trip within a £2K budget wasn’t going to easy but the way we managed it was to research, plan and book each element separately. This definitely took a bit of juggling with dates but it meant we got exactly what we wanted from our budget Lapland trip for a fraction of the cost of a preplanned package trip.
Start with Flights
We started with Flights as there was only going to be a limited number. After a bit of research, we decided to fly to Helsinki; the capital of Finlands rather than directly to Rovaniemi where you find Finnish Lapland. This was for two reasons. Firstly, the flights were significantly cheaper and secondly, we wanted to experience the overnight sleeper train dubbed ‘The Polar Express’ taking us through the snowy countryside from Helsinki to Rovaniemi.
This route also gave us the option to add some time in Helsinki and see the city too. I highly recommend using Skyscanner to check for flights. You can search by month rather than specific dates to find the best deals. This was how we determined when we would travel.
Research the Accommodation
Once you’ve found the best flight prices, you’ll need to work quickly to find your accommodation. I wouldn’t suggest waiting for more than a few days as flight prices can change. You’ll want to book flights and accommodation pretty much simultaneously to ensure you don’t end up with one and not the other.
My go-to places for accommodation are Bookings.com, Hotels.com and AirBnB. When I find something I like, I check it out on all three sites. This way you compare prices and see more photos. For some reason, different sites have different images and so you get a better overall picture of the place you are booking.
Once I’ve settled on one or two, I use Trip Advisor to get a more thorough set of reviews. You have to take some with a pinch of salt as people do like to moan but Trip Advisor often shows family photos and the reality of the property rather than the polished images on the travel sites. Also, I like to search for the property directly as sometimes you can get the best price by going directly to the owner.
The last big expense will be the sleeper train if you chose to do this. Annoyingly, we missed out on the saver tickets which you get if you book early and this cost us almost £200 extra. You can find lots of details HERE and call +358 923 192 902 to book. They were super friendly and so helpful.
The next step is the hardest but also the most exciting….just book it and do it early. If you’ve made the decision to go for it, done your research and found flights don’t hang around. The best accommodation goes quickly. In fact, as I write this, at the beginning of January, our Airbnb has already sold out for most of December.
Budget Lapland Break Down So Far
- Flights: £450 (including adding on seat allocation and two hold bags)
- Main Accommodation: £632 – We stayed HERE
- Sleeper Train: £390 (you can get this cheaper with a saver ticket)
Total : £1472
After these main elements are booked you can relax a little and come back and sort the smaller details a bit later. As this has turned into a fairly weighty article already, I’ll share the rest of my Lapland budget tips in my next post.
Stay tuned for how to keep control of the rest of your expenses such as winter clothing, quick hotel stays, car hire and food. If you have any questions, feel free to ask away either here on over on Instagram @mummy2twindividuals.
CLICK HERE for Part Two
If you’re interested to see what our trip looked like, check out my video below which takes you day by day and covers where we visited and stayed.