Planning your trip to Italy can be almost as much fun as taking your trip. By making your planning fun, you can start enjoying your trip before you even leave your house.
Traveling provides a lifetime of memories. Make the most of your trip by turning away from the familiar and overcoming your fear of the unknown. The more you plan the more you will eliminate those things that make you afraid to travel.
Don’t forget to include some relaxing time in your trip. Mingling with locals at a market, enjoying a cappuccino in the morning while you watch people heading off for work, eating a gelato in the afternoon sitting on a park bench watching children play or drinking a glass of wine in the evening while you watch the boats come in and out of the harbor in Vernazza may turn out to be the highlight of your trip.
So here are a few tips for planning your trip:
Be real. Be realistic about your time. If you only have a week of vacation plan to go to one or two places and enjoy them. Think about what you really want to do and where you really want to go.
- Shape up for your trip. When you travel you do a lot of walking so get in shape before your trip and then plan your trip according to your fitness level. It is not any fun to plan a wonderful trip and then not be able to enjoy it because you are too worn out.
- Friends, what do they know? They may know a lot. Ask your friends for travel advice and incorporate their great experiences into your travel plans and learn from their mistakes.
- Those lucky Europeans. Most Europeans get a minimum of 4 weeks’ vacation each year and they tend to take it in August; this results in overpopulated resort towns and mass closings of restaurants and stores as the proprietors head off for their holidays.
- Rome is Texas hot in the summer. Parts of Europe are as hot as the southern part of the United States in July and August, add in thousands of tourists and it can be miserable. There are cooler places in Italy than Rome so if you have to travel to Italy in the summer think cool and go north.
- You may not think to ask, but….Make sure your hotel has heating and air conditioning especially if you are traveling in the middle of the summer or the middle of the winter.
- Go local. If you like festivals and mingling with other people, hitting local events can be a highlight of your trip. If you don’t like crowds then make sure you avoid those cities on festival days.
- Is winter better? Crowds are lighter in winter which is a benefit. Rome and points south are enjoyable in the winter months. However, some sites will be closed and those that are open may have limited hours. You may also find that a museums’ tour in the winter caters more to locals and native speakers.
- Didn’t I just pack this suitcase? Traveling can be exhausting and packing and repacking is tedious no matter how small your suitcase. Minimize the number of times you need to switch hotels by taking day trips by train, bus or hire a driver to guide you around the countryside. Your hotel can help you make arrangements.
- Trip insurance? Insurance can make having to cancel a trip a disappointment rather than a financial disaster. Read the fine print to make sure you understand what is and is not covered and if there are reimbursement limits.
- Travel insurance? Travel insurance can be purchased to cover theft, loss and medical problems. As with all insurance make sure you know what the policy covers.
- Credit cards are safer. Paying for airline tickets and hotel rooms with a credit card makes it easier to get a refund if needed. This is particularly true with airlines that could declare bankruptcy after you pay for your trip.