Category Archives: Traveling Solo

8 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING THE BLUE LAGOON

9th July 2017

 

8 things to know before visiting the blue lagoon

Every country has that one “super duper” tourist attraction that has visitors flocking from all over the globe. In Iceland, Blue Lagoon is without a doubt that attraction and for justifiable reasons. It has a blissful atmosphere that calms and wows you as soon as you step in even with it being massively busy. You feel all your stress escape as you swirl and swim around the open lagoon while pampering and deep cleansing your skin with the silica mask and perhaps sipping on a glass of wine while you relax. There are many reasons why the blue lagoon is a must visit and I have listed below 9(updated) things you should know before visiting the blue lagoon.

                                            Book in Advance

If you have a preferred time and day you want to visit the lagoon, I suggest booking weeks in advance because it sells out fast. The blue lagoon is strict on time. You have to select a time you will arrive and you have an hour within that time period to check-in. You can stay for as long as you wish but you must check-in within the hour selected time or call ahead to make re-arrangement. For example, if you selected to check-in at 7:30 am, you have from 7:30am-8:30 am to check in, there’s no guaranteed entry if you arrive at a later time.

                                           It is not Natural

Yes, this “wonder of the world” is man-made. The land and lava that surrounds the pool are natural, however, the water isn’t. It is a result of “waste water” from the geothermal plant that you will see at different corners of the pool. Don’t let that irk you because it still feels amazing and deep cleanses your skin and the silica mud has been proven to improve the condition of those with psoriasis. You can read more on that here.

                                          It’s close to Keflavik airport

Keflavik airport is about 20 mins drive to Iceland. Therefore, to maximize your time and better plan your trip, you should visit either when you arrive or when you’re departing Iceland. This is a great way to cure a jetlag and/or pamper yourself after all the traveling.

                                          Get ready to strip😜

You’re required to take a shower before getting inside the pool. This is to maintain cleanliness and hygiene which is a good thing. They do provide toiletries in the shower room.

Tip: Bring your own towel, robe, and slippers to save on cost because everything is extra $

                                        Apply Conditioner to your hair

The silica in the water doesn’t mix well with the makeup of human hair and can cause damage and frizzes. Deep condition your hair before and after and apply leave in conditioner (a complimentary one is provided) before getting into the pool. Better yet, put your hair in a ponytail or wear a shower cap.

Blue Lagoon Iceland

put your hair up in a pony and enjoy your spa:)

                                        The clay mask is FREE!

Everything at the blue lagoon cost extra except for the clay mask (well depending on which package you get, the standard package comes only with the white silica mask, and other packages above the standard includes both the silica and the algae) The mask bar a.k.a clay mask heaven (totally made that up😉) you have to swim up to, and someone will assist. You have to first apply the white silica mask and let it sit for about 15 mins or when it dries out, you wash it off in the pool and go back for the green (algae) mask.

Tip: If you bought a standard package, you technically are only allowed the white silica mask, but be nice and ask the lovely lady at the bar for the green algae mask because it is absolutely rejuvenating.

                                        Leave you wallet in your locker

You’re provided with a wristband upon arrival that acts as a charge-band (another made up term). You scan the wristband if you need to purchase something at the restaurant, and bar. The band also serves as your locker key and for exiting the complex. At the end of your visit, the clerk scans your card upon departure and if you have a pending balance, they charge it to a credit card or cash. Your choice!

Tip: Don’t loose it. It’s a whopping $40 if you do. 

                                        Bring a waterproof phone/camera case

Selfies make the world go around, and you sure will want to take a million of it, so protect your equipment and come prepared.

FYI: There are designated staff stamped all day by the pool that takes complimentary pictures and emails it all to you. This is an option if you really don’t trust a $10 waterproof case to protect your $700+ phone/camera. 

                                        The pool isn’t too deep.

If you can’t swim and worried about getting in the pool, don’t, the pool isn’t that deep. For reference, I am 5’7 and the deepest part of the pool was under my chest when standing. If you’re coming with younger children, however, I do recommend bringing a floaty and I think it is provided at the lagoon (please don’t quote me on that, but if it is I am sure there’s a fee)!

Blue Lagoon Iceland

selfies make the world go around📱

I had an amazing time at the blue lagoon and I think it’s hyped up for good reasons. If you have been to the blue lagoon, please comment down below with tips you may have. If you have any questions about visiting Iceland, check out this post, and/or leave a comment and I will be more than happy to answer. I love reading your comments, so keep em coming:)

If you liked this post, please pin and share away using this pic↓8 things to know before visiting the blue lagoon

10 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR ICELAND VACATION (SUMMER EDITION)

9th July 2017

I just got back from a summer(ish) Iceland vacation, and boy was it one hell of a trip. I spent about 4 days, 3 nights there and although it was a really short trip, I was able to fit in as much as I could in my budget. Since I only had 4ish days, I explored only Reykjavik and the South part of the Country. Prior to my trip, I researched extensively, but even with research, there were a few things I learned getting there that I didn’t already know which is why I gathered these 10 things to know before your Iceland vacation.

PIN ME😊

10 THINGS TO DO BEFORE GOING TO ICELAND

  1. It is Cold and Rainy (even in Summer)

    Being in cold climate is something I’m very well accustomed to as someone who lives in the Midwestern part of USA (Minnesota),  although it wasn’t Minnesota winter cold, it was still cold enough for me to wear a winter Jacket, a scarf, mittens, and a hat (full winter gear) for all the 4 days I was there. It also rained for a few hours every day which sucked because I didn’t bring a raincoat, I definitely wasn’t expecting rain in June, therefore, I was stuck in my hostel for those hours.

    Waiting for summer since 1926

    This ad explains it all…

    Tip: Bring a raincoat and a waterproof comfortable shoe

  2. KEF Airport is not in Reykjavik

    This was a duh moment since the airport code is (KEF). Keflavik is a different city and it is a 45mins drive to Reykjavik. If you didn’t rent a car (I highly suggest you do), there are bus companies like flybus and grayline that transport to and from Reykjavik and Keflavik for around $30/each-way

  3. Renting a car is the cheapest way to explore Iceland

    Unlike most European countries, Iceland’s public transportation is very limited and to truly enjoy the flexibility and economize while exploring the country, a rental is required. Make sure to book ahead of time especially if you can only operate an automatic transmission as they seem to be very limited compared to the stick(manual) transmission.

  4. Book Tours and Hotel/Hostel far in advance.

    Another duh moment, but some of us have been guilty of waiting last minute or wait till we get to our destination to make arrangements, at least I have. Iceland is very touristy especially in the “summer” months, tours and hotels sell out fast. You could miss out on a tour or affordable hotel to book from if you wait too long.

  5. 24 hours Daylight (almost)

    You will experience longer daylight hours and almost no “night” during Iceland summer months. You might ask “how do you fall asleep?” Bring an eye mask and close the curtains. Luckily most of the hotels/hostel in Iceland improvise by having solar shield curtains in the room, so it was not a struggle to fall asleep when I wanted to. The only struggle was reminding myself it was late because It sure didn’t seem like it.

    6.

  6. Blue Lagoon isn’t really Blue

    This wasn’t disappointing at all because I had a wonderful experience and totally recommend it and think it’s worth the price.  I just thought I should mention;)

    Click here to read 8 things to know before visiting the blue lagoon

    Iceland vacation Blue lagoon

    Blue Lagoon captured in Natural lighting, unfiltered.

  7. You do not need cash

    There’s no need to head to the ATM when you arrive because credit/debit cards are accepted everywhere around the country. I did not use cash even once during my visit, my cards including my Amex card was accepted in most places I dined and/or made a purchase.

  8. English is widely spoken

    It’s always a good idea to learn the basic phrases of the Country you’re visiting, it shows the locals you care, and they absolutely appreciate the effort. However, if you don’t or can’t seem to learn to pronounce basic Icelandic phrases; it’s okay, you’re not alone and you won’t have any trouble communicating as almost everyone speaks English as a second language.

  9. Bring a waterproof case for your camera and phone

    You probably plan on visiting the blue lagoon and taking amazing photos while in it, bring a waterproof case to protect your equipment. Also, when exploring the ring-road, there are lots of Waterfalls on your way and you will more than likely want to get up close to it and take some fun pictures if your camera/phone isn’t waterproof, I suggest buying one before your trip

  10.  Iceland is expensive! Especially the food!

    Iceland is maybe third on the world’s most expensive countries. This is because most of the ingredients are imported from what I’ve heard. Expect jaw-dropping prices when you dine at a restaurant, go to the grocery stores and bars(if you’re a budget traveler, you could either buy your booze tax-free at the airport or skip it entirely because “ain’t nobody got time for that”).

    Green mountain - iceland vacation

    Nature on steroids

    I hope this helps in your Iceland vacation planning, and I know you will enjoy Iceland because I did:)

    Have you been to Iceland? Comment below on tips you may have or question if you are planning a visit.    

Traveling solo? Here’s a guide to help you plan your solo adventures. 

A Girls Guide to Solo Travel

2nd July 2017

“You’re doing what”?

“Solo traveling”?

“Are you crazy”?

“Girl!! that’s no safe, with all the crazy sh*t going on in the world”

“Do you want to get killed”?

These and much more are reactions and statements I get when I tell people I am a solo traveler.

Skógafoss waterfall in Iceland

You’re reading this either because you love to travel, and/or you want to travel but there’s just no one to go with. Your friends either don’t have the funds, time, or even the passion to explore the world and you’re left contemplating on whether or not to say f**k it and go alone. I started my solo travel adventure for the reasons I mentioned. I had put off trips in the past because I had no one to travel with. The idea of doing it alone was something that took a lot courage but I did it and will continue to because it honestly has become my favorite way of exploring the world. You are in charge of your decisions, you decide or not to do something, change itineraries as you wish and a host of other privileges. Since returning from my six weeks Euro-trip, I have gotten a little less crazy reactions and statements and more people seeking advice, tips and hacks on traveling alone which is why I wrote this post to hopefully encourage you to get up and solo travel:)

                                        How to Solo Travel as a Woman 

  1. START SMALL

    My very first solo travel trip was to Los Angeles in summer of 2015. I remember being super excited and uneasy at the same time. I booked my flight,  accommodation and researched everything I would do while in LA. Small but mighty steps like going out to dinner, the movies, museums etc alone helped me get use to spending time by myself in a place or scene I haven’t before which slowly built up the courage to take the big(ger) step.

  2. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, AND RESEARCH AGAIN

    The saying “knowledge is power” is vital when traveling. Researching a place should be the very first thing you should and must do before booking a plane ticket, it gives you insight on the place, what to expect, places to avoid, cultural differences(this is a huge one), finding hidden gems, staying safe especially as you solo travel, and many more which in return helps ease your fears and those unsettling feelings. In shorts, research is a solo traveler’s best friend.

  3. HOSTEL instead of HOTEL

    Please debunk all the negative myths you have heard about hostels because staying at hostels instead of hotels is great for solo travel. You get to meet other like-minded travelers who are more than likely traveling solo as well. Check out the blog abroad’s post on “hosteling” for some inspirations on why hostels can be awesome.

enjoying a gorgeous day at Malagueta beach in Malaga, Spain

 4.  LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS. ALWAYS. 

Your travel instincts (read: voice) becomes louder and clearer when you solo travel. This voice is your survival instincts, listen to it. Always! If something doesn’t feel right to you, it probably isn’t. If you wouldn’t do it in your home Country, you probably shouldn’t abroad.

5.  SIGN UP FOR STEP (SMART TRAVEL ENROLLMENT PROGRAM)

STEP is a free service for U.S Citizens and Nationals that you can sign up for prior to your trip. This allows the U.S embassy to contact you in the case of an emergency and they will help you make informed decisions. You can sign up here.

6.  KEEP IN TOUCH/EMAIL ITINERARY TO LOVED ONES

To ease the fears of your friends and family back home, you should stay connected to them as much as possible, and let them know of your plans when and if it changes. This is also a great way for you to leave a trail in the case of an emergency, they will know your whereabouts. In addition, email/text your itineraries to your best friend or a close family; this could be emergency contacts of the hostel/hotel you’re staying, the address of where you will be staying, flight itineraries etc. This is also beneficial for you, in case you lose anything, they could always email it back a copy to you.

7.  LEARN SOME TYPE OF SELF-DEFENSE

Look, I’m not trying to scare ya, and you probably won’t need to use your self-defense skill (knock on wood) but I am sure you know crime can happen anywhere to just about anyone, and as a woman especially one solo traveling we are more susceptible to it and knowing one or two-way to save yourself or give yourself more time before help is on its way is a good idea.

Tip 1: if someone is bothering you, and won’t leave you the f**k alone. Scream!!!!

Tip 2: get you a pocket knife or pepper spray but be sure to check the laws on possessing either weapon in the country you are visiting.

8.  MOST IMPORTANTLY, HAVE FUN!!

This is why you decided to travel in the first place right? Or one of the reasons? Let go of the worries, the fear, let loose, eat that extra croissant, stuff yo face with ice cream, do whatever is fun for you, and have a great trip!!

Are you a solo female traveler? Do you have any tips not mentioned that could help new solo travelers? Please comment below;-)

Bonus: Need a suggestion on a solo friendly destination? Check out my 2- weeks itinerary in Spain to help you plan a trip around the country:)

If you loved this post, please share and pin this image😉A GIRLS GUIDE TO SOLO TRAVEL