In just a few hours, we are going to load ourselves into a big bus to Piteå, a destination in Swedish Lapland. Piteå is completely new to all of us, and we are all so excited to see what this place could offer. As always, a new destination always requires some preparation. Of course we are mainly doing a lot of visiting based on our perspective of researching, but for this one, I am just gonna ease it up and do thing a bit differently. I am gonna share with you 5 things of what to do before the trip, if you ever come there:
1. Know Where you Go
In a time of digitalisation nowadays, Internet is a great source to do everything. I usually look it up from the motherland, Internet, to search for whatever to do or to go to in a new destination I will go to, and this is no exception. Tripadvisor is usually where I would head to, the Culture Trip is also an amazing place, or Lonely Planet is absolutely recommendable. However, with such a small destination with less popular rate like Piteå, it is quite difficult to look for any information in detail. Therefore, I’d suggest you to take a look at the official website of Swedish Lapland or even, from Piteå (Just remember to switch the language). There are quite many activities for you all curious people out there to do: from going on a boat during the summer, fishing on a river, attending such cool local events, to the unique ice-breaker on the frozen river and outdoor sports during winter time. You’ll find yourself something to do, depending on which season you are coming 😀
2. Hey, Don’t Skip the Summer Visit
Ok, so we are visiting Piteå during the late autumn time, and this place is more about the winter activities, but like most of the destinations in the Arctic, the summer is still the hidden gem to discover. Imagine yourself enjoying the warm summer sun, biking yourself around the small cute town while eating your melting ice-cream. Or even better, lying on the so-called “Swedish riviera”, taking sunbath with a couple of cool drinks with you! If you are a cultural geek, summer time is definitely the time for you. There are tons of local events to attend to, and you can also do fishing the way locals do. If you are a sport fan, there’s a Piteå Summer Games, which is a competition for local football teams. And if you are a fitness fan, well, don’t worry that you could not find anything to keep you fit. Hiking is very popular in here. Jogging around the town could be a great option to discover this amazing place.
3. Dress Warmly!
Ok, now back to our soon-to-be-true study trip. As the weather is getting colder and colder, dressing warmly has been the least expected problem. Everyone thought they know how to dress, but many still make silly mistakes. I know people who travel to Finnish Lapland with just jeans and autumn jacket when the “autumn” in Finnish Lapland is basically winter in other place, with temperature can drop down to 5 degrees during day time and 0 degree at night. Piteå is no difference. If you visit during summer time, well then it’s easy. But from late September until around April, you definitely need to have some warm gears with you. It’s better safe than sorry. So: thick jacket, skiing pant, woolen socks, water-proof shoes (or winter shoes), gloves, warm beanie, and scarf. These are pretty basic stuff to get yourself at least warm when spending your day outdoor! Take my words! 😀
4. Book Your Accommodation in a Cabin
If you want to experience something locals would do and your budget allows you to, don’t book any fancy hotel there. Get a cottage cabin. People in the Arctic prefer to stay in a cabin because it’s the only right way to do it. It’s even better to share your cabin with your fellow travel-mates, and in my case, my very dear friends from our course. It’s always better to spend your time in a warm cabin with good company. And remember to ask for sauna and its additional price, if the place you stay has one. Sauna is common to make yourself relaxed. We are going to stay at Storstrand, which looks super nice and chill so I am already looking forward to make a good use out of it!
5. Chill! It’s Going to be a Super Nice Experience
I know some people might be stressful when it comes to travel to a new destination, even though you have done tons of researches and preparation already. It’s just a common feeling that you also get anxious, or even, scared if there’s gonna be any troubles happening to you during your trip! But it’s traveling, and it’s supposed to be relaxing (well, in our case, we’d need to do school stuff mostly). However, school trip or not, it’s the best to bring a good positive mind with you to see Piteå so you can enjoy it to the fullest. That’s what travel means!