I wanted to post about my trip to Iceland here…
A: Because I’m attempting to relive it in any way I can. B. Because I found other people’s blogs so helpful when planning my trip so I’m hoping to give back. I am labeling this week “Iceland Week”. I hope you all enjoy!
Planning the trip:
Who: I have these two lovely girlfriends that live in different cities (New Orleans and Houston). We met on a trip to Israel in 2013 and ever since then we have met up at least once a year in a different city. At first it was in the cities we lived in. Last year we went to Nashville, a place none of us had been to. And this year we took the big plunge and went international. For some reason we always end up traveling in March, which is especially appropriate because that was when we met. They are AMAZING travel buddies and I feel so lucky to have them in my life.
Why: Why Iceland? Honestly, it’s because that’s where my friends wanted to go. I’d always been curious, but was nervous about the cost of an international trip. But my friend’s enthusiasm convinced me and I’m so so happy they did. It was right up my alley.
How: It’s all about WOW Air! They’re an Icelandic airline that markets themselves as low cost and high-performance. Think of cheap European airlines like Ryanair or Easy Jet, but trans Atlantic. Granted, we booked our tickets 9 months in advance, but in the end, after travel insurance and baggage fees, the price of my round trip flight was about $400!!! Now, I had to pay extra for any beverage/food I wanted on the plane and there were no TV’s, but honestly that’s fine with me. I can easily bring my own food and entertainment. Right now in the US they only fly out of Boston, Washington DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco, but it was still cheaper for us to fly with them and book a domestic flight to DC (or in my case take the train) than fly with another airline.
When: Why Iceland in March? First, the flight prices were right. Also hotels and tours tended to offer lower rates in the offseason. I’m a sucker for mountainous winter landscapes. Give me that over a beach any day! I also wanted to see the Northern Lights. March seemed like a time when we would be maximizing on the daylight hours (as opposed to the 5 hour days they have in December), while still getting to enjoy the Icelandic winter. Lastly, and probably the biggest factor, it worked with all of our schedules. Between getting days off approved, and working around other commitments, it’s hard to coordinate three schedules. When we could all nail down a week we jumped on it.
Where: As much as we would have loved to drive around the whole country we only had a week, which every source we looked up said wasn’t enough time. My friend Sarah (who’s very smart) contacted the Icelandic blog Tiny Iceland and Inga, the founder, got back to us with a route she recommended for a week’s visit. (I love how the Internet connects people!) We pretty much followed the route she gave us, with one detour when the roads got icy. It was so nice to have something laid out for us by a local!
On my next post I’ll go over the specific route we took and sites we visited