Here to share my humble experience about Iceland, on what you need to know and things you might need, if you are going to Iceland and camp in a campervan.
When to go to Iceland?
I believe Iceland is beautiful on whichever season you choose to go. It depends on what you want to see. I choose to go during Winter because day light will be lessor, so hunting Aurora has a higher chances. But, if your main purpose to go to Iceland is for AURORA only, you better think twice. Spotting in Aurora, ain’t easy because there is too much clouds, and much rain. Weather in Iceland is also unpredictable as it changes quickly.
Getting around in Iceland
The best way to see Iceland is by renting a 4WD or a campervan. 4WD will be best in Iceland as there is a lot of F road where normal car and campervan are unable to drive in. There is a lot of beautiful landscape which can only be reach by 4WD. Campervan is best, if you are thinking of only staying in rather than renting Airbnb or Hotel or Hostel.
Things to prepare for a Campervan during Winter
My first time experience campervan during winter, has given me tons of things to list down. Here are some basic stuffs to guide you if you are planning to go for a campervan in winter in Iceland. Some stuffs, that is compulsory that you need to have.
- Warmer cloths – Iceland weather is unpredictable, it can get really cold at night where you need more cloths to keep you warm while you sleep or eat in the van, as the lessor we move our body, the colder it gets.
- Headlight – Is important, as you need it to find things inside the van. (trust me, you will be blind if you don’t have it). Once you are out of the city, it means lessor light. So you need a headlight / torchlight to guide you the pathway.
- Iphone – Be ready that iphone is easy to frozen to death, or your battery life is going to drain like water during really windy time or cold atmosphere.
- Local Currency – You are unable to change their local currency (ISK) outside of Iceland, so you will need to get your money ready (i use EUR) and change it at the currency exchange counter when you reach the airport. Before you leave the country, and you still have ISK, change it back at the airport too if you do not wish to keep it.
- Power inventor – Rent one from the rental car company, if they did not provide you. You definitely need it.
- Car insurance – Listen to what the rental car company going to offer you on the car insurance, get it if you can. Because as I said, weather in Iceland is unpredictable, sometimes the wind is really strong or you might face some unexpected accident cause by mothernature. There is one couple, whose car got scratch by stone due to strong gale, and it cost them at least 1000EUR for the damage. 2000 EUR at least might happen if your car need to be tow.
- Eating healthy – Don’t think about it if you are in a budget. Because is expensive.
- Petrol – Petrol station are usually on credit card payment or by buying their petrol card (something like a prepaid card) which money inside for you to pump up your petrol.
- Credit card / debit card – It is acceptable in whole Iceland. The problem with our Asian country is , our card are pin by 6 digit, whereas in Iceland is only 4 digit. So we can’t use our card on petrol station and also ATM machine, as we don’t have 4 digit pin number for our cards. But other shoppings or food, is acceptable.
- Sleeping bag – It is super important to have a very warm sleeping bag. Best recommend is sleeping bag that can warm you up in weather of 1degree and below.
- Dry shampoo – This is useful especially for girls, in case you have no chance to shower, and you need to clean your hair.
- Water – You can just drink the water from the tap (remember only cold one) or if you buy bottle of water from the petrol station, and you bring back the empty bottle, you can actually ask them to re-fill one for you for FREE.
- Hiking shoe – Hiking shoe is a MUST in iceland. You really need it and do trust me on this.
- Stay at the campsite – Is better if you could find a campsite and stay. You pay to the owner, they will come and collect the charges from you. Prices are fixed by the owner, so you will have to talk to them. Price range is around 300 ISK to 1750 ISK per person or maybe FREE if you are lucky. Why campsite? Because you will have proper toilets/shower room to use.
- Winter campsite – Most campsite is closed during winter. So better to check on their website to check which campsite during winter is available : VISIT ICELAND
- Dry-fit Towel – Is recommended to get a dry-fit towel, because it easier to dry up in the campervan during wet weather.
- Food – Stock up your food before you start your journey. Recommend supermarket will be – BONUS (as recommend as many people who been to Iceland, I myself did not go for BONUS as there is no BONUS around my area when we depart)
- Easy cook food – Get something is easy to cook. You don’t need luxury food on your road trip and easy cook food give you less trouble. Such as – Eggs, bread, canned food, pasta, milk, etc.
- Hotdogs – Hotdogs is everywhere in the petrol station. If you want something warm and just a simple bite, you can just go for it.
In my next post, i’ll share you about our road trip experience. Stay tune.