For weeks before we went to our vacation to Scotland in May, I was stressing over what to pack.  We were visiting so much of Scotland during a month when weather can change in a minute.  I checked the forecast every day for the 2 weeks before we left to get an idea and in the end, I overpacked.  With 2 pre-tour days in Edinburgh and then starting a 12 day tour, I still came home with a ton of clean clothes.

Here are some suggestions of what to pack on a vacation to Scotland:


  1. layer, layer and layer and take some off.  I brought a packable winter jacket that I never took out of the suitcase so unless you’re going in the winter, you really don’t need it.  I wore a sweatshirt layer, heavier fleece layer over a short or long sleeve shirt and took the layers on or off as the temperature dictated.
  2. Rain gear-  It rained a good amount of time when we were in Scotland.  On our first full day in Scotland, it poured and the same for the day we visited the Isle of Sky.  Rain ponchos would work but they tend to blow around in the wind.  I used a nylon waterproof jacket with my layers underneath and was fine.
  3. I would bring sneakers or really comfortable walking shoes and a spare pair.  It’s really hard to walk on cobblestones in heels.
  4. Unless you are planning a special evening out, Scotland was really casual- jeans and leggings.  Khaki pants were about as dressed as we saw.  That being said, check the dress code if you are planning to go to an Afternoon Tea.  Some did have some dress codes.
  5. One thing that I saw on some of the Facebook groups that really came in handy was to have a baseball cap to put under your hooded jacket.  It helped keep the rain out of my eyes.

Assorted things to bring

  1. Bring a packable fan.  I got one that folds flat on amazon and is battery operated.  It came in handy since the rooms aren’t air conditioned.
  2. If you need to have something plugged in next to your bed, bring an extension cord and duct tape to tape the extension cord to the floor.  Outlets were not necessarily in convenient places.
  3. Bring an extension cord that has  a few USB plugs.  These came in handy when we were charging phones, etc.
  4. Scotland, especially the Highlands, has bugs called Midges.  They are kind of like no see ums that you would find in Florida.  They do pack a mighty bite.  Bring insect repellent with DEET or some say Avon’s Skin So Soft helps.  Shops will also sell something called Smidge.
  5. If you drink decaffeinated tea, bring some of your own.  Most of the nicer hotels will offer it but we didn’t find it in many restaurants.

Currency and Money 

  1. We converted US$ to British pounds sterling.  There is also Scottish pounds sterling.  British pounds can be used in Scotland but not so much the other way around.
  2. We brought way too much in pounds and ended up having to use them up in the airport since we used our credit cards almost all of the time.
  3. There are ATM’s all over so don’t bring more than you think you’ll need.
  4. At most restaurants, since we were a party of 5, some of the servers asked if it was OK to add on a 10% service fee.  Some didn’t at all.  The choice is yours.  Servers in Scotland are paid a living wage so tipping is optional.

Most of ALL

The Scottish people are lovely, friendly people.

  • Enjoy yourselves
  • Meet the locals
  • Take public transportation in the cities.
  • Eat local food

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