Can I afford a trip to Iceland?

Mar 1st, 2012, 11:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Can I afford a trip to Iceland?

Hi! I was so excited to begin planning a trip to see beautiful Iceland, My husband, myself, and our 3 teenagers were planning to fly from NY to London and after a week there, fly to Iceland for another week before heading home.
Well, I just received a proposal from the travel agent, and it seems Iceland costs more than $2,000.00 per day. Ouch! Granted we usually need two hotel rooms when we travel, and I had asked for some private tours, and to rent a vehicle so we can do some touring on our own but still... I also just asked that we stay at two different locations, at preferably 3 or 4 star hotels. Now I'm wondering if there is a better way to see Iceland. Maybe one guide for the whole trip? Maybe only do self-touring? Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated!
azh111 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2012, 11:34 AM
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well you can do it yourselves, as we did. [click on my screen name to find my trip report from our family trip to Iceland about 3 years ago].

we planned it mainly using accommodation booked through the icelandic farm association:

they offer a lot of different types of accommodation from camping upwards, but we stayed in guest houses which were quite reasonable, for Iceland.

i see that on their website they offer some packages, which may be easier than doing it all yourself.

there are some other threads as well about trips to iceland which you could also look at; one where I think someone did a guided tour.

good luck with your trip. don't be put off because your agent wanted megabucks. Iceland isn't cheap but it doesn't have to be ruinous!
annhig is offline  
Mar 4th, 2012, 01:28 AM
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We did a self drive for a about a week in 2007 it cost just under A$2000 for the week plus lunch and evening meals. We generally took extra breakfast from the hotels (I can hear the gasps already) and and a Thermos as well. Many petrol stations etc have a soup and bread deals that are reasonble. Pretty much all food is imported and therefore expensive. A packed lunch is advisable as many places do not have cafes etc. like you would epect elswhere. We also went in September just as the summer season had closed.

It is very easy to get around and see things. But be warned many places are remote and it does take many hours of driving to get from one place to the next.

The real question is can you afford not to go? It is one THE most brilliant palces in the world. Think laterally and you will have a great time. Be ready for snow as well.
peterSale is offline  
Mar 7th, 2012, 01:35 PM
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Thank you annhig and peterSale. Thanks for the tips!! I will definitely try to make this work!
azh111 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2012, 02:10 PM
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its Iceland, how can you afford not to?
travel44255 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2012, 01:58 PM
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Iceland is where you go when you've been everywhere else, or if you're flying Icelandic Air. Have you ? and are you ? I've been twice, and my daughter more recently, in 2000 when she paid $15 for a bowl of soup. But, maybe with the crash of their financial system everything is more reasonable.
Bedar is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2012, 02:26 PM
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One thing to bear in mind is that, unlike the US, the price you see in restaurants etc is the price you pay. Taxes are included and tipping is a big no-no. Your travel agent is either an idiot or is trying to fleece you. You can get much better value deals yourself online.
Gordon_R is offline  
Mar 24th, 2012, 08:51 PM
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I went to iceland in 2010 and yes the prices were a lot better than what i had heard about and researched in the early 2000's when a foot long sub would run you $18. It was still $9-10 when we went, still expensive for my standards here in the midwest. So it still was not a "cheap" vacation, but "cheaper."
travel44255 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2012, 09:50 PM
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A co-worker was in Iceland for a week this past summer - it was his fifth trip and said prices have come down considerably since their financial crisis. I have been there 3 times but not in recent years and even then, it was not particularly difficult to not spend more than I would have in any large city in the US.
basingstoke2 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 08:55 AM
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Be sure to check out package deals through Iceland Air. You might even consider a package tour round trip from London. I am visiting my daughter in London and we have one scheduled in 2 weeks. Price is 800 pounds for both of us and includes air, 4 nights in a modest but nice hotel with breakfast and a day-long tour. Granted it is off-season and only 4 days but it would have been less if we had booked sooner. $14,000 for 1 week?! Maybe for a nice African safari, but Iceland?!
btw, is travel agent planning your week in London too? Consider an apartment for the 5 of you and gets lots of help from Fodors.
susan4 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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We were in Iceland for 4 nights last summer before flying onto London & Paris and there were 6 of us.
We shared a 3 bed room apartment in downtown Reykjavik, hired a car for a couple of days and self toured, ate 'at home' most days or bought street food (hot dogs) or deli food from the local grocery store.

We took one tour (the Golden Circle @midnight with Greyline) and really enjoyed being driven around these fabulous sites. It was just enough time to see everything but self touring would have allowed us more time to explore areas we wanted to more fully.

Expensive? Yes, car hire for 6 is! Book early! The apartment was reasonably priced, fabulous and I highly recommend the host, Edda. Food can be expensive if you eat out all the time but no more so than NYC or London. That's the link to our apartment
sassy_cat is offline  
Apr 11th, 2012, 12:59 PM
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Hi take look at my site and get some ideas
joelsson is offline  
May 2nd, 2012, 04:56 PM
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Anyone ever been to the Westman Islands? How did you get there?
dutyfree is offline  
May 3rd, 2012, 04:37 AM
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Hi dutyfree - yes we have!

we flew from what may be the world's smallest airport in the south west of Iceland [though the one on Tresco, in the Scillies would give it a run for its money] in a very small plane, to the main island, spent a few hours there, and then flew back in an even smaller plane.

if you time it right, [we didn't] you can do a boat trip round the islands, visit the natural history museum, [lots of stuffed birds and not much else] drink some coffee, and walk up a hill. click on my screen name and go to my trip report if you want to do more.

honestly, it wasn't the best thing we did in Iceland; if you want to see birds, go to the western fjords and/or get the ferry the goes between the snaefellness peninsular and the fjords. THAT was one of the best things i've done anywhere.
annhig is offline  
May 3rd, 2012, 07:48 PM
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Thanks annhig for the info! Hubs is half Swede/halfIcelandic and the past generations were from the Westman Islands.
Delta flies there nonstop out of JFK this summer and my kids can fly out of the UK so was thinking that it would be a great place to meet up as my daughter is a marine geologist?
How many days would you plan for if you wanted to hit the geologic wonders and mainly stay in the north part of the island? thanks-
dutyfree is offline  
May 3rd, 2012, 08:28 PM
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Its far better to lower your standards of how many stars a hotel should be and where you eat most your meals, and also maybe take advantage of your rented car to reduce how many expensive tours you take, rather then not to go because of the high cost. As long as you have a warm clean bed the important thing is exploring a new place as a family...
Todd_Jenkins is offline  
May 4th, 2012, 07:59 AM
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wow dutyfree, sounds like a great idea.

my advice would be to look at the brochures of one of the holiday companies that specialises in Iceland, not necessarily to book with them, but to get an idea of where they go and what there is to do there. was one we found, but I'm sure there are others. for booking accommodation we used who have listings for all sorts from hotels to farm guest houses [very nice] to camp sites.

the obvious geological site to start with is the place where the tectonic plates meet at Phingvelir [also the site of the old Icelandic parliament] but the whole island is geologically interesting, I should think. we stayed 10 days, which ought to be enough if you are only planning on seeing the main sights of the Golden Circle, the north, and possibly a flight to the Westermans. also, if you are there in the summer, you have very long daylight, so you can fit a lot into a day.

I'm sure that you can get some more info from the icelandic tourist board, and generally by spending some time on google, but if you have some more specific questions, please come back to me.
annhig is offline  
Jun 21st, 2012, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
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hey all,

that is true, Iceland is quite expensive, I inquired some of the travel agencies about quota for 2 in 3-4 star hotels and I think this year it is not going to happen for me UNLESS I am lucky enough to win the main prize in the competition I found on Facebook. Check this out:

Basically what you need to do is to make this unpronounceable volcano (remember April 2012? I was stuck on the airport for 2 days thanks to that fella!) erupt and score as many points as possible. I am playing now every day in my coffee time at work hoping to win this all inclusive trip to my beloved Iceland!

Good luck to those of you who wants to give it a go

anjaislandi is offline  
Jun 21st, 2012, 09:48 AM
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of course I meant 2012!
anjaislandi is offline  
Jun 21st, 2012, 09:50 AM
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OMG, typos typos, 2010!! I need to rest from typing
anjaislandi is offline  

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