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How I (accidentally) blew all my money in Iceland

So this budget traveller went to Iceland and accidentally spent all her money... Oops! Click through to learn from my mistakes!

Oops guys. I accidentally broke my bank in Iceland. I’m a little bit ashamed… I prepared SO hard for this NOT to happen, and I pride myself on being the queen of budgeting at home, but yet I managed to literally (not literally) shit out my savings in 7 days. How. Did. I. Manage. This???

I mean, not that I’m complaining. Iceland was phenomenal, and after just 6 nights there I’m pretty decided on heading back, maybe even to work and live.

How I blew all my money in Iceland | Maps of Pangea


Because one myth should be debunked. I’m going to stick my neck out and speak my mind right now – Iceland is NOT that expensive. Sure, did I spent £15 on a burger one night? Yep. Did I end up paying £5.80 for a pint drank outside happy hour? Sure. Did I pay almost £8 to get into the MOST pointless and overpriced museum in the whole world? That I did. (Side note: don’t go the penis museum)

How I blew all my money in Iceland | Maps Of Pangea

Black Sand Beach, Vik

But hear me out: On average, I spent about £4.50 for every pint I drank (£3.50 at happy hour), which is about the same price as it is in and around London. I mean, not quite on a par with the £1 beers you can get in other areas of Europe, but as a student living in Brighton, this didn’t hit me quite so hard.

In the supermarket, I gathered up some supplies to make a week’s worth of soup. I got me some carrots, tinned tomatoes and mushrooms. I also picked up 8 packs of noodles for extra carbs, soy milk for my porridge that I cannily packed with me, apples, a pack of bread rolls and ‘cronions’ because I heard they were amazing (Verdict: 6/10) and it cost me about £11. I mean maybe I could have got it cheaper somewhere else in Europe, but it’s not exactly the astronomical prices I was being told to expect!

How I blew all my money in Iceland | Maps of Pangea

Reykjavik Harbour

But anyway, I digress. In fact, I’m kind of digging myself a hole. How then, did I manage to blow pretty much my entire savings account in one week? Hint: I’m an asshole with no self control.

  1. I didn’t learn about tax-free shopping until it was too late.
    Not completely true, but I bought 2 pairs of Icelandic wool socks and a hat from Ice Wear all separately, then discovered that I could get it tax free, so I planned on returning and buying them again together when I next could. The next day, I went to Vik, home of Icelandic wool items, and thinking it would be so much cooler to get gifts closer to the source, I bought everything again.
    Now when I went back to return the first items… I found they only did store credit. Yep. So I was out close to £50 that I had planned to spend on food, so I decided to spend the extra £15 and get a blanket (tax-free… at least I learned something)
  2. I gave myself food poisoning with my ‘soup’
    How???? HOW??? DID?? I???? MANAGE THIS??? I ate a portion of my soup I so carefully packed away into the hostel fridge, and the next day I was so ill. After that I was so afraid to try cooking and storing food again, I just ate out. Not even £2.50 hotdogs, like £20 meals. Oops.
  3. I just kept drinking coffee
    This was so unnecessary, but I’m such a coffee house whore. I absolutely love sitting inside cosy coffee shops on cold days with a latte in hand, and boy does Reykjavik know how to put together a kaffihaus… It’s an addiction. It will hit mid-afternoon and I’ll be far from the hostel that I don’t want to go back to anyway, and I’ve just stumbled across a cute looking cafe that I just HAVE to try. Hint: lattes taste pretty much the same anywhere you go. Will I EVER learn?
  4. I just kept eating everything
    *Brings a packed lunch* *eats out anyway* Yep. I kept convincing myself I needed a hot meal when in actual fact I probably just needed a slap.
How I blew all my money in Iceland | Maps Of Pangea

Glacier on the south coast of Iceland

I mean looking back, I think I just blew all of my money on food and drinks. If it wasn’t for the blanket which I never intended to buy, I wouldn’t have spent much money on souvenirs and gifts at all. I’m pretty ashamed to be honest, you’d think after that I’d have thought “Oh, I should be more careful with money from now then” But no, that is apparently not how my brain works. It was more like “Oh, there’s a coffee shop. I could go for a latte right now. Oh look Icelandic donuts that sounds exciting. Yeah I definitely have the money to spend on this.” No Liz. No you don’t. Can someone explain to me how you adult?

PS. I promise to reveal nicely edited photos this week, I just thought it would be totally doable to go straight back to work within 5 hours of getting back AND start my essays as well. Oops. Student life!

How I (accidentally) blew all my money in Iceland! | Maps of Pangea

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