Yeah, the tent picture looks a bit sad, but it wasn’t that bad sleeping in a tent. It was just cold. But there wasn’t a moment during this 10 day trip when I was sad. We explored Iceland a week ago and I wish I knew these tips before I went, because it could have saved us some money for sure. You’re welcome to learn from our mistakes.
- Bring your own food, if you have space. We bought most of our food from home. At home you know the local stores that can save you money. When you’re abroad, you may not know where to go for groceries, and you end up at some expensive store buying noodles for 3EUR a pack. We had half of our suitcase dedicated to food – so when we returned we had a chance to replace this empty space with souvenirs, our new mattress (more on that below), new jackets, etc that we bought on the trip. Savings – about 200 EUR
- Cook your own food. We had a Primus, that made cooking much easier – so we mainly ate noodles, baked eggs and added some sausage to it. It wasn’t much, but kept us full and happy. You don’t have to buy one – we posted on Facebook to ask if someone could lend us their Primus, and in an hour we had someone willing to help us out! Don’t underestimate the power of social media. Savings – around 50 EUR
- When going for a hike with a tent, invest in a good gear while at home. When you find out during the trip that your sleeping bag sucks, then you’ll probably end up spending a fortune on hotels/guesthouses or buying a new sleeping bag. We had to buy a new mattress, which was equal to a one night stay for two people in a guesthouse. But the mattress didn’t solve the problem, so we still had to spend money on guesthouses! Obviously if you hike in a warm climate, then the quality of your sleeping bag isn’t as essential as it is with cold weather. Savings – about -300 EUR (buying a mattress and staying in guesthouses)
- Have a physical map with you. Especially when you go to remote areas, because there may be no service. You don’t want to get lost with your iPhone and then discover that the battery is dead or you can’t use Google maps. We used “here” maps by Microsoft – you can download the entire country’s roads and use them without Internet as well. Savings – your mental and physical health.
- Have extra batteries and if travelling by car, have an adapter where you can charge your phone, camera, extra batteries etc. Savings – easier life, captured memories.
- Other things that will probably come in handy: matches/lighter, spork (spoon+fork), duct tape, headlamp, sharp knife, woolen socks, rain gear, sunglasses/snow goggles (if going during winter time), and most importantly, a can-do mindset.