Taking a solo trip is one of the best experiences in life, although for a lot of people it is a difficult step to take. Once you have made this decision with good planning, enjoying a trip unaccompanied will turn into a great adventure.
Travelling is undoubtedly an activity that benefits us all in body and mind. It is a fact that going on vacation helps us to reduce day-to-day fatigue and stress, which makes us happier people. Discovering new things and meeting people will always bring into our lives a dose of vitality to cope with the monotony of the rest of the year. We usually travel with friends, family or partner. However, our schedules may not always match. Does this mean that your desire to travel will stay with you on the sofa at home? Of course not! Travelling alone is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in other cultures. Do you dare to take a solo van camping trip to Iceland?
Solo Van Camping Trip in Iceland – The Advantages of Travelling on Your Own
For some people, travelling alone can seem incredibly intimidating, which is understandable. As human beings, we try to stay in our comfort zone, and travelling alone to an unfamiliar country is not very encouraging, even if it is an incredibly safe place where there is no real danger. The moment we travel with people we know or love, our stress levels drop considerably. The idea of taking a solo van camping trip in Iceland has been in your head lately, do not deny it! There are many advantages to travelling alone, once you see the benefits, you will forget the disadvantages.
Solo Travel in Iceland – Go Beyond Your Limits
Anyone visiting a foreign country will find themselves in a difficult situation at some point. It does not matter if you travel accompanied or alone, things happen. Even if you have planned down to the smallest detail, unexpected situations arise. No matter what kind of problem appears, if you can solve it by yourself, your self-confidence and energy will increase significantly. They will be stories that will last in your mind for years.
Travelling Alone will Open Your Mind
For sure, on more than one occasion, you have witnessed behaviours of some tourists who seem to stay in their country forever. They rarely open up to get to know the local culture. When you travel with friends or family, there is always less chance that you will go for the more ‘risky’ option. However, when you travel alone, you are forced to do much more with the environment. Without realizing it, you will end up talking to other travellers from other faraway countries and sharing great experiences and anecdotes.
Visit Iceland at Your Own Pace
Many people love to travel alone because it gives them a sense of freedom that they don’t find in other situations. Not having schedules nor limitations, just flowing with the environment and doing what you want to do will be enough. You would be able to decide your tourist spots, food, restaurants, everything to your liking and without complications.
Solo Travel to Iceland – The Perfect Destination
Let’s be clear, Iceland is a perfect country for many types of travel. But without a doubt, it takes the cake for solo travel. Pushing your limits is an undescriptive feeling, but common sense is always necessary. Safety is paramount whenever travelling, but it is especially important when travelling alone. Regarding this, we have good news for you.
Iceland is known to be one of the safest countries in the world. Its crime rate is one of the lowest you can find. If you are thinking about how incredible the geysers must be, the volcanoes that crowd the island and the beautiful landscapes of nature, you have no excuse. Most Icelanders don’t even lock their doors, I can barely remember the last time I did it. Why should I do it? Living in Iceland, after all, means trusting your neighbour. The population is only 300,000 people, so we know what to expect. However, it is always good to be well prepared for any trip, even if it means to visit a safe and reliable place.
What Do I Need on My First Camping Trip?
Unless your travel agency is in charge of organizing it, all trips need prior preparation. However, I bet you did not opt for their services if you are reading this article. Here you have some of the main points to consider if you are planning a solo van camping trip in Iceland.
Iceland by Camper
Renting a camper in Iceland is one of the most popular ways to travel around our small Nordic island. You have everything you need in your home on four wheels. The freedom and convenience of having your room with you at all times mean that you are not dependent on an itinerary or a hotel reservation. Also, you save a lot of money, since this option is cheaper than renting a car and booking hotels or travelling around Iceland by motorhome. Regardless of whether the itinerary you have in mind through the Land of Fire and Ice is five, ten or fifteen days driving on the N1 Ring Road, renting a camper in Iceland is the best way to go. But before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle includes the following:
- Spare battery, it charges the fridge and the heating system (Webasto is one of the best models).
- Radio, CD, MP3 and USB input.
- Bed with mattress, sleeping bags and pillows.
- A 12V cigarette lighter socket. We recommend renting a converter to get 220V for big electronic devices such as a laptop.
- Water tank.
- Camping gas.
- Kitchenware (pans, pots, cutlery, plates, glasses).
The Icelandic Weather: What to Expect
Iceland’s climate is unpredictable but will always surprise your eyes with beautiful landscapes.
At this time you can enjoy more pleasant temperatures than in winter. You will also be able to see the Midnight Sun (the days are eternal and, especially in July, it never gets dark). You also have the advantage that the roads won’t be covered by snow nor ice (you will still have to deal with gravel) and you can access the entire island.
Although you will find some roads closed or in unfavourable conditions, at this time of year you will be able to see the Northern Lights, one of the most surprising natural phenomena. It is also possible to see glacials and lagoons in their maximum splendour. Do not worry about the cold, It comes with a feasible solution: Heating system and good quality winter clothing.
Remember to check the weather forecast and the roads conditions daily.
What to Pack for Iceland?
Regardless of the season, some garments should not be missing in your suitcase when you visit Iceland. If your travel plan includes a stop at the Blue Lagoon or the Myvatn Nature Baths, the first thing you should pack is a swimsuit. Winter clothing will be essential on any date: a good coat, a windbreaker, hat, gloves or more technical clothing such as shirts and thermal tights, waterproof shoes and trekking boots. Climbing equipment is supplied by companies that offer this type of tours. You cannot forget a flashlight or headlamp, sunglasses, lipstick and sunscreen.
Supermarket Shopping in Iceland
When you’re planning a trip to Iceland, it helps to know the best places to shop. Shopping in supermarkets will help you save a lot of money. Both cities and towns have at least one supermarket, although you also always have the possibility of going to the fish market for fresh fish, bakeries or grocery stores. Bónus, the supermarket chain, is the most inexpensive of Iceland. You will easily find it in major cities of the country; You will recognize it thanks to its pink smiling pig logo.
Learn Some Icelandic Words
Getting along with Icelanders is easy, but knowing a few words in the local language is always helpful. We are aware of how complicated the language is, that is why we highly value foreigners venturing with some essential Icelandic words.
Useful APPS and Websites
- Aurora Forecast to check the Northern Lights forecast.
- Icelandic Met Office to verify the weather forecast.
- Vegagerdin to take a look at the road status.
- Tjalda to get more information about campsites in Iceland.
- Iceland Camping Equipment to rent some extras for your rental, like a converter.
- Download the 112 application on your mobile: This application will give you much more security since you can contact emergency services, even in areas without coverage. It is also useful to activate the GPS locator function so that they can see where you are at all times.
Solo Van Camping Trip in Iceland
You are finally ready for your next adventure to the Nordic country. The best advice I can give you is: dare to try it. Probably not everything will turn out as you expected, which is not so bad. There may be some complicated situations at times, but at the end of your trip, you will wonder why you did not dare to do it before. Read our post ‘What to Pack For a Camping Adventure In Iceland?‘ and run to pack your suitcase!