Scotland is a beautiful country, full of warm people and breathtaking views. If you are planning a trip to Scotland, here are several tips to help your trip go as smoothly as possible.
Plan Your Transport
If you’re going to Scotland with a tour group, then you won’t have to worry about transport as a tour bus will be included in your package. If you are traveling to Scotland alone or with your family, however; you’ll need to plan ahead. If you will be traveling in the central or eastern parts of the country, then you’ll have plenty of access to railroads and buses. Most the population lives in these areas, and the infrastructure is well developed. If you plan on venturing further out, then you’ll need to rent a car, as railroads are mostly nonexistent. If you do decide to rent a car, remember that cars are driven on the left-hand side of the road. It’s a good idea to look up Scottish driving laws so you don’t inadvertently end up violating a law you weren’t aware of. It’s also worth noting that gas prices are high in Scotland, particularly in rural areas, and you’ll need to figure in the cost of gas into your travel expenses. It’s a good idea to fill up completely in a city before driving out into the countryside.
Use Online Maps
Whenever you’re traveling in a new country, it’s easy to get lost, even with a paper map on hand. It’s a good idea to use online maps, which can use your mobile device’s GPS to pinpoint your location and direct you to your destination. It’s also a great way to locate local bars and restaurants when you need a meal. Online maps can show you local shops that you wouldn’t have even been aware of, and you can enjoy more of the local culture.
While English speakers won’t have much difficulty conversing with Scots, who also speak English, there are a few differences to be aware of so your trip runs smoother. In Scotland, dates are written out day, month, year, rather than month, day, year, so 5/4/2017 would mean April fifth, not May fourth. This will be helpful when looking up local events and festivals to check out. Also, building floors are labeled differently than in other parts of the world. The first floor is not the ground floor, but rather the first floor above the ground level.
In Case of Emergency
If something does come up during your trip, it’s good to know the emergency number offhand. If you find yourself in need of an ambulance, police officer, or fire truck, the emergency number is 999. If an accident occurs and you need to go to a hospital, emergency rooms are called the casualty department, or A & E, accident and emergency. If you need to visit a pharmacy, you can find them by looking for a white cross on a green background. Pharmacies are also sometimes referred to as chemists.
While there are many American fast food restaurants with locations in Scotland, embrace your sense of adventure and try some local cuisine. Go to a privately-owned restaurant and try some authentic steak pie or haggis, or visit one of Scotland’s own fast food chains for a delicious fish supper, Scotland’s version of fish and chips. If you visit any bars, try a Scottish beer or whisky. If you do indulge, keep in mind that Scottish beers vary in amounts of alcohol and taste. Most establishments will allow you to take a taste before purchasing a pint. Ask for recommendations if you aren’t sure where to start.