K8CanRelate's Guide on How to Spend a Layover in Mexico City

K8CANRELATE's Guide on How to Spend a Layover in.png

When planning for our honeymoon in Mexico, we purposefully chose our flights to include long layovers for us to explore Mexico City. I hope you find this guide helpful when planning your time in Mexico City. If you’re familiar with traveling in Mexico City, please drop your favorite places in the comments as I already want to go back!


GETTING THERE

Flying from LAX into Mexico City via Volaris was a breeze, not to mention very affordable. Danny decided to rent a car from Enterprise to get from the airport to our hotel, which was more centrally located than the airport. The car rental itself was easy, a van transported us from the airport to their office and soon enough, we had our vehicle. Honestly, if you aren’t super confident in your driving, I wouldn’t recommend this. It wasn’t a big deal but I was holding my breath (and death gripping the door handle) the entire time. The roads were pretty crazy, and we had not prepared at all prior to the decision by doing research online. If we did it over, we would have just used Uber the entire time. We did end up using Uber on the last leg of our trip in Mexico City, and it was the same experience that we have in the US. If you aren’t staying overnight in Mexico City, you can store your bags in the luggage lockers outside baggage claim at the airport so you don’t have to drag them around all day. The main part of the city is about 20 minutes away without traffic (but traffic gets cRaZy so check Google Maps), so it’s an easy drive to get there.

This view though!

This view though!

WHERE TO STAY

This might come as a shock to you, but we actually stayed in a h o t e l the first night of our honeymoon. I know, honestly so out of character. We cashed in some airline points and got a junior suite at the Hilton Reforma. It was SO lovely and the best part? The views overlooking the city. That sunrise will be etched into my memory for years to come.

We also stayed in this super cute (and affordable) Airbnb on our last night of the trip. There is a security guard on duty at all times, which is a nice perk if you are a weary travel or traveling solo!

The Centro Historico District is where our hotel and our Airbnb were located and where many museums and other attractions are, so it’s the perfect place to hang out if you don’t have much time. It was a really fun area to wander around.

This waffle sandwich at Vegamo was as delicious as it looks

This waffle sandwich at Vegamo was as delicious as it looks

WHERE TO EAT

We had less than 24 hours to spend in Mexico City for the first leg of our trip, and we took to the streets almost immediately. From our hotel, we walked to Vegamo for dinner. Danny ordered the Chewbacca waffle sandwich with horchata to drink and I got the protein bowl with a golden mylk latte. That golden milk latte was pure magic, and so was Danny’s meal. The protein bowl was very filling, Danny ended up finishing it for me. We loved the ambiance, food and location of this place so much that we actually went back for brunch the next day. I got the chilaquiles with mole and Danny got the omelette. Does anyone else get pissed off when their partner always orders the better thing? That omelette was pure magic, ya’ll. If you are ever in Mexico City, we definitely recommend this place.

If you are a vegan traveling to Mexico City, check out these recommendations from Happy Cow. We perused this list a few times, and can’t wait to go back and try more!

Part of the courtyard at the National Palace

Part of the courtyard at the National Palace

WHAT TO DO

I was in Mexico City on a mission: to find Frida and Diego. I am a huge fan of Frida Kahlo’s work and a fan of her as a person. I also love Rivera’s mural work, and wanted to see at least something by them. With this in mind, we took to Avenida Juárez which runs straight through the historic heart of Mexico City. We wandered through Parque Alameda (which had many vendors set up at night, and in daylight is a great place to people watch and look at various sculptures and statues) Oh, and the park also has free wi-fi. As we strolled on, we awed at the beauty of Palacio de Bellas Artes but didn’t go inside, peaked our heads into a few cathedrals on our way. The courtyard area of Museo Nacional de las Culturas is breathtaking, and reminded me so much of my time in Spain.

One of Diego Rivera’s murals in the National Palace depicting Frida

One of Diego Rivera’s murals in the National Palace depicting Frida

Zócalo is the true heart of Mexico City, and where you will find the Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, Templo Mayor Museum and many other historical buildings. We had time to briefly visit all of these. When you enter the queue for the Palacio Nacional, expect that they will ask for your passport or some kind of identification. Entry is free, and this is where you can find many of Diego Rivera’s murals. I could have spend hours just sitting and looking over the detail in his work. I won’t make this an art history exposé, but everything about the National Palace is exquisite. If you have any time at all in Mexico City, this would be my top recommendation.

After our stay at the resort near Puerto Escondido, which you can read more about here, we flew back into Mexico City. Our flight back home the next morning was super early, and we just kind of felt like having a lazy night in. Our Airbnb might have had something to do with that, because it was cozy as hell! Something that we will do every so often is order delivery or take-out and eat it all in bed while watching a movie. We wanted to end our honeymoon as the indulgent royalty that we are, so we ordered delivery from a vegan taco place. Honestly, it was kind of a shit show. The way that things were packaged for delivery was super strange, and the tacos weren’t super great. We thought we were ordering chips and vegan queso but in reality we got the queso and straight up tortillas (LOL). Not a big deal, as it was definitely something to remember.


We wish we would have had more time to spend exploring Mexico City, but we are grateful to have experienced what we did. Have you been to Mexico City? Where did you eat, what did you see, what should we experience when we go back?

K8CanRelate's Guide to Moving Across the Country

Not sponsored by Uhaul.

Not sponsored by Uhaul.

Considering a road trip across the country? Or perhaps you are playing around with the idea of making the move from east to west. I moved from West Virginia to Southern California in 3 nights with 2 vehicles and a U haul trailer. This is a guide that includes how we packed, the route we took, the food we ate, the stops we made and how I did my best to stay healthy.

HOW IT HAPPENED

I visited Los Angeles the first week of July for a long weekend. It was my very first time “out West”. People have been telling me for years that I belong in California. I usually dismissed their opinions because I heard that California was expensive and housing was outrageous, and I assumed that I would never be able to afford it. During my visit, I ate amazing vegan food, I visited with friends that I hadn’t had the opportunity to meet in person before, I watched Austin Powers in a cemetery, I drove through Topanga Canyon. I didn’t really do “touristy” things, and I think it is because of this that I became transfixed. I spent more time among Angelenos than with visitors and a thought started to bubble to the surface of my mind: I really do belong here. I mentioned to my friends that I would love to live here, and I guess the rest is history. It was just a few short weeks later that Danny and I were interviewing for jobs and looking at apartments. Do not be surprised at how quickly the Universe moves once you are ready.

WHAT WE PACKED

As many of my longtime readers know, I have been dabbling into minimalism here and there. Danny and I seriously considered tiny home life and do still intend to own a renovated Airstream at some point. Since we both already were preparing for a minimalist lifestyle, it wasn’t as difficult for us to get rid of our stuff. We had a yard sale and sold what we could, donated what we couldn’t. I gave away 6 trash bags filled with clothes and shoes. It disgusted me that I owned that many clothing items, most of which I rarely, if ever, wore. We have a Casper mattress, which comes shipped in a small box when you purchase it. Danny found a YouTube video that showed how to suck the air back out of it for easy transportation. It actually did work really well which was huge for us to be able to fit everything in the size of U Haul trailer that we could tow with Danny’s Jeep. We didn’t pack any furniture besides the bed, bed frame and a wooden chest that I had (which I ended up getting rid of upon arriving in California).

The route we took, with the towns we stayed in marked!

The route we took, with the towns we stayed in marked!

WHAT ROUTE WE TOOK

We took the Southern route, as it is known, because it is less mountainous. The route through Colorado and Utah is beautiful, I have heard, but since we were towing a U Haul we didn’t want to take that route. We started in West Virginia and made our way through Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before arriving in California. All of these states were new for me, except for Kentucky! It was mid-September when we were traveling and the weather was absolutely perfect. We couldn’t have asked for anything better. My only real complaint and headache was the Oklahoma Turnpike. If you take this route, remember to bring cash (and coins!). There is a little calculator here to compute exact totals. I came prepared with the cash, but wasn’t anticipating how steep the cost of traveling this stretch of road would be. At one point, it requires exact change, which I didn’t compute as coins. I ended up having to drive right through, oops. Other than that minor hiccup, everything was perfect.

Kombucha tasting at the Confluence in St. Louis, Missouri

Kombucha tasting at the Confluence in St. Louis, Missouri

WHAT WE SAW

We weren’t doing this trip for the sightseeing, which was kind of a bummer. We were just trying to make good time so that we could get settled into our new apartment. There were so many cool things along the way that we wish we could have made time for, but we knew that we would be making weekend trips to do those things soon. That being said, we did stay in some pretty cool cities and made a few pit stops as well. We always utilize Happy Cow to scope out vegan options in whatever city or town we are traveling to. We made a stop in St. Louis at Confluence Kombucha to try their kombuchas on tap as well as to grab a little snack. Very fun flavors and cooking techniques and the staff was great! I saw the Gateway Arch from the interstate, even though I kept mentally calling it the Golden Arches (it is definitely not a McDonald’s).

Annapurna's Cafe in Albuquerque features Ayurvedic Indian cooking

Annapurna's Cafe in Albuquerque features Ayurvedic Indian cooking

The next night, we stayed in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Because the time change was working in our favor, we had some daylight left to explore the city. We went downtown and parked and wandered around looking at some murals, stopping in to El Guapo’s for a Corona and lime on the rooftop. On our way through Texas, I couldn’t stop marveling at the windmills. Texas is the largest purveyor of wind energy in the country! I had seen windmills before in Maryland, but never this many. We made it a point to stop at the Cadillac Ranch which is just off the highway in Amarillo. We went on from there to stay the night in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We went to Annapurna's Cafe for dinner, which was absolutely delicious. We shared the South Indian Sampler and Mediterranean Plate, both pictured above. After dinner, we walked from our hotel over to Green Jeans Farmery. It’s like a shipping container plaza complete with a brewery, food vendors and more. The hot air balloons against the mountains in Albuquerque are so dreamy, I definitely want to go back. Driving through New Mexico and Arizona were my absolute favorite views. There is something that feels otherworldly and magical about the American Southwest. The trains snaking through the hills made me want to pull over and paint it all, photograph it all, savor each and every drop. I was so inspired.

Danny’s cousin lives in Flagstaff, Arizona and we made it a point to stop in and grab lunch with her. We ate at a little vegan place called WHYld Ass. Their food was amazing. This would have been the perfect opportunity to skip over to the Grand Canyon, and I would recommend it if you have a couple of hours to spare. We made the choice to drive through to Long Beach, and it was a long 15 hour drive day for us. For a while, there seems to be nothing and then you come over this hill and there are lights everywhere, cars everywhere. We had made it.

HOW I STAYED HEALTHY + SAVED MONEY

As I was packing the kitchen, I realized I had a lot of dry beans in my pantry. I made a quick and easy chili in the Instant Pot, because I also had a couple of chili seasoning packets laying around. I packed it in large Tupperware along with utensils for us to eat for lunches while road tripping. I measured out the last of the quick-cook oatmeal that I had, turmeric and the last of my protein powder. I added water to this and zapped it in the hotel microwave. At the last hotel, there was no microwave, so I used the hot water from the coffee pot to make it work. I also packed some apples, GoMacro bars and some peanut butter in the car. I brought along 2 reusable water bottles that I kept filled with cold water from the fountain at various gas stations. There is almost always a microwave that you can use to heat up food at gas stations, so you aren’t bound by cold-only foods while traveling! By using up some of these pantry items, it allowed me to save money, stay healthy and also not have to pack that stuff up. Additionally, we made it a point to book hotels that had a gym. We chose not to stay at Airbnb’s along the way because we weren’t sure which towns we would be staying in each night and didn’t want to be disruptive to the host/hostess with our late arrivals. With as much sitting as we were doing, it was really important to me to start the day with some activity. By no means will you become “unhealthy” or “unfit” if you take time off from your fitness or meal prep while traveling, but for me, it was more about mental health and easability than anything!

Hopefully this helps you plan your next road trip or inspires you to travel to new places and see new things. If you are a routine traveler, share some of your favorite travel or packing tips with me below!

Staying Healthy While Traveling: K8CanRelate's Healthy Travel Tips

My healthy travel tips

My healthy travel tips

No surprise to all of you, I love to travel. Day trips, weekend getaways, international travel -- I love it all! However, traveling can be detrimental to our health especially when you are traveling frequently and always on the go. So how can you stay healthy while traveling? 

Enter my insider intel, all my best tips for everything you need to do to stay healthy, no matter where your wanderlust may lead. 

Numbero uno most important tip that I can give you: determine what kind of healthy you mean. For some, they want a physically healthy trip and for others they need to take a vacation for mental health. This post is more for physical health and well-being and less about indulgent trips. However, I am aware of how crucial it is to let go and indulge yourself every now and again (especially while on a vacation!) 

Plan ahead - pre-trip | Research the options before you go. What are some healthy restaurants in the area, is there a free gym, does the Airbnb have a full kitchen, is the city walkable etc. I am a planner by nature, so this is one of my favorite parts of traveling, the pre-trip is just as fun for me as the trip itself!

Sleep | Catch those Z's like a pro. If you have trouble sleeping in unfamiliar places, I recommend trying Lush's sleepy lotion or a bedtime tea. Our bodies are already prone to sickness in new environments, don't put yourself at a higher risk by getting little to no sleep. 

Walk everywhere | If possible, opt for strolling around town to sight-see rather than hailing a Lyft. I get in more steps when I travel than I ever do at home. I usually don't visit the gym while traveling, so walking is my primary means of exercise. 

Utilize the free gym or try out a local studio | I love checking out local studios while traveling! I usually opt for yoga or cycle. This is a great way to feel out the vibe of a city as well as check out an area of town that you otherwise might not have. I just utilize Google to find websites for studios and then decide based on their location, schedules and overall vibe. If you are staying at a hotel that offers a free gym, go! 

Reusable water bottle | Don't forget to hydrate! It is much easier to become dehydrated while traveling, especially if you are flying or going to a warmer climate than what you're used to. Bring an empty reusable water bottle through airport security and fill it up once you are through TSA. If you are driving, you can bring more than one water bottle so that you always have a full one on hand. 

Cook your own meals | The easiest way for me to stay healthy while traveling is to book accommodations with a kitchen. This way, I can control what fruits and veggies that I am getting as well as how much sodium I am taking in. We definitely still like to go out to eat while we travel and it is often one of our favorite parts of traveling. However, it is more cost effective to cook your own meals and it is just healthier overall. Usually I will cook breakfasts, lunches and pack snacks and then go out to eat for dinner. I would suggest packing a few to-go containers for leftovers as well as reusable utensils. 

Be mindful of your immune system | Load up on good-for-you foods like fresh fruits and veggies. Go to your local health foods store and get some elderberry lozenges to pack in your bag. Wash your hands often while traveling, especially through airports and other crowded tourist spots. 

Limit your alcohol | By now, we know that alcohol takes its toll on our bodies. Limit your alcohol consumption while traveling. Ask yourself if it is really worth the headaches, hangovers and dehydration that will surely follow. 

Let go | Ultimately, worrying about staying healthy can cause you to be more unhealthy than just going with the flow would. Plan ahead as much as you can, but also be open to letting things flow naturally.

Don't worry, be happy, travel often. 

K8CanRelate's Guide to Columbus, Ohio

Columbus Museum of Art: Wonder Room Gallery

Columbus Museum of Art: Wonder Room Gallery

As the capital of the state of Ohio, you can imagine there is plenty to do in the city of Columbus. Danny and I chose Columbus as our Christmas destination 2017. We made this decision because of its close proximity to where we are living and all of the fun things that seemed to be going on! Keep in mind, this Christmas season was unseasonably chilly, so we didn’t get to do a lot of the outdoor things that were happening around town. It says a lot that we were still able to fill our time with fun things to do so don’t count Columbus out for your next road trip or adventure.

Below you will find photos from our time there and my reviews of the things we did, ate and experienced.

We stayed in an Airbnb with Danny’s parents in the Brewery District of Columbus. You might think that this means there are breweries on every corner, but you will be disappointed. There are pubs in the area, but no real breweries. We were kind of sad about that, but it was a very central location while also being quiet. We really enjoyed the space and the yard was fenced in which was great for our dogs.

The Book Loft of German Village

 If you know me at all, you know I love to read. We had to check out this book store that is one of the largest independent bookstores in the country! When I say this place is huge, I really mean it. There are 30+ rooms filled with books. The rooms are kind of cramped and its pretty easy to get lost. Apparently they also have dining and drink options, but I guess we didn’t wander that far! I appreciated that they had the rooms sorted by genre and topic. The outside of the building is very fun, and German Village seems to be a very hip and historic part of town. I would recommend checking it out if you like quirky things!

Easton Town Center

Easton is a huge shopping complex just outside of downtown Columbus. They have an indoor mall as well as an outdoor center. There are lots of restaurants and shops. We only visited to go see Star Wars at their movie theater which has dine-in options. The entire plaza was lit up with Christmas lights and it was snowing. The theater was very large. This was the first time I had been to a dine-in theater so I had a great time sipping my beer while watching the movie. If you enjoy shopping, put Easton at the top of your list.

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival

This festival is held at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. The festival starts in November, is open both on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day from 5 until 10 PM and it extends into the New Year as well. This is definitely a must see! You can walk the grounds and tour all of the lanterns at your own pace. They are so intricate and beautiful! There are a couple of show times throughout the evening that you will want to be sure to watch.  They have spiked apple cider available as well, which I would highly recommend.

 

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival

Balanced Yoga

Danny and I dropped into a fundamentals yoga course at Balanced Yoga's new location in the German Village. The space is beautiful and well worth a visit. They have yoga mats for rent or you can bring your own. They have a locker area to place your belongings into. The staff is super friendly. I wish I could remember the name of the instructor that we had, but she was awesome and really took the time to make sure we were moving our bodies in a safe way. I always love having instructors that help you find your form. 

North Market

We explored the North Market the day after Christmas, and since these are small business owners, most of them took the day off to enjoy time with their families. Thankfully for us, Destination Donuts was open. They carry two trays of vegan donut options daily. Honestly these are some of the best, most fluffy donuts I have ever had the pleasure of eating. We got the vanilla, chocolate sprinkle and their version of the cinnamon roll. My personal favorite was the vanilla followed closely by the cinnamon roll. You really cannot go wrong, though.

Destination Donuts is worth the stop!

Destination Donuts is worth the stop!

The Center for Creativity

The Center for Creativity

Columbus Museum of Art

Quite possibly one of the best museums I have ever been to. They have a newer building that they have named The Center for Creativity which is a huge space for galleries and more hands-on activities. While we were there, they had a huge LEGO display which Danny really enjoyed. Each step of the museum was an opportunity to stop and write, draw, explore, create. You don’t come here just to stare at a painting. Even in their classic galleries, they have tables with puzzles and options to connect on a deeper level with the art. Whoever has curated this museum has done a beautiful job. I feel like I could spend an entire day here, and would really recommend that you check it out at least for a few hours. They have student and teacher discounts available as well as free entry on Sundays.  

Vegan version of the Parma, Italy at Melt

Vegan version of the Parma, Italy at Melt

Melt Bar and Grilled

Did someone say gourmet grilled cheese? I have been to the Melt in Columbus once before and have also visited their location in Cleveland. They have a multitude of vegan options from different cheese to different meat substitutes. I got the Parma, Italy with the tofu. All of their vegan-friendly options are clearly marked. They have vegan soup and salad options as well, and you can opt for a half serving of any sandwich as well. The staff is very accommodating if you have any questions or concerns on preparation! Delicious and fun.

16-Bit Bar+Arcade

This may be my favorite bar find of all time. The walls are lined with old school arcade games. The best part? As long as you are drinking you can play for FREE. Yep, that’s right. They have pinball in the back corner that is a little extra. They have drink specials every night. We were there on a Tuesday and it wasn’t too full but was definitely busy.

 

Healthy Vegan Road Trip Tips & Hacks

Wondering what to pack to stay healthy for your next road trip? 

This post isn’t just for vegans! Are you a busy person always on the go or with a long commute? Are you a traveler or in college? Would you prefer not to spend all of your budget on food? Do you have limited access to a kitchen but still want healthy, whole food snacks and meals? Since I became vegan a couple of years ago, road trips (and travel in general) have required a bit more food packing and planning. I wanted to share some of my own hacks and tips for a healthy vegan-friendly road trip:

Place an order online. When I know I will be traveling and am low on pantry items, I go ahead and place an order from Vitacost carries all of my favorites at a lower price than if I were to buy them at the store. I usually stock up on meal bars, crackers, nuts and seeds.  

Happy Cow! I always scope out my destination on Happy Cow prior to leaving so I know what kinds of options there will be for eating out. This will dictate how much and what I need to pack. This is the best app for traveling vegans or vegetarians. Their website is free and you can enter in your destination and it will pull all of the vegan/vegetarian/veg-friendly restaurants in that area. This has been so useful for us when we travel.

Own a reliable compact cooler or insulated lunch bag. This way you can pack your own snacks or meals that need to be kept cold.

Bring reusable bags with insulation. This will allow you to shop at a grocery store so you can cook your meals once you reach your destination.

Stay hydrated – bring one or more reusable water bottles.

Pack snacks.

  • DIY trail mix (or store bought if you want)
  • Hummus, cut veggies and Mary’s crackers
  • Fruit! Apples are the most travel-friendly fruit, followed by grapes and oranges and then bananas. Bananas aren’t so great if you will be stuffing them into your backpack, they bruise and squish easily.
  • Homemade energy bites
  • Protein bars
  • Homemade muffins
  • PB, banana, tortilla roll ups
  • Pop Chips or Skinny Pop (especially if you will be driving, something crunchy is nice to help you stay alert!)

Choose an Airbnb with a kitchen. I always look for available Airbnb's with a kitchen. Haven't traveled with Airbnb yet? Read my blog post about why I don't use hotels anymore. 

Bring pre-prepared meals in Tupperware. Don’t forget utensils! If I know I am going to need meals on the road then I go ahead and prep something like Soba Noodle Salad or Mediterranean pasta salad that I can eat cold and will still be healthy, filling and delicious. Something easier than bringing a prepared meal is packing bagel sandwiches with vegan deli meats, avocado and your other favorite toppings!

Fast Food. Budget friendly and quick. Taco Bell is our go-to when we do need to opt for fast food. They have a surprisingly vegan-friendly menu. The magic words you are looking for are “fresco-style”. This will replace all dairy products with pico de gallo. Ask for avocado and you are set! Chipotle is a great option as well.

Whole Foods. Not always budget friendly (but it can be); however, it is always delicious and healthy. Check out the salad bar for on-the-go options!

Instant pot. Traveling for a long time without access to a kitchen? My friend over at Vegan Love Adventure traveled across the country staying in hotels without kitchens. The Instant Pot is heavy and bulky, but would allow you to be in control of what you are eating and also allow you to be very budget-friendly. Mary traveled with her Instant Pot and was able to make meals from cheap and easy to find grocery items like beans and veggies. I think this is a genius idea!

What to Pack for a Trip to Iceland

I use a  Nikon D3300  camera and have a Columbia jacket.

I use a Nikon D3300 camera and have a Columbia jacket.

Wondering what to pack for Iceland?

One of the biggest questions I had before traveling to Iceland was, what do I even pack? I live in an area that gets pretty cold in the winters, so I am used to dressing for the cold, however, I was totally new to the idea of dressing in waterproof materials. I’m here to provide my own insight on how and what to pack for your visit to Iceland!

When are you traveling? This is very important as Iceland does have seasons, and they can vary quite greatly. The weather in Iceland changes rapidly and frequently. You may experience sunshine, rain, snow, and ice all on the same day. Layering and having the right gear is critical to enjoy Iceland to the fullest.

Layers are your best friend.

I have traveled in the Autumn and will be traveling again in the Winter. Regardless of when you will be visiting, there are essential items you will need:

  • Fleece jacket/ pullover

  • Waterproof/windproof jacket

  • Waterproof pants (I use these)

  • Sturdy and waterproof walking/hiking boots

  • Gloves

  • Scarves

  • Beanie (I really like this handmade one and this fleece lined one)

  • Swimsuit(s)!

  • Thermal underwear/ warm base layers (I love fleece leggings)

  • Warm socks like these

  • Quick-dry towel (to take with you when you visit hot springs)

  • Sunglasses (the sun reflects off the snow, too!)

  • Energy/Meal bars (linked my favorites down below)

  • Camera

  • Day Pack (carrying your traditional purse is not going to work, opt instead for a small backpack)

  • Reusable water bottle (you can fill it up in most of the running streams of water in Iceland)

  • Power adapter (they use the Europlug in Iceland)

If you are traveling in the summer, I hear it is quite pleasant and you will not need nearly as many layers. They do have the Midnight Sun in Iceland, so if you are light sensitive be sure to pack eye shades. You will still want to pack your waterproof gear, especially if you plan on seeing the waterfalls. Some are quite powerful and you WILL get wet.

Awesome flat lay from  www.fromicetospice.com

Awesome flat lay from www.fromicetospice.com

If you are traveling from October to March, you are basically traveling in the Icelandic winter. The Gulf Stream keeps temperatures pretty mild so while the wind chill can be below freezing, it is not as frigid as you might be imagining. Layering will be important, so pack base layers such as quick dry tops and bottoms, thermal or long johns, fleece jacket1s, sweaters, and of course the critical waterproof outer layer such as rain pants and a warm waterproof coat. Staying dry is one of the most important things about traveling in Iceland. I plan on packing some of those heat packs to put inside of my gloves and shoes to keep my extremities extra warm and toasty. I am also considering buying and bringing Crampons to fit onto my hiking boots so that I won’t be slipping and sliding on the ice.

Are you mainly staying and exploring in Reykjavik? You won’t need as much ‘active gear’. It is a cosmopolitan city and they dress very fashionably. You will want to pack nice shoes and nice looking pants. Try not to look like you just came in from a 15-mile hike!

Geothermal pools (or hot pots) are found all over Iceland, you definitely want to pack a swimsuit!

Geothermal pools (or hot pots) are found all over Iceland, you definitely want to pack a swimsuit!

Do not forget your swimwear! Hot pots (geothermal pools) are a major part of Icelandic culture, and one of my favorites. A swimsuit and a quick drying towel will be all you need. Trust me, you will regret it if you opt out of bringing one.

DO pack the right footwear. Don’t assume the tennis shoes you use to hike in at home are going to work for you in Iceland. Mountain rocks, black sand, ice: these are the terrains you’ll be walking on so you’d better have resistant and waterproof hiking shoes while exploring Iceland.

Do you plan on traveling Ring Road? I would highly recommend bringing one or two Tupperware containers and some travel utensils so that you can store leftovers or meals to eat along the way. This is more affordable and gives you more time to focus on exploring. Meal/protein bars are also great to have on hand as gas stations can be few and far between in the more rural parts of the country. I bought a case and packed into my checked bag. I personally love Square Bars and GoMacro

If you forget something? No worries. Reykjavik is a beautiful city full of Icelandic shops. Stores like 66 Degrees North and Icewear have all of your clothing needs. If you want to take home a piece of Icelandic culture, there are a variety of shops that sell hand-knitted wool sweaters aka a lopapeysa, socks, gloves, and hats.

Wondering if you need to bring cash? You really don’t. As long as you have a chip credit or debit card, you will find that you can buy anything that you may want or need.

Also, forget the umbrella. It’s way too windy in Iceland for an umbrella to work for long.

One last thing, ENJOY EVERY MOMENT.