Planning the location of your next family vacation is both an exciting and challenging task. Between all the places to choose from and the multiple family members with their own opinions, it can at times feel like a daunting job to take on. But shouldn’t travel planning be all about fun?!
If you are currently thinking and debating with your family where the next vacation should be we have a location that will make everyone in your group happy.
With an endless list of possibilities for outdoor fun, cultural activities to experience, adventures for all ages, swimming pools to relax in and delicious food to enjoy, all in a family friendly atmosphere, Iceland is the perfect destination for your next family adventure!
Need help convincing the rest of your family members that Iceland needs to be the next location for your family trip? We’ve got 9 reasons that will more than help you win the argument and get everyone excited to start planning your family vacation to Iceland.
Browse our selection of family-friendly self-drive tours!
1. Iceland is One of the Safest Countries in the World
Let’s start this off with the most important thing when it comes to your family.
You would never want to take your family somewhere that their safety would be a concern, and in Iceland this most certainly would not be the case. Year after year Iceland tops the rankings as one of the safest, and happiest countries in the World. In fact, you might be in a bit of a shock when you see the number of children running around playing on their own without a care in the world. But when you live in a country that has very little crime rate and everyone is part of one big community children get to be just that, a curious child out exploring.
Breathe easy on your trip to Iceland while you watch your little ones run around and explore on their own accord, and see their curiosity grows in the new surroundings.
2. Easy Access to Necessary Supplies
When you are traveling with your family the last thing you want to be worried about is packing all the items that every member of your family might need. Nothing takes the fun out of travel like having to pack up half of your household for a week long trip! Luckily, for those traveling to Iceland they won’t need to worry about bringing every item their family might need as we can almost guarantee that all those items on your list can easily be found around the country.
In Iceland you will find grocery stores fully stocked with all the items your baby and toddler may need. Older children will be kept happy with snack items they likely recognize and enjoy, and if you forgot any toiletries or other necessities you can pick them up at the same stop. An added bonus, many of the items will also have English descriptions so you won’t have to fret about using your Google translate app to figure out what you are actually purchasing.
Skyr, the perfect snack for everyone in your family and available at all grocery stores in Iceland!
3. A Very Family Friendly Culture
Now that you don’t have to worry about packing extra bags and your family's safety, you may be wondering what it is like taking children to public places around Iceland? One thing you will quickly realize when out and about in Iceland, the Icelandic culture is very family orientated!
Children go everywhere with their parents, and public places typically welcome all ages. Most locations you go will have access to all the items you may need, such as high chairs or booster seats, bathrooms with changing areas for children, and even toys to keep your little ones busy while you enjoy a few minute break with your coffee.
And if your little one is suddenly throwing a fit in the middle of the cafe don’t sweat it, very likely no one even looks up from their table as they all have been there and more than understand that kids will be kids. So pack the family up and head off to explore whatever cafe, attraction or shop on your list, you all will be more than welcomed.
4. An Abundance of Public Playgrounds
Imagine a swing set with a stunning mountain view as the backdrop. In fact, don’t imagine it, experience it here in Iceland at one of the many playgrounds you will find for your children.
Whether you are planning on staying in Reykjavik or will be driving around the country and need activities to get your children’s energy out on pit stops, there will likely be a playground close by.
The playgrounds you will find range from a simple neighborhood setup with a swing set and slide, to a larger area with a full-on climbing structure and sometimes a large bouncy trampoline. Outside of school hours all playgrounds at the schools are open to the public as well making it so you are never too far away from finding some fun for your children of all ages to enjoy, and a place for you get catch a quick break and take in some beautiful views.
5. Delicious Food Options for the Whole Family
We know Iceland can have a reputation for having some unique and interesting food options such as sheep head and fermented foods, but trust us there is so much more to the menu’s here! Dining out at most restaurants will give you menu options that should appeal to a wide variety of taste buds, from lamb and fish to a classic burger and fries dish, you will find it all on the menus in Iceland.
Making things even easier for you and your family, almost all of the menus will have both Icelandic and English descriptions so you will be able to read and understand what all your options are. And with the emphasis placed on using local products you can feel good about the fact that your family will be eating a fresh and healthy meal.
Planning on doing most of the cooking in your accommodation and utilizing the local grocery stores?
Even though Iceland is an island that has to import most of its food you will still find a wide range of options at the grocery stores, including items to fit specific dietary needs such as gluten free or vegan. Bonus, Kronan and Netto are three of the most common grocery stores you will find around Iceland that will help you stock up on all the products you need to keep your family fed and happy while in Iceland.
6. All the Swimming Pools
One item you don’t want to forget... your bathing suit because you are going to need it in Iceland! An activity that the entire family will enjoy, visiting one of the many pools around Iceland is both fun and relaxing, as well as an activity that plays a big part in the Icelandic culture.
No matter where in the country you find yourselves you can almost guarantee the town you will be staying in will have a pool to visit. And let’s not forget about all the natural hot springs to enjoy! Let your little ones burn off some energy playing in the pools while you relax in the warm geothermal waters taking in the fresh Icelandic air.
7. Diverse Nature to Explore
Of course one of the best arguments for why you should come to Iceland with your family….
The amazing nature you will find here!
No matter the time of year you visit Iceland your family will be in for a treat. Whether it be the Midnight Sun or Northern Lights, waterfalls or geysers, mountains or lava fields, you can be certain that the nature in Iceland will likely be very different than nature you have seen anywhere else, even your teenager will find that cool!
An added bonus of all the nature to explore, it is a great activity to get your family out and moving while seeing some unique sights. Keeping those busy little ones entertained all while seeing stunning nature, a win win!
Most of the locations to visit around Iceland have infrastructure built around them making it safe and easy to take your youngest explorers out and about with you. You will even find walkways at many of the main attractions that make the areas easily accessible for strollers. As always though, while in Iceland, be sure to follow the rules and respect the nature in the area to ensure that everyone will keep safe. We want you out enjoying nature with your family not worrying about an accident.
8. Adorable Animals to Meet
If you have an animal lover in your family they are going to be in heaven in Iceland. Not only will you find the downtown streets of Reykjavik full of friendly house cats just looking for attention, you will also find the countryside full of an adorable mix of animals that call Iceland home.
If visiting during the summer months head out for an adventure to see the charming puffins with their bright orange beaks. Or take a boat trip out to hopefully get a whale sighting in! Make a day of it and spend some time visiting an Icelandic farm where you can learn from the farmers about life in Iceland all while hanging out with the cute animals.
And you can’t leave Iceland without spending some time with the friendly Icelandic horses, even just a pit stop to say a quick hello will leave your whole family smiling from how cute the horses are.
9. Activities for All Ages and Interests
No matter what the ages are of your family members there will certainly be an activity for them to enjoy in Iceland. Whether that is a hike in nature with plenty of space for your active 5 year old to run around, an adventure packed tour for your teenager to fulfil their thrill-seeking dreams, a relaxing soak in the hot springs or a new waterfall to explore Iceland has it all.
If museum exploring is more your family’s style Iceland has you covered there too!
There an abundance of museums to visit ranging from the National Museum of Iceland packed full of Icelandic history, a museum all about whales, and an outdoor open-air style museum showcasing how life in Iceland used to be. Many of the museums will have a special children's area with fun toys to check out for when the younger members of the group have had enough with the knowledge learning. And, an added bonus, the museums typically offer a discounted (or free) rate for children under a specific age making the visit wallet friendly as well.
In the coming weeks we will be sharing more blog posts packed full of ideas for activities to do with your family in Iceland. But as you can already see, the options are endless and guaranteed to make everyone in your family excited for Iceland.