Planning Our Trip To Iceland.
It’s over nine years now since I was last in the airport, we spent a week touring stud farms and show jumping yards in Germany. That’s the last time I left the country, I love to travel , going at least once a year somewhere foreign before Sid arrived. Nine years is long enough to not travel outside of the country so I wrote a travel bucket list last year and Iceland was top of the list. I had heard how expensive it is as a country, from food to shopping to fuel for your car but that didn’t put me off. Also I never knew till last year you could book your holiday and pay for it each week this was totally new to me. What stone had I been living under ?. With this new found knowledge I went to see my local travel agent and we chatted about Iceland, how much it was going to cost and how many days to go for. I came home delighted with myself and asked all the farmers who would like to come with me, the only taker was the middle little farmer ( he is 21yrs old ).
That was decided we were going to Iceland one year later. We saved every week from October till August to pay off our travel and hotel. As holidays go it was expensive for our flights, transfers from airport to the hotel and back, hotel bed and breakfast for three nights and travel insurance cost 1400.00 euro for the two of us. I didn’t mind because we were off to Iceland a dream location for photographs. Then came the trips to go sight seeing, these are just a mental price. Each week I went to drop our savings into the travel agent they kept pushing for me to book these trips early because they get full really early. The price for these was so much more than what we found online later. I know they need to make a living but the price to book day trips through a travel agent is a rob for Iceland anyway. When I eventually had had enough of being asked to book these trips i started to look up day trips myself and was I shocked. We could get the same trips as the travel agent for 200.00 euro less.
I looked on Trip advisor for day trips around Iceland all leaving Reykjavik hotels and these would cost 360.00 euro for the two of us. At 200.00 euro less than the travel agent I still thought this was a good deal. What I did notice was that these trips weren’t overly full for when we were going so I left booking it which was the best thing I ever did. We will be there the start of November when it isn’t the main tourist season so maybe thats why the tours aren’t full yet. The next thing I did was look at all YouTube videos, blog posts and anything else I could get my hands on to see what we should do, where was the cheapest to eat, what we needed to see and what we could miss. What I found out is food is going to be expensive, eating Gluten free for me might be a challenge, the weather changes from extremes in a heart beat, you can drink the water out of the taps, it will be dark early and will possibly be down to 2c degrees.
So armed with this knowledge I started to look up food shops to see could I buy snack s to take on our day trips, I bought myself thermals, waterproof hiking boots and a ski jacket so we are ready for the weather. I looked at all my camera settings so I hopefully will get the best photos and I looked a little closer at the day trips and the reviews of them. While they were mostly good a lot of people felt they were rushed from one spot to the other because they had so much to fit into the day. This got me think about car hire, tourists come here and hire cars all the time surely we could do the same over there. So that was my next research, car hire in Iceland. The reviews I found when I started looking about car hire were not good to be honest. They had a lot of horror stories about huge fees for damage that was already done to the cars. Stories of cars breaking down and nobody to help, emails not being answered and long waits at the airport for pick ups. I looked at all the rental sites I could find most had very mixed reviews. One did catch my eye and that was Northbound. Their reviews over all seemed good, nearly all were positive so I took a look at what they had to offer. Their site was also a nice one to navigate and they have loads of extras like advice for visiting Iceland and they offer trips as well. I still haven’t booked our northern lights tour yet.
This was probably when I knew renting was the only way to go the savings you could make between booked trips was huge. This saving did depend on what type of car or jeep you wanted to hire. We looked through all the jeeps because we didn’t want a car and while a lovely Volvo, automatic jeep would have been fab to drive we decided on a Suzuki Vitara. We chose the basic insurance and had to add the middle farmer as a second driver. It came in total to 131.00 euro for the four days hire. This was a huge saving on any day trips we were going to book with either the travel agent or on Trip advisor. So with the jeep booked the panic set in with me anyway about driving on the wrong side of the road and at times depending on where we went possibly on gravel. The middle farmer of course is delighted with this and can’t wait to go driving in a different country.
So with everything booked I emailed the hotel to see if they would mind us taking some photos of the hotel so I could use them here and on my Instagram and I also emailed the car hire company and asked them the same. I wasn’t sure the rules or whatever you would call it about using their vehicles in my photos. They replied straight away and said that we could take as many photos as we wanted with the jeep in it, that was no problem.
Now all thats left to do is plan our day trips to make the most of the day light hours we will have. We are arriving at lunch time on the Thursday and leaving early on the Sunday morning so we are hoping to do a Northern lights tour on the Thursday night and then drive Friday and Saturday to see what we can see. I am really looking forward to heading there now and can’t wait to explore such a beautiful country. So expect a few Iceland posts over the coming weeks.
Have you been to Iceland? Do you have any tips for someone going for the first time?
** When I emailed Northbound about using their jeep in my photos they replied and offered our jeep hire for half price and added extra insurance which I have since found out everyone should get. All they asked in return was a clear and honest review on either Trip advisor or Google when our trip is over. I explained that I wasn’t emailing to get something off and that we would be honest either way but thanked them for their offer. **