If you’ve been planning a road trip to Iceland, it’s more than likely your main goal is to circle the Ring Road. It’s the famous road that, as the name implies, circles the whole of Iceland while passing through its many famous landscapes and sightseeing spots. Here are a few tips on how to plan and budget your trip so that you make the most out of it for the smallest price.
Time, Food and Fuel
These will be your most important resources. One thing to note is that fuel in Iceland is relatively expensive compared to other places, going at the price of around 2$ USD at almost every gas station. Depending on the vehicle you plan on using, make sure to calculate how much fuel you’ll need, then add a few more gallons to that, just in case, and then calculate the money you’ll need by multiplying it by 2. Usually you’ll need between 200$ and 400$ USD for the entire trip around the Ring Road.
As per food, your best bet would be to visit the supermarket “Bónus”, that’s specifically designed for low-budget grocery shopping that you’ll need. Take a look at what they sell and calculate how much you’ll eat and how much it’ll cost. Most towns own markets with similar prices, and there are gas stations along the road where you can buy some more food and water. Depending on your needs and diet, as well as the length of the trip, you might need different amounts of money.
Speaking of length, you will need to carefully plan the time you’ll spend. Theoretically speaking, you could drive through the entire road in around 20 hours (as it’s around 1287.48km long), but that would be without any sleep or longer stops, and, since the whole point of the road trip is to enjoy the scenery and explore Iceland and see the many wonders it has to offer, that is a very unrealistic period, to say the least. A more appropriate timing would be around a week or so. Plan your route and stops ahead, and try to stick to that schedule as much as possible.
Car Rental and Accommodation
If you don’t have a car, or don’t want to bother transporting it to Iceland, car rental is a perfectly fine option, maybe even more cost-effective than using your own car. The usually preferred starting locations are either Reykjavik or Keflavik, since they both have their airports. From there, you can rent a car by Rental24h at Keflavik airport, for example, or, preferably, a camper van. The latter is suggested as it will allow you to sleep anywhere, at any time. The camper vans are modern and will provide you with all the necessary accommodation aspects.
If, however, you want to use a regular car, but don’t want to sleep and eat in it, there are plenty other options regarding accommodation. As stated before, you need to plan ahead.
Where and when you’ll stop. Then you can use a website like Booking.com to see the prices of local hotels/motels. During high season (so June through August), the prices can go from 34$ USD for hostel dorm bed to even more than 300$ USD for a double private with en-suite, so you can customize the prices for your needs and budget.
Finally, don’t forget to have fun and bring some good photographic equipment, since the scenery is so beautiful it would be a real shame if you didn’t have some high quality pictures of your journey. Also bringing a travel companion is a very good idea and might even decrease total budget needed if you split the fees.