So by now if you have read my other posts you are considering taking your children to Iceland – very exciting! I have covered what we did, what we wore, how we packed and why it was okay to travel in November to Iceland with kids. Here in this post, if you have committed to making the journey I just want to leave you with a few essential tips that helped us make the most of our vacation with happy children!
Traveling with young children can be a logistical challenge sometimes, especially when heading overseas. I tried to do as much research ahead of time to prepare us for the journey
- Bring snacks to hold them over, and candy to bribe them!
- AMAZON KINDLES! Download shows and games for them, to keep them busy while seated.
- Bag of toys – a must! For my five year old, it was coloring, princesses, mazes. For my son, play-dough, stickers, tiny trucks and pipe cleaners.
- No need to bring blankets – your jackets can be used as pillows and blankets.
- I was living in a fantasy world thinking my children would sleep the entire time on an overnight flight and I would get rest as well! They only slept the last 2 hours (out of 6), so be prepared to entertain them!
- Car Seats
- We rented car seats from the car rental company, Green Motion as US car seats are not approved in Iceland (they have different standards). The main difference is they do not have a chest clip on their car seats. We also wanted to travel with less, and it would have cost us more to check them with the airline.
- My 5 year old is used to the Britax Frontier and my 1 year old is used to the Britax Advocate. The booster seat for my 5 year old was completely different and in my opinion, less safe. It was a simple booster that used the normal car seat belt. My son’s was not as fancy as the Advocate, but it was a closer comparison than my daughters.
- The car seats given to us by the rental company were definitely not clean or wiped down. I brought antibacterial so I was able to give them a good once over, but I definitely did not love what we had been given. And these were the last ones, so not much to complain about or my kids wouldn’t of have seats!
- Car seats: to bring to not to bring? I honestly am not sure what I would do again. It was nice not having to lug the car seats through the airport, but I would have preferred our own car seats for the extra protection and cleanliness they provide! No one at the car rental agency seemed to care so even if we brought our own, I am sure no one would have said anything about them not being compliant. In the end, they ones they provided did the trick.
- Space in the car
- We rented a 4×4 SUV, Jeep Renegade Trailhawk from Green Motion Car Rental. This was the largest one they had, and it was tiny! It was okay for our family of four and our luggage, but it was TIGHT. No way this would have worked for a family of five. We had two large bags, 3 small carry ons, and a few personal items, and the car was jammed packed (barely any room by my feet).
- The lesson: PACK LIGHTLY!! You are in your car a lot, and want to be comfortable, so be smart about where what you bring and minimize your suitcases.
- It is important to bring a variety of toys for the kids. You will need them most on the airplane and in the car driving around Iceland. Think small but effective.
- I thought we would need to bring a lot to entertain them in the evenings when it was dark out, but we didn’t have too much “down time” at our Airbnbs. We were at a new place almost every night, and the kids loved exploring the rooms so that, along with hot tub time and dinner, took up most of our evenings!
- Our essentials toys that we brought:
- Amazon Kindles (each kid has one). They come with a 2 year replacement worry (amazing!) and house lots of education and fun games as well as movies
- For my 5 year old daughter:
- Coloring books and colored pencils
- Princess dolls
- Handle mini games
- Maze and word search books
- Her own insta-camera to take pictures. This is perfect – she gets to take pictures like us and they are instantly printed for her to see.
- Blank paper journal. Read about how we turned blank paper into a perfect keepsake, while occupying her in the car 🙂
- For my toddler son:
- Toothbrush (he loves playing with this in the car)
- Dinosaur toys
- Music toys
- Play dough
Must pack items
- Children’s medicine! They do not carry over the counter medicine at the convenience or grocery stores. You can only buy them at a pharmacy, which are harder to find and have limited hours. It is good to have Benadryl and Tylenol on hand in case you need it. I also packed a thermometer just in case. If your toddler is like mine, he has a runny nose every other week!
- Swim diapers – they are expensive here so bring several to hold you over.
- Food – granola bars, gummy snacks, applesauce packets, to go peanut butter cups, crackers, etc. We had to feed the kids in the car once or twice for lunch when we didn’t have time to stop and having more substantial items on us came in handy!
- Converter – We ordered this converter from Amazon and it worked great. Loved the USB ports on it as well.
- Credit card – We used our credit card FOR EVERYTHING! We never converted money over.