These days, everyone who’s anyone is visiting Iceland on a budget. Creating a budget and saving accordingly is crucial to enjoying your time in Iceland without breaking the bank. That being said, even the most well-planned budgets have the potential to be blown when visiting one of the most expensive countries on the planet. Whether you are driving yourself, taking one of the many fantastic tours in Iceland, or just stopping over for a few hours, you should consider all costs. If you intend to visit Iceland on a budget, make sure to account for these unexpected costs in your savings plan.
Iceland On A Budget: 5 Things You’re Forgetting To Save For
Gas is expensive as all get out in Iceland but it is a necessary evil if you plan on renting a car and going on an epic road trip. When we mean expensive, we mean, double or triple the price you are used to paying, especially for Americans. Gas is running Americans around $5-$7 USD a gallon which is exorbitant. Iceland requires a ton of driving to get to all the epic sights and it generally costs around $70-$80 to fill up a vehicle that is very good on gas. Make sure to leave plenty of cushion in your budget for Icelandic gas because you are going to need it.
You may have a general idea that gas is going to cost a pretty penny, but Iceland is quite a large country and requires a ton of driving. You will drive more than you are anticipating. Driving requires gas which requires money. Save wisely, friends!
If you are heading to west Iceland, you are going to get hit with a $10 toll to go through an underwater tunnel [way more boring than it sounds]. If you plan to head back to Reykjavik, you are going to have to pay that $10 again. While this amount may seem insignificant now, you aren’t going to want to be surprised with tolls during your trip without setting aside appropriate funds. A $20 round-trip toll isn’t something you hear about in Iceland so make sure to save for this unexpected cost if you are planning to visit Iceland on a budget.
First off, don’t you dare go out to eat if you ever hope to visit Iceland on a budget. Going out to eat is an unnecessary expense but snacks are a different story. Your trip to Iceland will most likely include a ton of driving, so having food at your disposal is necessary. If you are in a pinch, pick up a snack such as a bag of chips or granola bar at a gas station. If you think ahead, go to an Icelandic grocery store and pick up nonperishable snacks in advance. Our favorites: popcorn, chips, Doritos, oranges, and apples.
We always strive to visit Iceland on a budget and parking was a totally unexpected cost for us, especially since we were staying at a 5-star hotel in Reykjavik. Turns out, the Icelandic government doesn’t discriminate and guests staying [and parking] downtown all must pay for city parking. Parking in Zone 1 [on main streets] is the most expensive, but prices go down a bit if you park in other zones and on side streets. We parked in a Zone 2 and ended up paying around $15+ per day which was a cost we didn’t include in our Iceland budget.
#5 Using the restroom
Yep, you heard that right. At many places in Iceland, it costs money to use the bathroom. You are going to want to have some change on hand in case you come across a facility that charges you. Many locally owned gas stations will charge a couple hundred Kronor and while it is totally possible to run out without paying, it isn’t the best behavior for a guest visiting Iceland. You may also run into bathrooms that charge at heavily trafficked areas such as Gulfoss. Pro tip: when visiting Iceland on a budget, visit chain gas stations such as N1 or grocery stores such as Bonus for clean and free toilets.
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What is your favorite pro-tip for visiting Iceland on a budget? Did you experience anything we mentioned during your trip? Let us know in the comments!
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