How to Pack for a Winter in Iceland

When I first heard about going to Iceland I thought to myself, “I have nothing to wear!” I grew up in Atlanta, Ga owning probably a couple of pea coats and leather bomber jackets to brave our “cold” weather. This was also my first European trip. Here are some of the items that I’m glad I purchased for this trip and will definitely come in handy for additional winter trips!

Columbia Women’s Minx Mid II Omni-Heat Winter Boot

The supply of winter boots in Atlanta, was very scarce. If you add features such as waterproof and insulation, good luck! After surfing various websites turning up with most being sold out I finally found a pair on Amazon. These boots were awesome I ordered my true size, they were a little snug at first but after walking around they were a good fit as I only needed to wear boot socks. They kept my foot warm enough that I did not need thick insulated socks. They are waterproof and have a decent ridge, I slipped a few times on ice but not enough to fall. Another thing I paid attention to is boots with shoestrings when purchasing, there are a lot of cute winter boots that are just slip ons and I knew I needed something to keep the air out as well as if something sturdy around ankles. Shipping was free when I signed up for a free trial of Prime that I cancelled later for no cost.

N’Ice Caps Women’s/Adults Thinsulate and Waterproof Premier Colorblocked Ski Glove

These were a great find on Amazon for under $15 they definitely kept the cold out. I was torn between ordering thinsulate waterproof and touchscreen gloves. Due to price I went with the thinsulate with plans of using stylus.  I later realized you can also change the sensitivity of touch on my phone which could have helped to if you don’t have the touchscreen gloves.

BLUE Extendable Handheld Wire Remote Selfie Stick Monopod Pole For Smart Phone

Everyone needs a selfie stick! I found mine on ebay for 9.99. There are cheaper ones but they were from sellers in China that could take 2-3 weeks to deliver and I didn’t have the time. I chose a wired one so that you can plug into the phone which allows to use the button on the stick to take the picture or video. I chose this as opposed to Bluetooth because Bluetooth runs your battery down. Battery life is important when you’re on 8 hour excursions. Unfortunately the instructions were not in English, so YouTube will be your friend if you have a Samsung. It was, not a simple “plug and play”. I should have definitely figured it out before I left the country.

Seidio OBEX Rugged Waterproof Case

I researched a lot of cases and read reviews before going with this case. There are cheaper ones such as LifeProof but I didn’t see good reviews and I’d rather spend more to protect my phone than buy a new phone. This case was not too bulky and fit fine with the selfie stick. The call quality is great. I tested the case in water before using. My headphones and usb cable fit fine. It survived being dropped in the Blue Lagoon, wind, snow and cold temperatures of Iceland. I continue to use the case beyond the trip as it is rugged.

Calvin Klein Women’s Performance Jacket

Found this at Macy’s, again it was very hard to find things in Atlanta. This jacket is water resistant, -10 protection, removable hood, fleece neck warmer, storm cuffs, 4 inside pockets (1 zipped pouch for protection of important papers etc. It was more than enough and kept me warm. I also like the fact that it was knee length. Since I wore layers I was nice and warm. I also wore a skully hat and oversized scarf.

Additional Clothing:

I wore sweaters with long sleeve undershirts. I dressed in layers every day. Under my pants I wore insulated dri-fit tights purchased from Marshalls.  Most things I brought were insulated as the insulation helps to reflect more of your body heat back to you.

Additional Items:

  • Food and Alcohol: I packed snacks that could keep my metabolism up as I normally eat 5-6 times. Snacks really depend on your preference. Mine included almonds, dark chocolate, veggie chips, pringles and turkey jerky. You are able to bring alcohol in but check the customs page before you go on how much, you can also buy alcohol at their duty free in the airport, and it’s cheaper at the airport. First check on what time your transportation leaves before you start shopping (behind the duty free near the luggage area).
  • Electronics: Travel Adapter and Converter-best to have 2, if you’re like me and lose things often.  I purchased from Amazon. I also found that a JuicePack travel charger helpful as it charges your phone and any other usb devices. I did have a point and shoot camera that I didn’t use that often but was handy for more scenic shots.
  • TSA approved luggage lock– I had this only because I thought we would have to leave our bags in the hotel due to our flight arriving early. They are about $5 or less at Marshall’s or on Amazon. I also put my things in the bag and locked instead of using hotel safe. You can check your bag locked but it must have the tsa symbol.
  • Medicine-After my last international trip where the hotel wanted to charge me a doctor’s fee for medicine I now remember to throw in tums/pepto bismol/diarrhea medicine.  Everyone is different but due to the way I eat at home I bring medicine now. I also have a travel first aid kit. I’m always over prepared but it beats having to go somewhere internationally and they don’t have it or it costs an arm and a leg. The one thing I forgot on this trip is sinus meds like Clartin D. Emergencee is also good to have to boost up immune before traveling on plane. If you don’t use it, leave it in your bag for the next trip!
  • Bathing Suit-Iceland has over 150 Geothermal Pools. The water temps can be 95-100 degrees, so bring a bathing suit and jump in! A lot of people ask about where to find high waisted bathing suits. Try Check out my post on popular bathing suit styles!

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How to pack for a winter and frigid temperatures in Iceland!


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How to pack for a winter and frigid temperatures in Iceland!

Kim H.

Kim H. is the creator and chief editor for Work Hard Travel Well. Born and raised in College Park, Ga. She is a true "FILA" :) and UGA Alumna. Go Dawgs!