Planning a vacation is always a daunting task, but in this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to plan a family vacation in Iceland. With long days of exploring the country by foot or bike and cozy evenings by the fire, there’s plenty to do. If you’re thinking of visiting Iceland anytime soon, here are some helpful hints to help you make your trip as good as it can be!
How to Plan a Family Vacation in Iceland
If you’re looking for an unforgettable family vacation, consider Iceland – a country with towering volcanoes, icy glaciers, and crystal-clear lakes. Whether you’re planning a short stopover on your way to Scandinavia or a longer trip, here are some tips for making the most of your time in this beautiful country.
Decide What You Want To See
The country of Iceland is vast and diverse, with plenty of attractions to keep everyone entertained. If you have kids, prioritize attractions that are kid-friendly – like Reykjavik’s lively harbor district and geysers at Geysir National Park. Or take a scenic drive around the Golden Circle, including Thingvellir National Park and Gullfoss waterfall.
Book Your Flight And Accommodation Early
The best time to visit Iceland is during the summer months (May to October), when the sun is shining, and the weather is warm but not too hot. However, even in winter, there are some great places to visit, like Vatnajökull National Park or Þingvellir National Park. Plan your trip around these popular tourist destinations, so you don’t have to spend long driving between them all. We visited the Blue Lagoon and had an AMAZING TIME. I highly recommend that you go early in the day.. We went later on, but if we had gone early – I can guarantee we would have stayed ALL DAY. It was amazing.
Educate Yourself About Christmas Traditions in Iceland Before You Go
Christmas is celebrated very differently in Iceland than it is in the United States. Traditional Icelandic Christmas celebrations tend to be very low-key, with family dinners and small parties instead of lavish holiday parties and fancy-dress balls. But don’t worry—there are still plenty of festive traditions that you can enjoy while you’re on vacation.
In Reykjavik, for example, children receive a “straw house” for Christmas, which they assemble with their parents and put on the porch at Christmastime. At the end of December, some families host a traditional hotpot dinner called hákarl (fermented shark meat) with kvífrandur (an Icelandic cheese), which has been eaten for centuries. There are also lots of Christmas-themed tours and activities on offer, including a boat tour that takes you to the Christmas lights around Reykjavik’s harbor and Ice Cathedral (the country’s most famous winter wonder). And don’t forget about the popular Þorlákshöfn afterparty!
What To Pack For Iceland
When planning a family vacation to Iceland, it is important to pack carefully for the extremely cold temperatures and unpredictable weather conditions. Here are some items to always include when packing for a trip to this stunning country:
- Warm clothes and shoes: Iceland can be quite cold at night, even in the summertime. Bring along layers of clothing and sturdy shoes, in case you need to take them off multiple times during your stay.
- A heavy coat or jacket: The Icelandic weather can change quickly, so be prepared for anything! Bring along a heavy coat or jacket, just in case you need it.
- Rain gear: You will want to bring a rain jacket, rain pants, and waterproof boots. This is a MUST in Iceland. We went in June, and it was wet and raining most of the time. Going behind the waterfall also requires this type of gear, so it is best to be safe.
- Hat, gloves, and scarf: If the weather becomes cold enough, bring along a hat, gloves, and scarf to keep yourself warm.
- Camera: Iceland is known for its stunning landscape and nature scenes. Be sure to bring your camera along to capture all of the beautiful sights!
- Blanket: Iceland is famous for its midnight sun, but it can also get very cold at night in Reykjavík. If you’re going to be staying outside overnight, bring along a blanket just in case you need it.
- Eye mask and ear plugs: While much of the Icelandic landscape is stunning, there are some areas that are prone to earthquakes. These areas might be on the outskirts of towns or small villages, so make sure you bring your earplugs and eye mask just in case!
- Snacks: Bring along small snacks (such as granola bars) or a power bar so that you can eat on the go without having to stop for food.
- Medications: If you are traveling from the United States, it is important that you understand that the medications they have in Iceland are not the same as those we have. They can also be quite difficult to find. Packing Tylenol, allergy pills, cortisone, and other common over-the-counter medications can help to ensure you are safe during your time of need. (Also recommend gas-X and anti-diarrhea medication, just to be safe!
In Reykjavík, this is also the perfect time to stock up on some Icelandic candy because it’s not uncommon to find pretty good deals.
The best times to visit Iceland are the summer months, during their short, short nights (midnight sun). The other great time is when the weather warms up in August or September (October and November) – you get all of that beautiful foliage without having to deal with the freezing cold.
Tips for Planning your Iceland Trip
If you’re looking for a fantastic family vacation, Iceland is definitely the place to be! With amazing scenery, plenty of activities for all ages, and welcoming people, there’s no shortage of things to do on your trip.
Of course, the best way to make sure you have a great time is to plan it correctly. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Start by determining what kind of vacation you’d like. Do you want to experience the natural beauty of Iceland? Or perhaps explore its many attractions and museums? There are plenty of options for both kinds of travelers.
- Make a list of things you’ll need before setting off. This includes booking your flights, figuring out your accommodation, and figuring out what other activities you’ll want to participate in while in Iceland.
- Once you have your planning sorted out, take a look at the weather forecast for the area you will be traveling to. This will give you an idea about what clothing you’ll need and if any vaccinations are necessary.
- Finally, make sure to pack enough supplies for all your needs – food, water, sunscreen, hats and sunscreen etc. – as these supplies can be quite expensive in Iceland.
When it comes to bags, you’ll need a backpack for the main part of your trip. This will be used to carry most of your belongings around. You’ll also need a pair of shoes that are comfortable for hiking, backpacking, or walking tours, so you don’t get tired out too much!
To pack extra clothes and blankets into your bag, use a travel duffel bag or roll up sleeping bags and pillows into small pouches to fit them all in!
Getting Around in Iceland
Planning a family vacation in Iceland can be a daunting task, but with a little preparation and research, it can be an amazing experience. Here are some tips to help make your trip go smoothly:
- research the best time of year to visit Iceland. The summer months are the busiest, but the weather can be unpredictable, and there can be crowds. Winter is a great time to visit, as the weather is mild and the landscape is mostly snow-covered.
- plan your itinerary in advance. Once you have a general idea of when you want to visit certain places, start searching for deals online or by contacting travel agencies in your area. Try not to make too many big changes to your schedule once you have started planning; small adjustments can lead to big savings.
- be prepared for long hours on the road. Iceland is a large country with a lot to see, so don’t expect to spend all your time in one place. Make sure you have plenty of snacks and drinks for the long drives between destinations and pack plenty of appropriate clothing for both cold weather and bright sun (remember that Iceland is surrounded by water, so it’s always cool).
- don’t make the mistake of getting your SIM card online. You can buy a pre-paid mobile phone card for about $20 per day. These are easy to activate and easy to top up with credit (they usually work like a calling card). ADN has a great range of these cards. If you have a rental car, the company may also have a Wifi Hot Spot that you can use (this is the route we took!). It is around $10 USD a day, and works flawlessly in all locations.
- don’t bring too much money with you – especially if you want to take advantage of local hospitality and use the internet in cafes or guesthouses! Most places will accept credit cards, but there are very few ATMs in Iceland, so you should carry plenty of local currency (ISK) as well as smaller denominations. Credit cards can be used to buy small items, so you don’t need to carry lots of cash.
If you’re planning a family vacation in Iceland, there are plenty of things to consider. This wonderful country offers so much to explore, and it’s easy to find activities that will appeal to everyone on your trip. We definitely had the most fun while visiting Reykjavik. We went to FlyOver, checked out Parlan (not too impressive), and explored the city.
If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway, be sure to check out Thingvellir National Park. This beautiful location is perfect for hiking, biking, and birdwatching. If you’re looking for something more action-packed, consider exploring Vatnajökull National Park or Geysir. These two parks offer world-renowned hiking trails as well as some of the most spectacular geysers in all of Iceland.
If you want to enjoy some delicious food while you’re in Reykjavik, be sure to visit Hveravellir Farmers’ Market. Here, you can find local produce as well as artisan goods. If you’re looking for something unique and unforgettable, be sure to try out one of the restaurants at Bónus Restaurant & Wine Bar. This place is known for its creative cuisine and impressive wine list.
The Central Post Office is a must-visit, as it’s located in the heart of Reykjavik. Its design is based on that of similar post offices from the 19th century, which is why it’s been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not only does this building have a beautiful architectural design, but it was also constructed using local Icelandic materials such as basalt and lava rock Hafnarfjörður is another place you should absolutely visit if you’re visiting Reykjavik.
This town sits at the base of Vatnajökull National Park and has many beautiful nature trails just waiting to be explored.
If you’re looking to plan a family vacation in Iceland, Vik is the perfect place. Vik is located on the south coast of Iceland. It is important to realize that Vik is VERY SMALL. You will not have a lot of access to large grocery stores and restaurants (which we found out the hard way!)
Vik has a variety of things to offer tourists of all ages, including world-renowned geothermal features and some of the most picturesque beaches in all of Iceland. The village itself is quaint and charming, with plenty of little shops to choose from.
No matter what type of traveler you are, Vik has something for you. If you’re looking for outdoor activities like hiking and fishing, Vik has plenty to offer. If you’re more interested in relaxing on the beach or soaking up some culture, Vik has plenty of options as well.
Whether you’re planning your first family vacation or your hundredth, Vik is a great place to start.
Above all, it is important to BUDGET accordingly. Iceland is very expensive, and the costs add up quickly. Proper planning will ensure that you do not run out of money halfway through your trip!
Hopefully, by following these tips you will have everything you need to make planning your perfect family vacation a breeze.