So many people are traveling to Iceland, and it’s easy to see why – the country continues to gain popularity for its stunning landscapes and beautiful natural attractions. If you’ve marked Iceland in your bucket list of travel destinations, now’s an excellent time to jump on a flight and live your dreams. What about the cost? Don’t worry, it’s not as expensive as they say – not when you can cut costs on many things and travel on a budget. Here, take a look at some of the best tips you can apply to save costs while enjoying the thrills of an Iceland adventure.

1. Fly to Iceland when the fairs are cheapest

Although travel experts often recommend this tip for every budget vacation, you’d still be surprised by the number of people who overlook it when planning their trip. When it comes to planning an Iceland vacation, booking your flight way ahead of time is often the best way to find a bargain. It’s also important to pay attention to seasons.

For example, visiting Iceland outside the summer high season helps ensure cheaper flights.

Travel experts recommend traveling to Reykjavik in December because of how cheap flights can become this month. They also typically advise against weekend flights because the high traffic in airports on weekends would increase travel costs.

Don’t worry; Iceland still has so much to offer in the off-season, especially to group travelers. Just research more about the country’s best sights and tours before traveling.

2. Rent a car

One of the best tourist activities in Iceland is a road trip around the city. But beyond that, you’ll also need cars to move from one spot to another. Thus, we recommend renting a car during your Iceland vacation. This may seem like self-sabotage for a budget traveler, but it depends on your desired experience. Travelers who want to spend more time around Reykjavik can stick to public transportation because it’s less expensive in these areas.

However, if you’re moving more around the country, you definitely should rent a car. Renting a car is more budget-friendly because it allows you to make detours easily, stop in vital locations, and absorb the beauty of numerous picturesque locations in Iceland. Depending on how you want to spend your Iceland vacation, you can even camp in your rented car, removing the need to stay in hotels.

This point is non-negotiable for group travelers. One car can take three to four people around instead of paying individually for public transport. The only difference is that public transportation allows you to meet and network with locals.

3. Make your own food

Food and drinks can be some of the most expensive aspects of any vacation, especially if you intend to stay more than a few days. Groceries may be expensive in Iceland, but they’re not as expensive as always eating out. In fact, cooking your food helps you eat well and healthily without breaking the bank. Fortunately, there are so many grocery stores in Reykjavik where you can get everything you want, from meat to diaries, canned goods, and sodas.

This tip is especially important for group travelers or people who’ll live in short lets during their stay. Some rental cars also have coolers and camping stoves that you can pull out to make your food. You can bring your small backpacking stove when coming to Iceland. Cooking is an exciting way to add flavor to your Iceland adventure.

4. Visit free places

Iceland’s location on the geologic border between North America and Europe, Iceland means that it has so many tourist sights. However, most tourist sights require access fees to get in. You don’t have to visit all the paid tourist sights in Iceland, not when you can spend quality time with new friends and travel associates in access-free locations.

Iceland has an abundance of hikes and outstanding sights that are free to visit. Some of these places are slightly away from Reykjavik and the Ring Road. Don’t limit your exploration to the country’s capital. Some of the sights that are free to visit include Múlagljúfur Canyon, Askja, Seljavallalaug swimming pool, etc.

5. Go basic on accommodation

Beyond being an important part of every travel, accommodation also takes a significant chunk of your budget. So it’s unsurprising that many people cut back on accommodation costs to reduce travel costs. There are many options for budget travelers. You just need to choose one of the following that best suits your budget and travel goals.

Camping – you can always find campsites on Google Maps. also features sufficient information that can help.

Hostels – as with hotels, you’ll find many hostels in different cities. Although hostels are generally cheaper, the experience varies based on several factors. Check sites like to choose a hostel that suits your needs.

Budget hotels – Iceland and its capital, Reykjavik, have hotels of different sizes to fit different budgets. Finding the best one for your budget is an exciting way to kick off your Iceland adventure. Websites like have all the right information about hotels in Iceland.

6. Bring a Water Bottle

Even the smallest things can quickly add up to make your Iceland adventure expensive, so you must learn to cut off what’s unnecessary when traveling on a budget. You’ll find single-use plastic bottles of water in supermarkets and grocery stores. But you’re traveling on a budget, so every penny counts. Fortunately, tap water is incredibly clean and safe to drink in Iceland.

While packing your traveling essentials, throw in a fancy water bottle that you can fill up from taps. Beyond saving you a lot of money, this option always helps to maintain environmental cleanliness. Some water bottles have built-in filters that help ensure the safety and cleanliness of the water.

7. Buy discounted meat 

Sounds gross, right? Wait until we tell you it’s a regular practice among Iceland visitors. Iceland has very strict food laws that push their authorities to mark meat products as “expired” before their actual expiration date. This doesn’t mean the meat has gone bad, but laws must be kept.

Therefore, grocery stores usually drop meat prices as the expiration date approaches. Discounts can be as much as 50%. Locals also take advantage of these discounts to stock up on meat products. So you should too, especially if you intend to cook most of your meals here (you should).

8. Pack smartly

An Iceland trip is always as good as what you pack for it. So before embarking on your Iceland trip, consider how long you intend to stay and all you want to do in Iceland. Also, consider what the weather will look like when packing. You don’t want to get to your destination only to discover that you’ll need to buy many necessities. Remember how quickly these necessities can add to your expenses.

Planning what activities you want to embark on beforehand will help you ensure you have all the items you’ll need for your trip. So you won’t have to avoid the additional costs of buying in tourist centers.

Don’t forget to bring your hat!

9. Visit off-season 

We do not deny the fact that winter can be chilly in Iceland, but visiting in the off-season is still an excellent way to save money during any vacation. We’ve talked about how it helps you get the best flight deals, but there are many other reasons why we often recommend visiting Iceland in winter. Take a look at some of them:

Northern Lights: An Iceland winter visit allows you to see the popular Northern Lights. The Aurora Borealis is an astonishing display of natural lights in the night sky. The beautiful colors of these spectacles turn into a dazzling display when combined with the long winter nights in Iceland.

Winter activities: Iceland’s a winter country, so most of its activities are best enjoyed in winter. You can enjoy activities like snowmobiling, glacier hiking, ice caving, and even swimming when it gets snowy.

Fewer tourists: unless you enjoy touring alongside a crowd, you may as well leave your trip for winter months because far fewer people fix their Iceland adventures for this time.

10. Bring your camping gear

Camping is not only cheap, but it also offers you the opportunity to spend time in some of the country’s best locations. But you can’t fully enjoy your camping experience without your full camping gear. If you’re visiting in summer, pack the right clothes for it. Also, pack an eye covering, especially if you intend to sleep around the solstice. You also want to pack earplugs for when campsites will become too busy.

The goal is to ensure you have everything you’ll need beforehand since buying in Iceland can shoot up your traveling costs.


Remember that your Iceland experience boils down to adequate planning. You don’t have to spend your fortune to visit the land of glaciers and volcanoes. Just apply the tips in this article, and you’re good to go.

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