Rental Car: The biggest expense on land was the rental car. I ended up renting my car through Avis/Budget, just because they had the cheapest option for the time I was there. I rented the smallest automatic transmission car I could. I wish I drove manual so that my cost could be lower, but there's nothing I could do about that.
The rental car is split up into two categories: the $232 was the base fee, and the $645 was the added cost of the Insurance and the Wifi.
While doing research I read a good bit about 4x4 cars and whether or not you need one to drive on the Icelandic roads. I am here to say you do NOT need a 4x4 car, at least starting in February. (I can't say if it's the same for January or December) There was a bit of snow, but all the tires were "winter-proofed" and studded with nails. I did get stuck 3 times in the snow while I was there, but I never got irrevocably stuck and I was always able to push my car out with some help of course. I will leave you with the disclaimer that being from the Northeast I am pretty familiar with driving in snowy conditions, which is why I felt comfortable driving a small car in the snow.
The tolls were from my drive to and from Kirkjufell. If you are planning on doing the ring road there will only be the one toll. What's nice about these toll roads is that you can use a credit card and do not need cash.
Unfortunately my Snorkelling Tour was canceled due to storm warnings. I was reimbursed the money which is why I spent a little extra on food that day. I replaced that tour with the CityWalk tour that only cost $15. This particular tour I've only heard great things about and was bummed when it got canceled. If I ever get the chance to return to Iceland it will definitely be on my list of things to do!
The only tour I could have done without was Horseback Riding. While I enjoyed it, it isn't something I would recommend as something you have to do while in Iceland. Out of everything that I did, that was the one thing that could have been skipped.
If you are staying in a hostel in Reykjavik I would recommend the Bus Hostel instead of the Capital Inn. The bathrooms and showers are extremely private. The rooms house up to four people and all come with key cards so there is more privacy and security. It is also only a 15 minute walk from Hallgrimskirkja and downtown Reykjavik.
Both the Puffin Hostel and the Frakkur Guesthouse had private rooms to stay in with a shared bathroom. If you are staying at the Frakkur Guesthouse just remember whether you pre-paid online. When I got there I had forgotten whether I had or not and they charged me a second time. They were apologetic and helpful in taking the second transaction off, but it's just something to look out for so you don't have to go through the hassle yourself.
The South Central Guesthouse is my number one recommendation for places to stay. I stayed in a six person dormitory room. When I stayed there I was the only guest in the entire place. Because it is a bit far removed from the main road I don't think it gets quite the foot traffic as other places. It was super nice, and I believe they have a hot tub there too based on the pictures! The owner was also one of the nicest people I met while in Iceland. When my car got completely snowed in, she tried to help me dig it out. When we were unable to she called her son and offered me breakfast and coffee in the meantime. Once my car was free from the snow she wished me well and gave me a traditional Icelandic candle to remember my time in Iceland. Once again I cannot recommend this place enough!
All of the places I stayed at had a kitchen with all the essentials that I needed for my meals. Most hostels have a "free food" section in their kitchen. I implore you to take advantage of this section. I've stumbled upon trail mix and a much needed cup of soup. Travellers who most likely are headed home and don't want to take meaningless food back with them will leave their food in these boxes. If you have any food leftover I would also recommend that you leave your extras for other fellow travellers.
There are two things that I think everyone must try when they are in Iceland. The first is a hotdog, which can be found at most gas stations. Or you can visit Baejarins Beztu Pylsur in downtown Reykjavik for the "iconic" Icelandic hotdog that Bill Clinton tried and claimed to be the best in the world. The second thing that I feel you must try is the lobster soup at Saegreifinn. While waiting for my soup I also had a great tasting Gull Lager. This soup was beyond incredible and came with a small loaf of bread and butter. Both of these were well worth the amount of money that I spent on them.
As I said before my snorkelling tour got cancelled, so I indulged in some food that I hadn't previously budgeted for. If that was not cancelled I would not have indulged in the fish and chips or even the bread bowl, which would've saved me $53.
P.S. If you are looking to book your accommodations through Booking.com as well, do so here to receive $25 off your booking!
My passion in life is traveling. I feel most at home when I'm traveling to new places, experiencing new cultures, eating new food and meeting new people. My second home is binge watching reality TV with my best friend and dog, Izzy. I also love cooking (my newest obsession is Chrissy Teigen's "Cravings" cookbook) while listening to podcasts.