The magical Land of Fire and Ice is a very family-friendly travel destination, so if you’re wondering how you’ll get on taking an Iceland road trip with a baby, don’t worry! You’re going to be just fine. The country is extremely well set up to welcome families of all shapes and sizes. Not to mention Iceland is also one of the safest and happiest countries in the world.
The focus of any trip to Iceland will be all about reveling in the great outdoors. This is great for little ones, as we all know how beneficial it is for them to be out in nature, soaking up the fresh air and exploring freely. Likewise, seeing your family enjoy the wonder of the natural world will be a big part of the fun for you, too. You’ll love discovering Iceland, but you’ll adore even more the opportunity to watch your kids discover it alongside you
In this article, we are going to take you through the practicalities of a road trip with a baby, outlining various tips and tricks to help things go smoothly. Add to this a curated packing list and the best things to do with kids on your travels together and you’re all set. In our comprehensive guide, we’ll be covering the following:
- What to pack for your road trip with a baby
- Eating and drinking
- Best places to road trip with a baby
- Places to visit and baby-friendly activities
Packing with baby in mind
When you travel with a baby, it’s often tempting to pack more so as to not leave something crucial behind. However, even with a little one there’s still a lot of sense in packing light - especially when it comes to wheeling you, your family and your family’s luggage through the airport. So, let's take a closer look at what can be turfed out of your case, and what makes for essential gear.
The most important practicality on your trip to Iceland will be staying warm and dry. To achieve this, you should pack plenty of layers for your tiny travelers. You should also bring a fully waterproof coat and trousers, as well as waterproof shoes. If it fits in your suitcase or backpack, an all-in-one waterproof romper is a great idea as well. With one of these, you’ll be prepared for almost anything. You can wrap up your toddler in a waterproof shell and then layer them up with warm layers underneath as needed. Don’t forget warm hats, gloves, and socks, too. Snoods are particularly useful for everyone in the family, so pack a mini one if you can.
Another important outfit is a pair or two of snug pajamas and bed socks. You might also like to bring extra comfort blankets and a few favorite bedtime toys so your little companions have a piece of home while away from home. And whatever you do, don’t forget to bring your kid’s bathing suit. Iceland’s hot spring river, pools, and lagoons are going to be high on the agenda on a family trip.
When it comes to diapers and wipes, there’s no need to bring too many with you. These items are generally bulky to carry and are readily available to buy in Iceland.
Toys and other kit
If you are hiring a camper van for a road trip in Iceland then you’ll likely have several long journeys. To keep little ones entertained along the way, it is very helpful to have some books and toys within easy reach. You’ll likely already have a few car games up your sleeve anyway, but if not, read up on some beforehand. Another thing that families find really handy on a road trip is a waterproof blanket. This is a simple and relatively compact item to pack so it shouldn’t take up too much room. Once you’ve parked up your rental motorhome at your campsite, you and your kid(s) are going to need some space and fresh air.
With one of these waterproof blankets, you can lay it down on the grass outside, load it up with games and books, and then pop your kids out there to entertain themselves. They get some breathing space outside the camper and you can get on with cooking dinner or cleaning the inside of the vehicle.
When there are lots of you sharing a space, there are always going to be piles of boots, bags, and jackets spread about. A gear clip is a fantastic space saver and will help to combat this inevitable disorganization. Simply hook it to the ceiling of your rental camper, then clip on jackets and bags, etc. air them out and save on space.
Eating and drinking in Iceland
When it comes to eating in Iceland, you shouldn’t have trouble locating food options that appeal to the whole family. But if you have particularly fussy eaters, or if you’re traveling Iceland on a budget, then bring a few favorite snacks that you already know your squad enjoys. Things like dried fruit and nuts, cereal bars, and chocolate could just save the day when you’re struggling to find something suitable.
One particularly good food for little ones in Iceland is Skyr. This is a kind of creamy, protein-rich yogurt available everywhere. It comes in every flavor under the sun and is a firm favorite. Ice cream is also a big feature of the Icelandic diet, so likely that will go down well with families too.
When it comes to staying hydrated, the best drink around is Icelandic tap water. Normally, tap water when traveling is not many people’s first option, but Iceland’s is some of the purest and highest quality drinking water in the world. Just take reusable water bottles and baby beakers with you and keep topping them up to enjoy this free delight
When you do eat out in Iceland’s cafés and restaurants, you’ll find them to be very child-friendly. There will always be high chairs available and good baby changing facilities. Additionally, breastfeeding in public is very much the norm in Iceland, so you won’t need to worry about feeling uncomfortable. No one will bat an eyelid.
Best places to road trip with a baby
You can go anywhere you like on your Iceland road trip with a baby, but our advice would always be to keep it short and sweet. Rather than spending too much time on the road, you’ll want to be outside exploring the great outdoors. So, schedule short journeys around nap time and don’t try to do too much.
Places to visit and baby-friendly activities
Hot spring swimming pools
One of the best activities for little ones available all around Iceland is visiting a swimming pool
Getting to know the wildlife
We all know that most kids adore meeting animals. So if you are visiting Iceland in spring and summer, then you should definitely look up one of Iceland’s puffin colonies. Seeing these cheerful, feathered birdies in their cliff-top nesting areas is a real joy.
You could also join a whale watching tour to see the ‘Giants of the Ocean’ up close and personal. This is an awe-inspiring experience for all, especially if you are extra small. Icelandic horse riding tours are another fun activity for kids.
Visiting Iceland’s museums
Iceland has some world-class galleries and museums to explore, especially in Reykjavík. Most are extremely kid-friendly with play areas and interactive exhibits to get involved in. Particularly on a rainy day in the capital, a museum visit is a great activity to have up your sleeve.
To make all these activities and others even more accessible, do not forget to take a look at our motorhomes for hire. And for more family-friendly travel and road trip planning advice, head on over to our blog!