5 Things To Bring On Your Trip to Iceland
Before I went to Iceland, I had no idea what to bring. I was reading blogs and travel sites and they all seemed to have slightly different opinions. Eventually I realized that the people traveling from places like California or Florida found it a lot colder (no matter what time of year) than those from places in Canada or other parts of Europe.
I took everyone's packing lists with a grain of salt and ultimately determined what was necessary for the type of trip I'd be taking, as well as taking into account my own style and personality.
The list I ended up with turned out to work pretty perfectly for me. There wasn't really anything that I was missing, except maybe one extra shirt since my clumsy nature got things dirtier than planned. Even then, we were staying somewhere with a washing machine so it wasn't a big deal.
Iceland's weather doesn't vary a ton, but there will be times when it's colder and you'll need more layers - AKA Winter. But regardless if you're traveling in the warmer months or the cold months, here are a few things you'll need.
Waterproof /Weatherproof Jacket
It's pretty much a given that you'll be visiting a few waterfalls in Iceland. They are everywhere and a major part of the reason people choose to visit the country. But in order to enjoy the experience of getting up close and personal with hundred of thousands of gallons of water tumbling down, you're going to need a jacket or coat that keeps you dry.
Even if you somehow don't visit or walk around any of the waterfalls, you'll still need a good water and weatherproof jacket for Iceland's notoriously unpredictable weather. High winds, rain and everything in between is possible. A good, durable jacket will be your best friend!
Because of that famous wind and weather, a good hat will serve you well, too. It can be a baseball cap, beanie or fur-lined trapper - just make sure it's something that you're comfortable with.
Even if the jacket you bring has a hood, a hat is still necessary since hoods can get in the way and rarely stay on in the crazy weather.
Personally, I took a lightweight beanie that I ended up wearing a lot, and I bought a really thick, nice one while I was there (mostly as a souvenir, but I ended up wearing it a few times).
Iceland's terrain is rough and natural, and you'll find yourself walking along pebbly beaches, rocky moss covered land, and along unpaved paths all over the place. Have some sturdy shoes that can withstand some serious abuse, and make sure they're waterproof so they can take you close to waterfalls, the ocean, and so you don't have to worry about wet socks and feet.
Another big draw to Iceland is the large amount of beautiful scenery. A lot of this scenery and the cool spots require a bit of a hike, and that's not something you want to do in your heavy jeans or nice clothes. Bring some layers that will keep you warm but wick away any extra moisture, and bring something other than jeans to keep you comfortable.
For my fellow ladies, a good pair of full length athletic leggings are perfect since they can be worn for outdoor activities or just to be comfortable. I love my pair from Girlfriend Collective and am planning on getting at least one more for my upcoming trips. (Girlfriend Collective isn't currently taking any more pre-orders, but they will be officially launching soon!) I also love any of the Stretch Zion pants from Prana.
For guys, it can be hard to break away from those heavy jeans. I'd suggest looking at some outdoor, hiking pants that are lightweight and dry quickly if they get wet. There are also Stretch Zion pants for men from Prana, which are comfortable and versatile so you don't have to pack too many pairs of bottoms.
A swimsuit? For ICELAND? Well, yes. Definitely. One of the Icelander's favorite activities is taking advantage of the many natural hot springs around the island. It's always a good idea to have your swimsuit with you, since you don't know when you might have a spontaneous stop for a dip. If you have the same sort of luck as me, you'll want to bring two in case something happens to the only one you have and then you're screwed.... *still not over this, sigh*.
If you're planning on visiting the Blue Lagoon, Secret Lagoon or any of the many other swimming pools and hot springs, don't forget to bring a dry bag or plastic bag to keep your wet things in afterwards. Nobody wants a wet suit mingling with their dry things (and electronics), and you definitely don't want to have to wear it for the rest of the hike back.
Please, please, please don't leave your camera behind for a trip to Iceland. Don't be intimidated by the pros you see everywhere - it's a beautiful country that is used to having pictures taken! Have your camera easily accessible everywhere you go because you never know when you're going to round a corner or crest a hill and be surprised with one of the most incredible views of your life.
Iceland is a hot spot for travelers these days, so if you've been I'd love to hear the things you brought that ended up being necessary.
I hope to go back and explore more of this amazing country someday - hopefully sooner rather than later!
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