How Much It Really Costs To Travel The World: Two Weeks In Iceland

“No,” The immigration officer said after interrogating us about our intentions and personal finances. “You cannot afford to travel Ireland that long. You’ll run out of money,” He continued, matter of factly. “I’m doing this for your own good. I’ll give you six weeks, and you’re lucky I’m giving you that much.” He finished, and messing up his own math proceeded to write a date on our visa stamp that alloted us 5 weeks in Ireland.

Following our 2 week stay in Iceland, we had planned to spend 2 to 3 months in Ireland. Now, thanks to a cranky immigration officer (who, like too many people mistakenly and full heartedly believe that travel is expensive) we had to quickly change our plans!

So, how much does it really cost to travel? The quick answer is: Less than you think, but as much as you want.

First let me just say that Iceland is an expensive destination to begin with. It’s been named the fastest growing travel destination in Europe, and with it’s boom in tourism comes a boom in travel costs.

For example: a beer can cost you upwards of $15 a pint, and a 6″ sub from Subway will cost you more than a footlong back home.  A night eating out at a restaurant can easily set you back $100 (an entrée and drink for 2). If you want to visit the famous Blue Lagoon you’ll be spending about $50 per person. Add in hotel costs and round trip tickets and your weekend in Iceland could cost you an arm and a leg.

But that’s not how I travel. Let’s look at a breakdown of my every expense during my two week stay in Iceland:

Local Transportation:
City Bus (Airport to Reykjavik): $17.03
City Bus (downtown Reykjavik to city border): $4.67
Hitchhiking (Reykjavik to Hvolsvöllur): $0.00
Gas (Driving Halla’s car): $9.35
Hitchhiking (Hvolsvöllur to Reykjavik): $0.00
Flybus (Reykjavik to Airport): $26.43
Total Transportation Cost: $57.48

Coffee (one cup): $4.63
Groceries (for 1 week): $24.79
Meals from hosts (for 1 week): $0.00
Total Food Cost: $29.42

Nautholsvik beach/lagoon: $3.93
Sightseeing (Walking/Exploring): $0.00
Perlan Observatory: $4.57
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall (Parking): $3.26
Hot tub beneath stars: $0.00
Total Activities cost: $11.76

Hat Pin: $4.63
Total Souvenirs Cost: $4.63

Stay with Edda: $0.00
Stay with Guðný Halla: $0.00
Stay with Heida: $0.00
Total Housing Cost: $0.00

Total Money Spent in Iceland (2 weeks):  $103.29

That is all the money I spent in iceland for 2 weeks. Now of course, it cost me money to get there:

Flight to Iceland (From MN):

Total Cost to Travel to Iceland (2 Weeks): $326.69

That is all the money I spent on a two week trip to Iceland. Now of course, I have my own costs of living too (bills, etc.):

Personal Bills:
Project Fi Phone plan (half month):  $7.99

Total Cost of Living This Travel Life (2 weeks): $334.68 

Folks, that puts my weekly cost of living at $167.34! Granted that expenses will vary by country, and unexpected costs can jump out at you from nowhere (I’m sure we all know what that’s like), you have to admit that that is one low cost of living.

One truly doesn’t have to make very much money to live this kind of life. The trick is generating an income that doesn’t rely on location, having a job that you can make money from anywhere in the world. That, my dear readers, is what I’m trying my very hardest to do. My dream is simply to make enough from this travel blog to keep going, to keep sharing stories with you from around the world, to inspire you to incorporate travel more deeply into your own life, and to show you how you too can afford to experience more of what the world has to offer.

As I’ve shown you, I don’t need to make very much to keep going, but I do need to make something. Wait! Don’t run away! I promise I’m not asking you for money! What if I said you can help me fulfill my dream without costing you a cent?

How does a travel blogger make money? The simple answer is this:

All I need to keep going is for you to read my blog. That’s it! If you want to go a step further, you could really help me out simply by sharing my blog posts with your friends or family! The more people I have reading my blog, the more money I can make (and it doesn’t cost you a thing!).

Help me give that cranky immigration officer the finger simply by going back to my home page, and subscribing to my blog (desktop only for the time being) before sharing it with anyone else you think might enjoy my stories, experiences, and tips for affording travel in your life!

Stay tuned to find out how our first few days in Ireland treated us (After that cranky bastard in Immigrations) and how we changed our travel plans! Next time on Exploring Alexander!

And as always, feel free to contact me with any questions you have! Comment below, hit up my FAQ, or email me at!

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