(#3 in the series of posts that let you climb into our suitcases)
We leave tonight for 2 weeks in Scotland, beginning in Edinburgh and visiting the west coast, Inverness, Caithness, Ullapool, Oban, Fort William, and the isles of Skye and Mull, before ending our trip in Glasgow.
Days will be active touring, but each evening has a group dinner…. and one night we’ll be seated outside Edinburgh Castle watching the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo!
Scotland in August is considerably cooler than Ontario (daily highs around 20C/68F instead of the 30C/ 86F we’ve been experiencing) so we’re packed for wet spring-like weather: layers that we can add or lose as needed, which means jackets and sweaters to layer over our shirts…. and the MANDATORY raincoat (not umbrellas, which just tie up our hands). It may be hot weather at home, but we will not need shorts in Scotland.
We’re travelling with a carry-on size case each, plus Ted will have a camera bag and I’ll have a soft-sided tote. Even though our trip with Senior Discovery Tours means we don’t have to haul our own luggage on and off the tour bus or in and out of the hotels, it’s still nicer to be able to grab a SMALL case off the luggage carousel at the airport. Ted bought a new computer this year that only weighs 3 lbs, which will help keep the weight of what we carry on our shoulders down.
This trip will be practice for 2020’s planned extended stay in Europe, which I REALLY want to do with just a carry-on and backpack each so that train travel is easy.
The big difference will be that this excursion does not include laundry stops the way extended stays do, which means that I’ll be packing Tilley brand underwear that dries overnight once hand-washed so we don’t need to carry unwashed undies in our suitcases. A pack of soap “petals” works well for washing items in the sink, and is lightweight and dry to pack.
For each of us, I laid out 2 pair of pants (we’ll have a 3rd pair in which we travel) and then chose tops that had to work with at least 2 of the 3 bottoms. The easiest way to do that is by choosing a “theme” for the trip. Ted hates that concept, but since I do the packing…….. we’re going blue and white, and I’ll add orange accents to mine. For the 14 days, we’ll each take a combination of 10 long and short-sleeved tops, at least 6 of which are quick-dry fabrics that will hand wash and hang dry overnight so they can be worn twice. There are no formal events, so a collared shirt for Ted and a pretty scarf for me are all we’ll need to be “dressed” for dinner.
Our bulkiest items are fleece jackets to be layered under our rainwear for the ferry crossing to the islands and for the cooler days. They’ll go in my soft tote that comes on the plane, as will an extra pair of shoes each. I agonized over waterproof footwear, but rain boots are just too heavy to pack, too sweaty to wear, and too inflexible for extended walks, so we’ll make do with running shoes that dry quickly, and extra socks.
Before you ask, no, I am not packing a kilt…. for either Ted or for me…..but I do plan to take lots of pictures of Scots wearing theirs!
I look forward to updating you with notes from our Scottish adventure. Stay tuned!
We are hoping to book Bonnie Scotland with SD for last two weeks of August. Reading about your experience has just convinced me this is the right one for us! Hubby wants to know if he’ll have any time in St. Andrews to shop a bit in the golf stores
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We didn’t, but what we discovered on our tour was that if someone wanted to do something specific, the guide could usually make it happen – if you have a group as easy-going as ours was, at any rate!
Just reading your blog. I’m commenting on your agonizing decision for footwear. One recommendation I have for footwear if you find yourself in cold and wet conditions, is to wear wool socks. Unlike other fabrics, wool has the ability to keep your feet dry and warm. This knowledge is from paddling 100km mostly with rainy days, and out on the water in temperatures 30-40ishC .
Look forward to other stories. FYI – Italy I traveled last year using Air B&B and trains.
Thanks June! Normally I avoid socks altogether, but it’s worth a try!
You are teaching us to pack lighter and smarter. Have a wonderful time and try the haggis.
Good luck with those carry-ons! You two are amazing with that!
Have a good trip. Fingers crossed I get to see you once again before winter.
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Hi… I enjoy your postings. Have you taken other tours with Senior Discovery Tours? I am taking their “Mediterranean Magic” tour in October. Looking at other tours for the winter, in Europe. Thanks, Marylou Miner
This is our second tour with SD. Our first was the London show your, which we loved. Have heard great things from other travellers about their South American and Italian tours.
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Bought you a scarf and one for me. You could have taken both! Light weight and colourful
Yay! Back to the blog!
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Wait for it…… “maybe” there will be a tartan one for you when I get back!!