Santa's Lapland FAQs

Everything you need to know

What is the best thing to wear

Santa's Lapland is above the Arctic Circle, so the right clothing makes all the difference in keeping you and your children warm, happy and having fun.

We've got a lot of information on what to wear and what to pack here, but rest assured we will arrange for each of you to have a complimentary thermal outer-suit for your stay, along with cosy woollen socks, snow-boots, outer gloves and hats, all free of charge.

We recommend you also bring additional mittens or gloves (ideally waterproof ones for children’s snow play) to be worn next to the skin, and balaclavas or scarves to cover your face if necessary.

Hats should have flaps or be able to be pulled down to cover your ears. Several layers are far more insulating than one or two thick items, so the best bet is thermal undies, shirt or roll-neck fleece and a jacket/anorak under your suit when outdoors.

Is it worth bringing a camera

Yes absolutely as there will be so many magical moments to capture! However, extreme cold can adversely affect some cameras, so do check the manufacturers’ guidelines.

Camera and phone batteries also discharge very quickly in the cold, so bring plenty of spares! Also be aware of the ‘twilight’ times, when flash photography is necessary.

After I’ve made my booking, what additional details will I receive about my trip?

All guests will receive a pre-departure pack in the post, 4-5 weeks prior to travel. This will include letters for your children to write to Santa, big reveal ideas and much more information.

How much luggage can be taken on the plane?

Passengers travelling with Titan have a baggage allowance of 1x 20kg Hold luggage 1x 10kg Hand baggage per person.

Passengers travelling with Jet2 have a baggage allowance of 1x 22kg Hold luggage 1x10 kg Hand baggage per person.

Will anything on my holiday change due to Brexit?

As of the 1st January 2021, the UK has left the EU. Here’s what you need to know before travelling with us:

Passports: You'll need to ensure that you have at least six months validity left on your passport when returning from EU countries. You can check whether your passport will need renewing for your trip here. You may also be required to provide your evidence of your return ticket and that you have enough currency for your holiday when arriving in your destination.

Travel Disruption: When entering and exiting countries, it is your responsibilty to give yourself extra time to get through the immigration queues in the airports as there will be delays. We may have to organise our transfers slightly to help with this and ensure that you have extra time.

Driving in the EU: From 28 September UK stickers will replace GB stickers. Check the GOV.UK Displaying number plates website for more information on what to do if you are driving outside the UK before, on or after 28 September 2021.

If you are hiring a car, ensure you have a green card. In both cases you must make sure that you have the relevant international driving insurance with your chosen provider.

EHIC Cards and Travel Insurance: Under a new agreement with the EU, UK residents are now able to apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your current European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) has expired. This will give you access to emergency and medically necessary healthcare in the EU during your holiday. You can still use your EHIC card, excluding Switzerland and Norway, if it is still valid and in date and as part of our terms and conditions, you must also still hold valid travel insurance to cover your personal circumstances, (pre-existing conditions, etc). In Norway, you can show your UK Passport to receive limited urgent healthcare.

Data Roaming: Free data roaming will cease, therefore you need to be aware of any additional charges for using your phone and data abroad. Most of our properties have complimentary Wi-Fi for guests to use, but please remember that this is for social usage only.

ATOL & ABTA: As we are an ATOL and ABTA bonded UK travel company, guests booking with us enjoy comprehensive consumer protection. Your holiday will be protected under the Package Travel Regulations, which means you have the right to a full refund if, for any reason, we can no longer provide your holiday.

Visas: There are no current plans to implement necessary visas to travel in Europe in 2021, but if that changes we will ensure you are made aware before travelling with us.

The UK government and ABTA have also put together some useful information about holidaying in the EU after the 31st January 2020. These resources can be found below:

Which airport can I fly from

You can fly from 15 regional airports from around the UK, including London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Southend (SEN), Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh & East Midlands.

What are the flights like

Our flights fly direct to Saariselkä’s own local airport of Ivalo, with an easy 25-minute transfer from Saariselkä itself.

All flights, both outbound and return, include a full buy-on–board service with drinks and snacks etc, but we always recommend bringing extra snacks for the little ones.

What kind of insurance do I need?

It is a condition of booking with us that you and your party take out suitable Wintersports Insurance from a reputable provider.

We would strongly recommend that you take travel insurance out at the time of booking that offers additional Coronavirus cover.

Our insurance partner Campbell Irvine offer travel insurance with additional comprehensive Covid-19 cover and will be happy to give you a quote. To contact them, please visit their website

Santa's Lapland is an Unregulated Introducer of Campbell Irvine Ltd who are authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Do you have any airport parking offers

Through our partnership with APH, we are able to offer up to 35% discount to all of our Santa’s Lapland customers at airports throughout the UK.

With our Lapland flights all departing early in the morning why not take advantage of some of the great ‘Airport Hotel and Parking’ packages and stay at an airport hotel the night before you fly. This takes the stress out of getting to the airport in the morning on time and finding the car park. Taking an extra night away this allows you to wake up fully refreshed & enjoy your entire break to Lapland

If an overnight stay is not for you then the ‘Meet & Greet’ Valet Parking is the perfect way of dropping your car off. ‘Meet & Greet’ Valet Parking saves you time, hassle free and so convenient. Simply drive to the airport terminal, where an APH chauffeur meets you and takes your car to their nearby secure car-park. On your return, your car is then delivered back to you directly at the terminal, for you to drive straight off home!

What if I want to go longer than 2 or 3 nights?

Our sister brand Inghams offers 3 & 4 night Santa Breaks to Levi and Ylläs in Finland as well as 7 night breaks to LeviYlläs and Saariselkä.

What happens with the children’s letters to Santa?

We will send out full details to you with our special writing paper for your little ones – all this is supplied with your pre-departure information.

Are activity vouchers issued?

A voucher will be in your welcome pack for any optional activities that are pre-booked. Details of extra activities are on your invoices.

What is included in my experience?

All of our experiences include return flights to Ivalo Airport, transfers, half-board accommodation, a fun-filled activity day with a private family visit to see Santa, and complimentary snowsuits to keep you warm.

How easy is it to drive a snowmobile?

Our guide will make sure everyone's safe and following the rules before you set off. If a grown-up wants to drive, you need to be over 18 and have a full driving licence. You'll get a helmet too.

The dedicated trails are like roads, with 'give way' signs to look out for. And just like roads, you can't have had any alcohol before heading out.

There's room for one passenger per snowmobile. You don't need to be a specific age to ride pillion but you need to be able to reach the footrests, and be strong enough to hold on properly around the driver's waist or hand grips.

To drive, you'll need to book a single driver supplement. And if a grown-up wants to go in the sleigh, you'll need to let us know in advance.

Is there time to go skiing?

Yes, there is time to go downhill skiing on the ‘Adventure Day’ on the Santa's Magic and Santa's Aurora Packages 4 day breaks.

How to book activities?

Book at the same time as your holiday, after you've booked via 'Manage Your Booking' or call us.

Our optional adventures are available to book on our two and three night experiences on both Santa's Magic and Santa's Aurora. On our two night trips, Northern lights adventures, if pre-booked will usually take place on the first evening. Most other adventures can be booked for the morning of your last day. Please see each adventure page for details. 

How much deposit do I have to pay for a Santa's Lapland holiday?

The deposit amount you pay for your holiday is £150 per person. This is taken when confirming your booking. If we have secured additional scheduled or low-cost flights for your booking, we will take payment to cover any additional costs at the same time as taking your deposit. Please note that these are non-refundable in the event of cancellation.

Santa's Lapland Price Promise

If you are yet to book and you find a Santa’s Lapland holidays cheaper with a travel agent, we will match the price. You’ll then get all of the Lapland magic for the same amount you would pay if booking through your local travel agent. This applies to new bookings only. 

Are there any deals or special offers I can take advantage of when booking?

You can find our latest Santa's Lapland deals here. Our offers are subject to availability and we have often have limited places, so it's best to book early to avoid disappointment. 

When do the pre-booked Optional Adventures operate?

For our 4 day breaks, our Optional Adventures are usually on your Adventure Day and for our 3 day breaks, the Northern Lights Snowmobile trip will be on the first evening, with all other excursions on the departure morning. These times are typically given upon arrival, but can change due to unforeseen circumstances. 

Our snow guarantee - what happens if there is a lack of snow?

The weather is an important factor on our Santa’s Lapland holidays, we’re always keeping an eye on the forecast and speaking with our local suppliers. If we have any cause for concern about the weather conditions, we will endeavour to contact you 7 days before your departure to let you know.

If we and our suppliers believe that there’s not enough snow to run the activities included in your Santa’s Lapland package, we will contact you again 72 hours before travel with an update and advice on the options available to you, which may include cancellation.

In the event that we decide that there is insufficient snow you will have the following choices:

  • you can amend your travel dates to any of our other Santa’s Lapland dates that are available in the same season and at no cost, provided that the elements of the holiday (accommodation, room type, duration and party composition) remain the same. If you change any of the holiday elements, you’ll need to pay the difference in price if it is more expensive, or if the new arrangements are cheaper, you will receive a refund of the difference.
  • If you decide not to travel at all, you can cancel with a full refund of all monies paid to Santa’s Lapland for the trip.
Is Lapland suitable for infants and toddlers?

We do not recommend these trips for infants under 2 years of age due to the cold weather. Toddlers of 3-4 years love the excitement and magic of it all, but unfortunately will not be able to benefit from all of the activities. You can find out more about who our Santa's Lapland holidays are best enjoyed by here.

Are the trips suitable for grandparents?

Yes, absolutely! Many grandparents head to Lapland every year and they have tremendous fun, not to mention the simple joy of being with the grandchildren in such a magically special place! You can find out more about who our Santa's Lapland holidays are for here.

On selected dates we also offer savings for grandparents travelling with family. Find out more about our grandparents savings here

Is there time to buy souvenirs?

Yes, on the itineraries we share with you, you'll spot that there is plenty of free ‘fun-time’. Saariselkä has several small souvenir shops and a supermarket for purchasing traditional Lappish goodies, with Ivalo airport also having a small selection of souvenir shops.

What if an extra-large thermal suit or boots are needed?

Not a problem as we have a lot of sizes to cater for most, but please mention this when you book so we can ensure our team puts one aside for when you arrive in resort.

What is the normal temperature in Lapland?

During December it is normally about -12°C, but can reach as low as -30°. These temperatures are perfectly manageable however with the thermal suits and boots we provide free of charge. The team will amend itineraries if weather conditions will affect your magical trip. You can find out more about Lapland and Saariselka here.

How commercialised is it?

As you can imagine, we want you to experience the true, traditional spirit of Christmas, set in the unspoilt wilderness of Lapland, where each family’s private meeting with Santa is much less commercialised for example than a department-store ‘grotto’ in the UK.

Saariselkä has kept its charming, unspoilt atmosphere and ‘winter wonderland’ feel, which creates a far more magical and Christmassy atmosphere than some larger resorts.

You can find out more about Lapland and Saariselka here.

Do the Finnish speak English?

Yes, most people in Saariselkä speak English extremely well as do our team.

How many hours of daylight can we expect?

There's about four and a half hours of daylight in December, with approximately two to three hours of ‘grey light’ either side, rather like twilight in the UK.

What currency is used in Lapland?

The Euro is the local currency in Lapland, with only one cash-point machine in Saariselkä so please ensure you bring enough Euros with you!

Major credit cards (except American Express) are accepted in hotels, most restaurants and for booking the optional adventures locally.

What is the food like?

Our Saariselkä accommodations serve an extensive buffet breakfast and a simple and sustaining lunch is provided on your ‘Search for Santa’ day rather than ‘Haute Cuisine’.

Lunch is not included on arrival or departure days, or on your ‘Adventures Day’ on our Santa’s 4-day breaks. Dinner in the hotels is generally buffet-style, and mostly offers a choice of international cuisine, some Lappish specialities and standard children’s options.

What are the Northern Lights and when can they be seen?

The ‘Aurora Borealis’, more commonly known as the Northern Lights, is a natural phenomenon caused by solar particles colliding with the earth’s magnetic field.

As a natural event, no one can predict or guarantee their appearance during your stay. However, December is one of the best times to see them, and Saariselkä is an ideal location, being one of Lapland’s most northerly resorts.

Is there a swimming pool?

Yes, there is a superb swimming-pool in the Santa's Hotel Holiday Club in Saariselkä, complete with water-slide, waves, water-chutes, two whirlpool spa-baths, an upstream ‘river’, children’s pool and pool-bar!

It is free for Holiday Club guests, and offers a special reduced rate, payable locally, for my other guests staying elsewhere.

What is the time difference in Lapland?

Lapland is 2 hours ahead of UK time in December (i.e. GMT + 2).

Are the meetings with Santa private for each family?

Yes absolutely!

We know how important and special this time is for you and your family so it will be just you and Santa himself. You'll have a team of helpers helping you find Santa's hidden log-cabins in the woods, with those on our Santa's Magic package travelling by snowmobile and a driver and our Santa's Aurora package arriving by reindeer sleigh.

Where can I check for up-to-date travel and health information for my destination?

UK health authorities are providing detailed advice on from England Travellers are advised to read the FCDO travel advice for the country they are travelling to The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) TravelHealthPro website provides specific country-by-country travel health advice. The NHS website has useful information about how to take preventative measures against Coronavirus ABTA has updated advice and FAQs for travellers. ABTA also has a leaflet that offers handy tips and information for anyone preparing to travel overseas. You can either download their mobile version or print your own at home.

If the entry requirements change for my holiday destination, what does this mean for my holiday?

We are paying constant attention to the guidance from the FCDO, ABTA and Public Health England in the UK, as well as to the guidance from local health authorities, to ensure our destinations are open to travellers from the UK. Any additional entry testing and vaccination requirements differ by country and are being reviewed and updated frequently.

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the required vaccinations and/or additional tests in line with the entry requirements for your holiday destination. It is imperative that you check the latest requirements at the time of booking and are able to meet them. For more information, please see our Entry Requirements table, or visit the FCDO website for your destination.

Will I be entitled to a refund if Santa's Lapland has to cancel or make a significant change to my holiday due to the Coronavirus outbreak?

If things change and we have to cancel your holiday because of Coronavirus, you can move your holiday to another available date or destination of equivalent value, or pay the difference to upgrade your trip. If for any reason you are not able to move your holiday, we’ll give you a refund.
Equally, if we have to make a significant change to your holiday, we’ll give you the option of accepting the change or receiving a refund. You can find out more about what would be considered a significant change in our booking terms & conditions.

Please remember it is a condition of our booking terms that you have valid travel insurance. We would strongly recommend that you take travel insurance out at the time of booking that offers additional Coronavirus cover.

Our insurance partner Campbell Irvine has travel insurance with comprehensive Covid-19 cover and will be happy to give you a quote.  To contact them, please visit here. 

Inghams is an Unregulated Introducer of Campbell Irvine Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

I am due to go on holiday with Santa's Lapland. Can I get a refund if I choose to cancel my holiday?

We are confident that our future holidays will be going ahead as planned. If we are able to operate your holiday and you choose to cancel your booking, we will not be able to offer a refund on your holiday or added extras and our usual cancellation terms apply. 

Equally, if we make the decision to suspend your holiday to a given destination and you cancelled before we took that action, we will not offer a refund retrospectively. You should therefore ensure that you have adequate travel insurance and seek to recover cancellation charges from your insurer where possible.

If you have underlying health concerns, we would recommend that you speak to your GP and travel insurer, who may offer a degree of cover for cancellation on these grounds, subject to the terms of your policy, and you may need a note from your GP to support your claim.

What if I want to cancel or move my holiday?

We understand that you might be feeling apprehensive about travelling and would like some added flexibility. As part of our In Safe Hands promise, you can choose to move your holiday to a later date, up to the point that your full balance is due, with no admin fee from us. You will need to cover any extra cost if your new date is more expensive.

If our suppliers charge a fee for the change we may need to pass this on. (Supplier charges may include admin fees charged to us, as well as any costs which need to be paid by us at the time of booking to secure elements of your holiday - such as scheduled or low-cost airline flight costs, committed excursion costs and accommodation fees.) mention full balances.

Full balances will be due 10 weeks before departure (this may be earlier for bookings made with a travel agent) and after this point our usual booking terms & conditions apply.

What if I receive a positive Covid test whilst I’m on holiday before I travel back to the UK?

If at any point during your holiday you should test positive or feel unwell with Covid -19 symptoms, in the first instance you should stay in your room, seek medical assistance if required and let your accommodation management and Inghams Representative know.

If you test positive with an antigen LFD test, you might be asked to take a further PCR test to confirm the result. If this is positive, in most instances you will be required to self-isolate in designated accommodation and in accordance with local government guidelines (which can vary from country to country). The period of self-isolation may extend beyond the planned return date of your holiday and all additional costs incurred will need to be covered by yourself or your travel insurance company. At the earliest opportunity, you should contact your travel insurer for assistance and advice on next steps.

Our Inghams in-country teams have been fully trained in Covid-19 safety measures, including preparations for handling positive Covid-19 cases in resort, and will be there to help and support throughout – on the ground or by phone.
Insurance cover will vary depending on the provider and level of cover you have chosen. Our insurance partner Campbell Irvine offers travel insurance with additional comprehensive Covid-19 cover and will be happy to give you a quote. To contact them, please visit here. 

Inghams is an Unregulated Introducer of Campbell Irvine Ltd who are authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Does Santa's Lapland have an Animal Welfare Policy?

Read our policy on Animal Protection here

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