Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Choosing Iceland and Flights

I had never really thought about travelling to Iceland until about 6 months ago when I saw a Facebook link to $99 flights to Iceland on WowAir. I looked into the flights and, although most were more than $99, WowAir flights to Iceland and London were certainly cheaper than any others I've seen. I started looking into [read pinteresting] Iceland and whether or not its somewhere we would want to go. As it turns out, Iceland is a lot like a smaller New Zealand, which is at the top of L's and my must see destinations.

Originally, the plan was to go on our honeymoon when L graduated. But, when L decided to go to Grad School and take the summer internship at Ford, we completely scrapped that plan. Last week, however, we got a nice surprise when we found out L's start date at Ford couldn't be until June 1, leaving us 3 weeks to travel!

This is the first time I've ever gotten to choose a long trip destination!

While truly we could have picked anywhere, we are limited by our budget, our time frame, and the time of the year. So while we'd love to go somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, it really isn't in the cards this time. I did some searching on various budget airlines and found flights to Iceland and Copenhagen for $1000 for both of us and to London and Dublin for $1600 for both of us. Looking at the map, we ruled out Copenhagen because its not super easy to get from there to other places we haven't been. We strongly considered doing Ireland/Scotland/England/Whales but at the end of the day we decided on Iceland. There weren't any huge negatives about the Isles, but we didn't think it was quite enough time to do both and a bit to much time to do either individually. The flights to London also went up really quickly and the car rentals in Ireland are super expensive because most credit card insurance doesn't work there. We were also very intrigued by the rugged nature of Iceland and that it would be a really nature-focused trip in contrast to our drastically history- and culture-focused trips last year.

There are definitely a few things that caused us pause when buying our tickets, though. Because we're flying on a budget airline, we had to pay for checked luggage which added $96 each way. We also opted to pay for extra leg room because it was only $24 per person per flight which is worth it for 6+ hours. We are also driving to BWI instead of flying directly out of RDU. WowAir doesn't have a US Partner for connecting flights, so to fly to BWI would have been a hassle. We would have had to fly there, get our bags from baggage claim, re-check them, and go through security again. Also, the flights to and from BWI are around $200 each. Driving and parking should cost $200 total.

Actually buying the tickets was pretty stressful. I really wanted someone to tell me it was alright and a good idea. L did tell me those things, but he's so stressed about school that he wasn't very reassuring. So, I spent about 10 minutes on Pinterest and reconfirmed that Iceland is awesome before I pulled the trigger.

At the end of the day, we are super happy with the decision to visit Iceland!!

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