How to Make the Most out of Scotland Trip

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A trip to Scotland can result in being the trip of a lifetime if you let it! That, however, requires quite a thorough research, doing things you maybe did not think of. So, for the very best experiences and memories, let us guide you through our suggestions and tips. Then, check out our short list of things you should prepare for the very best Scottish holiday! 

Try Out Their Cuisine

While food is an inseparable part of any country’s identity, travelers tend to overlook Scotland’s authentic cuisine because they believe that it is the same in all of the UK. While the food here is, naturally, heavily influenced by the British and overall European cuisine, they have a distinctive style that is individually theirs, and you should try some of their most interesting dishes so that you know Scotland in-depth. 

For example, leaving the country without trying haggis is simply sinful! Yes, the ingredients may sound a bit drastic, but maybe you will end up actually liking it! The main parts of the haggis are sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal, spices, and suet. Then the whole is cooked until it becomes a pudding or meatball-like bites. Now that is an original experience waiting for you!

Glenfinnan railway viaduct in Scotland With Train

Travel by Trains

There is a lot to see here, so if you want to navigate quickly and comfortably, you should definitely use Scotland trains. They are speedy and reliable, and while you might think renting a car is more useful, there are some ways in which the railway wins! 

Aside from the fact that taking a train is significantly cheaper than renting a car, the main advantage is the scenery railway allows you. Let’s take, for example, the Scottish Highlands. While there is access to it by car, nothing can beat riding the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct and feeling like you are in a Harry Potter movie, enjoying the wilderness beneath the window and making your way to Hogwarts! 

Know How to Tip

This might seem quite self-explanatory and unnecessary, but visiting a culture different from yours can result in many awkward situations if you are not prepared.

Naturally, you will go to a public place to eat or drink. In Scotland, tipping is expected and completely acceptable. That being said, there is none of the intense tipping rules as there are in the United States, but you should still know a couple of things.

First of all, 10% is a must. Especially if you are in a sit-down restaurant or a taxi. Yes! In some countries, tipping a taxi driver is considered a bit weird, but it is completely natural in Scotland. Same with the restaurants. Though, you should know that when you are at a bar, the tipping can vary. We still suggest the usual 10%, but if the service was really bad for some reason, you are not expected to tip. Beware of the service and follow your gut! 

Other than that, be respectful to other people and their jobs – a hello, and thank you go a long way! 

Know When to Visit

Surely, you can go anywhere anytime! However, there are a couple of suggestions we have regarding the time you go on your trip. 

Talking about the tourist flow, summers are naturally the most crowded and most popular, as this is the time most people tend to go on a vacation. That being said, summers cannot really save you from notorious weather changes!

There is a popular Scottish saying, “If you cannot see the mountain, you know that it is raining, and if you can, you know it will rain in five minutes”! And that pretty much sums it up. So, the weather is not really a factor here. Taking all into consideration, we recommend traveling in autumn. This way, you will avoid the crowds and peak tourist season, allowing you to explore everything a bit more thoroughly.

Visit the Castles

This one deserves an exclamation point! There are over 1,500 castles scattered across multiple cities, towns, and villages. Depending on how much time you will be spending there, visit at least a few. 

First and foremost, make your way to Edinburgh Castle, the most significant fortress in the country and one of the most exciting historical sites in Western Europe! Occupied by humans since at least the Iron Age, the castle is shrouded in stories, history, legends, and amazing tales. Since the reign of David I, it has been a royal residence up until 1633 and now houses the Honours of Scotland, otherwise known as the Scottish Crown Jewels. 

We also suggest a guided tour for this one!

Airline Ticket

Book Everything in Advance

This probably also goes without saying, but you should really book everything you can in advance! While it comes naturally with accommodation and plane tickets, people tend to forget the rest. 

You should take care of train and bus tickets, as well! Firstly, this way, you can ensure yourself a desired spot, or any spot. The longer you wait, the fewer seats are left, so you want to be quick about it and purchase beforehand. Secondly, this will save you money. The closer you get to departure, the higher the fees. 

This goes for everything else. Sightseeing, tours, any kind of public transportation, and activities. While it might seem a bit anal-retentive to you, in the end, this is what will save you money and time!

Now you are halfway ready for your trip! Read through our suggestions and tips one more time to help you with the planning, and start cooking up that itinerary. Best of luck in Scotland!