Packing 101- Getting ready for Scotland


I’ve finally learned to pack efficiently – and its about time says she.  It all comes down to the realization that the only things you really need when you travel are passport, money (ATM/credit card), and a set of clothes! Everything else is nice to have but not necessary. I’ve also learned that I no longer want to lug around a large suitcase; I never used half of what I packed; and I’m no longer strong enough to lift a suitcase into an overhead bin without injuring myself or clobbering a fellow traveler. Additionally, other than looking presentable and clean, no one really cares what I look like, or if I wear the same clothes over and over. This is very freeing by the way.

Weeks ago I started throwing things I thought I’d need for the Scotland trip into a laundry basket. This weekend I laid it all out on the guest room bed and started to weed out. I’m only bringing a small carry-on size suitcase and a backpack for 10 days so I must pack efficiently. I’ll check the suitcase and use the backpack as a carry-on. By the time I’d finished I’d put half of the original pile back in the closet (as the packing gurus suggest). The suitcase is full but has plenty of room should I wish to add a lovely Scottish wool sweater on the return. Success!

I choose black and white as my base colors, a yellow hooded waterproof jacket and a scarf for color, and walking shoes. Ecco makes a comfortable and decent looking Goretex shoe. Scotland in July is rainy and temperatures are typically in the 60s during the day and 50s at night, layers are the way to go.

We’ll be moving around so I divided the clothes into categories and put them into separate zip lock bags with the air squished out. Doing this means I won’t have to unpack each night; I’ll take what I need from each bag the night before and otherwise leave everything neatly in the suitcase.  I’ll be washing out clothes as needed, if you roll them in a towel to get the excess moisture out they usually dry overnight.

SCOTLAND car touring, 10 nights in July
2 pairs of pants with pockets (good for having camera and glasses handy)
2 short sleeve t-shirts
2 long sleeve t-shirts
4 pairs of socks
1 night gown
4 pairs of underwear
1 fleece
1 scarf
1 hooded, light weight, rain jacket
1 pair water proof shoes
1 pair small light weight ballet slippers
toiletries, basics only, all in small containers
a knife and corkscrew
soft sided cooler
bug spray with Deet
pocket shopping bag
clothes detergent
Scotland travel guide, map, and copy of our itinerary
small over the shoulder handbag
2 electric plug adapters

Carry on: Anything of value (electronics and camera) I’ll carry on – as well as the things I need to be comfortable (ha!) on the plane. I wear my watch and earrings, otherwise I don’t being jewelry.

noise cancelling earphones, blow up pillow, eye mask
toothbrush/paste, moisturizer, face mist, disinfectant
camera, 3 rechargeable batteries, charger, 2 – 8g SD cards,
iPad with keyboard, charger, battery backup
iPhone and charger
small water bottle

I packed similarly when I went to Peru for 13 days in 2013 and wasn’t lacking anything – nor was there anything I didn’t use. The temperatures were similar, but where Scotland will be wet, Peru was dry and dusty.


I'm in my sixties with the world at my feet and thoughts mostly of "where to next?". I retired in 2017, sold my house in Massachusetts and most of my furniture and "stuff." When not traveling you can find me in Florida in the winter and Rhode Island in the summer. Travel has been a passion from a young age, over the years I've discovered I'm a traveler, not a tourist. I prefer traveling solo, with a travel friend, or small groups. Whenever possible I would rather spend time in one place rather than moving around. I'll never turn down an opportunity to go to France, but my travels have taken me all over the world. I've met some incredible people and had some fantastic experiences.


  • Deborah bine July 18, 2015 at 4:23 pm Reply

    A great list for packing, Kathy. I really need help! Enjoy your trip! France next?

  • Betty foreman July 23, 2015 at 2:19 pm Reply

    Reading about your packing list for a fun 10 days in Scotland and remembering our wonderful trips together!

    • Kathryn Schlitzer August 7, 2015 at 8:51 am Reply

      Mom- I miss you on every trip I take without you. We had SO many wonderful trips all over the world. I cherish every minute.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.