Looking For Weekend Plans? Try Iceland.
With travel becoming cheaper and more accessible than ever, short weekend trips have become increasingly popular. Maybe you have limited time off from work and can only take off on weekends. Maybe you prefer taking a bunch of shorter trips instead of one long one. Whatever your reason, there’s no doubt that a short trip can be a great way to spend a weekend.
When you’re looking at weekend trip options, you’re probably considering places within driving distance or somewhere that only requires a cheap or short flight. After all, you’ve only got a couple days and you probably don’t want to spend it all traveling.
One place that you’ve probably never considered is Iceland.
While it’s an increasingly popular travel destination, surely you need more than a weekend, right?
I’m here to show you why Iceland is not only an option to consider, but a better option than many traditional weekend getaways.
It’s actually not that far away
Maybe you’ve considered going to New York or LA for a long weekend. Going from one coast to the other isn’t the shortest flight, but its certainly not anything unreasonable. Westbound transcontinental flights usually take six hours of actual flying time, while the eastbound flight takes five.
A flight from New York to LA is nearly identical to the flight from New York to Reykjavik. If you’re based on the east coast, getting to Iceland for a weekend is an incredibly doable option.
Flights from New York to Reykjavik are consistently priced around $300. Again, this isn’t any different from the New York to LA route. Last winter, I was able to snag a weekend flight on Delta from Charlotte for $200 round trip.
As expected, holiday weekends will typically cost a little more. However, as of this posting, Labor Day Weekend can still be had on Icelandair for $313 round trip or Delta for a dollar more. That’s right – direct flights on one of the busiest and most expensive travel weekends in the US can be had for just over $300. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend my Labor Day Weekend exploring Iceland than fighting traffic.
A fair warning though – while flights are cheap, Iceland is not the cheapest place once you get there. Prices are pretty comparable to Scandinavia. However, for a quick weekend it shouldn’t be too cost prohibitive. Hotels can get pricey, but Airbnbs are consistently available in Reykjavik for under $200/night.
(Side note: While WOW Air has been known to offer sub-$200 fares across the Atlantic, I wouldn’t recommend booking with them. They’ve cut numerous US routes and halved their fleet size over the past few months. There’s always the possibility that they go the way of Primera Air. Personally, it’s not something I’d be comfortable with, but If you’re willing to take that risk, they’re another option.)
It’s like no place on earth
Iceland is an absolutely incredible country. Sometimes, you’ll think you’re driving on the moon. Other times, you’ll feel like you’re North of the Wall. It has some of the most stunning and varied natural beauty on earth. From glaciers, to waterfalls, to geysers, to volcanoes. There really isn’t much in Iceland that isn’t a sight to behold.
It’s great in both winter and summer
You’re reading this and probably thinking, “Is he crazy? Who would want to go almost to the Arctic in winter?” To answer your questions:
- Yes, I am, but for many reasons other than this.
- You should.
I have two words for you during the winter – Northern. Lights. While it’s far from guaranteed, a chance to see the Northern Lights in person is worth it alone. We could have done nothing else during our time in Iceland and been completely content with the few hours spent watching the Northern Lights. They’re that good.
Iceland also isn’t nearly as cold as you’d think. Thanks to ocean currents, the capital region of Reykjavik enjoys highs in the 30s during the winter. In fact, the average temperature in Reykjavik is warmer than Boston for the majority of winter!
In June and July, Iceland experiences 24 hours of sunlight every day. You’ll have much more time to go sightseeing. Roads and hikes are much more accessible than in the winter. During the summer, you’ll also have a much better chance of seeing wildlife such as puffins and whales. If you’re an avid golfer, you can even make a midnight tee time!
Iceland is such an incredible place, with so much to see and do. It’s a place I never thought could be pulled off in a weekend, but I’m so glad I did it.