Planning a trip to Europe can be expensive and frustrating. In this video I give ideas for saving money, planning and creating a trip that will be fun and memorable. Don’t spend your time running around a city and traveling between cities. Enjoy life in Europe. Be a European while you are there. Make contact with locals, communicate, observe life around you. Enjoy the museums and sites but also savor the food and wine. Watch the Europeans around you. How do they live their lives?
The video below will help you plan a memorable and rewarding trip to Europe. Buon Viaggio…
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Where to stay is a big decision. There are many types of places to stay in Italy:
- American Hotels – These are large chain hotels with larger rooms (smaller compared to rooms in America) and usually the most expensive option.
- Italian Hotels – These are smaller hotels with smaller rooms at a very reasonable prices. Breakfast is often included with the room charge. You can get a private bath in your room or share a bath in the hall. We prefer private baths. Be sure you have this if you also prefer it.
- B&B’s – Like anywhere in the world these provide rooms and meals. The price is expensive and usually between the price of the large hotels and the smaller Italian hotels.
- Agriturismo – These are nice small family owned hotels that are part of a farm or ranch. The food is locally grown (usually on their property), organic and delicious. Rooms are modern and comfortable. You can usually also contract for lunch and lunch & dinner as well.
- House or Apartment Rental – These can be the largest and best priced depending on the area especially if you are traveling with other couples. In Paris we were four people and rented someone’s apartment. It was large, comfortable with two bedrooms and two baths. The price was cheaper than two hotel rooms.
Once you decide on what type of place you prefer, investigate options in the cities you will visit. Use sites like TripAdvisor to get other people’s opinions of the property. Remember that their opinions can be very different from yours. We never worry about negative reviews that say small rooms. We expect small rooms in Italy.
Be sure to investigate where your hotel/rental choice is located compared to the sites you want to see. Try to get centrally located hotels (these can be the most expensive but will save time going and coming to the sites).
Booking your hotel with airfares on discount sites like Orbitz can get you a discount on the hotel. Check multiple sites and compare prices. Look at pictures posted of your choice and determine if it is the right choice for you. Booking hotels on discount sites usually charge your card when you book not when you arrive. Hotels in Italian are Albergo or just Hotel (the H is always silent in Italian).
If breakfast is not included do not pay extra for it. Breakfast in Italy is very cheap. You find a bar near your hotel (they are everywhere). At Italian bars you can get Caffè (espresso), Cappuccino, Coffee Americano (an espresso in a larger cup with more water) and mastery choices. A Caffè and cornetto will cost you between 2 and 4 Euros ($2.20 to $4.40). Italian croissants are called cornetto. They come plain, filled with chocolate or jelly and filled with cream. Pastries in Italy are not as sweet as in America. They are delicious.
Tomorrow we will look at car rentals for your trip if you plan to drive.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Agriturismo, Air Fares, Bars, Coffee, cornetto, Espresso, Europe, Food, Hotels, Italy, Pastry, The holidays in Europe, Traveling without a tour
Tags: Agriturismo, Food, Hotels, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Rental Property, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism
Italy has a wonderful celebration for the Christmas season. Many towns light up streets in elaborate lights. There are Christmas markets to buy things and religious ceremonies at local churches. Non are better than midnight mass at the Vatican. If you are going to Italy during Christmas season click here to see a list of towns and what they have to offer. Page 2 of the above site has Christmas markets by city.
In the north of Italy you may get a white Christmas to celebrate. These cities are cold and may have snow on the ground but the stores, bars and restaurants are warm and inviting. Stroll the streets and take in the lights and decorations. Stop in a bar for a hot coffee or chocolate. Warm up and then continue your light tour.
In the south of Italy things are warmer but the Christmas spirit is strong. Naples has wonderful mangers. You may not see snow but it can rain in this season so be prepared. Stopping at a bar for a refreshment is mandatory here. Don’t forget Naples is home of the pizza. Enjoy the thin crust pizza here.
Shopping all over Italy is wonderful. The stores are crowded but it is the season to be in crowded and shop. Enjoy your trip. Buon Natale!
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Christmas, Christmas Lights, Europe, Italy, Naples, The holidays in Europe
Tags: Christmas, Italian, Italian people, Italy, Naples, No Tour Touring, Pizza, Tourism, Travel
Tis the season to travel to Europe! The dollar is down compared to the Euro which is great for us. Not long ago we were paying $1.40 to buy a Euro. Today it’s $1.24. That is about 13% better! Imagine a 13% discount on your travel expenses. This time of year is crowded with Americans and airfares can be up. You still can find a good fare if you shop. Many Americans like to travel over Thanksgiving week or the week after because they get 2 extra days. If you go Thanksgiving week you only take off 3 days and get 9 days of vacation. If you go the week after you take 5 days of vacation and get 11 days of vacation.
Christmas is also a great time in Europe. You can feel the holiday spirit in the lights and stores around Europe. In northern Europe you have an excellent chance of a white Christmas. Join the Europeans in a bar, pub or restaurant. Warm yourself by the fire and enjoy your food and drink slowly. Look around you and observe the European way of life.
Europe is romantic! Go and rekindle your relationship. Don’t travel to 21 cities in 21 days. Don’t hop country to country. Pick your favorite spot and enjoy a relaxing time with the person you love. Hold hands and stroll the streets slowly. This will make memories you will never forget.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Air Fares, Bars, Euro, Europe, Exchange Rates, Money, Romance, snow, The holidays in Europe
Tags: Airfares, Euros, Food, Holidays in Europe, No Tour Touring, Romance, Tourism, Travel and Tourism