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Tips & Hacks

Handy insights on topics like food, navigation, timings and amenties in Iceland.

kids elders roadtrip


Planning ahead is required for meals in Iceland. Most big cities and smaller towns have plenty of food options. However some stays maybe too far from any appropriate restaurants. Additionally, restaurants may have limited timings. It is helpful to buy simple groceries in any bigger towns along the way for cooking dinner if a kitchen is available. Most accommodations we came across had fully equipped kitchens with pots, pans, oil and basic spices. Pasta, noodles and quesadillas are some of the simple meals we prepared.

For more than half of our tip, we picked up sandwiches or wraps from the grocery store or the gas station in an effort to save money and time trying to find restaurants.

Google Maps works great for most locations in Iceland. For specific directions to some off the grid trailheads, we get directions via the AllTrails app.

Download the parking app to pay for parking in the cities. Some trails may not have signal and you may need to use the machines.

Hot Baths

Not all hot baths are kid friendly. In our experience, Blue Lagoon and Geosea both admit young kids and we enjoyed them with our 10 year old. We were unable to visit Sky lagoon as it has a 12 and up policy. It is required to bathe with soap and water before entering any public bath.

Timing and Amenities

Most natural attractions in Iceland are free to visit and are open 24 hours a day. Some of the popular spots require a parking fee.

Most of the popular tourist spots have a cafe and restrooms as well, however; some lesser known spots may not have restrooms or places to eat for miles around.

For restaurants, check open times and days.

Gas Stations

For money transactions, credit card is accepted everywhere. We did not withdraw any cash and had no need for it throughout the trip.

Covering Ground

If you would like to keep the driving to a minimum and still be able to see the entire ring road (or at least most of it), it is easier to stay in a different accommodation every night to keep moving towards the next destination. In our 10 night trip, we chose to stay in a variety of accommodations such as hotels, apartments, farm houses and cabins to experience everything this gorgeous country has to offer.

Grocery stores

Kronan, Bonus and Netto were some of the grocery stores we visited while in Iceland. Different cities have different stores and they all seemed to have a decent selection of items. Each store has their own opening and closing times as there are no standard timing in Iceland. Some stores open after 10 am and close at 6 pm. We recommend checking the times before visiting. These stores are great for buying chocolates, snacks or lava salts to bring back home for souvenirs.

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