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Iceland is a destination unlike any other in Europe. The word ‘Magical’ can be used to describe Iceland the best! Filled with striking natural wonders around every corner, Iceland will surely have you in awe the entire time that you’re here! Black sand beaches, natural hot springs, smoldering active volcanoes & vivid blue glaciers set side by side and majestic waterfalls cascading down every hill is only a part of what Iceland has to offer. Even though the country is a tad bit expensive to travel in, it is worth every extra penny! However, you wouldn’t mind saving some pennies if you could right? So here are some useful tips for traveling in Iceland on a budget and some more tips that would come in handy during your journey through the country!

1. Visit Iceland as a Layover!

aerial view of city buildings
Photo by Ashley Schuette / Unsplash

You can get a free layover in Iceland when you fly with Iceland Air across the Atlantic! Opt for a longer stopover and use that time to explore the capital city of Reykjavic where you can drive along the Golden Circle and take a dip in the famous Blue Lagoon which is only 20 minutes outside of Reykjavic city!

2. Travel in a group

Happy young people near fire
Photo by Phil Coffman / Unsplash

This is the most logical way to remain within your budget- simply share your expenses by traveling in a group. You can split costs for an apartment, car rental, and food, making it a more affordable destination than if you had to explore Iceland as a solo traveler or with your partner.

3. Buy Duty-free alcohol

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
Photo by Kiwihug / Unsplash

Alcohol is really expensive in Iceland! There are a lot of taxes that are applied making it a luxury item when in Iceland. The solution to this is to buy alcohol from the duty free shops in the airport!

4. Tipping is not necessary

In Iceland you are not expected to tip your server at restaurants. All the service charges are pre added in your bill.

5. Explore Iceland at night!

When it all makes sense.
Photo by Alin Rusu / Unsplash

Yes, you heard us right! If you’re visiting Iceland during the summer months of April to October, the sun sets almost around midnight and rises at 3 am giving you long, long days. So you could pick to visit the locations at night if you wish to avoid the crowd during the peak tourist seasons.

6. Show off your culinary skills

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis / Unsplash

Just like every other thing in Iceland, food is also more expensive as compared to the other countries and therefore you can save some bucks by cooking two meals a day and eating out for one. Most camp sites do have a kitchen where you can prepare your meal. So head out to the local super market and stock up on groceries for your trip!

7. Rent out camper vans or cars

Another version of a similar shot I took that night.
Photo by Alex Perez / Unsplash

Ditch the conventional hotel or hostel stay and rather rent a camper van or a car with reclining seats and hit the scenic roads on an epic roadtrip through Iceland! This will not only give you the freedom to drive around and explore all the breathtaking beauty of Iceland, but also you can wake up to a different, absolutely phenomenal view every morning!

8. Stay at Bed & Breakfasts

Birthday breakfast in bed for my sweet hubb, in Barcelona
Photo by Toa Heftiba / Unsplash

Another alternative for your stay could be to search for guest houses that include breakfast in their packages so that you would have to worry about one less meal!

9. Pack for all kinds of weather!

Photo by Victoria Strukovskaya / Unsplash

The weather in Iceland is super-duper unpredictable! You may have days where you will experience all different seasons in a single day. It may rain one moment and snow the other, so be prepared and pack your wind-cheater, rain coat, warm clothes and also foot warmers if you’re planning on a roadtrip in a camper van.

10. Northern lights or Camping?

Night in the stars
Photo by Hugues de BUYER-MIMEURE / Unsplash

You need to decide whether you want to chase Northern Lights or spend time camping in the mighty outdoors on your trip to Iceland beforehand and time your visit accordingly! The Northern Lights will be visible only during the colder months of November to March, but because of heavy snow, the roads could be closed off making it difficult to explore. Camping is recommended only during the summer months of April to October, and especially in June when the days are the longest!

11. Drink tap water

Photo by theverticalstory / Unsplash

Iceland has the cleanest water. You can literally drink water directly from a stream or any tap across the country. Hence take along with you a refillable bottle which will save you a lot of money.

12. Don’t base your entire trip around the Northern Lights

This is the main highway circling Iceland’s majestic beauty. The snow-capped mountains are a welcome site as you drive towards the island’s second most-populated city, Akureyi.
Photo by Josh Reid / Unsplash

This one is important simply to avoid disappointment! The Aurora is visible only during the winter months and that too only in very dark places and that too very occasionally. Furthermore, Iceland is not the best place to see the northern lights. You have better chances of spotting them from Swedish Lapland and even Canada! So, do not lose heart if you aren’t able to see them and hence it would be better to not base your entire trip around seeing the Northern Lights!

13. Language

This is one thing that you don’t really have to be worried about. Even though the regional language is Icelandic, pretty much everyone speaks English!

14. Diving in the Silfra Fissure

Made with Canon 5d Mark III and loved analog lens, Leica Summilux-R 1.4 / 50mm (Year: 1983)
Photo by Markus Spiske / Unsplash

The Silfra Fissure is the space between the North American and Eurasian continental plates. This is actually the only place in the world where you can swim between two continental plates. The point to note here is that not everyone can dive in the Fissure. Apart from being a certified diver, you must also be either dry suit certified or have proof of 10 logged dry suit dives! If you are qualified to dive, be sure to carry woolen sweaters, socks and gloves to wear underneath your dry suit. Also, do carry along a change of clothes incase you do get a little wet.

In The Midst
Photo by Jakob Owens / Unsplash

Bonus tip – For amazing pictures of your travel in the beautiful country of Iceland, give your selfie stick a break and hire travel and vacation photographers from Travographer. Our photographers are the best at what they do and are locals; hence they’ll know all there is to know about the best locations for an incredible photo shoot! So go on and hire one of our photographers to follow you around as you create beautiful memories in Iceland!

Related Article : Iceland Travel Guide