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7D6N ROAD TRIP AROUND ICELAND RING ROAD ! LET’S READ THESE TIPS!

If you are planning for Iceland trip, here is the best tips you can get !

I’m very excited to share the story of her journey. Previously, I knew her as a senior at my college. But not anymore, now she is my idola, in the world of travel. She’s got to iceland, while I was still on my bed :p

“As promised, here are some tips for any of you planning to have a road trip around Iceland. Sorry it took me so long to finish this, I actually started writing right after I came back from Iceland and it was almost done, but something happened and I lost my soul for a few months. Only managed to finish it just now.”

First of all, I won’t say how much budget do you need, coz it really depends on how much you’re willing to spend. Since lately there were many articles about cheap-menyusahkan-mak-bapak-budget-trip, I’m kinda afraid to share this LOL. But believe me, I didn’t susahkan my mak bapak for this trip and I think you won’t either 😛

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My initial plan to Iceland was actually a camping-suka-suki -main-redah -punyer-trip. Bawak khemah, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, etc siap2 dr London. No comfy hotels, no cozy restaurants. Sleep in the tent/car, self-cooking, shower in public hot springs/swimming pools/toilets.

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I wasn’t trying to make it as a budget trip. I just wanted it to be wild and free, to get out of my comfort zone, to camp in the mountain, to blend with the nature, to be on the road 24*7 and stop whenever and wherever I want. Jomblo happy ~~~

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But yes, if you plan to go there with your family and kids then this is obviously not an option. Better get your accommodation ready beforehand.

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Anyway, I will try to share as many tips as possible so it can at least help you to plan your trip. If you happen to face any difficulties or unexpected turn of events, don’t be afraid and just take it as a challenge. That’s how we learn and grow.

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# Exchange rate: 1000 ISK = RM33 at the time of writing.

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FOOD:

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Food in Iceland is verry expensive. Simple meal like salmon sandwich or fish & chips costs around RM60 per meal. Since mine was a so-called camping trip, I brought Brahim’s, pasta, maggi, canned Tuna, sardines, rice, instant porridge, 3 in 1 coffee, etc from Malaysia. Don’t forget the cooking utensils and cutleries. Once arrived in London, bought halal canned sausages and bread. Total cost for this was around RM100 – 200.

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Mineral water in Iceland is expensive, even local Icelandic people don’t usually buy the water from supermarket. It is safe to drink from the tap water or from the waterfall. So I brought a 10L jerrycan/water container from London. Can also find this from any hardware store in Malaysia.

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How to cook the food? Can rent the gas stove from this link: https://www.iceland-camping-equipment.com/

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You can also bring your own stove, but please note that you can’t bring the gas cartridge anywhere on the plane, not even in the check in baggage. So you will need to buy it from the supermarkets/shops in Iceland, but need to make sure that it is compatible with your stove.

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Easiest way, let’s just rent it LOL. The stove we rented came with 220g gas cartridge, and it was more than enough for two people for one week. No need to buy new cartridges.

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Another thing we rented was the car power inverter, coz we were on the road 24*7 with no source of electricity and we needed to charge the phone & camera. Oh hey here’s my suggestion. If you rent this power inverter, you better bring along an electric kettle and even a rice cooker should you have enough space in your luggage.

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Why? To minimize your cooking time on the stove. Iceland is always windy and keeping the fire alive is really difficult, even with a windscreen. Would be worse in the cold weather you’d be freezing to death while fighting for the fire :p

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DRIVER’S LICENSE:

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We don’t need the international driving permit to drive in Iceland. Don’t waste your money to apply for this permit as it would cost you RM150. Just bring your normal driving license and you’re good to go. Nevertheless, you can check with the car rental company just to double confirm again.

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CAR:

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Here comes the most important thing for your trip in Iceland. Before you go, search for the car that you want to book thru https://www.skyscanner.net/carhire/
Average rental cost for an automatic 4-5 doors car for a week is about RM950 (includes basic insurance coverage). You will need to pay about RM150 deposit to place the online booking and the rest will be paid when you take the car at Keflavik airport.

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When you take the car, you must pay by credit card in the name of the main driver. Again, a CREDIT CARD, not debit card and not even cash. So yes, credit card is a must here.

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We actually booked Hyundai i10 for our trip (without GPS as we planned to use Waze), but in the end we were given Renault Clio with built-in GPS, using Diesel on top of that. Oh yeah even better ~

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ADDITIONAL CAR INSURANCE:

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One more thing, you will be offered an additional insurance coverage at the car rental desk. They would try to convince you by showing a sandstorm video and say that sandstorm is very common in Iceland. If you get hit by it, the car would be heavily damaged and you would have to pay a lot. Other coverage includes the tyre as Iceland has many gravel roads.

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All in all the insurance cost would be around EUR30/day. If you say no, they will need to pre-authorize an additional EUR1216 for insurance excess (since you don’t take the additional insurance). This will be automatically released if there is no theft or damage during the rental period. If you say yes, no pre-authorize will take place, you will just be charged for the additional insurance you take.

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It is up to you if you want to take the additional insurance or no. We didn’t experience any sandstorm in that week, and the road along Route 1 (Ring Road) was still manageable for us, even with the gravel road in some areas. But if you want a peace of mind, then better take it.

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How it’s like to drive in Iceland? One moment you were in a city, the next moment you found yourself on top of a mountain. Steep gravel road with continuous blindheads and cliffs along the way, sometimes very crooked with no guardrails by the roadside, you’d surely even forget how to breathe normally. But again, if you’re confident enough with your driving skills then no need. The choice is yours ^^

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SLEEPING IN THE CAR:

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The best thing about Iceland is, you can park your car and sleep anywhere along the road. It is free, legal and safe, provided that there is no camping site around that area. You usually won’t be alone as there will be several other cars/campervans stopping by for the same reason. Just look for the lay-by sign by the road side and you’ll be fine.

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But note that these places don’t usually have toilets, so you’d better do your business whenever you see a public toilet, normally located in a café at a gas station or at a tourist attraction site. These toilets are mostly free of charge, but at some places you would have to pay (about ISK200/RM7!) per entry. Don’t worry you can even pay by credit card if you don’t have cash :p

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Another option is to park your car at a camping site where you’ll be guaranteed a toilet and shower (but there will be many other tourists and you have to queue for the toilet of course). There are many camping sites in Iceland and you can either sleep in the car or pitch up your tent. The cost is around RM70 per night per person.

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If you have extra budget, you can take a campervan for more comfort. Price would be around RM4000/week for a campervan without toilet for 2 pax, while a caravan with toilet should cost around RM6000/week for 4 pax. Of course it is more comfortable than sleeping in a compact car.

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My first night in Iceland was spent in Hveragerdi Hot Spring. We pitched our tent near a small river, surrounded by the hills. In the middle of the night, the temperature dropped lower and lower till -5. It was freezing like crazy I was shaking in my sleep even with several layer of clothes and jackets. My Malaysian body still couldn’t tahan.
So for 2nd till last night we turned to our Plan B, sleep in the car. That’s our so-called camping trip kekeke… Regret for not booking the hotels? Not at all. We were mentally and physically prepared for this as we knew the risk even before the trip. So yes, tu la namanya cabaran.

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OIL, HOT SPRINGS AND SWIMMING POOLS:

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Cheapest oil in Iceland is Orkan. Make sure to fill up your tank (and pee) whenever you see a gas station, you never know when will you find the next one. Payment has to be done by credit card, no counters to pay cash.

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Hot springs are mostly free of charge, while swimming pools usually cost around 900ISK/RM30 per entry. You can refer to this map to plan your stops for oil, hot springs and swimming pools: http://hotpoticeland.com it is very useful.

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INTERNET:

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The cheapest mobile data package in Iceland is Siminn. It is very important to have the internet connection if you want to go all the way around Iceland and if you plan to use Waze. The cost is 2000ISK/RM67 for 1GB of data and I’m sure it is more than enough for one week. The coverage is good, except in some areas in the mountain the connection would be slow. You can buy this from 10-11 store at Keflavik airport.

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So, do you want her itinerary also?

ITINERARY IS HERE XOXO

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1773 KM, 7D6N ICELAND ITINERARY FROM WEST TO THE NORTH