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When is the best time to visit Scotland, you ask? Although most countries have ‘ideal’ times of year where visiting is optimal, the best time to travel anywhere isn’t as dependant on the state of the weather as you might assume. Instead, a trip is only as good as what you make of it; there are always a ton of things to do, no matter the season.

Although Scotland has been said to have crazy weather, it actually can be quite mild climate with four distinct seasons. Though many people associate Scotland (and many of the surrounding regions, including the UK) with excessive rain and grey skies, intense and torrential rain is pretty uncommon, although regular rainfall is to be expected.

Still, no matter which season you visit Scotland in, be sure to pack a sweater, or buy a good wool one there (that’s what we did).

Most of Europe’s busiest tourist season is from May to September, so going in the offseason is a safe bet for reduced crowds, better airfare and accommodation promotions, and bargain deals on entrance tickets and sights. While you do sacrifice the warmer weather – which is a massive draw for many who favor summer travel – you get to experience Scotland at a much more relaxed pace and feel that much more like a local. There are a million ways to answer the questions, when is the best time to visit Scotland? So I’ll break it down month by month!

When is the Best Time to Visit Scotland? Weather in Scotland in January

January is typically reported as the coldest month in Scotland, and you will probably see a bit of snow the further north you go. However if you’re averse to snow, you probably don’t need to worry.

Average temperatures will never drop below freezing; instead, hovering between about 0 and 5°C. Expect lots of rain, wind, and maybe some snow so and pack accordingly. Boots that cover your ankles, a packable rain jacket, down jacket, warm socks, and many layers so that you can have greater control over your body temperature for sudden drops or rises within a day.

While it might sound a little too chilly for some, the cold weather does have plenty of bonuses! The conditions are perfect for comforting Scottish food. It’s the perfect time to duck into an Edinburgh cafe and grab a hot coffee.

If you’re an outdoor lover and wanting to get to the Isle of Skye now is the time where no one will be there. The city of Edinburgh also plays host to one of the biggest parties in Scotland – Hogmanay! This is a New Years celebration and is a crazy good time. Read about our full experience at Hogmanay here!

Burns Night takes place on Robert Burns birthday on January 25th. A Burns supper is a celebration of life of the famed Scottish poet.

Weather in Scotland in February

February is no less cold, but some of the wetness has been known to decline this month; rainfall days decrease to about 70% of the days in the month. Sunshine hours are a little bit higher, though not by much, and cloud cover is still predominant most days, which prevents much in the way of warmth from getting into the lower atmosphere. Needless to say, it’s not the best time to visit Scotland.

If you have to go to Scotland on business or for another obligation then go and bring warm clothes. If you can wait until at least March or April – do it!

Weather in Scotland in March

The temperature will begin to climb a little bit this month! You will still want a few warm items though – it is Scotland afterall!

Rainfall, however, will remain the same, if not a little heavier than the previous month. You’ll get between 15-20 days of rain this month so don’t arrive without a rain jacket! However, Scotland has (rarely) seen a high of 20°C in March so you might get lucky with a lot of sunshine and low tourism.

March in Scotland is a great time to hit up the bars and distilleries and enjoy a nice Scotch whisky.

Weather in Scotland in April

It’s finally safe to venture out in lighter layers; April is the month spring will first start to show itself. Thanks to months of rainfall, the Scottish countryside will be a lush green, and average temperatures will fall between 8 and 12°C. You can probably forego your boots some days and lace up your sneakers instead, but it will still be wet (average 12-18 wet days depending on where you are at). There will be much more sunshine than previous months too, so layering here is critical, because you never know when you’ll want to cast off your jacket without catching a chill.

Tourism will still be low and this is your best chance to drive the North Coast 500 or head to the Isle of Skye without the crowds. It will be beautiful this time of year!

Weather in Scotland in May

Spring will reach its peak during this month. There will still be rain, but typically less than 20 days of the month. Cloudy and overcast skies will often remain, but there will still be the highest amount of sunshine hours so far in the year. Note that the evenings still hit much lower temperatures, so if you are out and about at night, you’ll want to keep your coat handy.

Although it’s warming up it’s still off season for travel to Scotland so you’ll be able to score some good deals on car rentals and hotels.

Weather in Scotland in June

It’s finally getting to be summer (ish) in Scotland. It’s finally an ideal time for you to vacation in Scotland. Temperatures range from the average temperatures run between 10°C and 16°C, but you’ll still see some wet days. That being said it’s rare for it to pour the entire day, and instead you’ll likely just get some scattered showers with clouds to make your vacation photos more moody.

Weather in Scotland in July

This is officially the start of the top travel time for Scotland as a whole (particularly the Isle of Skye, Glencoe, Orkney, and Edinburgh) thanks to much warmer weather and sunnier days. Get ready for days averaging 16° and rising as high as 20°C. Because of this nicer weather, this is also the start of the summer travel rush, when traveler numbers will be at their highest. If you prefer to avoid the crowds that come with summer travel, this maybe isn’t the month for you.

If you are traveling Scotland during July you’ll want to make sure you book your accommodation in advance. This is peak season and the prices will go up the closer to your dates you get.

Weather in Scotland in August

August is the last month of summer in Scotland. I know it’s been short! Temperature averages will be much the same as July (including the levels of travelers coming here—brace yourself for higher wait times & crowds). The good news is it should be fairly sunny while you’re here.

The days will also start to become shorter as fall approaches, with almost two hours less of daylight by the end of the month compared to August 1st.

August is also the month of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which is easily the most notable festival in the entire country and the largest arts festival in the world.

If you are traveling during this time and passing through the capital you should definitely attend an event.

Weather in Scotland in September

Though it’s only September, autumn arrives in a hurry, and in my opinion this is the best time to travel to Scotland. The average temperature will drop a few degrees and settle around 14°C, so still at a comfortable temperature.

Rainfall will actually be a bit lower than the summer, as the early days of fall tend to be crisp and dry. The leaves will start to turn and the whole scenery is downright amazing. Similar to the conditions in August, you’ll find that the daylight by the end of September is about two hours less than it was at the beginning, as the days grow shorter and sundown happens earlier.

Although it’s fall, September is still a popular time to travel Scotland. We were here mid-September and found that last minute accommodation was hard to come by and the roads were crowded.

Weather in Scotland in October

October is another fabulous month to visit Scotland. With the arrival of October, Scotland officially hits peak fall weather. If this is your favorite season, you’ll probably fall in love with your time here. The average daily temperature will sink to between 8 and 11°C, there will be a slight increase in rainfall, and a definitive increase in cloud cover, with lessened sunshine hours.  Still, it’s cool and comfortable with fewer tourists!

There are plenty of events happening around Scotland this month. Most notable in Edinburgh, an eerie city with a lot of history means that Halloween is exceptional here. Edinburgh also hosts the Edinburgh Coffee Fest and the Scottish International Story Festival.

Weather in Scotland in November

November will be the last of the autumn months in Scotland, and isn’t a particular great time to travel here. You’ll find the colder weather rushes in to welcome the first whispers of winter. Temperatures will drop to between 5 and 10°C, generally hovering around 8, and chances of rain vary.

You’ll want to break out some warmer gear starting this month, in case of sudden drops in temperature.

There’s still a lot going on in Scotland in November. The Oban Winter Festival, the Dundee Film Festival, NEoN Digital Arts Festival are just to name a few. Also it’s the start of the amazing Edinburgh’s Christmas which takes place on Princes Street Gardens and encompasses all the Christmas cheer!

Andrew’s Day also on November 30th and celebrates the life of Saint Andrew, Scotland’s patron saint.

Weather in Scotland in December

Cold weather has finally arrived in Scotland. December ushers in an average temperature of 5°C. Sunshine hours are significantly down this month. Instead of rain you will get lightly falling snow for about half the month.

In case you didn’t know the Scottish Highlands are beautifully covered in white. There are also five ski resorts in Scotland that provide excellent value in Europe.

When is the Best Season to Travel Scotland?

High season (July-September): Like most places in Europe, Scotland’s high season runs from July to mid September. This is when you will find the best weather as noted above, but also crowds. Days are longer, the weather is warmer, and hotel and car rental prices are at their highest.

Shoulder Season (May-June and Late September-November): We’ve traveled to Scotland during the shoulder season and loved it. The weather is cool, the leaves are orange and yellow, and the vibe in the air is wonderful. This is also when we’ve found great deals on car rentals and guesthouse. However, popular places like Glasgow and Skye were very busy. We saw sunny days, but also had a lot of those rainy Scotland overcast days.

Low Season (Late November-April): The temperatures are cooler during the low season in Scotland and you stand a very strong chance of getting caught in a rain (or snow) storm. If you plan to travel to Scotland during this time you absolutely need a packable rain jacket, travel umbrella, and waterproof boots. The upside is you’ll find low prices and low numbers of tourists. If you are in Scotland over the holidays make sure to take part in the festivals around the cities!

Chris Watt When is the Best Time to Go to Scotland for Good Weather?

If you’re still wondering when the best time to visit Scotland for good weather is – it’s summer. You stand your best chance of good weather in Scotland between July and early September. Temperatures range from 15°C-21°C. You’ll find locals enjoying the sunny weather and festivals in the countryside and the city. It’s the perfect time to sit outside and enjoy the fresh Scottish air.

When is the Best Time of the Year to Travel Scotland for Golfing?

Scotland is a popular country to travel to for avid golfers. Anytime between April and September would be a good time for golf. However in April and May you’ll likely still see rain and wind, but almost no crowds. June, may be the best time for golfing due to weather. If you’re out on the course early in June you’ll likely beat all the crowds too.

When is the Best Time to Travel Scotland for Festivals?

Literally all year round! Scotland is a festival destination, it just depends on which one you want to take part in. As mentioned the year kicks off in Edinburgh with Hogmanay, followed by Burns Night, a celebration of the life and works of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet.

The Highland Games take place in the summer and are a mix of sports, culture and community followed by Fringe Festival in August.

Andrew’s Day takes places on November 30 and celebrates Scotland’s patron saint, Saint Andrew.

When is the Best Time to Travel Scotland to See Castles?

The Castles of Scotland are open year round but will be crowded during the summer months. If you want nice weather for walking around the castle grounds visit during the shoulder season when you’ll find fewer crowds. If your goal is to stay in a castle you will find the cheapest rates during the off-season (November-April).

When is the Best Time to Visit Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is great all year round. Compared to how much rain the rest of Scotland gets, Edinburgh is relatively dry. There are many things to do in Edinburgh and there is plenty of accommodation to even book last minute!

Quick Scotland Travel Tips
  • Currency: Great British Pound (GBP)
  • Visa: Many nationalities can enter the UK for 90 days visa-free
  • What to Pack: A great rain jacket, wool sweater, wool socks, travel camera, & down jacket.
  • Stay Connected: We recommend Sim Cards from Three – signal is limited in the highlands.
  • Right to Roam: There isn’t much in the form of trespassing in Scotland. Everyone has the right to roam and explore the stunning countryside.
What to Pack for Scotland Rain Jacket

It should go without saying that the weather in Scotland can be a bit rainy, this is the most important item in your suitcase. You have two options for style of rain jackets. The first one we recommend is a classic outdoor rain jacket that is a solid choice for outdoor adventurers. The second option being a trench coat for those looking to maintain style while dodging puddles. One of the best raincoats for travel is the North Face Resolve.

Sweater

The fleece sweater is a perfect layer when combined with an outer shell to keep you warm. We purchased wool sweaters from independent retailers in Scotland, and good ones were fairly easy to find for a decent price. For those with less time a little bit of online shopping for wool sweaters will suffice. Start here! Hiking Pants

Technical pants like these are water resistant and dry quickly, not to mention they’re comfortable on long walks. These pants can be pretty ugly, but if you’re serious about exploring and hiking in Scotland I would suggest picking up a pair.

Women’s| Men’s Boots

It’s wet in Scotland and you can expect a lot of boggy weather year round so packing a pair of good waterproof boots for hikes is crucial for protecting your feet. Good Boots or hiking shoes for Scotland are essential.

Women’s| Men’s Travel Water Bottle

Plastic pollution is a problem everywhere so it’s best not to contribute to the problem by buying plastic water bottles everywhere – plus the water from the taps in Scotland is perfectly safe to drink.

We’ve shifted to using an insulated aluminum water bottle as it handles the hot sun well. However, we also love filtered water bottles in areas we’re uncertain of the water supply. Read more about favorite water bottles for travel in our post.

Travel Insurance

We don’t travel without travel insurance and neither should you. You never know what can happen in a foreign country and it’s best to be prepared. World Nomads provides good short term coverage.

SafetyWing is perfect for digital nomads. See our full review here!

Adapter

Remember that Scotland uses the three-prong British plug. Make sure you have a universal travel adaptor like we have before landing!

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Looking for the best things to do in Belfast? Northern Ireland is a rich tapestry of history, tradition, and modernity. With an impressive list of castles, churches, museums, and other historical structures, the list of things to do in Belfast is varied. Whether you are a history buff or the kind of traveler who would rather wander through market streets and lush local gardens, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Belfast. 

With its proximity to the beautiful, rolling countryside for which the United Kingdom is famous, there’s no difficulty in getting out of the city for a day and exploring all the outer boroughs have to offer. No matter how you spend your days in Northern Ireland’s capital city, there are more than enough things to do in Belfast to keep you busy.

Things to do in Belfast Carrickfergus Castle

It’s hard to go to Northern Ireland and not visit one of the hundreds of castles dotted throughout the countryside. Carrickfergus is one of many, and with a convenient location only 20 minutes up the coast from the city of Belfast (and down the street from a Sainsbury’s, no less), it’s an easy thing to add to your day. 

Sitting on the water’s edge in Carrickfergus, the castle has long been a critical military structure, having been besieged by, at different times throughout history, the English, French, Scottish, and Irish. Despite many attacks on its imposing structure, the castle remains mostly unruined, and is incredibly well-preserved. 

Today, much of the castle houses a museum with medieval military displays, including an impressive array of 17th-century cannons. 

  • Location: Marine Highway, Carrickfergus
  • Cost: £5.50 for an adult ticket
  • Insider Tip: The Inner Ward & Great Tower are closed as of March 25th, 2019, so plan around that if you had intended to visit those specific structures.
Titanic Belfast

The Titanic is likely the most notorious maritime disaster in history; while many know that it sailed out from Southampton on its maiden journey, few are aware that the ship itself was constructed here in Belfast. In fact, the Titanic Belfast Museum was opened on the original site of the Harland & Wolff Shipyard where the doomed ocean liner was first built.

The museum explores the economic boom in Belfast at the time, where thriving industrial conditions led to the ship’s construction occurring in Belfast. From recreated cabins, decks, ballrooms, and hallways to a series of recovered artifacts, this museum has everything for true history buffs and Titanic enthusiasts. 

Don’t miss the walking tour (also available on segways) and the Titanic Experience, which offers interactive galleries recreating key moments on board the ship. This seems to be a hotspot area for naval history; just a few steps down the road is the HMS Caroline, a decommissioned Navy cruiser that served during both world wars.

Book Tickets Here

Belfast Castle

This is a bit of a two-in-one sight – not just castle grounds but also stunning natural surroundings. Belfast Castle is a Norman castle nestled in the Cave Hill area of the city’s north end, where several caves and archeological sites dot the region. The location of the original castle, which burned down in a fire, was in modern-day Belfast’s city center, but when the castle was rebuilt, it was moved to its current location, and the city center began flourishing, eventually becoming the bustling hub it is today.

If you are coming to the castle, there are several ways to spend your time: a walk through Cave Hill Country Park guarantees you sweeping unobstructed views of Belfast, complete with a guided walk through the countryside around the castle. If you know anyone looking for a wedding venue, what better place than an Irish castle?

  • Location: Antrim Road
  • Cost: Only £2.50 per person
  • Insider Tip: Don’t miss the cat garden, full of cat-themed mosaics thanks to a previous owner who was rather fond of her pet cats.
Botanic Gardens

Though it’s not always first on the list of things to do in Belfast, who doesn’t love a good garden, especially botanical gardens? Lucky for you, Belfast does have its own Botanic Gardens. Established in 1828 in response to local interest in gardening & botany, the park is still a favorite meeting place for local professionals and students, particularly as a lunch break spot or post-workday place to relax.

Its Palm House is an impressive domed glasshouse (a perfect example of the historical design of this era, with its curved iron & glass sheeting) containing tropical plants slung over every surface and an array of birds of paradise. Not far away, it’s Tropical Ravine has some of the oldest seed plants in the world on display. 

While it showcases the technology available for greenhouses at the time, the building has been optimized for growth with modern technology. Visitors will also learn about the conservation efforts undertaken here.

  • Location: College Park, Botanic Avenue
  • Cost: Admission is free if no events are scheduled.
  • Insider Tip: If you’re here in the spring or summer, take a stroll through the beautiful rose gardens.
Take a Black Cab Tour

Any visitor who cares to learn about a time not long ago known as the “Troubles” should be sure to take what is known as a Black Cab tour.  These informal tours take place in the back of a black taxi cab. Your local cabbie takes you back through time and you explore the site of numerous conflicts throughout Belfast’s history. They’re meant to be light-hearted, intriguing, and reflective.

When Natasha first came here she was on the fence about joining a tour, but after joining a group and doing it she found out there was no better way to learn about the countries history than to be given a tour by someone who lived through it! It’s a must in Belfast!

Black Cab Tour St George’s Market

One of the oldest markets in the UK, the St. George’s Market is a stunning example of Victorian covered markets, and is the last such structure in the city. It is consistently rated the UK’s best market, and once you’ve been, it’s not at all hard to see why. Some of the city’s best fresh produce, meats, and baked goods are on offer every weekend (the market is open Friday through Sunday). If that isn’t enough, this is also an excellent place for a relaxing coffee date, or to listen to live street musicians free of charge. 

But it’s not just food; handicrafts, art, pottery, and other handmade goods are in high supply here, meaning that while you can eat your way through Belfast (as you should), you can also take home a little piece of Northern Ireland. This is a unique spot to visit, so be sure to put it on your list of things to do in Belfast.

  • Location: 12-20 East Bridge St
  • Cost: None except for purchases
  • Insider Tip: The cupcakes are in high demand!
Grand Opera House

Designed by a mogul of theatre architecture (at the time), Frank Matcham, Belfast’s Grand Opera House is a sight for sore eyes. The exterior alone is worth a visit, with an interesting twist of oriental, baroque, and Flemish design elements making up the outer façade.

The interior auditorium displays elements from Indian architecture. Though the building was affected by terrorist bombs in the early 1990s, the damage sustained to the auditorium was light, and its beautiful interior remains mostly intact.

Be sure to check out what shows are playing while you’re here; any production in such a beautiful space is worthy of an evening at the theatre.

  • Location: 2-4 Great Victoria St
  • Cost: Tickets range from £25 to £50, depending on the show
  • Insider Tip: The area known as the ‘front row of the gods’ is ideal seating for the best view in the house.
St. Anne’s Cathedral

Also known as Belfast Cathedral, the St. Anne’s Cathedral is unique in that it serves two dioceses, and therefore holds the seats of two bishops. Despite this, it has long operated smoothly and is a wonderfully quiet place of respite from the busy streets of Belfast when you are in need of something calm and slower-paced. 

Though the cathedral itself dates from 1899, its spire was only added in 2007 due to the foundations being too soft to sustain the weight of a typical spire at the time of construction (this newest addition is lightweight).

There is also a funeral pall commemorating the 1500 lives lost at sea on the Titanic. There is also a Baptistry (be sure to check out its beautifully ornate domed ceiling) and the Tomb of Lord Carson, a politician in Ulster in the 1850s.

  • Location: Donegall St
  • Cost: £5 (includes a guidebook)
  • Insider Tip: Look up; the stained glass is some of the best around.
The Big Fish

While not your typical landmark, the Big Fish of Belfast is something you’re unlikely to see in any other city, so it’s worth a visit. At the very least, we can pretty much guarantee you’ll get some great pictures. 

Also known as the Salmon of Knowledge, this mosaic tiled giant fish sculpture makes for some very interesting public art. According to city officials, each tile tells a story of the city’s history; if you get up close and personal with your new friend, you can see the different scenes of Belfast’s history depicted in the blue-toned ceramic tiles.

As a bonus, if the giant fishy statue isn’t for you, you’ll get some great views of the River Lagan. Either way, there are more than a few opportunities for a photo op here!

  • Location: Donegall Quay
  • Cost: Free
  • Insider Tip: You’re only a 15-minute walk from the oldest bar in town, the Crown Liquor Saloon, to grab a drink!
Black Mountain

If you’re pro-views and don’t mind a little hike to get there, this is the spot for you. Black Mountain may be a bit of a self-important name, since this is more of a hill than a mountain, but once you’re up there, you’ll probably feel like you’ve climbed a mountain from the beautiful views of the city below. On clear days, you can even see all the way to Scotland!

Nothing will clear your head and give a fresh perspective like a hike and a view. There is also a field nearby known as Hatchet Field (due to its irregularity in the shape of an old-style hatchet), a popular place to kick back before you make your descent back down into the city.

  • Cost: None
  • Insider Tip: The coffee barn nearby will give you a much needed (and delicious) refuel.
C.S. Lewis Square

This one is pretty much what it sounds like, so if you were ever a fan of the Narnia books at any point in your life, this could be a fun little throwback down memory lane, taking you back to a world of intrigue, ice queens, and the fauns from your childhood bookshelves. 

Set in a public square, the area features several hundreds of trees and seven iron statues of characters from “The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe” novel by CS Lewis (yes, Aslan is among them!). 

Due to the size of the square and its openness, it is frequently the site of musical concerts, exercise classes, and community events. 

  • Location: 402 Newtownards Rd
  • Cost: Free
  • Insider Tip: The JACK Coffee Bar nearby features locally sourced foods and snacks.
The Crown Bar

Wander over to Belfast’s oldest bar after your visit with the Big Fish. The Crown Liquor Saloon dates from 1826 and still maintains many of the features from its original construction, including gas lighting for a truly authentic experience. Its lavish wooden booths even have the service bells and gunmetal plates for striking matches to light the candles. 

Once a Victorian Gin Palace, it is now operated as a brewery as well (so you know the beer will be excellent!) The booths, called snugs, were intended for more prestigious and reserved customers who preferred to drink without drawing attention to themselves. Today, however, while the snugs are still in place, the bar continues to be a thriving and energetic spot for both locals and travelers to grab a pint and relax after their day. 

If you want to truly feel immersed in the city vibe, be sure to put the town’s oldest bar on your list of things to do in Belfast.

  • Location: 46 Great Victoria St
  • Insider Tip: The Irish stew is a much-loved favorite if you enjoy lamb!
Giant’s Ring

The Giant’s Ring is like something straight out of Northern Irish myth and folklore, except that it’s real. This henge monument is a Megalithic tomb, and carbon dating has dated the structure to before even the Egyptian pyramids.

The structure consists of five huge stones placed upright, and the center of the structure, a tomb, has indicated that the Neolithic people may have venerated the dead as gods. 

Drink, Drank, Drunk on a Pub Crawl

Some could say this is for the young of heart but in Ireland everyone drinks. We regularly found ourselves amongst all manner of people in Ireland’s traditional pubs. Young or old, rich or poor, everyone finds a home in one of Ireland’s pubs.

They’re focal points for Irish culture and the best way to experience Celtic music. A pub crawl involves a tour across a collection of different pubs. Some of these tours target backpackers looking for a party while others focus on history or live music.

Book A Tour Here Enjoy a Fantastic Meal in Belfast

The food scene in Belfast is quickly changing. On our stay in the city, we found a number of tantalizing restaurants to choose from and ended up trying Causerie Bistro in the Europa Hotel and Yügo a new Asian fusion restaurant. Causerie Bistro was the easy choice as it was located on the first floor of our hotel.

It serves up many Irish staples such as bangers and mash, curries, fish and chips, and steaks. All of it locally! To top it off I tried their “chocolate brownie” what I got was a massive sundae that was intoxicating, and so delicious I left reeling from a sugar high. I couldn’t say no!

Yügo serves up some amazing food and one of the best meals we’ve had in Europe thus far. It’s menu consists of various small plates of menu items inspired by Japanese and Korean cooking.

Of course, there are many places to eat in the capital city. I recommend checking out reviews on Trip Advisor or asking a local to see what you like best.

Stay at Europa Hotel

Belfast has an ever-growing selection of hotels in the city and we stayed at the Europa Hotel. It is more or less the most well-known hotel in Belfast.

While the large marble lobby and beautiful first floor piano bar seem like a far cry from the hotel’s former claim to fame it is actually known in history as the most bombed building in Europe. That’s right the hotel was bombed 36 times throughout the period known as the Troubles.

Day Trips from Belfast Drive the Coastal Causeway route

This coastal causeway route is one of the most beautiful road trips in the world. Some of the best things to do in Northern Ireland is along this lovely route, and it’s well worth at least a day or two to explore. We were able to hit most of the main sights in one day. However, we recommend two to three days to visit most of the sights and leave some time to enjoy and get out of the car. The scenery along the route is some of the best in the world.  The way is full of Game of Thrones locations, so any fan (like me) will enjoy seeing where the magic came to life.  You can even book a Game of Thrones tour!

If you’re not up for driving the route yourself, you can book a tour to all of the sights on the Coastal Causeway route.

Book A Coastal Causeway Tour Here! Giant’s Causeway

If you know any of the natural landmarks of Northern Ireland, it has to be Giant’s Causeway. Almost 60 million years ago the Giants Causeway was formed from, and this series of basalt rock columns is Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO world heritage site. It is the one destination that you can not miss on a trip to Northern Ireland. It’s a world-famous destination, and after visiting, we could see why. Rarely do we find such naturally beautiful spots on this planet.

We had two days of sunshine in Ireland, and we were lucky to spend one of them at the Giant’s Causeway. If you are driving yourself, note that it is £8.50 to park and have access to the cafe. However, we were able to avoid this charge by parking down the street and walking about 10 minutes to the main tourist entrance.

Book A Giant’s Causeway Tour Here! Dunluce Castle

It is the most beautiful castle we saw in Ireland. It’s not much of a surprise as it’s one of the most visited sites in Northern Ireland. It’s only ruins now, but its setting and sheer scale are still impressive. As it is one of the most photogenic spots along the coast, make sure..

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These are the best packing cubes in 2019. We should know as we’re very frequent flyers who traveled to two dozen countries in the last year. Living on the road means we pack and unpack our bags a lot. Packing can be a total drag, but with the investment in some of the best packing cubes for travel, it saves a lot of time.

We were skeptical when we first bought something to organize our bags and hesitant to spend the money on good packing cubes. I want to share our favorite packing cubes from EBags, REI, Eagle Creek, Shacke Pak, Topo Designs, and more. Hopefully, these make your packing, travels, and backpacking adventures easier like they have for us!

Why Packing Cubes?

Packing cubes to me are very similar to having drawers in a dresser or hangers in a closet. If you like to have your bag with an organized system packing cubes are a must. Otherwise, they eventually end up like a mess of jumbled clothing, especially if you’re traveling for a magnitude of time.

Almost all backpacks, suitcases, and duffel bags have a large main compartment intended for your clothing and valuable. With all of this space and no organization, it’s easy to end up a mess. This is where packing cubes come in handy for the organization of the contents within your bag. They also help with things like separation of dirty and clean clothes. When combined with special packing cubes that aid in compression it allows for you to save space and pack more in a carry-on, backpack, or medium-sized piece of luggage.

Packing cubes also make unpacking once you reach your destination a breeze. Open your suitcase place your cubes in the dresser and put your suitcase out of the way. We always travel with packing cubes and they make a world of difference. Plus there are plenty of affordable options on Amazon with free two days shipping, so you don’t really have an excuse.

The 15 Best Packing Cubes eagle creek Pack-it Specter Cubes

Eaglecreek specializes in packable backpacks, packing cubes, luggage, and travel organization so they’re no stranger to packing cubes. The Pack-it specter cubes are easily the best packing cubes on the market in terms of weight, durability, breathability, and compression. Each bag weight only a couple of ounces so it saves weight in your luggage.

They are built in ripstop nylon that allows for good durability in a very lightweight package. They don’t come in a plethora of colors, but do have three size options that should suit most packing cube needs. The compression is a great facet and a handle makes pulling the cubes out of your luggage or backpack much easier.

Since they’re compression sacks they’re exceptional for outdoor and hiking purposes. On multi-day hikes, it’s a great way to carry a change of socks and underwear. They’re not limited to outdoor scenarios and we’ve used them extensively throughout our travels.

eagle creek Specter Pros:
  • Quality Zippers
  • Lightweight
  • Compression
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Water Resistant
eagle creek Specter Cons:
  • Outdoor Style
  • Do Not Stack Well

Specter Cubes on Amazon Specter Cubes on REI Shacke Pak Packing Cubes

These packing cubes are nylon and water resistant. They are pretty durable and good for getting tossed around while traveling. The basic pack comes with four packing cubes which should be more than enough for any travel bag. They’ve racked up a lot of glowing reviews and our first set bought four years ago looks as good as new. So you can expect great value with these packing cubes since they’ll last a long time. I like the nylon that comes over the top of the packing cube and the nice depth they offer for good packing space.

Shacke Pak prides itself on the quality of its zippers, which seem like a small feature but can obviously make or break your packing cube experience, especially if you like to overpack. There is one thing to note the mesh on one bag has a rip, but it’s still fully functional and the color looks great after heavy use. Shacke Pak Pros:
  • Decent Zippers
  • Mesh Front
  • Stacks Well
  • Color Choices
  • Lightweight
  • Warranty
Shacke Pak Cons:
  • Weak Seams?
  • Mesh Weak
  • Cheap Bags

Shacke Pak on Amazon Topo Designs Pack Bags

Topo Designs Pack Bags are some of the highest quality packing cubes on this list. Their robust design uses heavy-duty YYK zippers and 1000D Cordura fabric that ensure strong water repellent qualities. Zippers and seams do not make it fully waterproof, but highly water resistant. If something explodes in your bag it’s anything in these cubes will be safe and sound. They also feel great and super sturdy that bodes well to how long they’ll last unlike many of the cheap counterparts. I also enjoy their classic look with a nice top handle and large zippers.

There are two downsides, the first is the bags price at $30 per cube. The second is that waterproof fabrics trap moisture inside the cube and prevent you from seeing inside the bag. That being said they come in four colors that could make organization by color possible. I really love these packing cubes when combined through one of Topo Designs Travel Bag kits that which comes with one of my favorite travel backpacks.

Topo Designs Pros:
  • Heavy Duty Zippers
  • Stacks Well
  • Color Choices
  • Waterproofing
  • Warranty
  • Made in USA
Topo Designs Cons:
  • Breathability
  • Price
  • Heavy

Topo Designs Pack Bags Away Travel Insider Packing Cubes

Away travel makes some of our favorite pieces of hard side luggage and have some wonderful packing cubes to compliment them. The Away Travel Insider Packing Cubes come in a set of six sizes to complement an entire wardrobe. I love that these packing cubes are structured which adds more protection, stackability, and helps your clothes resist wrinkles.

They have a nylon bottom that is waterproof and will be useful if you set a bag a wet bathroom counter when getting ready. If you’re a business traveller these are a great option to protect and organize your professional dress clothes. Above all, they are attractive and well-constructed bags that make the cheap options seem silly if you’re a frequent flyer.

Away Travel Pros:
  • Style
  • Mesh Top
  • Various Sizes
  • Good Value Set
  • Stack Well
  • Mix and Match
  • Structured Sides
  • Price
Away Travel Cons:
  • Mesh Top
  • Small Zippers

Away Travel Insider Packing Cubes Peak Design Packing Cubes

I really love these thoughtful packing cubes as with other Peak Design products they really think everything through. Instead of looking to copy competitors they’ve come up with an original design that borrows the good and implements some new ideas. In particular, stand out features with the Peak Design packing cubes are the quick pull to open tabs, compression zip, and separate dirty clothes section.

They also look attractive with a 70D nylon/poly blend on the exterior that feels nice to the touch. It also allows for weatherproofing with a silicon lined interior to prevent water or spills from touching your clothes. The big thing to note is one large packing cube costs $40.

Peak Design Pros:
  • Quality Zippers
  • Stacks Well
  • Waterproofing
  • Dirty Clothes Compartment
  • Compression
  • Warranty
Peak Design Cons:
  • Price

Peak Designs Packing Cube eBags Classic Packing Cubes

The eBags makes some great affordable pieces of luggage and luggage accessories. We love all the fun colors that eBags has, and that makes it great for organizing for a family or his and her bags. The packing cubes are sold as a set and come in three sizes. eBags uses a tough techlite diamond nylon that provides the bags some rigidity, which holds your clothes or items well. That ability also makes stacking them for organizing your luggage much simpler.

The eBags are some of the most popular andrecognizable on Amazon.They’re basic, but well known heavy duty products and some of the best packing cubes for backpacking.

eBags Packing Cubes Pros:
  • Comes in Three Different Sizes
  • Quality Zippers
  • Stacks Well
  • Mesh
  • Lightweight and Durable
  • Open Mesh front and handle on each cube
eBags Packing Cubes Cons:
  • Small Bags
  • Style

eBags Packing Cubes on Amazon Amazonbasics Packing Cubes

We’ve featured Amazonbasics products a few times on this site because they offer decent products at the cheapest prices. Don’t expect top quality craftsmanship as they’re more or less just undercutting the plethora of drop-shippers selling cheap knock-off products on Amazon these days. With the reliability of Amazon (refunds and returns) and a slight step up in product quality, they are great packing cubes for the price.

They come in a variety of colors, two shapes, and three sizes. For a budget option, they’re made with nylon a better material than polyester common in many cheap packing cubes. This allows them to be machine washed and give them water resistance. That being said they implement a lot of mesh in the front which saves on production cost, but creates a weak point prone to tears on the front.

At the current price point, the argument could be made they’re a bad value when a more reliable brand name can be purchased for only ten dollars more. But a penny saved is a penny earned!

Amazonbasics Pros:
  • Quality Zippers
  • Breathable
  • Stacks Well
  • Color Choices
  • Lightweight
  • Warranty
Amazonbasics Cons:
  • Cheap Seams
  • Amazon
  • Won’t Last Long
  • Style

Amazonbasics on Amazon Osprey Ultralight Packing Cubes

Osprey has long delivered some of our favorite travel backpacks and hiking backpacks. As a reputable brand with an “All Mighty Guarantee,” they make some quality lightweight packing cubes that offer compression. They’re a fantastic choice and very close in competition to the eagle creek Specter listed above.

The deliver wonderful quality and are made out of 40D ripstop nylon that has a siliconized coating. With the material, you receive the benefits of durability, waterproofing, and softness. The handle makes pulling the cubes out of your luggage or backpack much easier.

Osprey Ultralight Pros:
  • Quality Zippers
  • Lightweight
  • All Might Guarantee
  • Water Resistant
  • Stacks Well
Osprey Ultralight Cons:
  • Outdoor Style

Osprey Ultralight Packing Cubes REI Co-op Packing Cubes

REI Co-op makes some great travel and outdoor related gear in-house. We love their packing cube sets that are high quality at an affordable price. They’re water resistant and can handle some moisture or fight stains.

The small mesh feature is a little awkward, but I do appreciate a small mesh front as it is often where our packing cubes rip first or show signs of wear. I’ll file it down more as a plus because of the breathability the small mesh front provides.

REI Packing Cubes Pros:
  • Quality Zippers
  • Lightweight
  • REI
  • Water Resistant
  • Stacks Well
REI Packing Cubes Cons:
  • Weird Mesh Front
  • More Suited For Outdoors

REI Packing Cubes Dot&Dot Packing Cubes

Cameron has the Dot&Dot system and they have held up nicely for the past two years. He keeps all sorts of things in them jeans, toiletries, and shoes. The Dot&Dot Packing Cubes for Travel hold everything together well and have held up to his destructive habits, for not being super sturdy that’s impressive. It could be that they are spacious and they aren’t under much strain. I have to note that these packing cubes are larger than any of the others we’ve had. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s not necessary either.

Dot&Dot Packing Cube Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Mesh Front
  • Handle
  • Diamond Nylon Fabric
Dot&Dot Packing Cube Cons: 
  • Less durable feel
  • Large Sets

Dot&Dot on Amazon Patagonia Black Hole Cube

These are the packing cubes built for adventure. Patagonia continues on the success of their great black hole bags and has these fantastic cubes. They’re super robust and are perfect for a gear back that will have a mix of hard and soft items. If you’re into climbing, hiking, mountaineering, or skiing you don’t have to worry about your crampons or dirty boots ruining your clothes.

That tough nature translates well into organizing the hard goods too. I carry a couple of these for our snowboard and mountaineering bags and use them to organize a variety of tools, gear, and clothes. They’re made with heavy-duty 450-denier polyester ripstop and highly weatherproof thermoplastic urethane laminate then topped with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish. That’s a lot of tech and when you feel the material you can immediately feel the benefits.

Patagonia Black Hole Cube Pros:
  • Durable
  • Divided Main Compartment
  • Bluesign Certified
  • Good For Duffel and Backpacks
Patagonia Black Hole Cube Cons: 
  • Odd Fit For Suitcases
  • Outdoor Suited
  • Price

Patagonia Black Hole Cube on REI TravelWise Packing Cubes

These travel cubes come in a variety of colors which is great for choosing what goes in where and distinguishing between all the bags. They come in large, medium, and small and are among some of the best packing cubes on Amazon. A basic set comes with one large, one medium, and one small. There is an option to get a five piece set as well.

I personally only need three in my bag as it is not that big, but for those of you that love your clothes and have a bigger suitcase for packing cubes I would recommend the five piece. The TravelWise packing cubes are one of the best travel packing cubes because of how lightweight they are.

TravelWise Packing Cube Pros:

  • Durable packs and lightweight that pack up well
  • Option Five Piece Starter Set (2 Large, 2 Medium, 1 Small)
  • Open mesh so easy to find items

TravelWise Packing Cube Cons:

  • Users note thinness of bags

Travelwise Packing Cubes Bagail Packing Cubes

These packing cubes are nylon and water resistant. They are pretty durable and good for getting tossed around while traveling. The basic pack comes with four packing cubes which should be more than enough for any travel bag. They’ve racked up a lot of glowing reviews. I like the nylon that comes over the top of the packing cube and the nice depth they offer for good packing space.

Bagail Packing Cubes prides itself on the quality of its zippers, which seem like a small feature but can obviously make or break your packing cube experience, especially if you like to overpack.

Bagail Packing Cubes Pros:
  • Decent Zippers
  • Mesh Front
  • Stacks Well
  • Color Choices
  • Lightweight
  • Warranty
Bagail Packing Cubes Cons:
  • Weak Seams
  • Mesh Weak
  • Cheap Bags

Bagail Packing Cubes Travelon Packing Cubes

Travelon makes some great packing cubes similar to the Away Travel Insider Cube above. They come in a number of sizes to complement an entire wardrobe. I love that these packing cubes are structured which adds more protection, stackability, and helps your clothes resist wrinkles.

They have a nylon bottom that is waterproof and will be useful if you set a bag a wet bathroom counter when getting ready. If you’re a business traveller these are a great option to protect and organize your professional dress clothes. They come in a variety of prints and colors to suit your style needs.

Travelon Pros:
  • Style
  • Mesh Top
  • Various Sizes
  • Good Value Set
  • Stack Well
  • Mix and Match
  • Structured Sides
  • Price
Travelon Cons:
  • Mesh Top
  • Small Zippers

Travelon Packing Cubes Peak Designs Camera Cube

This product doesn’t belong at the bottom of the list, but not everyone needs a packing cube designed for camera equipment. We do need one and it’s one of our favorite packing products as it allows us to fly carry-on only without the need to bring a camera-specific backpack...

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When is the best time to visit Ireland, you ask? Although most countries have ‘ideal’ times of year where visiting is optimal, the best time to travel anywhere isn’t as dependant on the state of the weather as you might assume. Instead, a trip is only as good as what you make of it; there are always a ton of things to do in any city, no matter the season. This means that even cold or blustery weather can, for many, be the preferred travel conditions. 

Ireland has a mild climate with four distinct seasons. Though many people associate Ireland (and many of the surrounding regions, including the UK) with excessive rain and grey skies, intense and torrential rain is pretty uncommon, although regular rainfall is to be expected.

Being that Ireland has a temperate climate, the coldest month during winter (January) will generally not drop below 5°C, and summer only gets up to around 18°C for a daytime high. No matter which season you visit Ireland in, be sure to pack a sweater, as you might be surprised that you need it even during summer.

Most of Europe’s busiest tourist season is from April to September, so going in the offseason is a safe bet for reduced crowds, better airfare and accommodation promotions, and bargain deals on entrance tickets and sights. While you do sacrifice the warmer weather – which is a massive draw for many who favor summer travel – you get to experience Ireland at a much more relaxed pace and feel that much more like a local. There are a million ways to answer the questions, when is the best time to visit Ireland? So I’ll break it down month by month!

The Best Time to Visit Ireland – Table of Contents Ireland in October When is the Best Time to Visit Ireland? Weather in Ireland in January

January is typically reported as the coldest month in Ireland, but if you’re averse to snow, you probably don’t need to worry – unless you are venturing into the far north. Average temperatures will never drop below freezing; instead, hovering between about 3 and 8°C. Expect lots of rain (as much as 80% of the days in the month), and pack accordingly; boots that cover your ankles, a packable rain jacket, warm socks, and many layers so that you can have greater control over your body temperature for sudden drops or rises within a day.

While it might sound a little too chilly for some, the cold weather does have plenty of bonuses! When it’s nippy out, the conditions are perfect for a steaming, warming, and comforting helping of Irish stew. If you’re an outdoor lover and/or a fairytale fanatic, maybe a trip to the snow-peaked Mourne Mountains is in order, which partly inspired CS Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. Note that if New Years’ Day – January 1st – falls on a weekend, the bank holiday will be moved to the following Monday, so be sure to plan accordingly if you intend to hit up specific sights on that day. 

Weather in Ireland in February

February is no less cold, but some of the wetness has been known to decline this month; rainfall days decrease to about 70% of the days in the month. Ironically, February 1st is the traditional marker for spring in the country, despite a lack of buds and birds. Sunshine hours are a little bit higher, though not by much, and cloud cover is still predominant most days, which prevents much in the way of warmth from getting into the lower atmosphere. Translation: don’t box up your mittens and scarves just yet.

This is pretty good movie weather (something you’d probably be doing at home anyway), so if you’re in or around Dublin during this month, don’t miss the Dublin International Film Festival. Though the name suggests a medley of films, this festival primarily puts a spotlight on national film and encourages moviegoers to immerse themselves in the best films Ireland has to offer.

Weather in Ireland in March

The temperature will begin to climb a little bit this month, hallelujah! You may still want a few warming items, but the days of 3°C are falling behind you, and the new low should be set around 7-8°C. Rainfall, however, will remain the same, if not a little heavier than the previous month. As always with Ireland’s cold months, the best clothing options are layers, and opt for outerwear (jacket & boots) that will withstand wet environments. 

Regardless of whether you celebrate back home, it will be darn near impossible to come to Ireland in March and not cross paths with the country’s largest and most spectacular holiday – St Patrick’s Day on March 17th.

Regardless of what the weather has in store, you can bet that droves of people will be occupying bars, pubs, and nightclubs left, right, and center, and you’re in for an absolutely unforgettable experience (especially in the country that invented Guinness). Don’t let a bit of wet or cold weather stop you from partaking in the festivities, because St Paddy’s Day in Ireland is something a lot of people wish they could experience.

Weather in Ireland in April

It’s finally safe to venture out in lighter layers; April is the month spring will first start to show itself (albeit shyly). Thanks to months of rainfall, the countryside will be a lush green, and average temperatures will fall between 8 and 12°C. You can probably forego your boots some days and lace up your sneakers instead. There will be much more sunshine than previous months too, so layering here is critical, because you never know when you’ll want to cast off your jacket without catching a chill.

Dublin has a yearly festival in April that further cements its history as a place of literary enlightenment: the One City One Book festival encourages readers to devour at least one novel during this month that relates to Dublin itself. You’re likely to learn a lot about national authors both past and present, and even some of Ireland’s fascinating history.

Weather in Ireland in May

Spring will reach its peak during this month. There will still be rain, but typically less than 20 days of the month. Cloudy and overcast skies will often remain, but there will still be the highest amount of sunshine hours so far in the year. Note that the evenings still hit much lower temperatures, so if you are out and about at night, you’ll want to keep your coat handy.

Though it’s a bit farther out from Dublin, the town of Ennis in County Clare hosts its annual Fleadh Nua musical festival. It’s incredibly involved; an eight-day festival that promises everything from street entertainment to Irish music and dance workshops. Judging from the fact that the festival in 1974 was only three days long and is now over a week in length, this is something worth seeing even if it means a bit of a commute.

Weather in Ireland in June

Though constant cloud cover may not be what you had in mind for June, at least it’s not freezing. Average temperatures will rise to between 10 and 17°C —definitely getting warmer—and sunshine hours are on par with May. So, chilly at times, but pleasant! 

Ennis in County Clare has a lively and much-loved street festival every year in June. Expect local artists, locally prepared foods, and live entertainment, among many other things. Plus, it’s finally getting warm enough for patio weather, which means pubs that offer beer gardens will be opening their outdoor areas for a side of skyline with your pint.

Weather in Ireland in July

This is officially the start of the top travel time for Ireland as a whole (particularly Dublin, being the capital city) thanks to much warmer weather. Get ready for days averaging 16° and rising as high as 19. Because of this nicer weather, this is also the start of the summer travel rush, when traveler numbers will be at their highest. If you prefer to avoid the crowds that come with summer travel, this maybe isn’t the month for you.

That said, Galway hosts an annual festival—the Galway Arts Festival—that is extremely popular and recommended for anyone traveling in the area.

Weather in Ireland in August

August is the last month of summer in Ireland. Temperature averages will be much the same as July (including the levels of travelers coming here—brace yourself for higher wait times & crowds), with near-constant full or partial cloud cover. The days will also start to become shorter as fall approaches, with almost two hours less of daylight by the end of the month compared to August 1st.

Notable events happening around the country this month include the Dublin Horse Show, the Rose of Tralee Beauty Pageant, and the Puck Fair, which is one of the country’s oldest fairs. It happens annually in County Kerry and centers around celebrating a puck goat – a giggle-worthy concept; long story short, a goat happened to warn villagers of impending Cromwell raids – but you’ll have fun!

Weather in Ireland in September

Though it’s only September, autumn arrives in a hurry, and in my opinion this is the best time to visit Ireland. The average temperature will drop a few degrees and settle around 14°C, so still at a comfortable temperature. Rainfall will actually be a bit lower than the summer, as the early days of fall tend to be crisp and dry. Similar to the conditions in August, you’ll find that the daylight by the end of September is about two hours less than it was at the beginning, as the days grow shorter and sundown happens earlier.

Things not to miss – Dublin’s yearly Fringe Festival, along with a multitude of harvest-themed gatherings like the National Ploughing Championships and the Autumn Equinox (Mabon) will take place, with sun alignments occurring over Loughcrew (a megalithic structure). There’s also the world famous Galway Oyster Festival, which is a fantastic time, see our whole blog post on it here!

Weather in Ireland in October

October is another fabulous month to visit Ireland. With the arrival of October, Ireland officially hits peak fall weather. If this is your favorite season, you’ll probably fall in love with your time here. The average daily temperature will sink to between 8 and 11°C, there will be a slight increase in rainfall, and a definitive increase in cloud cover, with lessened sunshine hours.  Still, it’s cool and comfortable with fewer tourists!

There are plenty of events happening around Ireland this month, the most prominent being Samhain (pronounced Sa-wain). Think of Samhain as the Pagan ancestor of Halloween – a celebration marking the end of the harvest season. Today, celebrations happen that pay homage to the original holiday as it was celebrated by Iron Age Celtic Pagans. Halloween is still celebrated in a reduced capacity (in Europe, Halloween has a much less noticeable presence than it does in North America), but you’re much less likely to see droves of party-goers in funny costumes.

Weather in Ireland in November

November will be the last of the autumn months, as colder weather rushes in to welcome the first whispers of winter. Temperatures will drop to between 5 and 10°C, generally hovering around 8°C, and chances of rain decrease over the course of the month.

You’ll want to break out some warmer gear starting this month, in case of sudden drops in temperature. There are still events happening, such as the famed Guy Fawkes Day, or Thanksgiving depending on the specific town (depending on the community, this holiday is celebrated in either October or November). If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience and are prepared to venture a little off-track to get there, the Northern Lights are visible between November and February (go to Donegal or Northern Ireland for the optimal location).

Weather in Ireland in December

Cold weather has finally arrived in Ireland. December ushers in an average temperature of 7°C, with a low of 4°C and a high of 9°C. Sunshine hours are significantly down this month, so what’s in store is heightened cloud cover and a higher rainfall.

Beware the crowds on December 8th; this is a traditional shopping day where many will head into town for holiday shopping. Avoid these areas on December 26th too – the post-holiday sales begin, and the shops will be chaotic. The Winter Solstice is also world-famous at the Neolithic site of Newgrange for the solar alignment that will occur (this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime events, so if you’re here, don’t miss it).  

When is the Best Season to Travel Ireland?

High season (July-September): Like most places in Europe, Ireland’s high season runs from July to mid September. This is when you will find the best weather as noted above, but also crowds. Days are longer, the weather is warmer, and hotel and car rental prices are at their highest.

Shoulder Season (May-June and September-November): We’ve traveled to Ireland twice during the shoulder season and loved it. The weather is cool, there are no lines or crowds at most sites, and the vibe in the air is wonderful. This is also when we’ve found great deals on car rentals and guesthouse. We saw sunny days, but also had a lot of those rainy Ireland overcast days.

Low Season (Late November-April): The temperatures are cooler during the low season in Ireland and you stand a very strong chance of getting caught in a rainstorm. If you plan to travel to Ireland during this time you absolutely need a packable rain jacket, travel umbrella, and waterproof boots. The upside is you’ll find low prices and low numbers of tourists.

When is the Best Time to Travel Ireland for Good Weather?

If you’re still wondering when the best time to visit Ireland for good weather is – it’s summer. You stand your best chance of good weather in Ireland between July and early September. Temperatures range from 15°C-21°C. You’ll find locals enjoying the sunny weather and festivals in the countryside and the city. It’s the perfect time to enjoy a pint of Guinness outside and watch life go by!

When is the Best Time of the Year to Travel Ireland for Golfing?

Ireland is a popular country to travel to for avid golfers. Anytime between April and September would be a good time for golf. However in April and May you’ll likely still see rain and wind, but almost no crowds. June, may be the best time for golfing due to weather. If you’re out on the course early in June you’ll likely beat all the crowds too.

When is the Best Time to Travel Ireland for Festivals?

Ireland has festivals year round! It just depends on which one suits your fancy. Our favorite was the Galway Oyster Festival in Late September, but there are also amazing Halloween Festivals in Ireland. Of course, no one can forget about St. Patricks Day in mid-March.

There’s always something going on during the summertime in Ireland. From large cities to the small countryside towns you’ll be able to find a summer festival.

When is the Best Time to Travel Ireland to See Castles?

The Castles of Ireland are open year round but will be crowded during the summer months. If you want nice weather for walking around the castle grounds visit during the shoulder season when you’ll find fewer crowds. If your goal is to stay in a castle you will find the cheapest rates during the off-season (November-April).

Quick Ireland Travel Tips
  • ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Gaelic: “Dia dhuit” and “Go raibh maith agat”
  • Currency: Euro – (EUR) – €
  • Visa: The Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland are separate countries on the island of Ireland. The Republic of Ireland known as ‘Ireland’ grants 90-day visas. Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom also grants 90 days.
  • Weather: Expect lots of weather! Ireland is known for having rapid shifts in and lots of rain – it’s only the only reason a country like Ireland remains so green and fertile. See our full packing list here.
  • When is the best time to visit Dublin? Ireland is a fantastic country to visit year round. Though you’ll find crowds during the summer. My favorite time to visit Ireland is in September when the weather is cool and the crowds are low. Plus it’s when the famous Galway Oyster Festival happens!
What to Pack for Ireland Rain Jacket

It should go without saying that the weather in Ireland can be a bit rainy, this is the most important item in your suitcase. You have two options for style of rain jackets. The first one we recommend is a classic outdoor rain jacket that is a solid choice for outdoor adventurers. The second option being a trench coat for those looking to maintain style while dodging puddles. One of the best raincoats for travel is the North Face Resolve.

Sweater

The fleece sweater is a perfect layer when combined with an outer shell to keep you warm. We purchased wool sweaters from independent retailers in Ireland, and good ones were fairly easy to find for a decent price. For those with less time a little bit of online shopping for wool sweaters will suffice. Start here! Hiking Pants Technical pants like these

are water resistant and dry quickly, not to mention they’re comfortable on long walks. These pants can be pretty ugly, but if you’re serious about exploring and hiking in Ireland I would suggest picking up a pair.

Women’s| Men’s Boots

It’s wet in Ireland and you can expect a lot of boggy weather year round so packing a pair of good waterproof boots for hikes is crucial for protecting your feet. Good Boots or hiking shoes for Ireland are essential.

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If there’s anything you’re going to do while you’re in Dublin, it’s hit up the local pubs. And with the triple threat combo that Dublin’s bar scene offers—authentic live music, delicious hearty Irish dishes, and some of the best beer you’ll ever have in your life—it’s not hard to see why locals and tourists of all ages frequent the bar scene. 

With beautifully-preserved antique elements, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time—only adding to your experience in a Dublin pub.

With so many choices (especially in a city like Dublin), it’s hard to decide which Dublin pubs will win your heart (and your cash). We’ve narrowed down the choices to a condensed list of the best pubs in Dublin, so you can head straight there without needing to juggle the options. Don’t forget to grab a pint of Guinness as you listen to traditional Irish music!

The Best Pubs in Dublin 1. O’Donoghues Bar

Fan of traditional Irish music? You won’t want to miss O’Donoghues Bar. Most famously known as the venue where Dublin-based group The Dubliners began performing in the 1960s shortly before shooting to stardom, today, the bar is a neighborhood staple that attracts locals and tourists alike. 

When the live music on rotation is a combination of authentic, top quality, and often spur of the moment, you can’t only visit once. Often when musicians are on stage performing, additional musicians will emerge from the crowd and join the crew onstage, which makes for unforgettable impromptu jam sessions that you’ll remember for ages.

Pair that with a perfect pint of Guinness and a plate of Irish stew, and you won’t ever want to leave.

  • Location: 15 Merrion Row, Dublin
  • Insider Tip: This is supposedly the best Guinness anywhere in Ireland.
2. The Brazen Head

In a city as old as Dublin, it doesn’t carry much weight to say that a specific place is old – that is, unless you’re the Brazen Head Pub, which carries the official title of being Dublin’s oldest pub, having stood since 1198. Though you can never be sure how much of its original structure is still standing, the ancient stone, intricately carved wood, and dim lighting only add to its historic charm. 

Great writers such as Jonathan Swift and James Joyce are frequently associated with the Dublin bar, and there are scrolls and historical texts displayed on the wall. The interior of the pub offers three cozy rooms, and in the warmer summer months, an outdoor courtyard is available as well.

  • Location: 20 Lower Bridge St, The Liberties, Dublin
  • Insider Tip: To maximize your time, end your afternoon at the nearby Guinness Factory (a short walk away), before heading to the pub for (another) pint. 
3. The Long Hall

If the outside doesn’t necessarily give you that sense of wonder that many aged pubs often do, then the magical interiors certainly will. The Long Hall is a Victorian pub dating back to 1766, with a long history (hence the name). A medley of portraits, engravings, and prints line the walls, depicting everything from Russian emperors to women of the nobility.

Fun fact: Bruce Springsteen has been known to pop in from time to time; play your cards right, and you could wind up drinking your pint next to the man himself.

  • Location: 51 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2
  • Insider Tip: No kids are allowed here, so no need to hold back too much. Try the Irish coffee for both a little something strong and a little boost to keep you up late to listen to some seriously great Irish music.
4. Palace Bar

It may be located on Fleet Street, but don’t worry, there are no demon barbers here. Dublin’s Palace Bar is another Victorianesque pub that retains all its historical charm – no doubt helped by the ancient-looking lampposts and the hanging baskets overflowing with bright, colorful posies. 

This was another literary hotspot, once owned by the then-editor of the Irish Times. While the building is much more dated, the pub itself has been pulling pints since 1823. Due to newspaper ownership, this became a favorite spot for writers to meet sources. Even today, it is a popular spot for journalists for both working and socializing.

If you want to try something new – or just want to take a break from Guinness – stick around for one of their regular whiskey tastings, where an impressive array of malts are on offer (including a house blend if you really want to feel like a Dubliner!).

  • Location: 21 Fleet St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
  • Insider Tip: Try the IPA craft beer with a plate of cheese for a unique flavor pairing.
5. The Stag’s Head

This little gem in Dublin is aptly named; once you pay it a visit, it won’t be hard to understand why. The Stag’s Head pub is, first and foremost, decorated with mostly stag-themed elements – a stained glass window, carved wood panels, mirror art, and (of course) a massive stag’s head above the main door and the bar itself. 

If you happen to be in the Grafton Street shopping area, this pub is a hop, skip, and jump away, meaning that you’re that much closer to kicking back with a pint. 

  • Location: 1 Dame Ct, Dublin
  • Insider Tip: Swing by on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday if you like stand-up comedy (there are shows on these days in the downstairs venue room). On these nights, there’s the added lure of free ice cream during intermission!
6. Toners

Visiting this gem of Ireland’s capital city is like taking a trip back in time. Much of its original Victorian decor has been preserved, including original furniture, glass-encased historical curiosities, and even interior stone flooring. 

Rory Guinness, an established member of the famed beer-brewing family, has himself declared that Toners pub in Dublin pours the best pint of Guinness (we’re pretty sure that obligates you to go at least once), so this was deserving of a spot on the list of best pubs in Dublin. This was also a popular spot with many writers, and rumor has it that Toners was the only pub where Yeats would have a pint. Needless to say, with so many accolades it’s definitely one of the best pubs in Dublin.

But if that title isn’t enough to sway you, then maybe you’ll be convinced by the enormous year-round beer garden out back, where Mumford & Sons played a concert!

  • Location: 139 Baggot Street Lower, Dublin 2
  • Insider Tip: There’s not much in the way of food here, but generally, bartenders won’t mind if you order yourself a takeaway!
7. The Cobblestone

Though it’s more or less a guarantee that any Irish pub worth its salt will have live Irish music, the Cobblestone pub is arguably one of the absolute top places to experience it – if not the best – in the city; it’s no wonder that this one made it onto the list of the best pubs in Dublin. 

Affectionately coined “a drinking pub with a music problem,” the pub is owned by the Mulligan family, who have a rich history about five generations long of playing some of the finest tunes around. The owner’s brother is an accomplished uilleann pipe player, and there are monthly pipers’ sessions. The family play together seven nights a week in the pub, often not for show, but solely for atmosphere and enjoyment.

There are also frequent musical shows in other genres, like rock, folk, bluegrass, and jazz. But of course, if you are coming for authentic Irish music, you won’t be disappointed; there are often fiddle nights too!

  • Location: 77 King St N, Smithfield, Dublin
  • Insider Tip: This is a neighborhood staple located in one of the oldest areas of the city and space fills up fast; go early to nab a spot at the bar.
8. The Norseman

Formerly known as Farrington’s of Temple Bar, the pub’s name was recently changed back to the original name – The Norseman. Back in the 1500s, It was originally known as the Wooden Man Tavern due to a wooden Viking statue outside on the street. The pub became officially licensed in 1692, making it among the oldest bars in Dublin. 

While this pub, like any, pulls a great pint of Guinness, it’s also a gastropub and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so you don’t have to wait until evening opening times to satisfy any cravings you may have. We have it on good authority that the beef and Guinness pie is hearty and delicious, and pairs perfectly with your pint. 

  • Location: 28E Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
  • Insider Tip: If you don’t want to stray far, the upper levels of the building offer some very comfortable accommodations.
9. The Hairy Lemon

With a name like that, do you even need another reason to visit? It is named after a famed Dublin dog catcher, who (unfortunately) is reported to have resembled a hairy lemon himself thanks to an uneven complexion and some unfortunate facial hair. Just like its namesake, the bar is unlike anything you’ve ever seen and is definitely not your average Irish pub.

Aside from the culinary capers you’ll definitely want to sample (seafood chowder, Irish coffee, Guinness pie, and the bread and butter pudding), the interior alone is worth a visit, even though the outer façade reveals nothing of the paraphernalia inside. Memorabilia, both modern & vintage, is strung from every possible open spot, and the room decor inside is a mixture of modern, brightly-colored furniture and artistic graffiti murals painted on the walls.

  • Location: Stephen Street Lower, Dublin 2
  • Insider Tip: If you are a smoker, there is a covered smoking area, so you don’t need to stand outside under poor weather.
10. The Bleeding Horse

Though its name may give you pause, don’t worry; this pub has nothing in store for you but good times. More than 350 years old, The Bleeding Horse has an interior that is reminiscent of a medieval banquet hall, thanks to high vaulted ceilings, exposed wood beams, and antique artwork. The origin of the name is unknown for sure and there are many theories, but the vast majority believe that the name originates from the Battle of Rathmines (dating from 1649, the same year that the pub opened its doors), where an injured horse fled from the scene.

The interior is cozy, thanks to endless little nooks and crannies and tucked-away spots for privacy. Pair a hidden spot with a popular menu item such as the buffalo sauce chicken wings (not Irish, but highly regarded!) or the ever-popular fish and chips plate, a smooth, malty pint of beer, and you’re set for a relaxing evening that is the perfect Ireland experience.

  • Location: 24-25 Camden Street Upper, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin
  • Insider Tip: The much-loved cottage pie is gluten-free!
11. McDaid’s

Ever been in a morgue? Us neither, but after a visit to McDaid’s you won’t be able to say that anymore. Formerly the city mortuary, the building where today’s McDaid’s pub is situated was later converted from the morgue to a chapel, which accounts for its high, arched Gothic ceilings. All in all, it’s a truly bizarre mix of architecture and decor that makes for one of the most unique pubs you’ll find in Dublin. 

While Irish music is no stranger here, the bar is better known for its jazz and blues nights. If you want to hear something a little different than what you’ve been experiencing in the city so far, this is a nice change of pace that still manages to retain the charm, appeal, and Irishness of a traditional Dublin pub.

  • Location: 3 Harry St, Dublin
  • Insider Tip: While you probably can’t go inside unless you befriend the barman, have a peek behind the bar and see if you can spot the ancient trap door that leads down to the cellars.
12. L Mulligan Grocer

If you’re looking for a Guinness, keep on walking, because this is not your typical Irish pub. Famous for being the only pub that does not offer Guinness (a bold decision in a city such as Dublin), it is building a reputation for itself as an excellent place for gastropub food. If you want a beer, popular choices include Belgian ales and local, lesser-known craft beers.

Quiet, out of the way, and not yet discovered by the mass population, this is a great spot to avoid after-work crowds, and for a more laid back, relaxing evening. See insider tips for food recommendations, but just know that servers are quick to recommend specific beers for all the different dishes!

  • Location: 18 Stoneybatter, Arran Quay, Dublin 7
  • Insider Tip: The triple-cooked chips (fries) are great value at only £3.50 and are enough to feed several people – not to mention absolutely delicious. The spiced potted crab is also a dish that is highly recommended!
13. Temple Bar Pub

Locals will tell you that Temple Bar Pub is definitely not one of the best pubs in Dublin, but it is a tourist staple so I feel it had to be mentioned.

Temple Bar is busy bar on Temple Bar streets. It’s usually always crowded with foreigners slamming down Guinness and listening to Irish music. They have delicious oysters and play live music 7 days a week. With this also comes the most expensive Guinness in Dublin, but that’s what you get for a bar that has hosted some of the most famous bands throughout history!

  • Location: 18 Stoneybatter, Arran Quay, Dublin 7
    Insider Tip: The Temple Bar has a huge selection of Whiskeys, Scotch & Bourbons (over 450!), so come here if you want an Irish Whisky on the rocks.
Quick Ireland Travel Tips
  • ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Gaelic: “Dia dhuit” and “Go raibh maith agat”
  • Currency: Euro – (EUR) – €
  • Visa: The Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland are separate countries on the island of Ireland. The Republic of Ireland known as ‘Ireland’ grants 90-day visas. Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom also grants 90 days.
  • Weather: Expect lots of weather! Ireland is known for having rapid shifts in and lots of rain – it’s only the only reason a country like Ireland remains so green and fertile. See our full packing list here.
  • When is the best time to visit Dublin? Ireland is a fantastic country to visit year round. Though you’ll find crowds during the summer. My favorite time to visit Ireland is in September when the weather is cool and the crowds are low. Plus it’s when the famous Galway Oyster Festival happens!
What to Pack for Ireland Rain Jacket

It should go without saying that the weather in Ireland can be a bit rainy, this is the most important item in your suitcase. You have two options for style of rain jackets. The first one we recommend is a classic outdoor rain jacket that is a solid choice for outdoor adventurers. The second option being a trench coat for those looking to maintain style while dodging puddles. One of the best raincoats for travel is the North Face Resolve.

Sweater

The fleece sweater is a perfect layer when combined with an outer shell to keep you warm. We purchased wool sweaters from independent retailers in Ireland, and good ones were fairly easy to find for a decent price. For those with less time a little bit of online shopping for wool sweaters will suffice. Start here! Hiking Pants Technical pants like these

are water resistant and dry quickly, not to mention they’re comfortable on long walks. These pants can be pretty ugly, but if you’re serious about exploring and hiking in Ireland I would suggest picking up a pair.

Women’s| Men’s Boots

It’s wet in Ireland and you can expect a lot of boggy weather year round so packing a pair of good waterproof boots for hikes is crucial for protecting your feet. Good Boots or hiking shoes for Ireland are essential.

Women’s| Men’s Travel Water Bottle

Plastic pollution is a problem everywhere so it’s best not to contribute to the problem by buying plastic water bottles everywhere – plus the water from the taps in Ireland is perfectly safe to drink.

We’ve shifted to using an insulated aluminum water bottle as it handles the hot sun well. However, we also love filtered water bottles in areas we’re uncertain of the water supply. Read more about favorite water bottles for travel in our post.

Travel Insurance

We don’t travel without travel insurance and neither should you. You never know what can happen in a foreign country and it’s best to be prepared. World Nomads provides good short term coverage.

SafetyWing is perfect for digital nomads. See our full review here!

Adapter

Remember that Ireland uses the three-prong British plug. Make sure you have a universal travel adaptor like we have before landing!

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Burstall Pass is a classic hike in Kananaskis Country and off Smith Dorrien Trail. The hike moves past several marshy lakes and streams, before a steep ascent up to an alpine meadow, and then finished on a high mountain pass with grand glaciated mountain views. We loved our time in Burstall pass and spent the majority of our time alone in the woods. It’s a long one at 16km and a little redundant since it’s an out and back trail.

Burstall Pass Trail

Burstall Trail starts out from Smith Dorrien Trail with a large parking lot that serves the trail and stunning Mud Lake. The hike starts out along Mud Lake before heading along an old road for 2.7 kilometers which can be used by bicycles. As you move along the trail be sure to keep an eye out for the trails down to the three Burstall Lakes. All of them are breathtaking and offered some of the best views on the hike until reaching the pass at the end.

From there the trail continues along through the forest and valley. It’s a prime spot for birders and we stopped multiple times to listen to their calls. When you reach the end of the first forest section you come to the alluvial fan of the Robertson Glacier.

Come prepared for some smart route finding and waterproof shoes, or perhaps some hiking sandals. The fan spreads across the trail with multiple streams and flooded sections. It wasn’t difficult, but it does take some time making it across the streams about 500m in length. There are some helpful signs marking the trail for hikers to follow across the plain. However, we used them as a reference to find the ideal route to remain dry.

After you make your way across the flooded sections of trails you reach more forest. This is where the trail begins to ascend to an alpine meadow. It’s a pretty steep climb, but easy enough for most people to handle without too much of a struggle. From there it takes around a half hour to reach a sub-alpine meadow filled with wildflowers.

The meadow continues for a while until another uphill climb that finally reaches the highest point of the pass. It comes in at 2,380 meters and then drops back down before entering Banff National Park and Palliser Pass.

From the top of the pass, you have some commanding views of the peaks in the area. Some of the famous peaks include Mt. Birdwood, Assiniboine, and Mount Sir Douglas. Assiniboine is easily one of the more popular mountains know for it’s perfectly shaped peak and is the sixth highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. We wish we had more time at the summit to explore like the nearby Snow Peak. However, we were caught in a tremendous thunderstorm.

Snow Peak

I really would have loved to summit Snow Peak as it looked like an easy scramble. However, the thunderstorm that rolled in just as we made the pass was one of the most threatening we’ve seen in the mountain. Heavy rain, mixed with light hail, high winds, and lighting. We had to get off the pass and into the trees as fast as we could. We’ll have to save it for a later point and time. If you’re looking to add an additional objective on the hike this would be a great option.

Burstall Trail Duration

The trail took us five hours to hike, but we kept a pretty good pace and never stopped for a meal. It’s 15km long and climbs 470m with the majority of the climb towards the end of the hike. Two steep sections in the forest, before you arrive in an Alpine area with sweeping views. I would save yourself five to seven hours to complete the hike or more if you plan to climb any of the nearby peaks or head into Banff.

How Hard is Burstall Pass?

Although AllTrails rates this as a moderate trail and we’d have to agree. There is not too much elevation gain and nothing technical with exposure. It does require a bit more stamina than most moderate trails as it is almost 16km in length.

When can you hike Burstall Pass?

As the trail lies low in elevation and has easy slopes it’s good to hike early and late in the season. Anywhere from March to October is likely a good time to hike Burstall Pass. September would be tremendous as there are a lot of larches in the area.

How Popular is Burstall Pass

Burstall pass is moderately trafficked. We wanted a quiet trail so we arrived late in the evening knowing we could complete it faster than most. We passed several groups along the way and on a nice weekend, it’s pretty popular as it’s very accessible. Burstall pass is perfect for a walk with the family, dogs, trail running, etc.

What About Dogs and Kids in Burstall Pass?

The beginning of the trail is appropriate for anyone that can walk along a flat surface. Towards the end would still be appropriate for anyone of moderate fitness. I’d say from eight years old and up, maybe even younger. Big dogs should be able to handle the trail just fine. Just keep in mind it’s 15km in length so they’ll need to be able to walk for that long.

Another Great Hike?

If you enjoyed Burstall Pass and you’re looking for another popular hike. Only a few kilometers away is Tent Ridge, it’s a hike that is more technical with a small scramble and mild exposure. The views from Tent Ridge are some of the best in Kananaskis Country. You need to check this hike out!

Guide To Hiking Tent Ridge Wildlife Awareness In Burstall Pass

If you’re on any hikes in the area you should practice good wildlife awareness. In the region, there are frequent sightings of black bears, grizzly bears, moose, elk, and cougars. They all present a threat to humans and we should reduce our impact on their natural lives.

Before any hike or walk in Banff National Park or Kananaskis Country, you should pack bear spray, check the park websites for wildlife information (Parks Canada and AB Park), and then check again for notices at the trailhead. 

When you’re on the trail make noise by banging hiking poles, talking, whistling, clapping, or singing. This is particularly important around blind bends and corners, although there aren’t many on Wasootch Ridge. It’s also a busy trail so you generally don’t need to make too much noise, but always be bear aware. 

Which means staying alert, traveling in a group, minding children and pets, and finally carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it. If you’ve come to the park without bear spray Valhalla Pure Outfitters in town sells spray and holders with employees who will demonstrate how to use properly. 

What To Wear On A Day Hike?

The most basic principle of what to wear hiking is layering. Anyone that has spent time in wilderness or mountains can speak to the fact your temperature can fluctuate a lot on a hike.

So the goal of clothing is to help regulate your body temperature, element protection, and moisture management. Temperature management is best done through a layering system. If you want to learn more about what to pack for a day hike or what to wear on a hike you can see ours. 

What to Wear Hiking!

The Best Hiking Backpacks

The Best Backpacking Stoves

What To Pack For A Day Hike Our Outfits in Burstall Pass Outdoor Research Ferossi Pant

Write caption…

The pants are really lightweight but similar to a softshell pant with great water resistant and windbreaking capabilities.  With that in mind, it keeps you warm in cool weather, but the breathability of the pants keeps you cool in hot weather. They also have a lot of water resistance and are more comfortable than a pair of rain pants.

Men’s Ferossi Pant

Women’s Ferossi Pant Outdoor Research Shirt Echo Series

I have six Outdoor Research Echo shirts and rotate them on all my hikes. They are lightweight and moisture wicking. Seriously, you don’t want to be stuck with a cotton shirt while hiking it traps all your sweat and then when you get cold it becomes a problem.

Outdoor Research shirts provide full coverage with their long sleeve collections, but you won’t get hot under the sun. These shirts are built with UPF sun protection, AirVent™ moisture management, and ActiveFresh™ odor control technology.

Womens Outdoor Research Echo ShirtsMens Outdoor Research Echo Shirts Down Jacket

I ALWAYS have a down jacket with me on every single hike I go on. It’s a just in case jacket that I usually end up wearing when I reach the summit, and it gets cold.

Down jackets pack up light and small so there is no reason NOT to have one in your bag. Seriously it could save your life in a bad situation. We wrote a whole post on our favorites (hint – Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Hooded Jacket, Patagonia Down Sweater, REI Coop Down Jacket)

Best Packable Down Jackets Goretex Shell Jacket

We’re building up a collection of shell jackets. We always carry one in our pack and they’ve come in handy a number of times. They are lightweight, durable, packable, waterproof, and windproof. We have a bunch of different shell jackets after several years, but my favorite right now is from Arc’teryx. Any jacket can do the job, but the top dollar ones will hold up and really help in inclement weather. This was especially true in Burstall Pass when we were caught in a terrible thunderstorm.

Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket Buff Headband

I bring a Buff on everytrip in case my ears get cold or I want to have one to cover my face (which I did on this trip). We have a collection of buff headbands and bring them everywhere. They’re great for a multitude of reasons such as sun/wind protection, a scarf, headband, or an ear warmer.

We always have one in our suitcase or backpack no matter the destination and consider it one top travel accessories. I imagine most people have one or two of these by now!

Buff Headbands Gloves

I have a pair of Outdoor Research gloves in my hiking pack at all times. They are great for when you are scrambling and I always end up using them. I never want to come back with bloody hands and they protect against that.

Outdoor Research Gloves

Wool Socks

We’ve learned to love our feet with a good pair of merino wool hiking socks. You will want to keep your feet nice and dry while you walk around. Most importantly wool socks stay fresh for several days as they have natural antimicrobial properties.

We travel with a couple pairs of the Darn Tough Merino socks and our feet have never felt cold or wet. As a bonus, they’re produced in Vermont!

Darn Tough Merino Socks Hiking Backpack

If you’re not on a long hike a large multiple day hiking backpack may not be necessary. Expect to still carry several pounds of gear on your pack so it’s important to have a backpack that sits well on your back with good suspension. However, you don’t need a 50L+ backpack instead opt for a size around 35L that should be enough to carry all of your necessities.

We have a large number of hiking backpacks and they range in sizes. If you have plans for other short treks that may or may not have a porter you can go with a 50L that will lend more versatility without being so large its unnecessarily cumbersome on the trail.

We personally like to use between a 30-40L pack for most day hikes in the mountains as it allows for us to carry everything we could need. Major plus side is a large bag means we can bring things like a stove to make coffee or a hot meal for a nice rest. As far as our recommendation on smaller backpacks we love the Traverse from REI and the Exos/Tempest from Osprey.

Men’s REI TraverseWomen’s REI TraverseMen’s Osprey ExosWomen’s Osprey Tempest Water Bladder

While I like having a water bottle on my hikes I like having a bladder even more. A bladder keeps me drinking regularly since I never have to stop hiking and take out my bottle. It’s always readily available for when you need it.

You should consume at least two liters a water a day while hiking in the mountains, often this means you either carry two bottles of water. The better option for carrying that much water on your treks is to carry a water bladder. A water bladder additionally allows for you to carry extra water if needed.

Most hiking backpacks and even daypacks designed for hiking have a sleeve for carrying your extra water.

Water Bladder Sunglasses

Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun since you’ll likely spend a lot of time hiking in the sun at elevation. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes. Sunglasses are particularly important if you plan to visit any glaciers or high alpine passes as sun reflection from the snow is damaging to your eyes.

We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses; however, we love ours and will never buy cheap ones again. Polarized glasses are great at enhancing vision in bright environments and removing glare from windshields and the water.

Smith Lowdown 2.0

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Mount Athabasca looms over one of the most popular attractions on the famed Icefields Parkway, but only a few get to see the view from the top. To reach the summit requires a long hike to a technical glacier crossing and then up an exposed face or couloir. The views are breathtaking in more ways than one. From the top, you can spot countless glaciers, icefields, and many of Alberta’s highest peaks.

The peak is one of many in the Canadian Rockies famous for reaching an altitude of 11,000 feet. Many climbers in the Rockies have the lifetime goal of summiting all 54 (58) of the peaks, and they are considered classic mountaineering objectives. At 11,453 feet in elevation with a massive glacier and convenient location, Athabasca proves to be a tremendous first “11,000er.” With no experience we needed some trusted guide to reach the peak, Yamnuska Mountain Adventures was there to get us to the top.

Mountaineering Course: Snow & Ice Long Weekend

Everyone has to start somewhere, and we are not from the mountains and have no prior experience until moving to Canmore. With any sport, especially a sport such as mountaineering with high risks requires training and experience. We turned to the experienced guides of Yamnuska Mountain Adventures who have been guiding clients in the Canadian Mountains for 40 years to learn more about travel in the mountains.

The goal above Tasha, Silverhorn and Mount Athabasca

The Snow and Ice Long Weekend is short intro course meant to lay the foundation to the sport of mountaineering. It takes place along the Icefield’s Parkway around the popular Athabasca Glacier. On the final day, you make a summit attempt on one of the nearby 11,000 foot mountains, most common is the classic Mount Athabasca. It’s one of the most famous mountains in Banff National Park and photographed by thousands of tourist every day.

What Mountaineering Skills Do You Learn?

The course takes place over three days, and it is by no means meant to teach you everything about mountaineering. Its purpose is to set a foundation we arrived with no prior experience other than hiking. While we were not in the best shape of our lives, we are young and fit. That being said, the course would be appropriate for a wide range of people, one of our group members was 58, and he summited Mount Athabasca. Altogether, the curriculum felt well rounded and provided an excellent introduction to the sport without getting lost in too many details.

Equipment

You go over a basic overview of mountaineering equipment used in the course. Ropes, harnesses, ice axe, crampons, helmet, cordelettes, and carabiners.

Knots

With no prior climbing experience, we were able to learn several critical knots and life-saving knots. Knots we learned are the prusik hitch, figure eight, overhand, and an alpine coil. Figure eight is a classic mountaineering and rock climbing knot known for its strong hold and reliability. Then the prusik hitch is extraordinarily useful knowledge to have outside of glacier travel.

Movement on Snow

Walking up a hill seems straight forward, but when it’s covered in snow and the hill is over a thousand meters it requires some skill. The course covers different footwork, techniques used to conserve energy, and travel in a group.

Ice Axe Use

A new tool to us and one that is important for mountain travel in the Canadian Rockies. We learned proper handhold techniques, when to use the ice axe, and how to properly use the ice axe. Long story short I went out and bought an ice axe after the course.

Self Arresting

This could be a lifesaver, literally. While we learned there should be very rare circumstances in which you need to self-arrest. The skill is very important to learn and practice. Above all, it’s fun as you sling yourself down a snow-covered hill and practice coming to a stop from various angles. (It’s not done one handed like in the movies…)

Snow Anchor

One of my personal favorites from the course is learning how to make a snow anchor. It’s a great skill to have, especially as I could see great use should we ever have a problem when snowboarding in the mountains.

Crampon Use

We learned how to properly walk in crampons and practiced various walking techniques on hard ice of varying degrees of steepness.

Glacier Travel

Almost every person has seen the iconic image of climbers roped together as they walk across a snowy plain. In the course, we covered the basics of glacier travel and how to operate as a team traversing glaciers with the potential for crevasses.

Ice Anchors

Should there be an emergency on ice you’ll need to be able to rescue your partner or off an icy face. We learned how to properly place an ice screw and how to set a v anchor in the ice.

Glacier Rescue

The most difficult skill we covered, but learning how to operate as a team when a party member falls into a glacier is a life-saving skill. The move involves teamwork, knots, ice anchors, rope work, and smart movement to safely rescue from a glacier.

Route Planning

This is a skill we touched on and discussed, but route planning takes much more time to learn and accomplish. Our guide explained the reasons for our route selection which was the AA Couloir route up Mount Athabasca.

What to expect?

The course takes place over three days and is out of the Icefields Campground. We drove up the first morning then camped two nights in the campground during the course. On the first day, we spent the morning getting acquainted with our gear and learning the basics of ropes and knots. After lunch, we went up to a snow covered bank to practice movement in snow, travel as a group, and how to self-arrest.

After some well-deserved rest in the campground, we spent the second day on a glacier. Our instructor Tak went over proper movement on ice with crampons and how to use our ice axe.

As the day progressed, we practiced more glacier travel skills. Then moved on how to set ice screws and v anchors in the glacier. For the final lesson, we practiced how to rescue a downed climber in a crevasse properly. With an early afternoon finished we set off back to the campground to catch some rest and plan our route up to our objective. With perfect weather on the horizon, the group decided as whole to go for Mount Athabasca.

Summiting Mount Athabasca Mount Athabasca Approach

The night before we had a meeting to discuss the big objective which was Mount Athabasca. Our course instructor Tak To summit, Athabasca requires early morning alpine start. So the day of our summit push involved a start time of 3:00 a.m. With the amount of anticipation, we had it’s hard to say we slept much the night before. The approach on Athabasca takes place from the parking lot adjacent to the Icefields Discovery Center. The start follows along the road for the massive glacier tourist trucks before turning off and up the lateral moraine.

In the dark, we crisscrossed along the loose scree of the moraine following small cairns and the lead of our guides. It’s more of a loose trail and general direction that continues to change each year as the moraine continues to collapse from melting permafrost. The hike along the road and moraine is a long one and climbs about 500m in elevation before finally reaching the headwall where the glacier and snow begins. The headwall has several scramble moves to reach the top with some loose rock, but nothing too technical (our guide, Gene, really made it easy).

AA Glacier – Mount Athabasca

Once over the rock headwall, we came to the AA glacier. The glacier lies in a valley between Mount Andromeda to the West and Mount Athabasca to the East. At the base of the glacier, we took a small break to put on crampons and rope up for travel. As walked across the rock hard glacier the sun came up over the mountains and cast Mount Andromeda in a gorgeous alpenglow. It was the first time either of us had witnessed a sunrise like that on the mountain and it was breathtaking. Travel across the glacier was very straight forward and easy early in the morning with firm conditions and a slight incline.

AA Couloir – Mount Athabasca

The glacier eventually leads up the AA Couloir and a massive slope. At first glance, the slope does not look that challenging, but with every step, that assessment begins to change. It’s a steep slope prime for avalanches and rockfalls. The slope starts out fairly straight forward with a 30-degree grade slope, steep but manageable.

However, as you move further up the slope it becomes increasingly steep and over 45 degrees. To climb up the couloir was extraordinarily challenging and with high-risk terrain unnerving. Climbing up the couloir was extraordinarily challenging.

At the top of the couloir and on the stable ground we were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief after an hour on the slope. The smile on Natasha’s face was priceless, total relief.

Silverhorn & Mount Athabasca Summit

From the top of the couloir, the ascent up the famed Silverhorn peak was straight forward. It moved across several bands of rock and snow and took some work, but with little exposure. It felt like we were still ages away from the peak as we made our way up to Silverhorn and the idea that we may not summit had begun to set. There was a slight feeling of defeat, but once at the top of Silverhorn we saw the short distance left to the true peak.

The last section of the climb along the ridge of Silverhorn was the most enjoyable. It’s a narrow ridge covered in snow a few meter wide with massive views in either direction. I could see far across the mountains to distant peaks and glaciers. In all my moments spent in the mountains thus far in life it was by far my favorite.

At the peak, we were all ecstatic. In a small group of four, three clients to one guide, we sat down in the warm sunlight. There was low wind with perfect conditions, and we sat on the peak for a well-deserved lunch.

The descent was easy for the most part until reaching the couloir. To descend, we used a straight forward approach. As the strongest in our group, I took the lead down the couloir. Facing outward from the slope is an experience that feels a bit like walking down a cliff (not that extreme).

From there it was a long slog back to the car park. Total time round trip was around 11 hours, we were by no means a fast moving group, and the average is closer to nine to ten hours. After reaching our car we set off for our home in Canmore. We were exhausted and only made it to Saskatchewan River Crossing before needing a nap and an overpriced coffee.

Thoughts on Our Mountaineering Course

We could not have picked a better first for mountaineering. The course was well structured and we feel ready to tackle our next mountain adventure. The next mountaineering objective is best done with another guide, we still have a need for a lot more experience until we feel comfortable tackling objectives on our own. However, Mount Athabasca was a great first objective it was challenging without anything too far over our heads.

Our group was six people and for the first two days it was the perfect number to get individualized training in a group environment. On summit day a second guide arrived so that they maintained a ratio of one guide to three guests and this was reassuring on such a big mountain.

What We Wore Mountaineering?

The most basic principle of what to wear in the mountains is layering. Anyone that has spent time in wilderness or mountains can speak to the fact your temperature can fluctuate a lot on a hike.

So the goal of clothing is to help regulate your body temperature, element protection, and moisture management. Temperature management is best done through a layering system. If you want to learn more about what to pack for a day hike or what to wear on a hike you can see ours. 

What to Wear Hiking!

The Best Hiking Backpacks

The Best Backpacking Stoves

What To Pack For A Day Hike Our Outfits On Athabasca Kora Thermals

We’ve tried a few different brands, but recently settled on Kora as our favorite pair of thermals. It may be best for us as we need something technical when we snowboard or climb mountains to wick away moisture from our bodies. Kora makes high-performance technical clothing out of quality Yak Wool from the Himalayas — warning they are high priced. However, their technical abilities have far outpassed traditional wool or synthetic materials we’ve used.

Kora Base Layers

Smartwool Base Layers Fjallraven’s Keb Pant

Both Cameron and I have Fjallraven’s well known Keb pants. Fjallraven’s Keb pants are a mountaineering staple, but they are heavyweight and not excellent for quick dry properties yet extremely durable. They kept us warm and dry throughout this climb and are windproof.

When I was too hot at the base of the mountain during ascent and descent, I was able to unzip the sides for airflow. These are, without a doubt, my favorite pants to hike in the Canadian Rockies. If you think it’s going to be a cold day you can easily wear long johns under these as well.

The super durable material was very forgiving for beginners there were multiple times where our inexperience hit the our inner calf with crampons. We expected to get home to find holes, but there wasn’t even a scratch. The built in ankle gaiters also kept our feet dry the entire time, granted snow was not too deep.

Fjallraven Keb Women’s PantsFjallraven Keb Men’s Pants Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody

The Outdoor Research Ascendant hoody is one of my favorite pieces of outdoor wear. The blended ripstop nylon and polyester outer shell allow for water to naturally bead off, protecting the fragile down inside. I’ve used Outdoor Research Products extensively in wet mountains and have never been let down. One of my go-to items for exposure is the Ascendant Hoodie. The Polartec lining does an exceptional job at retaining body heat, and it’s super comfy.

Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody Down Jacket

I ALWAYS have a down jacket with me on every single hike I go on. It’s a just in case jacket that I usually end up wearing when I reach the summit, and it gets cold.

Down jackets pack up light and small so there is no reason NOT to have one in your bag. Seriously it could save your life in a bad situation. We wrote a whole post on our favorites (hint – Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Hooded Jacket, Patagonia Down Sweater, REI Coop Down Jacket)

Best Packable Down Jackets Gore Tex Shell

We’re building up a collection of shell jackets. For our climb on Athabsasca, we had perfect weather and never pulled out our shell jackets. They are lightweight, durable, packable, waterproof, and windproof. We have a bunch of different shell jackets after several years, but my favorite right now is from Arc’teryx. Any jacket can do the job, but the top dollar ones will hold up and really help in inclement weather.

Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket Buff Headband

I bring a Buff on everytrip in case my ears get cold or I want to have one to cover my face (which I did on this trip). We have a collection of buff headbands and bring them everywhere. They’re great for a multitude of reasons such as sun/wind protection, a scarf, headband, or an ear warmer.

We always have one in our suitcase or backpack no matter the destination and consider it one top travel accessories. I imagine most people have one or two of these by now!

Buff Headbands Gloves Outdoor Research gloves on Tent Ridge

We each have a pair of Outdoor Research gloves in our packs at all times. They are great for when you are scrambling and I always end up using them. I never want to come back with bloody hands and they protect against that. Loved having them for hand warmth and gripping the ice axe.

Outdoor Research Gloves Black Diamond FLZ Poles

I can not recommend a quality pole enough. It was very useful when combined with an ice axe and they should be included in most mountaineering kits. Make sure you get a quality pole as you don’t want it to fail..

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It’s probably one of the last things you think about; you’ve planned your big trip, you’re excited to head out on the road, you’ve figured out what to pack, and then you remember – travel insurance. 

Usually pricey and a total headache, not to mention inflexible, travel insurance is one of the more un-fun sides to traveling the world.

What if you don’t know where you’re even going after your first destination? What if you don’t even know how long your trip’s going to be? What if you work on the road as a digital nomad?

Standard travel insurance usually isn’t geared towards your kind of travel and can be super confusing. Enter SafetyWing – a new travel medical insurance company geared towards nomads and long-term travelers.

You may have heard about them – that they’re cheap, or flexible, but if you haven’t read an in-depth guide about SafetyWing yet, all that’s about to change. We have explored the pros, the cons, the good, the bad, and the ugly of SafetyWing. And most importantly, whether or not it’s going to be right for you.

What is SafetyWing?

SafetyWing is insurance for world nomads. Started by three Norwegian friends, this travel insurance company is on a mission to help long-term travelers with all their insurance needs.

The guys are now living in Silicon Valley, California, and have created a sufficiently easy-to-use techie platform – built by people like yourselves (probably) who are reading this frantically googling, “Can I get travel insurance abroad?”

The answer, thanks to SafetyWing, is yes. 

They have eliminated that worry about your travel insurance running out while you’re away, which is never a good idea. It’s not something you think about when you first take off for the road, but as time goes, that idea of “what if” begins to form in the back of your head. After a while, you start to wonder how you’d pay to see a doctor if something happened to you.

So with SafetyWing, the travel insurance comes to you; you can be anywhere in the world and sign up to their service. You can even change your details, dates, and renew your policy whenever you feel like it.

Snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies
What does SafetyWing cover?

That’s a great question. Coverage is the most important thing, really. So what does SafetyWing travel medical insurance cover?

The kind of things you’re going to want to be covered are the big things. We’re talking about things like getting an injury while you’re getting your adventure sports on, being airlifted from some remote location, or even covering the cost of your laptop and other precious gear.

Enjoying time in the US in Hawaii
Coverage Included with SafetyWing
  • Hospital stays
  • Prescriptions
  • Illnesses
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Unexpected injury
  • Doctors’ visits
  • Up to 30 days of medical coverage in your home country within every 90-day period (or 15 days within every 90 days if your home country is the US). Yes, it even covers you at home.
  • Worldwide coverage apart from North Korea, Cuba, and Iran. Travel to the US costs an extra $31 per four weeks.
  • Lost checked luggage up to $3000; $500 per item
  • Travel delays out of your control (“trip interruption”)
  • Emergency dental care
  • Crisis response (ransom, not covered in specific high-risk and legal areas)
  • “Terrorism”

That’s just for starters. However, it’s also pretty important to know what a travel medical insurance company doesn’t cover. Though SafetyWing is a new company and it’s continually developing what kinds of coverage it may be able to provide you with in the future, at the moment, it’s not everything.

Floating in the Dead Sea
Coverage Not Included with SafetyWing
  • Missed flights
  • Pre-existing illnesses
  • Routine check-ups
  • Preventative care
  • Limited coverage for adventure sports/regular sports
  • Being mugged, for example

The thing that kind of bums us out the most about this is the missed flights and adventure sports. Having to fork out a ton of money for a missed flight, which may or may not be your fault, is never fun. Yes, we’ve been there before.

Who should use SafetyWing travel medical insurance? Long Term Travelers

Digital nomads and other world travelers who aren’t going to be seeing their home country anytime soon are the ones who will benefit most from SafetyWing. 

Maybe you’ve decided to quit the 9-5 world and live your dreams via a laptop in as many countries as possible, or perhaps you’re a free-spirited independent traveler who got struck by the travel bug.

Either way, if you’re on the road pretty much 24/7, being able to renew your travel medical insurance on the go without having to return home is impressive.

The Maldives
Short Term Traveler

It can cover you on trips from five days onwards. If you know your dates, taking out SafetyWing travel medical insurance can specifically cover you for fixed periods. These fixed periods work well if you’re a very well organized short-term backpacker who likes to escape from the “real world” every so often for a few weeks.

Busan, South Korea
Parents

If you’re a parent, children are covered free of charge (yes, without any additional cost). The limit is one child per parent, two per family, and the coverage is for children from 14 days old to 10 years old. A feature that can save you a whole load of cash if you’re in this situation.

Budget Travelers

SafetyWing travel medical insurance is one of the cheapest out there. It’s $37 every four weeks.

Sunrise in Cappadocia People Who SafetyWing Is Not For Those With a Pre-existing Condition

Though the company is planning to launch full comprehensive healthcare, at the moment, they can’t cover you if something happens to you due to a pre-existing illness. If you’ve got a long-standing health complaint that affects you on the daily, it’s essential to do some in-depth research on your situation and how you can get coverage.

Those Who Love Extreme Sports

SafetyWing travel medical insurance does not cover anything considered a “high-risk sports activity.” Extreme sports like heliskiing, base jumping, paragliding, and mountaineering (above 4,500m) are not covered. If you’re doing something extremely dangerous it’s likely not covered. 

That being said SafetyWing covers adventurous individuals when performed under the right conditions. Horse riding, canyoneering, kayaking, bungee jumping, skiing and snowboarding, and scuba diving are all covered. 

Mountaineering in the Rockies

If you’re an active person who likes to be involved in sports, there may be some activities that are not covered. However, they do cover basic things like running, hiking, or recreational sports that are not high risk. 

It’s best that you check under their list of sports and activities to make sure what is included and excluded. That can be found here!

**SafetyWing is introducing an “extreme sports” package coming soon where many more extreme activities are covered.

Bungee Jumping in South Africa Those Who Only Need Gear Insurance

If you’re a drone flyer, photographer, a nomad with an expensive laptop – or anyone who values their electronic items – SafetyWing may not be the insurance you need. That’s because mobile phones, laptops, and cameras are not covered. So if you are traveling in the immediate future it may be worth looking at personal property coverage.

**SafetyWing will be launching an electronics and valuables option by the end of the year.

Working on the road in Iceland How much does SafetyWing cost?

SafetyWing travel medical insurance is one of the cheapest offerings out there, especially compared to similar companies that offer the same level of coverage.

Their base quote is $37 per four weeks, which is pretty affordable. 

But like most insurers, the SafetyWing premium does go up based on your age; the older you are, the more expensive a plan costs.

Also, if you’re from the US or want to travel in the US, you’re going to have to pay double. Thanks to America’s high healthcare costs. Even so, it’s pretty cheap. Here’s an outline of what you’ll have to pay according to your age. 

  • 18-39 years old: $37 per 4 weeks    / US: $68
  • 40-49 years old: $60 “                 “ / US: $111
  • 50-59 years old: $94 “                 “ / US: $184
  • 60-69 years old: $128 “              “ / US: $251

Apart from the age thing, SafetyWing travel medical insurance doesn’t fluctuate in terms of price. It’s pretty fixed, and that’s what you pay every four weeks, unlike other insurance companies where a whole range of factors may play into consideration.

Why is SafetyWing so cheap?

We tend to think of SafetyWing as the Uber of the insurance world. It’s a new company that’s shaken things up a bit – and why not? It’s insurance that people need, and they’re the ones providing it. They make the prices all possible in a few different ways.

Streamlined Service

There are no middlemen involved with this company. There’s no platform with selling agents; SafetyWing sells directly to you – the customer.

Single Policy

By only selling an individual policy without any add-ons or extra services, SafetyWing can keep the costs low and the process pretty simple. No confusion at either end.

Doesn’t Cover Big Bills

Currently, a lot of the limits on SafetyWing’s policy aren’t that high. Emergency dental at $1,000, for example. That might be okay for one cracked tooth, but not so good if you have a serious (and super painful) dental emergency. Similarly, the max payout is $250,000. Other companies, for comparison, run into the millions.


**The medical expenses limit by SafetyWings will be raised to 1 million by the end of the year.

Snowboarding in Japan
SafetyWing vs. World Nomads

While there are companies out there with seemingly limitless payouts for coverage, it wouldn’t be fair to compare these big hitters to the new and low-cost SafetyWing. For a start, it’s a more specific service rather than general travel insurance for your everyday tourist who can afford to pay more in the first place – and who might not need so much flexibility in their trip.

With that in mind, what else is out there for a long-term traveler or digital nomad? Well, the main competitor is World Nomads. You’ve probably heard of them; they’re one of the top providers of insurance for nomads with a load of rave reviews online (and off).

Key points with World Nomads Higher Price Point

World Nomads’ coverage starts at around $120 per month – a much higher starter fee than SafetyWing. And that’s just the beginning before you get to all the add-ons. It’s also dependent on your country of origin, etc. But for this, you get:

More Coverage

World Nomads provides higher payouts, such as coverage for your GoPro, damaged and stolen gear, travel laptop, tablet, digital storage devices – up to $2,000 per item. We know it’s just electronics, but this is important for a lot of people. That’s how many of us make money. Missed flights are covered, too.

Highly Endorsed

There is a lot of support for World Nomads. Everyone from Lonely Planet to a ton of other travel sites and companies recommends World Nomads. We’ve suggested World Nomads to readers for years on this site. On the other hand, SafetyWing is a start-up with a lot of exciting things in its future and I like to see more players in the game.

Lack of Coverage

Like SafetyWing, World Nomads doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions from six months before your trip, routine check-ups, or cancer treatment and preventative care. 

Adventure Sports are Covered

World Nomads cover injuries sustained from adventure activities or sports. Note that there are two tiers of policy, however – Standard and Explorer, the latter geared towards adventurous travelers – and more expensive. You will have to pay for those adventure sports. We always pay extra for adventure sports rider add ons because of our lifestyle.

Worldwide Coverage

If you’re off to North Korea or Iran, you’re in luck if you use World Nomads. Sure, you’ll have to fork out more, but at least you’ll be covered in the depths of North Korea or Iran’s desert of Dasht-e Kavir. SafteyWing does not offer coverage in those countries. But if you’re not going there, why pay more for something you don’t need?

Cliff Jumping in Cyprus
Is SafetyWing The Ideal Global Travel Insurance

Even with the competition from World Nomads, SafetyWing – from our point of view – looks like a winner. There’s a lot on offer with this company, and they’re speaking to us as digital nomads and bare bones travelers. They’re trying their best to cover our lifestyle, while others are still falling by the wayside. They’ve found a gap in the market for digital nomads and, at the moment, it’s working.

Highlights of SafetyWing  Extend Coverage Abroad

Yes, we have been those travelers who have outstayed their travel insurance on a trip – we admit it. We had coverage for a year – a full 365 days – but for obvious reasons, we wanted to carry on. Like total idiots, we didn’t buy any more travel insurance and spent the next couple of weeks trying to be extra careful. With online services like SafetyWing, it is much easier to extend insurance coverage. 

Value for Money

The payouts might not be huge (yet), but SafetyWing’s policy is super cheap. $37 every four weeks is one of the lowest prices out there, which makes it affordable for any traveler.

Even better is how it works for anyone on a budget. Again, this means digital nomads and long-term travelers. Being away for so long, you get to know how far your dollar goes, so to have something that doesn’t cost a lot when you think about it is a great asset.

What’s more, they’re legit. SafetyWing has partnered up with some big guns: Tokio Marine – a huge giant of the insurance world. And SafetyWing is also underwritten by Lloyds. Even though they’re new and cheap, you know they’re supported by some genuine companies with experience.

Subscription Model

Working pretty much like your subscription to Netflix, you pay once every four weeks and can cancel at any time. This model is great for people who don’t know how long they’re going to be away, or when (if ever) they’ll be returning home. Simple.

Progressive Schemes

We’re super excited about the future of SafetyWing. They’ve got some fantastic things on the horizon that will be particularly useful for digital nomads.

They’re hoping to roll out a whole safety net – or “nest” as they call it – for online freelancers and entrepreneurs. It is shaping up to include disability insurance, a pension system (which is terrific), and even maternity leave. 

People might shrug at that, but if you choose to continue your life as a nomad, these are the kinds of things that could make a big difference in how easy your life will be. We keep thinking about what a game changer this kind of safety “nest” will be for nomads.

Cool Site

Not only is the SafetyWing website cool and user-friendly, with a straightforward sign-up, log-in, and extension, but there is also one particularly impressive thing we have to tell you about.

Simply log-in to SafetyWing and select “Find Hospital or Doctor” from the menu. Type your location in the search box, and you’ll find a list of the nearest (and best) qualified doctors, clinics, and hospitals. If that isn’t useful, we don’t know what is.

When you arrive, you can open the SafetyWing app and show them your ID number as proof of insurance. Simple!

There’s even a way to chat with live support on the SafetyWing site. You can ask the SafetyWing staff at the other end of your touchscreen for advice and ask them questions about the policy or any other troubles you may be having. It’s not for medical emergencies, obviously, but the service is available 24 hours a day.

Final thoughts on SafetyWing

Well, what a way to shake up the travel medical insurance game. We’re very into the flexibility that SafetyWing offers and the fact that they are targeting digital nomads and remote workers. We especially like that you’re not in a fixed contract with this company. They are a very appealing global travel insurance.

If you’re a long-term traveler with no fixed address and no plans for the near future, using SafetyWing is kind of a no-brainer for you. Especially if you’re on a tight budget but still want to make sure you’re covered, it’s a great idea.

Because they’re new, they may not have all the benefits and big payouts you feel you need. However, SafetyWing offers peace of mind and some genuinely cool stuff in the future for all your remote working and long-term traveling needs, like a digital nomad social service.

Check Out The SafetyWing Site Here!

The World Pursuit is an affiliate with both World Nomads and SafetyWing. That means if you buy a policy with them from our website, we receive a small commission. It helps us keep our site running every year – so thank you for understanding!

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We are always testing out new travel products for all of our trips and to enjoy at home. So, I had an idea! Starting every month I will now be releasing my ten favorite travel products, travel accessories, and outdoor products hoping you all will discover some new fantastic brands and products!

My Favorite Travel Products in July AllBirds

If you’re shopping for a new pair of travel shoes, likely, you’ve already come across Allbirds on the internet. They’ve billed themselves as the most comfortable shoes in the world, made to fight odor, be worn without socks, and generally handle the demands of travel exceptionally. Those are all some tall claims – I knew I had to have some.

We both got a pair this month and love them. The feeling of wearing them is best compared to wearing a wool sweater – comfortable and cozy. They are so soft and will be our new all around travel shoes. Allbirds tries their best to source sustainable materials for their shoes, which we love. The style is also great, and they look even better in person than online with high-quality details.

Allbirds Wool Runners

Glyder Apparel

You all don’t really see this when we are traveling, because I don’t normally roam around cities like Osaka in a sports bra and leggings. BUT when I am home and working all day, going on a short walk or only taking a break to go to a fitness class( or have wine by the lake) I am living in workout gear.

So that’s why I was pumped to get my hands on Glyder apparel for the first time. They make super cute and stylish activewear and are sweat wicking and breathable. My favorite part though? They are not see through AT ALL. I always have Cam test out my yoga pant sheerness and he always tells me when we can see straight though to my underwear. He was really impressed that he couldn’t see anything with the Glyder yoga pants.

Jelt Belt

Unless I am hiking in leggings I need a belt to secure my pants. The newest one I just got is a Jelt Belt. Jelt is a women-owned social enterprise that produces belts made from 100% recycled plastic bottles with an innovative patented flat buckle that won’t show a bump under tops or tees.

Both Cameron and I have a few of these bad boys and they are SO much better than regularly clunky belts.

Jelt Belts

Peak Designs Clip

This is has been one of our favorite additions to our camera equipment and hiking outfit. The Peak Design capture clip allows for a camera to be clipped on to your backpack strap or belt. It has to be one of the best accessories we’ve ever used for carrying our camera.

The clip feels secure and robust with a straight forward design that makes switching straps easy. We’ve brought it on several hikes around the Canadian Rockies now and it has changed the way in which we photograph hikes. The access it provides to your camera is so much better than a camera strap that allows a camera to swing and banging into everything.

It’s super handy and a must for anyone who wants to carry their camera on hikes, but not interested in fumbling around in their bag every time they want to take a photo.

Check It Out On Peak Design

Delsey Suitcase(s)

We just got three new Delsey suitcases and I am beyond the moon. We’ve been traveling with the same suitcases for years and were in desperate need of a few new ones. I wanted one that was stylish, and larger than a carry on for our next big trip.

Cameron got their green Chromium Lite 25″ Spinner, and then we received another carry on Cruise Lite Hardshell – because one can never have too many carry on pieces.

So I ended up getting a 24″ Spinner from there beautiful Chatelet Collection (trying to be more stylish when I travel.)

Scout the Delsey Website

Topo Designs Boulder Pants

Earlier this year Topo Designs sent us their new travel carry on backpack for a review. We loved it so much we recommended it all over this site. They then reached out again offering to send us more of their new gear, and we both loved all the colors, designs, and practicality of their new line.

My absolute favorite score however, had to be their Boulder pants. They’re technically built for bouldering since they are flexible and made out of quick dry stretch nylon, but I actually find them perfect for just sitting around the mountain lakes.

See Them on Topo

Fjallraven’s Keb Pant

Both Cameron and I have Fjallraven’s well known Keb pants. We got them back in April, but I haven’t had a chance to wear them until now and they have become my new hiking favorite.

Fjallraven’s Keb pants are a mountaineering staple, but they are heavyweight and not excellent for quick dry properties yet extremely durable. They kept me warm throughout every hike I have been on so far. When I was too hot at the base of the mountain, I was able to unzip the sides for airflow. These are, without a doubt, my favorite pants to hike in the Canadian Rockies, and well worth the money.

Fjallraven Keb Women’s PantsFjallraven Keb Men’s Pants

Fair Indigo Dresses

When I heard about Fair Indigo, the sustainable travel clothing brand for both men and women I knew I had to give their clothes a go.

Fair Indigo sources organic Pima cotton from small family farms in Peru. I love buying clothing that is sourced ethically from workers making a fair wage – not sweatshops. They use Peruvian cotton and alpaca because it is ultra soft, and you can feel it with these clothes. I chose some very simple black, navy, and grey skirts and dresses as Fair Indigo uses only certified earth-friendly dyes. Now, it just has to get warm enough in the mountains that I can wear them – yes, it still feels like early Spring here.

Oh, yea and none of these dresses came with tags, and came in a fully biodegradable bag! You can use the code NATASHA15 for 15% off your order!

Check Out Fair Indigo

Outdoor Research Shirts

I have six Outdoor Research Echo shirts and rotate them on all my hikes. They are lightweight and moisture wicking. Seriously, you don’t want to be stuck with a cotton shirt while hiking, as it traps all your sweat and then when you get cold it becomes a problem.

Outdoor Research shirts provide full coverage with their long sleeve collections, but you won’t get hot under the sun. These shirts are built with UPF sun protection, AirVent™ moisture management, and ActiveFresh™ odor control technology.

I’ve been loving these for hiking and for traveling as they are ultra lightweight and perfect for saving on space.

Womens Outdoor Research Echo ShirtsMens Outdoor Research Echo Shirts

Yeti Camino Carryall

I am totally diggin Yeti products in the summertime. Their coolers and drinkwear and perfect for a day at the lake or beach.

Do if you are going on a family road trip to the beach or a friends weekend getaway to the cabin i think the Camino Carry All is absolutely perfect for holding all the drinks you may need.

This bag is rugged and made from waterproof, ultra-durable material. We’ve really enjoyed having this on our weekend by the lake trips!

Yeti Camino Carryall Tote

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Natasha is a five-foot blonde that believes she was made short so she could fit in air, train, car, and bus seats comfortably. She believes in watching every single movie nominated for an Oscar and loves all animals. Natasha has a passion for environmentally friendly and sustainable travel. Natasha recently made a move to Canada and resides near Banff National Park in Alberta and loves new adventures in the mountains. Natasha's favorite countries are Italy, Iceland, Greece, Japan, Mozambique, and South Africa.

The post (July 2019) 10 Travel Products I am Totally Loving This Month appeared first on The World Pursuit.

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If you’re planning to spend some time in Scotland, renting a car is a great option. Not only does it give you the freedom and flexibility to travel how and when you want, but also allows you to visit parts of this fantastic country that are difficult to reach any other way than on an organized tour. 

The stunning panoramas that are seen so frequently in Scotland make driving in Scotland an enjoyable experience, as does the ability to stop off at small but incredibly gorgeous towns right around the country. But what do you need to know if you’re thinking of renting a car in Scotland? We reveal all after driving around on an epic road trip for almost three weeks!

What do you need to rent a car in Scotland?

Actually, the answer to ‘what do you need to rent a car in Scotland’ is – surprisingly – very little! As long as you hold a standard latin driving license, you can drive the same type of vehicle in Scotland without much other paperwork for up to a year. If your license is not in English, have a translation just in case. You also should be prepared to hand over your passport. Most of the time you do not need to apply for an international driving license or have a special permit.

You are also required to have insurance, something that can be organized by the rental agency, or with a US credit card (more on that later). There will be various options available to you so you’ll have to decide what you want to add on. If more than one person intends to share the driving, you’ll need that as an add-on too.

Legally speaking, that’s it, although most Scotland car rental companies will have a few additional rules you’ll have to agree to. For instance, most companies limit their rentals to those over the age of 21, with people aged between 21 and 24 required to pay a surcharge (due to the increased likelihood of an incident). Likewise, those over the age of 75 might face a surcharge for the same reason.

Car Rental Insurance

As mentioned above, if you have a US credit card, it’s possible you already have CDW insurance for rental car coverage and don’t know it! It’s worth it to check your documentation and call your credit card to find out. It’s even worth considering signing up to a new credit card that does offer this.

Bringing me to my next point – credit cards with primary rental insurance. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is my favorite travel credit card for many reasons, but the primary rental insurance is one of its best perks (including Priority Pass membership). When you put your car hire on your Chase Sapphire Reserve card you get primary rental car coverage around the world up to $75,000.

That works out great for us since we are nomadic and don’t have a car or home. Car rental companies in Scotland and around the world love to scare customers and upsell all their insurance packages. You need to make sure if you need it or not before falling victim to their trap. Call your credit card company and always find out before you get to Ireland.

If you don’t have a credit card that covers rental car insurance, it may be worth adding it on to your package. That way if there is an accident you won’t be stuck paying for a car hire out of pocket.

The cost of renting a car in Scotland

It’s now so easy to compare rental car prices online, you’ll find most of the big rental car companies have rates that end up being pretty close to one another; they keep an eye on the competitor’s prices, so they remain competitive themselves. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do a little shopping around.

Be careful when looking online, as rental companies have the tendency to use tricks to make prices look lower than they actually are. The main way they do this is by using a ‘from’ price, with the actual amount you’ll pay only revealed when you’re further into the booking process and they reckon you won’t bother giving up and going elsewhere. Another trick they have is to show the price excluding tax, which means you’ll have something in the region of a further 20% to add to the headline price on show.

Needless to say, the cost of a smaller car will be lower than renting a larger one. The fewer add-ons (extra drivers, GPS, etc.) you require, the cheaper it will be too. We talk more about this later in this article.

We traveled around Scotland for two weeks and paid about $300 for a car rental in Scotland, which was a pretty decent deal in my opinion! I generally like to check comparison sites so I can get the best prices. My favorites to look at are:

  • RentalCars.com: Provides comparisons for car rentals in Scotland.
  • AutoEurope: I can often find deals here for car rentals in Europe.

Rental CarsAutoEurope Booking a rental car in Scotland

These days, it’s really easy to book a rental car in Scotland before you arrive in the country. We think the benefits of doing this are huge. Not only are you ‘guaranteed’ the vehicle you’ve opted for, reducing stress levels, but you’ll be charged less for renting that same vehicle simply because you’ve pre-booked. Walking up and trying to book a car is one of the worst things you can do for your wallet.

If, for whatever reason, you are unable to pre-book, don’t worry! Rental agencies rarely run out of vehicles (and if they do, you can just pop next door to a competitor). However, it might mean there’s less choice – something worth bearing in mind if you have specific requirements, such as an automatic. You’ll also be charged a higher rate for exactly the same vehicle, and you’ll end up spending more time at the desk of the rental company rather than enjoying the start of your vacation. I always warn people to book at least 24 hours in advance for a car rental. You can see all my additional tips on renting a car abroad here.

Expect a hold charge on your credit card for your car hire

Every single one of our forty or so rental cars has put a hold on our credit card for the rental period. Holds can range anywhere from a few hundred bucks to $1000+ in some countries. The “excess charge” as it is called is typically stated in your reservation details, but it is easy to miss.

We are aware that they must put this hold on our card, but it can be a huge shocker if you are unsuspecting and end up over your credit limit on your credit card. These excess charges are for scenarios where you disappear with the car and are never seen again, or get in a crash and refuse to pay. Stuff like that.

Where to pick up your rental car in Scotland

If you’re flying straight into Scotland on a direct flight (rather than crossing the border overland from England, for example) the best place to pick up your rental car is at the airport.

Both Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports (those with direct flights from the US to Scotland) have good rental car facilities, with all the main companies represented. This is by far the best place to pick up your vehicle because it saves you the time and expense of having to get into the city center without your own transport (and probably some heavy luggage too). Even if there is an airport surcharge from the rental agency, I still generally find it worth it to rent from there.

However, should you need them (such as if you’ve traveled up from London by the Caledonian Express sleeper train), most of the main rental car companies also have offices in the city centers.

These city center offices are also a good option if you want to explore Scotland on a self-drive vacation before continuing your tour of the UK (Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland) by other means. Just be aware that picking up your vehicle from one location and dropping it off at another (even in the same city) will likely end up costing you more.

Choosing the right rental car in Scotland for you Size

You’re going to want to opt for a smaller car when renting a car in Scotland. Why’s that? For one thing, depending on where you’ll be coming from you could be driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road – on the left-hand side of the road rather than the right, like in North America. That means the steering wheel is on the other side of the vehicle to what you may be used to, with the gear shift (in manual transmission vehicles) and parking brake on the opposite side to you as well.

So, the smaller the vehicle you have to control the better! That said, the pedals are in the same order as in the US, with the clutch on the left (for manual vehicles), foot brake in the middle, and gas pedal on the right.

The second reason to choose a smaller car when driving in Scotland as a visitor is because some of Scotland’s roads are pretty narrow! Away from the highways (called motorways and denoted by an ‘M’ designation) you’ll be surprised how quickly roads become rural, meaning a smaller vehicle is definitely better.

In some places (such as some of Scotland’s many islands and the North Coast 500 route), routes even narrow down to a single lane for both directions of traffic. In this case, you’ll find ‘passing places’ in which to pass each other.

Style

Another thing you should consider when deciding on what rental car type to opt for is how many people and how much luggage you’ll have. Nippy two-door cars are great for getting about (and really easy to park) but don’t offer much leg room in the back if those seats are going to be used, and obviously also have less space in the trunk (called the boot in Scotland) for luggage.

Transmission Type

Finally, you’ll have the option of a manual or automatic transmission vehicle. Manuals are by far the most common vehicles driven in Scotland, which means you’ll have a more extensive choice if you’re happy to drive one.

They also tend to be slighter cheaper to rent as a result. However, if you’re not happy driving a manual transmission and shifting gears yourself, automatics are available too. Just make sure you make this preference absolutely clear when booking.

Fuel choices in Scotland

Fuel choice shouldn’t be a significant factor in deciding what vehicle to rent in Scotland. Unlike in the US, diesel is just as easy to find as gas (called petrol). All gas stations (petrol stations) sell diesel as well as gas.

You’ll find prices between the two pretty similar as well (and a lot more than what you’ll pay in the US). At the time of writing it’s about £1.28/liter.  So, unless you’re going to be driving vast distances (when a diesel vehicle becomes a little more economical, but something that is pretty difficult to do in Scotland in any case) there’s no real reason to choose one over the other.

At gas stations, gas is denoted by green pump handles. All gas in Scotland is now unleaded, meaning one less thing to worry about. Diesel is indicated by black pump handles. In cities and on the highways, gas stations are pretty easy to find and look similar to those in the US. You’ll pay more for the same amount of fuel at a highway gas station than elsewhere. The more rural your journey becomes, the harder it will be to find a gas station, so fill up when you see one.

Both gas and diesel are sold by the liter, and gas stations are generally self-service. Simply pull up beside a pump and begin filling up your vehicle to the approximate cost/volume you require (there’s no automatic cut-off). Payment comes afterward. To pay, you’ll need to pop into the on-site shop (they also sell snacks and drinks) and tell the cashier the pump number. You can pay by credit card, debit card, or cash (British pounds sterling only).

If you don’t return your rental vehicle with a full tank of fuel or where it was given to you at, you will be charged to fill it up. Rental car companies charge a premium to fill up the tank for you which makes it well worth stopping off at a gas station before returning it.

Opt for navigation

GPS is brilliant for when you’re driving along unknown roads, there’s no doubt about it in our opinion. Having a GPS kit (generally referred to as Satellite Navigation or SatNav) focus on the navigation means you can concentrate on driving without having to read every road sign you pass.

Navigation systems are also useful because they can provide alternative routes, should they be needed, to take you around congestion hotspots. The most modern versions will give you some indication of the road’s speed limit too – measured in miles per hour just like in the US.

That’s not to say you need to get the GPS add-on with a rental car. If you have a cell phone with a local SIM contract, you’ll be able to access the data network, which means you can use smartphone navigation apps such as Google Maps.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a local SIM contract and don’t want to spend lots of cash on international roaming, you can download a Google Map to your phone when you are in WiFi. If you forget to do this, Edinburgh Airport has free (albeit slow) WiFi to download a map of Scotland to your phone, but make sure you have free space on your phone!

It is not permitted to use a cell phone when driving in Scotland to make calls or send/receive SMS text messages. You can use your smartphone for navigation purposes, but it must be hands-free only (such as safely stowed on the windscreen), and you must not program navigation while the vehicle’s engine is running. I recommend getting a phone holder for your car dashboard for your travels.

Accept the offer to be shown around the rental car

Often, the rental car agent will ask if you’d like them to show you around the vehicle or whether you’re happy to do it yourself. Always accept the offer of being shown around the vehicle, even if you feel a little silly doing so.

The agent will generally start with the outside of the vehicle, pointing out any bumps or scratches that already exist, make sure all the damages are noted. This will also assure you of the roadworthiness of the vehicle.

On the inside of the vehicle, make sure that before you leave the parking bay, you know how to operate the headlights, indicator lights, and hazard lights. You should also know the location of the windscreen wipers (an absolute must in Scotland), as well as the horn. Make sure you know how to alter the position of the driver’s seat, how the parking brake works (is it a traditional manual one you pull up, or a newer electronic one), and how to engage reverse gear (which often requires you to push a button of some sort first). They will also help you set up the GPS if you’ve opted for one.

Remember that if you’re not happy with anything you see, you should insist on an alternative vehicle. If you find cigarette burns, broken mirrors, or windshield cracks these need to be noted before you leave the parking lot. Otherwise, you could be charged for the damages once you return the rental.

Distances and speeds in Scotland

Distances and speeds are measured in miles, just like in the US. The speed limit is usually signposted on each new stretch of road or change in speed. Look out for round white signs with a red edge and a number in the center.

If in doubt about the speed of a particular stretch of road, you can use the following basic rules: motorways – the Scottish equivalent of highways – are denoted by an M. For instance, the M8 runs between Edinburgh and Glasgow. All motorways have a maximum speed limit of 70 mph, although over-road signage may reduce this given traffic or weather conditions. They are colored blue on maps and road signs.

The same speed limit is in force for dual carriageways (mini two-lane highways). Outside of built-up areas, the speed limit is generally 50 mph, while in more urban areas (anywhere with street lighting), the maximum speed is typically 30 mph – although around schools it can be as low as 20 mph.

Some rural roads may be single lane (and roads tend to be quite narrow compared to those in the US in any case). There will generally be passing places that allow cars to pull aside to allow vehicles coming in the opposite direction to pass. (Speaking of which, don’t park in passing places – only ever use dedicated parking spaces.)

Speed limits are limits, not targets; only drive as fast as feels safe. Try not to worry if locals who know the roads better than you pass you at a safe place on the road.

Forget any worries you had about renting a car in Scotland! We’ve given you the lowdown on everything you need to help you have an amazing self-drive vacation in the home of Braveheart’s William Wallace, the Queen’s castles in Edinburgh and Balmoral, and the Loch Ness monster!

What to Pack for Scotland Rain Jacket

It should go without saying that the weather in Scotland can be a bit rainy, this is the most important item in your suitcase. You have two options for style of rain jackets. The first one we recommend is a classic outdoor rain jacket that is a solid choice for outdoor adventurers. The second option being a trench coat for those looking to maintain style while dodging puddles. One of the best raincoats for travel is the North Face Resolve.

Sweater

The fleece sweater is a perfect layer when combined with an outer shell to keep you warm. We purchased wool sweaters from independent retailers in Scotland, and good ones were fairly easy to find for a decent price. For those with less time a little bit of online shopping for wool sweaters will suffice. Start here! Hiking Pants

Technical pants like these are water resistant and dry quickly, not to mention they’re comfortable on long walks. These pants can be pretty ugly, but if you’re serious about exploring and hiking in Scotland I would suggest picking up a pair.

Women’s| Men’s Boots

It’s wet in Scotland and you can expect a lot of boggy weather year round so packing a pair of good waterproof boots for hikes is crucial for protecting your feet. Good Boots or hiking shoes for Scotland are essential.

Women’s|

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