Packing for Iceland

Hopefully by now i’ve convinced you that Iceland should be on your “must visit” list. Even if that’s wishful thinking on my part, i’m still going to forge ahead and offer some suggested items to pack.

They say Iceland has the same climate as New York. I think they mean upstate New York (hello Buffalo) since i found it be cold and was really unprepared to deal with the elements. Thankfully i was unprepared, not inappropriate. There is a big difference.

So that you can learn from my mistakes here are some must-haves for your bag. Above all, layers are key. It’s chilly in the morning, evening and around the water. Other important items to have handy:

  • Fleece jacket. This comes in handy when you are chilly and unlike winter jackets it won’t take as much room in your bag.
  • Water proof/resistant gear. You don’t need full on Weather Channel hurricane reporting stuff. A basic Patagonia/LLBean/North Face (insert other brand x here) jacket will protect you at key destinations like the South Shore and Seljalandsfoss.
  • Sneakers, hiking shoes. Since i only wear sneakers at the gym, i prefer hiking boots for walking around on vacations. Obviously you know your feet best. Heels are are best left home unless you want to go crazy at the clubs.
  • Jean and Khaki Pants or Cords. Jeans are fine for excursions and day activities. But you should really consider something a tad nicer for hitting the restaurants and bars.
  • Fun clothes. But not full-on NYC clubbing clothes. You want to enjoy the bar scene but not in ridiculously short mini’s and sheer tops. (Think Jessica Alba, not Kim K)
  • Extra battery for your camera. Iceland is chilly and i found my camera used a lot of “juice.” i spent half of the time out praying it didn’t die.

Maybe others can confirm, but i was told booze and cigarettes can be offered as tips. These are luxury items in Iceland and if offered correctly and respectfully, very appreciated. Stock up at the airport in Reykjavik if you plan to go this route. Iceland has very strict rules about bringing booze and smokes in the country.

Good luck packing and safe travels!