Travel Series: How to visit Iceland on a budget
The first thing that everyone said to us when we told them we had booked a holiday to Iceland was "Oh. But isn't Iceland really expensive?!". Unfortunately my new favourite place has got a bit of a bad rep for draining tourists of their hard earned cash, but I'm here to tell you that it absolutely doesn't have to be that way.
That's right my friends, today I have some tips on how to visit Iceland on a budget.
Sam and I had been wanting to visit Iceland for such a long time, but flights from the Northern airports always worked out around double of those to other European cities. But if you choose to fly with Icelandair to any number of exciting destinations (we were headed to New York), they'll kindly let you throw in a free stopover in Iceland without any extra airfare. Not only were the Icelandair flights to New York the cheapest ones we found, but we also managed to add in an extra little break, saving us at least £150. Aces!
I've preached about my love for Airbnb before, but in Iceland it really came into its own. Hotels were looking at between £100 and £150 a night, whereas we paid £200 for 3 nights in a fab apartment that was about ten steps away from the main street. A lot of the hotels that we saw were on the outskirts of Reykjavik, so not only did it save us money, but it also helped us make the most of our time too.
It's no secret that alcohol is expensive to come by in Iceland, but there are definitely ways to still enjoy a drink without bankrupting yourself. First of all, you can stock up at Keflavik airport, where they have a giant duty free area by the baggage carousel - here you can buy a decent allowance of beers, wines and spirits without paying duty or tax. And then once you get to Reykjavik, keep your eyes peeled for happy hours - most bars run 2 for 1 on beers and wines throughout the afternoon and early evening.
There's no denying that there are pricey options for eating out in Reykjavik but there are plenty of tasty cheap eats to indulge in too. Grab a hotdog or chocolate waffle from one of the street food vendors, fill up at Icelandic Fish & Chips or eat some very reasonable burgers at Lebowski Bar - none of these suggestions will set you back any more than you would expect to pay in any other European capital city.
We used Reykjavik Excursions to book all of our trips before we arrived and we found that this saved us quite a bit of money - a lot of the excursion providers that we saw in the city seemed to be charging a premium. Also, by booking in advance we knew up front how much we would be paying for trips and how much we would have left for food/beer/souveniers, etc.
I hope you find this tips useful - I loved Iceland so so much and think everyone should visit at least once! And if you're thinking of booking a trip and have any other questions, just leave me a comment!