You Could Win a Free Trip to Finland (And Borrow a Local Guide, Too)

Mar 21, 2019

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Want to learn the Finnish secret to happiness? You might get your chance this summer. Visit Finland — the country’s official national tourism organization — has just launched the first-ever “Rent a Finn” contest that will give a few lucky winners a free trip to Finland with a Finnish guide.

According to the 2019 United Nations World Happiness Report, which was released on Wednesday, Finland is the happiest country in the world for the second year in a row. And fortunately for the rest of us, a few generous Finns want to share some insights that might help people live happier lives. (Or, at least, have delightful vacations in Finland.)

Eight ordinary Finns have been chosen as “happiness guides” will show eight contest winners around while helping them connect with nature and relax in true Finnish style.

Photo courtesy of Visit Finland.
Photo courtesy of Visit Finland.

“Many travelers choose to visit Finland because of our uniquely peaceful nature and tranquility. The ‘Rent a Finn’ campaign … is all about sharing genuine experiences with ordinary people,” Heli Jimenez, the senior director of international marketing at Business Finland, said in a statement. “Pure nature is a part of life in Finland. We go outdoors in any weather, let our babies nap outside and spend a great deal of time in nature in general. Our happiness guides all share a certain awareness, a great love of nature and an appreciation for slow living.”

The eight happiness guides represent different parts of the country, from Helsinki to Lapland. You could explore Rovaniemi — the mythical home of Santa Claus — with its mayor, Esko, who enjoys fishing, picking berries, relaxing in the sauna and cooking on the grill. Or you can get to know Finnish Lakeland with Timo, who manages museums and exhibitions for Finland’s National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Photo courtesy of Visit Finland.
Photo courtesy of Visit Finland.

“I want to share this feeling of happiness with the world,” Timo said in a statement. “There are so many fantastic places in Finland that only locals can show you.”

The contest is open until April 14. To enter, you’ll need to film a short video about yourself, explaining your connection to nature and why you want to visit Finland, fill out a form and submit it here. You can apply alone, with a friend or as a family and choose which guide you’d like to spend your trip with.

According to a representative, winners will be selected based on their interests, and who would be best matched with one of the guides. (So if you have an appreciation for Finnish wildlife, berry-picking or reindeer, be sure to play that up in your submission.)

Winners will be contacted personally by a representative from Visit Finland to arrange their three-day, all expenses paid trip to Finland, where they’ll be hosted by one of the happiness guides — usually at his or her home or summer cottage.

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