iceland 2016 [budget]

I enjoy the whole process of trip planning. From researching attractions, restaurants, accommodations, etc. I love every bit of it! I also like to track how much I’m spending on all of the above so I can properly budget out a trip (not that I ever stick to my budget anyways). All prices are in CAD unless otherwise specified.

I recently found a document on my laptop with my Iceland spendings and I thought I could share that on here for those of you planning a trip.

flights, accommodations, and rentals

  • Flight: $587.00 for a return flight with WOW Air from Toronto to Reykjavik. We were allowed one small carry-on (42 x 32 x 25 cm of 22 lbs) and one personal item (42 x 20 x 20 cm).
  • Car Rental: $250.00 for five days with a Chevrolet Spark with manual transmission. We declined insurance as it was covered by my credit card. We were charged an additional 6.367.68 ISK (about $85) upon arrival as underage drivers (we were 23 at the time).
  • Airbnb (1 night): $98.00 for a room with a double bed. Our Airbnb was set up like a hostel with 5 or 6 rooms for rental. There was 1 shared kitchen, 2 bathrooms, 2 mini fridges and a storage shelf with designated bins for each room. We were initially looking into a Camper Van for the Ring Road so we only booked Airbnb for our first night. The prices were going up and availability was running low every time I checked so I decided to book this first.
  • Fosshotel Lind (3 nights): $627.00 and it includes breakfast.
  • total: $1,647.00 (if you’re travelling in a group, you would be able to split the cost of some of the above)

attractions, excursions, and activities

  • Blue Lagoon: $68.00 for standard admission (entrance fee + silica mask). We stayed for about 2 – 2.5 hours.
  • Northern Lights Tour: $152.00 for unlimited attempts. Try to schedule the Northern Lights tour at the beginning of your trip. If the lights don’t appear, you can re-book free of charge. We went on two nights but unfortunately were not able to see the lights on either nights.
  • Kerid Crater: fyi, there is a small admission fee (which I didn’t expect) but I don’t remember how much.
  • Wake Up Reykjavik Bar Crawl: $195.00 (ISK 14.900) okay, so this was a little pricey and I debated back and forth but finally decided on it. I can do a separate post on this or I may review it on TripAdvisor.
  • Hallgrímskirkja: ~$10.00 (ISK 1000) but there was nobody collecting the admission fee. They had a barrel that you drop fee into.
  • total: $425.00

food

I didn’t really track my expenses for food. Some notable places that we went to are listed below. We packed sandwiches and snacks for our day trips on the Golden Circle and the South Coast as I had read that restaurants are few and far in between (and so are washrooms!)

  • Bonus is the main grocery store. We stopped here on our first day to get some snacks and groceries to prepare dinner for our first night at the airbnb. We also prepped sandwiches for our road trips since restaurants/cafes are few and far in between while on the road.
  • Friðheimar (Tomato Farm along the Golden Circle) was approximately $25.00 per person.
  • Cafe Loki (across Hallgrímskirkja). The rye bread ice cream is INCREDIBLE. We don’t normally eat lamb but were talked into trying it by a fellow traveller that was at our airbnb. We tried the meat soup but really, I just can’t stand the taste of lamb.
  • Sægreifinn for their famous lobster soup. We also ordered a scallop skewer and a sample of whale steak (NOT my thing!)

You will obviously have other expenses depending on what you eat, souvenirs, whether you plan on shopping, gas, travel insurance, etc. Travelling can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you want it to be.

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iceland 2016.

This beautiful country has left such a striking impression on me, and I’ve only seen such a small, small part of it in the span of four days. Iceland can easily be a long weekend getaway. Keep reading to see my four day itinerary!

My favourite part was driving along the south coast starting from Reykjavik to the Glacier Lagoon/Diamond beach and back. It’s crazy to see how much the landscape can change on a four hour drive.

Now onto a quick rundown of my four days in Reykjavik, Iceland… (I will eventually do a more detailed post for my own documentation).

Day 1 – Arrival at KEF at 5:00am.

  • Pick up rental car at 6:30am (you have to wait for the shuttle bus to take you to the plaza where all the car rental companies are located)
  • Blue Lagoon
  • Downtown Reykjavik
  • Old Harbour
  • Sægreifinn for their famous lobster soup
  • Harpa (at night)

Day 2 – Golden Circle (~300km)

  • Strokkur Geysir
  • Gulfoss
  • Friðheimar (tomato farm) for a late lunch/early dinner
  • Kerid Crater
  • & multiple random stops for the scenery!
  • Aurora Borealis Tour (attempt #1)

Day 3 – South Coast

  • Skogafoss
  • Reynisfjara/Black Sand Beach (Vik) and Dyrhólaey
  • Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon/Diamond Beach
  • Wake Up Reykjavik Bar Crawl

Day 4 – Reykjavik

  • Hallgrimskirkja
  • Sun Voyager
  • Aurora Borealis Tour (attempt #2)

Day 5 – Last Day

  • Perlan/The Pearl
  • Airport

The most memorable occurred on my first day there. We went into a souvenir shop so I could grab a postcard for a friend. There was nobody around the shop until I walked up to the counter to pay. After we exchanged hellos, he asked me to take the postcard. To me, this was such a kind gesture. Even though the postcard was worth less than a dollar, it meant much more and made my day!

I can’t wait to go back to Iceland and see how the landscapes change throughout the seasons.