Iceland has become a popular adventure destination over the past two years. Some people encounter incredibly inflated prices and come away upset, while others rave about the otherworldliness of the island. My mission was to return feeling the latter.
I’m happy to say that I made it happen. It goes to show that if you plan ahead, keeping in mind the smallest details, Iceland can be an adventure-filled, inexpensive winter getaway. Follow these tips to save on your own travel expenses.
Rent a Car
Before traveling to Iceland, I researched the prices of tours to all the places I wanted to go to and calculated the cost of renting a car for the duration of my trip (eight days). The result? Renting a car is not only less expensive, but it gives you so much more freedom to explore the entire country. I rented a vehicle from Thrifty Car Rental at Keflavík International Airport and went around almost the entirety of the island in eight days.
Important note: Be sure to rent a vehicle with four-wheel drive and make sure you are comfortable driving in winter conditions: snow, sleet, hail, rain, wind and the dark.
Discover: 42 Winter Wonderlands Worth Your Money
Grocery Shop for Your Airbnb
Plan for one or two nice meals, but otherwise, save your money by grocery shopping. Grocery stores are pretty inexpensive in Iceland compared to restaurants. Staying in an Airbnb with access to a kitchen made it so simple to cook all of my meals.
Two large grocery stores that you can find just about anywhere are Bónus and Krónan.
Go to Hidden Attractions
Opt for hidden attractions over the touristy ones, and I guarantee you’ll get the same experience, if not better (you won’t have to fight crowds, for starters). For example, when most people research attractions in Iceland, they usually immediately come across the Blue Lagoon. My little secret? I saved money by nixing the Blue Lagoon from my eight-day itinerary and going to Mývatn Nature Baths instead. The only difference was the one I went to was less than half the price of the Blue Lagoon and had far fewer tourists. Sure, the water wasn’t as blue, but I still experienced bathing in a geothermal bath out in the freezing open temperatures, and I didn’t even have to photoshop people out of my picture. That’s a win-win.
Click to read about 20 affordable must-see attractions this winter.
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