Iceland in Winter | Save Money & Car Rental | The Exploring Yogini | The Exploring Yogini

iceland-save-money-car-rental-3Welcome to The Exploring Yogini’s Guide to Backpacking Iceland Part TWO!

Here is the First Guide to Iceland: Planning Your Dream Trip!

Is Iceland high on your bucket list, but you haven’t put too much thought into the beautiful country because it’s too expensive?
What if I told you that Iceland, IS AFFORDABLE.
Continue reading for tips & tricks on how to save money Iceland!

If Iceland is a dream trip, continue reading for ways to save money & car rental information.

When To Visit Iceland:

Save money by visiting when it’s the most cold. Winter is the cheapest season to visit Iceland! If you’re from the frozen tundra like I am, Iceland isn’t as cold as you’d expect it to be. It was very manageable during the day. The only time that I felt overwhelmingly cold was during our Northern Lights tour at night. + BONUS: Have you ever heard of Golden Hour? Photographers describe the hour before sunrise &  sunset as the Golden Hour. Essentially, it’s the best time to take photos. During certain parts of the Winter, you’ll experience Golden Hour all day (like we did in January!)

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See the magnificent Iceland Golden Hour Hues??

Look for your city to see if their is a non-stop route to Reyjavik, Iceland. These routes will be the least expensive, thus saving you more money to spend on your trip!

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Photo Found on Keflavik International Airport’s Website

Fly into Keflavik airport with budget airlines

  • Iceland Air– offers stop overs for free if you’re already going to Europe. A stop over means that when you’re flying to a place in mainland Europe, you can have a mult-day layover in Iceland for free when flying with Iceland Air.
  • Wow Air– They are a new airline, but don’t let that stop you from flying with them.
  • Norweigen Air – They are known for having dirt cheap flights to all over Europe from the U.S.
  • EasyJet – EasyJet is the U.K.’s largest airline & flies 59 million people a year!

Here is a complete list of all of the airlines that fly into Reykjavik.

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Photo found on Keflavik International Airport’s Website

Tip: Use GoogleFlights & search for the cheapest priced airlines. If any of the airlines below don’t show up on the search inquiry, go to the airline’s webpage directly and search for flights.


Iceland Accommodations:

Accommodations is going to be a big portion of your budget. Unfortunately, besides couch surfing, their are few less-expensive options. But don’t let the big price tag on a place to sleep deter you from your dream trip to Iceland!

Hotel

Hotels in Iceland are expensive. On top of that, they wont have a place to make food, thus increasing your cost again.
A private hotel room can cost anywhere from $130-$400 for ONE night in Reykjavik.
A private hotel room in Vik costs around $130-$200 for one night.
My favorite search engine for hotels is Booking.
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In the small town of Hofn, Icelnd.

Hostel

Iceland Hostels are still expensive, but no where near as expensive as hotels! Hostels also give you an option to cook your own food.
A dorm room hostel in Reykjavik can range from $25-$45.
A dorm room hostel in Vik costs about $50.
Tip: Bring your own sheets & towels with you or you’ll get charged a renters fee.
To search for hostels use HostelWorld and Hostelling International Iceland.
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Found on HostelWorld.com

AirBnB

AirBnB is another accommodation option. I love AirBnB because they’re clean, private, & safe. It is also fun to get to know your host, making it easy to get to know a local a little bit better.
You can rent a single room in a house in Reykjavik for a minimum of $40.
To rent a single room in Vik will cost you well over $120.
These rooms will also give you more privacy and access to a kitchen.

For a $20 discount code on AirBnB, sign up here.

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Found on AirBnB.com

Couch Surfing

The cheapest deal is to couchsurf as it is free, however, plan to give your host a gift for their hospitality. Sometimes you stay on a couch & other times your host will have a guest bedroom. It entirely depends on your host.
Iceland has an active couchsurfing community, be sure to book ahead to make sure that your requests are read in an efficient timely manner for planning purposes.
To visit the couchsurfing community wander over here.
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Found on Couchsurfing.com


Food:

Apologies to all foodies, but food in Iceland is EXTREMELY expensive. To save some extra money, stay at a hostel with a kitchen & cook your own food. For your visit, you can live off of relatively inexpensive food like omelets, tuna, potatoes, pastas, sandwiches, etc.

Shop at the BONUS stores for food that’s the least expensive.
These stores can’t be missed as they their logo is a huge, odd-looking pig!


DIY Roadtrip:

Public transport isn’t a big thing in Iceland. Forcing you to go on an expensive tour, hitchike, or rent a car & DIY. We chose to rent a car & it was one of the best decisions that we made!It gave us complete freedom to go where we pleased, it made Iceland much more affordable, & provided a new sense of adventure!

If you’re considering renting a car… DO it! Here is what you need to know about renting a car…

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An Iceland Roadtrip adrenaline rush was buzzing through our bodies.

Car Rental Basics:

  • You have to be at least 20 years old to rent a car. To rent a 4 wheel drive & minibus you must be 23 years old.
  • You do not need an international drivers license.
  • The more friends you ask to come with you, the less you’ll spend on the car rental.  Decide beforehand who will be driving, the more drivers that you add to the car, the more it will cost.
  • If you are under 25, read the fine print of the terms and conditions. Some car rentals will charge you more, others wont, make sure you do your research thoroughly ( I made this mistake in Italy, and it cost us BIG TIME.)

Finding A Car Rental Company:

If you’re planning ahead shop around to find the best deal. Use search sites like Expedia and RentalCars. Also research direct car rental companies such as SADCars (horrible name, right?) or Sixt.

If you’re like Brock and I and plan on the fly, ask your hostel or hotel front desk what their discounts & recommendations are for Car Rental Companies. Brock and I personally rented a car with Europcar the night before we went on our Iceland Road Trip. Fun Fact: Manual cars cost less to rent than automatic cars. Brock insisted that he could learn how to drive a stick shift by watching a Youtube video… Well he forgot to watch the video beforehand, so we’re sitting in Europacar parking lot killing & jerking our car around. A few painful minutes went by & Brock went back into Europacar asking for tips. Europacar handed Brock keys to an automatic car for the same price. It’s a funny story, but I don’t recommend this process. Please note that if you’re under 25 years old, your rental car company may charge you more. When searching for a car, read the terms & conditions to find out whether or not they’ll charge you. Some companies do not charge extra for being under 25.

Car Rental Insurance:

Call your credit card company to see if they offer car rental insurance! You may need to tell them what kind of car you’re driving, where you’re going, & who will be driving. The company may

Other Car Rental Tips:

  • If you were once a Nascar driver, be mindful of your speed. Iceland’s fines for speeding are seriously high, like anywhere from $200-800!
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It blows my mind that we didn’t get into a car accident from gawking at the gorgeous views like these surrounding the highway!

So there you have it! The Exploring Yogini’s guide to Iceland and how to save money & Car Rental information!

Have you read The Exploring Yogini’s guide to Iceland Part 2?? If not find it here! It’s all about where to go!

Next up, check out The Exploring Yogini’s guide to Iceland Part 3! It’s all about what to pack!

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