ICELAND: WHAT TO PACK AND MUST HAVES

My husband and I just got back from an EPIC trip to Iceland this past July. It was stunning and definitely a place to see if you can. In addition to this post, I wrote about noteworthy places to visit and eat including tips for going to the famous blue lagoon.

For now though, let’s talk packing. Below are featured items I actually brought to Iceland with me, plus some items I wish I had with me, and a few items I bought along the way. Before the trip, I looked at the weather on my my phone only. I did not research what to bring layer wise. This was a major mistake.

The weather in Iceland changes often, quickly, and temperatures vary throughout the day. Another thing I was not expecting was the intense wind that is all over the island. I get now why Nordic women always wear their hair in braids. The last unexpected detail is how wet you will get all the time. Even if it is a sunny blue sky day, if you are hiking you will get wet. With waterfalls everywhere and cold wind blasts mist is everywhere.

One thing I noticed is that Icelanders are all about practicality. Athleisure is everywhere. Cute sneakers, jeans, and a hat are all you need. There isn’t really anyone wearing heels unless you go to a club. Even to nicer restaurants, the attire is more low key than it would be at home. A simple pair of slides with a nice shirt will do.

Okay on to the list. These are must haves!

Pants:

Two pairs of jeans should work great. These are the exact pairs of jeans I brought and they were all I needed. Focus on a lot of yoga, workout, and athleisure pants to take with you as you’ll get the most wear out of these. If you are a hiker, plan on getting wet no matter what. Pants that wick and keep you warm (like the Nike pair featured) are ideal.

Shoes:

I brought the blush sneakers below with these exact hiking boots. I love Ahnu for hiking because they are comfy, warm, and waterproof. Most practical hiking boots are pretty hideous if you ask me, (hello?! can’t fashionable women hike too??) so these Ahnu’s were the most stylish ones I could find to get the job done.

The one pair of shoes I wish I brought was rain boots. My cold wet feet (even just walking around Reykjavik) would’ve loved these shiny, black Sam Edelman babes below.

 Tops:
I brought plenty of tees but not enough long sleeved tops, and I wish I would’ve packed a crew neck sweat shirt. A few of those and you’d fit right in with ultra fashionable Icelanders.
Accessories:
These are must have! I repeat – do not go without some version of these items.
  • Bandana (or scarf) to keep your neck warm. I even tied it around my face to prevent wind burn while hiking.
  • Sunglasses that wont break the bank. The sun is intense! You will need sunnies, but with all the elemental beat down your face gets, you might not want to bring your most expensive pair.
  • Beanie because it gets damn cold. Even in summer.
  • Backpack. I brought this Sole Society bag that worked equally well on hikes and strolling around Reykjavik.
  • Baseball hat. Fashionable and on-trend right now and how I controlled my hair from being a hot ass mess with the wind. Albeit, maybe suede wasn’t the best fabric choice, it looked super fab.
 
Jackets:
Layering is key. I brought a leather moto jacket for warmer days and ended up having to buy this Icewear parka while I was there because I was so damn cold. Even if the temp says 50 degrees the wind is no effing joke. I was a happy camper once I snagged this parka up. I would also pack a rain coat.
Misc. Necessities:
I’m going to number these below. Trust me on this one.
  1. Dry shampoo– The high sulfur in the water caused major oily roots and this is totally not the case back home. I had to pick up a can while I was there.
  2. A seriously rich moisturizer like Ren EVERCALM – The wind will beat down on your face. I walked around wondering how the heck women there didn’t look hardened from the elements.
  3. Makeup with SPF – There is a hole in the ozone over Iceland. Protect your skin.
  4. Hiking socks that wick – This is for the nature lovers because when it’s wet and cold out, you’ll still want dry feet.
  5. A good hair mask – The blue lagoon does wonders for your skin but wreaks havoc on your hair. I read about this and deep conditioned while in the water. Even after this I went home with dry ends and needed a trim.
  6. Pony tails hair ties – If you have long hair you’ll never wear it down unless you want the wind to create naturally made dreads.
  7. Hand creme – The wind is not fucking around, ladies.
  8. Lipbalm with SPF – See all the reasons listed already.
  9. Multiple high-quality “wicking” sports bras – It’s wet and you’re moving a lot, so let’s be dry and comfy, shall we?

Peace, Love, and Happy Travels!

Xoxo Bex