When packing for two weeks in Scotland in summer, we had to consider mild-to-cool temperatures, activities ranging from hiking to castle-exploring to casual meals out, and the potential for lots of rain (and yes, even in summer, it rained a lot – sometimes lightly, sometimes heavily). We were also staying a maximum of two nights in any given place so we didn’t want to be struggling to get our suitcases closed every time we had to pack up. Fortunately, we were both okay with doing some laundry by hand on-the-go, so we were able to minimize what we needed to pack.
What I packed in my carry-on suitcase
I took a Samsonite Fiero – it served me well but the wheels are starting to wear out. When the time comes to upgrade, I’m planning on getting the Away Carry-On.
Amour Vert Paola tee
Grey 3/4 sleeve knit top
Chambray button-up shirt
Patagonia lightweight Capilene t-shirt
Patagonia lightweight Capilene long-sleeve crew
Open-front cardigan (I never wore this)
Swing dress (I never wore this)
Lululemon Align leggings
Dark wash skinny jeans
Patagonia Quandary hiking pants
J.Crew pajama set and camisole
Six pairs of ExOfficio bikinis
Two True&Co. True Body bras
Four pairs of low-cut casual socks
Three pairs of SmartWool Hike Light crew socks
Cozy socks for sleeping
Keds lace-up sneakers
Hunter wellies (nice to have, not a necessity; wouldn’t take again)
REI Flash 18 daypack, containing a small First Aid kit, picaridin wipes for midges, and a few Ziploc bags
Laundry kit, containing a travel clothesline, drain stopper, and detergent
Universal travel adapter
Copy of passport
On the plane, I wore the Amour Vert tee, Align leggings, fleece, Keds, and scarf.
What I packed in my personal item
I took a large Longchamp Le Pliage tote. It doesn’t have a huge capacity but it zips closed.
Passport and other travel IDs (Global Entry, etc.)
Crossbody purse, also with zip closure
Fodor’s Scotland book
Scotland: The Story of a Nation (I finished this on the plane and left it in our Edinburgh Airbnb)
Printed trip itinerary w/ accommodation and reservation details
Chromebook (annoying to carry around; wouldn’t take again)
Deck of cards
Small notebook and pen
Huzi travel pillow (comfortable but bulky; wouldn’t take again)
Eye mask, earplugs, and ZzzQuil
Foldable footrest (annoying to carry around; wouldn’t take again)
Cozy socks (and Ziploc bag to put them in after wearing on a dirty airplane)
Travel water bottle
Toiletries for freshening up and staying germ-free: face wipes, disposable toothbrushes, tissues, mints, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.
Cord case containing all needed chargers and back-up batteries
Snacks like almonds, olives, individual Brie rounds, and tea bags (yay for Trader Joe’s!)
Aside from the couple of items I never wore and a few unnecessary things in my tote, I felt really well-prepared for all the various activities, climates, and dress codes during our trip. Most of the pieces I packed were layerable, lightweight, and quick-drying – a necessity when you’re hand washing throughout the trip. I also stuck to neutral colors to make each item as versatile as possible.
If I can make it through two weeks in Scotland with just a carry-on, you can too!
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