GETTING READY
 
  1. Passport Plan ahead, it took 6 weeks to get my passport.  You will need 2 professional passport photos and a certified copy of your  birth certificate.  You do not need a visa to travel to Scotland
  2.Int'l Drivers Permit: recognized worldwide as a valuable document
identifying you as a properly licensed resident of the US . 
                           MORE INFORMATION
  3. Airline Tickets I shopped around and no one came close to the price  I got from www.discountairfare.com
     
  4. Lodging:  I chose a self catering cottage in Lanark.  It has washer, dryer, ironing facilities.  It is centrally located in the area I plan to visit. I decided to stay in one place the whole 2 weeks that way I am not worrying about check in / check out times.  I can also take over night jaunts without dragging everything with me.
 
  5. Medicines: I take several prescription meds and have found some useful tips on line.  Carry your meds with you; do not trust them to check- in.  Keep them in the original containers.  I made 2 business card sized lists of my meds and the dosage on one side and the generic equivalents on the other.  I have a copy of this in my med bag and my purse.
  6. Phoning Home When I called my phone company about phone cards, I was fortunate enough to get a rep. who had traveled to Scotland.  He told me that it was cheaper to buy pre-paid phone cards in Scotland. He even gave me directions to the place to buy them at the Glasgow Airport.  He said the cards were available at lots of places.

                                     ADVICE FROM A FRIEND

When we went to Europe in 1991 I found it helpful to keep everything that may entice security to take a second look in one easily accessible spot in my bags.

 
At Heaththrow en route to Belfast was the toughest.  I have a zipper case holding my travel hairdryer, curling iron and iron - it also held some electrical ends for my electrical converter - and did that ever raise some eyebrows!!  I asked what they saw on the X-Ray, and could I help them find it - well what they saw were these funny looking ends and wires!!  I pointed out the bag to them, and brought it out so they could inspect it - of course after I told them what it held:)  And anything lead will not go through the X-Ray machines - a lead crystal candle holder I had bought in Sweden was taken directly to the "bomb room" to be checked out.  So I would suggest if you want to buy anything lead crystal to have it sent home by the seller:)  On our return trip I had these things in a separate little bag so I wouldn't have to open all my travel bags again.
 
And arriving in Belfast - well there were about 30 bomb threats phoned in to the authorities about the time we landed - police and the army were everywhere and it took us 3 hours to complete a 20 minute drive to our friend's home!!  It was quite an experience, and to us a culture shock; to our Irish friend it was nothing out of the ordinary.
 
Are you taking a video camera?  If so be sure the batteries are charged and a tape is in it.  They will likely want to run it for a minutes to be sure it is working and not housing something it shouldn't.
 
If the security is heightened on your flight I doubt it should cause any concerns travelling to Scotland - an advisory against travelling to an unfriendly country would in my opinion create a whole different set of concerns.  I would think to play it by ear on the day of your departure, but not to over-react -- creating fear is what these bad guys want to do.  I for one would not give into their desires unless it would be really stupid to do otherwise.
 
I hope this helps you a little.
 
Cheers, 
Marilyn
Victoria BC, Canada
 

                              WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE AND DO