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penny pinching

bristol, UK
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30 posts
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penny pinching

Is Iceland really as expensive as its reputation? If so does anyone have any tips about how not to blow the bank balance in a week? (not that i'm tight or anything.......)

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1. Re: penny pinching

Avoid Pubs unless there has been a major change since I was there. I was charged GBP 10 for a pint of beer.

Philadelphia, PA
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2. Re: penny pinching

1. Always stay at a place that provides breakfast. Eat like you have never been fed before. Never go out for dinner; have a great late lunch where the people eat. For dinner, bring cup of soup, cheese, bread. You can buy fruit and skyr (like yogurt and cream cheese together, yummy) and bread at the grocery.

2. Avoid alcohol unless you bring it with you or you buy it at the airport when you arrive. An unusual privilege, buying at the duty-free, tax-free shop when you land.

3. Book all tours and activities from the hotel or guesthouse where you are staying. Any place else might charge a surcharge for the service so it will be more expensive.

4. Walk all over Reykjavik or learn the local bus stops.

I am tight; I like to put my money into things I can keep, like books and future trips. I have been to Iceland three times, twice for the weekend and once to drive the Ring Road for a week. I have never enjoyed myself as much as I did in Iceland. And I did it as I am recommending to you. It does not have to be expensive; you can bring food with you (that's what I did) and most places provide a way to heat water; quite a few offer a refrigerator for guests to use and some have a guest kitchen.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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3. Re: penny pinching

Iceland is eye-wateringly, throat-clutchingly expensive. Sorry. Stempler and SeniorTraveler are right in their comments, too. One thing that enchanted me on my first trip was that most food stores have a microwave in the front, near the tills - so if you buy something, you are (usually) welcome to zap it right there. They also sell coffee, which is delicious, for less than half the price of cafes - and sometimes offer it free to customers.

If you can bear it, book a tour. Some of them will offer breakfast and dinner; hotel rack rates won't be a headache; with petrol nearly 1GBP per litre, there's one less worry.

Iceland is very civillised in that it offers duty free on entering the country, as well as leaving. Stock up on drink, if you like a wee dram.

Having said all this, go. Worth every penny.

Berkshire, United...
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4. Re: penny pinching

I don't know if I am too late in replying to your question? If you have already been to Reykjavik you will know that despite the horrendous prices it's worth it! In agreement with all the other replies - before visiting you are told 'it's expensive' but until you get there you don't realise HOW expensive. We had a 'Subway' opposite our hotel & the roast beef sub. for 6GBP fed two of us, great value. We were disappointed that we didn't eat in a 'typical Icelandic' restaurant but you don't have to be 'Scrooge' to be put off by the prices!! Take cup-a-soup, cereal bars etc. & drink the tap water - fantastic, it's surprising how little you can live on when you are compensated by the fresh air, nice people, & healthy way of life, we'd go back tomorrow - Bristol/Bracknell are OK an outdoor hot tub or pool just wouldn't be the same!!!

Stoke on Trent...
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5. Re: penny pinching

VAT in Iceland runs at 25pc; any purchases over ��40, keep your receipts and when you get to the airport at Keflavik there is a place to hand them in and claim your VAT back.

Iceland is, undoubtedly, expensive; however, what it costs you depends on the sort of holiday you want. Reykjavik is nice but not top of the list if you want a shopping weekend; go elsewhere for that. No, it's the scenery and natural geological wonders that you go to Iceland for and those are free to view! You'll find yourself so busy taking it all in that you won't be constantly eating and drinking, as so often happens on holiday.

Finally, whatever you end up spending, you won't begrudge a penny of it; Iceland is amazing.

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6. Re: penny pinching

If you're woried about money, don't go. Be prepared to blow tons of money and have the best time in your life.