Vanlife is the best way to travel on a budget in Iceland. This is your guide for a camper van road trip adventure around the Ring Road
Kyana Sue Powers
When is the best time to come to Iceland? What is the weather like in Iceland? I will answer these questions and more below!
Vanlife is one of my favorite ways to explore Iceland. There is so much freedom when your home is on wheels. My vanlife Itineraries are the best combination of relaxation and adventure.
Camper Van Recommendation: Go Campers Iceland use code KYANASUE5 for a discount on your camper van rental!
The best months for vanlife in my opinion is April - September while the days are still quite long, however you can travel in a van all year long because they are equipped with heaters!
Vanlife can be great for all ages if it suits your comfort and adventure level. Think of it as a luxury camping, if you don't like camping in a tent, you may not like vanlife. Renting a campervan in Iceland is also great for travelers on a budget, not only is the van your vehical but it is also your accomodation so you can have some money there, espeically if you cook most of your meals in the van instead of eating out.
I have created a few itineraries for van life in Iceland, however If you are interested in a personalized itinerary for your trip, I'd be happy to make one to fit your needs!
There are many campsites around Iceland. It's good to be aware that many campsites are only fully operational in the summer time. Most campsites have running water, electricity, bathrooms, and many have shower options. You do not usually have to reserve a spot ahead of time. Wild camping in Iceland in illegal and if the police catch you, they will give you a hefty fine!
My itineraries include my favorite campsites to stay at, where and when to grocery shop and all kinds of useful tips for each day. Iceland is super underrated for food, so I have also included my favorite places for lunch stops around the ring road.
It's important to always check the weather in Iceland on www.vedur.is
Please note that the weather forecast can change many times a day and is only accurate really 1-2 days in advance. It's also good to be aware that the weather is usually different in every region of Iceland.
I also suggest signing up for weather text alerts from Safe Travel for the time that you are in Iceland. These are super useful to help keep you safe while you travel.
The road conditions are usually pretty stable April - October but it's always good to check the current road conditions on Road.is
CLOTHES: No matter the season, I still recommend to pack lots of layers:
- Sweatproof or merino wool base layers
- Fleece or wool mid layers
- Rain Jacket (Waterproof is key)
- Rain Pants
- Good Boots (Hiking boots are usually perfect, waterproof and warm)
- Warm down or puffy winter jacket
- Wool socks
- Bathingsuit, a vanlife hack is to pack 2 since there are many hot springs and things can dry slowly in the van
- Towel, again I reccomend bringing 2
- Sandals or slippers to wear in the van
If you forget anything then Icewear has great affordable outdoor clothing in Iceland.
CAMPING GEAR: your camper van rental company will either include or allow you to rent sleeping bags, blankets and pillows. This will help you save space when you're packing. Your van will also include a bed, a small kitchen, and all cooking and kitchen supplies, as well as a heater.
I recommend packing your things in a soft bag rather than a hard shell suitcase so that it is easier to store in the van.
MORE USEFUL ITEMS:
- Resuable Water Bottle, the tap water and most rivers are safe to drink from in Iceland
- Clips to close your food bags
- USB charges, most vans will come ready with USB plugs rather than USB-c
- External Charger
- Eye Mask for the summer months
It's not the best, but I do recommend buying instant coffee (from any store in Iceland, just add hot water) it's quicker for clean up and for making coffee in the mornings. However, that's just me being a lazy morning person.
I also recommend buying any alcohol in duty free at the airport right before baggage claim, after you see the "Exit to Iceland" sign. The liquor stores in Iceland are few and far between and they have odd hours and are extremely expensive. You can save a lot of money buy picking some drinks up at the airport if you plan to drink on your trip. The alcohol stores in Iceland are called Vínbúðin .
Iceland is fully 5G capable. You'll find wifi almost everywhere in the country. I suggest using an eSIM app like Truphone or Holafly. They have different affordable options for fast data. You could also rent a WIFI hotspot from your rental car or campervan company. Alternatively you could purchase a prepaid data SIM card from an Icelandic Mobile company like NOVA or SIMINN from their stores or many gas stations.
I hope you enjoy your time in Iceland :)
Iceland truly is a bucket list destination for adventure travelers and nature lovers. Iceland has something for everyone, solo travelers, honeymooners, and families with kids!
Check out my itineraries for more detailed planning, including the best places to stay, Restaurants to try , an interactive map, and hidden gems all over Iceland.
Don't see what you need? Submit for a personalized itinerary , and I'll tailor to fit all your needs! I'm so excited for your trip to Iceland :)