Iceland is one of the most searched and preferred destinations for globetrotters. Find out top travel tips before traveling solo in Iceland here.
Personal safety is a major concern for solo travelers, particularly for women, and destinations like Iceland easily come to mind. Low crime rates, laws promoting and ensuring gender equality, and countless surveys among travelers back this view (and reality) of Iceland as a safe place for solo travelers.
It’s remote location and sparse population also set Iceland up as conducive for alone time to appreciate the rugged and dramatic landscapes, as well as creative and active pursuits in the island nation. And if you are looking for company, opportunities to socialize and meet with fellow travelers are plenty in the capital city of Reykjavik.
Find out the tips for traveling solo in Iceland. These travel tips will help you organize a memorable solo trip to the land of fire and ice.
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1. Rent a camper
The best way to travel solo in Iceland is to arrange your transportation for many practical reasons. One is it conserves time; buses entail waiting time and hitchhiking even longer. Another is it gives you more freedom and flexibility leading to lower travel costs overall. When you rent a campervan, you can stay in a campsite instead of a hotel and save money on food by buying groceries and cooking. Privacy is also another thing: if you want to be with yourself most of the time, a rented vehicle is for you. Get the best rates by researching and booking in advance at Cozy Campers.
2. Travel with your credit card
It’s okay to pay in cash in Iceland with ISK as the official currency. But for your convenience and given its widespread adoption—Iceland is close to being a cashless society—bring a credit card with you. Bring the chip and PIN kind of card to be safe and sure that it’ll be accepted in unattended gas stations.
International cards like VISA and MasterCard are accepted in Iceland. Rental companies likely require you to settle your booking with a credit card. You can ask them what cards are widely accepted in the country. Hence, don’t forget to carry your international credit card while traveling solo in Iceland.
3. Join guided group tours
Going solo doesn’t mean putting yourself out there in unfamiliar places or attempting activities unsafely. That’s why guided group tours in Iceland are an option. One scenario is joining a small group for a day tour with a local guide. Exploring ice caves underlines the expertise of a professional guide. Guided tours not only let you meet like-minded travelers, but they also let you tap the knowledge and skills of locals.
4. Learn Icelandic
English is widely spoken in Iceland. But if you have time, try booking an Icelandic language class and learning Icelandic in Iceland. It can be an hour-long class or a week-long crash course, which could be enough reason to travel to Iceland.
The Icelandic language is fascinating, taking you to centuries-old sagas and modern-day books written in Iceland. Reykjavik is a UNESCO City of Literature, a literal paradise for lovers of culture and the arts.
5. Ask locals
Locals in Iceland are not only fluent in English but they are also known to be friendly and helpful. So, if you happen to meet one, say hi, maybe ask a question—no concern is too insignificant for a confused lone traveler.
Besides what to pack for Iceland, your other task is to learn about key customs and social etiquette in Iceland before your visit. Knowing these practices will help you interact with Icelanders better and not unintentionally offend anyone. If you are unsure how to socialize with locals, start by being polite.
6. Get free water
It’s refreshing to get something free in an expensive country like Iceland and at a great quality at that. Bring your reusable water bottle everywhere and refill it with clean drinking water from the tap. Iceland’s drinking water is pure, you just have to try it, and saving money in the process is a bonus.
Not buying bottled water every time also minimizes your environmental impact. Iceland is serious about preserving its natural environment amid the influx of tourists. You’ll have to do your part in keeping the background the way it is.
7. Shower before you soak
Geothermal pools and hot springs are a massive thing in Iceland and appeal to locals and tourists looking for a refreshing soak in whatever kind of weather. Observe this important rule: Shower first before entering the pool. Clean your body thoroughly and without your swimsuit.
Refer to the guide usually posted on the premises for the right way to shower and keep the water hygienic and clean for everyone who’ll use it. Once you’re in, relax and enjoy the experience.
Solo travel has its perks: no idle time waiting for someone, no tours or activities that you don’t feel forced to join, and no need to discuss every single thing with a group. It’s an exercise of independence and autonomy, relying mainly on yourself to drive and navigate the place and check that you have everything you need starting with your credit card, water bottle, notebook, and pen. It’s also good to rely on others occasionally, maybe join group tours, seek help from locals, and in that vein, be respectful to people, environment, and culture.
Have a grand me-time in Iceland!
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