But really, let’s talk budgeting for Iceland… after reading all about Iceland and the costs of everything from food to accommodations to gas, we realized one thing: Iceland is crazy expensive. The tickets may have been cheap (a total of $1148 for both of us roundtrip) but all the expenses in the country are pretty hefty. One beer cost upwards of $11 for just a glass, a single meal in a restaurant can start around $15+ for ONE PERSON (unless you stop at any of the world famous hot dog stands around the country for a cheap meal alternative), and hotel rooms/Airbnbs in the peak season started at $150+ per night in some not so nice places… Needless to say, camping out in the many campgrounds around Iceland and cooking our own food is an obvious money saving decision. We plan on bringing our own water bottles to enjoy the natural spring water Iceland has to offer while we are there, and only indulging in only one or two adult beverages while we are there.
We bought our airplane tickets through United Airlines (because I love their customer service, the flights they offered were short, and we get a free checked bag each) for $1148 after we added the extra insurance for our flights. We also booked our car through Iceland Car Rental, originally we booked a VW Polo, but decided to switch it to a Suzuki S-Cross so we could travel on the unpaved secondary roads and spent $580. Oh, and gravel insurance. GET. GRAVEL. INSURANCE. We haven’t even gone on our trip but I cannot stress how important it is so spend the $8-15 extra per day for that insurance. Almost every road has loose gravel on it, and if it is kicked up by your car or another car and damages your rental at all (most commonly, chipped windshields or paint), you will be spending a very large amount on repairs for the rental. So we already spent $1728 and the only remaining expenses are for food, gas, and any fees we have to pay for camping, park access, or any guided tours we may decide to do.
We looked at Mountain House dehydrated food to take with us to cut back on food expenses and found a 12 meal pack for only $65.99, we plan on buying snacks at the grocery stores over there and also buying groceries to make any extra meals we need. So including food we are bringing with us, we plan on spending around $250-300 for all the food and maybe $40-60 on any drinks we have.
I am expecting gas to be one of the largest, if not the largest budgeting expense, with gas being over $7 per gallon and us planning to drive a lot, I am estimating to pay anywhere from $500-700 total for the whole trip. It is crazy to imagine that amount for just gas, but knowing we will basically be driving around the entire country doesn’t make it seem so bad.
So what does our budget look like?
- Flight – $1048 (purchased)
- Car Rental – $580 (purchased)
- Food/Drinks – $300-450 (budgeting a little higher, just in case)
- Gas – $500-700
- Campsite fees – $250
- Trawire mobile wifi – $70
- Iceland tours or extra fees – $300-500
- Souvenirs – $400-600 (yeah, it’s really high, but why not?!)
Our total budget right now, including what we have already spent, is $4198 for 8 full days in Iceland. So we don’t plan on spending anywhere near this amount on food/souvenirs/tours/etc, but can you really blame us for adding those in to our budget plan? I can’t even imagine us spending this much on any of this while we are there, but we would rather be safe than sorry. We plan on keeping track of all of our expenses so that we can write an accurate budget plan after we get back for anyone planning to go, but this is a rough idea! It is so exciting looking at all the areas we plan to visit, and it seems to be one of the best places to travel as a couple.
Any suggestions on places off the beaten track to visit? A restaurant? Guided Iceland tours? Let us know and follow our Instagram to see what we are up to until we visit Iceland!