Remember the good old days, when you were young and single, or married but without children, and a successful journey meant remembering only to toss your toothbrush into a knapsack with several changes of socks and underwear? But now you have kids. Spontaneous adventures require a bit more planning, preparation, and pre-emptive thought. Traveling with children is akin to herding rambunctious sheep, but is also rewarding for everyone. Watching puffins on a cliff, bouncing on soft tundra, and hunting for elves will illuminate your child’s life.
From one travel guide to another, Iceland ranks as one of the most peaceful and safest countries in the world to visit—so pastoral and idyllic, in fact, it takes a volcanic eruption to get the country into the headlines. But when exploring the magnificent landscapes, the land itself commands respect, and requires special considerations, and particular attention to your child.
First off, the weather in Iceland will change without notice. Cold temperatures can occur even in August. Whether adventuring the easily accessible and well-worn Ring Road, the popular Golden Circle, or trekking a gravel mountain road in a 4x4 to visit the belly of a volcano, layer your clothing to account for a spectrum of weather conditions. It is prudent to expect to get wet, and most likely muddy.
The singular scenery makes Iceland a spectacular trip, but the scenery can be treacherous. As you view the waterfall at Dettifoss, you’ll notice the absence of guardrails around the entire crevasse. The same is true at the rim of the Askja caldera, and along the Látrabjarg Cliffs where you can hike to see puffins. As with any shoreline in the world, but probably more so along the tumultuous Atlantic surf of Iceland, never turn your back to the ocean. Rogue waves can surge without notice and drag you out to sea.