We took our first trip to Iceland sort of on a whim to celebrate my husbands’s 30th birthday. I booked the trip on a Tuesday and we left Friday night, which gave us little time to prepare. This made me a little nervous at first, but also so excited. We had so much fun on our trip to Iceland and I would do it again in a heartbeat. There are some things that I learned and would change/bring on our next trip because we fully plan on going back! I have put together a list of tips for traveling in Iceland.
What to Pack for Iceland
- Bring waterproof clothes including pants- our hikes would have been more enjoyable if we had waterproof pants to slip on over our regular pants
- Pack a lightweight, but warm winter jacket- I wish I would’ve brought my North Face jacket that had a hood and hits just above my knee. The weather is a bit unpredictable so it’s good to be prepared.
- Don’t forget outlet adaptors- I bought these ones and it worked well.
- Bring a reusable water bottle – the water in Iceland is good quality and buying it by the bottle can be expensive
Tips on Traveling
- Rent a car- this will save you so much time and gives you the freedom to see the sites on your own time
- Get the rental car wifi- This is super helpful for navigating and you can WiFi call and check social media. It was about $20 a day and it was so worth it. You can also take the little WiFi contraption with you walking around town and it still works
- Take pictures of your rental car- when you get a rental car take pictures of the whole outside so you can let them know if a scratch or dent was there before hand
- Watch for sheep while driving
- Bring dry clothes with you- renting a car also allows you to bring extra sets of clothes. We got caught in the rain more than once on our hikes so it was nice to change into some dry clothes
- Plan your route ahead of time- to get the most out of your time, you will want to make sure you hit all your stops and not have to back track
Tips on How to Save Money in Iceland
- Buy big waters once and then fill them up in your hotel- if you didn’t bring a reusable water bottle, buy one and keep filling it up
- Share meals- we like to try different foods and the best way to do that is to pick a few items to share
- Book your tickets ahead of time- fortunately, we were able to go to the Blue Lagoon and see the sites with almost no crowds
- Don’t exchange your money- you can use your credit card pretty much everywhere, even to pay for parking
Tips on COVID when traveling to Iceland
- If you stay at Hotel Island, the covid testing site is only about 10 minutes away
- Schedule your covid testing as soon as possible. You will need to make sure that you are tested within 72 hours of your arrival back into the US. Keep in minds that it takes about 24 hours to get your results
- The COVID test that you receive when you get off the plane at the airport will not be sufficient to get back into the United States
More Tips for Traveling in Iceland
- Look up the business hours for places you want to visit. We would lose track of time because it stayed light out for so long. Then everything ended up being closed once we got there.
- If you rent a car, bring one or two sets of dry clothes and dry shoes. This was so helpful when did the Golden Circle because we got completely soaked by the rain
- You cannot buy alcohol at the gas station or grocery store. Alcohol can only be purchased on at a liquor stores, that are not open on Sundays. You may see cans and bottles that look like beer and it may even say Pilsner, but it doesn’t have alcohol in it
- Prepare for any kind of weather by bringing lots of layers
Iceland was so much fun to visit and it is unlike any country I have ever been to before. The landscapes are incredible and the hot springs were unreal. If you are looking for adventure, Iceland is the perfect destination. If you want to plan a trip, make sure you check out my three day itinerary!