We've been planning Iceland for months, and the trip finally happened in February! We put a lot of planning into this one and got tons of ideas from our friends that we usually traveled with. Since Iceland is such a hot spot right now, there are tons of blogs and Pinterest tips that we worked off of, but we wanted to see the whole country, so we took matters into our own hands!
- Watch the airline prices - As usual, we tracked our flights using Hopper. The day came that round trip flights were down to $240 (plus taxes and luggage ended up being around $300 per person) so we had to jump on it right away, and we were ready thanks to our travel savings account!
- PLAN - We made an extensive list of everything we wanted to do and mapped it out using "Google Map." Once we had everything labeled, we grouped things by location and determined how much we could fit into each day. Once we had version 1 of our Itinerary, we were able to find out prices for all of the activities and delete things that were too expensive.
- Comfort at the end of the day - Airbnb was our choice for overnight stays on this one, and we're so glad we did it! It takes approximately 24 hours to drive around the entire country of Iceland, so we decided to break the travel time into separate days. For our five nights there, we each spent $220 total on overnight accommodations. When we did the math out for a regular hotel, it would have been closer to $325-$400 per person saving us $105.00 per person.
These are our tips unique to Iceland:
- Blue Lagoon - We never went. We did other lagoons during our trip and enjoyed those more than we believe we would have enjoyed the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is the most expensive and overly crowded of all the hot springs in Iceland. We loved the Gamla Laugin (Secret Lagoon) which is on the Golden Circle Road, and we also enjoyed the Myvtan Hot Spring which is most similar to the Blue Lagoon. Both are less expensive and less crowded than the Blue Lagoon. Now when visiting Myvtan Hot Springs, we went during rough weather, so it was super cold high-speed winds resulting in the hot springs not being able to get hot enough to relax. But the view was gorgeous, so keep in mind to check the weather the day before and speak with the Hot spring employees on the water temperature before taking a dip. At least we got a discounted price!
- Snowmobiling - We booked this tour through Viator, and the company was Mountaineer. Those of us who had snowmobiled before weren't thrilled about the experience, but those who hadn't snowmobiled enjoyed the trip. The group was huge, and you had to stay in a straight line. The landscape was incredible though because we were snowmobiling on a glacier but if you're looking for a more exciting trip, try to look at other options.
- Northern Lights Tour - We booked through Viator as well, and our tour ended up getting canceled due to weather. We appreciated the way they handled the cancellation; they emailed and told us there was a 10% chance that we'd see the Northern Lights and if we wanted to go still, they'd be happy to bring us, or they would refund us our money back. We chose the refund option but would book with them again in the future.
- Waterfalls - We saw an unbelievable number of waterfalls, but the must see's in our book are Godafoss and Aldeyjarfoss. These two are nearby, but Aldeyjarfoss is a bit of a drive. If you're trying to see Aldeyjarfoss during the snow season, you need all wheel drive on your vehicle and being confident driving on ice. Wear some crampons (ice cleats) over your sneakers as well and walk down to the Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall because once you look over that edge as you get closer, it will be INCREDIBLE.
You can find our entire itinerary below! Let us know if you have any questions about places we went to or more of our experience in Iceland!