Nothing beats personal experience!
Tips from the internet are all well and good, but who guarantees you that the claims are true? Before I went to Finland for half a year, I would have liked to talk to one or two people who have already experienced and traveled the country. Nothing beats personal experience and advice. So there I stood, completely at a loss and completely stumped as to how to pack my suitcase, whether I would have enough warm stuff with me, but at the same time enough stuff for the summer. That was something, I tell you. Whether I was right with my luggage in the end, you’ll see when the light comes on. No, fun!! Just read on.
I’ll give you 5 things I wish I had known before traveling to this beautiful country. Of course, as time goes by, you’ll get the hang of things; so don’t panic. Still, it’s always good to be able to adjust to things. Have fun reading!
1. Hand out!
With my first tip, I associate a painful experience that cost me a lot of time and nerves. At the same time, I find this solution time-saving, simple and logical; just like the Finns are! On my first days, I was standing with other Erasmus students at the bus stop to catch my bus to the university. It was February and really abnormally cold and I was glad to finally see the bus. However, instead of stopping and giving us a ride, it just passes us by. After a few rides we finally realized that the buses in Finland only stop if we hold out our hand and give the bus driver a sign that we really want to ride there. So always keep your hand out!
2. Always say “Kiitos”
While we’re on the topic of buses, here’s my next tip. Finns are a really polite and nice people. So when you get off the bus at your stop, don’t forget to say “Kiitos”. This means thank you and is shouted by everyone through the bus who gets off at their stop. I think it’s a really nice gesture and there should be many more countries where this is done. After all, in everyday life we also say please and thank you. To be honest, though, I had a hard time yelling through a crowded bus until the very end. I think this is due to my “German-ness”. If you’ve already got the urge to travel Finland, check out JoinMyTrip, where you’ll find cool travel buddies as well as inspiring trips.
3. What is sleep?!
This point is not about wild party nights. We had those too, but they didn’t rob us of nearly as much sleep as the brightness! When we came out of the club one night at about 4 o’clock, we thought someone was pulling our leg! It was bright as afternoon at 2pm! Our eyes bugged out and I will never forget that moment. From that point on, the sleepless nights started. It’s not just the problem that we couldn’t sleep, but that we never felt like it was bedtime now. My sleep rhythm was really a disaster. In the afternoon after university I slept for a few hours, and at night, when I was supposed to be sleeping, of course I didn’t get a wink of sleep. If I had known earlier that from April to … 24/7 it is bright, then I would have probably got myself an appropriate sleeping mask. But well, now you know it at least!
4. Finland can also be warm!
Sure, Finland is one of the northernmost countries and known for its icy and snowy winters, but it can definitely get hot in the summer as well. I’m no expert, but I think climate change has played a part in that. I would have liked someone to tell me that it gets almost as warm there in the summer as it does here in Germany. When it became summer, the thin things were rather scarce. I must say that the thick things for the winter, also really swallowed a lot of space in the suitcase and I therefore had to save on the summer things. P.S. My personal highlight was the Midsummer Fest in Finland. I don’t want to tell you too much. Just join a trip with JoinMyTrip and see for yourself why!
5. Antarctica is far away
The last point is even a little uncomfortable for me, but maybe you’ll be all the more grateful for the tip in the end! When I equipped myself with thick things at home, the good old “Moon Boots” also landed in the suitcase. You may be thinking of the ones that go up to the ankle, but I mean the knee-high ones. These are now unused and only worn 2 times with me in the basement. People; It is completely enough to wear normal winter shoes, as you would wear them in any normal winter vacation. My friends in Finland have really made fun of me, why I brought such shoes or that I wasted almost the entire space in my suitcase for it and they were never worn. So don’t buy extra moon boots. Of course it depends on the place you are traveling to. I was in the middle of Finland. But if you live in deepest Lapland for half a year, these shoes can probably save your life!
After these 5 tips you should be well prepared for your adventure in Finland. If you felt the same way about some things as I did, feel free to drop us an email or a message on social media. I’m eager to hear your experiences! On JoinMyTrip you can find cool trips that have already been planned by experienced TripLeaders that you can join. If you already have a unique idea of your own, you can of course create your very own trip. We are happy about both options!