Travel tips Iceland

It already been a year since my mom sister and I went to Iceland for a fun girls trip! Iceland was a very unique place to visit and a lot of people are thinking about going now that regular flight deals have been popping up so I thought it might be helpful to include some things we learned along the way.

#1 Iceland is expensive

Prepare yourself for how expensive Iceland is.  I had read up about this beforehand but was still shocked to see price tags. Food at the grocery store is two to three times what it is where I live and eating out is even more. We thought we'd save all this money going to the grocery store and it was still sticker shock! Definitely bring snacks from home if you can and buy at least breakfast food at the grocery store to cut down on costs.

We rented a tiny little flat in Reykjavik for $125 a night. It had one bedroom with a queen bed and a futon in the living room. The kitchen was barely a kitchen and the size of the bathroom was TEENY, but it did the job for home base and we basically just slept there anyways. We were within walking distance of most of the good stops in the city too which was a plus!

As a bonus most of the things you go to see in Iceland are completely free! Thanks Nature!

#2 You will see more if you don't home base in Reykjavik

One thing I would do over if I go back is to not home base in Reykjavik. I am sure we did save money doing this but it was frustrating to drive 4 hours outside of the city and realize we have to drive 4 hours back every time. I definitely would stay in places along the way ( I didn't price this out so don't really know how much added cost there would be).

On the plus side you have a lot more food options if you do stay in Reykjavik!

#3 Prioritize what you want to see

Iceland is a small country, but odds are you aren't taking 2 weeks to see it and the natural beauty is pretty spread out. Prioritize your top 5 things you have to see and keep in mind other stops if you have time. We were in Iceland for 4 days and still did not get to see everything we wanted to. One day specifically the weather had it in for us and we had to cut things short.

Here were the major things we saw:

In Reykjavik- Church, City, walk down to the coast, Solfar sculpture
Blue lagoon (must get tickets in advance)
Gysir (Id personally skip this especially if youve been to old faithful)
Stop to take pics with icelandic horses on the side of the road
Dyrholaey Arch
The black sand beach
Grotta lighthouse (to see the northern lights)
Bingvellir State Park

I would also add in that the Fjaðrárgljúfur is a must see and I'm so sad we didn't get to it! (Guess I have to go back!)

#4 If you are going anytime near the winter, you will likely hit some crazy weather

We got incredibly lucky with winter on our trip. The snow/ice was mostly gone so the roads were not bad for driving and we even got to see the northern lights because the clouds cooperated one night.

We had one day that shook us when it came to driving (my mom and I switched off driving during the trip). It was Hailing like crazy and super windy and naturally the thing we wanted to see was off the beaten track and had a windy dirt road up a cliff. It was scary and my mom and I about died from the stress of it. We made it, but just needed to go home and sleep after because it was overwhelming.

#5 You will need a rental car

Iceland is small, but its all natural beauty that you'll want to go out and see, which means you will be road tripping unless you do some type of group tour bus thing. The road trip is quite enjoyable with the changes in landscape and beauty surrounding you. But you will be in the car for long periods of time, so keep that in mind!

Rental cars are expensive in Iceland, like everything else. I would not even consider a car without 4 wheel drive if you want to see everything. A lot of the sites on off on dirt roads and especially outside of the summer months weather can change on you in a matter of minutes.

Keep in mind that most ticketing in Iceland is electronic and you might not know you have tickets until you get home from your trip! Obey the speed limits so you dont get caught up in a hefty bill to end your trip. Speed limits on Icelands highways are quite a bit lower than in the US, but most roads are only 2 lanes and with crazy weather changes and such it makes sense.

Check out our Iceland video here.