Hidden charges are becoming a reality in Iceland. PIC Didier Jansen

Hidden charges are becoming a reality in Iceland. PIC Didier Jansen

This is every marketer´s wet dream. To witness a 180 degree reverse from a bad rep without so much as lifting a finger or paying a dime.

Which is exactly what happened right after the economic crash in Iceland in late 2008. Before that crash visiting Iceland was simply out of the picture for many because of the high cost. Accommodation was expensive, food very much so and tours and trips rather more expensive than in very expensive neighboring countries.

Somehow a strong rumor took hold in many places abroad in 2009 and has persisted since. Since Iceland was tethering on the brink of a total collapse traveling within the country had become so very much cheaper than before. The rumor took flight.[blockquote type=”blockquote_line” align=”right”]one good reason to always read the fine print[/blockquote]

Undeservedly so since prices within Iceland never really went down at all. What happened was the devaluation of the local currency but that did not change anything. Almost instantly prices here for foodstuffs, rent and basic necessities went up accordingly. In most part because most stuff here is imported. Without imports this nation would cease to be in five minutes flat.

It also took just a few minutes for entrepreneurs within the travel industry to realize what opportunities fast growing numbers of tourists presented. Prices rose quickly well above what is ever was before the crash and nowadays tours in Iceland are on average more expensive than similar tours in Norway where normal wages are easily double compared to Iceland. Now folks in the industry fail to understand why tourists do not buy more stuff here and want to market the country as a luxury destination only.

Which means some have taken to applying extra charges, sometimes hidden, from interested folk. Which is one good reason to always read the fine print before booking much of anything here.

For instance, a blanket or a duvet has until now been standard issue in hostels and lower class hotels and linen in most cases too. That is not necessarily the case any longer. A number of local hostels charge extra for such „extras“ nowadays and get away with it too. After all, nobody is traveling between countries with a duvet in the baggage. You need linen too? Pay up.

Which basically means the prices you see on booking and search engines might not necessarily be the prices you end up paying. Certainly worth keeping in mind if on your way over here. Reading the fine print is certainly boring stuff but if could save you from getting hit with a rather larger bill than you expected.

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