With its stark majestic mountains, legendary lochs and charming cities, it’s easy to see why Scotland’s a honeytrap for global visitors.
And travel bible Rough Guides agrees — declaring that it’s officially the world’s most beautiful country for 2019.
Whether you want to research your Scottish roots or are simply spellbound by Scotia’s embarrassment of attractions, you might be heading over the Atlantic to touch down there soon.
So here are four Scotland travel tips for anyone with a Caledonian soul.
When you yearn for the unique ambiance of the Scottish Highlands, taking a guided bus tour is probably the most cost-effective method of seeing iconic sites like Loch Ness, the Isle of Skye and real-life filming locations from TV’s popular Outlander.
You’ll hit a handful of hotspots in one day and tours of up to 17 nights aren’t uncommon. However, around 4 days is enough to really get a feel for the region’s culture, romance, and wildlife.
And by sharing a bus with fellow travelers, you might even make a few new friends.
Tip: Take a Scottish Highlands tour with Rabbie’s for a rated and recommended service.
Traditional pub banter
In Scotland and the wider UK, a convivial conversation is called craic or banter. And there might be nowhere in the world where locals have a better gift of the gab than Glasgow.
When you visit this cool city and natives hear your accent, there’s every chance they’ll want to get to know you better — and the best place to engage in banter is a pub or bar.
The Horseshoe Bar in Drury Street is a Victorian-era establishment which boasts the longest grand bar in Europe and is usually packed with friendly punters.
Tip: stock up on famous Scottish soft drink Irn-Bru before hitting the town — it’s the world’s best hangover cure!
Over the past couple of years, publications from The Wall Street Journal to Lonely Planet have named Dundee in Scotland’s northeast as one of the planet’s must-see cities.
Much of the excitement is over the new V&A design museum — a stunning modernist creation which juts out over the River Tay like an awesome angular spaceship.
But this underdog city also has lively bars and restaurants, a chic city center cinema and all sorts of Boho boutiques selling everything from skateboard gear to handmade household trinkets.
Tip: Browse the V&A Dundee website for information on current and upcoming exhibitions and events.
You can fly to Scotland’s main airports Edinburgh and Glasgow from various US airports either directly or with a layover.
And it might not be as expensive as you think. For instance, you’ll currently find return tickets from JFK to Edinburgh via Dublin on Kayak.com for around $550. That’s not bad at all considering the distances involved.
Generally, the earlier you book, the better your chances of bagging a bargain, so plan as promptly as possible.
Tip: Book airport parking at Looking4.com for US departure locations from Seattle to Miami and everywhere in between.
That’s our list! Share your own Scottish travel tips in the comments section.