Iceland is an amazing country, but packing for a summer trip there can be daunting. With so many outdoor activities to do, it’s best to be prepared for all weather conditions. Based on my personal experience, I’m sharing some of my top packing tips for a summer vacation there:
- Waterproof hiking shoes. Show with ankle support are a great idea, but not an absolute requirement.
- Wool socks. These provide thermal regulation, wick moisture, and are comfy to wear with those hiking boots.
- Windproof/waterproof jacket to layer on top of your clothes when needed
- Warm middle layers. Layering is important, so bring sweatshirts and fleeces.
- Waterproof rain pants. Hiking near waterfalls is an amazing experience but also one that can get you soaked. You can buy these at an outdoors store such as REI. Make sure they are big enough to pull on over your regular pants. I recommend packing one pair per person.
- Pants for hiking and wearing outdoors. These can be jeans or hiking pants. Women, you can also wear leggings under hiking pants on colder days, which is what I often did.
- A warm hat that you can pull over your ears when the wind off the glaciers picks up.
- Gloves – waterproof if possible. If you’re doing any activities that involve being on the water or glaciers, having waterproof gloves is helpful. I didn’t have these when I traveled to Iceland, so learn from my mistake.
- If you have hair products you can’t live without, you should pack them. The hotels in Iceland tend to be stocked with pump bottles of combination shower/hair wash and (sometimes) conditioner.
- If you are visiting the Blue Lagoon or other thermal springs, the rule is that you must shower before putting on your swimsuit and getting in the water. I recommend bringing flip-flops for this type of experience, to get from the shower and changing area to the water.
- Travel laundry sheets for washing items in your hotel sink. These can be helpful if you’re a light packer and want to rewear your clothing items. You can find these on Amazon easily.
And a bonus tip for self-drive Iceland vacations:
- Ensure your credit card has a pin number for use at gas stations. Sometimes you can pay inside, but not always. If you call your credit card company, they’ll be able to add a pin number for you.