Scotland is regarded as one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in all of Europe. It has incredible landscapes for nature-loving travelers and the culture and history to satisfy city dwellers. Unfortunately, this beauty comes with a price. Travelers often find that Scotland is one of the more pricey travel destinations in Europe. To cut your costs and see Scotland without breaking the bank, read our guide below.
When To Visit
The prime visiting months in Scotland are the Summer due to the better weather and many crowd-attracting summer festivals. If you’re trying to cut costs, consider going in the down months. You might run into some cold days, but this country is just as beautiful in poor weather.
How To Get There
Direct flights from your home country to Scotland are going to be unavailable or very expensive. To save money, you can fly into England or Ireland, then take a connecting flight to either Edinburgh or Glasgow. Another option is taking the train from England, but be sure to check the cost before assuming the train will be cheaper. Sometimes train travel is just as expensive as air but takes much longer. Once you land, skip the taxi and take a shuttle bus instead. These buses will go to the major Scottish cities you’re trying to get to, but for a fraction of the price.
Because it is such a small country, taking a domestic flight in Scotland is both expensive and unnecessary. Like most other European countries, Scotland has an effective public transportation system. The cheapest way to get around is by train and bus. Trains are best for moving between established cities, while buses can take you to more rural areas. For island-hopping, opt for a passenger ferry. They provide stellar views and don’t cost much.
The cheapest and most famous way to travel through Europe is hostels. They provide communal eating, sleeping, and bathroom areas and come with a small price tag. If you require a bit more privacy, you can choose a private room in a hostel or bed and breakfast. Both of them generally cost less than a hotel, and you get to experience meeting new people.
Eating cheap in Scotland is a lot like eating cheap anywhere else. Shoot for restaurants with reasonable prices and stay away from luxury dining. If you want to save even more, choose a place to stay that has a kitchen. That can be an Airbnb or a hostel with a communal kitchen. This will save you a lot of money, and you can make a fun experience out of cooking traditional Scottish meals for yourself.
What To Do
When crafting your itinerary, add in activities that don’t cost much, or cost nothing at all. A great way to do that is by hiking and biking. For the small fee of a bus ride to the country and a bike rental, you can see the Scottish landscapes and save your money while doing it. When you’re in the city, try free or cheap exhibits like museums and gardens. As far as nightlife, do most of your drinking before you go out. That way, you won’t rack up a huge bill at the pub.
Seeing Scotland should be on your bucket list, but you’ll want to cut costs wherever you can. Traveling in the offseason, taking public transit, choosing frugal lodging, eating cheap, and doing low-cost activities are great ways to cut your costs and still have the best trip possible.