Iceland: The after action report.
We flew home and tipped our body/sleep acclimation fully over for the second time in a week. I fully embrace that I am a delicate flower and such jagged transitions mess me up for quite a while. 4 days after returning and I am starting to see straight and walk fully upright. My verbal and emotional filters were compromised while I was recovering, so I’ve had to deliver more than my normal number of apologies this week.
Our brains expanded as a result of the trip. My dreams have been filled with black sand beaches, steep sweeping mountains and blue black seas. I’m not sure how the change will find its way into my life but I can feel it. Travel always does that.
The children were happy when we came back. Alan and Delores and Jami and Matt kept them occupied, fed and entertained while we were gone. Knowing the kids are taken care of by loving people makes our time away free from worry – which is huge. Thanks guys!
What was the price tag? Iceland is an expensive place to visit. The flights were cheapish- $420 round trip. The car rentals were brutal. Typically we rent a roller skate for $22ish a day. In Iceland that same roller skate was $65 per day. Lodging was on the cheaper side – decent VRBO apartment in a good location – $70-120 per night. There were cheaper places available.
Food on the other hand was brutal and kind of value random. A hotdog – $2. Bottle of pop- $6. Pub style hamburger – $27. Pint of beer $8-12. Glass of wine – $12. Extravagant seafood meal at mom and pop restaurant – $40. We figured it out too late to take advantage of the knowledge but the pattern was that locally produced food was way cheaper. Imported foods were brutally expensive. We could have done better with our budget and still eaten well if we had figured this out sooner.
All of the ‘attractions’ were very inexpensive or free. The Iceland tourism machine gave visitors a lot of tour and transportation options which didn’t seem terribly outrageous. $40-400 per day per outing depending on how grand of an experience you were selecting and how far or rugged you wanted.
Souvenirs were pretty steeply priced even at the duty free store at the airport, which was probably one of the grandest and most expansive duty free stores I’ve ever seen.
One other interesting thing about money was that Iceland, even in the most remote locations, is essentially a cashless society. The culture of the card is super prevalent. We never handled cash or had to deal with currency exchange the entire time we were there.
Kaety and I play a lot of travel games with travel card benefits, miles points and chain memberships and we weren’t able to utilize any of our discounts or cost reducing benefits in Iceland except for simple dollars for points on our credit card. The big hotel chains don’t really have big footprints in Iceland…yet.