11 Things I'm Really Glad I Packed for a Trip to Iceland
There was a point a few months ago where I couldn't do one mindless scroll through Instagram without seeing someone gallivanting around Iceland—soaking in the hot springs, climbing glaciers, casually snorkeling between tectonic plates (yes, that's a thing). My first thought was "Why?" Then I realized, the flights are cheap (at least from New York), the fish is fresh, and, as evidenced by the plethora of photos on my feed, the topography is downright beautiful. So it's no surprise that Reykjavík, the capital and largest city, was just ranked #1 on Kayak's Trending New Year's Eve Destinations list.
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I recently decided to take the plunge and book a ticket. Having already taken the voyage, here are 11 things that I'm really, really glad I brought with me.
Ivy Park Camo Wrap Back Jacket
First and foremost, you'll want bring a waterproof jacket, because it rains A LOT. Even when you think the weather might hold up, it starts pouring buckets out of nowhere. This Ivy Park camo jacket was casual enough to wear out at night and sporty enough for physically demanding outdoor activities—it even comes equipped with a small slit for your earbud cord.
Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket
This was a godsend for an extra layer of insulation when the temperatures plummeted. Plus, it can be packed to fit in a small bag when you inevitably get too hot and want to remove it.
Stö Leg 101 Ski Pants
Ski pants were crucial if your schedule consists of glacier and/or ice climbing tours. If you don't bring your own pair—or accidentally leave it at your Airbnb like me—you'll be forced to wear an ill-fitting pair supplied by your guide (see neon orange pants above).
Fjällräven Kanken Mini Daypack
Scaling a glacier with a crossbody bag is no easy feat. This backpack holds all of the essentials (phone, keys, wallet, headphones, water bottle) while keeping your hands free. Plus, it's made with a moisture-repellent fabric and can be seen from a mile away in case you get separated from your tour group.
Kolumbo UltraSlim WindMaster Travel Umbrella
As previously mentioned, Iceland is rainy and wet. Hence, this umbrella, which is compact enough to carry around all day but won't immediately break after the first gust of wind.
LOEFFLER RANDALL RUBBER RAIN BOOTS
One of the best purchases I've made as of late. They're 100 percent waterproof but moonlight as regular Chelsea boots. Great for bar hopping.
SOLID & STRIPED SWIMSUIT
Reykjavík is known for its hot springs, particularly the famous Blue Lagoon. I decided on a one-piece swimsuit because the water can often be very hot, and I don't enjoy burning my stomach. This style by Solid & Striped also doubles as a top when paired with jeans.
I know what you're thinking, but the hot spring's rocky terrain rendered water shoes necessary, and in case you missed Christopher Kane's spring 2017 runway show, Crocs are making a comeback.
JOTO WATERPROOF PHONE CASE
What's the point of even going to the aforementioned hot springs if you can't post an Instagram to make your friends at home jealous? This waterproof case enabled me to take copious underwater selfies, and the neck strap made for convenient carrying so I didn't have to hold it in my hand the whole time.
ORIBE TRAVEL-SIZED SIGNATURE CONDITIONER
The geothermal water in the hot springs is rife with silica, which can make your hair feel stiff and dry. It's recommended that you apply conditioner immediately after your swim, maybe even a few times. This one is travel-sized AND features hydrating polymers for easy detangling.
MORGAN LANE LACEY LIDS EYE MASK
The sun sets very late in Iceland during the summer and early fall, sometimes circa 11 p.m. If that's past your bedtime, it's wise to bring an eye mask. This quirky one by Morgan Lane features a silk elastic band that will block out the sun without giving you an epic migraine.