Tips for travel to Iceland with or without a drone!

Just incase you don’t have time to ready the whole four posts about the Iceland trip here is some top tips.


  1. Book early flight tickets the most expensive time seems to be from May onwards upto end of September.  Split your tickets like we did we went out with EasyJet but came back with Icelandair 
  2. Take a suitcase (with Icelandair is standard no need to pay extra)
  3. Stay in an Airbnb  – here is my link if you book we both benefit if you have never booked before that is!
  4. Book a hire car from a good and reputable firm – (see blog posts about the company NOT recommended by myself)
  5. Take a few bits of food with you in your suitcase, plus the usual pain killers and holiday first aid. Make sure you have moisturiser my skin has never been so dry that could be to do with the cold weather.
  6. Pack a flask and water bottle everything is expensive in Iceland this will save you money.  Icelandic tap water is fine to drink, run it for short while if you smell sulfur.
  7. Pack many layers, more than you think you need even in summer it can be cold.
  8. Pack walking boots and many socks.
  9. Pack a camera but not in the hold, again in your carry on bag, tripod for northern lights.
  10. Pack a torch or head torch
  11. If taking your drone make sure you pack only the two allowed lipo batteries and make sure they are in lipo bags and the connections sealed with electrical type or gaffer tape. Make sure you have a carry on bag that the drone fits in that is suitable for your airlines carry on limits.
  12. Double check you have chargers, cards and your tablet for drone and what you need for your camera.
  13. Shop at Bonus supermarkets for yourself catering supplies. They also sell standard batteries
  14. Plan all your trips but have alternative plans for when the weather is not great including where you will fly your drone
  15. Take a small mobile not locked into a network and get a cheap card so you can access wifi on the go.  We didn’t do this but it would have been very helpful.
  16. Use your bank cards, petrol and parking is all automated. Notify those bankers before you go. Cash although accepted the preferred methods in places seems to be cards.
  17. Keep checking how much everything is by using a conversion app.
  18. Pack a european plug adapter and an extension cable – with 3 or 4 sockets for recharging all the camera batteries.
  19. Take sat nav or hire one from your hire company pre book busy times mean one might not be available.
  20. Ask for road maps if your guidebook doesn’t have them
  21. Try and get off the usual tourist trails but also don’t ignore them as they are on the tourist map for a reason!
  22. Book tours and entrance to places in advance if you can.

On reflection I wish we had stood up for ourselves more with the car hire place, hand more plans in place to cover more places and not have to return but that is the beauty of travel no set plans equal happy unexpected discoveries .  Managed to do Iceland on a moderate budget and fly the drone a few times so all in all a brilliant trip.

These are the places I missed and would love to see Fjaðrárgljúfur , Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, Krýsuvík geothermal area.  Further afield in Iceland I would love to visit Hesteyri in Hornstrandir which is an abandoned village where inhabitants only return in the summer months. So many places to mention that I want to go back to visit.

I would like to thank Rebecca Douglas Photographer extraordinaire for her advice and many responses to emails.   Do check out her website she has more tips on Iceland and has blog posts about how to photograph the northern Lights!  Talented lady.

Also a big thank you to Birgir Þór Kristinsson of the Icelandic UAV association who again answered many many questions and gave me lots of inspiration about where to fly. I will get to some of those hidden gems next time I visit. 

Thanks for reading again feel free to message me if you have any questions

The Drone lass




Holiday with a drone in Iceland pt 4

Thanks for reading the blog his week this is the final installment of the Drone/ travel log about Iceland.

So on Thursday we both Megan and I agreed we were sad to be leaving but also looking forward to getting back to a bit warmer weather.  But also on the last day of your holiday adventure you have to squeeze the most out of that last day.

I have said several times this week when I go back to Iceland, the reality will be if there is enough freelance work to cover another period away. When freelance you need to have a break but it often means you miss out on work opportunties. It’s such a hard balance to strike.  The week following a period away also often results in a week where you are seeking work.  Oh, the joys of a freelance life choice.

No one here but us! 


Back to Iceland we had agreed that we would drive back down the south coast to Vik a small town with a beautiful beach its 3 hours from Reykjavik so a long drive and last time we made this journey it was in the dark as we were chasing the northern lights.

The scenery is beautiful slightly different that the other roads we had been on, massive mountains and old extinct volcanos to the left and to the right the sea or sand.  About two hours in we needed to stop for a comfort break and there was a tiny structure that said it was Eyjafjallajökull visitors centre.  This was the Volcano that erupted in 2010 causing problems in European airspace grounding many, many flights.  This was a tiny family enterprise and the lady behind the desk told us how much it was to look round the visitors centre just £6 and we thought why not.   It was one of the best things we did in the 6 days that were were in Iceland.  There has been no expense spared the production values high, plenty of photographs and information and a well equipped cinema style room showing a 20 minute film about the family that live on a farm right under the volcano.  They also run the visitors centre you are getting the real human angle to the story. This really appealed to my documentary film maker side, aside from some of the music choices in the film.  I loved this place and I can’t recommend it enough.P1004389

I chatted to one of the family afterwards and she said there is no seismic activity at Eyjafjallajökull it is being monitored the main worry is a volcano a Kalta neighbouring is due to erupt soon. The worry is the glacier that it will melt creating a tsunami wave that would engulf the small town of Vik.  This is something of a real fear in Iceland and the volcanic nature of the place really then clicked into place with me.  We just don’t have to worry in the UK about mother nature in that way.

“Here is the BBC Pronunciation Unit’s guide on how to saw the glacier’s name. Eyjafjallajökull (or Eyafallajökull) is pronounced AY-uh-fyat-luh-YOE-kuutl (-uh) , that is -ay as in day, -fy as in few, -oe as in French coeur, -uu as in boot, the -tl as in atlas. The (-uh) is “a” as in ago.

Stressed syllables are in capital letters.”   Taken from BBC website

After sandwiches in the car admiring the view and being wowed by this families story of reliance we set off for Vik.  A long time ago I saw a clip on the internet of Vik and I have dreamed of flying the drone along the black sandy beach.  But the wind and the rain, the snow and hailstones it very much looked like that would not happen.   So I knew we would just be taking stills photos possibly a little bit of video on my new DSLR.

Somewhere to shelter

We parked up – it was still snowing, and windy – and as I got on my third layer of clothing the sun came out and the wind dropped.   We walked along the beach taking photos and I had put the drone battery in the battery warmer whilst we went out to explore. Its is a small beach and part of you can’t get your head round the black sand, which your brain thinks is like soil but its not!  Its a stunning place.    To fly the drone here was just amazing.  I sent it up twice to get some different shots to put together as a sequence and some stills.   I knew my time flying would be very limited and it always been the same in Iceland.   I was right and soon had to bring the drone in!   But I do feel so lucky that I got to fly in what had been a dream location.  I will be sharing the footage soon but for now here is a still or two from the beach. Not modified in anyway a jpg straight out of the camera.

Vik Beach, Iceland
Me windswept, sans make up, four layers of clothing, happy on Vik Beach Iceland…why I am I leaning back?


After the decided to head back and pull in to see some Icelandic horses, and some waterfalls and a glacier or two!  Final photography opportunities. The weather was against us and the Panda car felt rocky, we pulled in on the right to a glacier walking tour with the idea I would go and take a couple of pictures.   My new stills camera in the boot of the car, I thought I would just walk a short way to have a nosey, and guess what I slipped and fell over, head first down from the glacier walk, I hurt my knee, elbow and grazed my hand, this was the bad thing lots of little rocks and shards of grit embedded in my hand. Seems there is pride before a fall and I fell hard,  I didn’t drop my go pro nor scratch it. Firmly held aloft!

I had packed a first aid kit but couldn’t find it and I have to say as a grown woman falling, I really felt like a small child.  It was shocking to say the least.   Nothing for it, had to have some more dark chocolate and then we decided to go on towards Seljalandsfoss waterfall. My hand really smarting and the grit not moving.   When we arrived I used the public bathrooms but nothing was shifting the grit.   For me I sort of switched off a bit,  I only took the gopro out of the car and took a tiny bit of footage and some photos.  I felt a bit unsteady on my feet and the cold was really biting.  There is no doubt its a truly stunning and epic waterfall but now I want to go back on a better day.


We left there to head home and when we got to road named 35 we turned off as we had discovered this place that looked amazing, and decided to treat ourselves to Pizza! Now it was nice Pizza but it was approximately £22 each!  So as I say things are about two thirds more expensive in Iceland.  I did enjoy my pizza.  Back to the apartment for extraction of grit by tweezers using gin to sterilise the wound and the tweezers!   Megan also let me drink some, furious packing and the alarm set for 3am.

We didn’t get to see a glacier up close and we didn’t get to meet any Icelandic horses but in 6 days we did to as much as we could and it was really enjoyable and such a fantastic place to visit, and often you do only just scrape the surface of a place. It is epic, incredible, indescribable, beautiful, bleak, wild, wonderful.  The Icelandic people are friendly and entrepreneurial, the visitors determined (in April anyway). Throughly recommend you visit if you can.

Driving on epic roads! 

We found that there is a petrol pump at the airport to fill up the car but then realised that the industrial estate was back down the motorway! The sunrise was magnificent, I really would have liked to have taken some photos but no time.   After a frantic search around the industrial park we found the car rental place.  Cue mass confusion from the hire company Green Motion why had I turned up in a different car?!?  How did we get it and all sorts of questions.  I explained that I man brought it to us, she wanted to know which man? Why did they not know about it?

They had no paperwork, but as predicted they then tried to say that we had scratched the car.   There wasn’t a mark on the car at all, a bit of a dirt had been wiped by a suitcase as it was lifted in or out of the boot but when you rubbed it nothing there, no damage to the paint work.   I had already taken lots of photos of the car on returning it.   When dealing with what feels like a dodgy car rental place, always watch your back!

When we said we are not paying for any damage there isn’t any,  she tried to say there was damage and we said show us the paperwork!  There was non so she then backed down and say our fault.  I think if we had, the original white fiat panda with its pebbled dashed paint work we would have come away stung by some damage demand and a big credit card bill.    So the moral of the story is don’t use Green Motion or Iceland 4X4 it’s far too dodgy an experience. Pay more and hire with a reputable firm.  For this you will need to book well in advance.

Despite the rental firm not being a good experiance, we loved the Panda! 

We flew back via Icelandair – oh my its such a long time since I haven’t flown budget airline I have forgotten what amazing customer service is like and how efficient we queued up – bags checked on , us checked in a long queue but with in ten minutes we had everything sorted.  Seats sat near each other, in flight entertainment,  free non alcoholic drinks and efficiency all round.  Can definitely recommend travelling with Icelandair.

So now I am home, there is footage to edit but also paid drone jobs to plan and lots of enquires and also other freelance work to seek.  I promise, I will edit my footage soon and upload for you all to see.

I am ready for my next adventure, I really thought that going on this trip would cure me wanderlust for a bit but actually its just fuelled it more.  Perhaps I will go somewhere a bit warmer. Iceland you were amazing and I will be back!


The Drone Lass


That’s me in the corner and Megan in the centre!

Holiday in Iceland with a drone pt 3

First stop on Tuesday was a quick look round Reykakvik centre again to visit some of the very unusual shops, alas most things out of our price range as souvenirs but fabulous looking around when the wind wasn’t blowing you into a doorway or the rain coming down so fast you couldn’t see!   The talented skills of the Icelandic crafters and artists are to be marvelled.

view down a side street towards the sea and mountains in Reykjavik 

It was going to be an exciting day as I have always wanted to visit the Blue Lagoon, a friend of mine once did a film there, about 7 years ago. Since then I have thought how much I would love to visit.  This is approximately 30 minutes drive from Reykjavik and this was a way we had driven out to and the lava fields that there are the most striking and iconic Icelandic of landscapes.  Desolate and dark, but very beautiful like an alien landscape. All I could do was shout out – drone shots!   Alas the wind, ice and snow falling probably meant this wouldn’t happen.

Iceland’s iconic lava landscape


The Blue Lagoon was a great experience, the water is between 38 – 40c but I was worried about this rule of showering with no bathing suit rule before putting your swim suit on, no need to worry as there are cubicles. The management of the lagoon have obviously cottoned on to the fact if you are not from a nordic country you have body hang ups and are not keen on getting naked in front of strangers.  The Blue Lagoon is a fascinating experience but not sure I would go again when I return to Iceland, I have done it now.

Beautiful building at the Blue Lagoon


It’s probably because it is so expensive you build it up in your mind.  They have sliding scale of packages but when its busy the price goes up but you don’t get the benefits of the higher price so we paid for 2nd level package but only got entrance to the Blue Lagoon.  Fortunately I spotted this before left the UK and packed a dressing gown, a large towel and flip flops.  There is another in the North of the Island, Myvatn nature baths which is less commercial.

Another which I have just found out about which is only 50 minutes from Iceland is Fontana  obviously these are not as flash as the Blue Lagoon but ultimately more affordable, noted for my next trip.


There are thermal rivers to swim in where pools have been created naturally, some have been given some enhancement such as Seljavallalaug which have some  basic changing rooms, all are free and I think if I had been more adventurous I would have tried one out.

So yes the blue lagoon was, bit too commercial.  If going to The Blue Lagoon pre booking is essential it sells out everyday well in advance.  I think we were just lucky to be tipped off about this fact, otherwise we would have missed out.   The price and time you arrive gives you as long as you would like to stay but in theory after 2 hours you will probably want to move on.

Slightly steamed up shots from the Go Pro Hero 5

Then headed out to Reykjanes peninsula, as there is a beach and a light house that we wanted to see. On the way we saw a place to pull in and the wind had dropped so this was the second time I got to fly the drone.  Amazing, I did only get to fly for about 9 minutes may be a touch less this was because I could see the sky darkening and thought the weather was going to change.  Brought the drone in and as I was taking the props off, the snow and hail started along with wild winds, gusty so much so we had to hold onto the car doors so they did not blow back.   So this is one of the things I will stress if you go to take the drone to Iceland, beware of those changeable weather patterns. I am sure this is the same what ever season you go in. It could be because it was April.

I did capture some of the lava fields and it was amazing but it looks very dark because it was indeed very dark.

Disappointing dark and moody lava field shots by drone

The sat nav in the car meant we couldn’t locate the beach and light house and some how we ended up back near the airport.  So we just went with it, as the winds and the cold meant we wanted to be in the car to keep warm.   We accidentally ended up coming back past the airport and called into the town that is right by the airport.  Really interesting but most of it closed and we had a wander round the front there was a tiny hut that said it did whale watching and my thought that was probably a cheaper place to go on a whale watching trip.  There was a fishing trawler, hotels, shops and an art gallery.  Had that been open we would have visited.

Keflavik town, right by the airport


The driving, the cold and the putting on of lots of layers is quite tiring after a while.   We stumbled across a Netto supermarket and got some bits and pieces for our packed lunches! Then headed back to Reykjavik to find somewhere to eat and again bucking that expensive eating out myth we ate at Noodle Station Soups and it was under £10 for a huge bowl I could not finish it all!

On Wednesday,  it was becoming apparent that we had so many places we wanted to go but our energy flagging due to the cold weather, there is something relentless about the cold.

I am a hardy sort, I run in all weathers I love the outdoors but the wind was so cutting.  We had been very prepared for weather and had ski over trousers, and two coats and lots of layers, gloves and bobble hats.   We decided to set off to see the Geysir  what is termed as the Golden circle tour – the sat nav finally took us on one of these gravel roads that are famous in Iceland!  I wasn’t bothered until I got out as passenger to take some photos and found the edge of the road giving away under foot, like sand on a beach or snow as it crumbles away from you. The road full of pot holes and lots of gravel, with some strong winds made for uncomfortable moments in the tiny fiat panda!

One of the famous Icelandic gravel roads, strangely soft under foot but fine for cars

Fortunately, I am good at map reading and using a compass and we got back on track.   All these minor detours are a brilliant way to see yet more stunning landscapes which ended up as some of the best photos on the trip.

I had the drone in the boot but there was no way I would be flying on this day.   Geysir is a natural phenomena that I would have not have missed as I  loved geography at school.   In the guidebooks it says you don’t have to wait more than 10 minutes to see the steam shoot out from the Geysir.  It varies the size and regularity it wasn’t as dramatic on the day we visited.   The visitors centre at Geysir has several restaurants and cafe’s and several gift shops.


Loved it here but again the wildest wind meant we didn’t stay that long, we decided to drive on to the Gullfoss waterfall.

Megan said this best blow me away and be epic!  I couldn’t agree more, as she was driving I was the one with the guidebook so I think she was worried it would just be a trickle and I said don’t worry it will be epic and guess what it was! We were not disappointed. Breath taking and stunning.   I know I keep going on about the weather but it was like all 4 seasons in one day, all seasons being winter.  The wind which was blowing could knock you off your feet.  This is where we saw the drones prohibited signs, that hasn’t stopped me seeing lots of footage of the Gullfoss waterfall.


We went inside the visitors centre to visit use the facilities and purchase some stamps for my postcards home and less than 5 minutes the sky was as dark as night, snow was coming down really thick and fast.  We decided to stay a while and then as quick as it arrived we had blue sky again.   I would have loved to stay longer here and take some pictures but on fear of being blown off the top of the viewing platform we didn’t stay that long.  I am thinking that perhaps on some winter days its calmer with less wind and so a bit easier to linger longer at these fabulous natural sites.

Until tomorrow when I will just wrap up this travel log and tell you about what was the highlight of the whole trip.  Which involves the drone and black sandy beaches.

The Drone lass




Holiday with a drone in Iceland pt2


Easter Sunday was a still and glorious in Iceland yet a dry coldness in the air, we arrived on the Saturday and having had that day somewhat interrupted, we were up early and out.  We just looked on the map and decided to drive out to Þingvellir National Park the national shrine of Iceland and a world UNESCO heritage site as it where the first parliament was held in 930AD.

I knew I would not be flying the drone at this location but packed the drone in the car after recharging the batteries.   I took a few european plug converters but also an extension cable to plug everything into.

Just to share with anyone who has never been to Iceland, it is epic on the scale of the mountains and the scenery. When driving they suggest you don’t get distracted by the scenery.   On some of the routes you will see pull in points for you to park up to take photos. The still air, the bright sky and layby meant we pulled in and I got to fly the drone in Iceland for the first time.    Even from the stills I took and the footage I don’t think you can get the feel of the land expanding out in front of you.

Two gnomes flying the drone! 

As with usual flying its important that you calibrate the compass and I flew in GPS mode. People ask why did I only take the phantom 3 with me, mainly for its portability part of me was a bit sad not to be taking the inspire 1.   But when I started flying I remembered what a great drone that phantom 3 is.  So far it’s never let me down and gives great shots. I haven’t upgraded yet as I don’t feel the need.  When the Phantom 5 comes out, I might upgrade then.

So I flew for with one battery and saved the other incase we ended up some where else where I could fly with different landscape.  Thats the other thing about Iceland there is another type of landscape in an hours drive.


Mosfellsbær, Suðurland, Iceland

What I also learnt very quickly in Iceland is that the winds are strong but unlike in the UK you get strong wind and it stays strong for a while.  Here its still and then it’s so windy you can’t stand up, there are gusts so strong without warning.   We didn’t have this on Sunday it was still very cold.  I bless the battery heater!

So after this we drove to Þingvellir and then had a wander round.  There is drone footage of this place and there are no signs but it was not for me to fly here. I am too respectful but it was an amazing interesting place and I suggest a visit.  Its on the Golden Circle tour but we decided to head back to the apartment for food and then to then take a trip out to try and find the northern lights


The little church at Þingvellir

If you find a call of nature here, pay the money to use the loo.  It’s a loo with a view that is sure.


View from the ladies loo at near the visitors centre at Þingvellir

Once we had eaten back at the apartment we went out to try and see the northern lights we drove all the way out to Vik which is on the south coast the only place with clear skies and a possibility of seeing the lights.  Oh my did we drive it was 3 hours each way, what can I say we were determined to see those northern lights.  Alas we did not see them and arrived home at just after 4.30 am. This is the thing with Iceland everything is far way and you have to be prepared to put the hours in driving which is not hard when you and your travelling companion get on well and can laugh along the way. The scenery is stunning and those packed lunches keep you well fed.

Easter Monday we woke up to find it a bit wild outside to say the least, we had agreed that this would be our day out in Reykavik – the news online said that they advised everyone travelling not to drive on any of the exposed ring road.   We set off thinking oh this is just a touch windy.  We even sat on a tourist bus around the city, It was cold and it was miserable but we were on our holiday making the most of it!


Inside Harpa, Reykjavik 

There were two highlights on this Monday one of them was hot chocolate and lunch croissant at Harpa which is the concert and conference centre down on the sea front. Its the most amazing building and we could have spent more time here.

This bucked the trend of expensive food and drink and came to a grand total of £8.95 each.   The second highlight was going to a coffee shop getting take away cakes 2 brownies , a slice of apple cake a take away cappuccino and a take away hot chocolate   to show you the price comparison this came in at just under £25! The cost not a highlight but I really needed some comfort food!

We were that cold and wet it was worth it, we took it back to the apartment and sat in PJ’s chatting.   It was a bit of a non day as we we were only out of the apartment for just over 4 hours.  But when roads are closed in Iceland you know its bad! Through the wind and the rain we could see people hardly being able to stand in the city.



Holiday with a Drone in Iceland pt1


For a long time I have wanted to go on holiday to Iceland and also wanted to take the drone to some different places.  So hence an impromptu booking of a trip to Iceland after chatting to a friend who travels a lot, he inspired me.   To be fair I booked the flight, airbnb and car and then thought hang on could this be quite an isolating place? Considering it’s barren landscape with a population of just over 330,000 and I would be staying in an apartment on my own!  So with that I asked a couple of friends and one said hell yes she would come with me.

The next few blog posts won’t just be about flying the drone in Iceland although that was one of the main considerations of going. I thought I would share the tips given to me to make your holiday in Iceland the best it can be! Part drone blog, part travel log.

My first one would be to check the drone laws for the country you are going to. I did this by contacting the Icelandic UAV association.  The drone laws are fairly relaxed in Iceland as there is so much open space.    They request not flying over crowds of people or congested areas, not near airports and to be respectful of landowners requests not to fly but also to point out at major sights you are not supposed to fly.  You will see a number of these signs


I was advised by The Icelandic UAV association, although currently the law is relaxed things are changing and they want anyone with a drone to be respectful not to spoil it for others.  The above sign apparently is not law abiding but why would you want to get in to confrontation to fly at a beauty land mark.  Going to other countries my intention is always to be respectful of all customs and laws.

First step getting the drone to Iceland.   You can’t put lipo batteries in the hold of the plane, CAA guidelines suggest two batteries to be carried on per person as hand luggage.  I took three my friend had one and I had 2 in my drone ruck sack.  They were taped as per picture and each in its own lipo battery. I also took them with just 30% charge.


I was a bit anxious as I went through security at Manchester airport with a drone in a back pack and other various cameras as a film maker, I had a lot of equipment and cards etc.  I just didn’t want to have to put the ruck sack in the hold!  My fears were unfounded. The security guards were very good and told me to unpack everything which did slow me down.  It’s very rare I fly with any company and I can say it was amazing having my friend as she picked up my money, passport and boarding pass from the tray.  Then I was able to concentrate on making sure I had all the camera bits, drone, i-pad and charger in place.

First tip – make a list of all equipment you are taking if you are going as a holiday maker you don’t need a full carnet but its good to have a record somewhere of what you are taking.  Items serial numbers useful for insurance make sure your travel insurance/ home insurance covers your equipment if you are a hobbiest. If pro check your insurance covers your drone in the country you are going.   If you are going as part of a production team you will need to create a carnet as customs in each company want to check what you are taking in and out of the country.  Your production manager will help you with this.

I bought a cheap rucksack from eBay, I would send a link but as mine arrived I was informed the listing had to be removed by eBay.   It was an XY drone back pack for phantom 3.  I was a bit disappointed when it arrived as the drone has to be carried upside down as you place it inside an opening on the back pack.   I thought if it doesn’t work for me, I will use this to carry camera kit anyway.  It cost me £38.


As you can see bit of a squeeze for the drone but I ensured that the filters were off the drone and the gimbal clamp on.   I can report back that all was well drone arrived safely and flew fine.  This week I will be telling you more about where I flew the drone and more details but for now just wanted to share about the arrival in Iceland and to share some of top tips about your holiday in Iceland.

The flight was an early flight with Easy Jet and I added a bag to go in the hold, as far too many layers to take and walking boots and also took some food supplies.  Iceland is very expensive, the flights might be cheap, but the food and fuel is expensive.  Hence the reason to stay in an airbnb!  If you have never heard of airbnb, where have you been?  I always hire a full apartment from a host. This meant we had a base and also somewhere to cook.   I don’t normally self-cater on holiday I am not a brit abroad, I like to sample local restaurants etc. It was a necessity to do Iceland on some kind of budget.     If you are only going for a couple of nights this may not actually work out cheaper for you.  Packed lunches were a god send as on the road trips, no guarantee of cafe’s and again expenses were cut by doing it this way.  I am not keen on seeing a cheese sandwich for a while!  Or a tube of pringles or biscuits for that matter, and need to get on the healthy track for a bit.

Before leaving the UK we were advised to purchase alcohol at the airport – we got some gin on the way out and when you land there is a shop at the airport for arrivals to purchase wine and some spirits.   This is because the Icelandic government controls the sale of alcohol you won’t pick up in supermarkets

The airport at Keflavik is about 40 – 50 mins outside Reykjavik and its one of the nicest airports I have been too. It is the international airport the domestic airport is in Reyjavik. This hotel is very swish, very well designed and a lovely wooden floor.

Next stop to pick up the hire car.   This took just over 4 hours from landing and is a tale of caution to anyone hiring a car in Iceland.   We landed at the airport and could not see our listed hire company Green Motion – but could see Hertz, Europacar, Avis and Budget.  These had desks in the main part of the airport, so we decided to get a shuttle bus out to the car hire places that are opposite the airport. We found out our company was not there.  So got the bus back, this took us about 15 mins but gave me and insight to what happens. People turn up, sign for their car and drive off.   Simple isn’t it, NOT if you book with Green motion.   We sat in the airport from 8.45am waiting for Green Motion, to collect us. By this time we had managed to speak to airport information who said hire companies not listed come and collect you from the airport.  So we sat waiting in this time we saw that people were landing, and collecting their cars from their main desk and within 15 mins they were off.   We got collected at just after 10 am – this was 2 hours after we had landed.   Then we were taken to an industrial estate just off the motorway.  Take a ticket and wait inline,  at the desk there were two members of staff – with two travellers just like us.  Both had very interesting body language.  50 minutes – yes 50 minutes after getting to that office we finally got to sit with a hire assistant. Before this I had said to Megan watch this is a serious sales mission taking place and I was right.

He was very pleasant in a I don’t want to be here kind of way!    In Iceland there are different rules to driving, the speed limits are very strict, weather can affect your driving, ice, wind, earthquakes and ash clouds.   You are shown a lot of informative pictures, of cars with doors ripped off their hinges, back windows blown out, cars covered in ash.   Rocks fallen from the mountains and chips all over cars from driving on the gravel roads that are the roads come off the main highway.   Informative and ammunition for what was to come next which as predicted was sales to upgrade your insurance.  Now when I booked my car online through a website called I purchased extra insurance for £65.  This said I would not be liable for any damage accidental or natural hazards.  As a tired traveller who has been waiting for hours they have you. They play on the what could happen.  That what insurance is about after all.  Thing is the insurance worked out one and half times what I had already paid.  But oh they would be claiming off your credit card and then you would need to claim from the website that you purchased the car rental from and that would be a nightmare.  I don’t know what happened but something inside me said NO this has gone on long enough. I said no we don’t need any extra insurance and we just need to add my friend to the insurance and get the satellite navigation.  On which the hire assistant had changed, he was definitely not bothered now.   He gave us the car keys and some paper work to sign with damaged marked.  He said if you are not happy with this come back in.    My experience of car hire firms is usually they come out and go round the car with you.  We got our cases in the car and it was just 4 hours after landing.   The flight to Iceland is only 2 hours from England.

So off we set, with a car that had many marks and damage on it.  Thinking this was one of the doggiest hire firms I have ever experienced.    What I did do is take photos of the car from all angles and close ups of the existing damage on my phone should I need them at a later date.


Concentration on driving on the opposite side of the road took most of my brain power then we hit the highway and between us we kept saying WOW – look at the landscape, we are in Iceland and then about 20 mins into the journey realised that I had not switched the lights on.  We had been informed that its a legal requirement to have the headlights on during the day as well as night.  This obviously an older car they had to be switched on.   Because I was tired, I did not notice that there was a warning light and didn’t connect that to the fact I had just switched the lights on.   Megan then spent a 10 mins looking through the car manual.   Then I realised it was to do with the headlights.  We were now only 7 or 8 mins from the apartment and we really needed to get there as it was now nearly 5 hours since we had landed, we left home at 4am and needed food.


The apartment was lovely, then the plan was to phone the hire company as they have an office in the city as well as the airport.  The next day was Easter Sunday and everything would be shut.  My phone did not work, so we decided to go to Reykjavik and call from a call box once we had eaten. We found out that Iceland doesn’t have pay phones but a lovely tourist shop said please use our phone. The Icelandic people are actually really helpful and very kind.   We called to report the fault and I spoke to someone and the plan was to send him my address via email and he would come and fix a new bulb into the car.    He also took my email address and we both took time to check the spelling.   We went straight back to the apartment and I sent him photos of where we were staying the road names and number.   We had now to wait at the apartment when really I should have asked where the office in the city was and driven there but it seems they have satellite companies that fix the problems with the cars. Again tiredness not making my thoughts clear.   By 6 pm we had waited all day to get the car sorted. I emailed both Reykavik offices, head offices and the guy I had spoken to on the phone whilst waiting sent two messages to be on the safe side.

Then I looked at my phone I had service, must have just taken a while to connect – so I called and spoke to someone and explained I had waited in all day.  He then said I will come back to you, then another man called who was brilliant and said I am coming to save the day.  Which he did, after a couple of calls he found our apartment we met him outside and he swapped the cars over!   This car was like new very clean and no chips or scratches but no paper work.

So our holiday could finally start in Iceland and this was around 7pm after landing at 8am!    So the moral of this long talebook a known company and pay extra if necessary.  The weather on Easter Saturday was glorious we missed out on a whole day of the first day due to this hire car experience.   I am all for letting this stuff go in life, but feel that in sharing it you can learn from my experience. Please avoid Iceland 4X4 and Green Motion they are one and the same company.

Tomorrow I promise will be more about drone flying in Iceland

The Drone Lass





Sage UK Business Summit

This is a quick blog post about the power of connecting to people and a thank you to Kriti Sharma and Sage UK team for the last few days.

Back in December 2015 I was nominated for a Northern Power Women award and managed to get shortlisted.  I didn’t win my category of one to watch but I was so made up to be nominated and to attend the awards dinner was a lot of fun and inspiring.   The winner of the one to watch is a super talented fellow geek called Kriti Sharma.  She definitely deserved to win our category as she is developing ground breaking AI technology for Sage UK in the form of Pegg new artificial Intelligence.    She asked me on the night would I go down to London and demonstrate drone technology and speak about drones.   I said yes and guess what it was one of those moments that I love about business women and women in tech that supporting each other we can achieve great things.


On Tuesday myself and the drones hit the road for an adventure, I had a heavy cold and everything on Tuesday seemed to take ages.  Once I had checked into the hotel I set about resting for two busy days ahead.

What happens at a Business summit I hear you ask? Well there were lots of tech companies, start ups and of course various arms of Sage UK demonstrating technology and applications to make our business lives easier.  Kriti’s team demonstrated the creation of voice recognition software, Artificial Intelligence (AI)  and future technology not forgetting Drones.  It was great to be part of a team and I loved talking about drones and it was great to meet so many different people.

Wednesday : Day one was accountants and accountancy firms and sage partners day and was highly enjoyable hearing keynote speeches from Deborah Meaden and Martha Lane Fox along side Alan Laing the MD of Sage UK and Ireland. Lots of other in conversations and panel discussions.  It was fascinating and inspiring.

Thursday : Day Two felt like we stepped up with a gear with so many entrepreneurs attending, along with small start up and creatives.   Keynote speeches again from Kriti Sharma VP of Bots and AI at Sage UK,   Alan Laing MD of Sage UK and Ireland.  Also from the very inspiring entrepreneur that is Jamal Edwards MBE who set up his company when he was just 15 and love to hear how 10 years of business he gave Ed Sheeran a platform to perform on his SBTV thus kicking off Ed’s career SBTV which started off monetising its youTube content and then has many interests including a record label.   So many speakers to name but we also heard from Kelly Hoppen MBE who talked about diversity and its importance and what is important in life in general.

I got chance to speak to so many inspiring and enquiring minds, the level of creative ideas was mind blowing and of course I got to talk about drones all day.  Thank you for all those that visited me.  I really feel that I spent 2 days doing a one woman positive PR exercise for the drone industry explaining the laws, how they work and how we have to stop the hysteria of the negative news stories surrounding drones, this is new technology we shouldn’t be scared of.

A massive thank you to Kriti and Julia Commons from Sage UK who looked after me and made me so welcome.   This got me thinking that its great when women inspire other women and support them to achieve what they need.  I wouldn’t have met Kriti Sharma if I had not been nominated for One to Watch in the Northern Power Women awards. Which just goes to show how these awards connect you to talented and interesting  people.

Left to Right Kriti Sharma VP of Bots and AI at Sage UK, PEGG and Myself 


Part of my business summit offering was a showcase film playing behind the stand showing the uses of drones.  I spent hours trying to find footage and spoke to many UK based drone companies and the only one that came through to help was Neil Gabriel (who is based in the UK) from Precision Hawk.   Massive thank you, Neil your vision, time talking to me and assistance helped no end thanks for arranging permission to use your company footage.   Everyone was fascinated by what I was able to show them.

When it was approaching the final hour in desperation for content,  I put a shout out on the Global forum that is Amelia Dronehart RC copters  and guess what the weeks of talking to the businesses of the UK was exceed in the sending of rich connected within five hours – women working with drones around the globe sent me stories and footage! Massive thank you to Jessica Culley, Isabelle Nyroth, Rhianna Larkin, Nuria Sánchez, Karen Joyce,  Jody Johnson, Meg Kemmerow, Heller Gregory, Michelle Murtha and a few others whose names allude me at time of writing this post. Thank everyone to you for your generosity of time and sharing your knowledge.  My showreels and a few of my drone films were not sufficient I needed to be able to touch on the various industry uses of drones. Your education I was able to pass on.

Which again reinforces the support of women supporting women and how generous for any business person male or female that sharing your content to a wider audience gives you opportunties.


Feeling grateful this fine Friday

Have a great weekend

The Drone Lass AKA Carys