mom and baby in front of oxarafoss waterfall in iceland golden circle thingvellir national park

Iceland With a Baby: Everything You Need to Know Before You Go!

icelandic horses in pasture in front of mountains iceland

Is Iceland Worth Visiting With Kids?

I could go on forever about why Iceland is the perfect destination to bring your baby or toddler, or kids of any age, but I’ll keep it short. In summary, Iceland is known for it’s incredible natural beauty (I mean it has over 10,000 waterfalls!), being the safest country in the world, the sheep (more than double the amount of humans!), and being one of the most kid and family friendly countries in the world. This was our favorite family vacation we’ve taken so far, and we can’t wait to go back!

If you want a full itinerary for 7-10 days driving the ring road with kids, check out our post: Iceland With Kids: The Most Amazing 10 Day Ring Road Trip Itinerary

What is the Best Month to visit Iceland?

We visited Iceland in September and the weather was absolutely GLORIOUS! Iceland has something to offer every season of the year, but in my opinion Spring/Summer/Fall would be the most kid friendly. During those times, the weather is usually good enough to drive the whole Ring Road. September was great because it was still warm enough to not freeze out butts off, but we got enough darkness to see the Northern lights multiple nights, one of the coolest experiences of our lives!! Not to mention, it was less crowded because it was technically the shoulder season. However, visiting with the midnight sun would certainly have it’s benefits with kids – time change mess you up? Oh well, you have 24 hours of sunlight to explore!

far away view of vestrahorn mountain and water iceland

TIP: Download an Aurora Forecast app to help you know when the Northern Lights will be visible. The one we used was My Aurora Forecast, but there are several other options. Also, many hotels will make wake up calls for the Northern Lights if you’d like.

What is the cost of a Family Vacation in Iceland?

Iceland is not a cheap country, but it doesn’t have to break the bank! We used credit card points to buy our flights. Our little one was under 2 and flew for almost free. We chose budget(ish) options for our accomodations. We also ate most of our meals from the grocery store rather than restaurants. Many of the activities in Iceland are completely free, so it’s totally up to you how expensive or how cheap you want to make this vacation. Gas is another consideration, but we were able to rent a hybrid car to help save on gas. In total, the trip would have cost us about $4000 in 2021 (for 10 days) if we didn’t have credit card points. This is just an estimate, but you could definitely make this trip much cheaper or much more expensive depending on your travel style.

  • Flights: $800-$1000 per person
  • Accomodations: $120-$200 per night
  • Groceries: Similar to Washington state prices (where we live)
  • Rental car: $700
  • Gas: Around $400
  • Restaurants: $100-$200
Sun voyager statue at sunset reykjavik iceland

What to expect when arriving in Iceland?

This is very dependent on where you fly in from and what your time change will look like. We had a 7 hour time difference from where we live, so we were exhausted when we arrived! You will fly into Keflavik which is about a 45 minute drive to Reykjavik. If you are planning to drive the Ring Road, it’s a safe assumption that you will be renting a car. Most of the car rental places are very close to the airport and most offer shuttles from the airport to the car rental places. We used Sixt Rental Car and they were great!

Iceland with Baby Travel Tip #1:

If you have a significant time change, I would recommend trying to use the early check-in at your hotel. We were able to pay a little extra to check in 5 hours early and got a solid three hour nap in before we started exploring. This also helped us adjust our little ones sleep schedule!

Iceland With Baby Travel Tip #2:

Pack everything you may need for a day/night in your carry on (extra clothes, diapers, etc). Our bag didn’t make it with us right away. If this happens to you, don’t panic. After an overnight flight with a one year old and the airline losing our luggage, I had a minor freak out and thought I made a big mistake by booking this trip. However, the airport was absolutely fantastic and delivered our bag to our hotel in Reykjavik by that evening.

Iceland With Baby Travel Tip #3:

Buy the wi-fi that comes with the car. It was excellent wi-fi and the option we had was portable. This was great for being able to pop it in our pocket wherever we went including at our hotels. Ours was also only ~$7 per day which felt like a great deal.

Iceland With Baby Travel Tip #4:

If you plan to minimize eating out, pack your own collapsible cooler if you have room in your luggage. We didn’t have this with us but wish we would have to store our groceries and milk for our little one as we drove around the ring road. At the beginning of your trip you can stock up on groceries at Bonus (a budget grocery store), and fun road trip snacks like Icelandic candy.

large piece of ice on black sand beach diamond beach iceland

Need more suggestions on how to pack for Iceland with a little one? Here is our Iceland Vacation With a Baby or Toddler: Complete Packing List

Can Kids Visit the Blue Lagoon?

Kids can visit the blue lagoon in Iceland. However, the minimum age for visiting the blue lagoon is 2 years old. This is because the high mineral content of the water can be harmful for very young kids. So unfortunately, you won’t be able to bring your baby or young toddler with you to the blue lagoon.

We weren’t able to visit the Blue Lagoon for this reason, but we had a ton of fun in other hot springs and the local pools. We actually visited a hot springs/pool almost every single night of our vacation! There are tons of baby and toddler friendly hot springs options throughout Iceland.

How many days do I need In Iceland With Kids?

We did our Iceland Ring Road trip in 10 days with our one year old, including travel time. This included us staying in Iceland for 8 nights and 2 nights spent traveling. I think it’d be possible to drive the entire Ring Road and see a ton of things in 7-10 days with kids. We wanted to give ourselves a little more time to explore all of the sights. If you have less than 7 days, it may be best to explore just the South Coast of Iceland and Reykjavik to minimize driving time with your little ones.

Which direction should I start when I drive the Ring Road?

I would definitely recommend starting in the direction of the Golden Circle and then heading along the South Coast first. The Golden Circle is great, but compared to many of the other things you will see in Iceland, it is less epic in my opinion. I would have been less impressed if I ended my trip with the Golden Circle rather than starting.

mountain and cloud with water in front iceland

Where should I stay along the Ring Road?

  1. Reykjavik
  2. Selfoss
  3. Vik
  4. Hofn
  5. Egilsstadir
  6. Akureyri
  7. Borgarnes
  8. Reykjavik

*If you have less than 8 nights in Iceland you could skip the stays in Selfoss and/or Borgarnes.

For more suggestions on hotel/airbnb recommendations read our 10 day Iceland itinerary: Iceland With Kids: The Most Amazing 10 Day Ring Road Trip Itinerary

What do I need to know before returning home?

Don’t forget that the drive back to Keflavik is 45 minutes from Reykjavik. It is recommended to get to the airport 3 hours early for international flights. However, if you arrive earlier than 3 hours you will not be able to check your baggage or check in. This airport has one of the best duty free sections I have ever been to. I would recommend getting some extra souvenirs here if you’re still looking for some more things to bring home.

sleeping baby on hike to fjaðrárgljúfur canyon iceland

How can I save money when visiting Iceland?

The best way to save money when visiting Iceland is to take advantage of the free attractions! Almost every waterfall and other natural attraction is free or nearly free to visit, as well as many places in Reykjavik including Hallgrimskirkja Church, Harpa, and the Sun Voyager. If you plan your itinerary around activities like this you will save a ton of money.

Another way to save money is to rent a hybrid or electric car if this is available. We were able to use less gas because we had a hybrid car.

Choose budget friendly accomodations, you won’t be spending much time at your hotels anyways. Just make sure the location makes sense with your Ring Road destinations.

Pack a cooler and stock up on items from the grocery store for meals. Restaurants in Iceland are very expensive, and you can save a lot by making sandwiches in the car.

Bring your own alcohol if you plan on drinking. You can bring about 1 Liter of wine or 6 Liters of beer along with 1 Liter of spirits in your checked luggage. Double check with your airline before bringing but this can definitely save you some money as alcohol is pricey in Iceland.

Visit the local pools instead of the luxury geothermal spas. While I think you should visit one or two of the geothermal hot springs, the local pools are amazing as well. Visiting the local pools can save you a ton of money if you plan on visiting hot pools regularly while in Iceland. Don’t forget swim diapers!

I’m visiting Iceland with my baby, what do I pack?

I’ve got you covered. I’ve written you an entire packing list for what to bring for your toddler or baby when coming to Iceland as well as other tips and tricks. Luckily, Iceland is one of the most family friendly destinations on earth so if you forget a thing or two, you will likely be able to find a replacement there.

toddler walking on beach at sunset grotta in reykjavik iceland

Other questions?

Feel free to comment with other questions you have. If we have the answers we will update this post with your question! Also check out our other Iceland resources before heading off on vacation with your baby or toddler!

Happy travels!

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