Home » Posh Momcation: Chronicles of my Iceland Expedition
Posh Momcations are necessary breaks for modern moms that need to refresh, recharge and refuel in order to be happier moms. We work very hard and little breaks away from our families is well deserved. Momcations should be fun, energizing and guilt free. Join us on our Posh Momcation and enjoy the article below.
These days, you can’t scroll through your newsfeed without seeing at least one acquaintance posting about their trip to Iceland. So what’s the big deal?
Even before pop culture sniffed out this gem of a country (movies like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and shows like Game of Thrones), Iceland has been a unique destination that even the most seasoned traveler will enjoy. Having been twice myself, I can attest to the fact that when you visit Iceland, you will leave a part of your heart in this devastatingly beautiful country. Here’s what you need to know about traveling to Iceland – öruggt ferðir!
With the demise of WOW air, your best bet for a cheap flight is to fly Iceland Air. You can usually find a non-stop flight leaving from Dulles around 8 pm, which will put you at Keflavik International Airport around 6 am – a comfortable 6-hour flight once you take into account the time change. Bonus: Iceland Air has their “stopover” program which allows for a free pit stop in Iceland up to seven days when traveling to any of their other destinations.
Everyone speaks English in Iceland, but expect to get thrown for a loop reading their street signs or trying to read labels on things in the grocery store. Since they do speak English, this makes Iceland the perfect place for someone who has never traveled internationally, to get their toes wet with minimal culture shock.
Renting a car is your best bet. While there are buses that run to Reykjavik from the airport and to many major tourist locations, we’ve found renting a car to motor around the country was the easiest for us to have the flexibility to go where we wanted when we wanted. There are several options for renting right by the airport – most of the places are the same price range. I recommend getting the wind and sand damage insurance, and if it’s the rainy season (or you’re just looking to go off-roading) get an SUV with 4-wheel drive.
Everyone says Iceland is expensive, and they’re not wrong, but if you plan and are smart, you won’t blow your entire savings account on the trip. Dining out isn’t cheap – here in the US, a burger, fries, and beer might cost you around $12, but in Iceland, it will be closer to $20. Good news is, you won’t need to carry krona around with you – most places take credit and debit cards.
We have used Airbnb both times we’ve visited and found pricing to be relatively inexpensive, even when staying pretty close to downtown Reykjavik. Our hosts have been friendly and eager to share more about their country with us, tourists, to the point of leaving new slippers at the door and sweet treats on the table.
While Iceland doesn’t have an iconic cuisine of their own, given that they’re an island, fishing is a primary source of food. Expect to see a fish and chips and a seafood soup on every menu, which will come with some of the most delicious bread you’ll ever eat (I think it’s their water). Other than that, burgers and pizza are pretty standard on menus. You’ll find all types of food – we’ve had amazing hot dogs and Thai food in Iceland, believe it or not. We usually hit the grocery when we arrive (there’s even a Costco as you drive into the city) to stock up on protein bars, bread, and deli meat, so we have snacks throughout the day.
The Weather and Climate
Iceland gets cold and rainy so plan to travel during your preferred season.
What to do:
The Blue Lagoon
While touristy, if you go to Iceland and don’t post a selfie of you at this geothermal spa, did you even go? Unlike any spa I’ve been to in the US, the Blue Lagoon is truly an experience. While there may be other less commercial geothermal lagoons to visit, the Blue Lagoon is conveniently located on your way to Reykjavik and is the perfect way to destress after your flight before you check into lodging.
An architectural beauty set on a hill gives breathtaking, 360-degree views to this beautiful country up on the observation deck. Inside, enjoy exhibits about Iceland’s unique history of volcanoes and glaciers and walk through the ice cave to experience what it’s like inside a glacier.
The Golden Circle
Every tourist has to check this off their bucket list – this expedition will take you to some of Iceland’s most iconic locations. The main three you’ll see are Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall and the geysers in Haukadalur, but you also can swing by Seljalandsfoss – the waterfall you can walk behind.
The Northern Lights
Sadly, I have yet to experience the Northern Lights. People who were there the week before me saw them, but no, I’m not bitter at all. If seeing them is at the top of your to-do list, definitely go during the winter months, bundle up, and park yourselves out in the country, far from city lights.
The Black Sand Beaches
Ever wanted to stand on lava? Journey to Vik, the southernmost village of Iceland, where volcanic lava has become the “black sand” beaches of Iceland. And the fantastic, towering columns by the beach are a natural phenomenon, from lava that cooled and cracked to create these beautiful rock formations.
While your first shower might reek of sulfur, don’t worry. Iceland is known for the purity of its water! So ditch the Evian and fill your Hydroflask up straight from the tap before you leave your room for your adventures.
Photos by: Traci Medlock
TRACI J. MEDLOCK is a Northern Virginia native and the owner and primary photographer of Traci J. Brooks Studios. When not behind a camera, she enjoys cooking with her husband, sampling craft brews and hanging out with her cats.