12 Things you should always have in your bag while traveling in Iceland

|September 27, 2017
Anthropologist, social media guru, Icelandic nature and food enthusiast.

A list of things you need to have when traveling in Iceland. The must-have essentials for Iceland travel a list from a local traveler. Some might surprise you, some might not but never the less, you are going to need all of these!


Many of my friends have been visiting from all over the world and this is what they have talked about being the “must haves” when traveling around Iceland. It is time to share it with you:

Here is everything you will want to have in your bag in Iceland… the essentials might surprise you!

1. Sunscreen

You probably didn’t guess this one since the country is named ICE-land but it is located so far up North on the Arctic Circle that it is simply closer to the sun. Use sunscreen at all times especially if there is snow on the ground or when bathing in pools.

2. Sunglasses

Again with the sun and the closeness. The sun in Iceland is extra strong and sunglasses are needed 365 days out of the year. Especially when driving or hiking. Glacier hiking minus sunglasses is no buono!

3. First aid kit

Nothing too complicated just band-aids for blisters, regular band-aids, and eye wash, hand sanitizer etc.

4. Chapstick / Lip balm

The weather in Iceland with its swift constant winds and endless changes causes your lips to get super dry. Bring chapstick and have in every pocket. This is something always everyone talks about!

5. Waterbottle

All around water is being sold. This came as quite the surprise to me when tourism started booming because up until then my dad wouldn’t even buy sparkling water “because clean water is free in Iceland and can be found in lakes, waterfalls, and rivers”. Don’t be fooled, bring a bottle and fill it up on tabs and in clean rivers and waterfalls.

6. Toilet paper + Ziplock bags

We are trying our best to put up toilets all around the ring road but you might drive for a while without seeing a town or any sort of WC. So when nature calls IN nature it’s good to have toilet paper and then a ziplock bag to put the paper in. You can throw this in a trash bin as soon as you see one. Please don’t go leaving toilet paper in the beautiful nature.

7. Camera

This you probably know as you are coming to Iceland but Iceland is out of this world breathtakingly beautiful and you are going to want the remember everything! The best thing, you don’t even have to be a pro photographer, Icelandic landscapes pretty much do it for you oh and the pretty little iron houses, the horses, the people, the midnight sun and the Northern Lights. I would go on and on!

8. Portable battery

This has to do with the camera and also if you use your phone for taking photos. The battery might run out if you are using it a lot, which you will and then it’s the odd part: when it gets super cold, which happens in Iceland, your device might shut down even at 40% so you need the charger to restart. Keeping it plugged also keeps it alive.

9. Headlamp / Flashlights

This is for those of you traveling in winter in Iceland. If you are walking out at night,  visiting a hot spring or just staying in the countryside these can come in handy.

10. Snacks

This one, again, has to do with the length between towns in Iceland. The further you are from Reykjavík the further the lengths get between villages where you can buy food. The variety also gets to be less the further you go away from the towns so if you have any special food requests (vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free etc.) I strongly recommend packing food.

11. Extra clothing

Primaloft is perfect, gloves, hat and a scarf!

12. A swimsuit

I would say having a swimsuit with you always increases the chances of an adventure. You never know you might find a town with a cute pool or find a natural one. The main point is being prepared, at all times. Also a towel, oops forgot about that. A dry towel is a bag essential. Happy soaking!


Anything you found you needed in Iceland that isn't on the list?

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