No matter how much research you do for a new country, there will always be things you learn from your trip. Here are some of the most important tips I can provide your for Iceland. In my post, I focus on 3 things: saving money, saving time and making the best travel memories!
Iceland Money Saving Tips:
- Bring a reusable bottle with you. The water is super clean and delicious in Iceland! We would carry our Hydroflasks with us and fill up at gas stations, bathrooms and campsites. This will save you a ton of money on drinks. If you need variety, pack some powdered drink mixes with you. It is also important to stay hydrated on your Iceland trip since you are hiking in mountains a lot.
- Do not bring cash! Iceland is a cashless county. You can even pay for the restrooms with your card. The exchange rate for the Icelandic Krona is not the best, so you will end up loosing quite a bit of money in the exchange fees.
- Speaking of restrooms, utilize the restrooms in grocery shores, gas stations and restaurants. Otherwise you may have to pay around $2 to use a public restroom. We only did this once in an emergency case we had. For the most past we used the restroom at the gas stations we stopped at.
- Grocery shop, do not eat out! Iceland is expensive but you can save some serious money by grocery shopping and making your own food. We shopped at the discount store, Bonus. Think of it as the USA’s Aldi stores. We always found everything we needed and the prices were pretty comparable to what you find in the USA. Meat was expensive ($18 for a pound of meat), dairy (cheese), eggs and some produce. So we basically ate vegetarian the whole week and made sure the ingredients we bought could go into multiple dishes.
- If you are renting a camper van (I would recommend Camp Easy), they will have shelves filled with food. You are welcome to take what you want and leave what you want when you trip is over.
- Pack food with you! We brought a ton of snacks from home. Some of the items we brought were: beef jerky, granola bars, trail mix, fruit snacks, fruit leathers, peanut butter packets, tea, coffee, gum.
Iceland Time Saving Tips:
- Map out your route before you begin your trip. Know exactly where the highlights are that you want to see. Sometimes things are in the same general area but could be 30 minutes north, off route. Knowing the best route will save you time and reduce the amount of back tracking you will have to do!
- Book your tours in advance so you do not need to wait around for a tour to begin. We booked our Puffin tour with Special Tours and had an amazing time!
Iceland Memory Tips:
- Do not buy souvenirs. They are super overpriced and commercialized. Instead take in the views and take photos. You won’t regret not paying $35 for that stuffed puffin toy.
- Do NOT go off trail. Many people like to go off trail to get that “shot” and it is just down right RUDE. Please respect the county you are in and stay on trail. Plus you never know where a geothermal field are and that could become super dangerous.
- Pack proper clothes. It does get cold and wet in Iceland. Pack layers, water proof clothing and good shoes! You can always take off layers if you get warm in the summer.
- Pull off (in parking lots) and see every site you can! We found some many places that we had not read about and they were beautiful! Iceland is filled with so much to do that you would easily need to spend months there to see it all.
I hope you found these tips useful for Iceland! We loved our trip and cannot wait to go back. Make sure to check out our other post about our 8 day road trip around the ring road!
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2 thoughts on “Iceland 2019 Tips”
What an amazing trip!! Iceland is on our “Fly To” list! I’m far from a fashionista & prefer function and comfort over fashion. I don’t mind wearing the same few things repeatedly (with washing) if it works well. Would you please share what you found most useful to pack and what items you wore for this trip? That would be very helpful! Thank you!
Iceland is all about being warm and layers! So pack leggings, a good pair of water resistant pants that you can also hike in, hoodies, thermals, a wind breaker, thick jacket, hats, gloves… stay warm!