How to Travel to Italy on a Budget

How to Travel to Italy on a Budget
A mid-sized European country of 60 million, Italy wields a disproportionate influence on the world stage. Renowned for its food, landscape, architecture and history, Italy has a magnetic draw for many tourists. Unfortunately, this means that visiting Italy can be an expensive prospect, making it a difficult destination for those looking to travel on a budget. However, with just a little preparation, Italy can be a wonderful and economical vacation choice.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Airplane Tickets Hostel Reservations Backpack
  • Airplane Tickets
  • Hostel Reservations
  • Backpack
Step 1
Plan your trip for a non-peak time. Certain times of the year draw more tourists, leading to higher prices, both on plane tickets and day-to-day expenses. September and October are the best months to visit, with mild temperatures, smaller crowds and typically reduced prices.
Step 2
Check flight aggregators for the best rates on plane tickets. Web sites such as Kayak.com compares the rates from multiple airlines and has a number of comparative tools to help you find the best deal. You will likely discover that lower rates can be found on Mondays or Tuesdays.
Step 3
Pack light. Keeping your luggage to a minimum can help you save money while making your trip more efficient. As airlines struggle to turn profits, many have adopted extra fees, including a fee for additional baggage. A mid-sized backpack can often be brought along as a carry-on, obviating the need for checked luggage entirely. Light packing can also streamline forms of travel within Italy, such as by bus or train.
Step 4
Book hostels in advance. As long as you don't mind sharing space with fellow travelers, hostels can be a great way to save money, make friends and explore Italy. Hostels often allow you to stay in the same part of town as fancy hotels, without paying a premium for the location. Having hostel reservations in advance, through sites such as HostelWorld.com, can prevent situations where you are forced into more expensive accommodations than you initially intended.
Step 5
Contact the nearest Italian Tour Office before your trip. With tourism representing a significant chunk of the Italian economy, the country naturally has a great deal of interest in aiding tourists. Several offices exist in the United States. Call the number with some info about your trip and you'll soon find yourself overwhelmed with data concerning festivals, restaurants, towns and trains.

New York: 212-245-5618
Chicago: 312-644-0996
Los Angeles: 310-820-1898
Step 6
Saving money on dining involves different rules in Italy than many are used to. For one, many coffee shops and small diners charge a fee to sit at a table. If you can eat standing at the bar you'll likely save a few euros. Also, keep an eye open for places called "osterias" as these are typically casual, family joints with good food and good prices. Finally, many restaurants will advertise a multiple course meal special out front. Ordering the items separately costs much more, making the pre-assigned meal a great deal, as long as it sounds appetizing.

Article Written By Louie Doverspike

Based in Seattle, Louie Doverspike has been a professional writer since 2004. His work has appeared in various publications, including "AntiqueWeek" magazine, the "Prague Post" and "Seattle Represent!" Doverspike holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hamilton College.

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