I got so many questions about our trip to Iceland and I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep track of them all, so I put it out on Instagram that I was putting this post together. The questions began rolling in! You guys really seemed to love following along on our trip and so I’m so glad to be able to help answer any questions about our trip to Iceland that you might still have. We honestly had the best time (can you tell by our trip recaps? LOL!) and could not seem to get enough of the beautiful landscapes that Iceland has to offer. So whether you are planning a trip of your own or are simply daydreaming of the land of fire and ice from your computer, here are the answers to frequently asked questions about our Iceland trip! Enjoy 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions About Our Iceland Trip
When will you be going back to Iceland?
Gosh, this is a good one! We did not expect to fall in love with Iceland the way that we did. It was truly a dream trip and one that I am going to keep tucked into the banks of my memory for quite some time. It helped that we were with great friends of ours who share a thirst for adventure. We are all always pretty much “up for anything” so we found ourselves getting in and out of the car frequently to see spots we stumbled upon. During our time there, we talked about returning one day to do the northern part of the country! Just not sure when yet 🙂
What was your favorite experience + what experience/scenery/landscape exceeded your expectations?
This is really hard for me to pick, but I think that seeing the endless rainbows was my favorite part. I know, I know, we live in Hawaii! But it just seemed like they were so vibrant against the stark landscapes that they stood out more. I was also way more impressed with the Blue Lagoon experience than I thought I would be!
Was it as expensive as you thought it would be?
Yes and maybe a little bit more. In my mind, it was going to be expensive like Hawaii is expensive, but it runs pretty parallel to the prices in Tahiti, if you’ve visited there. Everyone always says “Oh Iceland is expensive”, but I live in Hawaii, so I thought “How expensive could it really be?” (What It Costs To Live In Hawaii) The answer is a lot. Gas for our car was around $90-$100 per tank (I think we filled up 4 times and it was randomly $200 one of the last times), a bowl of soup (the most popular Icelandic meal) ranged from $20-25, we split ice cream one day for $18, and sandwiches were around $20. Ultimately if you decide to go, you need to know it’s expensive and not let that dictate what you see or do, because trying to constantly track ISK to USD will make you a little loony. Further, in most places we visited outside of Reykjavik, the options were very limited, so if you didn’t want the $25 soup bowl, the alternative was to go hungry. This was a trip where we really didn’t look at or ask for prices, because we already knew it would be pricey.
Best time of the year to visit?
We loved visiting when we did, because we got to see the leaves changing around us as we traveled south and east. It was incredible! We also went during a time when the Northern Lights were pretty active, so that was a nice bonus. That said, people were also telling us that we were experiencing summer temperatures and I still thought it was really freaking cold! LOL! I would definitely not want to go when it was any colder. Also, our house rental host told us that in the winter months, many of the roads become impassable due to weather, so keep that in mind when booking a trip! We would have been pretty bummed to miss most of the countryside, so I’m glad the inclement weather we did experience wasn’t bad enough for road closures, etc.
Was it as expensive as everyone says it is?
Yes. Touching again on price, it’s really hard to explain just how much more it costs, but I suppose just knowing it will cost you a pretty penny (regardless of what you order) is good to know. I’ll never forget finding a poster I loved and realizing it was $95. Casey and I double checked the math 4 times before realizing it was in fact $95 and we weren’t miscalculating.
Packing musts + don’t needs?
I did a full post on packing and all that you need! Hint: It’s less than you might thing! What To Pack For Iceland (And How To Do It In A Carry On)
All of my MUSTS:
Why did you choose Iceland?
We really wanted to see the Northern Lights after missing out on them in Alaska. Plus, we found supremely cheap airfare.
How hard is it to coordinate/book/plan? Do they accommodate for English?
It’s not hard once you figure out what you want to do. Renting a car is KEY, because a lot of the places I shared take quite a bit of time to travel to/around. I cannot say enough good things about renting a car! I should also add in here that I love planning trips, so for me, once we had all the places we wanted to go figured out, it was quite simple to weave together a daily itinerary. It was actually quite helpful that all 4 of us are trip planners, so that made things breezy. Iceland definitely accommodates for English, so that’s not something you should worry about at all 🙂
High top or low hikers?
I wore high tops and it worked great. Make sure they are all-weather proof – waterproof is invaluable for this particular trip! The terrain is rocky, soft and a bit unpredictable, so knowing my feet were equipped well put me at ease a bit. These boots were a lifesaver and I would order them over and over again!
How long to visit?
I think a week is a great length of time for your first trip. The reality is that lots of what you might want to see or do in Iceland is pretty spread out. We enjoyed being there a week, with one slow morning. Our itinerary was a good mix of fast paced and slow travel days, but keep in mind that we did a good bit of driving. Be prepared to drive in all sorts of crazy weather!
Is it way too touristy right now?
Because Iceland is pretty spread out, there are ways to avoid the crowds, but all the high points (Reykjavik, waterfalls, plane wreck, etc) have tourists. A tour guide was telling us that since Iceland is getting more and more popular, the crowds are only going to increase.
How did you find the house you rented?
Our friend Eric found it. He’s the MVP!
How did you travel to/from since it seemed pretty remote?
We rented a car from Iceland Car Rentals. Their office was easy to navigate to from the airport (we took the public shuttle bus right outside the terminal) and hopped off at our designated spot (there were signs with car rental place logos). The staff was helpful, informative and our car was great! We had no issues and I would 100% rent from them again.
What hotels did you stay at?
We stayed at Centerhotels Midgardur and then rented a house in a national park.
What were your must see spots?
We all picked out top spots prior to our trip that we wanted to see. Mine was the plane wreck, Casey’s was hiking on the glacier, Dane’s was the Northern Lights and Eric’s was Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon. All 4 of those spots are incredible. If you have the chance, hike behind Skógafoss waterfall. We did it toward the end of our trip and it was so incredible. We didn’t see many people back there, but we saw tons of lesser-known waterfalls, which was a trip highlight for all of us!
How did you stay on a budget?
To be honest, we didn’t have a budget for this trip. We knew going into it that it was going to cost some money and accepted that. For trips where we want to stay on budget, we typically allot a specific amount per day, as well as a budget for “fun things” like souvenirs or alcohol, and keep tabs on how much we spend per day. A good tip is to make your daily allotment in local currency to make things easier on yourself!
I hope this trip was helpful in answering all of your Iceland questions! If you missed any of the recaps, be sure to check out Our Iceland Itinerary, 3 Days In Reykjavik and 3 Days Exploring Southeast Iceland!