My parents will visit me next week. My mom is a drill instructor when it comes to plan a trip and therefore optimizing the packing list. She asked me over and over again: “What shall we pack in our suitcases?” After hours of investigation and acting out every possible scenario mentally, I am now glad to say, I came up with this packing list for her. This will do especially for travelling from September – April:
- Sun glasses – I know, not the first thing which comes in mind about Iceland packing list, but both in summer and winter it will come in handy. In winter the snow and ice can reflect the sun and can cause head aches, believe me I know what I’m talking about!
- Swimsuit – The countless thermal pools and hot springs would be a waste not to visit. And it is one of the authentic things to do in Iceland.
- Gloves – At any point of time weather can change in Iceland and even in May or later conditions can become chilly if not cold. You will miss them while taking photos at the lastest!
- Cap – Even if it is sunny and weather looks nice, it can be windy. Icelanders call this “window-weather”. Due to missing indicators like trees you could unterestimate the wind. A cap is always good to have in Iceland. The average wind speed is much higher than in any other European country and thus can get nasty.
- Scarf – The same as for the caps applies for scarfs. Best-case scarf is a tube scarf (I don’t know the term for these scarfs which are in a loop and can be worn as a cap, too)
- Windbreaker jacket – Must-have item to make your Reykjavík or Iceland tour not an endless fight with the arctic wind already mentioned blowing through your clothes.
- Rain jacket – The older sister of the Windbreaker jacket. She will be your rescue to make you stay dry during your tours, which can safe you much money and nerves.
- Rain trousers – The older brother of the Rain Jacket is for paragon Iceland traveler. Nothing is normal concerning the weather in Iceland. Therefore its not surprising that rain does not fall vertical, but sometimes also horizontally. Jeans and cloth pants get soaking wet within minutes. Picture yourself spending the rest of the day in these damp and cold trousers. Your thoughts will stray away from your journey to how to get out of them the fastes. In my case I had to abort the Sunday flea market in Reykjavík, because I got too stiff and cold to search through the goodies. My walk from my hotel to the flea market was about 15 minutes, now think about a whole day in these. Ugh!
- Camera – OF COURSE, this beauty of a country must be captured. Don’t forget your camera at home as I did!!! You would be fed up to your back teeth!
What NOT to pack
Everybody is focusing on what to pack, but there are several things which are not even worth thinking about stuffing into the suitcase:
- Umbrellas (As I already wrote in “5 things which would be strange to do if you weren’t in Iceland” they wouldn’t survive anyway)
- Towels (If you are travelling with a budget airline and want to save weight and space you can always lend towels at any swimming pool)
- Do not change ISK before you get here – In the first place no bank will have them on hand and it is cheaper to change at the airport
- Adapters, if you are from Europe, your electrical devices will just fit fine
- Belt bags and other safety items – there are no pickpockets and whatsoever in Iceland.
Did I miss something? Let me know! Takk fyrir.