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Things to Pack for Scotland’s Winters

As someone who grew up embraced by the warm California sun, I was incredibly nervous about living in Scotland. Every time the word “Scotland” slipped out of my mouth, the typical responses I got were, “Oooh, heard it’s beautiful!! But cold…” And it was. It was very cold. And windy. And rainy. Thankfully though, I had extensively researched what kinds of clothes to bring and an alumna of the program advised me well. Here are some of things I found to be very essential during my time in Edinburgh:

  1. A Waterproof Rain Jacket
    I cannot emphasize the “waterproof” enough. Because it rains so often and because walking is unavoidable, you need a reliable rain jacket that will keep you dry. You may say, “Well what about an umbrella? That should be enough right?” Nope, sorry Rihanna. The first week I was there, the wind flipped my favorite umbrella inside out and everyone around me inherently knew that I wasn’t a local especially because most people there don’t even use umbrellas in the first place. So unless you wanna stand out and get drenched like I did, get the jacket. If anything, just get a waterproof shell (I got the Patagonia Torrentshell jacket) and although it was pricey, it was a worthwhile investment because your girl stayed dry 24/7 while still being able to layer underneath.
  2. Sturdy + Waterproof Rain Boots
    Not only is there rain, there are cobblestones everywhere you look. And while they give off that aesthetic, historical vibe, they’re definitely not easy to walk on especially when they’re wet. So beware. Additionally, there are a bunch of cool hikes all over Scotland, Arthur’s Seat being one of them and while these hikes are beautiful, trust me when I say they are SLIP n SLIDES. The grass may look dry but in reality, it’s not! So ditch those white converse and get some shoes with grip please. Oh and make sure they’re waterproof too. This cheap pair of Asgard Chelsea Boots served me well, both in Edinburgh and in the Highlands.
  3. Anything WOOL or HEATTECH
    Trust me when I say cotton won’t keep ya warm. Layering will be your best friend and the material of your clothing makes a huge difference. On the daily, I wore wool socks, wool scarves and a wool hat which were essential as your feet, neck and head definitely feel the chill! I also always wore heattech turtle necks from Uniqlo and lemme tell ya, they were a lifesaver. If you didn’t know what heattech is, business insider says it best, “HEATTECH is made of a special blend of materials that wick moisture from your body and turn its kinetic energy into heat”. Not only is the material life changing, the products are incredibly affordable as well!
  4. A Well Made Suitcase
    Like I mentioned earlier, the cobblestones really get ya. What’s even worse is rolling your suitcase over them…not only is it LOUD, if you have a cheaply made one like mine was, a wheel may or may not fall off… traveling mishaps amirite? A well made suitcase is essential for any season btw, not just the winter!
  5. A Jailbroken Phone
    If you have an international data and phone plan, a jailbroken phone isn’t really necessary! Unfortunately, I had neither and AT&T’s international data by usage plan added up real quick. Thankfully I had brung my old iPhone that was no longer under a contract so I was able to insert a cheap sim card from Vodafone in Scotland. The reason why I mentioned the phone being “jailbroken” or “no longer under a contract” is because if you’re still paying off the phone to a provider such as AT&T (as I was with my current phone), the sim card will not work. I found that a lot of the WiFi around Edinburgh wasn’t really reliable so it’s important that you have some sort of data!

That’s it for now! If you have any questions, please leave them below. Happy traveling!


Published by travel.rin

Hi hello! I'm Airin, otherwise known as @travel.rin :) As you can tell, I love traveling and documenting my adventures, as well as drinking coffee and raising my plants! I relish in the fact that there's always something new to learn every day and you're welcome to join this journey that is my life!

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