How to Travel Italy On a Budget


Hi guys!

After I posted my two-week Italy trip itinerary, I’ve had many many questions about trip costs. So I thought it was high-time to do another blogpost with that information 🙂 Below are the 5 categories where we spent most of our dolla billz, going from most expensive to least expensive. These costs will vary  depending on how many people you’re travelling with, when and how. But I think these would be the top expenses for everyone. I have included some tips under each to help you plan better 🙂

1. Flight to Italy and back
This expense will vary greatly depending on the season in which you travel, how far your live from Italy, and where on the airplane you sit lol. One thing is for sure – buying tickets way in advance always makes a big difference in price. Try to buy tickets as soon as you know you’ll be going for sure.

2. Accommodation
Accommodation expense depends heavily on the season in which you travel. Summer months = higher prices. You can try to lower costs by travelling off-season, and by staying at Air BnBs. Book these in advance as well as they go fast and get more expensive closer to your dates. Don’t forget to check Expedia or bookings.com for hotels though. Sometimes they have great special offers that match up with your dates.

3. Transportation within Italy
Don’t quote me on this but intra-country train ticket prices are fairly stable throughout the year. However, similar to airplane tickets, price depends on sooo many factors. Morning trains, afternoon trains, fast-speed trains, normal speed trains, evening trains, overnight trains, weekend trains, weekday trains, business class, economy class and so forth! These things don’t matter too much for short distance travel (for eg. Rome to Naples which is 1 hr), but it does make a difference for longer trips such as Venice to Milan (3hrs).
Overall, the best tip I can give is to buy train tickets in advance. Book your hotel rooms and then book these right after that, since your dates are pretty much confirmed at that point. Just make sure to check your hotel room check-in times. You dont want to arrive in a city early morning and not be able to check-in until 3pm. We weren’t good with buying advance tickets and ended up paying a lot because of that. For example, sometimes economy seats for our preferred train time would be sold out and unavailable, so we had to pay more to sit in first-class. It was definitely more comfortable but not our first choice…
You can buy advance tickets online on the Train Italia website. They send you an email with your ticket information and you can literally just show the ticket on your phone screen to ticket officers.
Other than the main trains, I would say the local metro and bus tickets are pretty reasonably priced. And kids under 5 years are mostly free everywhere, which is pretty awesome! In Canada, you always have to pay for kids older than 2 years!

4. Food
If you want to eat at nice places in Italy, you will be paying a lot. Coming from North America, the portions seem super small and too expensive. You’re looking at about 15 Euros for a half empty plate of food, and when you convert that to Canadian dollars, the meal doesn’t seem worth it 😀 But you can’t go to Italy and not enjoy good food! Thankfully, we live in a world where we have apps like Trip Advisor. With a little bit of research on this app, you can find really good places with reasonable prices and amazing food. Many times you will have no clue where to look for budget eats. Just let Trip Advisor locate you on the map and give you all the top-rated budget eats in that area. You can specify vegetarian + kid friendly + even specify your price range. Problem solved! The only issue sometimes is getting access to wifi to actually use the app live. But Trip Advisor lets you download city maps which is great, plus you can do the food search for the day before you leave your hotel room.

5. Sightseeing
Sightseeing cost us the least amount of money, and not surprisingly. Italy is an open museum in general. You just walk around on streets and see beautiful sites that are hundreds or thousands years old. You do have to pay to go inside places like the Colosseum, the Vatican and some other big churches and of course places like art galleries etc. But it’s not bad considering you’re not paying for much else. You will always have enough to see even if you don’t go inside some buildings, so you will really not mind skipping a few.

Hope that you find these tips useful <3 Pin the image below so you can come back to this post in the future. Let me know if you have any other questions in the comments below or on my Instagram. Until next time, ciao ciao!

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