Iceland family holiday – what did we do and what did it cost

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Early last November we had a wonderful 3 day Iceland family holiday with our two children (who were 11 and 8 at the time). In this post I tell you all about what we did during our family trip to Iceland, what we recommend and crucially what everything cost (and if we thought it was worth it!). We had the best time and a truly magical trip so I hope this helps you if you are thinking about taking your children to Iceland too.

Iceland family holiday – our flights

kerid crater iceland family holiday

Iceland had always been on my bucket list. Mine and my husband’s birthdays are only a day apart so in November we were both turning 40 in the same three days so it was the perfect excuse to finally visit Iceland.

We had originally priced up the trip with Jet2 holidays (affiliate link) and the price was coming out at £3096 (this included a Northern Lights tour, it was £2096 just for the flights) and it meant we had to go before our birthdays.

However, if we booked the flights and hotels ourselves it worked out cheaper. The main reason for this is that we could fly out on my birthday super cheap as this was the last direct flight from Newcastle to Keflevik (the Iceland international airport).

However there were no direct flights back. On the return we flew to Gatwick instead (this meant we could pop on the fast train, get to Brighton in 30 mins and have a night in Brighton too, then travel from Brighton to Newcastle on the train).

We flew out with Jet2 (affiliate link) and this was dreamy. As there was no return flights it was the emptiest flight we’ve ever been on (only 44 passengers!). They let us sit where we wanted, they could fly higher as the plane was lighter and we shaved 40 minutes off our flight time!

We flew back with Easy Jet which was a bit grim – flight was packed, there was a bomb scare and it was back to reality after the lovely flight out.

Our flights cost £684 in total. We just did carry on luggage as our trip would only be 3 days.

Family holidays to Iceland – our hotel

Iceland family holiday - Hotel Island Spa and Wellness

We chose the same hotel we had found on the Jet2 website but on this instance we booked it directly as it was cheaper. What I will say is that on the week running up to our family trip to Iceland I checked the Jet2 package out of curiosity and the price had dropped by £1000 to around £2000! So if you don’t mind booking last minute then its worth bearing that in mind.

We stayed at Hotel Island Spa and Wellness (affiliate link) in Reykjavik and for 3 nights with breakfast and spa access it cost £747. Our room was lovely with two large double beds and plenty of room.

The only draw back of the Hotel Island Spa and Wellness was that it is about 25-30 minute walk to central Reykjavik. Not bad for adults but there and back for children is a lot when you add on any other walking around you’ll do in the day too. A taxi is easy to get but costs about £18.

There were quite a few nice restaurants near the hotel though. We had one of our more reasonably priced meals at the authentic seeming buffet restaurant Askur which was just around the corner from the hotel.

The hotel restaurant itself was brilliant and we ate there several times and every time loved our meals. They also have a happy hour for drinks every day 4-6pm which we enjoyed several times for better value for money drinks.

The spa at the Hotel Island Spa and Wellness is very small, the pool for example is barely long enough to swim in and it will fill up quickly. Its a nice perk to have after a long day of exploring in the cold though.

The hotel is also a 10 minute walk from hotel is biggest indoor outdoor pool in Iceland, Laugardalslaug Pool | Reykjavik which is super cheap and children go free. Reykjavik zoo was also about a 10-15 minute walk from the hotel and is worth a visit.

All of the tours, taxis and buses we got picked up and dropped off at the hotel easily and everyone knew it.

We’d definitely recommend our hotel (affiliate link) and would stay there again, though would be tempted to stay further into Reykjavik city on a short trip for getting in to explore more of it.

Things to do in Iceland with kids

Iceland family holiday - Blue Lagoon with kids

Iceland is basically a giant playground for both kids and grown-ups!

Start your adventure by chasing waterfalls – no, seriously, there are some epic ones like Gullfoss and Seljalandsfoss that will leave your little explorers in awe.

Next up, take a dip in the Blue Lagoon, where the warm geothermal waters will make your family feel like they’re in a real-life fairy tale.

Keep those curious minds engaged with a visit to the Whales of Iceland museum, where gigantic whale replicas steal the show.

And if your kids are into Vikings (who isn’t?), a trip to the Settlement Exhibition in Reykjavik is a must for a glimpse into Viking life.

Don’t forget the puffin-watching tours – spotting these cute birds along the cliffs is a guaranteed hit with the kiddos.

With lava fields to explore, ice caves to conquer, and geysers to marvel at, Iceland is a dream destination for family adventures!

Is Iceland good for kids

Iceland is fantastic for kids and our children had a wonderful time on our 3 day trip. Iceland is like a giant outdoor playground that caters perfectly to the little explorers in your family. Imagine their faces lighting up as they witness powerful waterfalls, watch geysers shoot hot water into the air, or spot adorable puffins along the coastline.

The warmth of the Icelandic people is contagious, making your family feel right at home. And the best part? Safety and sustainability are high priorities, so you can relax and enjoy the adventure without a worry.

Soak in geothermal hot springs, dive into Viking history at quirky museums, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

What to do with kids in Reykjavik

Iceland family holiday - family stood on the rainbow road

Reykjavik city is a treasure trove of family-friendly fun!

Start your day with a visit to the wacky and wonderful Perlan, where a giant glass dome offers a 360-degree view of the city and beyond.

For some quirky history, head to the Viking Village and let the little ones channel their inner warriors.

Don’t miss the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church – our kids called this ‘a real life Roblox building’ and its a great spot for some goofy family photos.

And of course, a stroll around the colourful streets (don’t miss getting a photo on the rainbow road) of Reykjavik is a must, with charming shops and cafes perfect for a pitstop.

From puffin-watching boat tours to interactive museums, Reykjavik has something for every pint-sized adventurer!

A little further afield just outside of the city is Reykjavik Zoo and Family Park which is perfect for a day outdoors, with cute animals and cool playgrounds to keep the kids entertained.

Iceland with children tips

geysir pizza iceland
  1. If you go to Blue Lagoon put the conditioner on your/your kids’ hair and then tie it up. The silica wrecks the hair for quite a while. My daughter’s hair got in it and it was chalky and stiff for ages.
  2. Reykjavik zoo is small and cute and passes an hour or two
  3. Children under 13 are free at Blue Lagoon with a parent
  4. Heated outdoor pools are everywhere and are very cheap with kids often going free
  5. Children under 135cm must use a child car seat when travelling in a car. For more information on this see the Iceland public services website.
  6. Pack snacks – if your children are always hungry its going to cost you a fortune in Iceland as food is so expensive

3 day family itinerary Iceland

Lava restaurant Blue Lagoon

This is what our itinerary looked like for our Iceland family trip (if you are on mobile you can scroll this table left and right):

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4
Morning8am flight and taxi to Blue LagoonBreakfast at hotel, Reykjavik Zoo then walk into and around the city – looked at the ‘rainbow road’, the cathedral and in the shops Breakfast at hotel and pick up for Golden Circle tour at 8am. Morning was Kerið Volcanic Crater Lake and secret lagoonBreakfast the hotel and then bus to the airport for a midday flight – you need to get to the airport much earlier there and the bus takes ages but is much cheaper than a taxi
LunchLunch at Lava Restaurant, Blue Lagoon (excellent but expensive)Lunch at Cafe Loki (felt v overpriced for what it was)Lunch at Geysir Glima restaurant (2 pizzas was enough for us as a 4 and this was one of our cheapest meals and was great)Lunch was hot dogs at Baejarins Bestu Pylsur at the airport (we had been meaning to try these in Reykjavik, they were nice but probably overhyped)
Afternoon Blue Lagoon and Blue Lagoon bus to hotelPerlan museum, taxi back to hotel as kids were tiredAfternoon on the Golden Circle tour was the Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall, Thingvellir National park – with an unexpected stop to feed some Icelandic horsesFlight home
DinnerDinner and drink at hotel restaurant Hekla (would recommend)Dinner and drinks at hotel restaurant Hekla again as everyone was tiredDinner was at Askur near our hotel (would recommend)n/a
EveningNorthern Lights tourI went in the hotel spa whilst the others relaxed in the roomWe got back from dinner late and went straight to bedn/a
Askur brasserie iceland

Family trip to Iceland cost

Here is a full break down of our spending whilst on our 3 day family trip to Iceland.

Hotel (3 nights with breakfast and spa access)£747
Taxis and buses£216.09
Blue Lagoon £135
Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon tour£260
Northern Lights tour£135
Perlan museum£77.33
Food and drinks£544.46
Total £2798.88

In total we saved £530 over the Jet2 package – after it was reduced by £1000 just before the trip. If we had booked the trip with Jet22 so everything was in one package when we booked the trip we would have paid £1530 more than we did. That makes me feel a little better about how much we spent in the end!

Tips for saving money in Iceland

Obviously there are all the usual things you can do to save money when travelling – drive yourself, book cheaper accomodation, book somewhere you can cook instead of eating out a lot etc but I’ll not go into all of those here. there are a few specific things we learned from our experience that I thought might be helpful to share though…

Iceland family holiday - Northern Lights with kids
  • I would recommend booking Blue Lagoon early rather than later as the price goes up as the slots sell and I would have saved £30 if I had booked sooner.
  • Getting a taxi from the airport was cheaper than pre-booking for us. People worried us by saying how expensive it was direct at the airport or that there might not be any but apparently there are always taxis waiting and we didn’t have to queue. We took our travel car seat for our 8 year old but the taxi at the airport also had a booster Like a foam triangle booster seat) that we could have used (kids under a certain height must use a car seat in Iceland).
  • Food is VERY expensive in Iceland. If you can get breakfast included at your hotel then that will help (even better if you can take away some snacks or pastries for later).
  • Secret Lagoon is cheaper than Blue Lagoon and we preferred it. It was a lot less busy and hectic making it easier with children and more relaxing.

Products we bought for our Iceland family holiday

Secret Lagoon, Iceland

Family trip Iceland summary

Although our family trip to Iceland was expensive, for a bucket list trip we thought it was worth it and we made wonderful memories as a family that we will never forget. The things we saw on the tours were truly mesmerising and otherworldly – like the Northern Lights and Gullfoss waterfall. Its a stunning country and the people were so friendly, positive and spoke excellent English. Our only regret – not being able to stay longer! If you are planning a trip, you won’t regret it.

I hope this article helps and if you have any questions, pop them in the comments and I promise I’ll reply.

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