• Backpackliife

Road trip Iceland on a budget

Iceland had been high on my bucket list for a long time but the reason I didn’t go was because it was to expensive but the truth is that you can do it on a budget.


Get there:

Wow Air offers cheap flights to Iceland from many places in Europe and you’ll arrive at Keflavik Airport close to Reykjavik.


When to go?

July-August: The temperatures are warmer and you have long days thanks to the midnight sun, its perfect for hiking and most of the road around the county are opened.

October-February: The winter months are perfect if you want to catch the northern lights, but the days are short and it can be really cold.


We decided to visit Iceland in November, a lot of the roads were closed and it was quite cold and windy but the landscapes are amazing and the sceneries never stops to surprise you. During winter its also less crowded.


How to get around:

The best way to get around and explore as much as possible is to rent a car and drive yourself. Click here to read about renting a car in Iceland. Iceland unfortunately have no train system and not a lot of bus connections.


Where to stay?

During our trip in Iceland we slept in the car, we planned to be camping but the weather conditions were too bad so we ended up sleeping in the car instead. This is probably one of the cheapest options, since you don't have to pay for any accommodation and it was relatively easy to find places to park the car over the night for free. We treated ourself with hostels two nights of the 14 nights.


If you don't fancy sleeping in the car there are a lot of hotels around Iceland. Check out Booking.com for good prices.


Food and where to eat?

Before I went to Iceland everyone told me it's a crazy expensive country and that food is no exception. Yes, eating out is quite expensive but if you're willing to prepare your own food its not expensive.


We brought a car water heater and a trangia (camping) kitchen and prepared most of our food ourselves. The biggest and most known supermarkets are probably Bonus and Kronan and they are not that expensive and have a good selection of groceries. The supermarkets in Iceland are affordable and almost the same price as back home in Sweden.


If you don't fancy making your own food you'll find small restaurants or gas stations that sells a quick bite along the way. But I would advice to bring snacks because sometimes you wont find anything for miles.


Vatnajökull Ice Cave

We spend nearly 14 days in Iceland and covered most of Iceland and the biggest cost was renting a car, first because we wanted a good car and paid a lot for the extra insurance.

Here is a breakdown on what we approximately spend, price per person:


Car rental: 600$

Ice cave glacier tour: 160$

Petrol: 160$

Eating out in restaurants and groceries: 90$

2 nights hostel: 40$

It's approximately 75$ a day. If you choose a cheaper car you can get away a lot cheaper.

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My name is Sophie, originally from Sweden but I grew up in Hong Kong with my family. 

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