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Trip Report Iceland: 15-day expense report and tips on cheap travel

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Hi All,

My blog post is here (with photos including excel report):
http://www.troupinaround.com/hiking/iceland-15-day-expense-report-tips-cheap-travel/
but I will be posting snippets here in the forum.

We went on a 2 week trip to Iceland in early August (summer in Iceland).

Iceland is not a cheap country to visit, but just like anything else in life it is about setting your priorities. If you want to travel Iceland for longer than 4-5 days and you are on a budget, I’d suggest stack ranking the things you want to do or places you want to visit. Like most tourist destinations, once you are in country you will be overrun with tour offers and expensive travel packages. You’ll find a lot of blogs online that will demystify travel from place to place and provide lower cost accommodations. In our case, we didn’t care about doing excursions such as whale watching, glacier walks or helicopter rides; although I’m sure these things are fantastic. We wanted to focus our trip on hiking as much as humanely possible given the allure of the wild, volcanic and raw landscape of Iceland. We’d also purchased a lightweight tent, so we were anxious to try our hand at multi-day camping. We generally do day hikes while traveling and/or we look for treks with huts along the route, so the multi-day backpacking in Iceland was quite the experience.

To give you an idea how our expenses broke out, below is a 15 day expense report. The first week we backpacked in the highlands area and the second week, we took a bus back to Reykjavik, rented a car and then, drove around the island. As you can tell, we stuck to a relatively cheap backpacker budget of $56 a day/person (not including airfare). We barely spent any money on lodging for 2 weeks as we camped most of the time (camped 13 out of the 15 days. In some cases, we did free wild camping). Most of our money was spent on transportation – airfare, car rental for 7 days and bus (that shuttled us from the airport and to the trailheads). Our food budget was low as we cooked most of our meals on a camping stove. I am sure there are experienced backpackers/hikers who can do the same trip even cheaper by doing couch surfing and hitch-hiking. Renting a car gave us the option of escaping the rain and loading up on food and drinks.

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