December 21, 2014

How to See Scotland for a Song

As the birthplace of golf and home to some of the worldís finest whiskey, Scotland is on the life list of many travelers. So how do you see the sights and still stay on budget? Follow these savvy savings tips for an affordable Scottish getaway.

Museums: Many museums throughout Britain are free, and Scotland boasts its fair share of free-to-see exhibit venues. Perhaps the most shining example is the National Museum of Scotland. In addition to an impressive collection of national antiquities, this museum offers family-friendly features such as changing stations, hands-on discovery zones and the opportunity to play dress up in traditional period costumes. Located in the Old Town area of Edinburgh, the no-cost museum is just minutes from Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, home to a number of historically-significant buildings and sites.

Trails: Walking is the most frugal form of transportation there is, and you can do plenty of it on Scotlandís version of national trails. Referred to as long distance routes, these trails take you on multi-day walking adventures through the countryside for the opportunity to spot wildlife, commune with nature, and experience the spectacular scenery this country is known for. Visitscotland.com provides information on various trail routes, features a recommended walk of the month for long-term visitors, and lists information regarding trailside service for things like food, lodging and transportation.

Accommodations: In Scotland, pitching a tent for free to enjoy all that nature has to offer is actually encouraged. Referred to as wild camping, it is a popular and affordable way to enjoy the long nature trails and other wilderness areas. Proper protocol for minimal impact is expected, so be advised that lugging out your own trash is part of the gig. For those who prefer a less rustic head-resting experience, consider the chic and trendy CitizenM in Glasgow. For approximately $120, you can kick back in mod style while visiting the city. Pair your stay with a visit to this summerís much-anticipated opening of the new Riverside Museum on Glasgow Harbor.

Deals: The Edinburgh Pass costs less than $50, and provides significant discounts on a variety of dining options and entrance fees, as well as free return airport transfer. While a stay at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh might be far out of financial reach for budget travelers, for roughly $40 you can enjoy their luxurious afternoon tea experience in the drawing room. Itís an affordable splurge that costs less than a nice dinner out.

Photo Credit: Conner395