Having experienced Iceland for the first time I know how important it is to bring certain things with you. With this in mind, I’ve put together this handy list of the top ten things you should make sure you take when visiting this beautiful – but rugged – country!
Conditions can vary massively depending on the time of year, so bear this in mind when reading through the list below. We went in March and it was pretty cold, but during the high season (June – August), temperatures can get up to around 20-25 degrees.
Anyhoo, here’s my top ten things you’ll need in Iceland – please let me know in the comments below if you think there’s anything important I’ve missed!
What to pack for Iceland
1) Snow/walking boots
Whatever footwear you decide to take, they must be waterproof and comfortable. I bought snow boots especially for this trip and I was extremely glad I did. They weren’t expensive (under £20), but they were faux-fur lined and kept my feet warm and, most importantly, completely dry.
2) Warm clothes and waterproofs
I took a ski jacket, a hat, scarf and gloves as well as lots of layers. Also if you’re visiting in winter, I would recommend thinking about waterproof trousers. They aren’t the most fashionable things and are bulky to pack (so if you just have hand luggage they might not be the most practical things to take), but we just took jeans with us and got completely soaked some days – so they weren’t particularly comfortable or warm!
3) A good travel book with map
We researched things to do in Iceland before we travelled so we had a good idea of what we wanted to see, but we took a great travel book with us which included a map of Reykjavik and the surrounding area. I have also heard that Splash maps are great to take with you if you’re adventuring because they are so easy to carry. They have an Iceland one here.
If you’re going to Iceland I highly recommend visiting at least one of the thermal pools so remember to pack your cozzie! Also I wouldn’t bother taking a towel as you can rent them from most pools, unless you go really off piste!
5) Waterproof phone case
You’ll want one of these – especially if you’re taking your phone into a thermal pool. You could buy them from the Blue Lagoon, but prices were extortionate (we worked it out to be about £20!) and really all you get is a plastic bag to pop your phone in.
6) A torch
Depending on the time of year it can get very dark very quickly and if you find yourself on a desolate road, a torch could prove essential.
7) External charger
If you’re like me and take a lot of photos, your phone battery probably suffers like mine does so my external charger was invaluable on this trip. I decided to spend slightly more on a good model which holds its charge longer than a cheaper one and also has two charger ports so my friends were grateful too!
Even though we visited in winter when the sun shone we absolutely needed sunglasses, especially where the light was reflecting off the snow!
9) Good car insurance
If you’re going to hire a car like we did, good car insurance is essential. There were a whole host of things that we were told to be wary of, also as Iceland is extremely windy a lot of the time, you must make sure you hold onto your doors when you get in and out. Seriously, they stipulate what they call ‘wind-blown door’ as something you have to be careful about!
10) Your camera
Iceland is beautiful. If you don’t take any photos, you’re doing it wrong!