"What is the one place you want to visit?" is a question that keeps popping up, be it during my first week at work, a constant ice breaker on dating apps, or a conversation with my friends at 4 am. The answer to this question, however, has always come easily to me, “The Northern Lights.”
Discovering the phenomenon of the Northern Lights at age six was almost like Rapunzel finding out about the festival of lights. And if you're waiting to experience your Tangled moment with the surreal aurora borealis overhead, then you've come to the right place.
Essentially, the occurrence of the lights depends on the activity of the solar system. When energised particles from the sun collide with the earth’s atmosphere at a certain speed, they are redirected towards the pole due to the planet’s magnetic field, leading to the phenomenal sight in the sky. Put simply, the brightness of the light depends on how active the sun is. Experts predict that the sun's activity will peak in 2025. However, some estimations suggest that it could arrive much earlier. That's why we can expect brighter-than-ever auroras in the coming years, and that's why you should start planning your trip if you wish to see the Northern Lights.
And that's why you should start planning your trip if you wish to see the Northern Lights. Here are a few tips on where to begin.
Select the ideal country
Research and choose the best country for viewing the Northern Lights. Popular destinations include Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, and Canada. Each country offers unique landscapes and experiences, so contemplate factors like accessibility, local attractions, and the overall travel experience.
Choose the right time frame
The Northern Lights are most visible during the winter months when the nights are long. Plan your trip between late September and early April for a better chance to witness this natural wonder. Keep in mind that peak visibility may vary based on your chosen location.
Research, research, research
Dive into detailed research about your selected destination. Identify prime viewing spots, learn about local accommodations, and explore transportation options. Look into guided tours or excursions that specialise in Northern Lights experiences, ensuring you make the most of your visit.
Book flights and accommodations
Once you've finalised your destination and timeframe, book your flights and accommodations. Opt for places that provide easy access to prime viewing locations. Consider staying in hotels, lodges, or resorts known for their Northern Lights visibility. Booking in advance ensures availability during peak seasons. Meaning you need to start right now.
Pack essentials for the journey
Prepare a packing list tailored to the weather conditions of your chosen destination. Include thermal clothing, waterproof outerwear, insulated boots, gloves, and a hat. Don't forget essentials like a high-quality camera to capture the breathtaking display. Consider packing snacks and entertainment for long nights of aurora-watching.
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