Iceland Trip: 6 Things You Should Know

Iceland has been on my bucket list, but I probably wouldn't have made it there without a little push/shove from Charli. She had a vision for moody photos and I am seriously always ready to help her make her creative ideas come true. We've been friends for over 10 years, we're birthday twins and I know she's always down to take just one more photo.  We're also super dorky and we tend to bring that out in each other, guaranteed fun.

We were a little late in planning, I recommend putting time into figuring out what you want to do, so you can get the most out of your time. We decided not to tour it and for us, that was the best thing we could have done. Iceland is beautiful everywhere and we wanted to have the option to pull over whenever we were captured by its beauty. The only con is that we ended up driving a lot - hours a time. It was exhausting, which meant less time for us to edit at the end of the day. But I wouldn't have traded it. I also wouldn't have gone in October, it's one of the rainiest months of the year. Not exactly the best thing for taking photos. It probably wouldn't have been that bad, but when it was mixed with the wind I felt cold in my bones. The first two days were hard for me, but when you decide to just lean into the cold you can at least take 20 more photos. LOL!

We decided to stick with one Airbnb this time, this trip was very different from Joshua Tree, it was more about outside photos then inside. And to be honest Iceland's Airbnb's don't compare to Joshua Tree's options. I do happen to think we found the cutest tiny house in all of Iceland. It was nestled in the middle of a valley that was a gift to wake up to every morning, more on that in another blog post.
Packing, well my packing was very different from your average going to Iceland packing. But of course, my last minute items were the ones I lived in.

My oversized raincoat was key to surviving. It fit over my layers and went to my knees, which meant I stayed dry for the most part. I also purchased my first hiking boots for this trip, I know I know as a person who grew up in PNW this may come as a surprise, but I didn't grow up hiking, so I never needed them. But you do need them here. I also packed my wedge Sorrel boots, they were also a must. I also broke down and bought a pair of gloves, after using Charli's extra pair. It's amazing how much you can take when you have warm hands. Did I overpack for this trip? Definitely, but that's just my way.

And an extra tip.
If you come across a gas station, stop. Get coffee, grab a snack and use the restroom. You may not come across another one for 20 miles.

To recap.

Top destinations
Decide where you want to go first, top priorities and then choose your lodging. You want to be centralized.

Add an extra day
I really wish we had one more day. We never made it to a glacier, we just needed one more day.

Time of year
If you're going there to take pictures October is probably not your best month. Unfortunately, that was the only time our schedules aligned.

Pack accordingly
Raincoat, hiking boots, sweaters, and gloves.

Rent a car vs Tour
We wanted the option to stop where we wanted, but this can be a little expensive. Do your research on renting premiums and gas. Also, some rental companies give you a fab that when used at a gas station gives you one free coffee everytime you stop. I used it often.

This is not only useful for adding stories on instagram, but GPS is key to reaching your destinations. We would find ourselves headed home in the dark, there would be no streetlights and sometimes no signs for miles at a time. I think we would still be lost in Iceland without it.

To be fair our Iceland adventure was very different from other people's. We went there with the specific intent to create. This didn't take away from our trip, because we still took time to enjoy where we were.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out at alix@alixrose.com

Photos by @TophatsandTea

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