Scotland budget: costs and prices of a road trip through Scotland.

How expensive is a road trip through Scotland? In this blog, we will answer the question of how much money our ten-day holiday in Scotland. We also tell you what a realistic daily budget for Scotland is and how high the prices are in Scotland!

What does a trip to Scotland costs?

A holiday to Scotland does not have to be expensive at all. Our trip through Scotland per campervan cost 72 euros per day per person and this could have been even cheaper. That said, Scotland is in Europe, so expect to pay European prices. Groceries are priced about the same as in the Netherlands, gasoline and diesel too. Overnight stays are not cheap, but camping keeps costs low.

Keep in mind that the pound was very favourable at the time of our trip, perhaps this will change in a while. We also travelled in low season (April), so prices of campsites and the campervan were low.

What is a realistic daily budget for Scotland?

As a backpacker, a trip through Scotland is realistic for an amount of 50 euros per person per day. This daily budget for Scotland includes travel by public transport, sleeping in hostels and cooking as much as possible.

Do you have a larger budget? Then 125 euros per person per day is a large daily budget for Scotland. For this, you sleep in nice hotels and B & Bs, eat outside and travel by car.

Note: these daily budgets for Scotland do not include airline tickets.

What is the price of flying to Scotland?

Flying (from Europe) to Scotland can be very cheap if you book on time. But it is of course also possible to travel to Scotland by train, boat or car (from Europe). This is not always cheaper, but a lot better for the environment. Click here for the most recent flight deals to Scotland!

Read on to see our exact spendings during this holiday in Scotland and to find useful budget tips to make your holiday to Scotland cheaper!

Scotland Isle of Skye

What were our total spendings in Scotland?

First a disclaimer: Everyone travels in his own way and has different priorities. That is completely fine, but keep this in mind when you read through our expenses. It can always be more expensive or cheaper!

We made a ten-day trip through Scotland, of which we spent two days in Edinburgh and then we made a road trip through the Scottish Highlands. We travelled by campervan. Sometimes we camped campsites, other times we went free camping. During this trip, we kept costs low by cooking a lot ourselves, this way we stayed within budget. The biggest expenses were the campervan and gasoline.

During this trip, we had collaborations which resulted in discounts on activities or transportation. I didn’t include these discounts in the calculation below since I want to give a representative picture of the actual prices in Scotland.

Budget facts for our trip through Scotland

Number of days in Scotland: 10

Total spend in Scotland: £1255,74 /€1445,58 / $1624,52
Spendings per person: £627,87 /€722,79 / $812,26
Spendings per day in Scotland: £125,57 /€144,56 / $162,45

 Activities: £70,24 /€80,86 / $90,87
Camper van: £489,67 /575,34 / $633,47
Accommodation (9 nights): £171,28 /197,18 / $221,58

These expenses do not include airline tickets and are based on two people. I have calculated the prices and exchange rates Pound / Euro and Euro / Dollar at the time of this trip (April 2019). The currencies displayed are Pound (£), Euro (€) and USA Dollar ($).


Prices of accommodation in Scotland – 14% of the total budget of Scotland

Total spend: £171,28 /€197,18 / $221,58
Number of nights: 9
Average price for 2 people per night : £19,03 /€21,91 / $24,62

Accommodations are generally not cheap in Scotland. But since we were travelling with a campervan, we saved a lot of money on this. We paid for a camping spot between £ 16 and £ 20 (this may be more in high season, we generally had non-electrical spots). We went two nights free camping/ wild camping. These nights were therefore for free.

Is wild camping or freedom camping allowed in Scotland?

Wild camping (or actually free camping) is generally tolerated in Scotland and you can stay at the most beautiful places (read this article that explains what is and is not allowed during free camping). The only drawback (for us) is that you don’t have a hot shower or toilets in the area. During those cold April mornings, this was something we missed a lot.


How expensive is travelling around in Scotland? – 21% of the total budget of Scotland

Total spend: £272,36 /€313,54 / $352,34
Bus tickets : £27,40 /€31,65 / $35,44
Ferry tickets: £16 /€18,48 / $20,69
Gasoline: £221,81 /€256,24 / $286,95
The biggest expenses in the category transportation are gasoline spendings. Because we drove over 1000 miles, we had to refuel a number of times. The price of tickets for the ferry from Isle of Skye to Mallaig was not that bad at all. It costs £3 per person, plus another £10 for our campervan.
Tip 1: are you going by tram from Edinburgh Airport to the centre? Then consider buying a return ticket. This ticket has an open return date, you can decide yourself when you will use it again. A single ticket costs £6, while a return ticket costs only £8.50.
Tip 2: Do you want to buy a bus ticket with cash? Then keep in mind that no change is given. This way, our bus tickets suddenly became very expensive.

Mega budget tip: currently the campervan rental company Spaceships had an Early Bird discount deal which gives you 10% discount on renting a campervan when you travel before the 20th of June 2023. Click here for more information and to book directly!

Scotland campervan Wester Ross

How much money to budget for a campervan in Scotland? – 40% of the total budget of Scotland

Total spend: £489,67 /575,34 / $633,47
Insurance: £120 /€141 / $155,24
Number of days:  8
Average per day: £61,21 /€71,92 / $79,18

Should I put the costs of the campervan under accommodation or under transport costs? In the end, I chose, to make a separate category, just as I did in the blog on our New Zealand budget.

What is the price of campervan hire in Scotland?

At £37 per day our campervan itself is not expensive (we travelled in low season, prices are higher in high season). On top of this, we took the full insurance and when we had a car breakdown we were very happy with this. We also opted for extra options such as bedding (£ 20), a table and chairs (£ 20) and the winter warmer packet (£ 25). The latter contained extra gas bottles and a heater, in retrospect, we did not use them at all so that was not necessary.

By travelling with a campervan, I think we have made our road trip considerably cheaper. We needed a car anyway and there is not much difference in price between a normal car or a Spaceships Campervan.

Cairngorms National Park

Tip: do you know that you can also come to Scotland by ferry. This way you can bring your own car. There is a daily ferry from IJmuiden to Newcastle from where it is only a few hours drive to Edinburgh. Click here for more information!

What to spend on food and going out in Scotland? – 19% of the total budget of Scotland

Total spend: £242,06 /€278,66 / $313,15
Spendings on coffees or restaurants: £88,39 /€101,76 / $114,35
Spendings on groceries: £153,67 /€176,90 / $198,79
Yoghurt with fresh fruit and granola in the morning, a baguette with hummus in the afternoon and a tasty couscous salad with a glass of wine in the evening. Yes, we ate very well in Scotland! And that for relatively little money: we almost always cooked ourselves.
Once we had lunch in a restaurant, at the Kisorn Seafood bar and wow, I still dream of their crab legs and fat salmon! Furthermore, we sometimes bought a coffee, got something to eat at the airport or ate a piece of pie somewhere.

Are you planning on making a road trip through Scotland? Then check out this Scotland itinerary for 1-2 weeks!


Are activities expensive in Scotland? – 6% of the total budget of Scotland

Total spend: £70,24 /€80,86 / $90,87
Whiskey tour: £20 /€23,1 / $25,87
Boat tour: £50 /€57,76 / $64,68
Castles, beautiful gardens and museums. We didn’t enter one of them during this trip. Mostly because we enjoyed the beautiful nature too much but also since these activities are often expensive. We did, however, make a very nice boat trip looking for dolphins at the Isle of Skye and we joined a whiskey tour (and even better, a tasting!).
Tip: are you planning to visit Scotland’s castles, gardens or historic buildings? Then consider becoming a member of National Trust for Scotland. With a membership that costs just £ 60 a year, you get access to thousands of castles, gardens and archaeological sites (and you can park for free in many places!).

Tomatin Distillery

Prices of food and general expenses in Scotland?

What is the price level in Scotland? I answer that question below by displaying the prices of normal food and expenses during a trip.

  • Kilo apples: £1,85 /€2,13 / $2,39
  • 150 ml olive oil: £1,30 /€1,49 / $1,68
  • Bag of potato chips: £2 /€2,30 / $2,59
  • Kilo bananas: £2,05 /€2,36 / $2,65
  • Bowl of Yogurt (1L): £1,90 /€2,18 / $2,46
  • Bread: £1,10 /€1,26 / $1,42
  • Avocado: £1,10 /€1,26 / $1,42
  • Bottle of milk (2.2L): £1,09 /€1,24 / $1,40
  • Coke (1L): £1,70 /€1,96 / $2,19
  • Water (2L): £0,45 /€0,52 / $0,58
  • Wine in the supermarket (750 ml): £6,50 /€7,48 / $8,41

  • Bottle of beer in the supermarket: £1 /€1,15 / $1,29
  • Shampoo: £2 /€2,30 / $2,59
  • Cappuccino: £3 /€3,45 / $3,88
  • Glass of wine in a restaurant : £4 /€4,60 / $5,17
  • Local beer in a restaurant: £3 /€3,45 / $3,88
  • Simpel lunch/dinner(1 pers):  £25 /€28,78 / $32,34
  • 1 Liter diesel: £1,36 /€1,57 / $1,76

Cairngorms National Park

Is Scotland an expensive destination?

For a European destination, a road trip through Scotland is not expensive. Now do keep in mind, we have paid careful attention to our budget. On the other hand, we were not so strict that we left things we wanted to do because of the expenses. Scotland as a destination itself is not too expensive, but what can make your trip through Scotland expensive is eating out. However, when you cook as much as possible yourself, then those costs are not too bad.

Is Scotland a good backpack destination?

It is certainly possible to travel through Scotland as a backpacker. Thanks to the good train connections and available hostels, Scotland is a possible budget destination in Europe. Please note, prices are of course much higher than a backpacking trip to Southeast Asia.

What is a realistic daily budget for Scotland? – Backpacker style

Do you travel through Scotland by backpack? Then take into account a budget of 50 euros per day per person. For this, you sleep in hostels and sometimes a cheap guesthouse, cook as much as possible yourself and travel by public transport. Activities mainly consist of free activities such as hiking or free museums.

Is a road trip through Scotland expensive?

A road trip through Scotland doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Especially when you sleep in your car (a camper or campervan), the costs are quite low. Campsites generally cost between 15 and 30 pounds, but wild camping is also permitted. Cooking yourself during your road trip also ensures that you won’t exceed your Scotland budget.

Free guide: all you need to know about road tripping and camping in Scotland!

What is a realistic daily budget for Scotland? – Roadtrip style

Are you taking a road trip through Scotland? Then take into account a budget of 80 euros per day per person. For this you will travel in a cheap car/campervan (with your own car the price will be lower), you cook a lot yourself and you often sleep on campsites.

What is a realistic daily budget for Scotland? – B&B travel style

Do you have a larger budget? Then 125 euros per person per day is a large daily budget for Scotland. For this, you sleep in nice hotels and B & Bs, eat outside and travel by car.

The best hotels in Scotland, unique castles to stay and pretty B&Bs can be found in this blog!

Some tips to make your holiday to Scotland cheaper:

Hereby some budget tips to save money on your trip through Scotland!

1. Travel by public transport. The train connection, in particular, is good and not that expensive at all.

2. Travel with a (budget) campervan. In this way, you immediately arranged your transport and accommodation. Campsites don’t have to be very expensive and it is also possible to camp wild in Scotland. You are also a lot cheaper when it comes to eating and eating out. You can cook well yourself.

3. Book your accommodation, transport and tickets on time! This is how you get early bird discounts in Scotland!

4. Visit Scotland outside the high season. If you travel to Scotland outside the high season (from June to September), the prices are much lower! We travelled in April, a good time (outside of Easter) because you are just before the high summer season, but already have warm days!

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