Girl’s Guide: Packing for Iceland and what to wear

Stressing over packing for Iceland? I think I can help…

For as long as I’ve been travelling, I have had an irrational fear of my suitcase being lost when flying. I have no idea where it came from, but up until I go on my world trip in January, I will have only checked in one suitcase in my travelling life and that was to New York. Because shopping.

Friends are always surprised to see this when they travel with me. I’m an over-planner and a bit of a hoarder, so they always expect me to appear with at least two suitcases. But when travelling, my fear of losing beloved clothes trumps my desire to have every luxury within reaching distance, so I only ever get on a flight with one cabin-friendly backpack and a handbag.

Travelling around the world for a year, I will obviously need to conquer my fears *cough* and bring a suitcase, but as far as regular holidays go, I will never change. Because of this, I’ve developed some pretty nifty packing skills and managed to travel around Europe for 12 days in September with one medium backpack and a new outfit every day.

Basically, I know my stuff…

Packing for Iceland: What clothes should you bring?

Despite the weather demands, packing for Iceland didn’t phase me. I left Dublin for Reykjavik on an unseasonable warm April day; Iceland, on the other hand, was pushing 1°C at the height of the day. The two most important items I can recommend bringing is a decent winter coat with a good hood and a really good pair of hiking boots.

Packing for Iceland 2

Trust me about the shoes. Iceland is icy, wet and slippery, so keeping your feet warm and dry, as well as ensuring you have solid footing, is a must. If you leave Reykjavik, you are at risk of being blown into a geyser while up a mountain…

I speak from experience.

The little research I did made me realise that while Iceland is typically chilly, the weather can change quite quickly, so I opted for layers when packing. For five days, I brought:

  • 3 flannel shirts
  • 2 pairs of trousers
  • 3 long-sleeved tops
  • 2 thick pairs of hiking socks
  • 1 slim-fit Northface fleece for extra insulation
  • 1 winter coat
  • 1 scarf
  • Gloves
  • Hiking boots
  • 2 sets of pjs
  • The necessary underwear and regular socks (went under the hiking socks).

While I try to be practical when packing for a trip, I have no problem admitting that I’m also a little vain and do worry about how stylish I’ll look in my holiday snaps. I was definitely channelling ‘Rustic Pinterest Hiker’ on this trip – a look that is thankfully as sensible as it is photographable.

My best tip when trying to pack light is to bring some laundry supplies. I was able to wash tops and hiking socks in my hotel bathroom, and therefore reuse them. Genius, I know.

What else should I bring?

The hotel I was staying in gave me more towels than I knew what to do with, but if you’re staying in a hostel, bring a microfibre travel towel. I did this during my last weekend in London and it was a lifesaver that takes up hardly any room in your bag and dries in record time.

Aside from clothes, I also had my adapter plug, Kindle, iPhone and basic make-up supplies.

Oh and guys, don’t forget your sunglasses otherwise you’ll be blinded by snow glare.