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Iceland On A Budget: 5 Things You’re Forgetting To Save For

These days, everyone who’s anyone is visiting Iceland on a budget. Creating a budget for Iceland and saving accordingly is crucial to enjoying your time in the country 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 trip to Iceland costs in your savings plan.

Iceland On A Budget: 5 Things You're Forgetting To Save For | Tips For Visiting Iceland On A Budget | Budget Travel To Iceland | Cheap Travel To Iceland | Iceland Travel Tips | Follow Me Away Travel Blog | Iceland Travel Tips

Iceland On A Budget: 5 Things You’re Forgetting To Save For

#1 Remember To Factor In Gas If You Are Hoping To Travel To Iceland On A Budget

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. Unfortunately, if you plan on driving in Iceland, there is no way to get around the super high Iceland gas cost. If you are hoping to see Iceland on a budget, make sure you save up for gas!

Gas is running Americans around $5-$7 USD a gallon which is exorbitant and should be factored into your budgeted Iceland trip cost. 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 gas in Iceland because you are going to need it if you are hoping to visit Iceland on a budget.

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!

Iceland On A Budget: 5 Things You Forgot To Save For | Tips For Visiting Iceland On A Budget | Budget Travel To Iceland | Cheap Travel To Iceland | Iceland Travel Tips | Follow Me Away Travel Blog | Iceland Travel Tips

#2 Don’t Forget To Add Tolls To Your Budgeted Iceland Trip Cost

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 for this unsuspecting Iceland trip cost. 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. The cost of travel in Iceland is already high, so knowing about this toll ahead of time will save you slight annoyance when you are in the country!

Iceland On A Budget: 5 Things You Forgot To Save For | Tips For Visiting Iceland On A Budget | Budget Travel To Iceland | Cheap Travel To Iceland | Iceland Travel Tips | Follow Me Away Travel Blog | Iceland Travel Tips

#3 You Are Going To Want To Save Some Money For Snacks

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. Food is one of the most expensive costs of travel in Iceland but buying snacks and cooking dinner yourself is a great way to save!

If you think ahead, go to one of the many affordable grocery stores in Iceland and pick up nonperishable snacks in advance. Our favorites: popcorn, chips, Doritos, oranges, and apples. Having snacks at the ready will curb your hunger and will help reduce your Iceland trip cost if you aim to travel Iceland on a budget!

Iceland On A Budget: 5 Things You're Forgetting To Save For

#4 Parking Is Another Unexpected Iceland Trip Cost To Consider

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.We thought this was a very odd Iceland trip cost because many hotels have included parking if you are staying with them.

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 trip cost budget. If you are hoping to visit Iceland on a budget, simply consider the potential for paying for parking or get outside of the capital where you won’t have to pay as much or anything at all.

Iceland On A Budget: 5 Things You're Forgetting To Save For

#5 Save Your Pennies For 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 factor this into your Iceland trip cost and have some change on hand in case you come across a facility that charges you. If you plan on visiting Iceland on a budget, do your best to stay away from bathrooms that charge you because every little bit counts.

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 Gullfoss. 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.

Iceland On A Budget: 5 Things You're Forgetting To Save For

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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? Were there any additional expenses that made your Iceland trip cost add up? Let us know in the comments! 

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Iceland On A Budget: 5 Things You're Forgetting To Save For | Tips For Visiting Iceland On A Budget | Budget Travel To Iceland | Cheap Travel To Iceland | Iceland Travel Tips | Follow Me Away Travel Blog | Iceland Travel Tips

26 thoughts on “Iceland On A Budget: 5 Things You’re Forgetting To Save For

  1. Amy

    When I was putting together our budget for Iceland earlier this year, I accounted for gas and snacks (buying groceries etc) but none of the other things! Thanks for letting us know – will bookmark this for when I look at making definite plans to visit!

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Whatever you account for gas, account for more! It is pretty expensive, at least for Americans who are used to gallons 😉 Let us know if you ever want to chat about the trip! Excited for you 🙂

  2. Christine

    If you do need to eat out the cheapest menu options are usually Icelandic meat soup and mashed fish. If these dishes are on the menu they are usually pretty filling and you often get free refills with the soup.

  3. Jan

    For Europeans, the gas price is pretty much the same as in our countries. Also, Iceland is tiny; the distance between Rejkyavik and the northern town of Akureyri is about the same as New York to Washington DC.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hey Jan! Good point about the gas prices! Even though Iceland is technically way smaller than America, many people are fooled by the size of the country! A drive from Reykjavik and the town of Hofn is a good 6+ hours depending on weather and the capital to Vik is a little over 2. So while it isn’t 20 hours like in the United States, it could still be considered further than expected! 😉

  4. Wouter

    We went to Iceland last spring, it was really amazing! Thank so much for your work and info! It was my second time i have visited Iceland but after reading your inspiration and want to jump on the plane again.

  5. Amy

    Thank you for your tips we are planning our first trip and I had no idea what extra charges there would be! The gas doesn’t seem to much higher than we pay in Canada at a high point but the bathroom charge is very helpful information we have 4 children which means lots of bathroom breaks lol.

  6. Mary

    Great tips! We are heading to Iceland at the end of March for a week and are planning to rent a car for 3 days. Thanks for the info.

  7. Mark

    Everything seems to be based around driving. Crazy prices for fuel, parking and tolls. Food is easy enough- just bring in ton of tuna and canned food. Pay for the extra luggage for any of those types of goods 😃 Even the bathrooms?!?!? Iceland is on the radar but just need to figure out these types of tips.

  8. ashley

    Did you happen to find it easy to find healthy foods at the Bonus stores or other grocery shops? I read in another post that you brought food in from the States. Many countries have you declare food or ban certain items…did Iceland have any rules about this since they are an island?

    Thanks for the tips for saving extra. I actually don’t mind paying for restrooms. I find they tend to be a little cleaner when people have to pay money to use them 😉

    Cheers!

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Yep there is plenty of healthy food. While some of it may be a bit more expensive, it is certainly there. We just brought our food in like normal…we didn’t hide it in any way and they didn’t ask questions or care. We like to bring odds and ends from home like granola bars and cookies so we don’t have to spend a ton of money on location on those types of items.

  9. Darlene

    I just returned from Iceland and think the biggest expense is food/eating out – $25 for a mediocre burger, $35 for fish and chips. We stayed at a fully equipped AirBandB, which enabled me to make a nutritious breakfast each morning and a few fish dinners. This saved us a significant amount of money.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Yes!!!Eating at home is a huge money saver when on trips and especially in Iceland!

  10. Robin

    We just spent 10 days in Iceland. I thought I was mentally prepared for the prices. Turns out I wasn’t. Good news is that wifi is free and available everywhere and the water is fantastic and pitchers with cups can be found in most places.

  11. Mechelle C

    These were great tips, thank you! We are going in May for 8 days. We are staying in a cottage with fully equipped kitchen. Argh, didn’t know about the bathroom fee… But, you can buy these special urinals for women and you go like you are a man.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Honestly, it isn’t necessary at all! You can see all of the best spots with a regular two wheel drive car!

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