Tips for the Mid-Budget Traveler: Iceland

Tips for the Mid-Budget Traveler: Iceland
The sculpture for tourists to announce that they're in Iceland
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Cost Breakdown


Flight with WOW + carry-on: $650

  • Basically, unless you’re super human and can survive with a box of granola bars, one t-shirt and pair of shorts, sure, you don’t need to buy the carry-on. Otherwise, it’ll cost you $113 for both ways. Those low cost carriers know how to get cha!
  • Also note, they are super, super strict with baggage sizes, so don’t think you can get away with a larger personal item.

Car rental for 5 days: $1000

  • Most likely if you’re renting a 4×4 you’re going to be driving a beautiful white Duster. Ours didn’t like going into first gear. Kwality!
  • Tip: Pull up on gear shift to reverse
  • Get roaming data from your home phone provider to save money on renting a GPS. OR! #TBT it to MapQuest days and print out directions. This worked out okay because…
  • Driving around is actually really easy because it’s basically one road…and there might be another intersection 50km down the line… but it’s more or less the same road.


Blue Lagoon: $100

  • A lovely activity to end with on the way to the airport
  • Bring your own towel because they charge $7 to rent one!
  • Touristy, but doesn’t feel over crowded


Camping equipment for 5 people, 3 nights: $500

  • Included cooking stuff, tent, sleeping bags, cooler. We brought our own thermarests.
  • Holy moly, does it get windy (and therefore cold)

Fee per campsite per person: $18

  • Many campsites have an indoor eating area which is great for when it’s cold. Some have wifi. Bathrooms in general are indoors and well maintained. Many have laundry facilities.

Two nights at Hlemmur Square hostel: $95

  • I stayed in a 14 person dorm. It was loud (thanks for cleaning the street at 6am!). Someone came in with a flashlight in the middle of the night. No under the bed lock-able storage. Bathrooms are okay. But it was cheap!

One night at Kex hostel: $130

  • Very hip decor
  • Most showers are not private. Bedding was pilled and scratchy. Probably the most expensive hostel experience I’ve had in Europe.


  • It is not unreasonable to set aside $60 for a dinner
  • Groceries are on the expensive side (like Whole Foods pricing)
  • We brought along lots of Costco snacks from home (granola bars, candy, trail mix etc)


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