Iceland Airwaves Preview: Budgeting For a Trip To Iceland (LISTEN)

We’re headed to Iceland Airwaves to cover the festival and cultural stories! Follow our adventures live beginning Nov. 4 right here on our blog and our main class page where we’ll be reviewing shows each night, producing audio stories and more. Check out a story from our preview show, which aired on WCRX.

Last month, the Chicago Tribune wrote an article which quoted a study conducted by UBS that sums up an underlying issue that all Chicagoans today face. The cost of living. Chicago ranked no. 7 on the list of most expensive cities in the world to live in. Earlier this year, the Reykjavik Grapevine came out with similar findings. They reported that Iceland is the 4th most expensive country to live in. But what does that mean for a student traveling from Chicago to Iceland?

Well, let’s get to some hard facts. In Iceland, food is 22% more expensive than in Chicago. Housing in Iceland is at 28 % cheaper than in Chicago, with monthly rent of about $1600 for a 900 sqft furnished apartment in an expensive area. Clothes are about 84% more expensive in Iceland than Chicago with a pair of Levi jeans costing $140 compared to $50 here in Chicago. Think we have outrageous gas prices? In Iceland the average cost of petrol is roughly about $6.41 a gallon. It’s important to factor in aspects like fuel cost, airfare, public transit, your hotel rate, meals, drinks, activities, currency exchange, and travel and luggage fees. As of today, the exchange rate for US Dollars to Icelandic Krona is about 125 for every dollar. So, three $20 bills will get you 7500 Icelandic Krona. The average ticket to fly to Iceland during their peak travel season, which is from June to August, is about $630 for one way, $1,100 for roundtrip. But here’s the big question most people have. What should I expect to spend every day? According to Savvy Backpacker, the daily cost for frugal travel in Reykjavík will cost you around $60.

Ingvar Örn Ingvarsson, Project Manager of Tourism & Creative Industries for Promote Iceland, says Iceland will never be a cheap destination to either visit or live in and for good reason.

Its not all doom and gloom for someone traveling on a student budget. For the most part, Icelandic attractions are free to the public, such as hiking in national parks. And, if you’re in need of some comforts from back home, Iceland has a pretty infamous hot dog that can easily rivalry the Chicago style dog in taste and in price. In fact, the Icelandic hot dog will only cost you $2.54  while a Chicago-style hot dog from Wiener Circle is about $3.10.

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