Hey Explorersaurs! Today’s post is all about how to go to Lapland on a budget – finding the best deals, saving money and more. Lapland is a dream holiday for soo many of us. But it can be extortionately expensive. We believe the best holidays shouldn’t be saved for the rich kids amongst us, so we’ve done some digging to share with you how to go to Lapland on a budget. (Honestly it’s what we’re experts at!) We’ve worked out how a family of 4 can holiday here for under £2000, and a couple for just over £1000. Let’s get into it!
Finding the best deals
Okay, so the two main components travelling to Lapland will be the travel itself and the hotel. Food and excursions come later. There are a few platforms I use time and time again to make sure I’m getting the very best deal – there’s nothing worse than knowing you could have saved £££ if you made different choices!
Travelling to Lapland will entail flights somewhere along the line. You can either fly direct to Rovaniemi or go to Helsinki and change to a new flight or train.
Usually, direct flights will cost you the most money. Currently December prices are showing £300+, although during the current pandemic there will be a mix of uncertainty and limitations adding to the price. I ALWAYS use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights. You simply put your departure airport and arrival airport and you get to see the flight costs for each day. Usually accommodation prices don’t vary so much – so you should choose your dates based on cheapest travel.
A cheaper deal will usually be to fly to Helsinki and change over to a flight or train to Rovaniemi. The train will take around 12 hours, but you can get an overnight train and get to see beautiful snowscapes which is actually a gorgeous part of the journey! For flights, London to Helsinki will cost about £80 return per person. From Helsinki to Rovaniemi flights will cost around £60 for a return. Overall you’ll be spending approx £140 per person for your travel here – which isn’t bad going right!?
For the train, you will get the best deal travelling as a family or larger group. Kids under a certain age go free with an accompanying adult. If you choose to go on a night train you get your own cabin and beds. I think this is a really fun experience in itself! Prices work out similarly to flying, you can check out all the deets here.
The next biggest price is where you will stay. There is a ginormous range of options here in Rovaniemi, from hotels in the city to chalets, igloos and cabins out in the country. I would personally always recommend staying outside of the city. Most of the beautiful snowy scenery and activities will be out here, and it just makes for the best holiday. The city of Rovaniemi does have some great food options but otherwise, there’s not a huge amount going on and it’s pretty small!
I usually check out Airbnb, Expedia and booking.com to see different accommodation on offer. If you have lots of money to spend, you can get a glass igloo, treehouse hideaway or big old chalet. Magical winter goodness wrapped up in a ball if you ask me! With that being said, you will pay about £400 per night in the peak season of Winter, which can be your whole accommodation cost if you go elsewhere!
Airbnb will be the cheapest option most of the time here – although if you’re not in the city you will need to hire a car which will add to the price. Airbnbs can cost about £60 a night for a flat in the city, or £100-£200 a night for a whole chalet out in the country. For a four night holiday, this can cost £400 if you’re keeping the purse strings tight and really want that beautiful winter experience!
Holiday companies usually mean excursions will be there on your doorstep which can be super convenient. Especially if you’re not staying long! We have stayed in Holiday Village Gulo Gulo which regularly have fantastic deals. This is also opposite a gorgeous wildlife park and has excursions such as snow mobiling and husky sled rides. Santa’s village also has TONS of amenities, but is super pricey.
Your cheapest way to stay will be to hire an airbnb and hire a care to get to your excursions. Just be aware the roads are very icy here in Winter. Cars are fitted with studded tyres and so long as you’re careful it shouldn’t be a problem. (But keep this in mind if you’re a nervous driver!)
Saving money in Lapland
- Food is super pricey here in Lapland. Finland has some incredible local delicacies so I would factor in some budget to try some special food, but overall it’s much cheaper to cook yourself here. If you’re staying in an Airbnb or self-catered accommodation you should stop off at a supermarket and stock up on ingredients to cook yourself. Supermarkets are also a little pricier than back home – about Waitrose kinda prices! If you’re choosing not to get lots of booze and extras, about £100 should feed a couple on a four night holiday, and approximately £150-£200 for a family of four, depending on how strict with money you’re being.
- Hiring a car can help you get the most out of your Lapland holiday, and also helps supermarket trips and being able to see different excursions across the board. This can be as cheap £116 for five days, drop off at the airport. (I used travel supermarket to compare this.)
- Excursions can be a little awkward to book in advance depending on where you’re staying, but it will normally get you the best deal. Have a Google to see what sort of things you would like to do. Check out our Lapland bucket list post for some ideas! I would budget at least £200 per person for your excursions, although you can go cheaper if you need to – this is all options. If you just chose one activity at £50 per person and went on winter walks, hunted the Northern Lights, watched Christmas films and played in the sauna/snow, you would still have the best holiday.
- As seen in my Lapland tips post, if you’re on a budget make sure you avoid unnecessary shopping. The exchange rate isn’t ideal, and the cost of goods here is much pricier than back home! Perhaps budget £10-20 per person for a little trinket, but definitely don’t go on a massive haul.
Overall, a budget holiday to Lapland can cost you £1200 as a couple.
As a family of 4, you will be looking at paying around £1900.
I hope you enjoyed our post all about how to go to Lapland on a budget. Check out our other travel tips for more budget travel ideas!