Scotland What to Pack
Scotland’s may be known for its breathtaking scenery, great hiking, and camera-worthy architecture, but it also has notoriously unpredictable weather. When packing for your Scotland vacation, plan to experience all four seasons, sometimes all in the same day.
No matter what you have planned for your Scottish adventure, these luggage options are ideal for a short or long-term stay.
Pack for the Unpredictable Weather
Remember your umbrella! Scotland is known for its variable, wet weather. No matter how sunny it looks in the morning, it could be pouring within a few hours. Pack a variety of clothing, especially warm layers. Waterproof jackets and umbrellas are must-haves, and a warm hat comes in handy, too (even in summer if you are traveling north).
Bring a waterproof cover for your camera and make sure your raincoat is accessible from the top of your suitcase in case you step off a train into a downpour. It’s been said that if you don’t like the weather in Glasgow, wait 10 minutes and it will change, so pack sunglasses and sunscreen, too.
Clothes to Pack
A Great Country for Walking
Pack sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots and include a spare for when they get wet; remember, Edinburgh is built on seven hills, so leave the high heels at home.
Roller suitcases work fine in most cities, but backpacks are a smarter choice if you are doing a lot of hiking or visiting cobblestone cities like Edinburgh.
“Midges” are an annoying biting insect that are unavoidable in summer months. Bring insect repellant containing DEET.
Free city maps are available at the Tourist Information Centers, but purchase a waterproof map for hiking.
Bird lovers will want to remember binoculars as there are lots to see both on the coast and inland. A small backpack helps to keep your waterproof gear close at hand.
Bringing is Cheaper than Buying
Scotland’s shops will have all the camera supplies and familiar brand toiletries you’ll need, but they will be more expensive than if you bought them in the States.
Remember your camera. With so many beautiful sites to catch on film, photographic equipment is a must and expensive to purchase in Scotland. Pack extra film or SD cards as you will fill up your camera quickly with all the breathtaking shots.
Electrical voltage is different than in the U.S., so you will need an adapter or you will not be able to charge your devices or use your hairdryer. Better yet, see if your hotel provides a hairdryer and save room in your luggage for popular souvenirs like tweeds and scarves.
Bring prescription medications with you as they may be hard to find.
Toiletries to Pack
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about what to pack for Scotland.