Holiday Checklist: Packing for Scotland

Preparing for your trip to Parliament House Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland is an exciting time. However, choosing exactly what to bring might be a bit confusing, as it definitely changes depending on the time of year! Whether you’re traveling from the US or any other non-UK destination, careful packing can ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience. From navigating hand luggage rules to preparing for Scotland’s unpredictable weather, here is Parliament House Hotel’s short guide to packing for Scotland. We’ll help make sure you bring everything you need to experience an unforgettable break filled with history, culture, and stunning landscapes. 

Travel documents

A blue passport.

Not only will you need your passport to get into the UK, it must be valid for the whole of your stay here. You might also need a visa to enter the country, and you should apply for one in advance of travel. Click here to discover if you need to do this.

Do also make sure you have all your boarding passes printed out or on your phone. Some airlines will charge you a lot of money to have this done at the airport.

Hand luggage

Make sure you check with your flight provider on hand luggage allowance before you start to pack for Scotland. Furthermore, if you are taking more than one flight on different airlines, then ensure that their allowances are compatible with each other.

Bringing liquids into the UK is allowed, but only following certain restrictions. For example, containers must hold no more than 100ml and containers must be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm. Read about these and further restrictions here


A pile of UK banknotes of many denominations.

Scotland is part of the UK, and we use British Pounds here (GBP). We accept banknotes from all UK banks and it’s a good idea to carry some cash for emergencies. Most shops and attractions accept all major credit cards like Visa and American Express, as does Edinburgh’s reliable bus service run by Lothian Busses. Do let your card issuer know you will be travelling abroad to avoid any payment delays. 


A woman alongside an Edinburgh bus.

Okay, this is the big one. What clothes should you take to Edinburgh for holiday? If movies are to be believed, it’s constantly raining here, but that’s far from the truth! 

Whilst it’s fair to say we are not a country bathed in sunshine, our weather is fair and usually mild, even in winter. However, as a general rule, think about layering up. It really can go from freezing cold to boiling hot in a matter of minutes, especially in the spring, so wearing layers of clothes can help you manage this effect on you. A light waterproof jacket is a good idea to bring too, as well as gloves and a scarf if you are visiting outside the summer season.

Edinburgh is a great walking city with many major attractions all within walking distance of Parliament House Hotel. With this in mind, be sure to pack comfortable footwear like walking shoes. You may regret it if you only bring sandals…

Electronics and Wi-Fi

The UK uses a three-pronged plug. This means without an adapter, US and international appliances and phone chargers won’t be able to use our energy. You can buy these adapters in advance of visiting, but there are also plenty of shops nearby the hotel who can sell them to you. We will be happy to advise you on this when you arrive.

Keep an eye on your mobile data roaming charges. If you want to keep your data off, Parliament House Hotel offers free Wi-Fi to keep you contactable when in your room. Free Wi-Fi is also available in cafes, shops and libraries throughout the city.

Get ready for a wonderful stay!

Once you have finished packing for Scotland, then you can get ready for your trip! We look forward to welcoming you here to Parliament House Hotel, in the heart of Edinburgh. Why not take a look at some of the amazing things you can do whilst staying with us in our Edinburgh Guide?