Creating a budget for your Iceland travels? Hopefully I can shed some light at what you will be facing. Now we all know how expensive Iceland is. And believe me, its expensive. I spent many hours on Pinterest searching for tips and tricks to save money before leaving to Iceland. In the end I believe I was successful.
PLEASE NOTE: This was simply my experience. I cannot speak for you.
What You'll Find
- Accommodation – $40 CAD
- Transportation (including flight) – $1, 683.10 CAD
- Food –$136.23 CAD
- Medical – $49.97 CAD
- Pleasure – $314.71 CAD
- Other – $37.73 CAD
Say what!? You read correctly. I paid $40 for accommodations for 3 weeks. How you may ask? Workaway, that’s how.
I found Workaway through a blog post and I decided to check it out. It costs 29.00 USD for a single person to join. I paid in CAD so the conversion came out to almost $40.00. In few words Workaway allows you work in exchange for accommodations. It is much like WOOFING. However, Workaway offers more variety of jobs than just organic farming. Such as childcare, building projects, helping in motels etc.
I do recommend if you go the Workaway route, message people no earlier or later than two months in advance. Travel plans can change but at the same time you want to give people enough notice. I found two months was the sweet spot. Something else to know, you may have to email many hosts. I emailed at least seven hosts before I found someone to say yes. Many were either full or didn’t reply at all.
Lastly be aware that Iceland is really cracking down on foreign volunteers replacing paid positions. You can check with the Icelandic embassy for further information.
I feel very fortunate. I searched on many different flight search engines to find the best deal. From Skyscanner, Google Flights, Cheap Flights, and WOW air. I even went to a flight centre to check flights. I don’t recommend using a flight centre. The cheapest flight they could find was over $5000. Yeah, no thank you. I ended up finding a sweet deal on Cheapoair with Icelandair. It was great.
If you can, I suggest booking with Iceland air. Great customer service as well you can check two bags for free. Direct both ways. Be aware if flying from Vancouver (YVR), they don’t serve food. Make sure to bring some before boarding. I also booked more than four months in advanced, which I’m sure is a factor in the price.
I live on an Island off the coast of Vancouver. Meaning I have to catch a ferry and bus to get to the airport. Yay me for extra transportation costs.
Buses include the bus to YVR, the Flybus (KEF to Reykjavik) and a few city buses I took while in Reykjavik. In Reykjavik the city bus costs 400 Krona. Make sure you have exact change if you are going to use it. Also know, outside of Reykjavik there isn’t much for public transport.
As for Flybus, it is like Iceland’s Greyhound. Flybys is a good option if you don’t want to rent a car. There are restrictions but still cheaper than renting. I took it from the airport as well as to get to the town I was staying in.
This is how much it cost me to rent a car for TWO DAYS!! It wasn’t even a 4WD. Now you see how things can add up fast. I also had the opportunity to use my hosts vehicle if I needed or if it were on the way he’d give me lift. I rented car simply because I was to chicken to drive his truck and the few places I wanted to go would take to long via hitch hiking.
Yes, hitching. It’s quite popular in Iceland. Throughout my experience, I never felt unsafe or had to wait very long.
That being said if you do hitch hike, do it with caution. If you get a bad feeling, listen to it. In the end you are getting into a strangers car.
For two days and 200km in fuel efficiant car. Enough said.
Again, I was super fortunate with my Workaway opportunity, as my host included food. Be mindful that not all Workaway opportunities have the food included. Sometimes they may provide a breakfast or dinner, but for the rest your stay you are on your own. That being said, if it doesn’t state it in their profile, it’s a good question to ask.
I never ate out. I mean NEVER. *Cough* $20 for a bowl of soup *cough* *cough*. Also at $4 for a small black coffee. I made all my coffee at home.
Realistically I could have saved more on food if I wanted. But I pitched in for groceries here and there.
Don’t be a fool. Get medical, no matter the cost.
I didn’t get many gifts. Everything was very pricey. If you do want gifts, get everything at the airport. That way you don’t have to pay the tax. Everything sold at shops in town are all sold at the airport.
I only did one tour. Snorkelling in the Siflra. This is a must. If there is a tour to budget for, this is one. When else would you get to say you swam between North America and Europe?
Note: the tour was $196.76. But little me forgot the waterproof case for my go pro. So I had to buy photos which cost $33.25.
These were such things as new headphones and at one point I had to pay for use of a locker.
In total including the flight I spent $2,222.84.
Okay, I admit it fibbed about the title. I hoped the $22.84 difference wouldn’t be to much of a deception. Apologies if it was. I hope this can help you when budgeting for your Iceland trip.