February 2011

If you’ve been following this series, you’ve got a good idea of where you want to go in Scotland, when you’re going, and how much time you want to spend. This fourth piece – how much the trip will cost – is often the linchpin in these plans.

I’m just going to lay my cards on the table now: the United Kingdom is not the most cost-effective destination. The Sterling Pound is one of the most valuable currencies in the world, which means your dollars and cents will need some buddies to make up the difference in costs (at the time of writing, $1=£0.62).

But this is no excuse to gnash your teeth, curse the heavens, and scrap your plans. Read more...

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Travel as the Crow Flies

This Wisconsin winter has had its moments: bone-shattering cold, neck-deep snows, weeks without sun, and then 50-degree thaws like a crack of summer light lancing into inert, frigid dark. Just enough warmth to keep the joints moving.

It’s an apt comparison for my state of mind since returning from Argentina. Perhaps throwing myself into the unknown just as the northern USA entered the meteorological equivalent of a blackhole wasn’t the best timing. I’m reminded of that moment when I flung myself out of the Cessna at 11,000 feet – confronted with such an alien feeling, I blacked out. My tandem instructor and I rolled through thin air… Read more...

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Trackpacking: Mogwai

by Keith Savage


This month’s Trackpacking post marks the one year anniversary of this series (have a look at previous Trackpacking posts)! It seems only fitting that I tackle a Scottish band just days before I head off to Scotland. Far from any similarity to the fuzzy little critters in Gremlins, Mogwai are a five-piece clan of axe-shredders bent on dazzling you with melodious interludes prior to annihilating your ears with riffs so heavy they emit their own g-forces.

Here’s a business idea: Mogwai should ship their albums with a set of ear plugs; at their live shows, they’re a prerequisite as important as your ID, I kid you not. Read more...

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It’s all starting to come together now. Over the last two weeks I’ve provided information and recommendations on the right time to go to Scotland and where to spend that time. Today I’m just going to talk about time – as in how much is ideal for your trip to Scotland.

While Scotland is on the small side in terms of land mass, the country is incredibly dense with vistas, historical landmarks, and vibrant villages. It’s important to accept the fact that you cannot see it all in one trip or even ten. Attempts to cram everything into your trip will be frustrating and unfulfilling.

First, let’s look at some common trip lengths. Then I’ll provide my recommendation on the ideal trip length! Read more...

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Lara Dunston in Puglia

Today’s post offers a peek into the future of the shifting travel writing industry. A couple of months ago I read an article on Travel Blather that cast light on the inner workings of the GranTourismo project: a year long grand tour of the world coordinated in partnership with HomeAway Holiday-Rentals. Not only did it inspire me to contact Lara Dunston, half of the duo behind GranTourismo, for more information, it also compelled me to reach out to HomeAway Holiday-Rentals on behalf of Traveling Savage.

Lara kindly agreed to answer some nuts and bolts questions about the process of setting up GranTourismo. Aspiring travel writers will find her responses candid and immensely helpful. Read more...

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