To make sure that you and your children can make the most of your exciting adventures to Iceland, we have put together some top tips and recommendations of what to pack for your child. It can be difficult knowing exactly what to pack without overpacking, especially when the weather is as unpredictable as it is in Iceland but follow our guide and be ready for your memorable trip with your children!
Iceland’s weather can be very unpredictable- waking up in the morning to the sun beaming to then finding yourselves in inches of snow during a whiteout! Therefore, layers are the number one rule when packing for your children alongside ensuring their hands, neck and head are covered with hats, gloves and scarfs to prevent frostbite! A rule of thumb is you dress your child in an additional layer to what an adult would wear. Packing layers allows you to easily change your child’s wear accordingly to the weather conditions that day. During the winter months temperatures can average around -2⁰C and so it is important to keep your children warm at this time. Ideal layers are leggings, thermal tops/vests, fleeces, waterproof jackets/trousers and snowsuits.
During the summertime, temperatures typically average between 10-12⁰C, however, it can also peak at 25⁰C. This means that too many clothes can be uncomfortable for children, especially when exploring! Hence why layers are a great idea for when temperatures are warmer and then suddenly drop as it gets later in the day.
As well as waterproof jackets, boots are the most ideal shoes and must be waterproof paired with insulated socks to keep your children’s feet warm and dry when they are adventuring in the cold and wet conditions of Iceland! A good tip would be to put an additional liner in your child’s boots for extra protection when walking in the snow or wetland.
It may seem ridiculous but pack your children swimsuits as there are lots of pools and hot springs for them to enjoy in Iceland due to the geothermal water! (However, flip-flops tend to not be permitted- save some packing space!)
Food on planes and in Iceland can be quite expensive so during your flight to Iceland and upon your arrival, have some snacks such as biscuits and crackers (not messy) in your carry on to save you money and keep them happy!
During your trip to Iceland, you will find food may be significantly more expensive and so we recommend you visit an Icelandic supermarket. Supermarkets such as; Netto or Kronan are popular to purchase food and snacks from instead of spending excessive amounts on fast food and eating out at restaurants. So, whilst on your travels, carry trail snacks from the supermarket to keep your children happy when on longer treks and save yourself from spending more money at shops/cafes along the way. This money can be spent elsewhere on exciting opportunities such as whale watching!
Whilst travelling to Iceland and during your visit, it is a good idea to keep your children entertained when on your way to destinations. To be mindful of other travellers during flights, pack quieter toys such as travel games, top trumps, soft toys and colouring to keep both your child, you and other passengers satisfied! As well as toys, pack headphones and a child-friendly tablet with plenty of games and movies downloaded.
‘Are we nearly there yet?’ is often a good reminder of how long journeys can take their toll on younger children buzzing with excitement, so keeping your children occupied with things to play with and movies to watch will make the time go quicker for them, and you!
There are also some miscellaneous items that can’t be forgotten when packing for your children before your trip to Iceland. Pillows and blankets are a must on flight, car journeys and comfort from home when sleeping in unknown territory, they keep your child comfortable when trying to sleep. Although Iceland is typically a cold climate, sunscreen is important to pack as the sun can often reflect off the snow. Therefore, during your trip apply sunscreen to exposed areas of your child (particularly face) when on their adventures.
In drier and colder winter air, children lose more water than adults through their breath. Therefore, its recommended to carry a waterproof day bag/backpack with plenty of bottles of water to keep them well hydrated. Another tip would be to pack moisturiser and lip balm with SPF to prevent dry skin and lips which can become sore, itchy and uncomfortable if left untreated.
Either reusable or disposable hand warmers are a great item to pack, they don’t take up much space either! When temperatures are low in Iceland, hand warmers are an additional source of warmth when children are out exploring with you. A tip would be to put hand warmers in their gloves to keep their fingers warm, especially when they’re making snowballs!
Although medicine would be available to buy during your visit, a top tip would be to pack some children's medicine, for if they do feel under the weather at all. This is because medicine isn’t available 24/7 and there’s no harm in being extra prepared!