The Economy and Your Scotland Trip

by Ian Rose on January 8, 2009

by Ian Rose | January 8th, 2009  


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, and without access to cable news, you’ve already heard plenty about the worldwide economic slowdown. The United States, England and others around around the world have had their share of financial woes in the past year, and Scotland hasn’t been spared either. The recent closure of Scottish airline Flyglobespan is certainly proof that even if things have settled down a little, we’re not out of the economic woods just yet.

The question for today is this:
How should the economy affect your plans to visit Scotland?

The answer, of course, is rather complicated and depends on such factors as your budget, your specific itinerary, and the standard of lodgings and dining you want to experience on your trip. But there are a few general tips that can help your travel plans survive this wee “adjustment” we’re all going through.

Shop Around For Flights
If you are planning on flying to Scotland, you might be surprised how many deals are out there. The airlines are struggling themselves, and they are desperate to fill up seats. If you’re flexible about when you can take your trip, you can actually get a flight for a lot less than you could before all this mess started.

Jump On Deals When They Come Up
We scour the internet for the best flight and hotel deals each and every day – check out our lists of deals to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness and when you see one that looks like a steal, grab it before someone else does.

Hostel. The S is for Savings.
Unless you are addicted to the most luxurious hotel amenities, you can save a huge amount on your trip by staying in hostels. There are hostels in every major town (and a lot of the smaller ones) in Scotland, and even a private room is often cheaper than a standard hotel room. Use the form below to search for the best prices in whatever town you plan on visiting. Edinburgh for $12 a night isn’t too shabby.

To Drive or Not To Drive
The choice whether to drive or take public transportation can be a big one in determining how much your Scotland trip will cost. Gas prices are unpredictable, and a big rise in the cost of a litre of gas (by way of the latest Middle East conflict, for instance) could add substantially to your bill. The decision really comes down to this. If you want to stay in the cities and big towns, you can get by on public transport just fine. BritRail’s Central Scotland Pass is one option for seeing a good part of the country without a car. If you want to explore the Scottish highlands, an idea I would never discourage, you’re going to want a rental car.

More Time in Scotland, Not Less
If you are visiting Scotland as part of a larger trip covering England, Wales and Ireland, or even a wider tour of Europe, consider this: Scotland, in this economy and every other, is still cheaper than many parts of England and Western Europe. Spending a few more days in Scotland and less time in, say, super-expensive London, could save you hundreds of dollars, Euros, or whatever it is you’re spending these days.

All of this leads to one very important point: The economy should not be a reason not to travel to Scotland. A trip to Scotland is a magical experience, and should not be missed. Granted, if you’re one of the unlucky ones in very serious financial trouble, now might not be the right time for a big trip, but if you’re able to travel at all, Scotland can be a great destination. If anything, the traveler who takes their time to look around for deals can see this as an opportunity to get some amazing deals on airfare, lodging, and nearly everything else. Good luck.


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