Rachel’s Summer Scotland Packing List
Do you need a packing list for your upcoming journey to Scotland? Then you’ve come to the right place, my friend. My Scotland packing list will help ensure you don’t forget anything important.
As for me, I have been lucky enough to visit Scotland twice, with both of my visits taking place in the summer months. Scotland is an absolutely inspirational travel destination that will change your life for the better.
On my first visit, however, I forgot to bring some important items with me. Embarrassing, but normal, I guess! I want to make sure you’re fully prepared so you don’t have to do any emergency shopping while you’re in Scotland. More time spent sightseeing, less time waffling in shops.
Now keep in mind this packing list is geared for Scotland’s summer months. However, some of the travel essentials remain the same – no matter what time of the year you decide to visit this magical place.
I hope my Scotland packing list helps you! You will have a great time on your trip!
Clothing for Scotland
Again, just a reminder that I am focusing on Scotland’s summer. You might look at some of these items and think: “erm, wow, these clothes seem more appropriate for fall or early spring.”
Hate to disappoint, but Scotland isn’t a “warm weather” destination unless you’re caught in a freakish heatwave. Don’t bring small shorts or flip-flops in your bag. No point.
Patagonia’s Capilene Light-Weight Bottoms are perfect for venturing in Edinburgh or hiking in the wilderness. You can easily layer with these pants. Not to mention, the breathability will make you feel comfortable as you sightsee in the cities and countryside. No one wants to climb mountains in super tight pants.
You need at least one cute dress to go out in while you’re visiting Scotland in the summer. prAna makes a lot of adorable and easily packable knit dresses that you can bring with you. Feel free to layer with a cute scarf since you’ll probably need it (cool weather, remember?)!
Merrell makes really durable waterproof slip-on shoes that are perfect for your trip to Scotland. The grippy outsoles will make it easy for your to walk around Edinburgh if the cobblestones are already soaked in rain.
Scotland is gorgeous in the sunshine, but you need to be realistic when it comes to packing priorities. You’ll likely experience some rain in Scotland, sorry, although I’m sure you’ll have some glorious days too. Scotland’s weather is fickle. So be prepared! North Face’s Venture jacket will keep you dry when those gray rain clouds roll over your head.
These comfortable tee shirts are suitable for Scotland’s ever-changing summer weather. They are easily packable, and the fabric wicks moisture meaning you’ll feel nice and clean all day long! Win-win situation for you!
Even in July and August, Scotland’s temperatures drop at random so you want to be prepared for those days. Have a pullover or two packed in your suitcase or backpack. No one likes feeling cold!
Day Trip to the Scottish Highlands Essentials
The Scottish Highlands are spectacular. Truly. The area is popular for many scenic hikes and walks of all difficulty levels. However, Scotland’s remote nature requires a bit of care when it comes to packing. This is doubly true if you’re going solo without a guided tour. Always make sure someone at home has access to your itinerary in case of an emergency.
If you’re going to the Highlands, you need a comfortable and packable day pack to store all of your belongings. This day pack has multiple compartments so you can keep your items well organized and safe. The fabric is durable and waterproof making the pack resilient to all sorts of weather conditions. And it comes in nine colors, haha.
You might visit Scotland’s many islands or take a shorter boat ride on one of the lochs. In this case, keeping your valuables dry is absolutely essential. Someone ruined their camera on my Haggis adventures tours because she wasn’t prepared for the boat ride. Yikes. So invest in some waterproof bags to protect your phone, wallet, table, and other important items.
While the above slip on shoes are cute, you’ll want to bring a quality pair of hiking boots when you’re trekking through the Highlands. No one wants a broken ankle on Ben Nevis, after all.
As a word of caution, don’t wear flimsy socks in the Highlands or Scottish islands. Your feet and toes will hate you forever. Instead invest in a quality pair of hiking socks for your poor feet. Blisters have no welcome place on your vacation!
These folding high powered binoculars are excellent for spotting cool wildlife. Keep them in your daypack as you trek through the Highlands. You might see something incredible. Just make sure you respect the animals, yeah?
Bringing an insulated water bottle will keep you hydrated as your trek through Scotland’s beautiful natural surroundings. Scotland’s tap water is perfectly safe to drink so don’t worry about refilling your bottle whenever you need to.
With all the walking, you might deal with blisters on your feet regardless of any precautions you’ve already taken. Have a few spare adhesive bandages in your day pack. You won’t regret the investment.
Ahhh, yes, we’ve all heard about Scotland’s notorious midges. They are especially pesky in western Scotland. Although I’ve never had awful experiences with midges, it still helps to come prepared for these nasty little insects. Pack some DEET-free bug spray to prevent midge bites.
Other Important Odds and Ends
Finally here are some other miscellaneous items you want to bring to Scotland. Having them will make your trip much easier and more enjoyable to boot.
Travel insurance is always important. Actually, it’s mandatory. I always say if you can’t afford insurance, you can’t afford to travel. Period. End of story. Having an insurance policy is even more essential if you are planning on some adventure trips in the remote Scottish Highlands. I have used World Nomads Insurance in the past and have had no issues! Make sure your policy covers the entire duration of your stay in Scotland.
Make sure to bring an electrical adapter with you. No one wants their camera and phone to die. The UK’s power outlet is different than the outlets found in the United States and Europe. Be prepared ahead of time. You can always find these adapters at airports if you need them in a pinch.
Taking a windproof travel umbrella is always a smart idea when you go to Scotland. As I’ve said, you need to be realistic about the weather in this part of the world. It’s pretty likely you’ll experience some rain and a coat may not be enough to protect you.
Have a lightweight e-reader with you for those days when you’re relaxing next to the loch. I bring mine everywhere. An e-reader is also a good idea for storing guidebooks and effectively saving room in your bag.
What if you have super thick and gorgeous hair like me? Ahhh. A major word of warning. Don’t bring your hair dryer from home to Scotland. You’ll blow it to smithereens, which isn’t a very fun time. Instead pack a compact dual voltage dryer to take with you on your trip. Great hair + less explosions = victory.
If you’re traveling Scotland independently, without the aid of a guided tour, then you want to invest in a good guidebook like Lonely Planet’s latest book on Scotland. Lonely Planet makes my favorite guidebooks, and I always invest in one before taking my trips! They are very useful and easy to read. You can also download them onto your e-reader.
I hope you enjoyed my Scotland packing list! What important items would you bring on your trip to Scotland?
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