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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icelandair

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

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 May 2017 with new Wowair fees and fare classes.]

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

Cell phones in Iceland, the final word: Icelandic SIM cards

Buying an Icelandic SIM card

Updated July 2017 with new cell phone recommendations.

The SIM card is the little thing, sometimes orange, that identifies the phone number of your cell phone. On this iPhone 5, for example, there is a tiny hole you need to push a small paperclip (or a similarly shaped SIM card remover tool) into the hole to pop the card out.

Sim card

If your phone works like this, make sure to bring a paperclip or a similar SIM card removal tool with you!

Also, while we’re at it, don’t forget to bring the right power adapters for Iceland.

 

The process and options for getting an Icelandic Sim card are a little bit tricky. Before we dive into it, let’s walk through a step-by-step summary of how to make this work.

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