Monday, March 2, 2020

Iceland Bound (Give Me Your Tips!)

Visiting Iceland

We leave for Iceland in two weeks and I'm both excited and nervous. We haven't traveled abroad without the kids, well, since before we had kids. And my husband is used to being away from them consistently for work, but I've never been away from them for more than three day/two night trips. (This will be a week.) I know it's all going to be just fine, and I also realize this is a pretty privileged thing to be nervous about. I think more than anything, my anxiety stems from having to get everything prepared in advance for their schedules and hoping I don't mess anything up. All that said, I have wanted to visit Iceland for many, many years, and it's being made possible because the band my husband stage manages is playing a series of shows there, so more than anything, I am grateful.

There won't be a lot of time to explore since this is a work trip for Robbie, but we will have some down time. The last day is our only full day to do what we want, and we have a really cool Golden Circle excursion in the works. We are also planning to hit up the Blue Lagoon on our way to the airport before we head home. Other than that, we have no plans. So if you've been and have tips or recommendations, I would love to hear them! I know the basics (that everything is incredibly expensive, that we should buy any booze at the airport, that weather is unpredictable, etc.), but anything beyond that would be so appreciated. We'll be staying in Reykjavik the entire time, but may be able to incorporate a few short day trips into the itinerary as long as Robbie is back by afternoon for work.

Oh, and we are going during the time of year when the Northern Lights are most visible, which is by far the thing about which I'm most excited. Robbie and I have been chasing them for many years and have never gotten a glimpse. Fingers crossed hard!

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  1. Pack a really good wind breaker. You will be so much more comfortable adventuring if you aren't freezing your buns off and it always feels a lot colder than it actually is b/c of how high the winds always are. Rent a car! Instead of buying any tours, do some research before you go and pin all of the places you want to see on a map and go there on your own. Driving in Iceland is super easy and so gorgeous, and if you rent a car, you don't have to be beholden to anyone else's schedule or deal with an annoying person in your tour group (there's always 1). Some roads in Iceland are not as paved as others so get the full insurance on your rental and you'll have nothing to worry about. Download a translator to be able to read some menus. Most places have an English version and everywhere we went, everyone was so kind and welcoming but sometimes I needed a translation and it was great to be able to scan it with my phone and get an immediate translation. And...have fun! Iceland is one of my favorite places I've ever visited and I truly hope you have as good of a time as I have. :)

    1. I hadn't even thought about a translation app. So helpful! Thank you! I don't think we'll have time to rent a car but definitely not completely dismissing it.

  2. I am so jealous! My sister went there recently on a layover. She did a golden circle tour through a group she found on trip advisor and really liked having a tour guide. I hope you have the best time!!!

  3. I am so excited for you, Melissa - what an adventure! We haven't been to Iceland ourselves but have passed through on flights over the years and from the brief time I've spent in the airport looking out, it looks like a wild, majestic place just meant for exploring. I hope you had the best time and I can't wait to read about it :)

    1. Thank you see! I am really excited and crossing fingers hard that coronavirus doesn't ruin our plans!


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