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Cost in Scotland..Would you mind sharing how much your trips was?

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Nov 5th, 2011, 11:45 AM
  #1
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Cost in Scotland..Would you mind sharing how much your trips was?

I (along with all of your awesome responses and help) am planning a trip for me and my hubby to go to Scotland for 12 days (plan on flying in and out of Edinburgh) mid May. We will be self-driving and plan on a trip which will basically take us counterclockwise to Skye and back around through the Boarders back to Edinburgh. We are pretty frugal people, happy to stay in inexpensive places and could honestly care less about gourmet dining. I was hoping some of you might share the costs you incurred when all was said and done with your trips. I realize there are so many different scenarios (number of days, hotels, eating) but would love an idea of what you experienced. My biggest curiosities are the realization (or shock) of the pound vs the American dollar and gas. We will be covering a lot of ground and I want to make sure this trip is doable and realistic. I will mention, in all, I am hoping to keep the trip at no more than around $8,000 (for everything...flight, car, gas, lodging, food, fees, etc.)
Thank you for any information you can provide
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Nov 5th, 2011, 11:48 AM
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p.s..we are flying out of St. Louis MO and have not chosen our flight yet Thanks!
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Nov 5th, 2011, 11:59 AM
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$8000....? That's about £6000 which is a MASSIVE amount of money to cover a 12 day trip to Scotland even including your flights (unless you plan to fly business class). B&B's cost around £65 a night, car hire will be about £25 a day if you shop around. Petrol is pricey by the standards you're used to, about 15p a mile (which means an 800 mile jaunt around Scotland would cost £120. Meals out in restaurants of course vary according to where you go, but it's perfectly feasible to get by on under £100 per day total for lunch, dinner and refreshments in mid range places. Admission charges for tourist attractions are in the range £5-15 per person.

I reckon you could do the whole trip for much less than $8000.
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Nov 5th, 2011, 12:13 PM
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wow, I agree, that is a massive amount of money for a 12 day trip, I've never spent even close to that. Okay, let's say your airfare is around $1000 per person, let's say even $1500 given last year's fares were high and you will be in the Midwest (although May fares are not always the highest)-- that still leaves $5000 for other things for 12 days, or at least $400 a day in spending costs for accommodations, food and the car. And you say you are happy with the cheapest places and nothing special in the food category. I haven't been to Scotland in at least 10 years so don't think my experiences are that relevant, but I don't see how that budget could be a problem. I'd never go anywhere if I had to spend that kind of money to go to Europe for 12 days.
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Nov 5th, 2011, 12:43 PM
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Our rule of thumb over the past thirty years has been to expect to pay in pounds what a similar trip would cost at home in dollars. A luxury trip will cost more, a more frugal trip will cost less.

Don't confuse this with the cost of staying home because you will be covering mileage, eating all your meals out, and paying admissions to the kinds of places that make the whole trip desirable.

As at home, big cities cost more and small towns cost less. Mid May is a good time to go. May has some of the best weather in the year, school is not yet out, the snow has melted, and it is too early for midges.

One piece of advice: places are much farther apart in Scotland in time than the distances would suggest, and much of Scotland is a lot emptier than you would expect. There are places on maps that sound like towns and are mere crossroads. As a result, you should not pass up food, fuel or lodging in hope that you will find it just down the road.

One more piece of advice: at that time of year I have had good luck finding B&B's locally, either on my own or through the local tourist office. I suspect they are cheaper that way than if you try to book from the US in advance and just as good if you don't require a life-changing overnight experience.

Have a wonderful time! The Scots are wonderful people and the country is gorgeous
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Nov 5th, 2011, 01:47 PM
  #6
 
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My trip report (http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...tland-2007.cfm ) gives prices where I retained the slips. They are 2007 prices. The references to pictures are no longer valid; go to the bottom of the thread for the proper references.
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Nov 5th, 2011, 02:56 PM
  #7
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thanks guys..this is very encouraging. It shows you always have to be so careful about what you read...other blogs and opinions (not from this site) made it sound so expensive for the car rental, the gas and pretty much everything in general. This is great news..thank you!
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Nov 5th, 2011, 03:14 PM
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I second the suggestion to book B&Bs as you go, unless there's somewhere you particularly want to stay. It's a good few years ago, but a friend and I toured around Scotland in August just stopping at the tourist information offices to get them to book a B&B in the next place we were planning to stay, which they did for a small fee, and it didn't take much if anything out of the day. No complaints about any of the places they found for us.
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Nov 5th, 2011, 03:16 PM
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Two years ago I did a 21 day round about of England, Wales, Ireland, N. Ireland, Scotland, and back to London. Total cost all-in for one person was $4,652.12. The pound was about $1.50 and the euro was about $1.30. I used a first class rail pass and buses for transport, stayed in B&Bs, ate mostly in pubs except for some gourmet lunches, and had plenty of ale.
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Nov 5th, 2011, 03:40 PM
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oh and by the way, it's "the Borders" (i.e. bordering England to the south) not "Boarders".
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Nov 5th, 2011, 04:29 PM
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Like others, I think you will do it easily for $8000. The big ticket item is your airfare, which you will pay for in dollars, so shop that now. I refuse to pay more than $1000 US to Europe and haven't for the past three years. I wouldn't wait on this. I just ran you a search on orbitz for a car for 12 days in May and the cheapest was $300 from Dollar with no A/c and manual TM. There are some good local Scottish car rentals that may be less. The pound is 1.60 yesterday, so that leaves you about 300+ a day for expenses after air and car. I always assume every tank of gas will be $60 - Americans are more spoiled for cheap petrol than anything else. A big plus is the big breakfast you will get with every accommodation - will hold you well into the afternoon! One caveat - don't start thinking of costs in dollars rather than pounds when you're there. I watched my husband routinely order a 5 pound dessert every night thinking it was a bit of a treat but not over the top until he realized that was an $8 slice of cake!

Enjoy! Scotland is magical.
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Nov 5th, 2011, 11:01 PM
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First, you'll be hard pressed to blow 8K on that trip considering you're not foodies and not 5-star addicts.

Second, don't believe the hype on stick-shifts. Any carmaker worth its salt makes automatics that are about as efficient (if not AS efficient) as a manual and has for years. If you really want to save on fuel, diesel engine cars will do the trick.

But each tank of gas will be far more than $60 - in the UK, petrol is about $8/gallon or more, which means about $100 for a 16-gallon tank if you refill at the 1/4 remaining mark (e.g., about 12-13 gallons used). Per the Irish AAA based on October 2011 prices, UK petrol is $8.20/gallon at a 1.60 exchange rate.

Third, don't overstuff your itinerary. The Scottish equivalent of a highway has two lanes in each direction. In Dallas, we have city streets with more lanes than that (and so do you in St. Louis). And we don't have random tractors popping out of a farm road and driving in front of traffic at 15 mph, which isn't uncommon in Scotland. So travel times will be way longer than you think.

Fourth, do NOT get a car until the day you leave Edinburgh (if you start out with a few nights there) or dump it when you get to Edinburgh (if you're ending your trip with a few nights there). Don't stay in Leith or some damnable place on a bus line to town, stay in central Edinburgh. The city isn't that big, but the traffic bites and staying outside of the center just makes life inconvenient. And you don't want the car while you're in Edinburgh.
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Nov 5th, 2011, 11:29 PM
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No telling what the £ / $ exchange will be then.But in any case you should be able to do that trip for WELL under $8000. The 2nd biggest unknown is airfares of course. But in general outside of Edinburgh you can find nice B&Bs all over Scotland for about £30-£35 ($45-ish to $55-ish) per person per night and sometimes less. And remember that includes a very full (often HUGE) cooked breakfast. It sometimes seems you are paying $5 for the bed and $40 for the breakfast

Petrol will be an expense--but get a stick, and the mileage will definitely surprise you.

Accommodations in Edinburgh will cost more--but you won't have car expenses in the city so it evens out.
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Nov 6th, 2011, 02:59 AM
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Did 3 weeks there last a few years ago for bout half of

what you are talking about.I found carrentals.com the

best way to go but not the cheapest local train seat61.com

can save there... Airfare costs will eat up your budget

we always try to find FF credit card deals we just got a

GREAT one with AA.com got 2 AAdvantage CCs 80000 FF miles

2 free TA flights exxcept for tax.... so that might save.

Good hotel/food savings for us..

betterbidding.com otel.com eurocheapo.com

I loved my last trip got to my ancestral clan home

Blair Castle in the Highlands also Argyle Butte Inverness

the highlights for us...

Happy Planning!
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Nov 6th, 2011, 03:03 AM
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www.castleviewgh.co.uk

good prices great location our fav in Edinburgh an expensive

but pretty city... booking.oom lodontown.com deals on others
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Nov 6th, 2011, 09:02 AM
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qwovadis on Nov 6, 11 at 5:59am
2 free TA flights exxcept for tax.... so that might save.


What is a TA flight? Are the tickets good for international travel?
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Nov 6th, 2011, 09:46 AM
  #17
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guys...thank you so much for your helpful advice! you are really helping me make some important decisions. Much appreciated!
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Nov 6th, 2011, 10:43 AM
  #18
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well, unless I'm looking at the wrong sites it looks as though a round trip ticket is about $1770.00 taxes and fees included. We spent $1400.00 on our tickets to Barcelona this past June and I thought that was high. If anyone has any additional tips when it comes to flights, I'm all ears
p.s..I'm curious about he AA credit card also...I currently have one through capital one but I don't spend enough for it to help us a ton when it comes to travel. We did rack up enough for a $300.00 travel credit on a 2 night hotel stay in Barcelona.
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Nov 6th, 2011, 10:53 AM
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A quick search on Kayak shows mid-May flights for about $880 RT from SFO. If taking an overnight flight, one should be able to get a same day flight connection for Scotland for far less than $800 RT. This itinerary probably would impose an overnight in London for the flight back home.
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Nov 6th, 2011, 11:10 AM
  #20
 
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Besides Michael's good info -- be sure to search for various US departure airports -- AND arrival airports anywhere in the UK. LHR, LGW, MAN, GLA, EDI . . . Logistics once you are on the ground in the UK are generally pretty easy.
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