How to Visit Iceland on a Budget

Vacations can be expensive, especially if your destination of choice is a little on the expensive side. Iceland is definitely in that category, with its reputation for not only breathtaking landscapes, but also steep prices. However, the good news is that it is still possible to see what makes Iceland such a unique destination, even on a budget. Here’s a guide to visiting Iceland on a budget, including tips for saving money and where to find the best deals.

Planning Ahead and Travel Tips

Planning ahead is key if you want to stay on a budget while visiting Iceland. Here are a few tips to help you plan an affordable and enjoyable trip:

-Plan your trip in the off-season: Flight and accommodation prices are significantly lower during the winter months.

-Be flexible: Flight and accommodation prices can change drastically depending on the time of year and day, so be flexible and research different days and times to find the best prices.

-Look for package deals: It’s often possible to find good deals on flights and accommodations if you book them together.

-Research free activities: There are plenty of free activities in Iceland to enjoy, such as visiting hot springs, taking a hike, or marvelling at the country’s stunning national parks.

-Know the currency exchange rate: The Icelandic krona is the currency in Iceland so make sure you are aware of the current exchange rate.

-Be prepared for unexpected expenses: additional expenses such as food, transportation or additional sightseeing may come up, so be sure to have an emergency fund for your trip.

Finding Cheap Transportation

One of the biggest expenses when travelling is transportation, but there are ways to travel around Iceland on a budget. Here are some options:

-Bus: Public buses are a great way to travel around Iceland. The buses are reliable and conveniently connect all the major towns and cities.

-Car rental: Renting a car is a great way to get around Iceland on a budget. It’s important to note that most car rental companies require an International Driving Permit if you are travelling from outside the country.

-Taxis: Taxis are an option but you should be aware that they can be expensive. If you do take a taxi, be sure to ask for an estimate before getting in the car.

Saving Money on Accommodation

Finding budget-friendly accommodation can be a challenge but there are some tips for finding affordable places to stay in Iceland.

-Stay in hostels: Hostels are a great option for budget-conscious travellers. They are usually cheaper than hotels and much more social.

-Couchsurfing: This is a great way to save money on accommodation and meet locals at the same time. It is important to keep in mind that couchsurfing hosts are not obligated to host and should not be treated like a hotel.

-Airbnb: Airbnb is another great option for budget travellers. The prices vary greatly depending on location and dates.

-Camp: Iceland has some great campsites that are often cheaper than other accommodation options. Be sure to check out the campsite regulations before booking.

Saving Money on Food

Food can be expensive in Iceland, but there are ways to save money.

-Cook your own meals: Buying groceries and cooking your own meals is a great way to save money while travelling.

-Eat out at lunchtime: Restaurants usually offer lunch deals which can be cheaper than their dinner menus.

-Pack snacks: Travel snacks can come in handy when you’re on the go and will help you avoid overspending on meals.

-Bring a reusable water bottle: Tap water in Iceland is safe to drink and it will save you money if you bring a reusable water bottle with you.

-Take advantage of happy hour: Look out for happy hour deals, especially on drinks.

-Avoid tourist traps: Restaurants in tourist areas can be much more expensive than places just outside of a tourist area.

Making the Most of Your Trip

Just because you’re travelling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the best experiences. Here are some tips for making the most of your trip:

-Explore nature: Iceland is rife with stunning natural landscapes that are free to explore.

-Visit museums and galleries: Many of Iceland’s museums and galleries have free admission or discounted rates for students or seniors.

-Take advantage of free events: Check out local blogs and newspapers to find out about any festivals, events or activities taking place during your stay.

-Go souvenir shopping: Souvenir shopping doesn’t have to be expensive. Local markets often have handmade crafts and artwork that make great souvenirs.

-Hitchhike: Hitchhiking is not only a great way to meet locals and hear stories, but it’s also a good way to save money on transportation.

-Visit thermal baths: Thermal baths can be expensive but if you watch out for discounts or specials, you can often save a lot of money.

Visiting Iceland can be expensive, but with a little planning and budgeting, it is possible to experience the country on a budget. Take advantage of the free activities and nature, find budget-friendly transportation and accommodation and make use of local deals on food and drinks. With these tips, you’ll be able to experience the beauty of Iceland and still stay within your budget. Good luck and enjoy your trip!