I’m so excited to officially share that I’m traveling to Iceland this month! Traveling internationally has been a long-time dream of mine. Though Iceland was truthfully never on my radar until recently, I can’t wait for exploring, enjoying and photographing such a beautiful country!
To keep this once-in-a-lifetime trip as affordable as possible, I opted to bring a backpack and carry on suitcase for an 8-day trip. The affordable airlines we’re taking have a charge for everything, so using just a carry on suitcase and backpack has forced me to keep my list simple and light.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I practiced packing earlier this month and failed miserably. I made it about halfway through my packing list (which I’ve been adding onto for months) before both bags were full. #Fail
But, I think I finally have a packing list that will work with enough room for a few souvenirs 😉
CARRY ON SUITCASE
- Wool sweater: Cotton kills, as they say, so I’ll be keeping toasty and dry in a thrifted Brooks Brothers wool sweater (from the men’s section, because men’s items tend to be cheaper and it’s easier to find better quality sweaters in this section)!
- Thermal tops: Two lightweight, moisture-wicking tops to alternate as base layers.
- Button Down: Another great layering piece! Plus, the yellow plaid makes me really happy.
- Pajama top: Gotta have clothes to sleep in!
- Bathing suit: A bathing suit, in the winter?! You betcha! Our first stop after the airport is to the infamous Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa.
- Waterproof pants: I traded in the bulky snow pants I originally bought for a pair of lightweight waterproof pants that are packable (they came with their own mesh bag).
- Leggings: Two pairs for layering!
- Sweatpants: For sleeping in/lounging.
- Wool socks and sock liners: Must haves for keeping my feet dry and warm!
- “Dressy” boots: I’m told that the best way to avoid looking like a tourist is to ditch the snow boots when you’re going out to dinner or bar hopping, so riding boots it is!
- Winter hats: A pom pom on at least one hat is a requirement in my book 🙂
- Travel tripod: This one from Amazon has great reviews and a small footprint, so here’s hoping it holds up to the Iceland wind!
- Flip flops: They take up so little room I decided they were worth taking with me, even if I only use them at the Blue Lagoon!
ALSO, I bought a set of Ziploc Space Bags (the kind you can vacuum the air out of OR roll the air out of) and just one of these in my suitcase makes a big difference!
- Fleece jacket: I debated bringing a rain jacket along too, but that’s what my waterproof winter coat is for, right?! Hence, the comfy, neutral hooded fleece jacket!
- Turtleneck sweater: This will function as my “nicer” sweater but it’s also a wool-cashmere blend that could be layered on a bitter day.
- Black jeans: They go with everything and are the heaviest pair of pants I’m bringing, hence why they will work well for my airport outfit.
- Winter coat: I scored a North Face Arctic Parka (in the Rosin Green Heather shade) on Black Friday and I’m obsessed with it! Fingers crossed that this parka will be a perfect outer layer for most types of weather we encounter.
- Scarf: I opted for a thrifted cashmere scarf that is as versatile as it is beautiful!
- Winter boots: I’m bringing my trusty L.L. Bean Boots.
- Backpack: My initial conundrum with packing was how to safely and efficiently transport my Canon EOS T5 and lenses. Enter, the DSLR backpack! I went with the Lowerpro Tahoe BP150 and I love it! I’ve already tested it several times to transport my camera and other items. There’s even side pockets with clasps for my tripod and a water bottle!
- DSLR camera and lenses: I’m so glad I took the plunge and bought a DSLR camera last fall! I’m bringing my camera and the only three lenses I own: a 18-55mm lens and a 75-300mm lens (both kit lenses that came with my camera) and a 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens.
- Small crossbody: I had to make room for a small purse that I can use for dinners out, quick trips to the grocery store, etc. I love the pop of yellow I’ll have with this thrifted Rebecca Minkoff Mini Five-Zip Crossbody!
- Chargers: Self-explanatory! Thanks to various family members and friends who have loaned me their international chargers 🙂
- Water bottle: I love the Hydroflask because it will keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 6 hours!
- Kindle: Now I just have to decide which books to bring along!
- Journal: Ask my family and friends, I keep a journal for every trip! There’s so many small, hilarious and ridiculous details you forget about after a trip and it’s comforting knowing I will have memories written down to reminisce about in the future.
- Gloves: One pair of legit snow gloves and another touchscreen-friendly pair!
- Waterproof phone case: I hear this is a must-have near waterfalls!
Not included above are my travel documents, toiletries, medicine and sunglasses.
And that’s my Iceland winter packing list! I definitely plan on sharing more about my trip when I return, as well as an update to this packing list. I’m sure there are items I will be thrilled I brought and others I wish I had packed.
Thanks for reading! If you’ve been to Iceland, I’d love your feedback on my list!