Each year our staff reviews all of the guidebooks, maps and travel accessories available to purchase so we can find the very best ones to recommend to our valued clients. Below we have listed our favorite travel planning resources for 2017 to help you plan your upcoming Ireland, Scotland or England Vacation.
Top Ireland Guidebooks for 2017
Everyone should have at least one Ireland guidebook to help them plan their Ireland vacation. This year, Rick Steves came out with a fantastic new 2017 Ireland Travel Guide right after the Christmas Holiday. Falling close behind is Lonely Planet’s Current 2016 Edition - The 2017 Edition will be released in March but is available for pre-order! You should not leave home without one of these excellent guides. For those looking to get off the main tourist trail, we highly recommend Back Roads Ireland and the wonderfully engaging Extraordinary Dreams of an Ireland Traveler.
Top Scotland Guidebooks for 2017
Making the top of our list for 2017 is the latest version of the photo-rich DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Scotland with the trusted Fodor's Scotland Travel Guide coming in a close second. For those traveling to both England and Scotland, Rick Steves' Great Britain Travel Guide offers an entertaining read, though there are more photos in the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Great Britain for those who are more visually inclined. All of these are also available in digital versions for those who prefer those.
Top Driving Maps
Most of us have become reliant on our phone or other mobile device to navigate the roads in new places. However, high mobile roaming charges abroad mean that we have to revert back to having good old paper maps. Our favorite maps is the Collins Ireland Comprehensive Road Atlas and the Scotland Michelin Map. Both of these have been updated to show recent road changes.
Top Travel Videos
Nothing gets you quite as excited about visiting a new country as looking at photos and videos of your chosen destination. The videos listed below allow you to go on a virtual tour and help you decide which sights are must-see locations for your vacation. Over Ireland is an amazing visual tour of Ireland and its top sightseeing locations. We recommend Visions of Britain and Ireland if you are traveling to both locations.
For most of us, getting though airport security is our least favorite part about traveling. A close second has to trying to sleep on an overnight flight in a seat designed to be comfortable only if you are the size of a 5-year-old. To minimize the discomfort caused by both of these, we recommend a Small Bottle Travel Kit to get your liquids through security with no hassle and the Most Comfortable Travel Pillow we have ever tried.
Ireland and Scotland are best known for their rolling green hills and stunning coastal scenery. However, these hills don't stay green on their own and a rain shower can appear at any time of the day announced. To help stay dry, we recommend bringing along a Folding Travel Umbrellaand Rain Poncho (lots of color choices!). Both items are lightweight and can be stored in your bag when that quick rain shower passes.
Staying organized during your vacation can be a challenge even for the most organized among us. And trying to get everything to fit in a our suitcase can lead to a lot of choice words being yelled while trying to zip "just one more thing" into our luggage. To help with this problem, there is an amazing product, Packing Cubes with Laundry Bag to keep everything in its place. For smaller items, don't leave home without a Set of Packing Envelopes.
First Aid & Travel Kits
The one thing we all learn by traveling is that anything can happen, which is part of the magic and allure of traveling. Small injuries are commonplace and its best to come prepared with a First Aid Kit so you don't have to run to the ER with a skinned knee! We also recommend the The Naked Bee Organic Travel Kit - all are travel size and easy to pop into your carry on luggage without worrying about security taking them off of you.
Passport & Travel Documents
The most important items to safeguard while traveling are your passports and travel documents. It's easy for these small items to get lost while traveling. To protect them, we recommend getting either a Soft Leather Passport Cover or a larger travel organizer such as the Victorinox Travel Organizer to keep your passport and travel documents together. Below you will find our favorite products to keep your passport safe!
Top Electrical Adapters
Ireland, England and Scotland all have electrical outlets than run on 220 Volts, double the power of the North American outlets which run on 110 Volts. To be able to use the outlets abroad, you will need a Travel Adapter. These are most widely used to plug in your chargers for your cell phones and other mobile devices. Also consider an Electronics Accessories Travel Organizer for all your electronic devices and power cords.