Are you planning a family trip to Iceland with your kids? It’s seriously awe-inspiring and an amazing place to explore with the whole family, but man is it cold! I’m so excited to share my tips on packing for Iceland with kids! I knew we would need all the cold weather gear we could manage to squeeze into our luggage. Our two small carry ons, to be exact. So how on earth did I pack for an 8 day trip to Iceland for a family of 5 in two carry ons? 

Packing for a trip to Iceland with kids can be a daunting task, especially if you’re packing all the huge, warm clothes. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with all the essential tips and tricks to make sure you and your family are prepared for your trip to the Land of Fire and Ice. So, let’s get started!

Packing for Iceland with Kids

How We Made it All Fit

Before we even get into what you need, let me just answer what I imagine is your first question. How did we make it all fit? The answer: vacuum bags! I knew vacuum bags would be the way to go, but there was still a learning curve trying to figure out how to make it all work in our small carryon luggage. 

Best vacuum bag packing tip:

  • Fill the vacuum back with your clothing while it’s inside of the luggage. That turned out to be much easier to get the amount of clothing that would work in each bag right.

What We Packed for Our Trip to Iceland

Couple sets of thermals each:

Thermals are a must-have in Iceland! These are the ones I wore and we got these for the girls, and these for Mr. Blinks

Mid layers

We packed a couple of sweaters each to wear over our thermals and under our winter jackets.

Fleece lined leggings

Packing for Iceland with Kids - fleece lined leggings

I opted to bring along some fleece lined leggings because I was so intimidated by how cold it was going to be!

Accessories (divided into two vacuum bags)

I packed a ton of accessories! Lots of different hats and gloves, although I did end up having to remove some of the gloves because I didn’t have enough space. I thought since we would be wearing the same outerwear every day, we would want some distinguishing clothing so we didn’t look exactly the same the whole time we were there. 

Bathing suits

You might be thinking, this does not sound like a must have on a trip to Iceland, but you would be wrong! We had the most amazing experience as soon as we got to Iceland exploring the Blue Lagoon.

Get my Amazon shopping list of things to pack for a winter trip here.

My Packing Process

Once we narrowed down what everyone was taking, I arranged everything and then did some rearranging, until I figured out how to make it all fit!

packing in a backpack

My Thought Process

I knew we would need easy access to our snow pants, hats, and gloves as soon as we got off the plane. So I made sure to pack all of our snow pants in one bag and all of our accessories in ong bag. That way we wouldn’t have to open everything up to get each person’s pants and accessories. 

1st Carry On:

  • All of our snow pants
  • My husband’s clothing in one vacuum bag
  • Oldest daughter’s clothing in one vacuum bag
  • One half of our accessories in one vacuum bag

2nd Carry On:

  • My clothing in one vacuum bag
  • My two youngest daughter’s clothing in one vacuum bag together
  • The other half of our accessories in one vacuum bag


  • Intimates
  • Toiletries

What we wore on the plane:

  • Snow boots
  • Jackets

8 Day Southern Iceland Itinerary to Help Plan Your Trip!

We put together this 8-Day Southern Iceland itinerary to guide you on a journey along the most lovely and family-friendly stops in Southern Iceland. Get the itinerary here!

FAQ About Packing for Family Trips

Packing for Iceland with Kids

How do you vacuum the bags back up once you open them on your trip?

This is the number one question we got! The set of vacuum bags came with a hand pump, which was very easy to use and convenient too!

Do the vacuum bags wrinkle your clothes?

The vacuum bags didn’t wrinkle our clothes, but it may have been because of the type of clothing we packed. Most hotels and rentals have irons that you could use if your clothes get wrinkled, or you can steam them in the bathroom while you shower!

Is it OK to wear jeans in Iceland?

Yes, you can definitely wear jeans in Iceland. We didn’t, mostly because they take up a lot of space in your luggage and we planned a lot of adventures. If you visit Iceland in the winter, you may want to stick with snow pants. If you do opt for jeans just be sure to layer them with thermals underneath. Especially if you are traveling in the winter.

Click here to read our full Iceland Family Travel Guide for tips on where to stay, things to see and do, where to eat, and more!

There we have it, all my best tips on packing for Iceland with kids! I hope this has helped you check a few things off your trip planning list. Have an epic time in Iceland!

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