Tourism is one of Scotland’s biggest industries, contributing approximately £6 billion to the country’s GDP. It attracted over three million international tourists in 2022 alone, accounting for 10% of the United Kingdom’s total overseas visitors. Because the country is so rich with culture, history, and stunning landscapes, it’s no wonder why so many people want to see the Land of the Scots for themselves.
That said, Scotland is known for its raw and untamed terrain. As such, if you plan on visiting soon, it’s best to be prepared for any eventuality. To help you get started, here are a few things you should pack for your Scottish holiday.
Scotland is typically associated with colder weather, as it does get the highest volume of rain in the UK every year. It’s especially common in the highlands, where many people choose to hike. If you feel like braving the chilly Scottish weather, make sure to bring a waterproof rain jacket to keep you warm. The Granite Crest Rain Jacket from Patagonia is a great choice as it is constructed with three layers of fabric for protection but is still breathable. It is also water-repellant and has several pockets for your essentials. It’s recommended to always carry a rain jacket around, as Scottish weather can be unpredictable.
Since overcast skies are to be expected in Scotland, it’s a common misconception that travellers need less sun protection here. On the contrary, these conditions can actually increase the amount of UV rays that hit your skin and eyes, as clouds are highly reflective. Additionally, Scotland can often experience four seasons in a single day, so it’s best to have some protective eyewear from trusted retailers like Glasses Direct. For those who have vision issues, there are also prescription sunglasses which help with vision correction while blocking out UV light. This ensures that your eyes stay safe from any sun damage without compromising your vision. Glasses Direct also offers frames from top brands, along with a variety of tints perfect for any type of weather. Keep these prescription sunnies on hand so you can always be protected while touring the lochs and highlands.
As detailed in a previous article on planning for Scotland, public wifi may be hard to come across in the more rural parts of the country. This can feel limiting for tourists, so it’s highly advised to purchase a prepaid SIM beforehand. This will allow you to connect to the internet while you travel. Brands like Vodafone are recommended due to their popularity and the flexibility of their plans. They offer between 7 GB to 100GB for up to 30 days, depending on what you may need during your stay. Assess your needs and use that to determine what prepaid SIM plan would suit you best during your trip.
Scotland has a unique mandate called the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, which essentially allows people to walk freely almost anywhere. Its most walkable city is its capital Edinburgh, which is lined which picturesque cobblestone streets. Although locals aren’t too fond of it, it’s a hit among tourists who want to experience strolling down these roads. If you want to do so as well, you’ll be comfortable with shoes like the Ecco Soft 7. They’re lightweight, but they still offer enough support to keep your feet protected from long walks. By wearing these, you’ll be able to explore Scotland as much as you want.
One of the trickiest parts of travelling is figuring out what kind of electrical sockets are used in your destination. A trip can get annoying and stressful if you’re unable to charge essential devices. Make sure this doesn’t happen by bringing a universal adaptor. Scotland, along with the rest of the UK, uses standard outlets that are type G, which has three pins. The OneWorld plug from OneAdaptr can help, as it has options that are compatible with over 150 countries. It also provides slots for USB ports so it can be used for a variety of gadgets. Always bring this while travelling so that your gadgets don’t run out of power.
There are a variety of things to do and see when visiting Scotland. Make the most out of your trip by bringing the essentials listed above. For more guides and recommendations, check out other articles at Best Scottish Cottages.