Reindeer sleigh ride in Rovaniemi

Reindeer sleigh ride in Rovaniemi (Jessica Lynn)

I won’t lie: The entire reason we decided to visit Lapland was to hopefully see the Northern Lights. It’s always been on my mom’s bucket list, so I figured we’d try to make it happen, and worst case, if we didn’t see the lights, at least we’d have an epic trip to Finland.

One. Borrow winter gear.

Unless you’re an avid snow bunny, you may not have all the winter gear needed for this weekend trip, and buying everything new for just a long weekend can get very expensive. Ask around and borrow outer layers, especially for kids since they grow so fast. If you book an activity in Lapland most come with the option to rent their winter essentials.

Two. Compress your clothes. If you are taking a discount airline to Lapland, you might try limiting how much luggage you take. The problem is that good winter gear takes up a lot of space. To save some space in your luggage, use vacuum space-saver bags. It’ll still be the same weight, but it sucks out all the air so you can get all/most of your outer layers in one suitcase.

Three. Watch for reindeer!

There aren’t any “wild” reindeer in Finland. They all have an owner, and they all have collars. But even though they technically have owners who look after them, they still roam around. So, drive extra slowly and keep your eyes peeled…some of the reindeer’s fleece is as white as snow.

Four. Fancy a Drink?

If you want hard alcohol or even beer/wine over 4.8% ABV, you need to find an actual liquor store. Also, liquor stores are closed on Sundays.

Five. Sorry, We’re Closed.

Keep an eye on the closing times for places. Several stores and restaurants closed earlier than we anticipated. Making reservations for dinner ahead of time and stocking up to cook in our Airbnb came in handy.

For more of Jessica’s travels with her family, check out her blog where you can find “everything from travel guides fit for families, tips on navigating military life, meals our family actually eats (aka kid-approved food!), and so much more:”

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