Pre-Departure to Iceland!

The day is finally here, friends!

The day that Kevin and I head to Iceland!!! So while we sit at the United Club at DFW airport (holla, I feel like a ball-a) and enjoy the free amenities I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to write about our pre-departure preparations that went into this 10 day road trip we are about to embark on. Oh and both flights are hours delayed due to this horrific weather that is occurring all along the United States. (Stay safe, everyone!)

When Kevin and I first started dating he mentioned he planned on visiting Iceland in 2018. So I sent him the the “CheapDFW”  tweet I received and as I was rolling around in a giant plastic ball (New Zealand: Rotorua) Kevin was booking our tickets to Iceland for this September!

We decided on a 10 day trip out of Dallas because tickets were $408 round-trip for this particular deal. A few months later tickets out of Houston were about $40 cheaper, but I’m totally content with the price that we got as airfare normally goes for the $800+ range out of Texas. If you’re looking of visiting Iceland now is a brilliant time to purchase airfare! Just today I saw a deal for Dallas or Houston-Reykjavik for less than $400 and some for as low as the $200’s.

So the first thing I learned about Iceland from others was that it is apparently very expensive. Money is one of the biggest parts of any trip and the part that some may let prevent them from traveling. So let’s start there; let’s talk about the money.

Honestly, this is one of the first trips that I actually saved over a long period for (6 months) and I’m quite proud of myself. Over the last few months I have saved $2,320 for our 10 day trip’s spending money. Now this wasn’t all through penny pitching. I will admit that part of my three year bonus went into this savings account for the trip. The other percentage (a little more than half) was through limiting my daily spending and transferring the day’s left over balance into a separate savings account. Kevin, on the other hand, used Digit to save for the trip. If you don’t know how Digit works, it is a savings app that you link to your checking account. Then every once and while it analyzes your spending habits and moves a little money over to the savings account on the app for you. It can be as little as a few cents to a few dollars or a little more. But this is all money that you would have spent anyway and you hardly notice that it’s gone until you look at your Digit account and go, “oh!” and book a flight somewhere neat. Get $5 for just signing up! *I loved using Digit but it stopped working with Capital One due to some firewall security on CO’s part.

Continuing on: I managed to book and completely pay off five of the AirBNBs pre-departure without breaking a complete sweat. This, my friends, is what I imagine success feeling like. Maybe one day I’ll be able to experience this feeling more in my everyday.

Normally I just use my biggest paycheck during that month’s voyage. This time I prepared. Yee-haw. And no, I don’t intend on spending all of my hard saved money even though I can, but this at least allows me to (for once) enjoy myself without constantly looking at my bank account (in panic). Plus, now I can buy that Icelandic sweater I’ve been dreaming about. Is this called growing up?

So we have spending money. Check. We have warm clothes and hiking boots. Check. We even have a drone. Check. Camera equipment? Not exactly how I would want it for this epic of a trip, but I’ll make do. Check.

I’ve been preparing for this trip basically since we purchased the tickets. I can’t help it- I’m excited! 10 full days of adventuring around and since Iceland is so high on both our bucket lists, I didn’t want to just wing it. I want to make sure we see everything we want to see. Still, I’ve calmed it down this last month before departure so that I can enjoy the ride. I even stopped stalking Instagram so that when I get there I can be thoroughly surprised.

So how did I prepare for this trip besides saving money?

I read a lot. These are the blogs I frequented:

I also carried around Lonely Planets guidebook that I flipped through, particularly for the historical information and the hot springs locations.

I can’t figure out how to share a Notes file with you so I just took screenshots of everything and anything we jotted down.

 

As for what I’ve purchased for this trip. Shout out to Amazon Prime day. Here’s the list:

  •  DGI Spark, remotes, and propeller guardslrg_dsc09092
  • Two fleece lined leggings from CVS
  • Two camera remotes and a gorilla tripodlrg_dsc09093
  • Camera rain covers and one 128 gb memory cardlrg_dsc09096

Kevin purchased:

  • An Akaso 4k Action camera and intense selfie sticklrg_dsc09108
  • Thermal long sleeves and underwear
  • These badass winter/hikingshoeslrg_dsc09112
  • And the Samsonite luggage we’re using!!lrg_dsc09082

I definitely had a hard time packing my carry on bags for this trip. I don’t have the right camera backpack to fit my equipment plus carry on necessities for this kind of trip. Had I looked into the matter earlier I would have discovered this sweet camera/hiking backpack on Amazon. I still plan on purchasing this when I’m home for the next adventure.

For this trip I packed both my Canon 6D and Sony a6300 (I couldn’t decide on which one to leave behind!) with a 24mm and 16-50mm. I also brought my Nikon FE film camera with basic Kodak film from CVS. I kind of make-shifted a camera backpack out of one of Kevin’s. I just threw some protective padding around the equipment and I’m using the water bottle holder for my tripod.

So now we’re still sitting at the lounge, relaxing until they say that it’s finally time to board. I’m so eager to get there- I have so many things “planned” for the first day! Here’s to hoping we can take off at the new scheduled time.

*Update: I finished this as we sat outside our gate in Newark as we await our very much delayed second flight of the day to Reykjavik. We’ll get there soon, I believe it! Iceland, wait for us! We’re coming!

 

lrg_dsc09103

 

The struggle to get a cute family pick before leaving Otto at Kevin’s cousin’s apartment.

To be continued!

Until next time, friends!

-Mary

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