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Lapland holidays - where to go and who with?

(9 Posts)
HappyAsEyeAm Tue 16-Oct-12 12:42:37

I am desperately trying to convince DH that we should take the children to Lapland. I have wanted to go for years and years (well pre-DCs) and I know that DS1 especially would think it was absolutely magical. He is 4. DS2 is 5 mo, and it will probably be next year that we go.

Can anyone recommend a company to travel with, a resort to go to, how many nights is best and any tips?

I have looked at Canterbury Travel, and also at Inghams. Given the distance, I think we would go for an absolute minimum of two nights, probably 3+.

sunnyday123 Tue 16-Oct-12 13:10:18

Hi, there are a few threads on here so go through the search history. We are going this year with dds aged 5&7 for 3 nights with Thomson. So excited as I too have always wanted to go!

There's tons of info on trip advisor too. We are going to saariselka as its a small traditional resort - less commercial than some of the ski resorts. It's also the furthest resort north so best chance of seeing northern lights!

One thing I would say though is that your DS2 is too young. Most companies say over age two and lots say over age 4!!!! I'm worried about dd whose now 5 being too young! Temps drop to -20 even -40 and younger children probably couldn't cope with those temps. The thermal wear they provide is warmer than most ski wear and also only starts at age 2. Youre looking at £2.5-4000 for a 3 night trip so it'd be a shame for them not to remember it. I'm not trying to be negative it's just most reviews with 2/3 year old say they struggled with cold and long days. Also most of the activities only allow kids age 3+ which means one adult has to miss out.

Thomsons, esprit, crystal etc all do trips to Lapland but prices online change by the day so monitor closely as they can go up and down 100's overnight!

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 16-Oct-12 13:22:27

Thanks sunny. I will have a good search when I have a spare few hours!

Have a wonderful time. Your DC are the perfect ages to go. We have a 4 and a bit year age gap between our DSs, and my fear is that, if I wait until DS2 is 3 1/2 to go, DS1 will be nearly 8. If I wait until DS2 is 4 1/2, DS2 will be nearly 9. At these ages, my fear is that DS1 won't believe in Father Christmas, and I really, like really, want to go when he still believes.

So that means either I take DS1 on my own, or me and DH take DS1 on his own, and go again with both DSs in 4 years time, or we wait 3 or 4 years. And I don't think I can wait! It all looks absolutely amazing.

What made you decide to go with Thomson?

sunnyday123 Tue 16-Oct-12 13:34:50

I wanted to go with esprit initially as they get bar far the best reviews on all sites. Some operators which are smaller can end up cancelling trips if numbers are low. We go away with thomsons every year too so I do like them for the kids.

Main reason was that thomsons activity day go to the same place as esprit so I expect it'll be good judging by reviews! Plus I have booked the same hotel that esprit offer. Thomsons only started going to Lapland last winter so there are less reviews-I had to email a few people who had posted on trip advisor for their views to get further info!

Plus I got a great deal! I booked in June and paid £2200 for the four of us for 3 nights. the brochure prices is over £3k! I had planned on getting a last minute deal but once the prices fell (Thomson site had an online discount) I booked and I'm glad I did as my holiday is £2950 today!

However other resorts are cheaper. I've just seen cosmos offering a 3 night deal for family of 4 to Levi for £2050. I wanted saariselka as its smaller but I would go to Levi if the price was £3k still!

What about when ds2 is 2.5 years then? Not sure how it'd would with activities though. Also what is the norm for Santa near you? In dds school they must be pretty sheltered as kids up to age 10 believe !

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 16-Oct-12 20:04:02

I will look at Esprit too, thanks. You have got a good deal - I'm sure you will have an absolutely amazing time. Do your DC know that they are going?

I'm not sure at what age the children enar us stop believeing. All of our friends have DC at DS1's age and younger. I just have a memory of a girl in my class when I was in reception telling me that she had seen her mum un loading presents from the boot of her car (she must have been on a shopping trip pre-Christmas) and she asked her what she was doing, and her mum admitted that there was no Father Christmas and those were her presents from the shops.

Arghh! I simply cannot imagine that happening to DS1. I remember vividly telling my mum what she'd said. My mum did the whole 'oh no, there is a Father Christmas, you must believe or he won't come' etc, but the doubt was always there from then on.

sunnyday123 Tue 16-Oct-12 20:42:30

Ah with my dds they believe in everything right down to the tooth fairy! I can't understand why parents would want to spoil things for their kids! Christmas is rubbish with no magic! My niece found out at age 9 but even admitted she wished she never and goes along with it more for herself than younger siblings!

I go with the "if you don't believe, you won't receive!"

We have told dds as
1) I was too exited and needed their input work on dh who would have preferred a 2nd summer holiday!! My dh is less keen on omewhere so cold so I need someone to get excited with! Before we had kids me and dh went skiing and he insists it's better than a summer holiday so I know he's just being stubborn and will love it when we go!
2) I wanted them to have the build up which in many ways is one of the best parts- I've had friends who kept similar trips secret and they said their kids were overwhelmed too much when they found out!

If you go next year, may- june were the cheapest prices with all operators this year- I checked them very regularly to the point of obsession as I really couldn't justify much more than what we've paid!

We went independantly last year and flew with Finnair into Rovaniemi.

We booked to visit Joulukka, and did two trips, a Northern lights themed one and then the trip to meet FC.

www.joulukka.com/en/the-secret-of-joulukka

I can't even begin to tell you how magical it was. They have their own forest, with an elf school, and you go on a trip with the elves, through the forest, stopping in the school to learn how to be an elf, then through the woods at night, singing and telling stories. Stopping for hot chocolate cooked over a fire in a huge black kettle. Then you get to visit the secret workshop.

I won't give to much detail incase anyone is planning to visit already, it ruins the surprise. But I have to say, my dh was in floods of tears and to this day is adamant that it was the real thing.

The people involved are all actors, the costumes and place was fantastic.

We stayed in the Santa Claus village, which is quite touristy, but we had a wood cabin with sauna which was lovely.

Friends booked with Espirit last year, as they wanted the whole organised 2 days search for Santa. They were very happy with their holiday too.

Apart from the fact that THEIR Santa was the fake one, of course!

maclover Tue 16-Oct-12 21:45:38

We went to Saariselska last year and also went independently. It is a beautiful place and it is very easy to book all of the activities yourself. We went for 6 nights and it cost less than the packages for 4 days. We went with friends and our children were 4.5 - 7, perfect ages, we'd say. We did feel that we had great value for money because we could spend a lot of time out in the snow just tobogganing without having to worry about a schedule, and this was what the DCs enjoyed the most. Saariselska has a great toboggan run too - get the ski lift to the top, stop at the cafe for hot chocolate and lunch and then toboggan down! Great fun. Am happy to give you more details if you want to pm me.

HappyAsEyeAm Wed 17-Oct-12 09:38:58

It all sounds absolutely amazing and I am aching to go. Thanks so much for your input.

I am still working on DH. My dream would be to take DS1 this year (leaving DS2 with grandparents) for 3 or 4 days, and then go agaon on 4 years' time, taking both DSs.

But I still have a lot of work to do on DH.

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