In a little more than a month, I will jet off to Scotland with my good friend Lisa for a two-week tour that will take us from Edinburgh to the Highlands, to the Isle of Skye, to Glasgow. Now, I’m not a scotch or golf aficionado – two of Scotland’s typical draws. If not for Lisa, I would skip the requisite distillery tour altogether, and we will probably forgo a visit to St. Andrews. Blasphemy – I know. Instead, we plan on seeing some of Scotland’s most beautiful natural regions, famous castles, and a couple major historical sites (the inevitable result of being an longtime Outlander fan).
Here is a map of our itinerary:
We fly into Edinburgh Monday morning, where we will spend three days getting to know Scotland’s historic capital. On Thursday morning, we will head north and east to check out the famous Fife coastal walk. On Friday, we will continue north towards Inverness, allotting time for a scotch tour and a visit to Scotland’s most famous battlefield, Culloden. We will spend Saturday relaxing in Inverness and Sunday driving around the Loch Ness region. On Monday, we will head west to the Isle of Skye with a couple of stops along the way. We will spend the next day checking out (read: photographing) Skye’s stunning natural wonders. On Wednesday, we will head south towards Glasgow, completing our circle of Scotland. We’ll spend Thursday getting a taste of Scotland’s largest city and fly home Friday morning.
As usual, I insisted on using my points and miles to pay for as much of the trip as possible. Here is how I did it.
- Economy flight from DCA-EWR-EDI: 30,000 United miles + $5.60
- Three nights at the Radisson Blu Edinburgh: 100,000 Club Carlson points for two nights and a free third night
- Car rental for one week: $397.74 (split among two people)
- One night at the Hilton Double Tree in Dundee: 8,000 Hilton points + $41.74
- Three nights at the Holiday Inn Express in Inverness: Two nights for 60,000 IHG points and one free night thanks to my IHG credit card (this is the only points hotel in Inverness)
- Two nights at the Bosville Hotel in the Isle of Skye: $473.25 split among two people (there are no points hotels on the island and the hotels are rather expensive)
- Two nights at the Radisson Blu Glasgow: 44,000 Club Carlson points for the first night and a free second night
- Economy flight from GLA – PHL: 30,000 American Airlines miles + $146.20 (I still have to get from Philadelphia to Washington D.C.)
My out-of-pocket cost: $608.16
Needless to say, I am super excited. Lisa and I haven’t traveled together since last summer’s Peru trip, and we are desperately in need of some recharging girl time. I know we will have a blast.
In the meantime, I will listen to this song over and over again: