Ever since the tourism boom in 2011 that saved Iceland from the economic crisis, the number of tourists has been growing – and why wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t we all like to see the midnight sun, northern lights, visit geothermal baths and black beaches?
However, some of us might feel discouraged to find out that Iceland is the number one expensive country in Europe with consumer prices 66% above the European average. For an average family trip, you’d spend over $1,000 a day, and you’d need a hell of accounting skills to deal with it.
This being said, you might want to consider looking into Iceland Tours Packages and simply save yourself the time of planning and accounting. But nevertheless, you should be aware of the following as it might help you save some money on your way.
Since Iceland tourism began skyrocketing, flying became much cheaper as many airline companies are flying to this destination. You’ll also be amazed to find out that IcelandAir offers super cheap flights to Europe from across the U.S., even more so than the popular Air Canada.
However, renting a car proves to be most helpful when it comes to budgeting since Iceland introduced car-sharing services, which enable you to save money, connect with some of the locals and find out about other insider ways to explore the country.
Note that cities in Iceland are not that big, and you can see entire cities by foot, so there’s no need to spend extra money on taxis. If necessary, it’s much cheaper to take a bus.
If you haven’t decided yet on accommodation, there are different options out there for those of more adventurous spirit which can be both fun and helpful with squeezing the budget.
Along with options such as Air BnB, Couchsurf, and house swap, which are today’s most popular and universal ways of budget-friendly accommodating, you can look into camper vans. They can serve you as both a transportation method and accommodation.
Another way is to inform yourself of the camps, as there are many good campsites around Iceland, but the season and weather must serve you as well. Since hotels are especially expensive in summer, camping can be an exciting and viable option.
Increase in tourism is not the only reason for Iceland’s high prices. Due to the climate, many of the produces in Iceland are imported. However, this seems to be turning for the better with changes in supermarket competition.
Still, eating out can be quite expensive. Even Iceland’s tea and coffee are notoriously pricey. It is better to bring these with you, and prepare meals yourself and buy groceries at markets such as Bonus. If you still want to enjoy these elsewhere, know that there’s no tipping tradition in Iceland, so unless you really want to, there’s no need to spend more money on tips.
Tobacco and alcohol are better bought at the airport duty-free shops where prices are up to 50% lower. Otherwise, you’ll only be able to buy these at special liquor stores where they are extremely expensive.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning that the season impacts the prices as well. All from September up until May is the offseason, with January to May being the lowest when it comes to tourist numbers. And less traffic, of course, means lower prices (be it flight, car rental, or booking accommodation).
This makes the late May to mid-June the best traveling time for those careful with their budgets. The offseason is still ongoing, but nature’s beauty is awakening at this period, so you get to experience Iceland’s botanical wonders all while finding a way to make it affordable.
Even shoestring budget travelers can find a way around Iceland’s prices, while others may still find it helpful to know this in advance. Indulge yourself in Iceland’s beauty, not finance – it’s worth the price.