Planning to take the entire family on an Italian vacation? Congratulations! You will surely have the time of your lives. You may also find that it could be the worst time of your bank account’s life, if you aren’t extra careful about planning and cutting costs wherever possible. Italy is a relatively expensive place to visit, and bringing the entire family can equate to a huge financial obligation. Need some pointers for spending as little money as possible on your Italian vacation? Here are some tips for touring Italy with the family on a budget:
Travel at the right time of year. You can save a significant amount of money on airfare and accommodations when you travel during Italy’s off-season. Italy is most touristy during the months of May, June, September, and October, so plan your vacation outside of those months. Also, you’ll want to avoid travelling to Italy during that second half of August, when the entire country literally takes its own vacation.
Tour the right part of Italy. Although all of Italy is beautiful, some parts of Italy are more expensive than others. It is a good idea to choose one area to explore, as you can reduce transportation costs, and Southern Italy is less expensive in general. Fortunately, Southern Italy has plenty to offer the entire family, including Greek ruins in Sicily, beautiful Puglia beaches, and authentic cultural experiences in Ponza.
Accomodations. Traveling with family means having to accommodate a group of people. Hotel rooms are your most expensive option. Instead, look into booking a suite at a bed and breakfast or farmhouse (agriturismo, in Italian). Or, to save even more money, plan far in advance to find a house or apartment rental. This latter option is your best bet if your family is large. Explore group shopping sites like Groupon and Living Social, and bargain travel sites like Expedia and Priceline, to find great vacation package deals.
Food. Of course, no trip to Italy would be complete without eating authentic Italian food. Fortunately, you don’t have to skimp on this delectable part of your Italian vacation just because you are on a budget. If you chose your accommodations carefully and found a rental, then you should have a kitchen that is fully equipped and ready to cook up the best of what Italy has to offer. Shop for fresh, local goods at farmers markets, local bakeries, and neighborhood stores. When you do eat out, remember that it is cheaper to eat at the bar than to take a table, and that the best way to find inexpensive restaurants is to ask the locals. Also, don’t tip. That’s the rule in Italy.
Fortunately, as with most tours and vacations in Italy, most of the beautiful attractions you will see are within walking distance of your hotel. So bring some good walking shoes and spend some time exploring your vacation spot with the family. You might never want to go home.
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