Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Prepare Yourself

Since we planned for our trip to Scotland about a year in advance, I had a lot of time to prepare for the trip. It was nice to be able to buy things when I found them and it gave me time to read up in travel books. Some prep work was better than others. Here are my thoughts now that I'm back:

  • Boots are essential. You want them to be waterproof, comfortable enough to walk miles in, and ones you won't mind getting muddy. My boots were a lifesaver!
  • Raincoat. I searched long and hard for the right coat. I knew I wanted it to be longer, to be waterproof, to have a hood, and to have a detachable liner. I tend to wear more layers, therefor I can get away with a light coat at times, but that being said, I also can get cold pretty easily so that's why I wanted the detachable liner. The coat I ended up getting (a lined London Fog raincoat) didn't have a detachable liner but it was so comfortable and perfect in every other way that I went with it. And it WAS perfect!!! Only once was I too cold and that was when it was brutally windy in Kirkwall. 
  • Jeans. I took two pairs of jeans to Scotland. One pair were perfection, and the other were not because they had lycra, which tends to be susceptible to gravity. I should have taken one more pair with me. 
  • Pinterest. I pinned a ton of stuff before we went on our trip. My thinking was that if we got there and weren't sure of where to go, we could hop on Pinterest and see what had looked good before. I highly recommend doing this! It was so much fun to look up things and make a big list of activities and places that interested us. 
  •  Books. My sister and I both read up in a lot of travel books about Scotland before we got there and then we each took one book with us. I took a Rick Steeves and she took a Fodors. Both were awesome and super helpful! 
  • How to get from the airport to your hotel. For the longest time we had decided to splurge for a cab from the airport to our hotel because we were to arrive late at night. Once there, the bus seemed pretty easy (and way cheaper!) so we did that. Unfortunately, once dropped off, we got a little turned around and ended up a bit lost in a strange city in the middle of the night. After walking down a sidewalkless street and getting very turned around, we hailed the next taxi and ended up tipping him 100% for saving us from being murdered. 
    • Sidenote- Once in the cab he asked where we were from and when we said near DC in America, he replied with, "I guess you haven't heard what happened, have you?" Holy hell I thought he was going to tell us there had been some attack. We were so relieved when it was just that spying story. We laughed it off, "Oh, we're used to that." 

Any questions about Scotland or traveling? We definitely had a planes, trains, and automobiles type of trip*.


* Modes only. Our trip actually ran quite smoothly. 
+ Title from Porcupine Tree

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