When planning on going on a vacation, several questions usually pop up. You’ll want to answer things like:
- How much do I intend to spend?
- Would I be able to afford hotels or would I be settling for hostels?
- Would I be able to handle travel-related stress?
- Would I be able to find my dietary needs?
- Would it be an adventurous vacation or a more relaxing type?
- Would I be visiting special sites different from the team?
Giving personally convincing responses to these thought questions will often set you up and well prepared for that never-to-miss outing.
Planning a Scottish vacation is not far-fetched from the above. In every way, you will want to choose specific destinations, accommodation, and flights and hop along with the rest of the team later that month to start visiting Loch Ness and Edinburgh Castle and what have you.
But you definitely don’t want to rush into Scotland with just a simple basic knowledge such as haggis and bagpipes. Getting practical, useful, and cultural information on the Scottish people is requisite for a smooth and ultimately enjoyable vacation in the Gaelic state. Let’s start with these:
- Which traditional dish is most commonly served in Scotland on New Year? Steak Pie
- What is the capital of Scotland? Edinburgh
- What is the unit of currency in Scotland? Pound
- Which country has a land border with Scotland? England
- What drinks are often deemed to be the national drink of Scotland? Whisky
- Which Scottish loch is famed for its mysterious creature of the deep? Loch Ness
- What is the most popular spectator sport in Scotland? Football (soccer)
- What is Irn Bru? A soft drink invented in Scotland and which is made from a top-secret, patented recipe
- On which side of the road are cars driven in Scotland? Left
- Near the mouth of which river can the City of Edinburgh be found? Forth
With these in mind, go ahead and take a careful look at these 7 tips you must use when planning a Scottish vacation:
1. Eating out in Scotland
It’s food first, you’ll agree. Talking about eating in Scotland: if you are staying in a hotel, you most likely have paid for a bed and breakfast. It’s always included in the price. You can click here to get a chance to review some of the exquisite and affordable hotel options. No visitor leaves Scotland without spending at least a night there.
You will almost always have a full, fried sausage for breakfast. It’d probably be Lorne sausage, a type of sausage where the meat is compressed into large blocks and sliced separately. It will be served with a tattie or potato scone. Don’t change the menu please; these new dishes are, to say the least, delicious and more than worth trying.
Lunch and dinner will well be at your discretion. Whenever you feel like getting out of your hotel for it, try the traditional Scottish pub lunch. It’s much cheaper than a restaurant and the food gives you a taste of “Scott” if you know what I mean. These privately owned setups give you a real, Scottish home cooking experience. You’ll get “haggis” if that’s what you’re looking for. But apart from those well-famed meals, try out less popular local treats like the steak pie. Except you’re a veggie, this delicious succulent steak and sausages topped with crispy and golden puff pastry are a must-try during your Scottish vacation.
2. Take Home Souvenirs of Scotland
You don’t have to wait till a day before the end of your stay before you buy and assemble what would most likely serve as souvenirs of this could-be once-in-a-lifetime visit of Scotland. Luckily, there is an abundance of great souvenirs you can easily buy and assemble from the craft shops, woolen mills, and those dedicated shops selling, “Liquid,”.
You’ll be passing such places on a daily basis. Though the rising number of visitors to Scotland has led to a proliferation of shops selling substandard products by folks from neighboring lands, you can still distinguish the fake from the real by careful examination of your goods or by using only highly recommended sellers if you have that time. Well, you should.
3. Emergency Contact Details and Information
It is pertinent to note emergency details just in case. It’s not anyone’s wish or prayer to be involved in or have an emergency, but it does happen and you must be ready.
The emergency assistance number for Police, Fire, and Rescue, Ambulance or Coastguard in Scotland is 999. When you dial this number, you will be connected to an operator who will ask which of the emergency services you require and put you straight through.
The Emergency Rooms in Scottish hospitals are known as Accident and Emergency (A & E) or Casualty Departments while the drugstores in Scotland are called Chemist Shops or Pharmacies and are denoted by a white vertical/horizontal cross on a green background
4. Fast Food in Scotland
There are a good number of fast food outlets in Scotland. Though, many of them are American-based companies that have come to establish themselves in the region. They do offer Scotland’s favorite dish — fish and chips–; commonly referred to as a Fish Supper.
It is traditionally composed of a fillet of white fish called haddock among the Scots dipped in a flour and water batter and deep-fried in beef fat. Oil is often used instead of beef fat when health concerns are raised. The chips are sliced and the potatoes are chopped. Both are fried with salt and malt vinegar used as seasonings.
Fish suppers are best enjoyed the local way with the fingers straight from the wrapper in which it is served. There is no need for all those extra-cautious eating sentiments here.
5. Currency in Scotland
The currency in Scotland is Pounds Sterling, as it is throughout the United Kingdom. The main issuer of banknotes in the UK is the Bank of England and you will find such notes here in Scotland. There are three Scottish banks that have a special license to print their own notes and distribute them for use only within Scotland for advertising purposes. These banks are the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Bank of Scotland, and the Clydesdale Bank.
The issue here is that these notes must not be taken outside Scotland except of course for souvenir purposes.
6. Travel and Transport Within
In Central and much of Eastern Scotland where the major population centers are, public transport is by trains, buses and coaches or taxis. If you prefer moving up to the Western Highlands and Islands, or the Southern Uplands, you need to consider hiring a private car or jeep as there scarcely any popular means of transport reaching those ends.
7. Scotland’s Weather and Sensible Precautions
Scotland’s weather may not always be the welcoming type. There are winter snowfalls and record levels of summer rainfall throughout the year with record winter temperature lows and record summer highs.
What this all means is that when in Scotland, be prepared. Get a couple of warm winter woolen coats and waterproof jackets just in case.
You’re sure ready for the Scottish people by now, I must say. Don’t forget to go along with those favorite American candies you can’t seem to do without. You may not find much of it in Scotland and please — don’t use the F-word on a Scot.