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  • Jes Bellamy

Iceland on a Budget

If you are looking for a quick, not too expensive, and easy vacation filled with nature, open space, and tranquility, then Iceland is the place for you! Going there was quite different because I only had one day to spend there, but I made the most out of that day (and night) and had one of the most exciting times in my life. I ended up going there in June of 2019, and in my opinion, June is the best time to go to Iceland if you're not into snow and cold. The only con with going in June is you can't see the northern lights. The weather during that time was about 65 degrees and is considered their summer in Iceland. Any other time of the year is cold, and you only get a few hours of sunlight. Also, during Iceland's summer, you witness this phenomenon where the sun doesn't go down all day! It'll be 1 am, the sun will shine bright, and people will walk around as if it's nothing… Truly insane.

Where to Stay and Money

To state some quick facts, I stayed in a boutique Hilton Hotel in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. The hotel is on the expensive end, but there are plenty of other options for housing in Iceland, like hostels or vans (yes... I said vans). It's also easy getting around Iceland; you can walk anywhere in Reykjavik or rent a car. Also, everyone knows English, and the people are very friendly, making it easy to get around. In total, for one day in Iceland, I spent approximately $150 US Dollars (excluding flight and hotel) which is kind of pricey but doable.
Attractions and Tours

There is so much you can do in Iceland, depending on the time of year; one of the most popular things is the Blue Lagoon. Definitely a popular tourist attraction, but it costs about $100. Or you can rent a van with a bed and explore on your terms around the country. There are endless things to do, just make sure you know your budget and have a plan. Iceland is not a cheap country; I'd say it's close to Switzerland in terms of prices, which can be extreme. At the time, I knew I couldn't afford the Blue Lagoon and didn't want to rent a van for just one day. As a result, I talked to the receptionist at my hotel, who recommended a tour.

One of the best things I did while in Iceland was do the Golden Circle Tour, which was recommended by my hotel. It is on the cheaper side of things to do in Iceland, which is great if you're like me and are on a budget. At the time, the tour only cost me 50 US Dollars, which was not too bad, and you get a lot out of it. You get a nice air-conditioned van, a tour guide
fluent in English, and most importantly, a guide who knows the country's history in-depth. During this tour, you get to see the Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss Waterfall (If you are a sucker for a waterfall, just wait till you see this beauty!), and Thingvellir National Park. All magnificent sites to visit. The tour probably took about 7 hrs; it starts at 6 pm (pretty late) and doesn't end till about 1 am. You get a few bathroom breaks, but I recommend eating beforehand because most food places are closed. The fantastic thing about this specific tour is that it's only during the summertime, which is when the sun doesn't go down at all. It was a weird experience because I didn't get back to the hotel until about 1:30 am; the sun was still up, people were still out, and I had a flight to catch at 7 am! good stuff. Luckily I got some sleep in the van during the tour.

If I haven't yet convinced you and you are still asking yourself, should I go to Iceland? The answer is YES. Iceland is one of the most beautiful and untouched countries. There are so many cool facts about the country; for instance, 80 percent of that country is uninhabitable!.. Crazy right? Also, If you're not interested in anything I've mentioned and are a true risk taker, see the Northern Lights in the wintertime; It is a pricy trip, but I've heard it's truly phenomenal! All I am saying is that there is so much to see in Iceland; just have a budget and a plan.

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