Iceland, a land of Magic and Mystery

Let us guide you through how we plan a trip, and in Particular to Iceland......

Fareness.com

Kayak.com

Hopper (this is an app on my iphone that sends me alerts when prices on my 'go to' cities go up and down) ---will take a lot of headache, and lets the company do the work for you.

Skyscanner (this is another app on my iphone that sends me alerts on prices for my cities, and when they go up and down) -- this will take a lot of headache, and lets the company do the work for you.

Delta.com (for those with skymiles, this is a great way to use them)

Travelpirates - (app) this is great for both flights and vacations that you can plug in the cities you want to watch and they will send you notifications

TravelZoo - (app) this can give you flights, and all inclusive deals that are promotions that certain new hotels and companies are having, including cruises.

Nextvaca.com ($25 a year, but totally worth it to save hundreds on vacations), this site found a flight for me from Salt Lake City Utah to Iceland for $283; WHO CAN BEAT THAT?!?!

Booking.com - this you can filter what kind of place you want to stay at ie/B&B, Hostel, Hotel etc.... and it will compare them and they have a bidding war against each other to stay on the top of the roster. I have used this for a few trips now and have not had any issues, as long as I write down and take the pin # and booking # they give me. I also email the company directly about 30 days before I go, just to make sure that they have my reservation in the computer, and while I have them on the phone, also ask if there are any discounts available or if they have any specials I could take advantage of & sometimes mention other hotels that are having specials that I have seen offered.

Hostelworld.com - this website provides pictures, ratings from travelers, tells you the accommodations that they have available etc.. Make sure to pay attention to the reviews about if the water is hot, if the bathrooms are separated, if their is breakfast included,  if there is an electric plug for each guest, how clean they have been rated, and if there is a locker available or not for your valuables and passport. The locker doesn't need to be large, just enough to put the valuables that are hard to replace like your ID's, cards, medications, or any souvenir's you may buy.

Trip Advisor is one that I use as well, but I find that they are becoming a bit overpriced and bought out, I mostly look at the reviews that people post about a certain area, and then go to the company website itself for the deals because it is often cheaper.  (I rarely use Expedia or other websites of this nature because of the cost inflation that they seem to have-- but that is just my experience).

Hotel Tonight or Airbnb: I personally have not tried either of these, because I am a bit nervous about being a single female and staying in a strangers home alone; but I know if you have family, it is a good deal and some even allow pets. Hotel tonight is a new one I have found that I will try out the next time I am looking for hotels, seems like they have good deals on hotels especially on short notice (they only do about 1 week in advance) this will likely get you the best deals as hotels are trying to fill their rooms.

Facebook is a great resource as well -- I will usually type in the search bar something like this "Iceland travel", "Touring Iceland" etc...... in as many different ways as I can. Typically Facebook with different websites will automatically translate the deals and such for you. This way you can connect with the local people and find the best deals this way. Just be careful who you book with as there are many people who say they are a tour guide but may not be a professional tour guide. To circumvent this issue, I usually ask a few questions: Do you have a website I could look at? Do you have other customers that I could chat with about their experience? If I decide to book with you, how do you accept payment?

  1. Never give payment information directly to them, get an email requesting payment with their company name, address, telephone, and website on the receipt and all the things that will be included with the tour. I did this with Carolyn Barrett Adventures in Jamaica and it was one of the best decisions I have made in a LONG time. She had so much history about the island, and was actually an immigrant to Jamaica from New York. I searched her on Trip Advisor and found that about 6 other people had the same reservations I did about booking this way, but had the courage to go ahead and book it with her and it was an AMAZING experience. Can't wait to go back and visit with her again.

Never give payment information directly to them, get an email requesting payment with their company name, address, telephone, and website on the receipt and all the things that will be included with the tour. I did this with Carolyn Barrett Adventures in Jamaica and it was one of the best decisions I have made in a LONG time. She had so much history about the island, and was actually an immigrant to Jamaica from New York. I searched her on Trip Advisor and found that about 6 other people had the same reservations I did about booking this way, but had the courage to go ahead and book it with her and it was an AMAZING experience. Can't wait to go back and visit with her again.

Specifics on what to Pack for Iceland:
Cell phone Service in Iceland:

Northern Lights Jeep tour

  1. Better option so that you wont be surrounded by 10 buses of tourists while you enjoy the lights, or if you have already rented a car and its June/July with decent weather – then forego the cost of a tour and just pull go out when its fairly dark (which isn’t long since summers in Iceland are nearly 24 hours of daylight) and see if you can find the Northern lights when you are driving along the Golden Circle.

Better option so that you wont be surrounded by 10 buses of tourists while you enjoy the lights, or if you have already rented a car and its June/July with decent weather – then forego the cost of a tour and just pull go out when its fairly dark (which isn’t long since summers in Iceland are nearly 24 hours of daylight) and see if you can find the Northern lights when you are driving along the Golden Circle.

Golden Circle and glacier on snowmobile

  1. Langjokull glacier
  2. Thingvellir National Park a UNESCO world heritage site packed with history and natural phenomena
  3. Geysir hot spring area- put on a show about every 5-8 minutes
  4. Gulfoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s greatest falls
  5. Langjokull glacier – snowmobile this

Langjokull glacier

Thingvellir National Park a UNESCO world heritage site packed with history and natural phenomena

Geysir hot spring area- put on a show about every 5-8 minutes

Gulfoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s greatest falls

Langjokull glacier – snowmobile this

South coast

  1. Go down route 1 to Eyjafjallajokull the volcano that created such a mess in 2010.
  2. See the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss
  3. Vik (a costal village) here is the Reynisfjara, the black sand beach. Here you will see the basalt column formations and the famous Reynisdranger peaks.
    1. Here you will see miles of Lava fields covered in fluffy moss and beautiful mountain range
  4. Ice Cave, Skaftafell & Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon- Eyjafjallajokull volcano/glacier, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Skofafoss, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Vik Village
  5. Ice Cave, Skaftafell & Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon-Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Vatnajokull National Park, Skaftafell National Park

Go down route 1 to Eyjafjallajokull the volcano that created such a mess in 2010.

See the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss

Vik (a costal village) here is the Reynisfjara, the black sand beach. Here you will see the basalt column formations and the famous Reynisdranger peaks.

  1. Here you will see miles of Lava fields covered in fluffy moss and beautiful mountain range

Here you will see miles of Lava fields covered in fluffy moss and beautiful mountain range

Ice Cave, Skaftafell & Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon- Eyjafjallajokull volcano/glacier, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Skofafoss, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Vik Village

Ice Cave, Skaftafell & Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon-Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Vatnajokull National Park, Skaftafell National Park

Snorkeling/scuba diving in Silfra Caving tour – must do a tour for this, check Tripadvisor.com and reviews for the one that fits your needs.

Blue Lagoon (which if you plan it correctly, you can take a soothing dip before jumping on the plane, make sure you get the ticket that includes a towel, so you don’t have to lug around a wet towel in the airport.

Welcome to Culture Trekking!

My name is Janiel, a medical professional, and solo adventurer. I have over 23 years of international travel experience and have a sincere passion for celebrating humanity, connecting with cultures, finding unique art and adventure. I’m an advocate for animals and sustainable travel and want to invite you to join the Culture Trekking community.

       

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