Packing stresses me out, and I don't do it until the last minute. Lists decrease my stress- and help me remember to bring my toothbrush. Here is a practical list of what you need for a week-long summer road trip in Iceland.
This list is for a summer road trip, but don't be fooled. Although the land is green and the sun is always out, it's still cold. The key to keeping warm is the art of layering - and removing layers before you get hot and sweaty.
Let me preface this list: I HATE being cold. This list was my attempt to stay warm. Also, I've recommended women's products, but they make similar items for men.
- Windproof Jacket - My favorite is The North Face's Palmeri Jacket. It blocks the wind, is durable, and layers well.
- Down/Primaloft Jacket (optional, but recommended) - This is if you want a warm jacket that isn't the same jacket you wear in all your pictures. Also, it's a back up if something happens to your other jacket.
- Rain Jacket - If you don't have one, buy something like the Columbia Arcadia Jacket. It's pretty technical without being super expensive. It layers well on the Palmeri Jacket. If you do an outdoor excursion, like whale watching or horseback riding, you'll regret not having one.
- 2-3 Pairs of Leggings
- 4 Base Layer Tops - I brought Nike thermals. They're spandex with warm fuzzy material on the inside.
- 1 Nice Outfit- People in Reykjavik are super fashionable. I recommend a Maxi dress or jeans with a nice sweater. I'd recommend the later considering the jeans can be used for other outfits.
- 1 Pair of Jeans - You never know.
- 2 Swim Suits - there are so many geothermal pools. You don't want to be the girl/boy wearing the same swim suit every time.
- Warm Socks - I recommend SmartWool. They're wicking and warm. You can usually find them on sale at The North Face Outlet
- Sturdy Athletic Shoes* OR Warm Functional Boots Once your feet get cold, it's game over. My Ugg Adirondack Boots were a lifesaver. They have Vibram soles, making them sturdy and are actually cute for Uggs.
- Nice Functional Shoes (Optional) - If you feel the need to look cute when you're strutting around hip Reykjavik.
- Sunglasses- The sun is out... all the time. If the shades are a cool color - you'll get even cooler photos.
- Sleep Mask - You probably won't be able to sleep without this
- A Warm Scarf/Pashmina- adds some flare to your outfit, and is also very functional
- Sweatpants/cozy sleep pants
- A Daypack - or a small backpack. This is much more useful than a purse. You can just stuff all your shit in there and go. I brought a Camelbak M.U.L.E., and didn't bring the bladder.
Toiletries - I don't need to go into detail on this. Also, I prefer buying these there.
- A little bit of make up - Despite the grungy-ness of a road trip, you probably still want to look cute.
- Music/Podcasts - people are cool, but sometimes you just want to zone out when you drive
Pack light. You don't want to be that person with their massive luggage that can't fit in the trunk of your tiny car.
If you want to seem like you wore a different outfit every day on this road trip, play with your accessories: sunglasses, scarf, etc.
Pack a small fold-able duffel inside your bag - in case you buy things. For some reason, luggage always seems to expand on the way back. My favorite is The North Face Base Camp Duffel. It's sturdy and has straps so you can wear it like a back pack. By sturdy - I mean- really sturdy. You can throw it around and not worry about it being torn.
You'll probably end up buying something with an Icelandic print, so plan on acquiring more accessories there.
Things You Don't Need
Rainproof Pants - If it's raining, you're probably not going to be going on long hikes.
*Hiking Shoes - it'll make it more comfortable for short hikes, but you shouldn't go out of your way to buy them
Toilet Paper - just buy it there. It's not worth trying to stuff this in your luggage.
Warning! This is not a North Face commercial. I recommend these products because I own them and like them.
Did I miss anything? Comment below.
If you want to find things to do in Iceland, see the following posts:
- Iceland's Best Coffee
- A Comprehensive Guide to the Blue Lagoon
- An Icelandic Plane Crash
- Riding Icelandic Horses