Five Tips for Planning A Trip To Iceland

  1. Timing. Is. Everything. As with any place with dramatic seasons, the time of year in which you choose to visit will make the biggest difference in the type of trip you have. So many variables come into play with the weather, the places you can see, and the Northern Lights appearances. In summer you’ll get to enjoy lots of greenery, the chance to snorkel in between two continents, walk behind a waterfall, and won’t have to deal with spontaneous, potentially day ruining blizzards. However, you will be left with only 4 hours of day light and, most importantly in my book, you can only have a chance at seeing the Northern Lights during winter months. Two totally different trips at different times of the year.
  2. It is EXPENSIVE. Book everything in advance. The island is crazy expensive, and I mean crazy. Any tours or expeditions you want to go on should be bought online before hand. Especially if you go to the Blue Lagoon, as it fills up fast. If you only decide to book one tour, book a Northern Lights tour. You need guidance to go way out in the pitch black wilderness and to find the best spot. Another suggestion would be to grocery shop and bring any food you can with you. It also can be much easier to bring snacks with you while out exploring! Many restaurants will try to convince you to try “local delegacies” like puffin and shark fin. This is a huge, pricey, and not to mention cruel, tourist trap. The locals don’t eat that stuff and the most well known food they have is literally a famous hot dog. Book your flights through WOW or Iceland Air. Super cheap, and just as good flights. They get the job done at half the cost.
  3. Go to the Blue Lagoon! So many people had said they didn’t bother visiting because it’s just a “tourist trap” but I still think of it as one of the top parts of my trip. I still want to go back! It is so breathtakingly beautiful, well maintained and managed, and the silicon mud masks and wine you get while there make it worth it all on their own.
  4. BE PREPARED FOR THE COLD. Can’t say this one enough. Especially if you travel in the dead of winter, you need to be prepared for out of the blue snow storms and crazy high winds. We were blessed to have the only falling snow we saw to be as we were landing and a snow storm was just ending, but this is incredibly rare. Fleece leggings, super warm socks (most important in my opinion), water proof boots, a good thermal, and touch screen gloves are all extreme necessities. Getting to hike around the island is such an amazing experience that can so easily be ruined by only thinking about how cold you are.
  5. Most importantly: take your time. We rushed through every tour and every stop and did so many separate things in single days that sometimes I felt rushed to just take a picture to try and remember later on. Pictures are amazing, trust me I know, but don’t forget to take the time to enjoy the moment. Iceland is such a surreal and awe inspiring place, and don’t miss the opportunity to soak every minute of that in.

Cheers! Mackenzie

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