Planning for any trip is always difficult. But in a new country, there are language barriers, cultural differences and the weather can always be completely unpredictable. But planning a trip to Iceland seems that bit harder. After spending 10 days driving around the Ring Road last summer I learnt a few things on my way. And to help you have a more enjoyable trip to Iceland I have put together a list of a few helpful things you need to know before you visit.
Table of Contents
- 1 Planning a Trip to Iceland – money
- 2 Planning a Trip to Iceland – Road Trip
- 3 Planning a Trip to Iceland – Clothes & equipment
- 4 Planning a Trip to Iceland – Weather
- 5 Planning a Trip to Iceland – more tips
Planning a Trip to Iceland – money
Spending money on your trip
In Iceland, you can buy everything on a card (Debit and/or Credit). Cash is still accepted but you can go the entire trip without using any. I even bought Fish and Chips from a food stand in Reykjavík and paid on my card.
Top Tip – Make sure you take a card with zero transaction fees
Is Iceland Expensive?
Yes, travelling is expensive in Iceland. Accommodation and food costs are high. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun. If you are worried about how much it will cost then go shopping and take a packed lunch with you each day instead of eating out.
And for a real way to save money think about drinking less (or no) alcohol as this is pretty expensive. I also took my own tea bags and Sigg Hot & Cold flask so I could have hot drinks on the go!
Check out my top budget saving tips for Iceland here
Planning a Trip to Iceland – Road Trip
Don’t stop on the Ring Road
Road trips in Iceland are a popular way of exploring this beautiful country. Now you might have heard about all the stunning scenery but this doesn’t mean you can stop in the middle of the road to take photos. There are plenty of places you can pull over. So when you are planning your route, be sure to research rest points on the way and remember not to stop until you arrive!
Driving Experience before you go
I travelled to Iceland in the summer, which meant clear roads (no snow and ice!). But if you’re visiting in winter then think about your experience driving in icy and snowy conditions. A 4WD is an essential vehicle but you still need to be confident driving in difficult conditions.
Save these websites for your trip:
Read my tips for Driving in Iceland
Planning a Trip to Iceland – Clothes & equipment
Treat yourself to a good camera
Iceland has some amazing scenery to see so buy yourself a camera so you can capture some of those beautiful shots. You know like the photos you see in National Geographic!! I would recommend that you buy one in plenty of time to give yourself some practice beforehand
And a tripod
Another piece of camera equipment. Iceland has some beautiful waterfalls that you can take some amazing photos with a tripod (you know the ones with a blur effect). And in winter a tripod is an essential item for taking those stunning Northern Lights photos.
Wear the right clothes
Even in the summer, the weather can be cold, wet and windy! I hope I’m not putting you off because Iceland is awesome. But you just need to remember to pack and wear the right clothes. Waterproof gear is essential all year round because there are amazing waterfalls that you can walk behind. So if you don’t want to get wet then pop your waterproofs on!
Read my summer packing list for Iceland
Planning a Trip to Iceland – Weather
The famous weather
In Iceland, they have a saying, “if you don’t like the weather then wait 5 minutes”. Literally, wind and rain can appear from nowhere and disappear just as quickly. Make sure you are prepared for all weather conditions. There is so much to see outdoors in this country that you don’t want to cut your stay short by wearing the wrong clothes.
During your time in Iceland, you can experience extreme gusts of wind. It’s good to remember if you have rented a vehicle then these gusts can be strong enough to damage car doors so something to factor in when taking out insurance for your trip.
I used this great website during my time in Iceland to check on the weather each day – Iceland Met Office
Planning a Trip to Iceland – more tips
Before you enter any pools or spas (such as the Blue Lagoon). You must have a naked shower. The Icelandic people take hygiene very seriously. But don’t worry the changing rooms are separate for men and women. And there are private cubicles too.
Don’t walk on the moss
Although the soft appearance might look very tempting to walk on, please don’t. The moss can take hundreds of years to grow back. So your footprints could be there for a very long time. The Icelandic people even love moss so much they put it on their houses. How cute is this house!
Can you drink the water?
The water in Iceland is some of the freshest water in the world. You might notice a slight smell, but seriously there’s nothing wrong with it.
Top Tip – Remember to pack your water bottle – 1. To save money and 2. To save using plastic bottles!
Are you planning a trip to Iceland? Is there anything else that you would like to know before you go? Ask me any questions in the comments or send me a message on Facebook
For more Iceland Tips and Inspiration read all my Iceland Posts here!