When I was considering doing a trip by myself, I went through a list of possible vacation spots before deciding on Iceland. There are a lot of things to consider when you decide to go solo, mainly safety and accessibility concerns. Here are my top pros and cons to traveling to Iceland.
Safety: Iceland is considered one of the safest countries with one of the lowest crime rates, in the world. I didn’t feel unsafe at any point during my 8 days there, whether I was in a crowded city or an isolated farm in the middle of no-where. From all the articles / posts that I’ve read, Iceland is a constantly picked as a destination for solo travel.
Language: Icelanders are generally polite, VERY helpful and speak fluent English. I had no issues communicating with anyone there. All signs and information boards have an English translation.
Roads / Driving in Iceland: Whether it’s accessing the short touristy Golden Circle or the longer off-beat Ring Road, Iceland’s roads are in top condition and well-maintained. Of course, the weather in Iceland is UNPREDICTABLE (more on that), which is why there are two amazing websites to track weather and road conditions in real time. All closures are updated here in real time, and I’ll suggest checking both sites every 3-4 hours.
Range of Activities: Of course, the biggest pro to Iceland is the number of things you can do or see during any given season. You can be daringly adventurous or moderately laid back and still have a fantastic time and enjoy some unforgettable views.
Communication: When you think of a country as isolated as Iceland, it is easy to assume bad cell coverage. But fortunately, that is not the case. I had good cell coverage for the most part. The only time I remember not seeing any bars was when I was hiking between mountains in a non-popular spot.
Driving in Iceland: While the roads are proactively maintained, there are instances of unpredictable closures in cases of storms or landslides. It can get a little challenging to plan a trip and keep it flexible to accommodate last-minute changes. I cannot stress enough to constantly use their road conditions website.
Weather: If you are looking for a sunny-beach vacation, then Iceland is not the place to go. Yes, there were sunny and warm days, but that could change in less than 30 minutes. The weather I experienced in eight days ranged from a biting cold snow storm to a hot and sweaty summer day. I would constantly check the weather, as same-day predictions might sometimes be off by a lot.
Expenses: Iceland. Is. Expensive. It’s more than New York expensive tbh. Especially with food, alcohol at bars and gas. A foot long at subway (not a combo, just the sandwich) is around $14. I had a beer and a burger at a regular pub in Reykjavik, that too during Happy Hour, and the total came up to $37. I ended up eating a lot of cheaper gas station sandwiches and packaged food, and if that’s not an option for you, the expense might be something to consider!
Overall, the pros weighed out the cons for me. My trip was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! It’s been a couple months since I got back and I still constantly miss the country. Hope these articles help you make your travel decisions.
Let me know if you have any questions or things to add, in the comments below!