Common Mistakes People Who Want to See the Northern Lights Make
So, you want to view the northern lights? We don’t blame you!
The Northern Lights, or the aurora borealis, is arguably mother nature’s most spectacular show.
A trip to view these lights is a long journey from Singapore, and there are no guarantees that they will reveal themselves at any specific time.
This is why we have put together the following article based on our very own experience giving you tips and advice to make the most of this trip of a lifetime and not to make the mistakes many before you have made.
Expecting to see them
This may sound bit silly but hear us out. Many people visit a spectacular country like Norway, Sweden, Finland or Iceland with their only goal to see the Northern Lights dancing prettily above their heads.
Whilst you, of course, want to see this, we would go as far as saying this is the biggest mistake you can make!
If these countries didn’t provide you with a chance at viewing the northern lights, they are still exceptional, beautiful countries to visit, with activities and views you cannot see anywhere else in the world.
The northern lights are never guaranteed to appear, anywhere in the world. So, if you visited one of these countries simply to see the lights and for them not to appear, it would ruin your whole experience of that country.
Visit these counties to experience them, make the most of it, and if you get to see the northern lights, well, that’s an epic bonus!
Not researching where is best to see them
Norway, Sweden and Finland are great countries to visit to get a chance to see the northern lights. However, they are big countries, and staying too south will lower your chances of seeing them, if not, make it impossible!
The northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the whole of Iceland is best for seeing the lights. Do a little bit of research before you book, just to make sure you are visiting the right parts.
The regions that are best for viewing the northern lights also have long summer days, including the midnight sun, and long dark winter days. It is in these long, dark, winter days that will give you the best chance of seeing the northern lights. These are the months from September to March.
Depending on which country you are visiting, it is best to check what the weather conditions are usually like in the middle of winter, from November to January, as this could stop your chances from viewing them should the weather usually be treacherous or overcast at this time.
Not visiting the area for long enough
Visiting for just a couple of days could limit your chances of seeing the northern lights. The lights can be visible for many days in a row, but they could equally be absent for the same.
We would recommend visiting for 4 nights or more to give yourself the best possible chance of seeing them. You never know, you might be able to see them every single night of your tip!
Not packing the right clothing
We are very lucky here in Singapore that we are blessed with such warm weather so the weather in the arctic circle might surprise you!
There are few things worse than being too cold. When you head out to view the northern lights, you don’t know how long you are going to be out there, braving the elements in the arctic circle! It will most likely be 4 hours or more, so you must make sure you have the right clothing on to stop yourself being so cold that it ruins your overall experience.
Base layers will be your best friend. Get yourself some natural fibre base layers for both your legs and your top half. Next, you need some proper socks, followed by waterproof, comfy and well-soled boots. It is likely to be snowy, so if those socks get wet you will be in for a cold and miserable night!
We also recommend investing in a down or feather coat. These types of coats do an amazing job at keeping you warm thanks to the natural fibres.
Also, do not forget warm gloves, a hat and a scarf!
Not booking a tour
When you want to view the northern lights, there are two things you can do; head out yourself to try and find them, or book onto one of many tours that are offered.
Whilst going out on your own is still a great option, we would recommend that you go for the latter option to give yourself the best chance of seeing the lights.
Our reason behind this is that these tours will actively seek out the best viewing spots for viewing the lights based on a number of conditions, including the weather and other predictions. If they are having no luck in one area, they will head out to another.
Many of the guides also help each other out, so if one finds a particularly good spot, they will share this info with others.
Many of these tours will also show you how to take photos of the lights, so you may even come back with a lovely snap of yourself under the lights to show your friends!
What’s more, snowy weather can cause for hazardous driving on the roads. We would rather leave that up to the professionals!
Not planning on doing or seeing anything else when you are there
As we mentioned at the start of the article, the countries that are best for visiting the northern light; Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland, are stunning and unique locations that should be enjoyed for more than just the northern lights.
For instance, Iceland has the roaring, stunning waterfalls and powerful geysers.
Why just visit for the unpredictable northern lights when there are so many other unique experiences on offer?
Whilst these tips will not help tease out the northern lights, it will make your chances of success in viewing them much higher and improve your overall trip.