As soon as the subject of my hen party came up, I knew I didn’t want the traditional boozy night out with L plates and a classy looking tiara, I wanted to use it as an excuse to have a relaxing, girly weekend, preferably with some sun, yoga and cocktails. A party destination was definitely out, I needed something chilled and low key where I wouldn’t have to break my “in bed by 10pm” rule! It was therefore a bit of a surprise when I ended up on a girls trip to Iceland of all places for my hen party.
Why I Chose Iceland for My Girls Getaway
My first thought when it came to planning my Iceland hen do was who I would like to invite. A glaring problem became quickly apparent, there would be thirteen of us in total and we were split into two contingents; a very spread out UK one and a New York based one….this was going to be tricky. The most important thing for me was that everyone I wanted to be there could attend, so I needed to find a solution.
When I went over to New York for our annual family gathering the summer before (which I refer to as our “Smith Summit”), we sat down and had a bit of a brainstorm of what location we could make work that wouldn’t involve some long haul travel for some members of the group.
We got Google Maps out and started by identifying the half way point between the two continents; guess what, it was a whole lot of ocean (not sure why we didn’t see that coming to be fair). We widened our scope a bit and there are only three countries in between the two places; Ireland, Iceland & Greenland.
Ireland was still a fair trek for my New York contingent, Greenland was a fair trek for the UK one (and I’m not quite sure what we’d do there). However, Iceland was fairly in the middle for both, maybe this could work!
Being completely honest, Iceland was not actually on my immediate travel list for a few reasons; firstly I am hesitant about travelling to cold places (until this trip, I had actually never done it, unless you count some unseasonably cold weather in Florida one January).
Secondly, I generally like my trips to be on the luxurious side, but I am a total deal hunter and from what I had heard the cost of travel to Iceland is just not conducive to combing the two things. Finally, Iceland has become a widely popular destination in the last few years. I, of course, like to be stubborn and not do what everyone else is. I am pretty sure I don’t follow this rule very rigidly, just when I feel like it.
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Planning A Girls Trip to Iceland
The next task was to tell those who had not attended the annual Smith Summit that I intended to have my bachelorette party in Iceland (as my American family referred to it), to which I did get some responses along the line of “ok…” and “really?!”. Devising the itinerary was next on the list, no way was I going to leave this to someone else, planning travel is my most favourite activity ever. However, the more research I did, the trickier I realised this was going to be as there was a range of budgets, interests and ages (13 to 82!) in the group.
Everyone told me to do exactly what I wanted to do as it was my hen party, however it wasn’t as easy as that, I was asking people to pay a fair whack of cash for a weekend away and for that they needed to enjoy it. To add in even more complication, trying to sort out dates, even ten months in advance wasn’t easy. After much back and forth, we finally settled on Easter weekend, not exactly an ideal time to be travelling! This definitely was going to be my most challenging itinerary to pull together yet.
There are many varied options for what to do for a girls getaway to Iceland, however given the length of time we were going to be there (three days) and the number of people coming with their varied interests and activity levels, I decided to keep it simple; stay in Reykjavik to minimise travel time, go to the Blue Lagoon and tour the Golden Circle, probably the two most popular activities for visitors to Iceland. You can read my full three day itinerary in Iceland here.
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Iceland: A Classic Destination for a Hen Party!
It ended up being an amazing weekend, I enjoyed it so much and actually Iceland was the perfect location, particularly for someone who loves travel as much as I do. The weather was also warmer than in the UK over the same weekend (around 5°C to 7°C) with the exception of our final day, when we woke up to a decent covering of snow! Iceland are, of course, well prepared for it and have the warm ground water from the many underground springs pumped under the main roads and pavements, so it was still so easy to get around as the snow just melts.
Believe it or not, the costs were not extortionate either and we still did the weekend in style, staying in one of the best hotels in Reykjavik, taking private tours and eating at some lovely restaurants. The rumours are true, Iceland is expensive, but I did a lot of research, planning and pre-booking to keep the costs manageable, so it is possible to still have luxury trip to Iceland and not pay a fortune for it.
A hen party in Iceland is most definitely not traditional and not the destination I expected to end up in, but it was absolutely perfect and I’m a bit gutted I can’t do it all again!
– View & book the hotels in Reykjavik at Booking.com, Agoda or Hotels.com.
– Check flight routes and prices with Skyscanner.
– Click here to buy your Lonely Planet Guide to Iceland.
– You can check out my full list of tried, tested and recommended Travel Resources here.