Know Before You Go Scotland
Scotland offers a marvelous array of sights, sounds, scents, and flavors. Your visit can encompass historic landmarks, the scenic Scottish Highlands, friendly neighborhood pubs, stately castles, and so much more. We cannot wait to say fáilte (welcome!) on the trip of a lifetime.
Brendan recommends that you consult your physician prior to departure to discuss your personal health requirements. If you are on a regular course of medication or if there are medicines that particularly suit you, we recommend that you bring an adequate supply for your entire trip. For easy access when traveling, please keep all your medication in your hand luggage, not in your suitcases.
English is spoken throughout Scotland, with Gaelic still in use in some small towns.
CLIMATE & CLOTHING
Scotland’s climate is generally cool and wet, so even in mid-summer we advise you take some warm clothes and rainwear.The temperature averages between 40°F and 50°F , with summers
hovering around a comfortable 60°F to 70°F.
The standard voltage throughout Scotland is 230v AC and 50hz with a type G outlet. You will need a converter and adaptor for any electrical appliances you bring.
The currency in Scotland is the British pound sterling.
ATM outlets are very common throughout Scotland. It is possible at ATMs to draw cash on presentation of your credit card, though this may incur fees/interest payments—check with your bank before departure. It is a good idea to deposit sufficient funds into your accounts prior to departure and then use your Personal Identification Number (PIN) to access them. Check with your bank card company regarding possible ATM availability.
Credit cards, mainly Visa, MasterCard and American Express, are also widely accepted throughout Scotland. We recommend calling or visiting your bank and credit card companies online to advise them you will be traveling, as some will block the card when they notice unusual international activity.
SHOPPING & TIPPING
Global VAT Refund for Scotland: VAT is Value Added Tax and is included in the sale price of goods in European Union countries. Non-European Union residents may qualify for a refund of part of the VAT portion of purchases made in Europe by submitting your claim form and receipts to a VAT refunds desk at your European departure airport. Please visit www.gov.uk for details.
Tipping is expected everywhere in Scotland. For restaurants, 10 – 15 percent is customary, unless a service charge has been automatically added to your bill. For taxi drivers, it is appropriate to round the taxi fare up.
Edinburgh has excellent bus and tram systems, and taxis are convenient for short trips in any Scottish city. Between cities in Scotland as well as other destinations in the United Kingdom, BritRail will get you efficiently to a variety of places.
PASSPORTS & VISAS
All visitors to Scotland must hold a passport with at least six months validity beyond your return date. U.S. passport holders do not need a visa to enter Scotland. This information is a guide only; it is essential that you check with your travel agent or consulate before departure.
Should you encounter any difficulties while abroad, please contact your Brendan Vacations Representative or the consulate for assistance.
BEST BUYS & CUSTOMS ALLOWANCES
Scotland makes some of the world’s best clothing and you’ll find a very good selection of tartans, woollens and tweeds. Edinburgh crystal, shortbread, Edinburgh rock (candy), bagpipes, sheepskin clothing, china, silver jewelry, crystal and whisky are also good buys.
Any purchases made abroad will be subject to U.S. Customs regulations when you return, so be sure that you keep all receipts. Customs allowances are subject to change. Please check with your travel agent or visit www.cbp.gov/travel for details.
IMPORTANT: This information sheet is for guidance only and although accurate at time of printing, cannot be guaranteed