How to Travel to Iceland on a Budget – Follow These Crucial Steps!
This post is a recap or a summary of the steps of what I have done.
- Choose Iceland – check
- Iceland, like my title suggests, is expensive to travel to, especially solo. So find like-minded people and go beyond your current inner friend circle (adventurers/photographers go together). Your cost of your trip, instantly got discounted by 25%-75% – check
- Choose a time range and date. Two weeks seems like a perfect amount of time to go out and adventure and drive around the country and within it. We picked March 28 – April 11. Take into consideration the weather conditions, the amount of sunlight, and your goals while on the trip (what you want to see/do). For us? Enough daytime to explore, visit multiple sites per day, and drive safely, but enough nighttime to photograph stars, and northern lights (only in the winter/late spring months). I would recommend end of April to end of May, or anytime in the summer, but expect to pay more for hotels and AirBnb. If you can only go for a week, then go! – check
- Choose a rental vehicle and/or plan your accommodation – we are tenting and taking a camper (in case of poor weather, notably high winds). If you are choosing accommodation, there are bed and breakfasts, Air BNB, small hotels, but I am no expert as we aren’t doing this. We chose KuKu Campers a) awesome choices b) wicked people c) easy to deal with d) they were recommended by others – check. Camper vans are your transport and accommodation so it’s a 2 for 1… sorry luxury folks, but not sorry for our front row to the Aurora show
- I made a Google Doc to organize what needs to be brought for camping, for food, for hiking, and for photography. People can add, edit, delete the doc from anywhere – one version. – check. I bought a bunch of my camping food in Canada, as well as snacks like protein bars, instant coffee, etc.
- Planning itinerary using existing private tours. Lookup tours in Iceland and see what is available for the public (free to you!) and what is strictly private and/or dangerous without guides (compare costs of companies and book a few of these private tours.) We are traveling counterclockwise the stops and cities are tentative for now but I will mention a few planned stops. Plan to do your itinerary with 2 days left over so that you can accommodate for spontaneous explorations/visits – check.
- Research photography – identify the best lighting at the sites you plan on visiting. Identify where you can get creative shots, and identify a theme for your photos. My theme is to be determined but I can tell you I won’t be wearing a red dress. It can be a theme with wardrobes, with poses, with lighting, with expressions you name it. Anything. But it’s important to stick with it, when you compile the themed photos together it will look incredible! Use instagram, facebook, google, and google street view photos to get some inspiration for Iceland. – Half checked still researching
- Plan on how many bags you will have and how much you want to haul around. I plan on bringing a smaller, hockey bag with some dividers and bags within bags, then my sleeping bag, and my camera equipment bag and my travel backpack (50-60L) but not full just for day trips etc. I’ll put some stuff in it like my laptop and toiletries for easy access. So three bags total two checked one carry on. Maybe more we’ll see. Flying via WOW air and camping is not a good mix. The price of the flight is cheap, but if you’re going to Iceland to do it properly plan on flying with Iceland Air, they have an amazing bag policy and treat you so well. You will save a ton of money in the long run. When you look at WOW air, you will see the bags are so expensive and remember to multiply that by 2 for the return flight
- Arrival – understand the process for arriving in a foreign country. Do you have to get a bus into town? Are taxis safe to take in this country? Do you know how much to pay so you don’t get ripped off? Where is your rental car place? What time does it open? KuKu is opened at 9am and we arrive at 7am so we aren’t in too much of a rush and can go eat breakfast and check out Reykjavik via bus. You will save a ton of time and money to ensure you are good to roll when you land