Are you planning a trip to Iceland? If you are, have you first considered how expensive Iceland is and by how much it will set you back in terms of your travel expenses? But if you are on a tight budget and you have always wanted to visit Iceland, don’t worry. There are different ways you can come here and still have the perfect vacation.
In this article, you will learn the most affordable option you can use to have cheap accommodation, cheap car rentals and also have the option to overcome the biggest obstacle that might likely eat up the bulk of your traveling budget - the gas.
If you have not heard about Iceland discount cards, in this article we will tell you all you need to know about saving on various costs with the different discount cards in Iceland.
If you have traveled anywhere before, Iceland is going to be by far one of the best places to spend your vacation come winter or summer. Iceland is called the Land of Fire and Ice for good reason. It’s filled with wonderful and exciting wonders of nature. But again, visiting these places can cost you a lot and the reason can be attributed to the fact that Iceland is an Island and therefore the goods you have here are mostly imported into the country. This means the final price is passed to the consumer.
Also, this country has a high standard of living which implies that there are higher taxes to pay for most goods and services. But if you are keen on saving money on these goods and services in Iceland, here are some suggestions on the best discount cards to save you money while here.
Reykjavik City Card
There are lots of exciting places to visit when you come to Reykjavik, and like most cities in Iceland, you need to have a pass to get access to most of their exciting tourist locations. Reykjavik is no different.
If you are on a tight budget and you don’t want to use car rentals when you visit Iceland, your best option is to use the public bus as transportation. Using the bus as transportation is very relaxing (takes the stress out of driving). But taking unlimited bus rides can put a hole in your budget. The same is true with visiting different galleries, and visiting museums in the capital city. You can’t do all these activities on a tight budget, which is why you need the Reykjavik discount card.
The card helps you get free access to several places including entry to museums, taking ferry rides, and dining at some restaurants. They also get you access to all of Reykjavik swimming pools and thermal pools and also you have unlimited bus rides inside the city. The card is like an all-in-one card and it’s worth every penny.
And should you need an all Icelandic experience, taking a dip at the thermal pools located in several places in the city is a must. In fact, your visit is not complete without this therapeutic soak. Having such an experience without the discount card can be very expensive. So get your Reykjavik discount card if you really want to cut costs when you visit Iceland.
You have three options with this card:
A 72-hour Discount Card: Costs 6700 ISK for adults and 3500 ISK for children
A 48-hour Discount Card: Costs 5500 ISK for adults and 2600 ISK for children
A 24-hour Discount Card: Costs 3900 ISK for adults and 1600 ISK for children
Note: To get your full discount on your card, when you purchase the card on the internet you will be given a voucher. The voucher paper is what you will exchange at many locations within the city to get your physical card which includes the full discount. Note that online reservations with the voucher does not guarantee a discount.
Cheaper Fuel in Iceland – Gas Station Discount Card
Filling up your tank here in Iceland is no joke. It can be very expensive especially when you have to visit many places during your stay. Besides, the Iceland car rental company still expects you to fill up the tank when dropping off the car and this implies additional costs to your gasoline budget. If you are on a tight budget but still want to enjoy your sightseeing here in Iceland with your rental car, here are some suggestions that might save you some extra fuel costs.
Some providers of car rentals do have a way of saving you some money when you rent a car from them. Their car keys come with discount keyrings that help you buy gas at a discount in some gas stations. If your car key does not have the keyring you can talk to their customer service to see if it is provided to customers.
Olís Discount Card
This gas station is the largest in all of Iceland and they are spread out everywhere. If you decide to go into remote areas you will always find Olís gas stations, including the many towns and villages. And the good thing about this gas station is that they have their own discount card for customers who patronize their services. With the Olís discount card you have 3 ISK discount on every liter of petrol you buy and free WI-FI. There’s also a 10% discount at their restaurants located in all their gas stations. And let’s not forget about getting free coffee.
You should know that dining at gas station restaurants is quite cheaper to dining in restaurants on the island which makes this card an ideal bargain. So if you are on a shoestring budget and really feel like having a good meal the Olis discount card option is there for you. And if you want to have your meal on the go, they also have Icelandic hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, pastries, desserts etc to take along while on your trip.
N1 Prepaid card
This is not a discount card per se, but a prepaid card and it definitely will save you some fuel costs. The N1 gas stations are one of the biggest in Iceland and can be seen almost everywhere in towns and villages. If you are on a trip to one of the distant towns and you get to a gas station that is unmanned you likely will have to fill the tank all by yourself. Many of the gas stations are unmanned during after-hours and if you don’t have a credit card with the PIN or you don’t know what your PIN codes are, you will definitely run into trouble. The gas pump will not work or recognize your card without the right PIN code.
Also if you are on a tight budget and you intend to use your credit card (with the right PIN) on any Icelandic gas pump machines - which by default all have the 'full tank' button, and you press this option, know that 25,000 ISK will be held from your balance. The gas station does this because they don’t know how much total fuel cost your vehicle will consume although, you will later be charged for the real price of fuel usage and a subsequent refund (if any) will be made. But such a refund can take some time before it reflects on your credit card. Imagine how this will affect you when you are on a tight budget.
This is why you need the N1 gas station prepaid card. It’s very easy to use and there is no such deduction on your card. Because it's a prepaid card you have option to purchase the right card you think will fit your needs. Just walk into any supermarket or their gas station and request your prepaid card - it comes in denominations of 3000 ISK, 5000 ISK, and 10 000 ISK. It can also be used in their supermarket to buy any goods and their restaurants across the nation.
Campingcard Discounts in Iceland
Having access to the camping discount card gives you access to over 40 campsites located along the Ring Road in Iceland and each card helps you save money – compared to when you don’t have the card. The Campingcard is recommended for two adults and four children and is valid for 28 camping nights from June 1st to September 15th. You should know that this card does not include your lodging tax and this tax is recommended to be paid when you arrive at the campsite.
The cards are easily available and you can pick up yours at the gas stations or the convenience stores that are close by including the tourist centers. With the Campingcard you don’t really need reservation to get access. Just go to your campground of choice and the card gives you complete access to enjoy all the facilities the campsite has to offer.
The Campingcard is also easy to use, all you need to do is when you get to your campsite location, there is a swipe machine that you use your card on; every swipe on the machine reduces your card by one night.
Icelandic Discount Coupons
Unlike many other discount cards that we have mentioned, this is quite different because it is not a discount card per se but a coupon booklet or an app on your phone. But it’s meant to help you save money while here in Iceland.
If you are looking for the best restaurants to have a nice meal, you can easily find them inside this booklet and the good thing is you get the best food on discount on selected meals. It's an investment worth every penny. So, for your bus and ferry tours, museum and gallery visits, and event spaces all around Iceland, this booklet offers over 70 coupons you can purchase for just 1000 1SK and you can get up to 35% discount on each coupon. This is a great bargain if you want to enjoy all that Iceland fantastic locations have to offer.