It may be renowned for being an expensive country, but travelers to Iceland can absolutely have a great time here, even on a tight budget. If you spend just a little extra time planning your stay in advance you could possibly save big time on your trip. There’s so many great things to do in Iceland that won’t break the bank that we’ll help you find out what they are.
If you’ve always dreamed of seeing this remote arctic island but thought it was beyond your budget, think again! Here are seven top tips for visiting Iceland on a budget.
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7 Tips For Visiting Iceland On A Budget
Stay In An Airbnb
Generally speaking, hotels in Iceland are very expensive. A good option for cheaper accommodation are hostels, if you don’t mind sharing with strangers that is. Airbnb has the perfect mix of budget options and great choice of locations and allows you to travel to Iceland on a budget.
For those of you who may have been living under a rock, Airbnb is a great alternative accommodation option in which you can rent someone’s house, or a bedroom/living quarters in their house, giving you access to all their facilities and mod cons including their kitchen, washing machine, WiFi, and all the comforts of staying in home rather than an impersonal hotel room.
Depending on your preferred traveling style, you can find hosts who are happy show you around and help you enjoy your stay like you’re a local. If being left to your own devices is more your speed, then that is fine too. With Airbnb you can find great accommodation that suits your needs for much cheaper fees than Iceland hotel prices.
Don’t Even Think About Going Out To Eat!
If you fancy going out for a simple meal like burgers for two, expect to pay upwards of $50! Fancy a beer after a long day sightseeing? Then you’d be prepared to part with $11 for the privilege! If you’re on a budget, you really don’t want to eat or drink out in Iceland – it’s guaranteed to be a major splurge. Iceland is
This is where choosing Airbnb can really save you even more money. Make sure that the place you rent has cooking facilities and then stock up on groceries and cook all your meals at home to save money when traveling to Iceland. Here is a helpful guide on what you’ll find in grocery stores in Iceland.
Another money saving idea is to bring food with you and just stock up on the perishable goods that you need once you get to Iceland. Bonus is Iceland’s budget supermarket and the cheapest grocery store that allows you to travel to Iceland on a budget. If you don’t have enough luggage space to bring food supplies, pick up everything you need at the local Bonus store. If you are out and about and you’ve forgotten something or are feeling hungry, gas stations are a good option for snack food and drinks that aren’t too pricey.
Save Money On Flights – Fly WOW Air
WOW Air is a low cost, transatlantic, Icelandic airline. You can make massive savings on your flights to Iceland, and also to mainland Europe, by flying WOW Air. When searching for great prices on Flights to Iceland online, WOW Air has great prices that start off from $99 one way from the United States to Iceland! This really allows you to travel to Iceland on a budget.
A lot of travel blogs suggest visiting Iceland by way of a stopover when flying Icelandair, but this way is much pricier than flying WOW Air. With WOW Air, you can choose to just fly directly to Iceland, or to include Reykjavik as a destination on your way to mainland Europe. Either way, flying WOW Air is the first step in planning a budget trip to the Land of Fire and Ice.
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Don’t Drive Iceland’s Ring Road In Full
Iceland’s Ring Road is regarded as one of the absolute must do activities for visitors to the island, but there are so many amazing places to visit in Iceland that you don’t have to stick to this route. If you are hell bent on driving this road in full, you can expect to spend a whole lot of money on gas. In Iceland, gas can cost about $6 to $8 per gallon. You can plan your road trip route differently to include large chunks of the Ring Road, as well as other great sights, without blowing your budget in Iceland on doing this route in its entirety.
Renting a Car? Go For Manual Transmission
In Iceland, renting a manual transmission car will cost you much less than the price of renting an automatic. This tip only helps if you know how to drive a stick. Unleaded fuel is more expensive than diesel so go for a car that is both manual transmission and diesel, then say hello to even more savings! If you don’t know how to drive a stick though, put your safety first and include the extra expense of renting an automatic vehicle in your budget in Iceland.
Do Go To Iceland In The Winter
Generally, travel destinations cost a lot more during the summer months because the weather is better and schools are out. The high-season is not always the best time to travel though, and this is certainly true when planning your trip Iceland and this is a great way to travel to Iceland on a budget.
Iceland is magical in winter – just imagine the unique, dramatic landscape that Iceland is famous for covered in a blanket of pristine, sparkling snow! On top of this, you will have more choices for lodgings, fewer tourists, and to top it all off, cheaper prices! If enjoy photography, going to Iceland in winter gives you tons of original photo opportunities that will be different from the photos taken by the hordes of travelers in the summer months.
The thoughts of extreme cold in Iceland in winter, may put you off from visiting at this time of the year, but it really isn’t that bad! The temperature ranges between 28-35 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime.
A bit more planning will be involved and you may have to sacrifice some luxuries like eating out or going for drinks, but overall, the extra effort will all be worth it when you get there and see this truly unique and beautiful country for yourself.