Iceland Trip Cost: Travel on a Budget
Iceland is the Land of Fire and Ice. With massive geothermal systems under the island and 30 different volcanic systems, this is a country of unmatched outdoor wonders.
Before planning your trip to the country, you’re likely wondering, “Is Iceland expensive?”
The answer is yes. Iceland is one of the most expensive countries in the world, but you can visit Iceland on a budget.
The cost of a trip to Iceland depends on your flexibility, how long you stay, and what you decide to do.
Let’s dive in and take a look at what you need to factor in as you estimate your Iceland trip cost.
Your airfare costs depend entirely on where you’re coming from. If you are already in Europe, you can pay anywhere from $100 to $300 for a round-trip ticket. It depends on the season and the country of origin.
On the other hand, our North American cousins can expect to pay anywhere from $300-$500 for a round-trip ticket.
You can occasionally find some fantastic deals on airfare, though!
Taking seasonality out of the equation, let’s take a look at the average accommodation prices.
We estimate that the average accommodation cost ranges from between $35-50 per day in shoulder season and $50-$65 per day in high season.
This assumes you’re staying in hostels or splitting a private room as a couple in a basic hotel or guesthouse.
For travelers who prefer hotels or more upmarket accommodation, expect to pay anywhere from $100-$200 a night.
Your taste for luxury will have a significant impact on your Iceland vacation cost.
Sadly, public transportation is severely lacking in Iceland. Most tourists choose to rent a car and drive around the island. Basic insurance and a standard car will cost $40-$50 per day per person. You can reduce the cost to visit Iceland by taking advantage of big discounts during the shoulder season.
You also need to take into account fuel costs. Average prices in 2020 were $1.75/liter or $7 per gallon.
Car Rental vs. Guided Tour Costs
Guided tours are typically cheaper than renting a car. Bus tours are advertised everywhere in Reykjavik, and this competition drives prices down. Tours can be 20%-50% cheaper than the daily costs of renting a car. However, to reduce the cost to travel to Iceland, you will sacrifice a level of freedom.
Alternatively, why not get the best of both worlds by renting a camper van instead?
Many budget travelers choose to rent camper vans so they can cut out their accommodation costs. Camper vans are not that much more expensive than cars, and there are plenty of places to pitch up for the night.
A big part of your Iceland trip cost will come from food. It should not surprise you that food is expensive here. Everything is imported, which drives up costs, and these costs are passed on to you.
The best piece of advice is to cook your own meals. Groceries are significantly cheaper than restaurant meals. In Reykjavik, they’re up to 20% cheaper than they are in the rest of the country.
Eating out may be desirable, but prepare to pay $25-30 per person per meal in a budget restaurant.
Your trip to Iceland cost will be heavily impacted based on where you choose to eat.
Thankfully, the majority of Iceland’s natural attractions are completely free of charge to enter. Budget travelers don’t need to pay for any extra activities to make the most of their Icelandic adventure.
The cost of day tours depends on the provider, where you are going, and what you want to do. Competition in this business is fierce.
Expect to pay anywhere from $20-$50 per day per trip, on average.
How Much Does a Trip to Iceland Cost?
So, how much money for a trip to Iceland do you need?
The following numbers are based on two people traveling on a budget, cooking their own meals, avoiding expensive hotels, and not taking into account guided tours. Airfare costs are not included.
Accommodation – $40-$50 per night
Transport – $50-$70 per day.
Food – $15-$35 per day.
Activities – $0-$15 per day.
An iceland trip can be done cheaper if you choose to camp, hitchhike, or even couchsurf, but most travelers should expect to spend $105 per day during shoulder season or up to $200 a day during peak season.
Tips for Traveling to Iceland on a Budget
Here are some additional tips to keep your Iceland trip cost down:
- Travel during the shoulder seasons.
- Skip the expensive tourist attractions such as the Blue Lagoon.
- Look for flight deals in advance.
- Travel Iceland in a camper van instead of paying for accommodation.
- Cook your own meals.
- Choose group tours instead of private guides.
We understand how difficult it can be to keep your Iceland trip cost down. But that does not mean you can’t find ways to travel the Land of Fire and Ice on a budget.
Consider renting an Iceland camper van for your journey. Just choose a camper and travel from place to place. Explore at your own pace and sample the sights of which you’ve dreamed.
Contact us to find out more about camper vans for your Iceland adventure.