We’re Going to Iceland! Here’s Our Budget
Iceland, a country known for its different landscapes of lava fields, glaciers, hot springs, and volcanoes. A country I have dreamed of going to for years now and just never thought it was possible, until now. I, like many people, think that traveling is just plain too expensive but with prior planning, it can be affordable.
This post is meant to be a before trip plan on how six of us are going to Iceland and how we budgeted for it. I’ll do a follow-up post when I get back, filled with plenty of pictures and a check-up to see how we did against our planned budget. Let’s get into our plan.
First off flights, over six months ago I was searching for flights to Iceland. Living in the middle of the U.S. in a town with a small airport (8 gates) made finding affordable flights near impossible. I searched and searched but everything was $800+ and out of my price range. Because of this, I broadened my search for a departure airport to Kansas City and Dallas Fort Worth. I set my alarms on Kayak and left it.
On May 9th I got the email, my flight was available at the price point I wanted. I quickly texted the group and within the next 48 hours, we had all booked flights for $265 nonstop roundtrip out of Dallas. Yes, you read that right. Right away we had each saved over $500 on flights.
Our fights are with WOW airlines and of course, like most airlines nowadays, they have a ton of extra fees. The only thing free is a small personal item or backpack. You can choose your seats, bring a checked bag, and buy food/drinks on the flight all for extra. Some of us picked our seats which were an extra $10 and added one check bag at $70 per couple.
The total for the flights per person was: $320
Where We’re Sleeping
After some research, we realized that hotels were out of our price range and hostels just weren’t what we were looking for with six people so we opted to use Airbnb. Now you can find some amazing Airbnb’s in Iceland. Secluded cabins out in the middle of nowhere and even large houses with hot springs out the back door. We may not have gone that extravagant but we did find some awesome spots. Yes, that means we have a hot tub!
Since we are there for almost a week we’re going to travel around the country and stay in three different places over 5 nights. The way we did this was had one person from the trip find different options and put a link to them in a google doc. We then voted and that was it, easy peasy.
The total cost per person for the Airbnbs was: $230 or $38/night.
Like I said above, we’ll be driving a lot in Iceland. To be honest this is the first time I’ve ever rented a car since doing it under 25 years old in the U.S. is near impossible or just unnecessary. Getting a car was slightly more expensive than I thought it would be but this is where the value of a good credit card comes into play.
My credit card has three great perks to it when it comes to rental cars. The first is they’ll match any rental car price on the internet if you book it through their rewards program. The second is that the cover the rental car insurance up to a $75,000 claim (let’s pray we don’t need that). The last is that they’ll cover any minor fixes you have while you’re on the road up to $50, like a flat tire for instance. Enough about credit card perks though.
The most expensive part about getting a rental car was that we needed one that could hold up to six people. This is practically double the cost of a 4 person sedan but it’s what we need. Where we did save money though is by not getting a 4wd vehicle. We’re going in the summer months and don’t plan on doing anything too crazy so we should be covered.
The total cost per person for the rental car was: $162 or $27/day
We have other minor planned buckets of expenses like gas, food, and any attractions we go to. From everything we’ve read these things are incredibly expensive since it all must be imported. I watched a video where a half dozen Krispy Kreme’s was $16! I think I’ll hold off on those while I’m there. Gas isn’t cheap either, running around $7.50 a gallon. Luckily it is a country full of amazing things to see in nature and will be the main focus of the trip. These, of course, are free. We’ve taken all of this into consideration though, and have planned ahead. Here’s how we’ve thought it through.
Gas total cost per person: $30 or $5/day
Food total cost per person: $200 or $33/day
Attractions total cost per person: $100
Total cost for the trip per person $1,042
There you have it, our budget for Iceland. I should have mentioned this at the beginning of the article but this is just a breakdown of what we think will happen. This is first and foremost a vacation, and before even starting to plan this trip I thought it would be anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000, which we are well below. The plan is to enjoy the trip and if that means a $100 meal then I’m perfectly ok with that.
When we return I’ll do a follow up to this article outlining our actual expenses as well as give you a full summary of the trip, filled with tons of pictures.