Iceland: 5 travel tips I wish I knew before my trip

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    Image by CK Cheng

    People don’t really talk about Iceland a lot, and when they do it isn’t always tips or things you should know before traveling there. When I headed off to Iceland there are a few choice things that I really would have liked to have known before setting off. I thought that I would share them without so that you don’t fall into the same traps that I did.

    1. Weird traditional Icelandic food, anyone?

    The first thing you should definitely know before heading out is that some of the traditional Icelandic food is weird. And no, we don’t mean its just a little bit different than what you might get at home, we mean weird. They eat a lot of fermented foods such as fermented shark and a lot of meats that you might not think of eating anywhere else in the world like Minke Whale. You’ll find them in kebab or in steak form  So if you are a picky eater you might want to keep this in mind or pack some cup noodles.

    Preserved fish, anyone? Image by CK Cheng
    Preserved fish, anyone? (image by CK Cheng)
    Luckily, there's always chocs to fall back on. Image by Michelle Ong
    Luckily, there’s always chocs to fall back on. (image by Michelle Ong)

    2. You only get 5 hours of daylight

    If you are planning on heading to Iceland in the winter, you should remember that it is probably going to be dark and rainy most of the time. This does not always have to be a bad thing, but it will cut your days short and make seeing a lot at one time hard. And if you should make sure that you are packing tons of rain gear and things that will keep you warm and dry.

    Be prepared for the early night fall. (image by Low Chiat Yin)
    Enjoy the amazing scenery but stay warm and dry. (image by Low Chiat Yin)

    3. You may be disappointed by Blue Lagoon

    If you are going to Iceland just to see the Blue Lagoon, you might want to change your plans. Yes, it is beautiful, but it really isn’t everything that it is racked up to be. It’s still basically just a pond – some say it’s a pretty commercial one too. It does not have to be on your bucket list.

    Image by Low Chiat Yin
    Checking off another item on my bucket list. (image by Low Chiat Yin)
    The breathtaking Blue Lagoon
    The breathtaking Blue Lagoon (image by Michelle Ong)

    4. Don’t expect to party in the city

    It is extremely safe in Iceland, but don’t think that you are heading into a big city. If you love the hustle and bustle of big city life, you are not going to find it here. There are so few people that it can feel very quaint. This will be a great thing for some people but a nightmare for others.

    Iceland town (image by Michelle Ong)
    A walk through one of the quaint Icelandic towns. (image by Michelle Ong)

    5. Planning for more ‘me’ time can be rewarding

    The last thing on my list is that there is so much that you can do on your own. For example you can do a self-guided drive around Ring Road which is beautiful. Because Reykjavik is so small, take some time to explore is on your own and get a feel for living as a local in Iceland.

    road trips_low chiat yin
    Hop onto the road trip of your life (image by Low Chiat Yin)