Trip Hack Guide: ICELAND

Trip Hack Guide: ICELAND

ICELAND- the island of elves, volcanoes, northern lights, waterfalls, moss and unfortunately high prices. Read on before booking anything to save on everything from flights to groceries.


Airfare Hacks:

Cheapest Airfare to Iceland always found using: Skyscanner

Cheapest time to go: July and August 

Most Expensive:  November and December 

When to fly:  Fly out on a Tuesday, return on a Thursday

Best time to buy: Approximately 55 days before departure 

Best Airlines: WOW Airlines is the cheapest airline flying into Reykjavik, Iceland 

Am I getting a good deal? Good deals for this route are priced below $535





Accommodation Hacks:

Budget Accommodation (2-3 Star): A list of the best hotels & hostels between $35-$70 can be found on Skyscanner here

Mid-Range Accommodation (3-4 Star): A list of the best hotels between $85-$140 can be found on Skyscanner here. 

Luxury Accommodation (4-5 Star):  A list of the best hotels between $210-$315 can be found on Skyscanner here. 



Airport Transportation:

Shared Shuttle: Is available from $22 CAD to downtown Reykjavik here.

Private Car: Is available from $155 CAD to downtown Reykjavik here. 

Airport Bus: A one way ride is $30 CAD. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets with Reykjavik Excursions here.  

Tip: it takes anywhere between 50 minutes- 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach downtown Reykjavik from the KEF airport. 



Iceland is famous for it’s dramatic scenery and beautiful towns, and is best enjoyed by renting a car, 4×4 or campervan and exploring the ‘Ring Road’ around Iceland. 

Car Rental: Car rentals start at around $20/day for a 2-door economy car. Before booking, make sure your rentals includes all fuel charges, and unlimited mileage or be prepared for hidden costs! Cheapest car rental rates can be found using Skyscanner’s car hire comparison here. 

Campervan: One of the best ways to experience Iceland (and save money on accommodations)! Hire a camper van and go, sleep and eat wherever you want. There are a number of campervan options and the best place to compare local and international motor home brands is through the Camper Vans search engine here. 



Food & Drinks:

Fast Food Meal: $15/person CAD

Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $25/person CAD

Beer: $12.00 CAD

Cocktail: $8-10 each

As recommended, you’l save a lot more money buying groceries and cooking on your own. However, we know this gets tiresome after a long day of travel, and recommend the following delicious food spots for budget travellers:

1. Bæjarins Beztu hot dogsLocals say they make the “best hot dog in the world.” Most travellers try it and have to agree- so don’t miss this popular spot while in Reykjavik!  A hot dog and coke will set you back around $7 CAD.

2. Vegamót Bistro: An affordable and adorable little bistro popular with the younger crowd. You get tremendous value, and the menu offers something new everyday. Most dishes are around $20-30, which is a lot lower than nearby restaurants.

3. Tommi’s Burger Joint: The go-to burger joint when in Reykjavik. Pretty cheap (by Iceland standards) and is famous for their special sauce. A whole meal including a burger, fries and pop will set you back around $18 CAD. 

4. Ostabúðin fish and soup: Some say it might serve the best fish in Iceland, and definitely the best in Reykjavik. This Ostabúðin shop (meaning cheese in Icelandic) recently branched into the seafood world- now there’s two shops side by side offering amazing cheese and fish meals. Lunches are around $20, with dinner being a lot more expensive.

5. BSÍ Drive-Through: Yes, this is a bus station drive-through..hugely popular for their menu selection at an affordable price. Most budget travellers cross paths at this central bus station, making it a popular spot for food. They literally have everything from burgers to sheep’s face (a traditional food). If you dare try it, you can get a can of soda and a sheep’s face for around $12 CAD. 


 Weather In Iceland: 

  • July is the hottest month in Reykjavik with an average temperature of 11°C (52°F) 
  • The coldest is January at  0°C (32°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 12 in March.
  • The wettest month is January with an average of 50mm of rain.
  • The best month to swim in the sea is in July when the average sea temperature is 11°C (53°F).


 Money Saving Tips:

Don’t drink: As outlined in the prices above…drinking REALLY adds up in Iceland. Save some cash, and slow down on the alcohol or leave this for another country. Besides, you’ll probably be too tired after exploring the beautiful country all day.

Buy groceries & cook at home: Stock up at a grocery store upon arriving and avoid eating out. Check out Bonus, Iceland’s budget grocery store which can be found outside most major towns.

Eat the hotdogs:  One of Iceland’s local specialties. It’s not the healthiest food, but they’ll fill you up, come with lots of toppings and are readily available at most food stops. They typically come in at around $5 CAD which is significantly less than all other food options in Iceland.

Set a price alert: With the introduction of WOW Airlines, flights to Iceland are now extremely affordable. But they can also fluctuate by the hundreds if you’re booking at the wrong moment. After you know your travel dates, be sure to create a price alert with Skyscanner  to ensure you’re getting your flight at the lowest price. Learn how to do it here. 




Ready for some travel planning?! Check out our itinerary guide Iceland In A Week: The Ultimate Road-Trip Guide Through Volcanoes, Icebergs &  Waterfalls.


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