2 Weeks in Scotland
a trip by The Many Adventures of M&M
From: July 14th 2006
Until: July 30th 2006
My friend Ali and I took this trip together while our husbands were deployed. Matt and I had done a little bit of traveling prior to this but this was my first time across the pond. I learned quite a bit about what do to and what not to do that influenced my travel while we were in Germany. I had originally blogged this trip on Yahoo Travel but transferred it over to here in case anyone wants to read about it with our other trips.
Here are a few words that I wrote after the trip. These are just my thoughts and reflections on what I loved and what I would have done differently:
I learned some very valuable traveling tips on this trip. I've recently bought a backpack...NO MORE SUITCASES! We got SO tired of lugging our suitcases up and down stairs in the B&Bs and train stations...it was really exhausting.
Also, I used those Space Bags that you squeeze the air out of your stuff. While it was really annoying to compress them EVERY time we had to pack up and leave a B&B it was nice having everything in different bags...made it easier to find stuff and kept me more organized. So, I've bought packing cubes for next trip.
Traveler's checks were probably unneccessary but made me feel better. Also, my backpack was like my new left arm, although I'm buying better quality for next trip. This one was falling apart after only a week.
We ended up in the UK during the hottest heat wave in history and I didn't bring shorts. Next time I'll know better to bring at least one pair just in case. I also packed WAY too many clothes. I only needed a few pair of jeans and some tops, although the scarf I packed came in handy at the Highland Games when it was SO cold. Layers are good in Scotland, even in the summer. It got down to maybe 55 or 60 in Inverness in July.
I had an entire cosmetics bag full of cords...for my phone, laptop, camera, mp3 player...so I've recently invested in an iGo. One cord, different tips for different electronics. I got the one that charges two devides at once to help me travel lighter.
My Lonely Planet travel book was the best, although I loved the little map inside of the Scotland's Top 10. It was great for a quick reference on the road. Also, radio stations in Scotland are few and far between in the Highlands. I brought my FM transmitter for the cigarette lighter and plugged in my MP3 player for music. It worked great.
We learned after a few days that you don't need to call ahead for a B&B. It's socially acceptable to simply drive the down the road and stop and ask if there's a vacancy. It's a good idea to book in advance in August when it's their peak travel season or if there's a big event going on, but other than that we had good luck not planning most of them out. I don't recommend ringing the bell late though...these are peoples' homes and they have to go to bed eventually. We tried to find a place no later than 9pm.
The B&Bs were only a few pounds more than the hostels and, once you counted the fact that you got a hot breakfast in the morning, they're probably a better value since you get a nice room to yourself and sometimes a private bathroom.
It was a great trip...I can't wait to visit again!
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