There is no place on earth quite like Lapland.
Undeniably the most festive winter wonderland you can possibly take the kids at Christmas, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make magical memories the whole clan will remember for life.
As amazing as it is though, it can be frantic, sometimes stressful and very, very cold. Follow these top tips to ensure your trip is everything you’ve dreamed of.
1. Don’t take your kids until they’re six years old
It might seem like the most exciting and magical experience in the world for little ones, but take them before they reach the ripe old age of six and it’s likely you’ll struggle. It’s a pretty exhausting whirlwind trip and can be bitterly cold, making it difficult for younger tots to stay warm or regulate their body temperature.
But by six, they’re independent enough to take themselves up a big snowy hill surrounded by strangers (i.e. elves and other holidaymakers) and throw themselves down on a toboggan. This means you can stand at the bottom drinking mulled wine and capture the experience on camera.
2. Don’t over-pack
Most places you go to in Lapland will provide you with snow boots and snowsuits, so don’t waste all that suitcase space packing your own. The suits are amazing and the boots are likely to be far superior to anything you can pick up on our high street, without spending a fortune.
3. Opt for layers
Massively thick woolly jumpers might look tempting, but by the time you’ve squeezed your snowsuit over the top, you’re likely to feel a bit squashed and uncomfortable. If you opt for thin layers – including tops and trousers made from fleece, merino wool and technical fabrics – you can layer up to your heart’s content, and then remove them if you get too hot.
4. Invest in thermals
Thermals are a must. Make sure everyone – kids especially – don their thermal base layers first, which are long john-style leggings and a long-sleeved top. You might even want a spare pair to sleep in.
5. Keep your head (and neck) warm
A properly warm hat which covers your ears is a must. And don’t forget to insulate your neck, too. You can wrap up in a chunky scarf, but you might find thinner snoods and balaclavas are more comfortable and effective at keeping the cold out.
6. Stock up on socks
Choose boots that are on the big side and wear good quality thermal socks – two pairs if it’s not uncomfortable. If your feet get cold, it can be hard to warm up again, so wrap up those toes as best you can.
7. Double layer your gloves
There will be lots of snowball throwing and snowman building, so wearing waterproof ski gloves is important. However, it’s hard to find a pair that are genuinely warm enough, so wear another thin woollen pair of gloves underneath. And remember to have spares, so you’ve got another option when you get all wet and snowy.
8. Keep moving
If your little ones struggle with the cold weather, keep them moving. Running around having snowball fights with the elves tends to work wonders.
9. Keep an eye on your tech
Mobile phones and cameras can struggle in extreme temperatures, so keep an eye on them if you’re taking them out into the snow with you. Keeping them in pockets when you’re not using them can really help.