How I Saved 50% Off a Week-Long Trip to Iceland: No Camping Required

How I Saved 50% Off a Week-Long Iceland Trip Without Camping

I’ve been on a tear lately where I travel to expensive islands, get initially shell-shocked by food prices, then wonder if I’ve made a critical mistake in choosing my destination.

First Maui, then New Zealand, and now it’s happened with Iceland.

Within hours of landing in Iceland, I was not only freezing in my jeans, but I had dropped $30 on untoasted bread topped with razor-thin salmon slices and hard-boiled eggs, paired with grocery store yogurt cups.Expensive Food in Iceland

I worried for my wallet.

HOWEVER.

If you know me, you know I don’t accept trip retail prices at face value. If I couldn’t find ways to save on this Iceland trip, I honestly wouldn’t have gone at all. And would I be able to live up to my name if I couldn’t figure out how to get the expensive thing for less?

While Iceland is difficult to travel hack, I saw it as a challenge and still found some non-obvious ways to save almost half off our trip.

Here’s how I did it.

Want to just see how much we spent? Click to jump to the TLDR version.

How Expensive Is Iceland, Really?

First, you have to know what kind of costs you’re dealing with. Getting to Iceland is famously cheap, and lodging wasn’t noticeably more expensive than other countries in Europe. But there were a couple of categories that were undeniably more expensive:

Eating Out
Iceland is an island, so a lot of the food is flown in. In Reykjavik I saw a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich on a cafe menu for $15. In case you glazed over that sentence, let me repeat that:

A banh mi sandwich that cost $15.

For perspective, in NYC an expensive banh mi sandwich costs about $7. Where you live it might cost half that. So if you live in a low-cost of living place, be prepared for not only out-of-this-world landscapes, but some equally otherworldly food prices. Even at the grocery store where I expected cost savings, a dozen eggs cost about $9.

Clothing
If you had dreams of looking like a cute ski bunny in one of those Icelandic wool sweaters, well, you might want to think again. I saw them for sale for $180 at a flea market, and even higher prices at a legit gift shop.

I passed by a secondhand shop and checked a price for a used fair isle sweater. It was still $80.

Research what to pack ahead of time (especially the weather) so you don’t end up paying too much for clothes in Iceland. Here’s my post on what I brought.

Alcohol
There were two unopened bottles of wine in our Airbnb, which my husband and I almost opened. Until we saw the sign. It read: “If you open these wines, please leave $15 to replace with a new one.” If the Airbnb owner was trying to recoup money for these wines, clearly they’re hard to get. Later we found out that you can only buy alcohol at a few designated liquor stores, which were out of the way, and buying beer out costs about $10 minimum. The best bet is to pick up alcohol from the duty-free section when you land at the airport.

Trip Overview

Random girl in my waterfall pic!

One big reason why we chose Iceland is because we thought it was a good fit for families–I’d be traveling with my husband and his son. The flights are manageable at less than 6 hours from the East Coast, there are wide open spaces for running around and impromptu adventures, and the Icelandic pastime of hanging out in outdoor heated pools was something everyone could do.

Choosing the destination itself ended up being the extent of our planning.

I got too distracted with other trips to even think about a real itinerary with multiple hotel bookings and day-by-day schedules. As a last-ditch effort I brought an Iceland travel book on the plane, but instead I watched “Avengers: Infinity Wars” and “Black Panther” (both of which I loved).

Planning on the fly, it is.

Because we failed to plan this trip, we stationed ourselves in Reyjkavik, rented a car, and did day-trips from there. We were definitely limited by how much driving we could do in a day without losing our minds.

Tip: Next time, I would plan the lodging ahead of time and drive Ring Road, which is exactly how it sounds. It’s the road that takes you around the outer rim of entire country, so we would have stayed in a different town every few nights.

Our six-day itinerary, at a glance:

Day 1 – Reyjkanes peninsula
Day 2 – The Golden Circle: Pingvellir National Park, Geysir, Guilfoss waterfall
Day 3 – Reykjavik
Day 4 – South Coast: Seljaslandfoss and Gljúfrabúi waterfalls, Seljavallalaug, Skógafoss waterfall, black sand beach in Vik
Day 5 – Reykjadalur hot spring hike
Day 6 – Snaefellsnes peninsula

The theme for our trip was enjoying the natural beauty of Iceland: admiring volcanic landscapes, getting up close and personal with waterfalls and black-sand beaches, and taking advantage of natural hot springs and outdoor pools.

Skogafoss waterfall in Iceland

As for money, per usual, I don’t keep budgets for vacations. We spend what we spend, and deal with the consequences later.

The Savings Strategy

Where I had lacked the planning chops for the activities, I made up for in how I was going to pay for all this stuff.

Part of the reason why I’m so blasé about the actual trip spending is because I take the time to plan the money part upfront, which helps save thousands of dollars.

Saving money on trips isn’t that much different from saving money in your everyday life. The most effective ways to save money are by focusing on the big wins: cutting costs on housing, transportation and food.

Lots of people will save money in Iceland by choosing to camp. I would love to try camping! But we’ve never really camped before, and it doesn’t seem smart to start up a new hobby that requires survival skills in a foreign country.

And the usual travel hacking strategies wouldn’t work well in Iceland. Airlines make you hand over too many points to redeem for flights to Iceland, hotel points are useless when those hotel chains have barely got a footprint there, and how exactly do you save on food besides stocking up on ramen from the grocery stores?

The key is to use flexible credit card reward points that you can redeem in multiple ways. If you’re based in the US, there are two types of rewards credit cards you’re going to want to focus on:

  • Cash-back cards that let you redeem points for statement credits.
  • General travel rewards cards that let you redeem points multiple ways: transferring them to partner airlines or hotel programs, booking travel through the card’s own portal, or for statement credits.

When deciding which cards to sign up for, look for ones that offer a generous sign-up bonus, like 50,000 points plus.

Here are the three specific cards we used:

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Type of card: General travel rewards
What we used it for: Flights

The annual fee for this card is steep, $450, but I’ve been able to redeem points for over $2,500 worth of flights just this year. A less-expensive alternative to this card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred (affiliate link), which has a $95 annual fee, but earns the same 50,000 sign-up bonus. Note that using Preferred points for travel is valued at 1.25 cents per point, which is less than the Reserve’s 1.5 cents per point.

2. Capital One Venture Card
Type of card: Cash back (travel statement credits only)
What we used it for: Car rental

A while back I had my husband sign up for the Capital One Venture card for the 50,000 points. I knew we’d use it for travel…at some point. I just didn’t know when. We ended up using this card to shave off a few hundred dollars off the car rental. An alternative to the Venture card is the Barclays Arrival Card. It offers a 60,000 points sign-up bonus, a $600 value, but you have to spend $5,000 within three months and the $89 annual fee is not waived the first year.

3. Bank of America Premium Rewards
Type of card: Cash back
What we used it for: Food

I always have a cash-back credit card in the rotation, because they’re so simple to redeem and can use the points for a statement credit on basically anything. I knew that we’d be spending a lot of money on food in Iceland, so I earmarked this card for all grocery and restaurant costs.

Flights for $0

I didn’t want to deal with figuring out rules for discount airlines like WOW Airlines, so we paid a little bit more to fly United. Plus, we could each earn 5,200 United miles from the flight distance, which might come in handy in the future. The roundtrip flights we chose from NYC to Reykjavik cost $463.13 per person.

I checked Award Hacker to see how many points I’d need to avoid paying out of pocket. The lowest amount of airline miles I could redeem for this trip was 40,000 per ticket using Japan Airlines miles, but I knew I could get a better deal. I paid for the United flights using Chase Sapphire Reserve points through their travel portal for 1.5 cents per dollar. Each ticket cost me 29,534 points, so 88,602 total for the three tickets and exactly $0 out of pocket.

A Home Base in Reykjavik

Reykjavik

The first thing to know about Iceland lodging is that you have to book things fast. There are 350,000 people who live in Iceland, and 4.4 million tourists who visited last year. The number of tourists visiting every year is rising at alarming rates. Look, I’m not a math genius, but considering how sparse Iceland is, one could deduce that there might be stiff competition for hotel rooms and Airbnbs.

The Airbnb I was initially looking at got swooped up by the time I went to reserve it, so that was a reality check. Mind you, we booked our Airbnb four months in advance, and even then the pickings were slim. For six nights we paid $1,389.37. We definitely could have saved money by staying in a cheaper apartment, but because we didn’t pay for the flights, saving money on lodging wasn’t a huge priority.

Side note: It was sobering to notice that everyone I saw going into our apartment building was a tourist. Were there any locals who lived there at all? It’s something to think about–how your role as a tourist affects the local economy.

How I Inflated the Car Rental Cost by $300

We love the freedom of being able to do whatever we want when we want, so we rented a car the entire time instead of booking tours.

I booked a car months in advance for $612. Then I discovered Autoslash, which tracks your reservation and e-mails you if it finds a better deal. I kept getting deals for Europcar, which I had never heard of, but had terrible reviews online. But two weeks before the trip Autoslash sent me a deal with Hertz for $328. Hey, that’s a big difference! So I cancelled the old existing reservation and booked the cheaper one.

But those savings didn’t last.

Because I had PTSD from a painful car rental experience, I made an emotional decision at the car rental counter: we not only bought Hertz’s daily car rental insurance, but we also added in gravel insurance on top of that. These insurance add-ons brought out car rental cost up to $604.91. If we hadn’t sprung for the insurance, the car rental would have cost about $350. In retrospect, I think using Chase Sapphire’s credit card for primary insurance like we normally do would have been fine, but my logic was overshadowed by a previous bad experience.

When we first drove past a gas station, I thought gas prices in Iceland seemed similar to the US, about $2.66 per gallon. Nevermind. It’s $2.66 per LITER. Four liters equals a gallon. We spent $178 on gas.

Then there are costs to get to and from our NYC airport, which always bum me out since we don’t live super close to any of the three airports here. The time of day for getting a Lyft definitely makes a difference, because at 6pm on a Wednesday it cost about $96, but in the opposite direction at 3pm on a Wednesday it cost $54. For that first ride, we probably would have been better off using a cab, which charges you by distance. Per usual, total costs to get to and from the airport were cringe-y: $168.39.

About Those $15 Banh Mi Sandwiches

I’ve exaggerated the food costs earlier, because I want to set expectations. The easiest way to overspend in Iceland is to not pay attention to food costs. Which is what we kind of did.

We thought since we were mostly buying food at grocery stores that we had free reign to pretend like we’re on that show Supermarket Sweep.

But the cost savings were cancelled out because we bought expensive grocery store food that doesn’t fill you up, like pre-made sushi. I saw my husband pick up two packs of sushi as a meal for $25 and I redirected him immediately. We never seemed to leave the grocery store without spending at least $50, which covered about two meals for the three of us.

Despite your best efforts, sometimes you can’t help but eat out if you’ve been sightseeing all day and there are literally three food options where you are. The tab for a sit-down meal was usually around $50 for lunch and $70 for dinner.

The ethnic foods I like to eat happen to be expensive in Iceland. I’ve mentioned the banh mi costs already, but we got foiled even when we looked up “budget-friendly” meals online one night. We went to one of the suggestions, Noodle Station, where a big bowl of pho cost $14.30.

Then there was the Vacation FOMO dilemma: should we go out for at least one fancy meal? Across the street from our Airbnb was a highly-rated restaurant offering three-course menus for about $80 dollars.

Would I regret not trying the lamb here, at least? But at the same time I worried that if we spent $80 per person on a three-course meal, I’d probably end up regretting it. We weren’t in Iceland to be foodies, but to sightsee. There are very few meals that are memorable, so I had to remember how disappointed I’ve been at restaurants to keep myself in check. It’s not like I’m never going to travel for foodie purposes, but to me, Iceland isn’t the destination for that.

The one food purchase I feel bad about is spending $70 on three pizzas. In terms of ingredients, pizzas are already massively overpriced, and I could have bought a seafood soup for the same price, which I would have enjoyed more and requires more effort to make.

All in all, we spent $688.36 on groceries, food out, and meals at the airport. All of it was pretty mediocre, except for the one burger from Kaffi Krus that my husband deemed “the best burger he’s ever had his entire life.” Considering that I estimated food costs would be $800, I’m pleasantly surprised here. And man it felt good to erase most of these costs with my Bank of America credit card points .

Hot Springs, Waterfalls and Scenery for Days

For us, activities are where the savings magic usually happens. We like scenery. Scenery costs hardly anything at all. Iceland has lots of it. We spent $38.31 on activities total. That’s all you need to know.

Alright, I’ll elaborate.

How I Saved 50% Off a Week-Long Iceland Trip Without Camping

All of our activity money went to swimming in a local pool a few times, plus couple dollars here and there for parking at some sights.

Neither one of us felt strongly about the Blue Lagoon, so we skipped it. Since Iceland is a hub of geothermal activity, there was no shortage of natural hot springs that cost $0.

Other than that, we drove around and took pictures of the landscape. One place I wished we had visited was the Westman Islands, which is off the south coast. The island seemed super cute and more like old-school Iceland. Reykjavik was nice to explore for a day, but I’m a city dweller, so when I vacation, I like rural.

The other area I wish we got to explore more was the Snaefellsnes peninsula. I love hanging out in adorable towns, just soaking up the atmosphere. The Snaefellsnes peninsula is supposed to look different from the rest of Iceland (like golden beaches instead of black sand), but we didn’t get a chance to drive around the entire peninsula and confirm that ourselves.

The Full Cost Breakdown

Costs for One Week in Iceland
Category (Highest to Lowest) Raw Cost Cost with Credit Card Rewards
Lodging $1389.38 $1389.38
Air travel $1329.03 $0
Food $688.36 $99.29
Car rental $604.91 $345.02
Gas $178 $178
Travel to/from airport $168.39 $168.39
Activities $38.31 $38.31
Gifts $0 $0
Alcohol $0 $0
TOTAL $4396.27 $2218.39

Six days in Iceland cost us $2,218.39 for three people, or $739.46 per person. Considering that we weren’t 100% frugal the entire time, I’m happy with those numbers.

Summary: How to Save on an Iceland Trip

While Iceland is an expensive country, there are lots of things you can do to slash costs. Here are my top tips:

  • Look for flexible rewards credit cards that let you redeem points for out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Consider going with a bigger group. For example, if my husband and I were seriously budget-hunting, we could had gone with another couple and HALVED our Airbnb and transportation costs. If you’re easy going, this is a huge money win.
  • Visit in the off-season. We visited in the summer, which is Iceland’s high season, but in the winter there’s less demand and things are less expensive.
  • Keep eating out to a minimum. Book lodgings with a kitchen so you can cook meals at home. Also, Iceland has Costco. If you have a Costco membership, bring the card with you.
  • If you want to drink, after arriving in Iceland, don’t forget to stock up on alcohol from the airport.
  • If showing up with a tent isn’t your bag, and you don’t want to plan, a good compromise is to rent a campervan. Not only do you solve two logistical problems in one go (transportation AND lodging), but you’ll save some money in the process. Plus, think of all the sights you’d get to have all to yourself by camping out in the parking lot and being there well before the busloads of tourists arrive.

Is Iceland on your bucket list, or do the costs totally scare you away? How do you typically handle car rental insurance?

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  • Whoa dude. Not only does this sound AMAZING and your photos are breathtaking, you also got the same shot as a stock photo site! Too funny.
    https://stocksnap.io/photo/MMGZJINBH8

    • Maybe I can side hustle my own photos. Lord knows it sometimes takes me an hour to find one on stock sites!

  • Nalini

    It has long been my dream to travel to Iceland. Thank you for the really helpful tips.

    • If you go with a group of friends, it really cuts down on costs–so try that!

  • Bethany

    Man, I see all the Iceland flight deals and want to jump on it, but just don’t think it’s a place we’d super enjoy (and it’s a lot further from the West Coast). Thanks for all the details!

    PA: one small typo I think–should Sapphire be Reserve in this sentence? “Note that using Preferred points for travel is valued at 1.25 cents per point, which is less than the Sapphire’s 1.5 cents per point.”

    • Yeah, I think the whole airlines incentives for stopovers, etc. has been a double-edged sword. The crowds were really noticeable, and infrastructure can’t seem to catch up yet.
      If I were on the West Coast, I’d definitely do New Zealand instead.

      And fixed!

  • Very interesting post! Iceland isn’t a destination I’ve ever considered, though a good number of my friends have gone and the photos always look really cool. I don’t think I’ve ever gone anywhere where a typical traveler would notice that local tourist infrastructure wasn’t quite developed enough for the size of the crowds, or where lodging needs to be booked so far in advance! And yikes at those food prices…

    • It seems like all my NYC friends have gone to Iceland. It’s because it’s so close. Some of them have gone multiple times! I will say that the flight over was rough, anyway. Overnight and not even 5 hours, so sleep wasn’t happening.

      The crowds were noticeable, but that’s also because we went in high season and didn’t really stray from the main sights. But some sights are manned by volunteers so aren’t really maintained. I’d read about them ahead of time and knew what to expect, but I remember some people at a pool trying to find a discreet place to change into their suits, because the actual changing room was so gross.

  • I leave for Iceland in about a month and we’re still ironing out some details so this was VERY helpful. I signed up to get Autoslash because right now we’re looking at over $600 for a 4WD -_- and I’m really not trying to pay that much. As for food, we’re going to stock up on snacks and bring ingredients for PB&Js lol … As a vegetarian, I don’t think I’ll be missing out on the foodie aspect of Iceland.

    • Exciting! Hopefully you’re doing the Ring Road?

      We didn’t have 4WD, and it was fine, but I guess it depends on what you’re doing. If it was winter I might have thought about it, though.

      Ha, yeah, if you buy reasonably-priced food from the grocery store you’ll be fine. You can do it way cheaper than we did. Definitely not a foodie destination for me, either!

  • Miya Qiu

    Loved hearing about your Iceland experience. I’m personally still put off by the food prices and feel you can see similar views elsewhere, but this was definitely an enjoyable read.

    For rental car insurance, CSR covers it all for me. I can rest easy having that primary coverage. Previously I’ve also used Citi Doublecash to cover the cost of a cracked windshield. Curious as to what your terrible past experience was about?

    • Well, considering you seem like you travel for food, I can see how you’re put off by food prices! I had a similar reaction to NZ where I wasn’t too jazzed to be paying what we did for food–the value wasn’t there–but it is what it is.

      Besides NZ, which other destinations would you recommend that might be a better value?

      Thanks for confirming I should have used CSR. There was a little fender bender several months ago that I’m actually still dealing with . I’ll write about it once the saga is over.

  • Love this! We always rent a car too… on our trip to Ireland last month I (wisely) used my CSR to book the car so I could take advantage of their insurance… and (stupidly) put my husband as the primary driver – so we had to pay for the rental company’s insurance- FREAKING EXPENSIVE. I always hear about how expensive Iceland is so these are great tips to have!

    • I can’t imagine not renting a car and being on someone else’s timeline. Definitely it’s easier to do a tour, but I like the flexibility of a car. I usually use CSR to, but I’m dealing with them now on another car rental issue, and I was not in the mood to have another problem crop up. Anyway, I had read about the primary driver thing, so we decided my husband would drive the entire time. Apparently Ireland has very quirky car rental rules, too, so that’s another country you have to be careful with.

      Appreciate the weigh in on the CSR!

  • I agree expensive places are known as expensive for a reason but there’s a way to cut down on parts of it regardless. It’s more part of a mindset and cases like yours will make that less of an obstacle. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love Iceland and haven’t been in a long time. Great job travel hacking, especially that Autoslash link. I had never heard of that before but I will definitely try it in the future!

    • It’s probably better that you went a long time ago! I’m so happy that I was able to find car rental savings, because $100 per day is a lot. I won’t even do that for NYC car rentals. Definitely try out Autoslash next time.

      • I actually came here because someone was asking about travel hacking Iceland and I wanted to save them the link – but I had been meaning to circle back around anyhow because I knew you had something you’d used to track rental car prices. We’re planning an extended Europe trip and I need to rent cars in – I think – N. Ireland, Scotland, and Portugal at least… it’s the only thing I haven’t really figured out how to save a lot on, soo… definitely checking this!

  • Singaporeaninnewyork

    I loved Kaffi Krus! Being a vegetarian in Iceland was ten times tougher and whilst I had brought some cup noodles and hard cheeses and snacks for us, we ate at least 3 meals in Kaffi Krus and loved it.

    • We thought it would be a pretty utilitarian place, but we were all pleasantly surprised! The bill wasn’t terrible, either. I got a seafood soup from the starter section that filled me up just fine, and my husband and his son both got burgers and fries.

      Being vegetarian must be so hard, especially in places where there are is wonderful food. My vegetarian friend used to temporarily be a meat eater on trips. She felt like she didn’t want to miss out on trying all the dishes!

  • When I think of places I want to travel, they are almost exclusively for the food (with the sights being secondary). So it’s interesting to hear you say you travel for sightseeing, not food experiences. Even at gas prices in Northern Ontario at 1.45-1.50 a liter, I would have been shellshocked at those prices too! Thanks for sharing all your tips, Luxe!

    • Ahh, I would have never taken you for a foodie, Britt! Yeah, I’m opposite. But that’s also partly because I can get a lot of food I want in NYC. Not 100% the same, but still spoiled.

      • That’s so funny! I guess it depends on the place. If I ever went anywhere in Asia, it would 100% be for the food. Same for some places in Europe (like France or Italy). But if it was a place without a renowned food culture, like Iceland, I’d be in it for the adventure and the sights.

        We’re going to Italy next summer for a wedding and I cannot wait to eat all the food. And wine. The sights will just be a bonus (though we’re going to try and avoid the major, trendy centers).

        • Asia is DEF about the food and the people. Wow, Italy is an exciting wedding destination location–I’m going in May just for fun!

  • NZ Muse

    Europcar is definitely a brand I’ve heard of and that we have here, but have never used personally! We rented from the (oddly named) Sadcars. And we definitely lucked out by finding an awesome Couchsurfing host – their son actually gave up his room for us!

    • People did recommend Sadcars, but I looked into it and read a few bad reviews, so decided to go with a brand I did recognize. I’m sure it would have been fine, though. Ooh, couchsurfing is something I wish I had done when I was younger. I remember a bunch of my college mates would do it and so they’d travel all the time, because they barely spent money on lodging. So nice that the host kicked their son out for you, haha!

  • The Smart Fi

    After reading your post, I feel like I traveled to Iceland. Gorgeous pictures. I really need to get into the travel hacking. My wife was just telling me how she would like to go to Hawaii next year. That would be the perfect opportunity to put this travel hacking magic to work. I need to start writing down your tips and trick. Thanks lux. Great post, I loved all 3k words.

    • And you win my favorite comment of the day! These trip recaps are actually pretty hard to do, because you could go on forever, so you need to decide the angle of what you’re going to say.

      Not sure where you are, but if you’re on the West Coast, it would be a shame NOT to go to Hawaii, at least because the distance is manageable. Let me know if you have any questions about how to hack it.

  • Joe

    I don’t think you’d cut cost if you went with another couple. We went with our friends and we definitely spent more traveling with them. We need bigger Airbnb homes and those are more expensive. If we went by ourselves, we’d go with more budget options and throw in a few splurges.

    • I find the premiums to move up to a 2-bedroom versus a 1-bedroom Airbnb to be pretty negligible. On my own search, I found almost no difference in an Airbnb for 4 people versus 2. For us, we rented a two bedroom with a bed in the living room. We could have added in another couple and split the costs 4 ways instead of 2. Of course, this all depends on how aligned you are with the other couple on where you should stay, etc.

  • Amye Parker

    I feel you on the rental car PTSD, Luxe! I’ve been dinged with an 1100 Euro charge from Sixt when our car got caught in a hail storm in Croatia. We didn’t see the “damage” (smaller than a dime in diameter) on the roof of the car, but you can sure bet the rental car attendant did.

    I’m really impressed with the savings on your trip. Iceland is so expensive, and I think you made the right choice not to prioritize food/restaurants during your time there. Sounds like you guys had a wonderful time!

    • Ughhh, that sounds awful! I’m definitely surprised by how expensive these damage charges are. If you had noticed it in time, you probably could have brought the car to the mechanic to fix for way less! Since there’s a lot of dirt roads, we did buy the gravel insurance to avoid cracked windshields, etc. I guess that kind of damage happens pretty frequently in Iceland.

      Yes, it was definitely a fun trip, which was made even more fun by spending less, and spending based on our values. I definitely cringe when people say certain things are a “must” on trips. No, they aren’t!

  • ThisTimeNextYear

    I’ve recently posted a breakdown of Iceland costs from the UK and I had a similar problem with the car insurance. I managed to scare myself before going so didn’t pay the full whack at the rental company but went through a third party. We managed £1649 (around $2,155) altogether for 2 people, for 8 days.

    • Hi, what’s the link to your post? I can’t find your blog when I Google the name.

      The customer service at the car rental place also wasn’t that awesome, so I would not have looked forward to dealing with them in case something went wrong. The way I thought about it, I was paying an extra $300 for piece of mind, so if I looked at it that way, it wasn’t too bad.

      $2,155 seems pretty good for two people! Would love to see how you spent differently.

  • GYM

    Wow great job on the travel hacking!! We brought a suitcase full of pasta and other non-perishables to save money on food. We still ate out sometimes (like a $20 lobster-ish sandwich). $15 Banh Mi is a lot of money!

    • I remember you saying you brought all that food! I’m sure you spent way less than us. We didn’t end up getting the banh mi, but I debated hard over whether we should eat out at a nice place at least once, because FOMO.