When I decided to live ‘Furiously Happy,’ I chose to stay in my small apartment in the suburbs of Philadelphia instead of moving to the city as I planned. The reason was simple, I wanted to travel the world. I have been fortunate to travel the globe, but had not gone on a holiday of any kind in years. That had to change. I was thinking of where to go first and an Instagram advert from Icelandair about great deals to see the Northern Lights. I was sold! I had always wanted to see the Aurora Borealis since I was a kid and now was my opportunity. I tried to get my best friend to go, but she was unable, thus I did my very first solo international trip! There will be a series of posts regarding my Adventures in Iceland, so seems natural to start with the planning!
Icelandair made things beyond easy! I simply went to their website and built my dream trip! Due to my teaching schedule and the holidays, I had to be creative. I recommend prioritizing what you must see and what you can see on your next trip (trust me, you’ll want to go back!). I selected the Golden Circle/Northern Lights Excursion. When you set up the trip, it will give you the dates of those excursions and you can plan your other adventures accordingly. There are so many to choose from depending on your budget, time, and interests. I decided to go to The Lava Tunnel, the Blue Lagoon, and whale watching. My next visit will definitely be the Southern Beaches, the glaciers, and more volcano-related stuff!
I flew out of Newark International Airport. I parked in the economy lot, which seemed very far away but you’ll get there! Icelandair does a very cool thing, they allow you to bid on a first class seat. I did the minimum bid going and slightly higher coming home, and I won! As someone who gets excited with an aisle seat, I was on cloud nine. Bypassing the very long TSA line, priority baggage for pick up, and the first class lounge, I was sold. The lounge has food, drinks, and dessert table. All I kept thinking of was Donna and Tom from Parks and Rec saying, ‘Treat yo self!’
My package included a stay at the Radisson Blu Saga, about a 15 minute walk to the heart of Reykjavik. The room had a great view of the city skyline and was very quiet. It also had the best breakfast buffet I have ever seen. Anything you could want was there and, I have to say, the scrambled eggs were amazing! There was a lovely bakery round the corner that I had delicious pastries of names I cannot pronounce. I highly recommend!
Icelandair partners with Reykjavik Excursions for transportation to and from all your adventures. Much like everything else, it was incredibly simple. The most effort it took was to walk down to the lobby at your designated time and wait for the coach to arrive. That’s it. The coaches are nice and a smooth ride. Some have free wifi. There is no restroom, so make sure you go at every stop, particularly on the day long excursions.
Follow along as I dive into every aspect of my trip. The next post will be a companion to this: what to pack for a winter holiday in Iceland?