We’ve told ThisIrishGirl and ThisIrishBoy and now we can share it without fear of ruining our big surprise…..
We’re going to Lapland!!!
It’s no secret how much we love the holidays in this house. For years now I’ve been dreaming of taking the kids to Lapland and we finally are.
Before we go any further I have to say a big thank you to Corrina for all her posts on how to DIY Lapland. We booked our trip based on all of Corrina’s useful information. Corrina this is happening for us thanks to you! If you are even considering booking Lapland on your own you need to check out Corrina’s posts!
Also a big thanks to the friend who gave me the ‘gentle nudge’ to go for it over coffee one Friday afternoon in August
(this proves everyone needs good bloggers and great friends in their lives!)
I promise over the next few months to share all the details starting with what we’ve booked so far…
We’re flying with Norwegian air from Dublin to Helsinki. We haven’t flown with Norwegian yet but I am hearing good reviews on their European services. Flights for 4 of us with bags came to €599 from Dublin to Helsinki.
I totally could have done better on price but I panicked at booking.
I ended up booking the LowFare+ tickets. In hindsight we definitely didn’t need to. The LowFare price was closer to €300 so learn from my mistake and don’t panic. Do your homework and only pay for what you need (we will all have free checked baggage and probably won’t use it).
“The Polar Express”
Ok it’s not REALLY the Polar Express but it might as well be!!
An overnight train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi
At this point I still have romantic notions of the 4 of us sleeping soundly in our two berth cabin but I’ll let you know!
Follow Corrina’s advice on how best to book the train from VR. She was spot on and we booked out train for €236 return for two adults. Kids under 10 go free with a paying adult but you can’t book it online.
You must ring VR to add the kids to your tickets after – customer service at VR was fantastic and English speaking (00358 203 32033).
The train is basically two nights accommodation too. I have heard that the overnight special price isn’t available for all dates in December but we lucked out. Train tickets can only be booked 60 days in advance. Having booked flights & accommodation in early September I was worried about the train but there was no reason to be. Also there was really no reason to get up in the middle of the night to book train tickets as soon as possible – plenty of cabins were available.
I’m told breakfast on the train leaves much to be desired so my master plan is to pack us each breakfast packs with cereal, juice cartons and fruit to get us through the morning.
Also – Consider train arrival times in Rovaniemi.
Some trains arrive quite early in the morning. I didn’t want to book a train that would leave us standing in the cold waiting for things to open. I imagine the kids would be cranky and cold and not the romantic Christmas welcome to the Arctic Circle I’m envisioning.
We booked in September and by that time many hotels that were in our price range were booked out. Visit Rovaniemi has some pretty cool looking accommodation that is worth checking out. We booked Airbnb which has its benefits when travelling with kids. Check out my top tips on landing the best Airbnb for your family.
The Lapland Experience
As you can imagine we are in the thick of narrowing down and planning how we will spend our time in Rovaniemi.
We of course will see the main man himself at Santa Village and visit Santa Park as well.
The kids are looking forward to all the outdoor activities and getting up close with some reindeer. Even though ThisIrishDog is a husky they have their heart set on a fast paced ride through a winter wonderland pulled by huskies.
ThisIrishDad and I nearly went for a Northern Lights Cruise for our honeymoon. Seeing the Northern Lights has always been on our bucket list and we CANNOT WAIT!
The more I read about Rovaniemi the more and more I want to do. I can’t wait to check out some of the local cultural activities on offer!
The kind people at Visit Rovaniemi have been helping us develop our itinerary and we are so appreciative of all they have offered us. Full reviews on everything we do coming once we
A Day in Helsinki
The overnight train arrives in Helsinki too late to catch the flight back to Dublin that morning. Perfect excuse to spend a day exploring! I’ll let you know how we spend our time. We used booking.com to find accommodation close to the airport with free shuttle service for our early flight.
Don’t want to visit Helsinki? Norwegian has direct flights to Rovaniemi from Gatwick Airport. The fights from Cork meant an overnight in London for little savings so we’re taking in Helsinki while we can!
Well, it is the Arctic Circle so it’s cold!!! I’ve been stocking up on thermals and tights and all kinds of layers for all of us. Lidl, Aldi and Decathlon.ie all have offers on winter gear. The kids and I hit Lidl last week at opening time and got everything we needed for all of us.
After much debate we told the kids last week and I am so glad we did. They are buzzing with excitement and the build up is exciting. We’ve gone from episodes of Fuller House and RescueBots to the VisitRovaniemi YouTube Channel in the house!
Cost so far:
Total costs are for 2 adults & 2 kids (ages 7 and 4) for 5 nights.
- Dublin-Helsinki flights €600
- overnight train Helsinki – Rovaniemi return €236
- 2 nights Airbnb Rovaniemi €320
- 1 night Helsinki hotel €169
Total Spent so far: €1,325
*quoted price for 1 night trip for family of 4 from Dublin to Rovaniemi by local travel agent similar date : €2500 +
If you’ve been to Rovaniemi drop us a comment and tell us your best memory. If you haven’t been and want to visit stay tuned and we’ll help you start planning!