Top tips and ways to save money when travelling Iceland
Want to travel Iceland but worried about how much it’s going to set you back and whether you can afford it?
I can confirm after my 5 day road trip that Iceland is not the cheapest adventure to go on, but it’s a hell of an adventure.
In my opinion it’s worth every penny you save for it.
If you’ve been with me a while you’ll know that I love cutting corners, I don’t usually go for the luxurious option and in doing so one can afford more adventure time!
Happy days. More adventure is what we all want right? Agreed.
So there I was writing my ‘Guide to planning an Iceland road trip’ see post here and I found that it was getting so lengthy with tips and tricks, I decided to dedicate a separate post to them all.
So here we are…
My top tips and ways to save money when travelling Iceland…
How much can you expect to pay for things in Iceland?
The rumours are indeed true. This destination is certainly not cheap. Petrol is expensive, eating out is expensive and so is alcohol (relevant information for a roadtrip, gotta toast a glass under the stars). Food shopping wasn’t bad, as with any country you just have to suss out what’s good value before you start emptying everything into your basket!
I made notes of a few different things we paid for during our adventure to give you an idea of costs…
1000ISK = £7 ish
- Liquor store
You’ll pay up to 4,000ISK for a bottle of wine, 1500ISK was the cheapest bottle I could find (if you aren’t fussy) and then around 4000ISK+ for sack (goon to you backpackers!). Cans of Beer average at 2-400ISK each. Remember your ID! We were asked every time!
Fun fact: Beer was only made legal in Iceland in 1989
- A meal in Reykjavik
The cheapest meal we could hunt down was 1400ISK ish (we got burritos at the food market for this price) but if you dine out you can pay up to 6000ISK for a main dish – that’s £42! Make sure you look at the menus before you sit down.
- Coffee from a cafe 450-550ISK
- Campsites around 1500-2500ISK per person per night
- Entries to: Lava museum – 2400ISK, Kerið Crator – 400ISK
To be honest, yes it’s an expensive destination, but for good reason. It’s well preserved, it’s mind blowing how Iceland even exists as it does and as long as you know before hand – just save for it!
Of course though, if there’s a way to cut corners and save money. I’ll find it.
My top tips for saving money in Iceland:
- Swap meals out for meals on the camp stove
- Do a supermarket shop (I spent £25 and got meals and snacks for 4 days!). Supermarkets are so much cheaper than eating out or convenience stores! Seriously!
- Swap hotels for Airbnb’s. Use this link to get £25 off your first booking!
- Bring a bottle of spirit with you or buy one in duty free. It’ll save you a bomb!
- Take a reusable water bottle and fill up with water for free (the glacial water is insane, don’t pay for water!)
Other tips and extra bits of information for travelling Iceland:
- Monopoly deal
Get yourself a pack of Monopoly deal cards. If you’re anything like me – I’m useless at suggesting card games. This one is fun, stimulation and easy to team up with some alcohol!
- Allow time in your itinerary for weather adversity
One night we had planned to drive 4 hours to sleep at the Glacier Lagoon in preparation for a sunrise Glacier Tour but a snowstorm had the visibility reduce to nothing. For safety we pulled over and instead got up at 4am to drive the remaining distance. Weather can be crazy here so try and account for that.
- Download the ‘weather app’
This will keep you up to date with weather warnings and predictions!
- Take a re-useable water bottle
The water in Iceland is some of the most pure in the world. Do not pay for water! You can drink it from the taps!
- Chia seeds are really cheap
I don’t know why but they are! I stocked up and bought some home.
- Try Skyr yoghurt, Iceland is the home of!
They have allllll the flavours! Perfect for a roadtrip snack.
- Pick up an Icelandic wool jumper
These staple jumpers, made from Iópa wool, are known for their longevity but too their warm, breathable and showerproof qualities! My friends were adamant to pick one up to take home as it’s one of the cheaper places to get your hands on one!
Don’t forget to check out my Guide to planning an Iceland road trip and our 5 day itinerary here.
Have you been to Iceland?
Do you have any money saving tips?
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