Packing for Reykjavik is easier than you may think. Iceland, the land of fire and ice, evokes images of frigid temperatures and snowy landscapes and indeed, long part of the winter in Iceland is cold.
However, despite its northerly location, Icelandic weather is not as rigid as you may expect and especially in Reykjavik, you don’t need to gear up as if you were going to the Arctic.
As you will discover in this packing list, what you really need in Reykjavik are layers and waterproof apparel: here our tops tips on what to bring when visiting Reykjavik with kids.
First, the essentials. The main items we recommend packing when visiting Reykjavik with small children are a baby carrier and a stroller. The baby carrier will be invaluable both in the city and on excursions while the stroller will come in handy for longer distances or if you can’t easily accommodate the carrier over bulky winter clothes.
Reykjavik is a very windy city with changeable weather so we recommend you equip the stroller with a good waterproof cover.
Some of our favourite travel essentials are highlighted below. You can download a full printable packing list at the bottom of the page, with check boxes to tick items off as you put them in your suitcase.
Travel accessories for Reykjavik
If you are visiting Reykjavik with a baby or small toddler a baby carrier is your best friend, especially if you want to mix time in the city with excursion to Iceland’s stunning countryside
Reykjavik is an easy city to visit on foot but it can be tiring for little legs, especially if the wind is blowing against you. Because of this, we recommend also travelling with a stroller: it will make longer walks easier on little legs and can offer the opportunity to nap to kids that have outgrown their carrier. Look for a lightweight stroller that is easy to fold, and also look for things like good storage and the ability to recline for naps.
Portable booster seat
Taxis are expensive in Reykjavik but can be an excellent option for families, especially if your Reykjavik hotel or apartment is outside of the city centre. They do not always carry a booster seat. We therefore recommend you bring your own.
- We recommend: the mifold Grab-and-Go Car Booster Seat or the BubbleBum backless inflatable car booster seat.
Having a day pack is always a good idea for city trips with kids, so that you can carry all the wet wipes, snacks, tissues, sun cream etc and still keep your hands free to keep hold of the kids. Look for a crossbody bag with padded shoulder strap or a lightweight backpack that can be easily packed in your suitcase when not needed.
- We recommend: the ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack or the Outlander Most Durable Packable Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack.
Collapsible water bottle
Do your bit to save the environment and bring your own refillable water bottles with you instead of relying on buying plastic bottles of water every day. Reykjavik had lovely drinkable water straight from the tap so this is a cheap and environmentally friendly way to keep yourself hydrated during the day. We love a collapsible water bottle that you can fill up as needed and can easily be packed in the suitcase.
- We recommend: Baiji Bottles Collapsible Silicon Water Bottles or the Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle.
When you are traveling as a family, it is inevitable that you will end up with multiple accessories needing charged: phones, tablets, cameras, kindles etc. Don’t ruin the holiday by fighting over the charger; opt for a multiple charging station instead.
- We recommend: the Photive 60 Watt 6 USB Rapid Desktop Charging Station or the Vogek 6-port USB Charger.
The standard electrical voltage in Reykjavik is 230V and has the standard European 2 pins plug. If you are traveling from a country with different style plugs, make sure you bring a travel adapter.
- We recommend: the Urophylla Universal Adapter Dual Fuses or the Pac2Go Universal Travel Adapter with Quad USB charger.
Portable Charger Power Bank
Have you ever been caught out sightseeing with a low-battery phone and not been able to take photos? Or found your child’s iPad has run out of battery half way through a long haul flight? Don’t let it happen again! Go prepared with a portable charger power bank, a great tool to have in your travel arsenal.
Of course you have to record all your happy holiday memories, and having an easy-to-use waterproof and shockproof camera means everybody in the family can share in the photo taking, without having to worry about the camera getting damaged. This is exceptionally important in Iceland when showers of rain (and waterfalls!) are frequent.
It’s always good to have some hand sanitizer in your bag when you are travelling, for times when you can’t wash your hands before having a snack, or have been traveling on public transport.
- We recommend: Babyganics alcohol-free foaming hand sanitizer on-the-go or PURELL Advanced hand sanitizer travel size.
Sun cream may not come to mind as something to pack for Iceland but if you have sensitive skin, it is a good idea to have some as the sun can be strong. Buy it before you go to avoid steep Icelandic prices!
- We recommend: Babyganics Mineral-based baby sunscreen spray or Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen.
Books and Games
Iceland Travel Guide Book
No matter how much research you do online before you travel, it can still be handy to have a travel guidebook in your bag.
- We recommend: Lonely Planet Pocket ReykjavikLonely Planet Reykjavik (Travel Guide) and this fun travel journal for kids Kids Travel Journal: My Trip to Iceland
It’s always handy to have a few activity books in your bag for your kids, for airports, flights, or when they just need some downtime after a hard day of sightseeing.
The family that plays together stays together! Pack a few fun travel games for fun family evenings, rainy days or airport layovers.
Clothes for Reykjavik in summer
Summers in Reykjavik are mild and see unstable weather patterns. People love to say that Iceland in summer can make you experience four seasons all in one day and indeed, versatile clothes are your best bet. Some staples of a summer wardrobe for Reykjavik are:
- Closed toe shoes
- Long trousers
- Short and long sleeve tops
- Swimsuit and flip flops (for geothermal pools)
- A windbreaker / light jacket
Clothes for Reykjavik in winter, spring and autumn
Reykjavik knows 4 distinctive seasons but in terms of packing, we believe it is best to bundle up winter, spring and autumn into one paragraph, due to the similarities of what you will need while visiting the Icelandic capital.
There are two main things I believe are important to know are: weather in Iceland changes very quickly, quicker than possibly anywhere else in Europe. Reykjavik is wet and sees many rain and windy days.
We recommend including the following for your ReaReykjavikrdrobe for the months outside summer:
- Ski trousers / waterproof trousers to use as a waterproof overlay
- Warm sweaters
- Long sleeve mid layer
- Good thermal underlayer
- Warm jacket
- Comfortable, waterproof walking shoes
- City crampons
- Swimsuit and flip-flops (for geothermal pools)
Travel accessories for the plane
Multiple Passport Holder
A multiple passport holder is invaluable for keeping all the family’s passports together in one place. Look for one that makes it easy to remove the passports, and that has space to store luggage tags, frequent flier cards etc.
- We recommend: Zero Grid Travel Wallet & Family Passport Holder or the Apadi Travel Document Organizer.
Travel Pillow (neck support)
We all know how uncomfortable it is trying to sleep on the plane. While we can’t promise you a good sleep, we can recommend using a travel neck pillow to help ease your aches and pains once you get to your destination.
Travel Pillow (leg support)
Travel leg rest pillows have been a bit of a game changer for long-haul flights with small kids. These inflatable pillows allow you to fill the leg gap between the seats, allowing small children to stretch out or even lie down flat. Note that some airlines have banned the use of these travel leg rest pillows. Check with your airline before you go to the airport.
We highly recommend headphones for everyone in the family. Noise cancelling headphones for mums and dads are great for cutting out the ambient sound of the plane, while kid-sized headphones with volume limits will ensure kids can watch their iPads without disturbing others, and without damaging their eardrums.
- We recommend: Bose QuietComfort 25 noise cancelling headphones for adults and Kidz Gear Wired Headphones for kids.
If you’re looking for a new suitcase for your Reykjavik trip, we love the foldable luggage from Biaggi – these can be folded down into a small pouch for easy storage and saves you from having to step over your suitcases in your hotel room. We love the easy-glide spinner wheels on them too.
- We recommend: Biaggi Luggage Zipsack 31” Micro Fold Spinner Suitcase and the Biaggi Zipsack 27” Micro Fold Spinner Suitcase.
Packing cubes are so useful when you are traveling with kids. There is nothing worse than spending every morning rummaging through your suitcase looking for a matching outfit. Packing cubes allow you to segregate clothes into their own cubes, making it easy to find what you need. Look for cubes with a peekaboo window so you can easily see what is inside.
How many times have you found yourself rummaging around in your suitcase looking for a phone charger? An electronics organizer can save you plenty of time and frustration by keeping all your chargers, cables, memory cards, headphones and adapters in one handy pack.
Ziploc bags are a parent’s secret weapon when traveling. You can use them to store snacks, dirty clothes, nappy changing kits, puzzle pieces, small toys, crayons and leaky shampoo bottles. There are exceptionally useful in Iceland when you want to make sure you protect your documents and gear from the weather and moisture. Be sure to add a few to your case!
Be super organized for your next city trip. Download our fully comprehensive printable packing list, with checkboxes to ensure you don’t forget anything.
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