Need Help Planning Your Trip to Scotland?

by Keith Savage · 129 comments


View of the Stirling valley from the National Wallace Monument

(Update November 1, 2015: I have revised my service offerings. You can read all about them here.)

My first trip to Scotland happened in 2003, when I was 22, and it went down like this. My buddy Tim and I sat in the basement of the Great Dane bar in Madison, Wisconsin as we neared graduation from college. I’d never been to Europe and I had basically no money to pay for a trip, but we decided to go for it during winter break. I borrowed money from my generous older siblings, packed my things, hopped an Aer Lingus flight to Dublin, and promptly got sick. I struggled through a week in Ireland before flying to Edinburgh. Tim and I hung out for a weekend there before he flew back to the States. He had one more semester. I had graduated and had planned a longer jaunt on my own after he left.

I took the train north to Inverness, my congested melon leaning against the window watching the icy countryside pass. For a time Scotland’s natural beauty made me forget my pummeled constitution, but my illness was getting worse, exacerbated by the unexpected pangs of homesickness. By the time I got down to Glasgow I’d swallowed my pride and booked a flight home. The last two weeks of my trip were forever relegated to the “what could have been” limbo.

The trip was not a lost cause; I had fallen in love. As I convalesced at my parents’ house, my thoughts were consumed. Scotland had worked its way into the center of my consciousness. There was so much to see and do, and I had only had the smallest scrap of experience there. I realized that sick or not I was woefully ill-prepared to get the most out of the trip. As the memory of being sick faded, what remained was an intense love for Scotland. I remember thinking, “I wish I’d had someone to help me get the most out of that trip.” If this question is running through your mind about an upcoming trip to Scotland,

I can help.

…said the bearded highlander. In the 11 years since that fateful first trip, I’ve focused on Scotland at the expense of the rest of the world, trading nearly all my vacation days for time on Alba’s shores during the many years at my old corporate job and dedicating my work life to exploring Scotland since leaving it. In all, I’ve spent nearly a year’s worth of time (and counting) ranging across Scotland as an explorer and hunter of fine experiences – but you don’t need me to convince you of that, just have a look at this site or read the testimonials below.

For more information, take a look at my Scotland Trip-Planning Services.


SurajNo Gravatar April 24, 2016 at 9:56 PM

We reached out to Keith for help in planning our family holiday to Scotland in December last year. I knew that going in December would be a challenge due to the limited daylight during Winter, and also potential road closures due to the weather.

Keith gave us some great advice on how to divide our time with the amount of daylight available. He had a good grasp on travel times between destinations and the ideal amount of time to spend in each place. Some of our favourite moments from the trip would not have been possible if not for Keith’s adjustments to our itinerary. He also referred us to a car-hire company that turned out to be excellent in terms of pricing and service.

I’d have no hesitation in utilising Keith’s service again for our next trip to Scotland.

Thanks Keith!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar April 25, 2016 at 8:33 AM

It was a great pleasure to help you plan your trip, Suraj. Thank you for sharing your experience here — it’s a joy to hear how the trip went!

Wishing you all the best,
Keith

AbhishekNo Gravatar October 11, 2015 at 3:35 AM

At the outset, a big thank you to Keith.. My wife and I started planning a trip to Scotland for our anniversary with sole idea of exploring as much natural beauty through our trip as we could. Internet is overloaded with thousands of posts, views and blogs which at times is confusing to take a decision and while reading about Scotland I stumbled upon Keith’s services. I was initially reluctant but with such wonderful reviews I went ahead and paid the initial USD 99 and post that there was no looking back.. Keith’s promptness and understanding of our needs made it an enriching experience to plan a holiday. He guided us on every aspect of the trip. The call made the experience more personal and was a great confidence builder. The follow up email was more than informative with all the requisite links .. Informed traveling has its own merits and Keith’s role is a stepping stone for our 10 day trip. I so wish that there are more people like Keith who can help travelers and indeed have a wonderful experience.. Keep up the good work Keith! Cheers!!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 11, 2015 at 7:28 PM

Thanks for the kind review, Abhishek! I’m happy you found the service a good value. 🙂

AngelaNo Gravatar October 3, 2015 at 1:43 PM

We recently used Keith’s trip-planning service. We were very impressed with his responsiveness and his recommendations. We are a party of 8, ranging from young children to grandparents, so we felt we needed some expertise planning our itinerary. Keith planned alternative itineraries, one using public transportation and one renting cars, and he answered our questions concerning budgeting and accommodations. He was also very pleasant, and we enjoyed our call. All in all, we are very grateful to Keith for his guidance!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 3, 2015 at 2:29 PM

It was a pleasure to chat with you, Angela!

Susan DukesNo Gravatar September 20, 2015 at 12:07 PM

While I have traveled a fair amount, I’ve never put together our itinerary or its timing . In planning our trip to Scotland, I was a bit paralyzed trying to figure out how to best spend our time. It was preventing me from making our bookings for lodging. Impulsively, I paid the $99 for Keith’s help and it was money well-spent. He contacted me very quickly and after our hour Skype conversation, my path was so much clearer. Immediately, the next day I began. Our trip isn’t until May 2016 and time won’t pass quickly enough for me, but our trip outline is set: the “base locations” and the days in each, our chosen lodging, rental car and we even found our “deal” on airfare. Only 230 days to go and time to investigate possible activities! Thanks, Keith for your conversation, recommendations, both on Skype and in the follow-up e-mails. Not least, I appreciate your figuratively holding my hand to reassure me that ‘I’ve got this!”

Keith SavageNo Gravatar September 20, 2015 at 4:36 PM

You’re too nice, Susan. I’m happy to hear your paralysis has turned to excitement – Scotland is exciting! Can’t wait to hear about your trip.

HeatherNo Gravatar September 15, 2015 at 5:37 PM

I found Keith thru my research for planning a trip to Scotland. I have no idea what I’m doing as I’ve never been to Europe. After reading the reviews on Keith I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did and it was well worth the small fee. Keith was so fast getting back to me and getting my recommendations in order. Our skype call was great, Keith is very well informed and answered all my questions. The itinerary he planned is exactly what I was looking for. I would certainly recommend him to my friends and family. I’m so happy with his service. I can’t wait to start booking my trip!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar September 15, 2015 at 6:50 PM

So happy to help you, Heather. Enjoy your first trip to Scotland (and Europe)!

ColeNo Gravatar September 14, 2015 at 5:26 PM

Keith’s advice was invaluable in helping plan out my brief Scotland trip. I contacted him beforehand, worried about the short deadline due to my last minute trip and he responded very quickly and had an excellent itinerary full of great recommendations ready right away! The hour long Skype call was also a great help, he talked through the itinerary answering any questions I had along the way.

If you’re debating whether or not to use Keith’s service, do it right away! For the cost of dinner, you can gain valuable, experienced knowledge and ensure your trip is a success.

Will absolutely be recommending to friends and family.

Thanks Keith!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar September 14, 2015 at 7:01 PM

Have a great trip, Cole, and thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Much appreciated!

Amy FrenchNo Gravatar September 10, 2015 at 12:36 PM

Money well spent! We cannot wait for our trip next summer. We’ve already booked accommodations, and we’ve been reading up on the places we will visit. This is not our first trip abroad, but what a difference. No more stumbling around, trying to figure out what to see and how long to stay in one particular city. We don’t leave for months and I’m already mentally planning a second trip. Thank you for not only making our 15th anniversary something special, but for making it so easy!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar September 10, 2015 at 2:46 PM

It was a pleasure, Amy. Have a fantastic anniversary trip!

Jeanne & TonyNo Gravatar September 3, 2015 at 7:11 AM

We are lucky enough to be planning a three week trip to Scotland in the spring of 2016. Keith’s blog, his personal experiences, assessment of our interests and our Skype phone call with him moved the trip from books, websites, maps and ideas into an actionable itinerary. We were having difficulty with timing and importance – it nice to have someone look at your interests; be they historical, whiskey or nature and say ‘three days here and two days there will be great to see the sights but you don’t want to miss this’.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar September 3, 2015 at 8:19 AM

Hi Jeanne & Tony,

Many thanks for the note. Our call was a good time and the plan we discussed with provide you with an amazing trip to Scotland!

All the best,
Keith

LauraNo Gravatar August 26, 2015 at 9:36 PM

Thank you, Keith, for a great consultation and for basically planning our itinerary. You provide an incredible service and I am just sorry that I spent too many hours trying to figure out what to do in Scotland on my own before stumbling upon your site!

For others – I HIGHLY recommend working with Keith. My husband and I have a trip planned to Scotland in a little over a week, with nothing actually “planned” other than the plane flights. I reached out to Keith last night and in less than 24 hours he has answered my questions, done the research, created a great itinerary for us with options and choices tailored towards our interests, and made the time to have our phone consultation. I have no doubt that our trip will be far better than it could have been without Keith’s help.

Keith, I look forward to updating you once we return, and likely will be in touch with some additional “last minute” questions.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 26, 2015 at 11:34 PM

Hi Laura. I’m happy you found me when you did. You will have a fantastic trip! The call was great and it was my pleasure to help you.

LauraNo Gravatar September 14, 2015 at 3:29 PM

Hi again, Keith! Just wanted to say THANK YOU for all of your recommendations. We are back from Scotland and had a fabulous time. Your suggestions were incredibly helpful and we enjoyed following along many of them, as well as using them as a basis to jump around and try things we found while just exploring. We commented throughout the week about how great it was that we’d found you and how different our trip would have been had we just tried to plan on our own.

To anyone considering working with Keith – I can’t recommend him enough! If you have any hesitation about paying for the service (as I admittedly did, not knowing what I’d get given that I had stumbled across his site late one night while trying to plan my trip without any luck!) there is NO need to worry! If you tell Keith what you’re looking for in Scotland, and your interests, he will work with you to provide some fantastic suggestions. Without his help we would have wasted more time in planning and would have wasted time on our trip doing things that were not nearly as interesting as what Keith recommended. I know we wouldn’t have found Dunnottar Castle, the first place we visited, and it was one of my favorite places and a fantastic way to start our trip. The money is more than well spent in getting Keith’s expert recommendations.

Thanks again, Keith!! Great business and we will happily refer any friends or family to you in the future. And, of course, hope to have the opportunity to work to you again now that we can fully appreciate your love for Scotland!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar September 14, 2015 at 4:44 PM

You are most welcome, Laura, and thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on the service. I couldn’t be happier to hear how wonderful your trip was! Glad I could help.

BridgetNo Gravatar August 23, 2015 at 9:25 PM

Interesting in planning a trip for May 2016 with my husband and our little girl who will be 19 months- do you think you could help us?

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 24, 2015 at 8:39 AM

Hi Bridget,

Yes, of course! I’ve helped many other travelers with kids.

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Keith

AnnNo Gravatar August 10, 2015 at 2:34 PM

We just used Keith’s service to plan a week in Scotland, after we have just cruised around the British Isles, in May 2016. Keith took into account that my father-in-law is 80 years old, we wanted to see two specific sites, and what types of things we were interested in . Within a week, we had our conference call and reviewed Keith’s suggested itinerary. We then received a detailed email with links to specific information.

Keith has always answered questions whenever we have them. Keith suggested places we would never have thought of visiting, but they were such great suggestions we probably will. I highly recommend his service – it saved many hours of time!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 10, 2015 at 2:52 PM

It was a pleasure to help you and your father-in-law, Ann. You’ve got such a great cruise and trip to look forward to!

Nikki DolanNo Gravatar August 9, 2015 at 8:52 PM

My husband and I are planning a trip to Scotland next Sept…..2016. The Highlands are high on the list and do not want to stay in hotels..would love more out of the way historic or just plain old haunts. Could use help.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 10, 2015 at 8:10 AM

Hi Nikki,

I can certainly help. Go ahead and fill out the questionnaire linked above and we can get started!

Tammy WannemacherNo Gravatar August 5, 2015 at 2:57 PM

We just returned from 8 days in Scotland, using the itinerary recommended to us by Keith. I am SO GLAD we went with our gut and reached out to Keith for his help. Planning a trip to Scotland is deceptively difficult. I’ve planned travel without assistance to 5 other European nations – ones where English isn’t even the native language! – and found it less challenging than Scotland. Having Keith look at our interests – which were all over the map, literally and figuratively – and boil it down to something that was achievable made our trip a success. We loved our call with him – we were bouncing off the walls with enthusiasm for the trip afterwards – but having him a quick email away when I was putting together the final details was such a relief. All of his recommendations were excellent. And DEFINITELY do his pub crawls. You won’t be sorry. (Well, maybe you will, but once the headache passes… ) THANK YOU, Keith!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 5, 2015 at 9:52 PM

You are welcome! So glad to have helped you plan your trip, Tammy! Scotland is such an easy place to love.

Rachel D.No Gravatar August 5, 2015 at 1:01 PM

Hi Keith, my husband and I have talked about taking a trip to Scotland and I think we would definitely want to plan it ourselves. However, a real impediment I see at this time is the flight cost. We live in Atlanta so I’d think the flights would be reasonable. But when I search for flights it is upwards of $1,500 per person round trip from ATL to Edinburgh, which doesn’t seem to jive with your Part 4 post. Do you think I’m doing something wrong? Would like to go in April 2016, but I also searched in November 2015 since I figured that would be an ‘off’ time but it’s still ridiculous. Any ideas? Thanks!!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 5, 2015 at 1:44 PM

Hi Rachel,

That post was written in early 2011, hence the lower dollar cost for flights. One of these days I’ll get around to updating it. My last couple of roundtrip flights from Wisconsin to Edinburgh have been between $1000-$1200. I usually start looking for flights four months before my trip. I scour multiple aggregating sites like Kayak, Momondo, Skyscanner, Airfare Watchdog, etc. and set up price alerts as well. You could also check out FlightFox – a couple of my friends started it. It’s a concierge service for finding the best value flights.

Hope this helps,
Keith

Rachel D.No Gravatar August 5, 2015 at 1:53 PM

Thank you so much for your reply! I feel a bit better – I’ve never planned a trip outside of the US so I wasn’t sure if it was just my inexperience. I will use your advice and do my homework. Maybe you’ll hear from me in a few months 🙂

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 5, 2015 at 2:03 PM

Happy to help and look forward to hearing from you!

Rick and TerriNo Gravatar July 27, 2015 at 9:20 PM

We just got off the phone after a really fun visit with Keith. He outlined a trip to the kinds of places we’d mentioned in our initial contact with him, suggested the number of days it would take to truly appreciate them, and upped our enthusiasm — already high — even higher with his descriptions. Keith is personable, listens well, and knows Scotland. Rather than googling PLACES TO SEE IN SCOTLAND, then wandering around hoping we were not missing anything, we will now visit Scotland knowing we’ll be spending time in the places that interest us most — with a bit serendipity thrown in. Thanks, Keith! (AND we might even come home with an appreciation for whisky!)

Keith SavageNo Gravatar July 28, 2015 at 9:56 AM

Thanks for the kind testimonial, Rick and Terri. You’re going to have a fantastic trip to Scotland – I’m just glad to have been part of the planning!

Michael jenkinsNo Gravatar July 18, 2015 at 9:26 AM

Looking for a rough estimate for family of 4- our boys are 17-18– I am guessing 10-day to two weeks is needed for a good trip? And yes if we do this I would use your service

Keith SavageNo Gravatar July 18, 2015 at 6:08 PM

Hi Michael,

Two weeks is ideal for an initial trip to Scotland. That will give you enough time to experience much of what Scotland has to offer, though you won’t see it all. I look forward to helping you plan the trip!

Best,
Keith

Andrea HopkinsNo Gravatar July 13, 2015 at 10:06 PM

Thanks to Keith and his trip planning service, my friends and I are so excited and looking forward to our September trip to Scotland. I found his blog quite by accident trying to research traveling in Scotland. He put together a wonderful itinerary for our stay. There is no way we could have organized this on our own. We knew a few cities we wanted to see but did not know where to start. Our itinerary now includes everything we asked for and additional places we would have missed had we not talked with Keith. We recommend Keith for all your Scotland planning. We enjoyed our skype call this evening. Thanks for all your help!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar July 13, 2015 at 11:12 PM

It was a pleasure Andrea! You will have a fantastic time exploring from your home base. I’d love to hear how the trip goes!

Josh BuchNo Gravatar July 9, 2015 at 8:03 AM

Thanks to Keith we are looking forward to an amazing two weeks in Scotland.
Keith helped us arranged a two weeks detailed trip. I knew I have the two weeks there but was not sure as to what I can cover and accomplish.
Now, after an hour skype conversation with Keith, his follow up detailed e-mail listing what we can and should do in each location, recommended hotels, B&B, restaurants and more, just an amazing service.
Dear Keith, million thanks
josh

Keith SavageNo Gravatar July 9, 2015 at 9:09 AM

Thanks, Josh, for this kind review. So glad I could help you plan your trip to Scotland. And congrats on winning that marathon! 😉

Jayde & JoelNo Gravatar June 28, 2015 at 8:27 PM

Keith helped plan our trip for August 2015 and we are very much looking forward to spending a holiday which is balanced with both relaxation and sightseeing activities. Before engaging Keith, we were people who always tried to pack too much into our holidays but this time we wanted to get it right – travelling 23 hours all the way from Australia and losing out on the pound conversion was already enough stress for us let alone getting the planning & logistics right! We feel confident that Keith listened to what our interests were and planned an itinerary based around both our travel needs – definitely feeling like we’ve got it right this time thanks to some sage consultation. Don’t delay in engaging Keith now to maximise your trip to Scotland 🙂

Keith SavageNo Gravatar June 30, 2015 at 9:28 AM

Hi Jayde and Joel! Glad you guys have traded the stress for excitement. You’re going to have a fantastic trip, and I’m happy to have helped!

Rob BurkhamNo Gravatar May 28, 2015 at 9:20 AM

What a great find Keith Savage is! My wife and I are planning a trip to Scotland this fall and Keith’s website was chock full of great ideas. Even more helpful I think was the consultation we did with him. My wife sent our proposed itinerary to him and he reviewed it before our session and he had many thoughtful and helpful suggestions. Keith clearly loves Scotland and loves sharing his experience with others! Great experience!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar May 28, 2015 at 10:20 AM

It was a pleasure to help you out, Rob. Your itinerary looks great – please share your experiences!

Jennifer KatzenbergerNo Gravatar May 13, 2015 at 1:22 AM

Just a quick question… My husband is an avid Scotch drinker. Is it worth planning a trip around the Spirit of Speyside event or should we go when it’s quieter and not so many people and visit the specific distilleries we want? What would be the biggest bang for our buck. My hubby is outgoing and can talk to any and everyone, but I a bit introverted but enjoy a good event.

Thanks. Love your blog!

Jennifer

Keith SavageNo Gravatar May 13, 2015 at 2:39 AM

It just depends on what you’re looking for. The Spirit of Speyside whisky festival is a great time, but you are beholden to the schedule of events, which fills up very quickly. The distilleries are still open, of course, so you don’t need to go to the festival events, but then why go during the festival? For your first time to the area, I would recommend going at a time other than the festival so you can explore at your own leisure with fewer visitors.

peter southwellNo Gravatar May 3, 2015 at 8:10 PM

Keith,
we are about to (25th May ) depart on our 3.5 month tour of Scotland, if your interested I will send our Itinerary and let you know how we go and your recommendations. Thanks for the advice very useful
cheers peter

Keith SavageNo Gravatar May 4, 2015 at 2:52 AM

Cheers, Peter. Sounds great – looking forward to hearing about your trip!

MarkNo Gravatar April 26, 2015 at 7:39 PM

After much research and planning, we had come up with a decent plan about what we wanted to see in our two-week tour of Scotland. The important missing piece was the pacing of the trip. Questions of how long to be in an area and real travel times loomed large in our minds until I happened on Keith’s site while trying to answer these very questions. True personal recommendations are very reassuring and with Keith’s experience and engaging personality – you soon know he will help you immensely. The entire process was fun and the Skype chat was most reassuring. I was then able to complete all necessary bookings to flesh out our itinerary with confidence. I look forward to sharing out post-trip experiences upon our return. Thanks!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar April 26, 2015 at 8:33 PM

Thanks, Mark. So happy I could help you both plan your special trip to Scotland, and I’m looking forward to tales upon your return.

Cheers!

MarkNo Gravatar July 28, 2015 at 2:12 PM

We have returned from out two-week adventure around Scotland with an emphasis on castles and distilleries (plus a short side-trip to Switzerland) and had a fantastic time. I cannot say enough good things about the Scots. They are a wonderful people with an epic landscape. Keith’s assistance with the pacing of the trip was very helpful for planning out the number of days to spend in each region.

I highly recommend Keith’s service for first-time traveling to Scotland.

Mark

Keith SavageNo Gravatar July 28, 2015 at 3:01 PM

That’s fantastic, Mark! Any favorite distilleries or castles?

MarkNo Gravatar July 28, 2015 at 3:21 PM

Yes! Our favorite castles were Edinburg, Dunvegan, Doune, Stirling and Urquhart. Best distillery tours were Balvenie, Springbank and Laphroaig. Best hikes were Neist Point and Fairy Pools on Skye and Arthur’s seat in Edinburg. I really got a big kick out of recreating the image from Skyfall in Glen Etive – cheesy, yes – but still fun.

LizNo Gravatar April 17, 2015 at 4:01 PM

Just finished a conference call with Keith and am excited to travel his custom made itinerary. I found our conversation very helpful and informative. His answers to my many questions verifies his vast knowledge of the Highlands. My itinerary seems to include all the highlights I asked for and takes me to places I never would have explored. Thanks Keith will get back to you in September!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar April 17, 2015 at 4:50 PM

It was a pleasure, Liz! Can’t wait to hear your tales of beautiful Scottish scenery. 🙂

Deb & Greg WiepzNo Gravatar April 14, 2015 at 11:34 AM

Keith,
We’re so thankful that Greg came across your website on our search of “all things Scotland”! We’ve dreamed of going there for years, but really had no idea of where to begin. We knew that an “all inclusive” tour group was NOT what we were looking for…and we were lucky enough to find you! Your enthusiasm and expertise are invaluable in planning an experience that truly fits the preferences of the traveler. Both of us really appreciated the phone conference…and couldn’t wait to get your list of recommendations for us! The plan you suggested has been our “go to” guide in putting together a vacation we’ll never forget. I also want to thank you so much for your willingness to promptly answer questions as they pop up along the way. Because of you and the valuable service you provide, we’re both feeling much more confident with being “newby” visitors to Scotland. Can’t wait for our trip to unfold in June!
Deb & Greg

Keith SavageNo Gravatar April 14, 2015 at 3:53 PM

It has been a pleasure working with you guys!

Enjoy the trip, Deb & Greg!

Mae and JoeNo Gravatar April 2, 2015 at 12:29 PM

My husband and I went to Scotland for our first time last May. We spent one week in Northern Ireland and another in Scotland, and at the end of our trip we ran out of time and didn’t get to see everything that we wanted. So, we decided to plan a follow up trip to Scotland this year. Although we had already been there once, it quickly became apparent that planning a return trip was even harder than the first time, because we knew all the places we wanted to visit and see the second time around. We just didn’t know where to start or how to divide our time between the different areas. This is where Keith’s trip planning services came in handy.

Keith was able to put together an itinerary that gave us the right amount of time in each location without interrupting other parts of our trip. At each stop along our two week vacation, he offered things to do, see and places to eat. He gave us suggestions that we never would have thought of on our own (like flying to Orkney instead of taking a ferry). During the Skype call, we were mesmerized by his storytelling as he went through the history of each area we planned to visit. What might have turned into a stressful time planning our trip has turned into pure excitement now.

I highly recommend Keith’s expertise to anyone who wants to maximize their trip to Scotland. You will not regret it! We cannot wait until September to have our Savage vacation!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar April 2, 2015 at 3:31 PM

Hi Mae and Joe,

I’m so happy to see this comment. Thank you for sharing it, and I look forward to hearing all the tales of your trip!

Bill and Mimmie ByrneNo Gravatar March 19, 2015 at 7:48 AM

We stumbled onto this website via a Google search in preparation for our first trip to Scotland. We were immediately intrigued by the story of Keith’s first trip to Scotland and checked out some of his articles on Scotland. Being overwhelmed by the number of great places and regions to visit in Scotland we essentially bought the “$99 insurance package” and were not disappointed. Keith’s recommendations were precise and detailed as to the reasons not to miss this or that. He doesn’t make reservations for you as a travel agent would, but then he isn’t getting commissions on the bookings, so his suggestions are born, it seems from his obvious love of this place and his many trips there.
He really tailors the recommendations to individual preferences set forth in the questionnaire and seems to focus on places that one might not find in a standard tour guide. We leave in July and are looking forward to our trip and are now even more excited about the planning of this adventure after our session with Keith….Thanks for a great valuable service.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 19, 2015 at 10:03 AM

Hi Bill and Mimmie,

It was such a pleasure discussing your jaunt to Scotland with you. You are absolutely correct – I get no commissions from any of the places I recommend. My recommendations are driven by what I have found to be excellent experiences that I mesh with your interests. I’m really happy to hear you valued the session.

All this golf talk has me thinking I ought to give it a shot on my next trip! 🙂

KelseyNo Gravatar March 16, 2015 at 9:47 PM

This blog is so awesome! I have been deeply in love with Scotland and visiting it would very much be a dream come true. However, I am an ambitious person, and I was thinking of spending a summer there sometime during college! What’s your advice?

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 17, 2015 at 8:54 AM

Hi Kelsey,

Thanks for the kind words. Well, I think you know what I’m going to say – a summer in Scotland would be amazing! You would have the opportunity to see so much of Scotland’s beauty and dive so deep into the history and culture. It would be an experience you’d never forget. But it would not be cheap. I suggest you read my Planning a Trip to Scotland articles to get started.

Luke BuchananNo Gravatar March 13, 2015 at 9:19 PM

You my friend are a Godsend! Your help has been so invaluable! I do not think I could have planned my vacation without you. You tailored your research to fit my specific wants for my trip. On our call, you painted a vivid picture of the wonders I would see, and turned my level of excitement to an 11! I cannot wait for August to get here! I highly recommend anyone planning a trip to Scotland to seek your help. It’s well worth the price!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 14, 2015 at 8:31 AM

Aw, Luke, so happy I could help. It was a pleasure chatting about Scotland with you. Your trip is going to be amazing!

Bill ByrneNo Gravatar March 12, 2015 at 10:27 PM

Hi Keith:
Your website and service seem like a good way to plan our first trip to Scotland. We are going mid July to take in a bit of the Open Championship and a little golf and getting to know Scotland. Will be there two weeks with one week with another couple. Staying in a house in Kilsyth just north east of Glasgow. Look forward to working with you.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 12, 2015 at 11:28 PM

Hi Bill,

Looking forward to helping you plan!

MartinaNo Gravatar March 7, 2015 at 1:13 PM

Hi 🙂
I must say, really great webside! I was thinking about trip to Scotland this year, searching for information and found your page. It is very useful.
thanks a lot 🙂
Martina

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 7, 2015 at 2:13 PM

Hi Martina,

Thanks for the kind words. Glad you’ve found my site useful.

Cheers,
Keith

Colette and AllanNo Gravatar March 6, 2015 at 10:35 AM

Hi Keith, What an awesome and truly helpful conversation! Your passion and love of Scotland is contagious and we felt like we were already in a pub having a fine chat! You integrated our interests so beautifully. This has taken a lot of the guess work out of how to organize our two weeks in Scotland, though must say I love how you advocate for being open to serendipity and discovery on the journey as well… YES! The areas you recommended for exploration all look superb and now we know where to plant ourselves for days at a time. My sense is growing that this will be a “first” trip to Scotland. Heartfelt thanks, for your significant contribution to supporting travelers and for your appreciation, knowledge and curiosity about this part of the world! We will post on our return, stay tuned.
Best,
Colette and Allan
Park City, Utah

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 6, 2015 at 1:52 PM

Hi Colette and Allan!

I think we really hammered out a great itinerary for you, and I had a wonderful time chatting! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your testimonial here!

All the best,
Keith

Neil/Stella MackeyNo Gravatar February 10, 2015 at 10:43 PM

Latha math…

Whether you have already made a trip to Scotland, or are planning one in the future, I would URGE you to work with Keith on your travel plans! We found him to be extremely helpful, insightful and knowledgeable in all aspects…travel, accommodations, the various regions, etc.

Our upcoming trip, in August, 2015 will be our second…the first, in 2009 was a small guided tour, which was excellent…a week in the Republic of Ireland and a week in Scotland. We learned enough on that trip, and gained enough of a comfort level that on this upcoming trip, a three-weeker, we decided to take the plunge, rent a car, plan our own trip, at our own pace and make a bit of a circuitous route to experience more of Scotland. There’s NO way one can see all of what Scotland has to offer in that short of a time period, but we’re sure we’ll see areas that we can come back to and explore further in the future. (One could put ALL of the UK inside the borders of Oregon where we live…the ninth largest of the U.S. states).

That said, I sent Keith our itinerary. In just a short period of time, he asked for a Skype chat, which we did tonight. It was VERY obvious that he knows his stuff…and that he has a great love for Scotland. I did have some initial concerns that with our original schedule, we might have planned “too much, too quick”. Keith acknowledged that feeling, but instead of simply telling us to “cut this” or “do that”, he made some recommendations to consolidate a few things to where we’ll have a chance to slow the pace down and “stop and smell the roses”…and yet still see most of the areas we had originally planned on.

While it would have been quite easy for him to simply glance over our itinerary and give us a simple “Looks good” rubber stamp, he treated us the same way he would treat someone who didn’t have any travel experience in Scotland, or hadn’t done any pre-planning.

For ALL of these reasons, I would heartily recommend that you work with Keith on your Scotland travel plans…his attention to detail, his knowledge of the regions and his love of the country will serve you well!

Fair winds and following seas…

Neil and Stella Mackey
Bend, Oregon USA

Keith SavageNo Gravatar February 11, 2015 at 9:30 AM

It was a pleasure to analyze your itinerary and chat with you, Neil. You’re going to have an amazing trip. Thank you for sharing your experience here!

Stephanie SchlatterNo Gravatar January 22, 2015 at 8:06 PM

I am sooooo excited that I found this site when searching for Scotland trips. While I’ve been to London, I had no idea where to start trying to figure out how to see Scotland. I contacted Keith about his trip planning assistance and he was so responsive and inquired about what I thought I wanted to see, what my interests are, and what my concerns were. We just finished our Skype chat and if I could leave tomorrow for Scotland, I would! Keith knew exactly what I was asking for – just from my email – and has planned what I know will be a spectacular trip. He took time to tell me about each place he suggested, what was special about it (from art galleries, to castles, to national parks, and historical sites – oh, and of course, sites from Outlander!). I was so nervous about the trip and the planning and after speaking with Keith, I can’t wait to go!

For anyone planning a trip to Scotland, I highly recommend Keith’s planning services! And I’ll certainly share my thoughts when I get back!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar January 22, 2015 at 10:17 PM

I am so glad you found the service helpful, Stephanie! The call was a lot of fun and got me thinking about doing my own Outlander trip to Scotland. You’ll have a great time! Thanks for posting this feedback.

Anastasia BorukhovNo Gravatar January 16, 2015 at 10:18 AM

I am so glad my sister found Keith and convinced me to check out his proposal instead of the already planned itinerary and I am now shuddering at the thought that we might have never found Keith and had our trip planned by someone who understood our hopes and dreams and love for William Wallace. There is no way we would ever have time or means to plan out our trip in a way that would allow us to experience Scotland the way we wanted in the short time we are there. Now I am convinced that what we have planned will get us the experience we were dreaming off. Will check back after our trip and update on how it went.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar January 16, 2015 at 10:55 AM

You and Aleksandra were a lot of fun to trip plan with! Looking forward to hearing how the trip turns out, Anastasia.

Robin deKleine-StimpsonNo Gravatar January 15, 2015 at 12:09 PM

Found this site by accident while planning a trip to Scotland! Keith was so helpful in the beginning with a couple of random questions and his responses were so great and timely, we decided to hire him to help us further. The fee for him to help us plan our trip has been money VERY well spent! We had a great Skype chat (we are no longer Skype virgins) 😉 and Keith really listened to what types of travelers we are which allowed him to offer great suggestions that will totally be our cup of tea. He also offered us additional suggestions that just may very well change the whole scope of our trip for the better! Keith’s passion for Scotland is very evident and his vast knowledge about the many areas of this beautiful country have been very appreciated. If you are planning a trip to Scotland – we highly recommend shelling out and hiring Keith for sure!! We hope to cross paths while in Scotland and buy him a pint (or two)! Cheers! 🙂

Keith SavageNo Gravatar January 16, 2015 at 10:54 AM

Here’s hoping, Robin! I’m very happy to have had the chance to chat with you and Randy. Your trip is going to be fantastic!

Kayt FosslerNo Gravatar November 30, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Oh, now I can take a deep breath. I am planning a trip to Scotland the first two weeks in June,2015 . My 15 year old grandson will be traveling with me. We have gone over where to go and what to do until we could hardly stand it. We need help and this site was a prize to come upon for sure. We want to travel by public transportation and stay at youth hostels, that much we know for sure, but the rest is totally up in the air. I will be getting back to you right after the holidays. Brilliant idea. Thank you, Kieth. I can’t wait to really get down to planning our trip.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar December 1, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Looking forward to helping you, Kayt!

Kayt FosslerNo Gravatar January 16, 2015 at 1:22 PM

Okay the New year has come and gone and it’s time to get down to planning our trip to Scotland. What are the first steps I need to take? My grandson and I have done a lot of talking, now on to the planning phase I hope you can help us with.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar January 16, 2015 at 1:46 PM

Hi Kayt. If you’d like to get started, fill out the questionnaire linked in the post above and submit it. I’ll be in contact after I receive it.

CherylNo Gravatar November 16, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Keith’s trip planning service is exactly what my husband and I were looking for! It is well worth the price. Keith mapped out our itinerary based on our interests, our travel style and our timeframe. What guidebook can do that? Thank you, Keith! We can’t wait for our trip!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar January 16, 2015 at 11:27 AM

My pleasure, Cheryl!

Sally WordNo Gravatar November 2, 2014 at 6:24 AM

Sounds like an interesting service. What I’ve been trying to figure out is getting a baseline with a goal toward saving for a trip. I think even getting a ballpark base gives me an idea of where timing out the reality of taking such a trip. Is that something that can be gained only using the service – or is it one of your great articles? Love the site by the way. I was thinking of traveling during Fall/Winter to try and be there for one of their local holidays.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar November 2, 2014 at 7:45 AM

Hi Sally, I can certainly help you with trip costs, but there are a couple articles here that might provide all the information you need. Give my Planning a Trip to Scotland articles on costs and timing a read.

KateNo Gravatar October 27, 2014 at 1:28 PM

I cannot say enough good things about the recommendations from Keith! I am in Scotland for a year so he tailored a plan of suggestions to encompass exactly what I was looking for during my free time. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting him via Skype and his enthusiasm for Scotland is hard to beat. I waited to write until I had the chance to experience my first set of recommendations, which happened to be in the Perthshire area last weekend. Everything from things to do, places to stay, places to drink and everything in between was dead-on to what I was looking to experience. If you are planning a trip for three days or three years you cannot go wrong with a sit-down with “The Traveling Savage!”

Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 27, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Hey Kate! Glad to hear you got the chance to explore Perthshire – it’s such a beautiful area of Scotland.

Thanks for the kind words about the service, too. Looking forward to hearing more about your travels!

Neil MackeyNo Gravatar October 9, 2014 at 11:30 PM

W….O….W! I just happened to stumble across Traveling Savage recently whilst doing research for a 2-week trip (back) to Scotland in 2015, perhaps mid-to-later September…and man, I’m glad I did! My wife and I went on a 2-week tour to Ireland and Scotland in 2009 with a small private tour group (9 people and the host…none of that CIE “big box” stuff for us). 7 or 8 days were in central and Northern Ireland with the rest in Scotland after we ferried over to Stranraer from Belfast. While we loved Ireland, we felt more “connected” to Scotland and this time, we want to spend our entire time there.

While it was an amazing experience, and while we wanted for absolutely nothing, we’ve decided this time we’d like to “do our own thing”, renting a car and picking and choosing where we’d like to go and what to see. I’m a little concerned about causing some sort of international incident by driving (“Yank driver crashes into and kills entire flock…”), or spending a good part of the day locked into a multi-lane roundabout (traffic circle in local parlance?), but I think we’ll do OK if we take it slow and easy…and seeking guidance from those with much more experience. (LOL…that and a good local GPS…).

After reading your blogs and looking over the wealth of information on your site, it’s VERY obvious to us that this is not only a labor of love for you, Keith…but also that you know your stuff! Looking forward to working with you on this next adventure!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 10, 2014 at 10:49 AM

And I’m looking forward to helping you out, Neil! Thanks for the kind words about the site, too.

Chuck NakellNo Gravatar October 9, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Keith “heard” exactly what we were asking for and returned us a plan that followed just that. We had plenty of time to have him answer our burning questions and we still have access to him should another question arise. I think his service is well worth the cost and then some. A wonderful pre-trip bit of guidance and something we wish had been available in this form for other countries we have visited. Thanks so much, Keith!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 9, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Really happy to hear you found the service helpful, Chuck. I had a great time chatting with you and Susan, and I know you’ll have an unforgettable trip.

DarlaNo Gravatar October 1, 2014 at 1:00 PM

I highly recommend Keith’s Trip-Planning Package; yes, he *can* help! Until I came across his blog, I’d never met Keith, but I can now say that I’m thrilled that I did! By the time I contacted him for a consult, I had a fairly good idea of my itinerary, theoretically, but was baffled by logistics like whether/when to take a car or train? What might it be like learning to drive on the opposite side of the road? What was the *real* travel time between locations? Where should I stay and how should I figure out length of time to spend in each accommodation based upon what I wanted to see? Keith managed to both encourage and reassure me about my plans. Skyping with him was great! I felt like he was really listening to what I personally was seeking in the journey, and he responded with attention to details that would make my visit to Scotland as fun and streamlined as possible, and with minimal worry on my part. This was vital to me as a middle-aged, female solo traveler exploring the Highlands and Islands for the first time. The follow-up email to our conversation was excellent, including additional suggestions and links. If you’re planning a trip to Scotland, take Keith up on his offer to help – you absolutely will not regret it. Thanks, Keith!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 1, 2014 at 1:41 PM

I really appreciate the review, Darla. Our conversation was a lot of fun, and I know you will absolutely love Orkney!

Carmen RabelNo Gravatar September 13, 2014 at 8:38 AM

I started following Keith’s blog about a year ago in hopes of finding ideas for my upcoming trip to Scotland to study the Presbyterian Reformation. When I saw that Keith offered the service to help plan my trip, I was thrilled! After looking at books, websites, books again, and then more websites, I was becoming very overwhelmed with all the information that I was finding and decided that Keith’s help was exactly what I needed. I was very impressed with the turn back time for him to get back to me. It took a week or two before we Skyped each other, so that he could go through my planned trip with me. The questionnaire was a great way for Keith to know exactly what was important for me to see and do during my trip. I feel as if the trip is completely focused around what I want to do, rather than what he thought was best for me. I would definitely recommend this trip-plan package to anyone that is overwhelmed or wants a trip focused around them.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 1, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Thanks for the kind words about the service, Carmen! I had a great time chatting with you and I know the trip we put together will tick all the boxes you mentioned.

ChristieNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 1:38 PM

My husband and I are planning to add a trip to Scotland after a choir tour to Ireland. The choir tour ends July 31, 2015. I want heritage, music, a pub, and scenery. He wants maybe 2 days of golf. Orkney and Dunkeld look great. B&Bs sound best to me. Will the $99.00 help us. It sounds like a great date night.
Thank you,
Christie

Keith SavageNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Hi Christie,

I hope others who have used the service will chime in. I think you would benefit from the call as I will help you put together a trip that ticks all the boxes of your particular interests. I have helped many people with similar requests.

Cheers,
Keith

ChristieNo Gravatar October 21, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Before our Skype date with Keith, we had a meal of Scottish foods. Terry was ready to go with his whisky while I had my cup of hot tea. I am not tech savy, so I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t see Keith during our Skype, but it really didn’t matter. He gave us LOTS of great ideas on what we could do with our time in Scotland. He planned an itinerary that sounds like it includes a lot of wonderful things to see and do on our trip. Through the questionnaire he had great ideas that were about us. He make sure to include golf for my husband, and ruins of castles or abbeys for me. He also encouraged us to take the road less traveled. Now I have work to do to decide exactly how I might tweak his ideas that were sent by email. He also encouraged us to email if we have more questions. It was a great Scottish date night. Thanks Keith for getting us excited about our trip.
christie

Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 21, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Thank you for sharing your experience, Christie. I had a fantastic time discussing your trip with you and Terry. You will have a wonderful time!

AmittyNo Gravatar August 25, 2014 at 5:17 PM

I have DREAMED of making a trip to Scotland, and now that one of my favorite book series, Outlander, has come to life on TV – well, it’s safe to say I’m obsessed. Being able to afford it is a long way off, but I will definitely keep your service in mind as I hoard my pocket change for the next two or three years.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 25, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Outlander has done a good job already of shining the light on Scotland. I can safely tell you that Scotland is immeasurably better in the flesh. Keep saving – you will never regret the trip.

MaxineNo Gravatar August 14, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Hi Keith,

I was so excited to see your website, I am planning a trip in 2016 and I am travelling by myself so I admit to being just a little bit scared but that won’t stop me, I will be in touch, I am sure the $99 will certainly give me peace of mind about the trip. When would be the right time to contact you do you think, I know it is a long way off?

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 14, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Hi Maxine!

I’ll be happy to help you. There are many benefits to traveling solo and we’ll have the opportunity to chat about them. My advice is not time-sensitive – barring specific transportation costs and events – so feel free to fill out the questionnaire whenever you like. I’m happy to be in contact with you after the call to respond to any questions that might arise in the intervening time, too.

MaxineNo Gravatar August 14, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Cool thanks very much, I just had a quick look at the questionaire and I am not totally sure about a couple of the questions eg budget so I will have a think about it and get back to you in a couple of weeks, I am so excited to be able to chat with you:-)

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 14, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Sounds great!

SusanNo Gravatar August 7, 2014 at 1:10 AM

Oh Keith, what a surprise to see this post and offer. I have just received a flyer from Scotland tourism and am so excited to begin planning our trip. We are planning on going August 2015. Is it too soon to begin the process?
Thanks
Susan

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 7, 2014 at 8:24 AM

It’s never too early to start the planning process, Susan. The information I provide you with is not time sensitive. Looking forward to hearing from you!

maggieNo Gravatar August 4, 2014 at 1:57 PM

WOW! I feel exactly as you do about Scotland. No interest in going anywhere else – I am smitten with everything Scottish! This will be my 3rd time back the end of August. Going to Mull, Iona, Skye, Black Isle and Edinburgh – I may take you up on your great offer. Maggie from the highlands (of Montana).

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 4, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Hi Maggie – sounds like a great itinerary. Impressed you’re choosing Black Isle. I look forward to hearing from you!!

Jenny SchnettlerNo Gravatar August 1, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Well Keith, we are sitting in the airport waiting to board our flight into Edinburgh! To say I feel well prepared is an understatement…thanks to how thoroughly you spelled out every last detail! Our itinerary is so exciting, but we would never have come up with all of this cool stuff to do if my traveling buddy Sara hadn’t happened on your outstanding web site! Your advice was worth WAY more than your modest fee, Keith, and we will certainly keep you posted throughout our travels! We are very grateful to you, and it seems that you really dialed-in to our trip wish-list! So…for anyone who is a bit uncertain if this is worthwhile, I suppose you could spend over 12 months of your life accumulating this knowledge yourself, or skip the learning curve and go straight to the guru!!!! See you in the Highlands!! Jenny

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 3, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Thank you so much for writing a review of my service, Jenny! I had a great time chatting with you and Sara, and I can’t wait to hear how your trip goes!

DarlaNo Gravatar August 1, 2014 at 2:14 PM

I plan on taking you up on this excellent service when I get nearer my travel dates, as I’m not going until May 2015. Although, hmm, as I type this I’m thinking maybe I would be better off getting a consult in now *and* one closer to the dates considering I have a lot of gray areas in my thinking along the lines of transportation and accommodation (both in general and specific). Yeah, based upon Lynn’s glowing report above, you may be hearing from me sooner rather than just later. 😉 Thanks for offering this service, Keith!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 3, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Looking forward to hearing from you, Darla!

Lynn PorterNo Gravatar July 30, 2014 at 4:04 PM

I JUMPED on the opportunity to utilize Keith’s trip planning service and now have a clear plan of where my travels will take me. By asking pertinent questions (that we often forget to ask ourselves) Keith was able to put together an itinerary that would allow me to explore Scotland based on MY terms. BUT the real value came during the Skype call when he was able to get a true sense of my personality and we were able to discuss and adjust certain aspects of my trip (housing as an example). Believe me that hour went quickly and his love of Scotland is truly infectious.

Here is my advice – DO THIS! His knowledge is a tool you cannot afford to pass up and it will save you countless hours stressing over books, maps and websites. Who better to turn to than someone who has been to the country many times and has immersed himself in their culture, history and regions? Who better to guide you than someone who wants you to experience the best of that country, tailored specifically to YOUR interests? How often can you get first-hand knowledge of accommodations, car companies, pubs and eateries and historical sites from just one source AND be able to ask any question that comes to mind. This one service will save you so much in the long run, not to mention, give you peace of mind.

I have confidence my trip (I believe it will be the first of many) will exceed my expectations – it already has because I’ve made a new friend in the planning process.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar July 30, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Thanks for sharing your experience with the package, Lynn. I had such a good time discussing the details of your trip. I know you’ll love it!

TuckerNo Gravatar July 30, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Keith,

Awesome idea. I started following your blog, because my wife and I are throwing around the idea of going to Scotland in the near future, and I was curious if there was a blog out there that was specifically focused on Scotland! Boom, I found this blog. I will be in touch, when we firm up our travel dates.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar July 30, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Sounds great, Tucker. I look forward to hearing from you!

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