Before I get into how to travel Iceland on a budget, I want to precede this blog post with, Iceland is not a cheap destination. That being said there are definitely things you can do while traveling there to make it a much cheaper destination. In terms of getting to Iceland it can be a little bit cheaper to get to than the rest of Europe simply because it is closer to the United States. Iceland Air offers a pretty cool stopover deal with travelers getting to stay up to 7 days on a stopover before reaching their end destination.
When my buddy and I traveled to Iceland we decided that the things we wanted to see were spread out across the island and the best way for us to see all of them was to rent a camper van. This ended up being the best decision we could have made. While the vans are not “cheap” it ends up being a better deal then having to pay for a rental vehicle and lodging. When traveling to Iceland in the low season these vans can be up to 50% off their normal price, which is great for those budget travelers. Again, I just want to reiterate how great the van was, we would drive around and get to see everything we had planned for that day then find a beautiful place to park and wake up the next morning next to a waterfall or many of the other beautiful scenery has to offer.
The biggest problem we had when traveling on a budget in Iceland was the food and drinks. We had or fair share of Iceland’s famous hot dogs, but even those cost around $6 USD for something that doesn’t fill you up very much. Eating at restaurants was out of the question for us, we walked in to a couple and walked right back out seeing the low end price points being at least $20 USD. If you are looking to travel Iceland on a budget, make sure to fill your bag with snacks you can eat to keep you going throughout the day. Buy and bring breakfast bars, peanuts, and other high protein snack foods. It’s not fun having to go to a gas station getting water, pretzels, an apple, and a sandwich that costs you $25 USD. (Yes, this happened to me)
Iceland is filled with so much natural beauty don’t get sucked into the tourist traps. While the world famous Blue Lagoon is neat, it is not worth the $50 plus USD you are going to have to spend there for the most basic package. (It doesn’t even include a towel) I recommend visiting one of the many free hot springs located all over Iceland. My personal favorite was Seljavallalaug. In conclusion, bring your own snacks, don’t get caught up in the tourists traps, and rent a camper van. Iceland is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and a must see for nature lovers.