Ahh Iceland. Unlike most parents I do have a favorite child, that child's name is Iceland. A very, very expensive child I have to put at arms length because if she looks at me with those eyes i'll drop all my money on her.
Nothing really prepares you for the beauty Iceland bestows on you.
Amongst the beauty you will find yourself dodging sheep and spending $15 USD on a lamb hotdog throughout your time here.
If you're going through a break-up and think to yourself, iceland is the answer for a solo trip, find another answer. This place is romantic AF. I found myself sharing hot spring after hot spring with couples around the world trying.
I spent 10 days here and felt so rushed.
When you fly into Iceland you fly into KEF (Keflavík) which is 30 minutes away from Reykjavík .....in case you land in the airport like i did and think to yourself "where the f did I just land."
My route through Iceland:
Reykjavik - Vik - Hofn - Egilsstaðir - Akureyri - Blönduós - Arnarstapi - Reykjavik
10 days is barely enough time for that route, I would recommend at least 2 weeks. And if you're trying to fit in the Westfjords you'll want to add another week to your itinerary.
Your options are basically car, hitchhike, or bus, but hitchhiking will get you further than a bus.
Because I booked my trip so last minute my rental car wasn't cheap. I got an SUV for $685 for 10 days (get an SUV if you plan to go off-roading and exploring a bit, you will thank me later). I probably could've rented a car for around $500 or less if I would've booked it months earlier. You don't need an international drivers permit. You do however need insurance- insurance was $266 for everything. You need wind, gravel, animal, and liability insurance, i'm sure I forgot one, just purchase them all. Oh, what's animal insurance you ask? Let me tell you. That's in case a sheep decides to run out in front of your car and f up your whole day while you're going WAY over the speed limit, and they will. Speaking of speed limit. Everything is in Kilometers here, so when it says 90kmh, that's only 60mph....which isn't very fast when you're on an open road with no one around you for miles and miles and you only have 10 days to cover the entire country (the size of Kentucky). GO THE SPEED LIMIT. To this day i'm waiting for a ticket in the mail.....I know it's coming, I can feel it in my bones. If you are speeding and you come up on a sign that says slow down, go ahead and slow the f down because if not you'll get a sad face flashing at you. I think I saw one happy face the whole time.
Something I didn't think about before I arrived in Iceland was being able to change a tire on my own in the event a sheep decided to f up my day, or I ran over a pothole, there are plenty of those to go around. I think I counted 5 hours one time I didn't see a singe sole pass me. It's could be a blessing or a curse.
I didn't rent a GPS. I just used Google Maps. I brought my own car charger. It's the same adapter we use in America.
Whether you are at 3/4 tank, 1/2 tank or especially 1/4 of a tank, pull over and get gas if you see a gas station, because you might not see one for a long ass time. Also, you never know what your journey is going to look like after you fill up. That lighthouse you're headed to might look like it's not far, but once you start off-roading...it's far. If you read my Planning 101 you'll know that you will need a credit card with a PIN. When you're getting gas in Iceland you will always need to enter your PIN number, not your zip code like in the U.S. When pumping the gas, you will just put in your credit card, select which number pump you're at and start pumping. In Iceland, gas stations are a great place to grab a cheap bite to eat as well.
If you end up leaving at the crack of down or getting into a gas station late night chances are no one will be working there. I was leaving Vik one morning and decided to get gas before heading out, I inserted my card and the machine kept it. I had a mini panic attack for 3 whole minutes before i finally was able to claw it out.
I spent $406 on gas for 10 days.
I spent $268 on food, this included an entire lobster pizza that was $50 of that and 2 other nice meals i treated myself to. The rest was a lamb hotdog (kill me), fish & chips, & gas station food. Also, half my suitcase was snacks. As far as food goes the only thing I would recommend trying is fish & chips, and langoustine which is basically lobster. At some point you'll run into someone trying to feed you fermented shark. It's disgusting. Just try it.
I try to budget $50 a night. That was a little harder to do with Iceland for a couple reasons. One of them being that I booked everything so last minute. And another being that Iceland is just so damn expensive. I booked a fairly cheap hostel and when I walked in the room someone had thrown up, so it was time for me to go. I ended up booking the only room left in the city and of course it was $280, I wanted to cry, but then I ordered some lobster pizza, got in my robe and I felt better. I spent $932 on rooms (minus $280 - i did about $65 a night on accommodations, not horrible for Iceland.)
I mostly booked really cute farm airbnb's & Booking.com (if you have never used booking.com, you can get $25 your first booking with this link).
Blönduós (airbnb) Egilsstaðir (airbnb) Vik (booking.com)
Höfn (hotel) Akureyri (booking.com) Arnarstapi (booking.com)
Iceland has huge nasty mosquitos. They do not bite. Don't ask me how or why, but i'm thankful for it.
Before I left each day I put the stops I wanted to see into Google Maps.
how to add stops on google maps
I explored Iceland end of August 2018. The weather was beautiful. It hovered around 55 F. Only experienced 1 day of rain, mostly sunny & partly cloudy the remainder of my days. Dress in layers. I brought one pair of boots I did not have to break them in, it was one of the best purchases i've ever made. Everyone talks about how bad the wind is, but I only experienced this in Arnarstapi and I did think I was going to be blown away into the ocean at one point.
Pretty much everyone speaks English here.
Iceland is extremely safe. I mean really, how can anything bad happen to you when there is no one around you.
Iceland is very romantic. As someone who traveled there alone i found myself in hot spring after hot spring as the third and fifth wheel.
I have T-Mobile- I am able to text for free and call for 15 cents/min- they have an awesome international plan. The service was impressive. I pulled over a couple times to do some work near some wild horses and waterfalls. I used my phone as a hotspot on my computer. This is not an ad, but it should be. T-Mobile pay me.
This will be the most important thing you read. When you go to Iceland....BRING ME BACK SOME RIS BUFFS.