Iceland has much to offer the super-saver backpacker, including FREE natural beauty, a robust gastronomic scene and many outdoor activities. But how can you stay within your budget? Several methods exist for doing such. Some involve cooking your meals, staying in hostels or camping and others include taking tours for free.
Rent a Car
Car rentals are one of the most popular ways to explore Iceland, and they offer several benefits for the super-saver backpacker. They’re easier to drive, cheaper, and allow you to see more of the country in less time. Rental cars are also convenient if you’re traveling with a group and want to split the cost of a vehicle between everyone. If you have a lot of people with you, renting a larger SUV or van is likely your best option for transportation throughout the island. You’ll find various car rental companies in Iceland, but you’ll probably get the best deals if you book online. It will ensure you get the type of car you want and that it’s in stock when you arrive in the country. When booking your car, consider the damage waiver included in the rate. It is a great way to get coverage in case of an accident and can make a big difference if your travels turn into a disaster. Consider adding a driver to your trip if you anticipate doing a lot of driving. It will allow you to split the costs of a car and reduce the amount of insurance you need. If hiking or driving in the mountains, consider a 4×4 van rental in Iceland. These vehicles are more capable of handling the harsh terrain and rocky F-roads you’ll be taking in Iceland.
Stay in Hostels
Hostels are one of the most budget-friendly and comfortable ways to stay in Iceland. They are typically cheaper than hotels and offer amenities like a lounge area, free WiFi, a bar, and more to ensure a great time while staying in Iceland on a budget. The Reykjavik downtown Midborg neighborhood is where you’ll find some of the best hostels in Iceland. It’s also a great place to shop, eat, and explore the nightlife. Located inside the Thorsmork Nature Reserve, this Iceland backpackers hostel is perfect for those who love to hike in nature. There are hiking trails within walking distance of the hostel, and you’ll save a lot of money on public transportation by staying here. You’ll also find a hot spring to melt away the cold and a sauna to relax in after a day of exploring. You can even get a massage from the staff here.
Rent a Camper Van
Renting a camper van can be an excellent option for the Super-Saver Backpacker, as it gives you lots of space and the freedom to travel anywhere. It’s a great way to get around Iceland on a budget and see all the best spots without breaking the bank. There are many great options for renting a campervan in Iceland, so research and find one that suits your budget and style. Some offer flexible pricing and include things like airport shuttles if this is something you need. It might be worth investing in extra insurance if you plan to drive a lot in your campervan. Be sure to check with your rental company about what is included. Iceland food isn’t as cheap as it is in most of Europe (last time we were there, a loaf of bread was about $4), so it’s worth checking out the latest prices for groceries before you go to see how much it will cost you to cook your meals on your trip.
Cook Your Food
If you want to save money during your Iceland trip, cooking your food is excellent. It’s also a great way to ensure you eat the healthiest foods possible. Traditional food in Iceland is full of interesting and exciting flavors you’ll likely never have experienced. Some are a local twist on popular dishes worldwide, while others are more unusual and controversial. Many residents consume traditional Icelandic food at home, with straightforward and healthful ingredients. Meat is slow-cooked in the oven and served with potatoes and fresh vegetables grown in greenhouses using geothermal energy. One of the most traditional meals in Iceland is kjotsupa or lamb soup. It’s an amazingly warming winter dish made from stricter cuts of lamb and various vegetables and herbs. It’s delicious and comforting, making it a great meal when you feel cold and hungry after hiking or exploring. It’s also a delightful dish to eat as a snack or for lunch when you want something light and hearty. If you’re looking for a healthy, easy, and delicious meal while traveling in Iceland, hot spring rugbraud is a must-try! This crustless bread is baked in a geothermal oven, so it’s deliciously sweet. Try smearing on some butter and thinly sliced smoked Arctic char for an extra flavorful bite!