By Becca Riley...
We decided on a once in a life time trip to the North Pole while the kids were old enough to remember (and not be too cold) but still young enough to fully believe.. they were eight (very nearly nine) seven and five.
We booked through Santas Lapland with help from our local travel agent, although you can cut out the middle man, we decided not to as we wanted Covid help. It actually didn't cost any more and we found it both helpful and reassuring.
We flew with Jet2 from Manchester on 11th Dec for three nights.
The flight is around three and a half hours, and they are special flights just to and from Lapland. They are really fun and geared towards the kids so all Christmas decorations and flight attendants dressed up, kids karaoke through the tannoy, Xmas colouring packs and letters to Santa, balloons passed around over seats, the pilot even dipped the plane when Santa landed on it to help us land in lapland. It was brilliant.
From the plane elves met us in the airport causing mischief (stealing hats, climbing over cases on the carousel) as we waited for our bags which only took around 10/15 mins. We were then transported on Xmas themed coaches to the place where everyone got their snow essentials - socks, gloves, boots and snowsuits.
Then onto the hotel...... there's a few all within a ten min walk from each other, we chose a log cabin within Sariskella resort. Our accommodation had two bedrooms and a sofa bed, sauna and log burner. Most places are full board buffet style. There wasn't too much choice but it filled a hole and was nice. For breakfast dinner and tea. Drinks were so expensive, two apple juice, two diet cokes and a pint of beer was €32. Our hotel had a pool so we used that once for a couple of hours in between meal times.
The first two days are up to you to sort and enjoy, so you grab a sledge for the kids and treck anywhere! There's lots of hills and snow to play with, it's brilliant fun and there's plenty to do.
The third day is amazing, this is the special one.....it's magical find Santa day!
This day, we were picked up at 10am and taken by coach (around 20 mins) to find Santa.. ...there's elves everywhere, tents with fires, warm berry juice and pancakes to warm up, sledging, ice fishing, ice hockey, reindeer rides, huskie rides, snow mobiles, ice caves, elf show and of course the visit to Santa.
This day is brilliant. Elves burst into song every time they heard a child say they were cold.. head shoulders knees and toes was made into.. "santa,.reindeer elf and snow, mince pies and Turkey and lots of gravy too" amongst a few others haha.
We were exhausted at the end of the day as the snow suits are so heavy to keep getting on and off for toilet breaks and general walking about.
There's a gala dinner back at the hotel with entertainment and fireworks but we were all too shattered. That was our only complaint, that the gala dinner should be earlier and on a different night than the Santa day. It seems a shame to miss out, but after three days non-stop, and that very busy magical third day, our kids were too wiped out to go.
It IS expensive, it's a once-in-a-lifetime type holiday. It cost us £7.5k for the three nights full board, flights and everything included over there, transfers, snow suits ect. But if you can find the money, it's worth it for the kids' absolute delight.
Oh and bare in mind, there's only three hours of daylight 11am-2pm!! It was-10°c whilst we were there but the week before it hit -34°c
WRITTEN BY: Becca Riley
Becca Riley is a North West-based mum-of-three who loves to travel
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