How to Plan and Budget for a Vacation in Italy

Hello all! So you want to budget a vacation to Italy? Well after going on my own trip, I saved a lot of money and also learned how I could have! This blog post can be applied to generally anywhere, not just Italy! I hope you enjoy and travel a ton!

Save an Arm and Leg on your Flight

One of the best decisions (and $39) of my life was subscribing to Scott’s Cheap Flights. This subscription is for a full year and for only $39. They will send emails out to you, multiple times a day, with airfares that have either been priced mistakenly or are just cheaper for a few days. I didn’t particularly book my flight to Italy with this subscription, but I sure did book three future trips with their help! I’ll outline those more below.

In terms of Italy, I’ve noticed after booking my Italy trip that were many Scott’s Cheap Flights deals! I’ll give you a sample email below. My flight to Italy was around $800-900 and if I had purchased when Scott’s Cheap Flights had emailed me, I could have saved half that amount.

I would definitely recommend subscribing if you’re a person who wants to travel and travel for cheap (which who doesn’t?).

I have three trips planned for the future with my friends:

  • Japan ($590) – Tickets to Japan are usually around $1000+, but with Scott’s Cheap Flights, I spent a fraction of that!
  • Hawaii ($360) – Tickets to Hawaii are usually around $600+. My friend even told me she once spent $800 on a round-trip ticket.
  • Greece ($560) – Tickets to Greece are similar to Italy, they could be upwards of $700+ depending on when you’re going. Once this email came in, my friends and I pulled the trigger and bought them right away!

All three of those tickets were purchased with the help of Scott’s Cheap Flights and let’s just say, I made back my $39.

Hotels vs. AirBnB’s

I would 100% recommend an AirBnB if you’re between that and getting a hotel. AirBnB’s are not only cheaper (mine were an average of $100 per night) but you also get the freedom of having your own place and close to the city!

Going into booking AirBnB’s, I was particularly only looking for stays where the entire apartment was private, however one of the places we booked was just a room. That ended up being one of the best AirBnB experiences on the trip. The hosts were so cordial. They gave us limoncello and cookies that they had made. The room was cleaned every morning like a hotel and they helped us get our luggage up to the room.

It might be scary and a bit disorientating to be staying in someone else’s home, but they really treated us like hotel guests. However, without the hotel price.

When I was looking at AirBnB’s, I also wanted a view of the city. At most of these locations, I sure did. I’ll insert a photo of the rooftop in the Florence AirBnB that I stayed at.

Car vs. Taxi vs. Train

Not to be repetitive but 100% take the train from city to city. We had pre-bought tickets prior to the trip and it was much cheaper then buying them day of. It also helps you plan out what your travel days will look like, when to check into AirBnB’s, and what you overall want to do that day.

Food Budgeting

Definitely go into the trip knowing how much you want to spend on food. I would definitely talk to your travel mates and see what their range is as well. It’s no fun going to a super expensive restaurant and not anticipating that meals dollar price.

Surprisingly, there are tons of cheap options that will satisfy your Italian cravings. During my trip, we made it known that on days we were traveling city to city, we would eat cheap. Days we weren’t traveling and just experiencing the city, we chose to find more reputable restaurants and splurged then.

Here are some of the restaurants that I went to that were cheap, but so good.

Venice, Italy – Bigoi

Wow, this place is so delicious. It was the cheapest place that we went to and every item is under 10 euros. When I was searching for this place to link, I was surprised to find that they have a location in New York… which means I need an excuse to go to New York.

Rome, Italy – Pasta Chef

This was so good, that we went back for a second dinner. The carbonara is legendary and they have revolving themes of specials everyday. The food is also under 10 euros, but the quality is superb. This was one of the best places I went to and I went to a lot of places that were high 4 or 5 stars.

Organizing Your Plans

One of the best apps for people who travel often or if you have a huge group of people going is TripIt by Concur. This app organizes your trip using your email. It will go into your inbox and select all of the emails dealing with your trip and put it in a itinerary. This was one of the most helpful things, especially when giving everyone information on what is happening  during the trip. It tells you when your flight is delayed, what gate your train will be at, dinner reservations, ferries, AirBnB check-in’s, etc.

You can add people to the trip, and they can also add information in. If you have certain emails that didn’t collated, you can send it to their email address and it will almost instantaneously be scanned and the information put on your plan.

I hope this was super informative and you learned a few tips and tricks! Italy was a dream and if anyone wants more information on my trip, definitely email me! I’m more than willing to give some advice or tell you my experiences.

If you haven’t already check out my outfit posts from Italy: Milan, Venice, Rome, and Amalfi!

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