Iceland: the land of sheep, northern lights, volcanoes with unpronounceable names (strive Eyjafjallajökull), and loopy excessive costs. It’s supposedly one of many least budget-friendly nations on the planet — which made visiting much more interesting to me. I at all times view costly nations as a problem. Determining easy methods to go to an costly nation on a budget is like fixing a puzzle to me and I relished the problem of discovering out if visiting Iceland on a funds was attainable.
And, after a number of visits, I can let you know that touring to Iceland can be performed on a funds.
It’s laborious however not inconceivable to do. As a result of the costlier a spot to stay, the extra the locals work at discovering methods to economize and beat the system. This holds true in each costly nation on the planet outdoors of tax shelter nations like Monaco, Bermuda, or the Seychelles! These locations are simply hopelessly costly.
However, anyhow, again to Iceland…
Whereas I used to be there, I spent a mean of $54 USD per day (and I may have performed it for much less). Most of my cash went to meals and lodging. Right here’s a breakdown of my bills (rounded to the closest entire greenback):
- Meals: $200 USD
- Lodging: $180 USD
- Alcohol: $80 USD
- Transportation: $95 USD
- Actions: $39 USD
At $54 USD a day, I don’t really feel like I missed out on something. Positive, I wasn’t consuming fancy meals at eating places (although I did eat out a few instances) and I definitely couldn’t pay for actions similar to whale watching, guided glacier walks, or helicopter rides. And, whereas these would have been enjoyable to do, I discovered sufficient free actions to fill my time.
Iceland is a spot FULL of FREE pure magnificence and marvel.
There are a lot of issues in Iceland that may eat into your funds and, within the land of $2.50 USD bottles of water, it’s simple to unconsciously spend cash. A beer right here, water there, a snack there can add up rapidly, and instantly you’ll discover you spent an unplanned $100 USD. You must work to economize right here and take heed to the place your cash goes. Hold observe of each penny! On my first journey, I obtained tea nearly on daily basis (I like tea) however, at $3.50 USD a pop, it was beginning to add up so I needed to cease.
Fortunately, there are numerous methods to economize in Iceland. Listed here are all methods to journey Iceland on a funds, decrease your prices, keep away from my spending errors, and have more money on your dream journey tour:
Hitchhike — Iceland is among the best and most secure nations on the planet for hitchhikers. You will discover rides all through the nation. It’s particularly simple within the southern a part of Iceland. Although tougher, it’s additionally not inconceivable to discover a trip within the low season or within the sparsely populated north. I hitchhiked within the Westfjords and it usually took me an hour or extra to discover a trip. Nonetheless, within the south, you’ll not often wait greater than 15-20 minutes.
One strategy to discover rides is ask round in hostels — persons are often driving the principle ring highway (M1) that circles the nation, and there are solely two methods to go on that!
HitchWiki has numerous info on hitchhiking in Iceland.
Deliver a water bottle — The water in Iceland is extremely clear and drinkable. A plastic bottle of water prices about $Three USD, so convey a steel water bottle with you and refill from the faucet. It would prevent some huge cash and assist the atmosphere. There’s no motive to purchase water right here.
Camp — Tenting is accessible in every single place in Iceland. You’ll be able to camp in designated campgrounds for about $14 USD per evening and a few hostels let you put up tents too. Tenting is considerably cheaper than hostels (see the subsequent couple of ideas). You’ll must have your personal gear and sleeping bag. Furthermore, for those who actually need to lower your expenses on acocmmodation in Iceland, you can too wild camp and never pay any charges (i.e., simply sleep anyplace you need!). It’s authorized so long as there’s no signal posted on the contrary, it’s not non-public land (although some farmers would possibly offer you permission), and it’s not in a protected wildlife space. I met a Spanish man who did this for many of his journey.
Turn out to be a Hosteling Worldwide member — Most hostels in Iceland (particularly outdoors Reykjavik) are a part of the Hosteling Worldwide group, which suggests they provide discounted charges to members. Hostel dorms price $27-33 USD per evening, and HI members get $5 USD off, so for those who plan on staying in hostels, the $28 USD annual membership pays for itself very quickly. You may get a membership at any hostel or on-line earlier than you go.
Deliver your personal sheets or sleeping bag — As with different Scandinavian nations (sure, I’m placing Iceland in that class), many hostels in Iceland cost you a charge for mattress sheets for those who don’t have your personal or a sleeping bag (pillows are free!). Linen charges start at $10 USD; nonetheless, be sure you analysis your hostel completely as some is not going to let you convey your personal sheets/sleeping bag. Word: For those who plan on staying in the identical hostel for just a few days, you’re solely charged the linen charge as soon as.
Aspect observe: I discover this coverage silly. It’s meant to cut back the unfold of bedbugs, however my very own sheets may be carrying bedbugs from hostel to hostel. I don’t get it! It will be significantly better if hostels supplied sheets that they washed, particularly in Iceland the place they don’t have a water scarcity!
Don’t drink – As a consequence of excessive taxes, it’s very costly to drink in Iceland. Listed here are some common alcohol costs:
- Beer: $10 USD (comfortable hour: $6 USD)
- Wine: $12 USD
- Bottle of wine on the retailer: $20 USD
- Bottle of wine at a restaurant: $30+ USD
- Pictures: $Eight USD
Don’t drink and your funds might be high-quality! OK, perhaps as soon as in Reykjavik since its nightlife is world well-known. However aside from that, don’t. You’ll save a bundle and really feel quite a bit higher. Nobody desires to hike a volcano with a hangover. Most Icelanders don’t exit till previous midnight as a result of they need to get sauced at house on a budget first. (All my Icelandic associates place duty-free orders with me after I come go to.)
And, if you wish to drink, be sure you purchase tons on the duty-free within the airport and carry with you. It would save 30% off the price of shopping for alcohol within the nation.
Prepare dinner your personal meals — I discovered meals to be the costliest factor in Iceland. Consuming out, even on a budget, prices about $15 USD or extra per meal. One thing from a sit-down restaurant with service can price $25 USD or extra!!! It’s simple on your meals funds to undergo the roof at these costs.
Go grocery purchasing. Purchase the whole lot you want — similar to eggs, cereal, pre-made sandwiches, and pasta — and prepare dinner. All hostels, guesthouses, and campsites have kitchens. My grocery invoice for about three days of meals was the identical worth as one meal at a restaurant. Be sure that to buy at BONUS meals shops as they’ve the most affordable costs.
Deliver Tea and Espresso – Tea, espresso, or sizzling chocolate can simply price 400–700 ISK (even common drip espresso or a teabag you place into sizzling water your self). For those who convey your personal, you’ll be able to restrict the instances you must purchase it and save your self a handful of krónur.
Eat the hotdogs — If you’re going to eat out, eat on the sandwich and sizzling canine stalls you discover by the cities. They provide the most affordable (however not healthiest) meals within the nation. A sizzling canine prices about $3.50 USD and a daily sandwich will run you about $13 USD (about $17 USD with a drink). A small sandwich is about $8.50 USD. Icelanders have an odd obsession with sizzling canines, so so long as town has multiple highway, you’ll discover a sizzling canine stall round.
Get a bus go — In the course of the summer season months, you should buy a national bus go for $323 USD. For those who don’t need to hitchhike, this might be your subsequent least expensive possibility for getting round Iceland on a funds, particularly in case you are touring for a few weeks or extra. In the course of the winter months, most of the bus routes are closed and this go isn’t supplied. When that occurs, you should utilize the web site listed beneath to search out cheaper rides or pay as you go.
Lease a automotive — If you’re coming within the off months, staying for per week or much less, or don’t need to hitchhike, I might lease a automotive. They price between $40-70 USD per day however you’ll be able to break up the prices with touring companions (or by choosing up vacationers on the highway!) and also you’ll get much more flexibility than for those who take the bus. The most effective of Iceland isn’t discovered alongside its primary freeway! SADcars provides the most affordable automotive leases within the nation.
For those who lease a automotive, choose up hitchhikers alongside the way in which. They can assist pay for fuel and decrease your bills. Furthermore, you should utilize the web site Samferda to search out passengers. This web site may be very standard and also you’ll discover numerous listings on it, particularly between a number of the massive cities. (Word: You too can use this web site to search out rides. Even when you must pay the driving force, costs are about 50% of the price of the bus.)
Couchsurf — Iceland has a really lively Couchsurfing group. I stayed with hosts in Reykjavik and Akureyri and had another person take me across the well-known Golden Circle (the ring of sights close to Reykjavik). Getting concerned with the group here’s a sure-fire manner to economize, get native insights, meet great individuals, and get a free place to remain. I met lots of people by the web site who took me in and confirmed me locations I wouldn’t have discovered by myself. Even for those who don’t use the web site for lodging, use the group side of it and meet some locals. Icelanders are a welcoming individuals.
Discover Free Scorching Springs – Whereas the Blue Lagoon could also be the most well-liked sizzling spring, there are many others across the nation which are free (or on the very least, much less cash than the Blue Lagoon). Go to the web site Hotpot Iceland (hotpoticeland.com) to search out the very best sizzling springs throughout the island! Some noteworthy sizzling springs are Reykjadalur, Seljavallalaug, and the underrated Djúpavogskörin.
Iceland doesn’t must be costly to go to. It’s attainable to journey round Iceland on a funds. These 13 ideas will make it easier to lower your expenses in Iceland and switch it right into a budget-friendly vacation spot. I by no means felt like I needed for something in my two weeks there. (OK, I needed for some meals with taste, however I can get that again house.) However, total, whereas Iceland isn’t going to be “filth low-cost,” it doesn’t must be an inconceivable funds vacation spot. You’ll be able to come right here and journey comfortably with out spending your life financial savings.
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