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When it comes to recommendations for a next vacation, we often drift off with thoughts of palm trees or architecturally stunning cities. Iceland is often overlooked and is a fantastic destination for those that love the outdoors and want to explore a new culture. We have curated a list of things to consider and what to expect when visiting Iceland. Even if you are on the fence, we think you should keep reading and get inspired for the next trip.
Ideal Time To Visit Iceland
When to go is entirely dependent on whether you want the best in hiking or the best in witnessing the Northern Lights. Hiking is best done in July or August when the rain is considerably less than in other months of the year. The Northern Lights, the one thing everyone should see at least once in their lifetime, are best witnessed in February, March, September, and October. If you are considering a road trip through the country as part of your vacation, it’s important that you schedule that from July to early September. Some roads are closed from the end of September through to March because of ice and snow.
Drive It Out
An Iceland car rental gives you the freedom to explore the country on your own schedule. It’s an easy transition for Americans as in Iceland, cars drive on the right side of the road. They also do not require an international driver’s license for Europeans, Australians, and Americans. 2WD and 4WD vehicles are available for rent, but 2WD vehicles are restricted in some areas because of the terrain and lack of paved roads. If you are adventurous and intend on tackling some of the hiking trails that are only reachable via dirt roads, opt for the 4WD.
You Can Relax in Iceland
People who don’t travel a lot often have particular safety precautions they take as they are afraid of pickpockets or being targeted by street thieves. One of the best things about Iceland is that they have the lowest crime rates in the world! You can still take your precautions as your usual but you can take a deep breath and know that you are among fantastic people who just want to show you their beautiful homeland.
Packing Is Easier Than You Think
Packing for a trip to Iceland can be confusing. Most people assume that it’s cold all the time. Icelanders experience all kinds of weather even in the span of 24 hours, and you should be prepared. Layering is key. It’s easier to shed off layers when you get warm and put them back on if you get cold again. Here is an easy list to get started with:
• Heavy, warm, and waterproof jacket
• 2 pairs waterproof snow boots
• 1-2 Fleece-lined leggings
• Fleece-lined beanies and gloves
• 1-2 thermal shirts
• 1-2 pairs of normal leggings
• A bathing suit (yes, there are warm public pools to explore!)
• 4-5 thin shirts
• Thick and warm socks
• Warm pajamas
Have A Clear Budget
One thing you have to be aware of is that Iceland is expensive. This is mostly due to the fact that a lot of goods and foods have to be imported. Yes, they have seafood and animals that they eat, and they grow some of their own vegetables. But everything else is shipped in; which is why eating out or buying a bottle of water is really expensive. Your best bet is to try and find places to stay that have a kitchen so that you can purchase local food and save money that way. Don’t let the expense discourage you from going, everyone we spoke to about their experience said it was nothing short of amazing.There are plenty of outdoorsy things to do in Iceland – if you consider yourself an active traveler, you will love every minute of your trip. Hiking, kayaking, whale watching, horseback riding, seeing the Northern Lights – these are just a few of the things that are waiting for you in Iceland.