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What To Pack For An Iceland Trip


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Joanne Bonin



Planning a trip to Iceland? Congratulations! You’re about to embark on a truly magical adventure. Iceland, with its stunning landscapes, geothermal wonders, and vibrant culture, offers a unique travel experience like no other. But before you hop on that plane, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable trip.


Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, with chilly temperatures and frequent changes in conditions. Therefore, packing the right clothing and gear is crucial to staying warm and protected during your journey. Additionally, there are some essential items and documents that you shouldn’t leave home without.


In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive packing list for your Iceland trip. From clothing and outdoor gear to toiletries and travel documents, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and make sure you’re prepared for an unforgettable adventure in the Land of Fire and Ice!


Essential Clothing

When it comes to packing clothes for your Iceland trip, the key is to layer. The weather in Iceland can change rapidly, so having multiple layers allows you to adjust accordingly and stay comfortable throughout the day. Here’s a rundown of the essential clothing items you should pack:

  • Base Layers: Start with thermal or moisture-wicking undergarments. These will keep you warm and dry, even if you sweat.
  • Insulating Layers: Pack sweaters, fleeces, or down jackets to provide extra warmth. These can be worn over your base layers.
  • Outer Layers: Invest in a waterproof and windproof jacket and pants. These will protect you from rain, snow, and strong winds.
  • Trousers: Opt for quick-drying and durable pants that offer both comfort and functionality. Consider bringing a pair of waterproof or water-resistant pants as well.
  • Shirts and T-shirts: Pack a mix of lightweight and long-sleeved shirts. These can be worn alone or layered under sweaters or jackets.
  • Accessories: Don’t forget to bring a warm hat, gloves, and a scarf or neck gaiter for extra protection against the cold.
  • Socks: Choose wool or thermal socks to keep your feet warm and dry. It’s also a good idea to bring a few pairs of moisture-wicking socks.
  • Swimwear: Don’t be fooled by Iceland’s cool climate. The country is home to numerous geothermal pools and hot springs, so it’s worth packing a swimsuit.

Remember, Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be prepared for all conditions. Layering not only helps regulate your body temperature but also allows you to adjust your clothing as needed throughout the day.


Next, let’s take a look at the outdoor gear you’ll need to fully enjoy Iceland’s natural wonders.


Outdoor Gear

Exploring Iceland’s breathtaking landscapes often involves outdoor activities and adventures. To make the most of your trip, here are some essential outdoor gear items to pack:

  • Backpack: A sturdy and comfortable backpack is essential for carrying your belongings and any additional gear you may need.
  • Waterproof Bag or Cover: Protect your belongings from rain or water splashes by using a waterproof bag or cover for your backpack.
  • Daypack: If you plan on doing day hikes or shorter excursions, a smaller daypack is handy for carrying essentials like water, snacks, and extra layers.
  • Trekking Poles: If you anticipate hiking on uneven terrain, consider bringing trekking poles for added stability and support.
  • Binoculars: Iceland is home to diverse bird species and stunning landscapes, so don’t forget to pack binoculars for better wildlife spotting and scenic views.
  • Camera and Accessories: Capture the beauty of Iceland by bringing a camera with extra memory cards, batteries, and a tripod for steady shots.
  • Portable Charger: Keep your electronic devices powered up with a portable charger, as you may not always have access to electricity.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated on your adventures by carrying a refillable water bottle. Iceland has plenty of clean water sources to fill up from.
  • Snacks and Energy Bars: It’s always a good idea to carry some high-energy snacks and energy bars for quick refueling on the go.
  • Sunscreen and Sunglasses: Even in colder climates, the sun’s rays can be intense, so protect your skin and eyes with sunscreen and UV-blocking sunglasses.

Having the right outdoor gear ensures that you’re comfortable and prepared for the various activities and conditions you’ll encounter while exploring Iceland’s stunning natural wonders.


Next, let’s talk about the importance of footwear for your Icelandic adventure.



Choosing the right footwear is crucial for exploring Iceland’s diverse terrain. Here are some footwear essentials for your Iceland trip:

  • Hiking Boots: Invest in a sturdy pair of waterproof hiking boots with good ankle support. These will keep your feet dry and provide traction on various terrains.
  • Walking Shoes: Pack a comfortable pair of walking or trail shoes for less intense hikes and city explorations. Look for shoes with good grip and support.
  • Waterproof Sandals: Iceland has numerous geothermal pools, hot springs, and black sand beaches. Consider bringing a pair of waterproof sandals for these unique experiences.
  • Warm Socks: Pack a mix of wool or thermal socks to keep your feet warm and dry. It’s always good to have extra pairs in case of wet weather or long hikes.
  • Gaiters: If you plan on hiking in wet or snowy conditions, gaiters can help keep your legs and boots dry by preventing water or snow from entering.

When selecting footwear, prioritize comfort, stability, and durability. Iceland’s terrain can be uneven and challenging, so having appropriate footwear will make your adventures much more enjoyable and safe.


Now that we’ve covered clothing, outdoor gear, and footwear, let’s move on to essential toiletries and personal care items for your Iceland trip.


Toiletries and Personal Care Items

Packing the right toiletries and personal care items will ensure you stay fresh and comfortable throughout your Iceland trip. Here are some essentials to consider:

  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Maintain good oral hygiene by packing a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Shampoo and Conditioner: Bring travel-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner or use reusable travel containers to save space.
  • Body Wash or Soap: Opt for a travel-sized body wash or soap to keep yourself clean and refreshed during your trip.
  • Deodorant: Iceland’s cool weather doesn’t mean you should skip on deodorant. Pack a travel-sized deodorant to stay fresh throughout the day.
  • Moisturizer: Iceland’s winds can be harsh on the skin, so keep your skin hydrated with a good moisturizer or lotion.
  • Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun’s rays, even in cold climates. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF.
  • Lip Balm: Keep your lips moisturized and protected from dryness with a nourishing lip balm.
  • Personal Care Items: Bring any necessary personal care items such as contact lenses, glasses, razors, and feminine hygiene products.
  • Towel or Microfiber Towel: Pack a quick-drying towel or microfiber towel to use during your travels. These are lightweight and take up less space in your luggage.

Remember to pack these items in travel-sized containers to comply with airport regulations and save space in your luggage. Additionally, consider using reusable toiletry bottles to minimize waste and make them more environmentally friendly.


Next, we’ll discuss the importance of packing essential electronics and chargers for your Iceland trip.


Electronics and Chargers

As we rely more and more on technology, it’s important to bring the necessary electronics and chargers to stay connected and capture memories during your Iceland trip. Here are some essential items to consider:

  • Phone and Charger: Your phone will likely be your lifeline during your trip, so don’t forget to pack it along with its charger.
  • Camera or GoPro: If you’re into photography or videography, bring a camera or GoPro along with its charger, extra batteries, and memory cards.
  • Adapter and Converter: Iceland uses different electrical outlets and voltage standards, so be sure to bring a Universal Travel Adapter and Voltage Converter to charge your devices.
  • Power Bank: Portable chargers or power banks are handy for keeping your devices charged when you’re on the go and don’t have access to a power source.
  • Headphones: Whether you want to listen to music, podcasts, or watch movies during your journey, a good pair of headphones will enhance your experience.

While it’s important to have these electronics, remember to find a balance between immersing yourself in the experience and capturing moments. Sometimes unplugging and enjoying the natural beauty of Iceland without distractions can be the most rewarding.


Now that we’ve covered electronics, let’s move on to the essential travel documents you’ll need for your Icelandic adventure.


Travel Documents

Before embarking on your Iceland trip, make sure you have all the necessary travel documents in order. Here’s a checklist to ensure you have everything you need:

  • Passport: Check that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date from Iceland.
  • Visa: Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to enter Iceland. Check the visa requirements well in advance and apply if necessary.
  • Flight Tickets: Keep your flight tickets or e-tickets in a safe and easily accessible place.
  • Travel Insurance: It’s highly recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses, trip cancellations, and lost luggage.
  • Driver’s License: If you plan to drive in Iceland, remember to bring your valid driver’s license from your home country.
  • International Driving Permit (IDP): Some countries require an IDP in addition to your driver’s license. Check if Iceland requires an IDP from your country.
  • Travel Itinerary: Keep a copy of your travel itinerary, including accommodations, tours, and important contact information.
  • Emergency Contact Information: Jot down emergency contact numbers for your home country’s embassy or consulate in Iceland.
  • Copies of Important Documents: Take photocopies or digital scans of your passport, travel insurance, and other important documents, and store them separately from the originals.

It’s always a good idea to have electronic copies of your travel documents stored securely in cloud storage or email, in case of loss or theft.


With your travel documents in order, you’ll be ready to make the most of your Icelandic adventure. Next, let’s discuss the importance of packing medications and a first aid kit.


Medications and First Aid Kit

Having a well-stocked first aid kit and necessary medications is essential for any travel adventure, including your trip to Iceland. Here’s what you should include:

  • Prescription Medications: If you take any prescription medications, ensure you have an adequate supply for the duration of your trip.
  • Over-the-Counter Medications: Pack common over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, stomach remedies, and any personal medications you may need.
  • Allergy Medications: If you have allergies, include antihistamines or any necessary medications to manage your symptoms.
  • First Aid Kit: Your first aid kit should include items such as band-aids, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, tweezers, and scissors.
  • Insect Repellent: Depending on the season and location, Iceland may have mosquitos and other biting insects. Include insect repellent to protect yourself.
  • Sunburn Relief: Even in a colder climate, sunburn can still occur. Pack aloe vera gel or other sunburn relief products to soothe sun-damaged skin.
  • Personal Medications: If you have any specific medical conditions, pack any necessary medications or medical equipment associated with those conditions.

If you have any ongoing medical conditions, it’s advisable to consult with your healthcare provider before traveling to Iceland to ensure you have everything you need.


Remember to keep your medications and first aid items easily accessible, preferably in a waterproof and easily identifiable container.


Now that we’ve addressed medications and first aid, let’s move on to the importance of packing snacks and a water bottle for your Iceland trip.


Snacks and Water Bottle

Exploring Iceland’s breathtaking landscapes and partaking in outdoor activities can work up an appetite and make hydration essential. Here’s why you should pack snacks and a water bottle:



  • Energy Boost: Packing snacks such as granola bars, trail mix, or dried fruits provides a quick and convenient energy boost during your adventures.
  • Convenience: Having snacks on hand allows you to satisfy your hunger whenever you’re on the move, without having to rely on finding food establishments in remote areas.
  • Allergies or Dietary Restrictions: If you have specific dietary restrictions or allergies, having your own snacks ensures you always have suitable options available.

Water Bottle:

  • Stay Hydrated: It’s essential to stay hydrated, especially during physical activities or hikes. Carry a refillable water bottle and fill it up from the many clean water sources in Iceland.
  • Eco-Friendly: Using a reusable water bottle reduces the use of single-use plastic bottles, helping to minimize waste and protect Iceland’s pristine environment.
  • Cost Savings: Buying bottled water every time you’re thirsty can quickly add up. Bringing your water bottle allows you to save money on purchasing drinks.

Remember to pack snacks that are non-perishable and can withstand varying temperatures. It’s also a good idea to bring a mix of sweet and savory options to cater to different cravings.


With snacks and a water bottle handy, you’ll be prepared for your Icelandic adventures without worrying about hunger or dehydration.


Next, let’s talk about the importance of carrying cash and credit cards during your trip.


Cash and Credit Cards

When traveling to Iceland, it’s important to have a combination of cash and credit cards to ensure smooth transactions and financial security. Here’s why you should carry both:



  • Small Purchases: Cash is handy for smaller purchases, such as snacks, drinks, or souvenirs from local vendors who may not accept credit cards.
  • Remote Areas: In more remote areas or small towns, establishments may have limited or no card payment facilities, so having cash is essential.
  • Tipping: If you plan on dining at restaurants or using tour services, it’s customary to tip in Iceland. Having cash on hand allows you to easily tip service providers.
  • Emergency Situations: It’s always wise to have some cash as a backup in case of unexpected situations or emergencies where card payments may not be feasible.

Credit Cards:

  • Wide Acceptance: Credit cards are widely accepted in Iceland. Visa and Mastercard are the most commonly used, but it’s always a good idea to carry a backup card from a different provider, in case one is not accepted.
  • Safety and Security: Credit cards offer more security than carrying large amounts of cash. They can be easily canceled or blocked if lost or stolen.
  • Convenience: With credit cards, you don’t need to worry about currency exchange, and you can easily track your expenses through your card statements.
  • Car Rentals and Accommodations: Many car rental companies and hotels require a credit card for security purposes when booking or renting. Having a credit card is essential in such situations.

To ensure your financial security, inform your bank and credit card company about your travel plans before departing to avoid any issues with card transactions.


Having a combination of cash and credit cards provides you with flexibility and convenience throughout your Icelandic journey.


Lastly, let’s discuss the importance of packing some miscellaneous items for your trip.


Miscellaneous Items

In addition to the essential items mentioned earlier, there are a few miscellaneous items that can make your Iceland trip more comfortable and enjoyable. Here are some things to consider packing:

  • Travel Adapter: Iceland uses Type C and Type F electrical outlets, so make sure to pack a travel adapter that is compatible with these plug types.
  • Reusable Shopping Bag: Iceland is known for its commitment to sustainability, and many stores charge for plastic bags. Bringing a reusable shopping bag helps reduce waste and makes shopping more convenient.
  • Travel Pillow and Blanket: If you have a long flight or plan to sleep during your travel, a travel pillow and blanket can make your journey more comfortable.
  • Guidebook or Maps: Even in the age of technology, having a physical guidebook or maps can be helpful in exploring Iceland’s attractions, especially in areas with limited internet connectivity.
  • Travel Lock: Keep your belongings secure by bringing a travel lock for your luggage or backpack.
  • Reusable Cutlery and Water Bottle: Reduce single-use plastic waste by carrying your own reusable cutlery and a water bottle for meals on the go.
  • Language Guide or Translator: While many Icelanders speak English, having a language guide or translator app can be useful for communicating and understanding local phrases.
  • Travel Journal or Notebook: Capture your memories and jot down your experiences in a travel journal or notebook.

These miscellaneous items can enhance your travel experience and make your time in Iceland more convenient and enjoyable.


With these items in your luggage, you’re now well-prepared for an unforgettable adventure in Iceland!


Remember to pack according to the specific needs of your trip and adjust the quantities based on the duration of your stay and planned activities.


Safe travels and enjoy your incredible journey in the Land of Fire and Ice!


Have a great trip!



Congratulations! You’re now equipped with a comprehensive packing list for your Iceland trip. By considering the essential clothing, outdoor gear, toiletries, electronics, travel documents, medications, snacks, and miscellaneous items discussed in this article, you’ll be well-prepared to have an incredible adventure in the Land of Fire and Ice.


When packing, remember to layer your clothing to adapt to Iceland’s ever-changing weather conditions. Don’t forget to bring sturdy hiking boots, essential outdoor gear, and a reusable water bottle for your outdoor explorations. Ensure you have all the necessary travel documents, including your passport, visa, and travel insurance, to ensure a smooth journey.


Be prepared for any medical needs by packing necessary medications and a well-stocked first aid kit. Having snacks and a combination of cash and credit cards will provide convenience and flexibility during your trip. Lastly, consider miscellaneous items such as a travel adapter, reusable shopping bag, and language guide to make your journey more comfortable and enjoyable.


Remember to strike a balance between capturing memories and immersing yourself in the beautiful landscapes of Iceland. Enjoy the incredible beauty of this unique country, and savor every moment of your adventure.


Safe travels and have a fantastic time in Iceland!


Bon voyage!