My flight left Minneapolis at 10:00 pm. I arrived in Reykjavik at 10:00 am local, 5 am CST. I was thrilled. I was excited, and with only two and a half hours of sleep on the plane, I was tired. Now to tackle driving from the airport to my Airbnb in downtown Reykjavik. I wanted coffee, yet I was high on that initial travel inertia.
Forty minutes of driving and I was in downtown Reykjavik, which I found to be full of one-way streets and foreign, but mostly interpretable road signs. I wanted a coffee. I parked, not an easy feat. Downtown has limited parking.
I dragged my suitcase and computer bag the three blocks to the apartment building where our first night Airbnb was located, and like an answered prayer, a coffee shop was right on the ground floor of the building. I threw my bags in my room and hurried downstairs for a coffee… a FIVE DOLLAR COFFEE.
Now I realize for most of you latte drinkers five dollars in nothing for your fix. Ladies and gentlemen this was an Americano… a small Americano, because in Iceland there is nothing but small… AND… by small, I mean a six-ounce cup… AND… they leave an inch of room in the cup... AND… this is standard practice everywhere in Iceland!
SIX OUNCE CUP! NO MORE THAN A FIVE OUNCE POUR!
LATTE DRIP COFFEE AMERICANO
HOT CHOCOLATE TEA
It doesn't matter.
And you can count on your drip coffee or tea costing you between 2,99 to 5,99 krónur… that's about three dollars to six dollars (USD)!
If you drink, like me, two to four cups of coffee/tea a day you need a budget of $6 to $24 a day just for your caffeine fix. I figure I spent over a $100 on coffee and tea in a week, which is quadruple my weekly Starbucks bill!
So here's what I would have done differently:
1) Stop in an Olis (gas station) and get their free discount card. Not only does it give you a little ISK off your gas, but it also gives you a free coffee every time you fill up or buy something, like their yummy hot dogs. If you're driving around the island, an Olis station will be in every (larger) town.
2) Buy this - https://smile.amazon.com/RoadPro-RPBH-012-12V-Beverage-Heater/dp/B001AQZI64/ref=pd_sbs_60_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B001AQZI64&pd_rd_r=B505YAQMMTS2RN6CHMDN&pd_rd_w=4chJX&pd_rd_wg=uJquw&psc=1&refRID=B505YAQMMTS2RN6CHMDN
It's an immersion heater and will work with any car in the world which has a cigarette lighter or power socket.
Bring: A travel mug to use. Starbucks Via single-serve coffee (so good, and you can get decaf). Tea bags. Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate (the brand you'll be buying in Iceland by the cup).
This way you can heat up the water (free and delicious) in your travel mug and mix in your American purchased (cheap) coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
Now, you've just saved yourself $$. And in a country where dinner will cost you upwards of $100 per person, every dollar saved counts!