I just literally got back this morning from my journey in Iceland. Actually, our journey.. My boyfriend and his 2 siblings came along to make the experience merrier, better, and more memorable. As much as how exhausted I am at the moment, I cannot wait to share the amazing experience we all went through in Iceland. Before I forgot the little details, I might as well just jot down everything in writing, hoping that someone reads it and getting inspired.
It started years back when I set Iceland as a must-go destination. I want to witness the phenomenon of Aurora Borealis with my bare eyes. That’s all! Why Iceland? A lot of my friends have been there to catch Aurora, and besides I think the island is no-mainstream at that moment, unlike Norway and Finland. When I looked up about this Island/country on the internet, it captivated me even more with the hidden gems it has. Everywhere is about nature and it was its volcanic activity that is thought to have created Iceland. The pocket of magma that sits beneath Iceland is thought to be what created the island, as hot lava rose to the surface of the ocean, where it cooled and gradually accumulated into an island beginning about 70 million years ago.
Below is some general tips per our experience:
- Ticket: I bought the flight ticket back in September with WOW air for 200 eur/return. It’s considered as a normal price but I guess you don’t have to buy far in advance. Because in the winter time, the price will approximately be the same. Damar and fam bought the ticket on January and the price is fairly the same.
- Extra luggage: We bought one baggage (30 eur/ 20 kg/ one way) and split the expense to 4 of us, as we’d stay for a week in Iceland. I suggest to bring some convenient food (rice, indomie, tea, coffee, etc) from the Netherlands to cut down some expense and to ease the journey because we did road trip and it was a long long quite road, you could not find a supermarket/store that easily. So it’s good to always have snacks and food with you. As Asian, we always demand rice 😛 and proper meal. This way we do not have to worry to get hungry and get ill by the freezing weather. For 4 people, it was worth the expense. They say cabin maximum is 5 kg, but you can bring up to 7 kg. But not more than that. For luggage, it can be up to 21-22 kg.
- Packing: It’s not necessary to change or dress up everyday in the cold weather (-4), you will not be sweating. Trust me, nobody would care what we were wearing. So, for a week, I just brought
- 1 ski pant and 1 jogger (for the flight, don’t ask, but I always wear jogger/training on board)
- Couple of sweaters
- Socks for at home and outside, underwear, and did not forget my body thermal for beneath pants and tops, gloves, beanies
- Toiletries: Moisturizer is a must and so is lipbalm! otherwise the skin and lips will get dry and itchy. The rests are usually as complimentary in the stay
- Swimsuit: Because I stayed at the places with hot tub in their front yard and because we went to Blue Lagoon (which is a must)
- Lunch box and water bottle, for having lunch on the way. We always cooked in the stay and brought our lunch in the lunch box. Trust me! I did not regret the effort, because it is really uneasy to find a stop place in the road especially for us who has our preferences what to eat to be considered full during the day aka eating rice! 😛
- Exchange to Icelandic Krona? I don’t think it’s necessary. They all accept maestro debit card and credit card. You will be good to go!
- Rent a car: Damar got his driving license recently. Thank God!! I am glad he did and I am glad we could rent a car. With car, there’s no time constrain, everything is at your convenient. Especially, when you wanted to stay at the remote area (like us) to be in the nature and catch aurora at night. The car is not pricey, gas price is fair, and we never payed any parking lot fee. Just make sure that in the stay, there’s an easily accessible and free parking lot. All the attraction places we went have free parking lot as well. Also they accept national driving license. Most of the rental car company requires at least 1 year validity of your driving license except Thrifty (a company where we rented the car from 😛 since Damar only received his like a week before our trip). A tip: A lot of people wonder about getting the two-wheeled or four-wheeled drive. If you want to go off road or go to a rough terrain, you should go get the four-wheeled especially in the winter. But we decided to get the two-wheeled considering our destinations. Price is 200 eur different for a week!
It is handy to check on the road.is for the traffic, maps and the weather as well. Travellers should prepare well for each trip and know its trail and route conditions. Often, the nature would give a tricky condition, like snow storm, slippery road, etc, this can be anticipated by checking the road.
- Itinerary and expenses for a week: We made the itinerary via Tripomatic. I am thankful to know this trip planner website from my dear Turkish friend of mine, Cansu. It’s user friendly and you could see the map easily as well also the place/Lenmarc where you can choose, you can enter the hotel also and see it as a big overview so you know what to expect in regards to the duration, distance, etc. However, I will break it down anyway as follows along with the expenses. We chose the route of the famous GOLDEN CIRCLE, so we only stayed in the south and did not go to the North. It’s one way or the other, for a week time, Golden Circle route is just perfect.