Planning a Trip To Italy!
Tips to Plan a Vacation To Italy
I planned the trip of my dreams to Italy and I want to share with you guys some tips to help you plan yours! The average person who vacations in Italy sees 2-3 cities max. My husband and I decided to make the most of our two week trip and explore Italy a little bit more. This did mean less time in many of the cities we went to but frankly it didn't bother me because I still got to see it and now I can easily make the choice to go back to explore the places I loved a little bit deeper. We visited 10 places in Italy and this how we did it! :)
1. Decide on the dates of travel – for Italy, you need a minimum of two weeks to really soak it in.
Based on research we did, we discovered May-June are the best times to travel or August to September; because of weather and less tourists. If you are going to the North of Italy and want to travel in May, make sure you travel the second or third week because the first week of May was very much like spring! Very rainy, cloudy and cool at night. It kind of changed our experience in Milan, Verona and Venice.
2. Book your plane tickets – if you can, ahead of time to get good seats on the plane because Italy is a popular destination and you also want cheaper ticket prices. We booked our tickets about one month ahead of time through Expedia. We didn't go through a travel agent because we wanted to dictate our own trip and find destinations that appealed to us the most without being limited by the opinion of a third person. It was hard enough to try and convince my husband to shop in Milan :P
3. Find areas to visit in Italy
Once your travel dates are set and your tickets are confirmed, start brainstorming the places you want to visit in Italy. Make a list of the main places you want to see. If you are not sure what to see in Italy, think about what you want to get out of this trip. Are you looking for a vacation on the beach? A vacation for cultural experiences? Museums, art, history? Food? Once that’s decided, you can google search the top spots in Italy for your areas of interest. I really wanted a combination of everything. Most people narrow down the places they want to visit to 2-3, max 4 in a two week vacation. However, my husband and I decided to make the best out of it. We didn't want to be confined and limited in our travel throughout Italy so we decided to rent a car. We wanted to plan our trip efficiently so we used the website routeperfect.com to organize the order of places we should visit. It was super helpful!
4. Book Hotels/Airbnb
Since you have narrowed down your destinations to visit, you can start searching for accommodations in those areas. We wanted to experience a little bit of affordable luxury in Italy. We kept our options open between hotels and airbnbs. For each city/area we wanted to visit we would search on both trivago.ca and airbnb.ca. We booked depending on the prices, the photos and the reviews. Our average price spent per night was between $100-300.
4. Rent a Car - Renting a car is definitely an added expense to your trip but so worth it. Being able to not have to lug your luggage around from taxi to taxi or train station was comforting. Some people are afraid of driving in Italy. Luckily my husband has driving experience in Lebanon and if you have driven in Lebanon, you can drive anywhere. Italy has a pretty organized traffic control and traffic lights. It is common for people to speed on highways though so you would have to be careful there. Otherwise, with a GPS you are set!
The cost of renting a car is more affordable the longer you rent it. For a two week period for a full size vehicle, you are looking at between $600-$800. This includes the fee of picking up the car from one airport and dropping it off at another airport. We flew into Milan and flew out of Rome so it was important for us to be able to do that.
5. Research! Best ways to research are through google and social media. To find beautiful places in Italy, look at the places that travel bloggers have visited and search them on social media via geotags and hashtags too view realistic photos.