Scotland is one of the most beautiful places in the world. If you’re looking to travel to Scotland on a budget, this is the guide for you! In this Scotland trip cost article, we will share with you how much it cost us to travel through Scotland and give you an idea of how much money you will need to budget for your own trip. We’ll break down the costs by category to give detail insights. Scotland is a wonderful place to visit, and with careful planning, you can have an amazing trip without spending too much!
Trip to Scotland cost per day?
Important to know is that Scotland can be expensive to travel to but doesn’t have to be. When you know how to save money the budget that you need for Scotland is comparable to other West European countries.
For budget travelers: the average cost of a trip to Scotland per day is £60-74 / $74-86. This means you need to go camping or stay at cheap hostels or guesthouses. You prepare food mainly yourself or go to local restaurants and pubs, and you use public transport. You need to do everything yourself to keep the cost this low.
Mid-range travelers: should expect to budget of £100-150 / $123-185 per day. This will cover accommodation in better quality hotels, meals at mid-range restaurants and pubs. Big difference is that you do not have to use public transport but that you can hire a car or motorhome.
For luxury travelers: the average cost of a trip to Scotland per day is around £250 / $309. This covers accommodation in high-end hotels, meals at good restaurants, renting a car or motorhome and doing tours to discover the country.
The amounts don’t include airline tickets. Flight costs are very diverse. We always use Skyscanner and recommend it.
The overview below is based on our road trip through Scotland.
|Dorm: £15-20||Street food: £1-4||City bus: £1-3||Whiskey tour: £18||Travel guide: £20|
|Budget room: £20-30||Lunch: £12-17||Day pass: £5-20||Guided tour: £20-30||Travel insurance 21 days: £200|
|Middle-class room: £30-60||Fancy restaurant: £50-60||Rent car/camper per day: £100||Entree tickets: £2-£15||Souvenir: £1-20|
|Luxury: £100-150||Local beer: £1-2|
Scotland trip cost: Accommodation
When visiting Scotland, it is essential to book accommodations far in advance due to the limited availability of viable lodging options. Accommodation costs are already expensive enough, and if you’re going with a car then reservations should be made at least 6 months ahead of your trip; for travel to Isle of Skye specifically, such arrangements should be reserved up to one year in advance! The reason being that most parts of this enchanting land consist mainly of mountains and nature preserves – leaving fewer places suitable for accommodation.
Budget travelers: the average cost of a room in Scotland per night is £15-20 / $19-25. This means you need to stay in hostels and guesthouses or at campingsites.
Mid-range travelers should expect to pay around £30-60 / $38-74 per night for accommodation. You can stay in better quality hotels and AirBnBs.
Luxury travellers should budget around £100-150 / $123-185 per night for accommodation. You’ll be staying in high-end hotels, castles or luxury AirBnBs.
Scotland is similar to other Western European countries when it comes to how much you pay per accommodation. If you want to save money on your accommodations, it’s best to book ahead of time instead of waiting until closer to your travel date.
If you are looking for good hotels and hostels in Scotland, we can help you! We will share our favorite places with you. link
Scotland trip cost: Food
Food costs in Scotland vary depending on where you are eating. Eating at restaurants is more expensive than cooking your own food or getting takeaway. If you want to save money, cooking your own meals is the best option.
For budget travelers: the average cost of a meal in Scotland per day is £15-20 / $19-25. This means you need to prepare food yourself or go to local restaurants and pubs.
Mid-range travelers should expect to budget around £25-35 / $31-43 per day for meals. You can eat at mid-range restaurants and pubs without breaking the bank.
Luxury travellers should budget around £50-60 / $62-74 per day for meals. You can have a truly luxurious culinary experience with fine dining establishments and pubs without breaking the bank.
We travelled with a motorhome through Scotland and therefore we were able to cook almost everything ourself what saved a lot of money.
Scotland trip cost: Transport
When it comes to transport costs in Scotland, the easiest and cheapest way to get around is by public transport. However, if you want more flexibility then hiring a car or motorhome is the best option.
Budget travelers: should expect to budget around £10-20 / $12-25 per day for transportation. This will include buses and trains.
Mid-range travelers should expect to budget around £50-70 / $62-87 per day for transportation. This include car rental and petrol. We always use Rentalcars to find the best deals to rent a car.
Luxury travellers should budget around £100-140 / $124-173 per day for transportation. This include motorhome rental and petrol. We had a wonderful experience with IndieCamper when renting our motorhome due to their exceptional services and competitive prices. Therefore, we highly recommend them!
It is important to know that transport costs can be different for each person. This is because it depends on which area you are visiting and what you do. The table below shows the total costs for two people based on our Scotland itinerary.
Airplane + rental motorhome: plane ticket +/- £150 p.p. | rental motorhome +/- £1800 | 1800 km | petrol +/- £500 | total $2600.
This is per person £1300 / $1608. Keep in mind that for this amount you covered transport and accommodation costs, so only other cost you make are to eat and doing fun things.
Are you looking for an itinerary through Scotland? Check out our 3 week itinerary of Scotland.
Scotland trip cost: Activities
Scotland has a wide range of activities to choose from, ranging from free walking tours and museum visits to adrenaline-filled adventures. Many activities are free because you do a lot of outdoor activities in Scotland.
Budget travelers: should expect to budget around £5-10 / $6-12 per day for activities. This will include free attractions such as museums and galleries, as well as paid attractions such as visiting the Edinburgh Castle.
Mid-range travelers should expect to budget around £15-30 / $19-38 per day for activities. This will include paid attractions such as boat tours, as well as luxury experiences like whisky tasting.
Luxury travellers should budget around £50-100 / $62-124 per day for activities. This will include next to the normal acitivites also guided tours.
To save money on activities in Scotland try to book tickets ahead so that you can find the best deals. Try to visit sights yourself without a guide which saves a lot of money.
Scotland trip cost: Miscellaneous
Souvenirs, snacks, entrance fees, and insurance can cost a lot of money. To save money on these things, it is important to plan ahead.
Budget travelers: should expect to budget around £5-10 / $6-12 per day for miscellaneous costs. This will include souvenirs, snacks and entrance fees.
Mid-range and luxury travelers should expect to budget around £15-30 / $19-38 per day for miscellaneous costs. This will include travel insurance.
When you are looking for travel insurance for your trip to Scotland, we recommend WorldNomads. This will help protect you against any risks while you are traveling. Travel insurance like WorldNomads offers essential coverages, such as trip cancellation, medical expenses, and 24/7 emergency assistance.
How much did Scotland cost us
- Accommodation: £500 / $619 (hotel in Edinburgh and campingsites)
- Food: £800 / $990
- Transport: £2600 / $3216 (airplane, motorhome, and petrol)
- Activities: £150 / $186
Total: £4050 / $5010 for two persons which is £2025 / $2505 per person (amounts are rounded). These amounts are based on our trip through Scotland for three weeks. Per day we spend per person: £2025 / $2505 ÷ 20 days = £101 / $125 including airplane ticket.
- Accommodation: we travelled with a motorhome and therefore our accommodation cost are not high because we allocated these cost to transport cost. In general motorhome and renting a car by staying at hostels and hotels is more or less the same in way of cost. Only difference is that with a motorhome you can cook everything yourself so that you can save a lot of money. Important to find the best deals is to book month in advance for Scotland.
- Food: because we traveled with a motorhome we cooked everything ourselve. We only went to restaurants in Edinburgh and did some take out in Isle of Skye. For this reason we saved a lot of money.
- Transport: the best way to travel to Scotland is by car or motorhome. Book a car via Rentalcars or a motorhome via Indiecamper month in advance to find the best deals. We booked 8 month in advance and therefore we were able to book a motorhome for £1800 / $2227 for 17 days which is not expensive.
- Activities: we only spend in total £150 / $186 for two person which is very low. Most of the money we spend was in Edinburgh, visit some castles and doing a whiskey tour. You can save money on this category only we do not recommoned it because these sights are worth visiting.
Tip: it also makes a difference which period you travel in Scotland. If you travel during the summer period, prices are much higher than we mention in this article. Therefore, if you can, try to travel outside the high season (July and August).
Trip to Scotland cost FAQ
1. How do you visit Scotland on a budget?
To visit Scotland on a budget, it is important to plan ahead and book tickets for attractions and transport in advance. Try if you like to travel through Scotland with a motorhome. When you have enough electriciy you can park for free in Scotland. Also you can cook everything yourself, which really saves a lot of money. Many activities are outdour so you do not need to pay anything.
Conclusion cost of travel in Scotland
As guideline for mid-range travlers like we are you can expect to spend between £1900-2400 / $2350-2970 when traveling for 3 weeks in Scotland.
When you rent a car or motorhome, try to cook as much as possible yourself.If you stay at camping sites or budget-friendly accommodations and do a lot of your own outdoor activities, Scotland does not have to cost as much money as people often think.
To explore Scotland’s thrilling culture and captivating scenery, be sure to check out our road trip through Scotland. It includes a plethora of ideas for creating your own unique itinerary. Moreover, if you’d like more general information about Scotland as well, feel free to check our comprehensive Scotland travel guide.