We spent 10 of our most incredible days in Iceland with 2 kids. We decided to book a camper van for the entire trip. This worked out just perfectly for us as it allowed us to travel around the entire island, spend few days in Reykjavik and see the Golden Circle.
Iceland has to be the most adventurous holidays which we’ve done with our kids so far. It was Ollie’s and mine dream for a while to visit this incredible country. After researching all the pros and cons of travelling with 2 & 3 yrs old, we decided to go for it. I can honestly say it was one of the most kids friendly place we have visited so far. Most of the sights are located 5 mins (or closer) walk from the car park which makes it very easily accessible even with toddlers. Plus Iceland is one of the safeties countries in the world.We rented our camper van from Go Campers. We decided to go for their Go BIG Camper 5-pax which accommodates up to 4-5 people. As we travelled around the island, we stayed in the most amazing campsites. At these campsite you will always find a warm showers, bathrooms, kitchens and if you are lucky even a playground.
Renting a camper van in Iceland, is the single best travel decision we have made to date.
What is Included in a Go Campers Camper Van?
Each rental company might provide different things, however we had good basic kitchen and cleaning things which included:
- Gas Stove – you need to buy gas canisters ( we used 3 on our trip – you can purchase them directly at the Go Campers or from petrol stations)
- Plates, bowls, cups and cutlery for 5 people
- Pots and pans
- Basic cooking utensils, e.g. spatula
- Cutting board
- Sink with running water
- Electric cooler
- First aid kit
- Internal heating – additional battery is installed and it heats the camper van for 8-10
- 5 pillows (very small – think throw pillows for a couch
- 5 fleece blankets
- Fairy liquid, sponge, tea towel
- Sweep set
They also included unlimited mileage and a free extra driver. We decided to buy separate international insurance directly in UK as it came in cheaper. We loved that there were not hidden fees when we booked our camper van. The staff was super friendly when we picked up the van and helped us load all the gear and explained everything while I looked after the kids.
They offer a wide range of extras which you can book to make your trip more comfortable. We decided to grab 2 adults sleeping bags, 4 camping chairs, camping table, power inverter (great to recharge your laptops and camera batteries) and toddlers car seats.
You can find a full range of extras that they provide here.
Additional Items You Might Want to Bring With You If You Travel in Iceland With Kids
There are few additional things that we decided to bring with us and we highly recommend:
- Portable potty – most of the facilities in the campsites were very high standards; however the amount of wee stops we had to do with our little ones on the road or during visiting major sights is endless made this a valuable thing to bring.
- Hanging laundry basket – the storage is very limiting in all camper vans, so we hanged our 4 compartment baskets filled with ‘emergency changing clothes’ or ‘next day clothes’ to make it easy accessible
- Kids sleeping bags – we wanted our girls to have their own sleeping bags; but we deiced to rent some adult sleeping bags.
- Torch – we visited Iceland during summer time and we rarely had to use it, but useful if you plan to read a book while kids are sleeping
- Pegs – we used them to hang fleece blankets provided by Go Campers and our towels when we wanted to make our camper van dark.
- Laundry bag – perfect to storing away all those dirty and muddy clothes
- Sleeping masks
- Medicine – the first aid kit is provided, but we packed Nurofen, cough medicine, thermometer and some extras as any medicine is not sold over the counter in Iceland
- Wet wipes – they are always useful to clean surfaces, little or big hands, etc.
Why Should I Book Camper Van and Not Hotel/Airbnb in Iceland?
Iceland’s Ring Road circles the entire island and will show you the best of Iceland. Spanning 800 miles, this route is one of Europe’s top spots for road trips, and most people choose to explore via camper van.
I know it might sound crazy, but this holiday made us closer as a family. Definitely spending 10 days in camper van driving around the Iceland with 2 kids can be challenging, but there is no much difference if you compare it to hotel room.
I have never seen my kids happier than during this trip. One and half months later, they still speak about their favourite trip.
I collected a list of things which I believe might convince you to book your Icelandic camper van trip with toddlers:
1. Flexibility – this was a key factor for us; we found the weather in Iceland unpredictable, on few occasions we had snow, rain, sun within 10 minutes of driving. Several times we had to adjust our plans due to the weather conditions. Due to the very strong winds and low temperatures, we decided to limit our stay to 2 days from 3 days on North.
2. No need to prebook – We spent every night at a different location. We didn’t have to booked a camp sites ahead of time.
3. No packing/unpacking hassle
5. It is cheaper – it might not sound at first but it saved us lots of money on food, we could decide to stop anytime to have a warm lunch or make ourselves hot cup of tea or hot chocolate6. Start a day earlier to beat the crowds – if there was a particular sight that we knew it would get very busy during a day, we would make sure to camp very close and get there before 9am; we had several spots just to ourselves by doing it.
Staying connected was a very important aspect of our trip. It allowed us to check our emails, work in the evenings, watch Netflix, navigate or mostly verify the weather conditions in the evening.
We decided to rent it via The Trawire. Most of the campsites had a WiFi on the site. If it was busy campsites, streaming was very poor. Trawire provided us with very High speed internet access everywhere in Iceland.
While navigating in Iceland we used Google Maps via our phones and paper map. Phone was great to navigate us during a day, therefore paper version allowed us to get bigger picture and plan next 2 days.
If you asked us if we did it again, exactly same way…we definitely would. Driving around Iceland in camper van definitely made this trip special. We will remember this experience for very long time.