COVID-19: 5 reasons renting a camper in Iceland is a good ideaPublished: 16. March 2020
By: Þorsteinn (Thor)
In case you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, we have a Coronavirus pandemic on our hands. Governments are telling people to self-quarantine and public events are being cancelled left and right. I'm not going to lie, it's a serious situation that should be taken seriously. We discuss more of serious and practical side of the situation in this blog post. But I hope you forgive my overly optimistic nature as I attempt to see the silver lining in this difficult situation in this post. Because when you really think about it, going on a campervan trip in Iceland during this pandemic might actually be a good idea and here are my 5 reasons:
1. It's great for social distancing
We all know that being in a large crowd of people is the worst thing to do when trying to avoid the Coronavirus. Luckily, the Icelandic countryside does not have many people at all. Most locals live in the greater Reykjavik area and during the outbreak, there will be even fewer travelers outside the city. And speaking of cities, if you live in one, you are surrounded by LOTS of people. Traveling around Iceland will get you out of the city and, more importantly, away from the elderly and highest-risk population. Just make sure that your travel partner is healthy when you cuddle with them at night but if you're traveling solo you can be as isolated as you want!
2. Coronavirus is expensive, #vanlife is cheap
Coronavirus is hitting the stock market hard and it's looking like we're heading into another recession. Even if your business or salary won't take a direct hit, chances are that your wallet will suffer in some way or another. Maybe you're way over you toilet paper budget or maybe you're worried about your 401K losing lots of value. Either way, renting a camper can save you some significant money when traveling around Iceland. Sure, Iceland can be expensive to begin with but instead of renting expensive hotel rooms or buying expensive camping equipment, you can at least combine your transportation and lodging in a simple campervan and save you both some headaches and hard-earned dollars.
3. Iceland is low-risk
Iceland is not considered a high-risk area and chances are that your country is riskier in terms of contracting the Coronavirus. Not only are you unlikely to get the virus in Iceland, but Iceland is also attractive for other reasons. For example, it is not only safe in terms of viruses, but also in terms of crime. Iceland is a modern society and is well equipped to deal with any kind of emergency and this is no exception. But in the unlikely event that you will catch Coronavirus, Iceland also ranks in the top 10 best healthcare systems in Europe and is currently ready and able to deal with all cases.
4. Stay mentally strong
You can isolate in your house, reading depressing news all day, eating junk food, and feeling sorry for yourself OR you could create unforgettable memories in the desolate Icelandic nature. The reason I'm arguing for the second option is that it will be much better for your mental state. Be inspired, spend quality time with yourself or your travel partner, and re-energize on the road.
5. Stay active
Related to the point above, staying physically healthy is crucial. Social distancing and self-isolation can lead to lots of hours sitting on the couch or laying in bed. Why not stay physically active during the pandemic, hiking trails, cooking healthy meals in the van, and exploring the Icelandic nature. Remember, self-isolation doesn't have to be inside. Unspoiled nature is perhaps the safest place to be in times like these.
What do you say? Are you as optimistic as I am or am I the only one who's feeling like escaping this crazy situation and going on a campervan road trip in Iceland? Let me know in the comments.
Of course it goes without saying that I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't worry about the Coronavirus at all. Like I mentioned in the introduction, it's a serious issue that should be taken seriously. So if you decide to travel to Iceland in the next few weeks, please take all the precautions recommended by the Directorate of Health, especially when you're forced to be around other people, such as at the airport.