If you’re looking for a fun way to see Iceland on a budget, a camper van trip is a great option. Just make sure you’re fully insured and have a good understanding of what to expect from an Iceland road trip.
Plan Your Trip in Advance
When traveling on a budget, many ways exist to cut costs. One of the most significant expenses in Iceland is gas, and planning your trip ahead of time can help you save.
For example, you can rent a car with high mileage per day to reduce fuel costs. You can also select a diesel vehicle, which is generally cheaper than gasoline. Additionally, little things like driving efficiently – avoiding pressing the accelerator too often and accelerating slowly when necessary – can help you reduce fuel costs.
Once you arrive at your camper van rental location, inspect the vehicle for damage before heading off on your adventure. This will help prevent you from getting a bill for something you didn’t cause later. If you need help inspecting a vehicle, ask your camper van company for a briefing.
Save Up for Gas
Aside from being a very convenient way to see the place, camper rental in Iceland can also be incredibly affordable. Compared to the cost of food at restaurants or staying in guesthouses, it’s worth considering!
However, saving up for fuel is essential to cover your driving needs while traveling in Iceland.
In addition, try to avoid purchasing unnecessary items for your trip. For example, wait to buy a new sleeping bag just because it’s cheaper than the one you have at home. This could make a big difference in the gas you use on your trip. Also, when slowing down, take your foot off the gas pedal and coast; this can reduce your vehicle’s usage by up to 25%!
Cook in Your Campervan
One of the best ways to travel to Iceland on a budget is by renting a camper van. This is an excellent way to save money and allows you to explore the country’s unique and breathtaking landscapes at your own pace.
Many road-trippers rent a camper van to fully experience Iceland’s Ring Road and other regions like the Snaefellsnes peninsula and the Western Fjords.
When booking a camper van, look for one with unlimited mileage. This is important because driving around Iceland can be time-consuming and expensive, especially on F roads. A company with unlimited mileage will ensure you stay caught up by extra charges for overage.
Stay in Budget-Friendly Campsites
As any wanderlust knows, a trip to Iceland should be on everyone’s bucket list. To make the trip as budget-friendly as possible, you should camp at a campsite instead of a hotel. This way, you can cook your meals in the onsite kitchens and save money on food.
It would be best if you also looked for a campsite with facilities that you value the most. For example, find a campground with a shower and WiFi. These amenities are more standard in Iceland than in North America, so you should be prepared to pay more.
Generally, the best time to visit Iceland for camping is during the summer months (June – August). The weather will be warmer, and there are more attractions open. It’s worth noting, however, that some campsites close during the wintertime.
Drive a Manual Vehicle
Most camper vans in Iceland are manual (stick shift), so make sure someone in your party knows how to drive one before booking. Automatic vehicles are more expensive.
A 4×4 car is not required if you plan to travel around Ring Road or Golden Circle. Most roads are paved and simple to maneuver in a car. However, if you plan to drive down F roads, be careful.
Also, be aware of the extreme weather in Iceland. Windy weather can blow open doors backward, bending the hinges or even ripping them off completely. Be sure to park in a protected area when not driving. Insurance from the rental company typically doesn’t cover damage caused by extreme weather.
Get a Travel Credit Card
Getting a travel credit card for your trip to Iceland is one of the best ways to save money on airfare, lodging, and excursions. These cards offer competitive redemption rates for travel rewards, which you can use to pay for tours, saunas, and other activities.
You don’t need cash in Iceland, as nearly all businesses and restaurants accept card payments. This means you can avoid exchanging currency and enjoy your trip more.
Alcohol prices in Iceland are exceptionally high, so stocking up on spirits and beers at Keflavik Airport’s duty-free stores is a great way to save. You can also add a camping card to your camper rental at several locations, including campsites, tourist information offices, and 10-11 grocery stores. The card allows you to park for free or for a fee at designated sites nationwide.