We spent the summer of 2016 touring Iceland. Now we're writing a guidebook to tell you exactly what you want to know:

How to take the whole family abroad and survive the process unscathed.

NEW:  Check out our forum!  Post questions for us to answer or tell us about your trip!

Things to Do

The Blue Lagoon- visiting with kids

The Blue Lagoon was one of the last places we visited in Iceland. By that time, we’d already been to many pools and spas all over the country. And the Blue Lagoon is much more expensive than any other pool or spa in Iceland. So let’s just say that the bar was set pretty high for me to recommend it.

blue lagoon sign

I was just about ready to write off the Blue Lagoon entirely when we got to the front entrance. Or, rather, didn’t get to the front entrance. Read more

The Blue Lagoon- visiting with kids was last modified: August 23rd, 2016 by Eric
Why Iceland

Why Iceland is the Best Starter Destination for Families

What makes a destination family-friendly? And what makes a destination easy for first-time international travelers? A short list of factors we think are important shows Iceland as a clear winner. Our ideal starter destination would be: safe, easy to get to, English-speaking, and easy to navigate. It would also have a kid-friendly culture and lots of cool stuff to see (and, more importantly, do). How does Iceland stack up in those categories? We will mostly compare to travelling to the UK, as that is another frequently suggested starter trip. Read more

Why Iceland is the Best Starter Destination for Families was last modified: July 31st, 2016 by Lora

Our car rental recommendation in Iceland: Blue Car Rental

[Update August 2017: We’ve partnered with Blue to provide our readers a 5% discount on their rental. Read below to see why we recommend you rent from Blue. Then see the discount details here: Blue Car Rental discount.]

I don’t know how many car rental companies there are in Iceland– 100? It’s tough to tell, since some of them are just agents and don’t have their own fleet of vehicles. Choosing one is really hard; there are a lot of horror stories out there.

After dozens of hours of research, we decided to rent from Blue Car Rental. Now, there are other companies out there that will most likely provide you with a positive experience. But here are the reasons we have been impressed with Blue (and some minor quibbles); you can use this to judge them against other options. Read more

Our car rental recommendation in Iceland: Blue Car Rental was last modified: August 29th, 2017 by Eric
Things to Do

Swimming with kids in Iceland: Navigating the locker room

The public pools in Iceland are beautiful and warm and a great place to take your little ones any time of year.  (Swimming outside with snow in your hair is a really cool experience!)  It is well worth the effort of getting everyone ready for the pool.  BUT yes, what you’ve heard is true–you are expected to shower naked (soap, shampoo, and all) before entering the pool.  No, you can’t skip that part.  No, your kids can’t skip that part, even if they don’t want to be naked in front of strangers.  What you need to know, then, is how it all works; that’s what we’ll tell you in this post.

With my kids, at least, part of making a new and anxiety-inducing situation more comfortable is talking through it step by step beforehand so that they know exactly what to expect.  Kids who feel like experts and who are telling you what happens next are not kids who are worrying!  So in this post, we will try to give you the info you need to let them become experts.  All the pictures here are from public pools, not the fancier spas, so they won’t be showing the upscale end of things! Read more

Swimming with kids in Iceland: Navigating the locker room was last modified: January 15th, 2017 by Lora

Sick in Iceland? How to find the medicine you need

One thing parents worry about on vacation is the prospect of sick children, and worse, sick children in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. Fortunately, we have not had to deal with any doctors’ visits yet here in Iceland. We have, however, had to buy medicine at a pharmacy. (Look for the big sign saying “Apotek.”)

pharmacy sign

The first thing you need to know is that you are not going to find a 24-hour pharmacy. Like grocery stores, pharmacies in Iceland have very limited hours. Read more

Sick in Iceland? How to find the medicine you need was last modified: July 6th, 2016 by Lora
Things to Do

Food in Iceland – Iceland with Kids

So airfare to Iceland can be surprisingly cheap. Lodging can be very reasonable, especially if you’re willing to use Airbnb. But everything else is really expensive. Hopefully, you won’t need to buy clothes while you’re here, or a camera. But you will need to buy food.

As a very general rule of thumb, expect to pay about twice as much for food as you would at home. But there are some exceptions to this rule, so let’s take a look.

Quick service food in Iceland – no special kid’s menu

Read more

Food in Iceland – Iceland with Kids was last modified: January 2nd, 2017 by Eric

Tips on Packing with Kids

So your trip is all planned, your hotels reserved, your itinerary all settled, but now you have to pack.  And if you are traveling with children, you’re not just talking about one backpack.  There are two concerns here:  First, you’d like the packing process to be as simple and streamlined as possible.  Second, you’d like to actually be able to make it through the airport without being crushed under a pile of luggage.  Note that this advice is not specific to Iceland travel–I’m not telling you what to bring–that will be a future post, once we’ve seen what we have and haven’t used from our packing lists. Read more

Tips on Packing with Kids was last modified: May 26th, 2016 by Lora
Iceland with Parents, Preparation

Icelandic with Blaer 2: Essential Phrases

Welcome to another installation of Icelandic with Blaer! I know it’s been a while, but since we’re actually in Iceland now, I can’t let my parents steal all the thunder! I’m going to share with you a bit of what I’ve learned so far: the most essential parts of Icelandic. (If you only read one post, make it this one.)

Read more

Icelandic with Blaer 2: Essential Phrases was last modified: May 20th, 2016 by Blaer

Cash, credit cards, and PINs in Iceland

Cash register” by James Brooks  is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Questions we will answer (or attempt to answer) in this post are:

  1. Do I need to bring or get cash for my trip to Iceland?
  2. Where can I get the best exchange rate on my cash?
  3. What do I need to do to use my credit card in Iceland?
  4. Which credit card is best to use in Iceland?
  5. What about a PIN for chip and PIN in Iceland?

Do I need to bring or get cash for my trip to Iceland?

There is no need to purchase Icelandic Krona before your trip. Typically you will pay a hefty premium to purchase Krona in your home country– up to 10%. Most currency exchange places (AAA, TravelEx) don’t even offer Icelandic Krona. Read more

Cash, credit cards, and PINs in Iceland was last modified: September 7th, 2017 by Eric
Preparation, Things to Do

Reykjavik? Ring Road? Planning your Iceland trip

So you’re going to Iceland, and trying to figure out how to plan your trip. The internet is full of millions of pictures of thousands of things you can see and do. How do you plan your itinerary? What should do you do, and what will you need to skip?

Here are my brief recommendations for how you should structure your trip, based on the number of days you have. Note that the categories overlap:

1-5 days: Stay in Reykjavik, and do day tours
3-8 days: Cover one or two areas, but not the whole country
7+ days: Cover the whole country. Well, more of it at least.

I think that some people will find these surprisingly conservative. Why just stay in Reykjavik for 4 days? Why not try the whole country in 6 days? Read more

Reykjavik? Ring Road? Planning your Iceland trip was last modified: July 27th, 2017 by Eric