Pre-trip Planning

It all began on a dark and chilly December evening casually browsing www.skyscanner.com for some escapism. We found return flights from Manchester to Reykjavik with Easyjet for £116 per person including baggage check in. Suddenly it was booked and there was no going back. We’re travelling during school holidays which made the flights especially good value.

Reading other blogs we discovered the only way to do all we wanted in 11 days was to hire a vehicle. A campervan was the dream but they were more expensive than a car + accommodation so our hopes were dashed. www.travelsupermarket.com/c/carhire told us that Atlaschoice was the cheapest car hire on the island. £555 for 11 days on a Hyundai i10 has definitely been our biggest expenditure but there seemed to be no alternative.

Accommodation proved trickiest of all. Usually we just book flights and find accommodation on arrival. However, in high season Iceland this isn’t possible – such a small country only has so many places to sleep. Book well in advance if you’re travelling between June and August. Sleeping bag accommodation is available all over Iceland but often only in shared dorms – we need some couple time! We searched high and low to find the best deals along our route for no more than £25 per night per person. I can’t praise www.airbnb.co.uk enough. It is a site for local people to rent out private rooms or whole houses which means cheap prices as well as the opportunity to meet local people and experience family life. We love AirBnB so much we’ve listed our own house which means we can earn money from people staying at our house while we’re on holiday. Here is a list of the places we have booked for our trip:

Location Name Website Price
Laugarvatn Laugarvatn Hostel Hostelling International:hihostels.com £49.81
Óspakseyri, Bræðrabrekka Farm Room with a view AirBnB £40
Mánagata 4, 400 Ísafjörður Mánagisting Guesthouse booking.com £121.34 (2 nights)
Arnarnes (Akureyri) Vintage Van AirBnB £79(2 nights)
 Vogar660 Mývatn Vogahraun guesthouse http://vogahraun.is/ £105.94(2 nights)
Blöndubyggð 9
Blönduós, 540
Blönduból Room and Cottages booking.com £37.39
Braedraborgarstigur 3Reykjavik AR Guesthouse hostelbookers.com £103.32(2 nights)

 

We will rate each place as we stay there to give a better idea of value for money. Here is a photo of the place we’re most excited to stay, the vintage van in Akureyri:

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The only activity we have booked so far is the ferry from  Dalvík to Grímsey, a little island off the north coast which is the only part of Iceland in the arctic circle. We booked this by emailing Helga.Iris.Ingolfsdottir@samskip.com who needed names DOBs and nationalities to make the booking. We will pay on the day at the ticket office in Dalvík.

We found the best rate on currency through ww.travelmoney.moneysavingexpert.com and have taken a gamble buying from www.ace-fx.com who deliver to your door as they had the best exchange rate.

http://www.moneysupermarket.com told us the cheapest travel insurance cost £8.99 for both of us – deal!

Super tip-top tip: buy the most up to date Iceland Lonely Planet, currently cheapest on www.play.com at £10.12

Iceland on a Shoestring