If your Society is planning a trip to Scotland, get the guidance of an expert! Janet Robertson of Thistle Dubh Enterprises has managed tours to Scotland for almost 20 years, including for Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, Clan Rose Society of America, and most recently for Clan Forbes Society. Here are some of her pacing and traveling recommendations.
Wardrobe and Packing
For daytime activities we suggest a wardrobe that is adaptable and versatile. Casual, comfortable clothing is recommended. There may be occasional cool weather and rain, so “layered” clothing might be needed. There are both outdoor and indoor activities, so packing versatile footwear and adaptable clothing will help assure your comfort in a variety of conditions. You will visit a variety of castles from ruins to fully intact ancestral homes. We advise comfortable shoes or sneaker with gripping soles as surfaces can get slick should it decide to rain. You may also need a light fold up rain/windbreak type jacket.
Beyond the normal wardrobe and personal grooming items, we suggest you also bring along:
Comfortable walking shoes/sneakers
Rain gear (raincoat and umbrella)
Sunglasses & sunhat
Camera, lenses, batteries, chargers and extra memory cards/sticks
Cell phone with alarm function or travel alarm clock
Reusable water bottle.
Insect repellent to deal with the persistent midges.
Prescription medicines (an adequate supply to last your entire journey), and written copies of your prescriptions from your doctor. While it may be possible to refill prescriptions during your journey, the availability of refills cannot be guaranteed. What’s more refilling prescriptions in foreign countries can be difficult and time consuming.
UK Travel Adaptors
You'll need a Universal Adaptor in order to charge your personal electronics in the UK and in over 100 other countries around the world. It also comes with a built-in fuse to save your devices from power surges. These can be ordered on the likes of Amazon.
Currency & Exchange Rates
The local currency for Scotland is British pounds. Exchange rates are subject to frequent change, and for the current rates we suggest you check www.xe.com or the likes. Please note that the UK has just shifted to the new polymer bills and many retail outlets will no longer accept the older paper bank notes.
Taxes A 20% value-added tax (VAT) is levied on most purchases. Nonresidents may receive a VAT refund by using Customs Form 407 (some shops keep these handy and may even take care of the paperwork for you). Stores set their own minimum purchases (usually around £50 to £100) for you to qualify for a VAT refund. Look for the sign "Tax Free Shopping" in the windows of stores which participate.
Health and Safety
Please ensure you have adequate travel insurance, and all of your travel documents are in order, such as passport, Visa etc. Make a photocopy of the first two pages of you passport, and a copy of your airline ticket or e-ticket confirmation. Carry these separated from your actual passport and ticket. This will speed replacement if lost. Put your name and address on a label inside your suitcases, to aid ID if luggage is lost.
Tip up to 10% if a service charge is not included on the bill. This is, however, discretionary: In many establishments, the owners pocket the tips rather than distribute them to staff members. If planning to tip for good service, check with the wait staff to see if they actually get the tips. Don't add them to your credit card bill.
Learn more here: https://www.cosca.scot/travel-tips