Taking a vacation in Italy can be an incredible experience. If you’re a budget traveler, you might be worrying about the cost – but really, Italy vacations don’t need to break your bank account. You just need to plan carefully, and you’ll be able to have a lovely time in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Affordable Italy vacations are completely possible.
There are some things, however, that you definitely don’t want to miss: its art, history, wine, and food. For those travelers who want to enjoy their Italy vacations without missing out on the most important cultural experiences, here is a guide for you. The first thing to consider however is that you should always prioritize and decide which elements of a trip are most important to you, and then you can plan to spend more money in that area, and a little less on other things.
When to go
Spring and fall are good times to visit Italy. Why is this so? In the summer months you will find the streets jam-packed with tourists, and you’ll hardly get the chance to meet Italians! This applies in August especially, which is when Italians are most likely to take their own vacations. If you want to save some money on your Italy vacations, then consider going in an off-peak time. This also makes a lot of sense if you’re planning a honeymoon in Italy and want some quiet time for you and your significant other. On the other hand, if you’re the type who loves sunbathing on crowded beaches, then by all means visit Italy in the summer; just be prepared to pay a little more than you would otherwise.
Booking hotels and flights
It is possible to spend a lot of time hunting for the best deals around, and to save a little money on your travel and accommodation expenses. However, sometimes it makes the most sense to talk to tour organizers like Road to Italy. You might be pleasantly surprised by how affordable booking a tour can be! Having someone else take care of all the logistics for you can be a huge relief. If you insist on booking your own travel and accommodation, though, learn to haggle like a local – it’s the best way to get yourself a fair deal.
Finding affordable art on your Italy vacations
Do a little research; there will always be a number of cultural institutions that are free to visit, no matter which city you are in. Even if you don’t find too much, you won’t be lacking in art and creativity in Italy. You’ll find impressive sculptures everywhere, street artists, small local galleries, and more. At your hotel, ask where the local artists display and sell their works – you’re likely to find a fun location to visit!
Where will I find good, cheap wine?
This one is an easy question to answer. No Italy vacations are complete without good wine! At restaurants and bars, simply ask for their house wine. More often than not, you will find very good quality wine at an affordable price. On the other hand, if you’re a true winophile, you might be interested in visiting a winery, or even in booking one of our Tuscany wine tours.
Food, food, food
Excellent food is part and parcel of all Italy vacations; your trip simply wouldn’t be a true Italian vacation without great food. Indeed, we all know that Italy has some of the best food in the world. To save some money on eating out, however, consider making lunch your main meal. You can usually find incredibly tasty and filling set lunch meals for a decent price. Beware of sitting down at a good restaurant on a busy night and only ordering an appetizer or two; you’ll likely cause some offence! In places like these, a full several-course dinner is the only acceptable option. If you choose to eat in, you’ll be able to find wonderfully fresh, flavourful ingredients for a very affordable price. An experiment or two in cooking might make your belly just as happy.
Italy vacations: Sightseeing
Again, a little research will be in order here. Depending on the location and city (or cities) you are visiting, you may find many monuments and historical sites which you can visit without pulling any euros out of your pocket. If you are in Firenze (Florence), for example, visit the Ponte Vecchio. It’s a beautiful, unique bridge that is layered with stories and history. If you like architecture, walking down almost any street will give you plenty of material to observe and photograph. Ask at your hotel for well-known historical buildings in the proximity. Lastly, go explore! You never know what amazing finds you might stumble across.
Shopping, fashion, and more
It is true that Italy has some of the finest fashion designers and design houses in Europe. Prices are high, of course, but only if you go for names like Gucci and Prada. Think about it: there are hundreds of less-expensive designers that compete within the saturated design market in Italy. Don’t limit your experience on your Italy vacations; look in markets and other unlikely places, visit local street sellers and leather dealers, and you may very well find incredible deals and wonderful clothing. Even if you see items that seem to be mass-produced, at a local seller, it may actually be a short-run piece. There isn’t much point in visiting malls and the biggest Italian design names; you can find those anywhere in the world.
Planning your budget trip
Overall, you simply need to decide in the very beginning how much you want to spend. Then, make everything else fit accordingly. If you’d really like to splurge on food and fine dining, then skimp a little on your accommodation. However, if getting a good night’s sleep is your highest priority, then make sure you choose a nice hotel – you don’t want to wake up grumpy every morning! Additionally, if you enjoy walking around and exploring, then be sure to do that; you’ll save yourself a fair bit on public transport.
Don’t forget that if you’re a student or a senior citizen, you will be entitled to good discounts when visiting most museums and cultural institutions. Just be sure that you have a valid student ID with you. If you need any help planning the ideal Italian vacation, give Road to Italy a call today. We offer a huge variety of services, all guaranteed to give travelers an authentic Italian experience. No matter whether you are interested in private tours, group tours, food and wine tours, or any of our other Italy vacations packages, we have something for you. Our agents are always available to help you plan your trip.