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...

Planning My Trip to Northern Scotland

April 20, 2016 by Keith Savage
The wilderness near Bonar Bridge

I’ve been thinking about this trip for a long time. The northwest highlands, an area some Scots consider to be the “true” highlands, stretch north of the beaten path running from Inverness to Skye. This is an achingly beautiful stretch of wilderness, and I’ve only scratched the surface of what this region has to offer. The reason? The farther you get from the heart of Scotland the more your trip must revolve around those distant destinations. For example, it doesn’t make sense to stop in Wester Ross when the rest of your trip is east of Loch Ness. That’s not an effective use of time and time is the primary currency when we’re talking about vacation.

Finally, now I am directing my full attention to the north. Read more...

Know Before You Go: Scotland’s Right to Roam

April 13, 2016 by Keith Savage
Roaming across Rannoch Moor

In the dear old United States on the edge of any wild area you’re more likely to see a ‘NO TRESPASSING’ sign than a trail head welcoming you to explore. Drive down country lanes from Appalachia to the Rockies and the enduring memory might just be the parade of blaze orange signs nailed onto trees every few miles. It’s an unfortunate shroud to wrap our beautiful places in, a consequence of our litigious society and overblown fears of liability and the ill intentions of our neighbors. There are literally reams of arcane law codes defining the consequences of trespassing for each state, from misdemeanors and felonies to fines and imprisonment. My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I write. Read more...

State of the Savage: March 2016

March 30, 2016 by Keith Savage
Deep in the mists of Glencoe

The new year has come, winter is fading, and another trip to Scotland looms in just a couple of months. I seem to always plan trips for April/May/June, and so I’m forced into overdrive to finish my projects on time. Going overseas for several weeks is a convenient deadline, and this has been especially true the last four years while working on my novel.

This year is no different.

Before I head off to France and Scotland, my novel will be in the hands of alpha readers. People other than me and Sarah will be reading it… Read more...