Golden circle and ring road are different. GC is about 3 hours inland and RR is about 20 hours and goes around Iceland.
Download maps.me app and download the map of Iceland. This was a game changer. You can put pins down before your trip so when going to the next stop, you just click on the next pin. It will also show you where gas stations, etc are.
There are gas stations on the road as well as WCs aka bathrooms at many of the gas stations not all though. Also, most gas stations only accept cards/there are no people working.
Bathrooms: there are bathrooms at some of the main attractions but not all.
Have playlists downloaded. I use Spotify premium so I just made sure the playlists I wanted to listen to on our road trips were downloaded and available if we didn’t have service. (bring charging chords)
Everyone speaks English which was surprising to me.
If it’s going to raining, not everything will be visible.
For some stops, you may be doing a lot of uphill and long hikes to get to some spots like Svartifoss and Seljavallalaug. Having rain boots was very helpful.
You can see Icelandic horses everywhere. Don’t think you have to go somewhere to see them. Just pull over where you want on the side of the road. They will be curious to see who is stopping to see them.
What to wear: I went the last weekend in May so the weather was mainly in the 40s and was raining 90% of the trip. Rain boots were a must due to all the muddy trails and occasion streams that you had to cross. As others say, layers are the way to go. Waterproof jackets and leggings for the win. See post on what to wear for more details.
Waterproof case for phone
Water bottle to fill up (from sinks to streams it’s good)
Have a plan. I was very happy that I had a plan in place and new the routes we were going to take and how long.
It’s only dark for a short period of time in the spring which means more day light to explore.
Some roads that got us from point a to point b were not paved. They had lots of potholes. This is why I got the gravel insurance. It’s worth it, like everyone says.