In a few days I’ll finally be setting off on a cruise around Iceland. The great thing (I’m hoping!) about cruises is that you pretty much have your transportation sorted for you – there’s no need to worry about missing a train or catching a taxi, or getting lost. The less-than-great thing is that you’re basically trapped on a boat with no access to the normal stores you’d find in a town or city.
In other words: you better pack well.
Luckily this is my second trip to Iceland, so I’ve got the benefit of experience. With that in mind, here’s a list of the bare essentials I’m bringing along with me. This is for a summer trip to the island, so I’ve focused a lot on clothes that I can layer. If you’re visiting in the autumn or winter, you can still use this list as a base – just bulk it up a little.
The normal stuff
No trip to anywhere is complete without your passport, smartphone, and other electronic/charging accessories (Iceland has the same outlets as continental Europe). I’m also bringing along a device that holds extra charge in case my phone runs out of batteries since some of the excursions on this trip last 12-15 hours.
Every season is outerwear season in Iceland. For this trip I’m bringing:
Top Left: Waterproof pants (they go over your regular pants)
Top Centre: Waterproof poncho (£6 at Decathlon)
Top Right: Down jacket (£50 at Decathlon)
Bottom Left: Icelandic sheep wool mittens (these babies keep your hands REALLY warm)
Bottom Right: Beanie
Left: Waterproof hiking boots – I took these Karrimor boots on my last trip to Iceland and they worked like a charm. They kept my feet warm and dry even in subzero conditions. I’d recommend getting ones with “high tops” as pictured, unless you want cold ankles.
Right: Flip-flips – I’ll be on a ship after all, and I don’t want to clomp around in boots the whole time!
It may be summer, but the weather is till pretty darn chilly north of the Arctic Circle. That’s why I’m bringing along these base layers, which are usually meant for skiing. They’re warm, yet thin enough to wear under jeans and a fleece or jacket.
Jeans and T-Shirts
Can you ever go wrong with the jeans and t-shirt combo? I think not. I’m bringing along three pairs of jeans and three t-shirts for the 10-day trip.
I love how snuggly this fleece is, and it also doubles as a perfect top layer over a t-shirt or base layer. I’ve tested it in Iceland before and it worked really well.
You won’t make any best-dressed lists with flannel, but it’s warm, comfy, and adds some colour to a cold-weather wardrobe.
Miscellaneous Bits and Bobs
After packing all the essentials of my wardrobe, I went in and filled out the rest of my suitcase with a few plain tank tops and shirts to give me more variety on the trip.
Bathroom Jams and Jellies
When going on an adventure holiday where I plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, I like to keep it simple with the makeup. All I bring is moisturiser, chap stick (I love Maybelline’s Baby Lips), a base makeup layer (Maybelline’s Baby Skin), and BB cream with lots of built-in sun protection.
Socks, underwear, and all that fun stuff – no one needs to see that!
The Complete “What to Pack for Iceland” List for a 10-Day Trip
[ ] Passport
[ ] Plane ticket
[ ] Alternate ID
[ ] Smartphone
[ ] Smartphone cable
[ ] Travel adapter (for EU outlet)
[ ] Headphones
[ ] Warm down jacket
[ ] Waterproof protection (pants and poncho)
[ ] Waterproof hiking boots
[ ] Base layer top
[ ] Base layer bottom
[ ] 3x Fleece and/or hoodie and/or flannel shirt
[ ] 5x Mix of t-shirts and tank tops
[ ] 3x Pairs of jeans
[ ] 10x Pairs of underwear
[ ] 5x Pairs of socks
[ ] Toothbrush
[ ] Toothpaste
[ ] Hairbrush
[ ] Really good moisturiser
[ ] Really good chap stick
[ ] Sunscreen or some other form of sun protection
[ ] Sunglasses
[ ] Hat
[ ] Gloves