Arriving in Scotland: Thoughts and Tips
By Jordan Shuck, Scottish History
I have been in Scotland for a week (Yay!). After a week of non-stop activity, I finally have time to sit down and reflect on my journey here. Upon reflection of my journey, I have a few pieces of advice on how to make the journey to Scotland, less stressful and more enjoyable.
- Bring a toiletries bag in your carry on. I suggest packing the following toiletries:
- Wisk toothbrushes (about 4)
- Make-up wipes (to wash your face)
- Contact solution/case
- Bringing these items in my carry-on allowed me to freshen up at the airport upon arrival
- Bring a comfortable outfit to change into at the airport.
- After a long flight, changing into a new outfit made me feel fresh and new.
- Bring an Adapter.
- Remember that the United Kingdom and EU plugs are not the same as American plugs.
- Bring a Backpack not a Duffle Bag.
- Even if you do not plan to do an extensive backpacking trip after your program, it is still a good idea to bring a bag for weekend trips. Bring a backpack, they are easier to carry.
- Make a Packing List.
- And stick to it! A packing list made things a hundred times easier because it allowed me to mark off the things that I had and prevented me from over packing.
- Check out Pinterest for good packing lists for Europe.
- Do not overpack.
- If you plan to travel after your program, just remember that you have to haul your bags around with you on your travels. One bag, preferably a backpack, is best.
- A good packing tip, if you are trying to keep your baggage to a minimum, is to pack simple pieces that you can jazz up with big pieces of jewelry.
- Do NOT pack the day of!!
- I know, the most obvious rule of traveling is to pack the day before. I failed to execute the #1 rule of traveling.
- Packing the day of my departure resulted in me leaving late for the airport as well as feel a constant fear that I forgot everything important back at home.
- Bring a Water Bottle.
- Traveling can be extremely dehydrating.
- Check the weather forecast of the country you are traveling to!
- I neglected to do this and as a result, I do not have many pieces of clothing that will keep me warm in the cold, rainy, Scottish weather. (If you come in the summer, know that the average temperature is about 60 degrees).
- Bring comfortable shoes.
- Since arriving in Edinburgh, I walk an average of seven miles everyday. Comfortable walking shoes are a MUST! If you cannot bring anything else, bring comfortable shoes!
- To be honest, I have been rocking the skinny jeans with tennis shoes look since I arrived and it is totally works (or it is not and I just do not care enough).
- Pull out money at the ATM.
- I got a better exchange rate at the ATM than than I did exchanging cash currency.
- Do not forget to call your cellphone provider to learn about your coverage abroad.
- Bring a sweater for the plane.
- -74 degrees outside of the plane causes the inside of the plane to get a bit chilly.
Follow these tips and I guarantee you will have a smooth traveling and packing experience.
Jordan is a student at the University of Kentucky and is blogging from her summer abroad with the Scottish History program, in Edinburgh, Scotland.