If by now you have not heard about how beautiful Iceland is, you must be hiding under a rock! (no offense). After reading numerous blog posts and liking hundreds of fantastic Instagram pictures, I decided that I must experience Iceland for myself. An island of almost 336,000, Iceland makes up in natural beauty what it lacks in human population. If there is anything I can share about Iceland for anyone planning to visit it is the following:
With plenty of cheap flights out of the Northeast, my friends and I opted to fly out in November to increase our chances of witnessing the Northern Lights. Beware, cheap flights do NOT equal to anything being cheap in Iceland. We actually packed a few dry and canned goods in our bags to leverage the food expenses. The cheapest plate I saw while there was at least $20, not to mention cocktails. If you don’t have a budget when you travel, skip right on to the next topic.
Rent A Car:
Although I kept being advised that you need at least a week or more in Iceland, We managed to to visit many attractions in a short period of time. Renting a car facilitated this for us as we had the convenience of traveling on our own time. The roads in Iceland are easy to navigate given that there are usually not too many cars on the road. Make sure to always check the roadway and weather conditions as weather can change drastically, forcing road closures.
Being a Miami-based Dominicana, tropical weather is naturally in my blood, so visiting a country like Iceland (ICE-land, name says it all) is not in my nature. Needless to say I was freezing mi culito! Pack accordingly and check the weather. We actually did a great job at packing multiple warm layers and having comfortable and protective outerwear. As I said before the weather changes drastically in Iceland, we drove through several snow storms that looked quite scary.
Maximize your time! Especially if you are on a layover or a short trip, research how many hours of daylight are forecasted for each day. The sun rises around 10am this time of year and sets close to 5pm, it was a big adjustment to have 8am looking like it was 8pm. If you want to experience the outdoors during the day time then start your journey right before the sun rises.
Bring your chargers. We we were out for 8-10 hours at at time, make sure you have your cameras, cellphones and other devices charged so you that can enjoy their use throughout the course of the day. We borrowed a char charger from the rental company as we relied heavily on our cell phones to for navigation and research purpose.
Keep the Cash at Home
I did not need cash for anything. I used my travel card for all of my purchases and did not have to pay any foreign transaction fees. Withdrawing from the ATMs or exchanging money at an exchange place proved to provide less of value for USD. Besides, who likes to have a bunch of loose coins that you can’t exchange at the end of your trip?
I am very satisfied with my decision to become a bandwagoner by traveling to one of the hottest destinations out there in the travel world. Feel free to hop on the Icelandic bandwagon yourself! Questions, comments? Don’t be shy and share your thoughts.