Iceland on the Cheap?

Tips, stories, and questions about travel-related topics
Post Reply
Message
Author
Mike Cohen
Posts: 2716
Joined: December 8th, 2009, 1:37 pm

Iceland on the Cheap?

#1 Post by Mike Cohen » February 6th, 2019, 8:14 am

Thinking of doing a quick trip over the kids Spring Break to Iceland. Fly from Newark to Reykjavik on an overnight flight and arrive on a Friday morning. All day Friday-Tuesday, fly back late afternoon on Wednesday. Is it a must to move around or could you just do Reykjavik and the surrounding areas? What are the must do's? Although I know there are no guarantee's, I'd love to see the Northern Lights.

I am budget conscious on this one.

User avatar
Mark Y
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6511
Joined: May 1st, 2009, 11:19 am
Location: Bellevue, WA

Re: Iceland on the Cheap?

#2 Post by Mark Y » February 6th, 2019, 8:23 am

Rent a car and drive around. You’d be missing 90% of things to see in Iceland if u stay in the City and surroundings.

Golden circle day trip is almost a must.
If u have time, which u do, drive the southern side.

I’m not sure about northern light so will let others comment. Iceland isn’t usually paired with “budget conscious”. It isn’t Aman resort like but it’s not “cheap” place to visit.

(For transparency I haven’t been but it’s #1/2 on my list so I have researched it to death :))
Y.e.

Mike Cohen
Posts: 2716
Joined: December 8th, 2009, 1:37 pm

Re: Iceland on the Cheap?

#3 Post by Mike Cohen » February 6th, 2019, 8:36 am

Mark Y wrote:
February 6th, 2019, 8:23 am
Rent a car and drive around. You’d be missing 90% of things to see in Iceland if u stay in the City and surroundings.

Golden circle day trip is almost a must.
If u have time, which u do, drive the southern side.

I’m not sure about northern light so will let others comment. Iceland isn’t usually paired with “budget conscious”. It isn’t Aman resort like but it’s not “cheap” place to visit.

(For transparency I haven’t been but it’s #1/2 on my list so I have researched it to death :))
Mark,

I think part of what I'm asking is can I just get a hotel in Reykjavik and do day trips? Or do I need to move hotels in the middle of the trip? I think my wife found a Golden Circle day trip that leaves from the city.

User avatar
Mark Y
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6511
Joined: May 1st, 2009, 11:19 am
Location: Bellevue, WA

Re: Iceland on the Cheap?

#4 Post by Mark Y » February 6th, 2019, 9:40 am

Ah. From my research you CAN in theory just get one hotel. But if u want to see some of the further out places it will be really longggg driving days.
And In the winter u get very little sunlight. Of course the idea of moving hotels is not one I enjoy either.
Y.e.

Jeff Bloom
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 608
Joined: April 27th, 2009, 7:00 am
Location: Vienna, VA

Re: Iceland on the Cheap?

#5 Post by Jeff Bloom » February 6th, 2019, 1:15 pm

You're not going to be able to cover the whole country in day trips from Reykjavik but there will be plenty to do and see along the southern coast that can be done in day trips (I'm going back in June and will be going to the far western and northern parts for the first time). While there are plenty of Golden Circle tours (that is a "must do," whether on your own or with a tour), you're probably going to want a car to see more, particularly if you want to hike. Be aware - rentals are not cheap (but as Mark noted, nothing there is). If you're really budget conscious, this might not be the destination for you, but food and transportation costs are balanced somewhat by the fact that most of your touring activities will be free if you do it on your own.

Be prepared for a lot of driving. Reykjavik is a very nice town to visit but it's quite small and you'll see everything you want to see in a day or less (depending on how old the kids are, their tolerance level and how long you stand in line for a hot dog - honestly they're good but I don't get the fuss with the hot dogs). You sort of have to do the Blue Lagoon (again, I don't get the fuss), but that's not an all day thing. To really get a feel for the country, you have to drive a ways. It is so worth it, though. The waterfalls, the puffins and other sea birds, the volcanoes and the volcanic terrain are like nothing you'll see elsewhere.

I assume "spring break" means March. Chances of seeing the Northern Lights will lessen as you get later in the month. The sun is up more than half of the day by the end of the month.

User avatar
Steve Gautier
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1337
Joined: November 6th, 2010, 6:29 am
Location: Malvern, PA

Re: Iceland on the Cheap?

#6 Post by Steve Gautier » February 6th, 2019, 2:13 pm

We stayed in Reykjavik and did day trips from there. Plenty to see if you are only spending four days. As said above, some of those days will be long. We did organized tours so we didn’t have to rent a car and drive but that will be more expensive and as others have said, it is not a budget conscious destination especially if kids are teenagers and have big appetites.
Good wine is a necessity of life. - Thomas Jefferson

User avatar
George Hejna
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 5007
Joined: April 21st, 2009, 3:36 pm
Location: Batavia, IL

Re: Iceland on the Cheap?

#7 Post by George Hejna » February 6th, 2019, 3:31 pm

Have you looked at hotel prices? Assuming you would need 2 rooms. They get pricey pretty quickly. I was looking in the summer hopefully they are much cheaper in March.

George

User avatar
John Webber
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 891
Joined: February 26th, 2009, 8:40 am

Re: Iceland on the Cheap?

#8 Post by John Webber » February 8th, 2019, 11:56 am

We left Newark Friday night. Hung out in Reykjavik on Saturday to recover. Took a 3 day guided tour of southern Iceland (highly recommended) and then stayed by the airport Tuesday night. Flew out Wednesday morning. Great trip. If you need tour guide recs, just PM me.

User avatar
Matthew Brown
Posts: 5512
Joined: June 4th, 2009, 10:03 am
Location: Charlottesville, VA/ITB

Re: Iceland on the Cheap?

#9 Post by Matthew Brown » February 8th, 2019, 12:21 pm

If you look through Iceland Air they do package deals as long as you stay at one of their prescribed hotels. It's essentially a layover incentive since so many N American flights are running through there. About 4 years ago we did one with about 8 people total, included 3 nights AND a selection of day trips by bus. Was about $1200/person total iirc. (Note that my father did the planning and did it months in advance)The hotel was near the Midborg airport on the outer edges of Reykjavik, a short bus ride to the city's center (passes included) and almost walking distance from the terminal where the day trips depart. Did day trips through the Golden Circle and to Vic and back.
The Chav who mostly isn't.

Post Reply

Return to “Travel Forum”