State of the Savage: May 2016

May 25, 2016 by Keith Savage
The Antibes coast, Côte d'Azur, France

A few days ago I woke up at the crack of dawn unaided, drove to Chicago, boarded a plane to Dublin, spent the better part of a morning in Dublin’s terminal 2, made a turbulent jaunt to Nice, and managed to take approximately 15 wrong turns through the Côte d’Azur hills before arriving to Golfe-Juan outside Cannes. Gone were the blooming oaks and fields of trilliums around Madison. Now I walked along Golfe-Juan’s vieux port beneath palms jostled by a fractious Mediterranean wind.

Twenty-six hours to spin the globe. My head is still spinning. Modern travel is such a complex experience, and I doubt it will ever get better or worse than this… Read more...

Know Before You Go: Packing for Scotland

May 18, 2016 by Keith Savage
A packing list for Scotland

Once upon a time I wrote a post about what I packed for five weeks in Argentina. As you will see over the course of this post, while individual items have changed, my overarching philosophy has remained the same: Travel light and check no bags. It might seem like this can be tricky when Scotland, which has a much cooler climate than Argentina, is the destination, but I’ve done it for the past five years and soon you will too.

First, let’s talk about Scotland’s weather. You’ve probably heard it rains everyday — sometimes with sleet that pelts down from low clouds — and that the wind will blow a car clean off the cliff tops if you anger the old gods. Read more...

Know Before You Go: Voltage & Adapters in Scotland

May 11, 2016 by Keith Savage
Understanding which adapters to take to Scotland

In the last month I’ve written a couple of posts aimed at preparing first-time travelers to Scotland for a wonderful trip. I’ve tackled Scotland’s incredible right-to-roam policy and renting a car, and today I continue this so-called “Know Before You Go” series with another practical topic: Voltage, adapters, and things electrical. This is far from the sexiest thing to write about, but, since I can’t seem to travel without lugging around at least four devices, getting it wrong hurts.

There are two main areas you need to consider when ensuring your devices will work in other countries: Voltage and outlet adapters… Read more...

Planning a Trip to Scotland, Part 0

May 4, 2016 by Keith Savage
The clock is ticking on your travel planning.

Five years ago I wrote a quartet of Planning a Trip to Scotland posts. These articles have garnered more popularity than anything else I’ve written here on Traveling Savage, and it’s no surprise why. They brim with practical advice that applies to just about anyone planning their own trip to Scotland. I created them because it was exactly the kind of information I would look for (and do when going to other countries), and I figured others would find it useful. Who knew it would resonant so well, or that it would lead me to provide face-to-face trip-planning services?

I started offering those services two years ago this month… Read more...

Know Before You Go: Renting a Car in Scotland

April 27, 2016 by Keith Savage
A rental car in Shetland

At this point in my travels, driving is my favorite activity in Scotland. Nothing beats the feeling of the open road, of exploring tiny farm tracks winding through glens and along windswept beaches to far-flung ruins. Having the opportunity to pull over and appreciate a breath-taking view for as long as you want is priceless. Traveling by car slows down trips, opens them up to serendipity, and allows you to move where you want, when you want.

Intrigued by a sign? Follow it. Curious where that tiny gravel road leads? Follow it. Intent on exploring the coast? Follow it. These are things you simply cannot do without a car. Read more...