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Iceland

 packing and to-do List

Packing List 

A few important notes before getting into the packing list:

 

TO-DO BEFORE YOU LEAVE:

  1. Download these helpful apps for travel:

    1. ​Offline Google Maps

      1. Go onto the Google Maps App on your phone and find the offline maps tab. Then download the offline map for Reykjavik. This will help significantly when trying to find your way around without using data if you don't have international data.

    2. ​Google Translate

      1. You can download Icelandic offline on Google Translate app to be able to translate offline. However, almost everyone in Iceland speaks English, and mostly everything is also translated into English already. 

  2. Check into Flight

    1. Don't forget to check into your flight 24 hours before departure (some airlines allow check-in up to 48-hours before). It'll make the process at the airport quicker. ​​

  3. Double check that you have your passport and proof of vaccination status. 

    1. Make sure you have these safe and sound!​

  4. Report your travel to your credit cards.

 

Luggage Warning: Keep in mind that we will be checking into 2 different accommodations and traveling via bus. Most European buildings don't have elevators. Therefore, bring a big suitcase at your own "risk." ;) Many people bring a big suitcase and really regret it. 

Towel: Bringing a towel (quick-dry are the best) is a necessity. The villa provides towels for showering, but you may like a quick-dry towel for other activities, such as swimming in hot springs. 

Don't forget: Important items to not forget are: (1) a padlock to lock up your things during the day, (2) a European outlet converter, (3) your passport, and (4) proof of vaccination status. Scroll down to Documents for more information on your passport and proof of vaccination status. 

$$$: We wrote a whole paragraph about using credit card versus cash, getting Icelandic króna, how much to bring, where to exchange, etc. Scroll down to the bottom of this page!​

Weather: Warm winter clothing is essential for visiting Iceland in March. A hat and a good pair of gloves are also important for exploring the outdoors.

Rain: It may rain a few days on the trip. You still may want something to cover yourself and your day bag for the chance it does. Ponchos can work great and are much smaller to pack than a rain jacket. 

 

Main Luggage: Backpack or Suitcase​

We always recommend bringing just a carry-on size backpack or suitcase and then a personal size backpack or purse as a day bag. Even if you have a free checked bag, it’s much easier to travel with just a carry-on size bag. Jess and I always travel with the same size bags, no matter how long we’re traveling. We each have a 40-45-liter backpack and a 20-liter laptop bag/day backpack.

Reminder: Bring a big suitcase at your own "risk." ;) 

 

I personally love backpacks as opposed to suitcases because they are easy to lug around. I love the brands Gregory and Osprey, but they are more expensive. They last several years, so, if you plan on taking trips in the future, then I recommend making the investment! Here are my recommendations:

  • Great combination bag (has a detachable day bag - saves you from buying 2 separate ones) for 1 week - 6 week trip length. I have a few friends who use this and love it! The day bag attaches and detaches with a zipper and the backpack also opens like a suitcase, so it's very accessible. 

  • If you’re looking for an intro backpack, I recommend this Mountaintop on Amazon. I used it for around a year, and it never failed. It even held up well during a 4 day 30 mile trek!

  • If you’re looking for an intro backpack, I recommend this Mountaintop on Amazon. I used it for around a year, and it never failed. It even held up well during a 4 day 30 mile trek!

Day Packs

 

Day Packs are a must! Usually on trips like these, you leave all of your stuff in your main backpack or suitcase at the villa but use a smaller bag to carry around your phone, money, jacket, camera, water, and everything else for the day. You can use anything for this including your school backpack, purse, string gym bag, or, if you want something to not hurt your shoulders while exploring all day, here's what I use:

 

  • This bag is a little pricey, but is incredible. I can't stress how nice it is to have a good day bag over everything else. You are doing everything with it and I believe it is 100% worth the cost. It can fit so much and feels really nice on your shoulders. It also has a netted back that helps you keep the sweat away! 

Other Bags

 

Here are a few other bags that I think bringing are very necessary and shouldn't cost any money.

  • Dirty clothes bag (can be any bag from a trash bag to a HEB bag​) - needed to separate the clean from dirty clothes while traveling between places.

  • Ziplock bags help immensely when organizing everything. You could also make the switch from plastic and use small reusable bags to hold your things. Jess uses reusable cloth bags to hold jewelry, hair ties, etc. 

 Clothes

 

This is a very hard thing to recommend, but here are our best recommendations! I want to point that it is very easy to overpack. The trip is only 8 days including travel time. 

  • One winter jacket

    • This is a "can't forget" item! It will especially be cold at night!

  • Raincoat or Waterproof Shell or Rain Poncho​​

    • For those budget hunters, ponchos can work great and are smaller to pack than a rain jacket. 

    • You could also just bring a compact umbrella! 

  • One to two pairs of jeans or other pants

    •  Good for if you want something nicer at night that can also be worn casually during the day.

  • One to two pairs of comfortable pants, such as leggings or joggers

    • These are great for travel days, walking around, and hiking!

  • One pair of pants for sleeping in

  • One hat or beanie

  • Gloves 

    • A lighter pair of gloves may help keep you warm on any particularily colder days!

  • Scarf (Optional)

  • Five to seven shirts

    • Any mix of colors and styles work for dressier outfits, casual outfits, and sleeping. 

 

 

  • Underwear and Bras

    • ​The number of pairs depends on if you want to do laundry​​​ or not.

  • Socks 

    • Depends on which shoes you plan to bring (see below).​

 

 

  • Optional: one-two "nicer" outfits (but keep in mind the colder temperatures!)

    • Good for the photo days or going out at night if you want!

Shoes

  • Walking/hiking shoes 

    • I live in my Trail Runners. I've owned and used many hiking boots and different kinds of shoes for traveling, but these are by far the most comfy and useful.

    • You don't necessarily need hiking boots, but you will need something comfy to walk in and just keep in mind that the shoes you wear for walking might get muddy or wet on the trails and near the waterfalls. 

    • Note: I wouldn't recommend average running shoes as this shoe because you will want something that will keep your feet warmer than a pair of Nike running shoes, for example. 

  • One pair of night time dressier shoes (optional)

    • ​Not a necessity, but some people like to bring them.

    • Jess packs a pair of booties as her third pair of shoes when traveling to Europe.

Toiletries 

 

Here is a short list of toiletries! I recommend bringing the travel size of everything to save yourself some room!

 

  • Sunblock (You may want some while hiking, depending on weather!) 

 

  • Chapstick

 

  • Deodorant 

 

  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Floss

    • ​They make covers that help keep them clean while traveling. We get ours from Walmart in the travel section.

 

  • Razor

  • Lotion, shampoo, and conditioner

    • ​Travel size only! The villa provides toiletries, but you may want your own type or more than what will be available.

  • Contacts/Contact Solution

 

  • Small bottle of Advil or Ibuprofen 

 

  • Q-tips and tissues

 

  • Brush or comb 

    • ​Jess brings a mini brush. 

 

  • Makeup 

    • ​Jess recommends travel or compact sizes whatever makeup you want. She uses one travel compact that has brows, shadow, and face all in one. 

    • A lot of activities are active, so she also recommends waterproof mascara. 

    • There are small packs of makeup wipes in the travel size section. 

 

  • Headbands and hair ties 

    • ​Jess puts these in a little bag. 

 

  • Hair tools 

    • ​Jess doesn't recommend bringing these, as they take up a lot of space. The villa has a hair dryer.

    • If you do want your own blow dryer, there are very small compact ones that fold up. 

 

  • It's also recommended to pack feminine products rather than relying on finding a specific type you prefer in stores abroad because they may not have the kinds of products you're used to. 

other

  • Padlock

    • For locking up your passport, extra money, and electronics while you're out during the day!​

  • Eye-Mask and Ear Plugs

    • To get the best sleep on the go!​

  • Reusable Water Bottle

  • A Pen

    • Handy for filling out forms at customs.

 

  • Sunglasses

    • ​Don't forget your favorite pair of sunglasses :)

  • Quick-dry Towel

    • Bringing a towel (quick-dry are the best) is a highly recommended for using after hot springs, etc. 

electronics

  • You need an outlet converter​. This universal converter is a good affordable option from Amazon.

    • The power outlets used in Iceland are Type F. The Type F outlet and plug type are commonly used in Northern European countries. Type C plugs are also used in Iceland and are similar in appearance to Type F, although they are being switched out more and more for Type F. Electricity in Iceland is 230 Volts with alternating electric currents of 50 cycles per second (50 Hertz). If you are traveling from the United States or Canada it is important to note that the electrical outputs are half that of Iceland. For example, electrical devices from the United States are usually 120V and 60 Hz so be sure to check the voltage range on your devices. This information can usually be found labeled on the back or bottom of electronic devices.

  • ​Phone + Charger

 

 

  • Headphones

 

  • Camera + Charger

    • ​If you're looking at buying one, let me know and I'll connect you with Jess. She knows a lot about them!

  • Optional: Go-Pro

    • ​Not gonna lie, this is a great place for any action cam.

    • I personally use an older version of the Sony Action Cam.

  • Power Bank (Portable Charger)

    • So, so, so useful!

    • ​This is great, so you don't have to worry about being somewhere with a dead camera or phone.

documents

  • Proof of vaccination status. For example, your white CDC card. Bring a copy of it as well. 

    • A vaccine certificate is required by Iceland border officials to include the following:

      • Be in Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, English or French.

      • First name and last name (as in travel documents).

      • Date of birth (or national ID).

      • Name of disease vaccinated against (COVID-19).

      • Where vaccination(s) was/were performed (country or city).

      • Date(s) of vaccination(s).

        • Vaccination must be complete; see below the required doses and interval for each vaccine.

      • Issuer of the certificate (supervising clinician/administering centre/facility).

      • Vaccine or vaccines administered.

        • Manufacturer

        • Batch/lot no. of vaccine for each dose.

    • List of accepted vaccines (this list is updated as needed):

      • Tozinameran-COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine (Comirnaty®; BNT162b2) Pfizer/BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH.

      • COVID-19 Vaccine (Vaxzevria®; ChAdOx1-S) AstraZeneca AB.

      • COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S) AstraZeneca/SK Bio (SK Bioscience Co. Ltd).

      • COVID-19 (ChAdOx1-S) Vaccine AstraZeneca (Covishield™ Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd).

      • COVID-19 Vaccine (Ad26.COV2-S) Janssen-Cilag International NV. (Johnson & Johnson)

      • COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna (mRNA-1273), Moderna Therapeutics.

      • SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine BIBP (Vero Cell) (Sinopharm/Bejing Institute of Biological Products Co., Ltd.)

  • Passport! 

    • Check right now and make sure your passport isn't expired! 

    • I also like passport covers because you can keep other important information in them. sport covers because you can keep other important information in them.​

  • Cash

    • What currency?

      • Iceland uses the Icelandic króna.

    • Cash or card?

      • The majority of places will accept cards. Paying for things during the trip with a travel credit card is the easiest way to get the best conversion rates. 

      • We recommend planning to use mostly credit card, but we always like to to have a bit of cash in the correct currency on us as well as card.

    • How much should I bring in cash?

      • We personally prefer at least have a small amount of cash on us just in case, so you may prefer that as well. You can start by bringing around $150, about 19,000 krona. Then you can use credit card and apps whenever those options are available, and, if you end up needing more cash, then you can pull more cash out of an ATM. 

      • It's possible to spend less if you prefer, but, of course, depending on your preferences, you may want to add in more. For example, you can buy groceries and use the villa kitchen to cook on days meals aren't included to save a lot of money. Wisely choosing optional activities is another way to save money. 

    • What is the best way to get cash? Your bank at home, exchange at the airport, or ATMs in Europe?

      • The most cost-efficient way to get cash in another currency is to order each through your bank. You most likely will have to order the currency ahead of time. Make this request through your home bank. Although you don't want to carry a lot of cash around, it can be a hassle and costly to pull money out of an ATM.

    • Tip: During the days, leave any extra cash locked in your room and only walk around with what you will need for that day.

  • Drivers Licence 

    • ​If you go out, you might need an ID, and I don't recommend bringing your passport out drinking.

  • Travel Insurance

    • ​As stated in the contact, travel insurance is required for this trip.

      • Each traveler will need to obtain an insurance policy that fitra the following requirements. The insurance policy may be obtained from any international company that meets the following requirements:
        Valid for the entire stay in Iceland (coverage dates).
        Covers 50,000 USD for medical expenses, including those from COVID-19
        Covers 2,000 USD for lodging expenses in the event of COVID-19 quarantine
        Covers medical emergency evacuation and repatriation of $200,000 USD (or equivalent in other currency)

    • Any questions? ALways call the specific insurance providers to make sure you’re covered for what you need!

  • Money Belt

    • ​These are great to assure that no one is going to take your valuables.

    • Jess uses them, and you can wear them under your shirt. She says it helps her keep track of her IDs, phone, and money.