Posts Tagged With: Hotels

How to significantly lower the cost of traveling to Italy

The two highest costs you will encounter are: 1) Airfare and 2) Hotel costs. These two items can be lowered with a little work on your part. Here is how:

Lowering Airfares:

Lowering the cost of hotels:

Let me know in the comments below if you have other tricks…

-George

Categories: Air Fares, Airplanes, B&Bs, Bars, Euro, Europe, General Travel, Hotels, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Money, Pastry, Planning a vacation, Renting a place in Europe, resorts, Small Towns, Towns, Traveling without a tour, Villas, VLOG, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Find Reasonably Priced Hotels in Italy

Next to airfare, hotels will be your biggest cost. If your staying for an extended period of time, they may be the biggest cost of the trip. You first have to decide on:

  • Is it a special occasion like a honeymoon where you want an expensive hotel with nice amenities and views.
  • Are you independently wealthy and the price is of no concern
  • Are you visiting Italy to see the country, the people, etc. In this case you will only be sleeping in your hotel room. The small Italian hotels will work fine and give you more of a sense of being in Italy.

Hotels, like anywhere, change price seasonally and as they become more popular. Shop and see what the prices are. DO NOT PAY EXTRA for breakfast! Breakfast in Italy, as the Italians do it, is the cheapest and easiest meal. Go to the nearest bar (they are everywhere) and order an espresso, cappuccino, latte or coffee Americano and a sweet roll. This will cost you 2 Euros outside the big cities and maybe 5 Euros in the cities. Italians usually choose a cornetto. This is a small roll that can be plain, filled with chocolate, jam or cream.

What ever you choose, enjoy Italy. Do not try to do too much. Be an Italian while you are there. You do not need Hot Dogs, Hamburgers and eggs! Eat like the Italians which is so much more healthy for you.

– George

Categories: Bars, cornetto, Eating, Eating Italian, Espresso, Europe, Food, General Travel, Health, Italian, Italian Facts, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Pastry, Planning a vacation, Renting a place in Europe, Traveling without a tour, VLOG, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Plan a Trip in Italy – Part 4

Where to stay is a big decision. There are many types of places to stay in Italy:

  1. American Hotels – These are large chain hotels with larger rooms (smaller compared to rooms in America) and usually the most expensive option.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

TripAdvisor

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).

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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.

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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: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

What Type of Hotel to Stay at in Europe

Palace Hotel in Sinaia, Romania, 1971

Palace Hotel in Sinaia, Romania, 1971 (Photo credit: Rob Ketcherside)

Are you a big resort type of traveler or a small local hotel or maybe an agriturismo out in the country or a villa with many bedrooms and baths. We all have favorite places and types of places we like. We enjoy a local hotel. We are tired of big American hotels that don’t offer much. We prefer a family run small hotel with a private bath. The bath is one luxury we insist on. Jo Anne says “Camping is a hotel with one bathroom”. It is hard and expensive to get more than one bath unless you rent a villa. The villa is another great idea especially if you are traveling with one or more other couples. You each get a bedroom and possibly a bathroom. Kitchens allow you to partake in the local foods and cook a meal. The small hotels and villas allow you to interface with the locals better. Get to know the people, the food and the wine in each area you visit.

The other option we like is to rent someone’s home. In places like Paris and Positano we rented a home. In Paris it was a two bedroom and two bath apartment. We shared it with George’s sister and her husband. In Positano we rented a one bedroom and two bathroom home up on the hill. There were 113 steps to reach this place from the road but the views of the sea were spectacular.

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Paris Apartment

D-Positano dr

View from balcony in Positano

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Europe, General Travel, Hotels, Paris, Positano, Romance, Traveling without a tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WiFi in Italy

Many of the small bars in Italy offer free WiFi. You can sip a Cafè or Cappuccino while face booking friends about your trip. There are other hotspots in the major cities. Some hotels offer it free others charge for WiFi. We recently found a company, Wi Tourist, that offers a device that produces a WiFi hotspot for up to 5 – 10 devices (depending on device). You can pick it up at the major airports or they will deliver it to your hotel and pick it up at the end of your stay. The price ranges from 3 to 7 Euros per day. The speed ranges from 7.2 to 100 Mbps. After 12 days the price drops to 1 Euro per day for all plans.

This allows WiFi coverage at hotels that charge 10 Euros per day for a very reasonable price. You are on vacation and WiFi and the internet should nor be your main concern. Many travelers must stay in touch with their office or are on business not vacation. This device can be an economical solution.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Europe, Hotels, Italy, WiFi | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Where do you like to stay in Europe?

Palace Hotel in Sinaia, Romania, 1971

Palace Hotel in Sinaia, Romania, 1971 (Photo credit: Rob Ketcherside)

Are you a big resort type of traveler or a small local hotel or maybe an agriturismo out in the country or a villa with many bedrooms and baths. We all have favorite places and types of places we like. I enjoy a local hotel. I am tired of big American hotels that don’t offer much. I prefer a family run small hotel with a private bath. The bath is one luxury I insist on. Jo Anne says “Camping is a hotel with one bathroom”. It is hard and expensive to get more than one bath unless you rent a villa. The villa is another great idea especially if you are traveling with one or more other couples. You each get a bedroom and possibly a bathroom. Kitchens allow you to partake in the local foods and cook a meal. The small hotels and villas allow you to interface with the locals better. Get to know the people, the food and the wine in each area you visit.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Cooking, Europe, Hotels, Villas | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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