Iceland is an incredibly unique destination, relatively isolated from the rest of Europe. Majestic waterfalls, stunning mountains, and therapeutic hot springs are just some of the sights and experiences that you can enjoy in this country.
It is undeniably one of the most beautiful places you can visit. However, if you don’t pack the right clothing and essentials, it can be a little difficult to enjoy. We’re talking about unpredictable weather conditions, with extreme cold and icy winds. If you’re not rugged up, you’re going to be quite uncomfortable.
To ensure your trip to Iceland is as enjoyable as possible, we’ve compiled the ultimate Iceland packing list. The list includes everything you should pack to ensure a fun-filled adventure in one of the most stunning locations in the world.
Luggage and Packing Essentials
Luggage is the key component of any trip. The right luggage, whether it’s a suitcase, backpack, or carry-on, will make travelling more comfortable and hassle-free, as well as improve your overall travel experience. Without luggage… you’re not going anywhere!
Checked baggage is a great option if you opt for a longer trip and plan to bring home many souvenirs or gifts. A larger suitcase will be more spacious, delivering extra peace of mind by allowing you to bring everything you want on your travel. For Iceland, this includes big, warm jackets, as well as the right boots.
Carry-on luggage is best suited for adventurers who love to travel light. It’s easy to carry or wheel offers enough space for a one or two-week trip, and often saves on baggage fees at the airport. But you’ll have to make sure to pack only essential travel items and make use of more limited space.
Whether you’re hiking the snow-capped mountains of Iceland or enjoying the geothermal hot spots, a backpack is always your best companion. A backpack remains compact, yet comes in a range of sizes. This allows you to efficiently organise your belongings and carry them while enjoying activities.
Clothing is another important aspect you don’t want to get wrong when organising your Iceland packing list. Here are the clothing essentials you’ll certainly want to bring on your travels:Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash
Layers of clothing
As we all know, Iceland is seriously cold. It’s in the name after all! Even in summertime, the temperature can drop as low as 10 degrees Celsius. Therefore, you’ll want to pack thermal tops and bottoms to keep you warm. And don’t forget a few pairs of thick socks!
Iceland is also known for its rain. A quality rain jacket is a must, especially if you’re going to spend a lot of time outdoors.
Waterproof pants deliver added protection when it’s raining. This is another great addition to your suitcase if you’re going to be hiking or spending time in the mountains.
Waterproof hiking boots
What’s worse than walking in a wet pair of boots? The solution is waterproof hiking boots. Make sure you opt for a comfortable pair so that your feet don’t rub on long hikes or walks.
Waterproof backpack cover
Rain can ruin your trip, especially if you’re carrying important items in your backpack, such as a laptop, camera, or a change of clothes. A waterproof backpack cover will protect these items from rain, or other sources of moisture.
Hat/beanie, scarf, and glove/mittens
Hats, beanies, scarves, gloves, and mittens. All of these items are must-haves for extremely cold weather… and Iceland ticks that box.
Hot Springs Essentials
There are more than 800 hot springs in Iceland, so it’s no wonder that Iceland is the most visited country after Japan for hot springs. To make your dip in the water even more enjoyable, include the following items in your backpack:Photo by Jacob Vizek on Unsplash
If you want to enjoy the hot springs to the fullest, you’ll need to wear a swimsuit. If you have space in your checked luggage or carry-on, try to bring at least two swimsuits.
Quick-dry travel towel
A towel will never let you down in Iceland. Whether you’re taking a soak in the hot springs or running on the beach, you’ll need a towel on hand. Make sure to bring a quick dry towel - they’ll dry easily later on, and fold up into a very compact pouch.
Iceland uses the standard European-style socket with two-pin plugs. You can either use the appropriate plug or a universal power adapter to charge your electronics. Don’t forget to bring a power bank in case you need to charge your electronics on the go.Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash
Iceland’s picturesque scenery warrants bringing the best gear possible to capture these breathtaking views. Prepare the right camera and tripod, and don’t forget to take extra batteries and memory cards to ensure you capture every special moment.
Bring prescribed medication and a basic first aid kit to ensure your well-being during your time in Iceland. Eye drops are another item you don’t want to forget, especially if you’re visiting multiple hot springs during your visit. The conditions can cause dry eyes, which can be quite uncomfortable.
Many toiletries can be purchased locally if you prefer to travel with less baggage. However, Iceland can be quite expensive! Try to buy and bring basic essentials from home. If need be, purchase additional items when you arrive.
There are a few other items you might want to add to your Iceland packing list to make your trip an even smoother one:
Sunglasses can come in handy in many situations. When you’re driving, the sun can reflect off of snow and pristine bodies of water, making it difficult to see the road. This also applies when you’re hiking or enjoying the view of a lake or the ocean.Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash
Sunscreen might not have been at the top of your Iceland packing list… but it’s an essential addition. The sun in Iceland can still cause sunburn, particularly when it’s reflecting off snow and ice.
In Iceland, the sun can rise as early as 02.00 in the morning! Not everyone can sleep through that, so if you’re a light sleeper, a sleep mask is a must.
Reusable Water Bottle
Plastic is not fantastic, and unfortunately, plastic bottles are one of the biggest contributors to pollution around the world. To do your part, bring a reusable water bottle and fill it up anytime you use the faucet, as tap water in Iceland is safe to drink.
Trails and rocks can be extremely slippery at times, due to rain, moisture, snow, and ice. You certainly don’t want to slip and lose balance while you’re hiking or trekking through nature, and hiking poles add extra stability.
There you have it, the ultimate Iceland packing list. We’re positive that if you tick off all of these items, you’ll be able to enjoy a smooth, comfortable trip to Iceland. To see our full range of high-quality luggage, click here.