I returned from my incredible road trip around Iceland last Sunday. I am going to be posting many blog posts about this trip, but first up is expense.
Iceland in summer is expensive. Very expensive. It’s easily the most I’ve ever spent in a 10 day period. Having said that, I spent a lot less than I thought I would. Let me break it down for you (all prices are in USD, and I travelled with 3 other people):
ACCOMMODATION = $690 total (average of $69 per night)
You can definitely find accommodation for cheaper than we did – hostels do exist in most of the country, but I simply cannot stay in dorm rooms anymore. Since I knew we would be having very long days, I wanted nice places for us to relax and sleep at the end of the day. We mostly booked Airbnb apartments, but we also had a couple guesthouses, which we booked on booking.com. I will detail some of my favourite places we stayed in future blog posts. I spent 10 nights in Iceland, 2 of which were on my own (single rooms), 2 of which there were 3 of us and 6 of which there were 4 of us splitting the cost. I spent a total of $690 on accommodation for myself.
FOOD = $186
We went grocery shopping once and got supplies for the 4 of us and we spent $83.92 ($20.98 per person). We got things such as: granola & protein bars, pasta & sauce, rice, chick peas, toilet paper, bananas, apples, fig newtons. This lasted us our whole trip! We were very proud of ourselves.
Side note: the smallest pack of TP we could find consisted of 9 rolls – we never opened it! I had tissues with me and nature only called twice when we weren’t near a toilet.
We ate a LOT of hot dogs. They are truly delicious, and at $3 – $4 per hot dog, they are by far the cheapest food option in the country. We also ate a lot of petrol station pre-made sandwiches (tuna!) and they were quite nice. If you’re road tripping around Iceland, the N1 petrol station will quickly become your favourite. After only a couple days, it felt like home!
We ate out more than I thought we would, but never anywhere even slightly fancy (way too expensive!). I ate at Subway 3 times and we ate meals out such as: noodles, burritos, pitas and burgers.
I bought Skyr (an Icelandic dairy product that is supposedly cheese but tastes very similar to Greek yogurt) every day.
CAR = $1,420.49 ($355.12 per person)
We had the car for 7 days. This price included a GPS, Internet-to-go, as well as the best insurance we could buy (gravel insurance, sand & ash insurance, etc.). There were many times on the gravel roads that we were very thankful we purchased good insurance!
PETROL = $205 ($51.25 per person)
Our car (a brand new luxury Opel Insignia – thank you Sixt!) got excellent gas mileage. We fully expected to pay MUCH more than we did for fuel, especially considering the fact that we drove an impressive 2,100 miles!! ACTIVITIES = $437.85
Whale watching: $68
Katla SuperJeep tour: $178
Inside the Volcano: $291.85 (but I redeemed $100 from rewards on my credit card)
I will be detailing these wonderful adventures in future posts.
EXTRA TRANSPORT (Taxi, Bus) = $76.50
MISC = $90
I went to Vodafone and bought a SIM card and we bought a car charger for all of our devices. I also bought postcards & stamps which were CRAZY expensive! ($13.76 for 4 stamps and 7 postcards) – etc., etc.
= bringing the grand total to $1,856.47 (minus flights)!
In summary, we travelled around Iceland mostly on a budget, except for accommodation. It is possible to go to Iceland without a fortune! This took lots of planning, but can be done.
Is anyone else planning to go to Iceland any time soon?
In case any of you are wondering what I spent on my flights:
FLIGHTS = €215 (Euro)
I flew WOW Air (a budget Icelandic airline) from Dublin and got a very good deal. I booked it at the end of March for €125 round-trip. Of course, since WOW is the most strict airline I’ve ever flown (much more strict than Ryanair), I did end up paying a lot extra for luggage – €90 extra to be exact. This was partially my fault and was avoidable for the most part. When I booked my flight, I paid the additional €28 to have a heavier carry-on bag (since they only give you 7kg for free) – because at the time, I planned on travelling carry-on only. As time passed, I realised I wanted to bring a daypack and since I (very sadly) do not have the handy Tortuga daypack yet (it REALLY would have come in handy on this trip!), I needed to check my handy dandy Tortuga V2 in order to carry my daypack on the plane. They are very strict and only allow 1 bag on the plane with no option to purchase a personal item to carry on. Oh well, you live and you learn.
Side note: The currency in Iceland is the króna and cash isn’t needed in most places. They accept credit cards just about everywhere – even for a small purchase such as a hot dog. The only places I had to pay cash were a couple guesthouses and one of my tour guides.