Favorable Exchange Rate Makes Traveling to Iceland a Bargain

Favorable Exchange Rate Makes Traveling to Iceland a Bargain

Favorable Exchange Rate Makes Traveling to Iceland a Bargain

I know that for many people, millions of people, times are tough. But if you have the notion and the wherewithal, I want to point out a real travel bargain – Iceland.

Iceland is normally a very expensive travel destination. But, in my view, as someone who has lived and worked in that country, it has always been worth it. It is a very exotic and beautiful country. Downtown Reykjavik, the capital city, is quaint and old world. It is a great place to sightsee at it is relatively small and pedestrian. The nightlife in Reykjavik is near-world famous, if you are so inclined. On the other end of the spectrum, Iceland offers bountiful nature opportunities, including: hiking, horseback riding, whale watching, fishing, camping, climbing and the list goes on. Lots of places offer these activities, let’s be honest. But, what makes Iceland so unique is its unspoiled nature and amazing landscapes. There are few places left on earth where the air quality is that good and the environment so pure.

But I digress. Why Iceland is such a good deal right now is a direct result of this global economic meltdown. The exchange rate is very, very favorable for foreigners, especially US and European travelers. As of this morning, October 22, 2008, the exchange rate for US dollars to Icelandic crowns (called the kronur) is almost 118. That means that every dollar you spend is worth 118 crowns. A more normal exchange rate is in the area of 80. Let’s put that into practical terms. If you went to dinner in Iceland and spent 5,000 Icelandic crowns for your meal that dinner at the exchange rate of 80 would cost you .50; at the exchange rate of 118 that same meal will cost you .37. This represents a 32% savings.

What this does, ostensibly, is bring the cost of a trip to a cool (no pun intended) and unique foreign land down to a level that is comparable with costs in the US.

Also, airfares to Iceland are very competitive right now. The only carrier from the US is Icelandair and they are offering great deals right now. To view the best deals, I recommend signing up for what Icelandair calls, “lucky fares.” They will send you emails of their current offers and you can login to their website to book tickets from their bargain area.

Sure there are other good travel deals out there and maybe Iceland is not your cup of tea. But, of all the countries that have experienced fluctuations in their currency, Iceland has been the hardest hit which makes it a particularly good deal. I know that sounds a bit like capitalizing on misery and maybe it is. But by traveling to Iceland you would actually be helping their situation, albeit in a very small way; they get foreign capital and you get to visit one of the most pristine environments left on earth.

If all this sounds good, here’s a small primer on what you can expect. First you should know that Iceland, as you’d expect, has a temperate climate that leans towards cool and cold. The weather in the fall can be notoriously capricious. You could have a beautiful warm day, with light winds and clear skies and than wake up to a dusting of snow. So, bring layers, good waterproof shoes and a winter coat that can withstand rain and wind.

You do not need to exchange money once you get in the country. You can use your visa or visa debit card everywhere. I always see people lining up in the airport to exchange their dollars and I wonder why. You can stay in guesthouses all over the country or if you want, there are hotels. Rental cars are expensive but if you want to see the countryside with full autonomy, it is worth the cost.

You may also want to look into the many Iceland tours available, there are plenty to choose from. I would recommend the Iceland glacier tours. All-in-all, great deals like this on Iceland vacations may not come again. – David Brooks

David Brooks is a freelance SEO consultantand advocate of geothermal energy.

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