Skyscanner’s EdFests travel tips
Whichever of Edinburgh's major festivals you're interested in (and why limit yourself to just one?) there's never a bad time to visit Scotland’s capital. And to help you prepare, our travel expert chums at Skyscanner are here to offer their top tips on travelling to Edinburgh's festivals!
1. Suss out your airport
Edinburgh Airport is the most obvious choice for most people planning a trip to Edinburgh’s festivals. It’s close, convenient and has excellent connections to the city centre, including great bus and tram links right into the heart of the festivals action.
Other good flight options include Glasgow International Airport, with direct buses to Edinburgh, and Glasgow Prestwick Airport which is just over an hour and a half's drive from the capital. And if money is more important than time, then consider a flight with a stop-over. Indirect routes are often a far cheaper option.
2. Travel at the cheapest times
The price of flights varies considerably depending on the month, day and even time of travel.
Avoiding the weekends can make a huge impact on the price of flights. Why not compare travel from a Wednesday to Wednesday rather than a Friday to Friday. Using Skyscanner's handy search tool, you'll be able to see a graph view of the cheapest days of the week to fly or you can sign up to free Price Alerts emails to monitor the price of a flight you're interested in!
3. Find the right accommodation (at the right price)
Edinburgh gets particularly busy during August and December so booking in advance is vital when planning your trip (unless you want to spend a small fortune).
Edinburgh has plenty of options for travellers from fabulous five-star hotels for a romantic getaway or a business trip to hostels for groups of students desperate to party.
Or you can forget hotels altogether – during the Festivals, many have apartments or rooms in private homes available to rent.
4. Be smart with your packing
Scotland has notoriously unpredictable weather so when you are considering what to bring for the festival make sure you are prepared for all the seasons – no matter if you’re travelling for the August Festivals or December’s Hogmanay Street party! Invest in some decent (waterproof) footwear and no matter what time of year it is, have a raincoat rolled up in your bag and an umbrella to hand.
5. Beat the baggage fees
If you're worried about excess baggage charges (or battling Edinburgh’s cobbled streets and festival crowds), why not wear your extra items instead of cramming them into your case? There are some fantastic products on the market that let you take additional belongings on your person ensuring they won't count as excess baggage. A luggage jacket combined with a good hand-luggage bag will get you the absolute maximum amount of luggage on a plane, without having to pay any check-in costs.
6. Choose the best way to get around
Whilst the UK boasts some of the lowest excess waiver insurance in Europe and very competitive rates for child seats and additional drivers, the UK is on average the most expensive country for hiring a car. If you want the flexibly of a car visit Skyscanner’s Car-hire site to get the best deals before arriving in the city.
However if you don’t need a car, Edinburgh has a fantastic public transport system. Trams and buses run from the airport to the city centre, the buses are inexpensive, reliable and the routes are well signposted and taxis are available night and day. The city itself is fairly compact so chances are you’ll end up going everywhere by foot anyway!
7. Get some local knowledge
The most valuable knowledge you can get when abroad will always come from a local. When visiting attractions, always take the offer of a local guide. It will open your eyes to so much more than if you try and go it alone. But if you’re on your own and need the help of a trusty Rough Guide or Lonely Planet, just photocopy the pages you need, then discard after you have used them. Saves space and weight.
8. Make the most of the festivals
It’s why you are in Edinburgh after all! Do your research and find out exactly what you want to see and do and book tickets in advance for those must-see tours and shows. And if you have any time left make sure you do something spontaneous – if you are at the Fringe then visit a free show, or if you are at the Film Festival go see a film that you would never normally watch. It’s all part of the fun!