I had always wanted to do a road trip in Iceland so when I found some super cheap flights I snapped Them up straight away. Little did I know that our few days would cost us a small fortune – it’s by no means a cheap country to visit (2 regular pizzas cost us over £60!). If you’re visiting Iceland on a budget, or just want to make your money stretch a bit further, here are a few little tips.
If you’re going to buy an Icelandic jumper, buy it on the first day. You’ll probably end up wearing it the whole time. The Nordic store seemed a lot cheaper than some other places.
Pick up a copy of the Reykjavík grapevine newspaper – they tend to have it in the airport and at hostels. It has some nice articles for tourists as well as a guide to what’s going on
If you plan to drink either bring a bottle with you or pick something up at the airport before you depart.
There’s more than the Blue Lagoon – the Secret Lagoon is much quieter and cheaper (and we preferred it) or you can swim in natural hot springs. A little research and you’ll find a few spots, and for the bet ones you need to make friends with the locals,.
Don’t forget about the Public Pools – these are really cheap and great places to hang out in the evening.
You can bring your own drinks into swimming pools, both the public ones and the tourist ones like the blue lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon sells their mud face mask for a hefty amount in the store, but you can also find it around the pool in huge buckets for free, so slather yourself in it whilst you’re there!
If you’re planning on travelling round the ring road, book your accommodation in advance. We were travelling in low season and trying to book somewhere at a reasonable price on the night with sketchy 3G wasn’t so much fun and we ended up having to pay much more than we had planned.
Don’t do the tours – rent a car and explore off the beaten track. Our favourite moments were at some of the lesser known spots down windy side roads. Make sure you get a four wheel drive and the one with the most ground clearance is best!
On the subject of cars, you definitely want a 4wd, and if you can afford it then get one with heated seats. I got soaked on multiple occasions from waterfalls, rain, and by the sea whilst standing on icebergs. Without the heated seats and a nice warm car getting wet would have sucked. It was definitely an enabler for getting up close to waterfalls and icebergs!
Eating out can very quickly get very expensive. If you want to maximise the time exploring and save some pennies, stock up on snacks and drinks at a supermarket. Bring a flask to fill up with coffee in the morning and a water bottle.
The fish here is delicious! For a cheap way of enjoying it, choose the fish soup on them menu and you can always ask for more bread.
Bonus tip | Don’t forget to bring a usb car charger for your mobile / camera / go pro. One which has a radio/Bluetooth adapter will let you play your own music if you car doesn’t have an aux adaptor.
Bonus tip | Plan your trip by putting stars on Google maps, and use different markers for places to eat, see and stay. Download the maps so you’ve always got your map when the signal gets sketchy.