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Essentials for Your Trip to Iceland

April 30, 2017
what to bring to iceland

Iceland has grown into a popular tourist destinations in the past few years and I think it was largely inspired by the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Highlighting Iceland's beautiful and shocking landscapes, the film showed a lot of people a country they really didn't know much about. Iceland hasn't been that forgiving of or exited about the influx of tourists but here are a few essentials so you're not unprepared or overwhelmed.

iceland packing list

Travel Adapter & Voltage Converter

Iceland has the same style plugins as Germany, France, and most of Europe and Russia with the two circular holes. Outlets in Iceland produce between 220 volts so make sure to check if you need a power converter. To do this, check your specific piece of electronics you want to plug in. American outlets provide between 110-120 volts so you can easily fry your electronics or adapter (Like my mom did in Scotland). Do NOT mess around with electricity. You can easily be killed by using an outlet incorrectly.

This one below is an adapter and a voltage converter.

An Anorak

Anoraks aren't worn so much inside of the United States where many people simply use sweatshirts or outer waterproof shells. Even if you are going in the summer, be prepared for rain or other inclement weather. Iceland is pretty windy so having a longer coat will really help to keep the cold out. Trust me!

Long Underwear/Leggings

When I say it's windy in Iceland, I don't just mean there is a nice breeze every once and a while. I'm talking about gusting winds and surprise storms. Bring along a few pairs of leggings-better yet, get some fleece lined leggings to keep you warm and cozy.

Waterproof Shoes

It does depend on what you plan on doing, but because of the frequent changes in weather and large amount of annual precipitation, I recommend that at least one pair of your shoes is water proof. If you are going hiking, you will need a couple. You may even need boots! Depends what you are doing and when.

iceland packing list
Eastern fjords in June

Long socks

You know that gap between your socks and your jeans that lets in the cool air to tickle your ankles? I hate that. It's even worse in Iceland. And, for the record, these totally saved my life in Scotland. I have super sensitive and ticklish feet so I have like a hundred pairs of these and I like them since they are super soft and squishy! But obv, it's socks. There's a lot of choices.

Scarf/Shemagh/Turkish Towel

I am all about flexibility and multi-purpose items so I like to bring my Turkish Towel so I can use it as a beach towel, a blanket, a scarf, hell I even used it as a poncho/over shirt in Scotland. They come in all different colors and patterns so grab a couple! I love these.

Go-Pro & Other Camera Equipment

Iceland is breathtaking. I can't explain how beautiful, unique, and rugged it is. You have to bring some kind of camera or you will regret it! Before I splurged on a Go-Pro I used this and it worked great! But, I did end up upgrading and have no regrets. Now, as far as cameras go, check out our post on what's in my camera bag for some tips or some help on choosing what kind of camera is best for you.

Travel Guide

Iceland is fairly new to the big tourist scene and you will notice that their infrastructure isn't quite ready for the influx of tourists it has received. Signs to your favorite destinations may not exist! I don't always bring travel guides but I recommend it for Iceland.

A Flexible Diet

Iceland, in many areas, can be desolate and even barren. Iceland has been isolated since the country's birth and we have learned not to waste anything. It wasn't easy to hop over to our neighbors or pillage another country for what we needed. As a result, the Vikings and their descendants use nearly every part of the animal. This means you will encounter sheep head, blood pudding, eye balls, fermented shark meat, and bread you cook in the ground (geothermal heating, woohoo!). Icelanders are very hospitable and these foods take a long time to cook from scratch. Keep an open mind and be nice! :) 

iceland packing list
what to pack for iceland

Need more for your trip to Iceland? Check out these related posts: 

-What NOT to do in Iceland

-Icelandic Insults (I recommend NOT using these unless you have friends/family over there!) 

-How to Get to the Sólheimasandur Plane Crash

Siggi Einarson

My name is Siggi-dubbed by my American friends because of the Icelandic yogurt-I am a writer, polyglot, and aspiring expat, not a cup of yogurt (unfortunately).

My love for travelling began with a trip to Iceland and Sweden to visit my family when I was just 15 years old. I spent so long dreaming of the possibilities of life abroad but I always figured these dreams were too far reached. Flash forward almost 10 years, here I am again, both cursing and thanking this damn travel bug.

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