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.


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airport

Live From Iceland!

Tuesday, July 26 update: Keflavik Museums: Viking World, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Duushús

In our post about things to do around Keflavik Airport, we mention a lot of museums. We’ve been to the ones in Garður and Sandgerði, but today it was time to cover all the rest.

Starting with … Viking World. Viking World, like everything else in this post, is only about 10 minutes from the airport. But unlike everything else, Viking World opens up at 7 AM most of the year; the early opening is from February through October. That makes them a good option if your flight arrives in Iceland early in the morning. And, they offer a completely unadvertised breakfast special that could make this a very inexpensive visit.

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Preparation

Planning your Iceland trip – Iceland With Kids

Reykjavik” by Marco Bellucci is licensed under CC BY 2.0

We’ve written many posts about planning for your trip to Iceland. Here is a summary of our best advice, at least so far.

When to go to Iceland?

There will be several obvious differences in your vacation experience based on what time of year you go:

  • Temperature. This isn’t as big as you think: Highs in the summer are in the mid 50s, while winter highs are in the mid 30s. See details in this post. Yes, there is snow in the winter, and so you’ll need to make your travel plans less aggressive.
  • Daylight. This is a bigger deal than you may think. Summer has 24 hours of usable daylight. The middle of winter may only give you 7. More details in the same post. This picture was taken at about 11:30 PM in June:

Midnight sun

Midnight Sun” by Hafsteinn Robertsson is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Read more

Preparation

Icelandair vs. Wowair vs. …

Iceland – Airport” by Jiashiang is licensed under CC BY 2.0

[Updated August 2017 with new Wowair cities, as well as higher baggage fees.]

Just a few years ago, there weren’t too many options for flying to Iceland from the United States. You’d take Icelandair. But in 2012, discount carrier Wowair started and suddenly things got a lot more interesting.

Let’s plan a trip to Iceland in May of 2016.

Icelandair

Icelandair offers flights from JFK airport any day for the same price.

icelandair

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Preparation

Getting from the airport to Reykjavik

rainbow at Keflavík Airport” by Jason Eppink is licensed under CC BY 2.0

[Pricing updated in November 2016. Between price increases and a less favorable exchange rate, everything costs about 25%-30% more than it did a year ago!]

Assuming our post  about things to do near Keflavik airport didn’t persuade you, you may be looking for the best way to get from the airport to Reykjavik. As with most other decisions you’ll make, you have to balance price against time and convenience. A taxi that picks you up and shuttles you directly to your hotel is convenient, but not cheap. And a bus that forces you to transfer to a smaller shuttle to get to your hotel is cheaper, but not as convenient.

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Things to Do

Things to do near Keflavik Airport

Keflavik, Iceland” by Nick is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When you arrive in Iceland, you will fly into Keflavik airport. Unless you’re flying in from Greenland, I guess, where you could land at the much smaller Reykjavik city airport. And most visitors seem to think there are only two choices for what to do next: either rent a car and head to Reykjavik or buy a bus ticket and go to Reykjavik.

But Keflavik is close to two other towns, Njarðvík and Hafnir. In 1995, these towns decided to … merge? … and create a new place called Reykjanesbær. In 2006, Reykjanesbær also annexed another town, Ásbrú, which used to be the location of a US Naval base.

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