I'm 18 and in the end of July - beginning of Auguest I will be traveling with 3 friends to Scotland for two weeks. The most expensive thing though is the flight wich will cost us near $1100 per person. Someone suggested to me to fly to a "cheaper" part of Europe and take Ryanair to scotland. So my question is, where to fly to for a cheap fare?
Any help (including help about how to travel in scotland) would be greatly appriciated.
I'm guessing you're from the US. Usually London is a good pick to fly to for the cheapest fares. Be careful with the Ryanair flights though. For starters, often the flights use out of the way airports, which means extra costs getting to and from them. Also, they seem to be rather strict (and sneaky) about excess baggage. And don't forget to take into account taxes. Often, adding on a short trip through the same airline you've gone to Europe with is still the best way.
If you want to travel cheap in Europe, don't spend any time in the UK and move straight on to Eastern Europe, where your money will last 3-4 times as long. Either that, or you'll be 3-4 times as drunk and still spend the same amount of money
July is a high season - and there are no cheap flights to any part of Europe. See traveljoungle.us for fares.
There are even direct flights to Glasgow - but London might be cheaper and take a bus to Scotland for some 20 pounds.
Another option are charter flights - speak to a travel agent.
Some ideas to think of when planning your trip: -
Airline costs vary so much, on line searching takes time but can be better that some travel agents, try www.virgin-atlantic.com they do "no frills" flights and you pay for food or take your own etc.
A backpack is preferable to a suitcase and rolling clothes keeps the reasonably wrinkle free.
For accommodation while on the move check out the Youth Hostel Association accommodation they have a booking forward system where you can book on to the next hostel that you are travelling to, even in high summer this seems to work well. http://www.yha.org.uk
Food, well it's different wherever you go, just like at home, read the menu, ask for an explanation if you want to know more before you order, we all do wherever we travel. Many of the Chinese, Indian, Thai, Greek, Italian and restaurants from other countries serve up their own special dishes that can be worth trying, in the US many of these restaurants have changed their recipes to suit the American palate, and here you are likely to taste the food as close to their home cooking as possible.
Few English pubs now serve warm, room temperature beer, mostly beers and lagers are chilled, ask if you are in doubt, and be aware of the alcohol content. Always keep your drink in clear sight in a pub or night club, there is a small risk of someone spiking your drinks and then you loose your wallet and all its contents, or worse.
The Lake District of England is on the way to Scotland and is a very attractive area with hostel one easy day walk in any direction
For tours in Scotland that are easily I will give you the web addresses and you can have fun looking them up: -
Coach Travel is by National Express coaches http://www.nationalexpress.com
About London, there is so much to see and do; as a guide to sight seeing in London see
A very cheap hostel right in the tourist west end of London easy to get to is on http://www.piccadillybackpackers.com
One thing that you can do is take a trip on a open topped bus round London, you get a hop-on, hop-off ticket and you can get off, go visit a place of interest and then get on another bus and do this all day, the ticket is for 24 hours, included is a short trip down the river.
We have a new travellers planning guide for the UK that might help you plan how to get from one place to another and what transport to use to do that, see http://www.traveline.org.uk
I hope this helps you have fun planning your visit, please contact me if you want more help.
I live near Edinburgh and work in tourism. I am sorry that this is not too detailed a post but I am off on holiday myself in a few hours.
Firstly I would recommend that you get your accommodation booked quickly, especially in Edinburgh as the festivals held there make accommodation at a premium in August. You can usally get B&B starting at about £25.00 per person per night just outside Edinburgh. There are also several backpackers hostels but they are not much cheaper. www.edingurgh.org is the local tourism website and www.visitscotland.com is the national one. Do not book through them as they charge the establishments 10% which may be added to the price quoted. If you look at the details of the establishment you will eventually find the direct contact details on the second page. If you are camping or visiting the Highlands, bring or buy a good insect repellant, the midges here are lethal in the Summer especially in the West.
You might get a good deal on fares flying to Amsterdam and then onto Edinburgh with easyjet or ryanair. Ryanair does more flights to Prestwick in Ayrshire which is about 1 hour from Glasgow.
Hope this has been some help.
Hi Jordan - I sent you a message with weblinks etc. for useful sites - forgot to mention Haggis so i'm glad Bob did!! You can also check out the various areas within Scotland by browsing a new site www.ipoint.co.uk - it's really helpful and they have touch screens in many places throughout Scotland so you can use it for free while you're travelling around - the website tells you where they're located! The site gives you local attractions etc. in all the main places in Scotland. have a great time planning your trip - and like Eve said before - do not use the booking service of the Tourist Board - they also charge YOU a booking fee on top of the 10% they take from the accommodation provider!! Having said that, if you're on a tight budget I would recommend sticking to the backpacking places - try www.tripadvisor.com for genuine reviews - Dun Caan Hostel is on there for Skye - the one I mentionned in my message! You can find reviews for all accommodation types and all sorts of attractions etc. all over Scotland - infact the world really - it is an excellent site wherever you plan travelling to!!
visit www.statravel.com , they offer low priced flights for young people & students. $1100 is far to expensive and makes me laugh when I consider that you can get flights from Los Angeles to London for $490.
There should be even cheaper ones. Conversely, there are flights for less than $300 on the german statravel site from Frankfurt to New York or Miami.
Hi there - just me again - forgot another excellent website - covers the whole of Scotland in detail and accuracy - with lots of great weblinks and photos!!!!
Thanks for all the info...it will help a lot.
I forgot to mention that I have been to Europe once before. I went to england and Scotland for 10 days during march of 2004 and had a great time. The thing I did not like about that was that we were traveling with 50 people and we couldnt do a lot that we wanted to. So this is the reason for traveling with only a few people now. I plan to be extra careful, especcaly in NOT looking like a tourist (though it may be hard because I will be carrying my backpack with everything in it most places that I go). We have all decided to take 1 backpack each with all of our belongings and we also decided we would like to camp for a few nights in the highlands. Info on that would be good to. I have heard that you can pretty much camp where you want as long as you have the land owners consent. I dont know what to expect exactally though because it will probably be different than camping in the USA. Thanks for all the help and any more would be great.
Take a look at the bigger airports. Amsterdam Schiphol, London Heathrow, Frankfurt, THe more airline carriers fly on to an airport the cheaper the rates get. If you fly onto another airport and take Ryan Air, Easyjet etc to your location be sure that your luggage is not overweight. Because if it is you pay lots more Good luck