Italy: the land of great food; good wine; and romance. Make your travel to Italy a dream come true with these 5 travel hacks:
1. Finding a Cheap Hotel in Italy
Enjoying Italy doesn’t have to drain your bank account. Here are some simple ways to find a cheap (but nice) hotel:
- Consider a Hostel. Not just for students, many hostels cater to couples, senior citizens and even families.
- Consider the season. Summer is the most expensive time to visit Italy. Consider visiting during their off season.
2. Knowing What to Pack
You’ve booked your flight; you’ve reserved a hotel; you may even be dreaming of wine and pasta. But, first you’ve got to figure out how to pack for your trip:
- Layer Clothing. Depending on the seasons, days are warm and nights chilly in Italy. Be sure to pack layered clothing to stay comfortable.
- Pack Light. If you plan to move around the country pack just one suitcase and maybe a backpack – they’ll be easier to maneuver.
- Remember safety items. When traveling internationally, it is always essential to make copies of your passports and keep them separately from the original; it makes replacing lost or stolen documents easier
- Pack European essentials. Electric converters will make your electronics usable. Also, carry small packs of tissues. Toilet facilities in Italy can be sparse and don’t always supply needed paper products.
- Camera equipment. You will want to document your entire trip, so don’t forget the camera and extra memory cards.
3. Getting Around Italy (transportation tips)
Once you’ve got your Italian trip itinerary set, your next question will be how to get around.
- Ditch the car: getting around most Italian cities is much easier by foot, taxi or bus.
- Use the Train: The European train system is affordable and efficient.
- Rent a car for a true European adventure: Driving the Italian countryside can be daunting due to narrow roadways and navigating unfamiliar territory, but it can also be a lot of fun.
- Special Note about Venice: Getting around Venice is a truly unique experience. The vaporetto is the main source of transportation for Venetians and tourists alike and is essentially a water bus. Water taxis give another experience of the city.
4. Renting a Car in Italy (it isn’t like home)
Renting a car in Italy is a bit different than in the states. Here’s what you need to know:
- Make your reservation at home. Many American rental car agencies have affiliates and let you handle the logistics before you leave.
- Use a travel agent. Most Italian travel arrangements are simple, but car rentals can be tough. An agent can help.
- Get an International Driver’s Permit. A domestic license may not be enough.
- Drivers in Italy have to be 18.
- Be sure to ask about extras like GPS devices and car seats when you make the reservation. These items are not always available.
5. Making Your Trip a Romantic Getaway (tips for couples)
Italy is for romance. Make the most of your time together by:
- Blending into the landscape. Think (and act) like the locals. Enjoy the quiet streets and local cafes. Stay away from tourist hubs.
- Make yourself comfortable. Find a hotel that offers lots of luxury. Enjoy time together doing fun things you never get to do at home. Take a wine tasting tour or a bike ride, or simply relax.
- Take lots of pictures. Be sure to get someone to take photos of both of you together-otherwise, your albums will look like a “his and hers” trip to Italy.
Italy is a beautiful country or adventure and love. Send yourself a postcard from each place you visit to relive the trip after you get home.
Photo Credit: “Fontana di Trevi” by Hernan Piñera