How to save money in Iceland while travelling

White font on a picture of Iceland reading "Save money in Iceland"

1. The Early Bird Catches The Worm – and Saves a Lot of Money on The Go

As always with travel booking you can save a lot of money with early booking. Do you already know where you want to travel in 5 months? Then take care of your rental car, hotel and everything else now. The closer the journey, the more expensive the offers.


2. Save Money in Iceland in The Off-Season

Don’t go in the high season – this ends in August. If you go to Iceland in early September, the weather is usually still good and you can save some money. The only small drawback: Not all the campsites are still open. But in our experience, they are so few and far between that you’ll have no problem.


3. Save Money on Accommodation

We almost always stayed at camping sites. The savings potential is considerable. For our first night in a motel we paid €190. That’s nearly exactly the same amount as we paid for 10 days camping.
Campsites can also differ in equipment and price. At one site everything (washer, dryer, Wifi …) is included. At another site you need to decide (and pay extra), whether you actually need a power connection and a shower or whether you can survive without.

You want to know more about Iceland? Click here to see all of our articles at a glance!


4. Car Rental

Your car is the biggest cost factor when traveling to Iceland. Do you want to sleep in the car? Then you need at least a Dacia Duster – the Jimmy is no good for sleeping. Do you plan on camping in a tent? Then the Jimmy is enough. You want to go to the Landmannalaugar? Then you actually have to get a 4-wheel-drive. Traveling only on Route 1? Then you can easily rent a smaller car.

Take your time to figure out your minimum requirements and explore the different options carefully. Do you really need the car for 2 weeks? In our experience you can explore the most beautiful spots in Iceland easily in 7 days. This saves money when you rent a car, too.

Do you need an additional can of gas? No. We had booked one as a precaution. On site our car rental didn’t have a spare one in stock however, which is why we got the money reimbursed. The additional gasoline would not have been necessary. There were enough petrol stations on the way.


5. Refill your water bottles

You can simply take water out of the tap in many places. Do not take the warm water (which smells like sulfur), but the cold one. On the road, you can simply fill your bottles and do not have to buy pre-packaged water.


6. Water in Restaurants Is Free

If you’re going to eat in a restaurant – and if it’s only for a hot dog – then you‘ll get your water for free. Just take a glass and fill it with as much water as you need.


7. Bring Your Own Food

Food in Iceland is usually expensive because everything needs to be imported. You can simply take pasta, rice, soup and the like with you though. This is how we did it. We simply took oatmeal, raisins, muesli, pasta, rice, granola bars etc. with us. On site we then bought fresh ingredients and everything we could not transport.

Be careful though about how much and what exactly you import: “Travelers may import duty-free up to 3 kg of food, including candy, not exceeding the value of ISK 25,000.” But no uncooked meat, uncooked eggs and uncooked milk products. Check this site to make sure, you follow the rules.


8. Attractions

Nature is for free. And nature in Iceland is a huge sight: volcanoes, geysers, glaciers, mountains, waterfalls, animals … Everything can be viewed – no money involved. The expensive extras such as glacier walks, volcano tours, whale watching are definitely not mandatory. Even without these adventures, your holiday in Iceland will be super awesome!

We have made the experience that the expensive extras are not always better than the free alternatives. The Blue Lagoon is one size we avoided from the beginning. We had heard that it’s filthy and crowded. So we went to the “insider tip” Myvatn Bath and bathed there. Well, this bath was filthy as well and our stops at the natural and free hot pots were so much better!

What is your experience? Where did you save money in Iceland on your trip?

All the best!

Jenny & Marco


P.S. Find all of our Iceland articles here.



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