Travel costs occupy the major portion of one’s vacation budget, and it’s the travel arrangements that turn out to be the most cumbersome part of the holiday. The first step towards enjoying a problem-free vacation in Italy is to plan systematically, because the travel options are so varied.
Shop around patiently for discount offers. Air tickets are priced differently during peak and off-seasons. In either season it is possible to get a bargain offer due to last-minute cancellations.
You can take a direct flight from America to any place in Italy. If you can compromise on in-flight luxuries like complementary food and drinks, and if time is not a constraint, you can try the low-cost airlines of Europe such as easyJet and Ryanair. Intercontinental flights to London cost much less than direct flights to Italy. So take a London flight, and from there you can go to any place in Italy at a fare ranging from 30 to 60 dollars. But the hitch is that low-cost planes start from Stansted airport, whereas your intercontinental flight lands at Heathrow or Gatwick. You need plenty of time to commute, and patience to haul the luggage between ports.
On arriving at Italy, you can book a package which takes care of all your travel and accommodation arrangements, or choose to explore by yourself. Different travel packages are available to cater to different tastes. Some provide escorted bus tours accompanied by a guide. But a bus can be very confining for longer rides. Moreover, service is cancelled if a minimum number of seats are not filled.
Train packages are more comfortable than buses and offer freedom of movement, but might be slightly expensive. Some offer a combination of travel, which might be the most ideal choice. Leisurely car-drives in the countryside, gondola rides in Venice canals, and bus or train facilities let you travel from city to city. More athletic types can go for bicycle trips and tour Italy on a bicycle.
Chalk out your own itinerary if you find organized travel confining. The public transport system in Italy is both efficient and inexpensive. Using public transport within cities is the best to avoid parking problems. Choose an accommodation nearer to a bus or train terminal so that you don’t waste much time. There are special tourist buses which give you an overview of the city covering all the important places. You can go to other cities and towns either by bus or train.
If privacy and flexibility are high on your agenda, then take a vacation rental and explore the beauty of Italy in a private car. Careful homework can make your trip to Italy both economical and fun.
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