When deciding to embark upon visiting 12 countries in 12 month’s , affordability of the trips becomes top priority, spending money comes easy to me as you’ll probably know but I do LOVE a bargain. And spending more than I think I should is a crime. So when we planned our first trip of the year and it was to go to Iceland I knew we’d have to be a bit smarter when it came to spending the cash!
Iceland is renowned for many things and being expensive to visit is one of them. We put off going for so long with tales of expensive trips, food and drink whilst there! Plus not forgetting the cost of flights and accommodation. In the end we finally decided enough was enough, so here’s the things we did to ensure we could save some money whilst in Iceland without missing out on all the fun to be had there!
1.Be Flexible with Flights
Always do your research and book it when you find it! We didn’t have the money when I first found flights then waited and of course paid more and had to change dates to keep it affordable. Originally it was £60 each to fly from Luton to Iceland on a Saturday morning and return on a Monday afternoon in January. We ended up paying £90 for Sunday to Tuesday instead around a similar time. I did find EasyJet to be the cheapest by far- just don’t forget their hand baggage policy it’s one bag only (not a handbag/laptop bag as well!) I couldn’t believe how many people had ignored it and were being forced to cram their handbags and rucksacks in into their carry on case. Also one to remember though, is that you are allowed a duty free shopping bag (of a certain size) – I always take a reusable one so I can use it whilst there (and to save 5p and the environment) thanks to Northern Bloc for this freebie one! It was perfect for holding our Boots meal-deal for the trip and snacks and camera whilst exploring Reykjavik.
2.Pay for Location Not for Style for Accommodation
Don’t splash out on this as you’ll hardly be there! Our first night we got less than 5 hours sleep thanks to Northern Lights spotting and day tripping. We took our first foray into Air BnB for this trip and booked this room in a house within strides of the marina in Reykjavik. For just £110 for two nights (thanks to our first booking discount of £25!) it was perfect! We had free parking outside on street and was in a great base location for what we needed. It was also comfy, v.v.warm and actually nicely decorated too! If you haven’t used them before then sign up using my link here to get a £25 discount! Thank me later (and I’ll thank you as I’ll get some pennies back to spend too!)
3.Hire a Car for Flexibility
I spoke about our car hire here, and we paid £150 plus spent about £75 in petrol to do everything we wanted travel wise. With our car hire we got a little discount card that gave us free coffee in a certain brand petrol station and discount on their petrol and at their self serve stations too. We used the self serve as they were cheaper than the ones with shops attached and every krona counts!
Car hire saved us a lot of money trip wise though- looking at what we visited we saved around £200+ that’s transfers, getting to the blue lagoon, a northern lights trip plus a south Iceland trip (we did the majority of this bar the black beach) and a Golden Circle Tour (I get those trips to be over £400+) Whereas we didn’t have guide expertise (which for Northern Lights I probably would have done) it meant we weren’t talked at for ages and gave us many more benefits!
Not an option for some for their holidays but I am not a massive drinker- I know my insta’s of swoon worth cocktails may say differently but I can easily give or take the strong stuff especially if a fancy martini is going to cost me £22! Plus water is served with everything, as the tap water in Iceland is superb as you’d expect! So we spent our days there loving the water filled life for free! We also filled our reusable bottles up before going out saving the planet one plastic bottle at a time!
5.Think Differently about Food
We took some essential snacks with us: Alpen Light Jaffa Bars for me, Nakd Bars for him, brioche and some last minute panic buying of McCoys Chips (salt and vinegar FTW). One so we could keep going through our mammoth day trip, two so we could save some ££ on unnecessary eating out. We also stopped at a Netto in the village just past the Blue Lagoon- picking up Cheesy Doritos, some Capri Sun, Maryland Cookies, Bananas, and a few other random things that were all affordable priced and were the same or cheaper than you’d find in the UK. For just under a tenner, this fuelled both mornings, and our full day road trip and first evening. Those Cheesy Doritos were perfect for Northern light spotting tbf. It meant we ate 3 meals out, a Subway (do not recommend £23 for 2 and one drink and cookie!), Icelandic Fish and Chips (about £18 each for fresh cooked fish and potato -not chips and sides) and Soup in a bread bowl (Svarta Kaffid – about £12 a soup). Oh and we went to Braud & Co for their infamous cinnamon rolls which were magnificent. I think we spent about what one nice two course meal and drinks would cost on food for our entire trip overall.
So it can be done, it’s still not the cheapest place you’ll ever visit but it will be one of the most stunning and magical, especially if you sneak a peek at the Northern Lights. 10/10 recommend!