Saturday, February 25, 2012

Traveling to Italy with the Family

Megan Gates is an active blogger who provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to NYC Rentals, Hamptons Homes, home improvement and the latest architecture, design, fashion and travel.  Follow her on twitter @MEGatesDesign.

A vacation to Italy seems to be too luxurious and fancy to do with your family on a budget.  However, with some advanced planning and useful information, an Italian vacation can be affordable, flexible, and family friendly.

To ensure you don't miss out on the finer things Italy has to offer, such as its world-famous cuisine, culture, historical landmarks and ancient ruins, plan ahead as much as possible.  Form a list of your top cities and attractions and whittle it down until it's both doable in your allotted time frame, and friendly to your bank account.  Always remember that, when traveling with your children, trying to squeeze too much into your trip will turn a fun, family vacation into a tourism nightmare.

Avoid planning your vacation during the peak travel season in May, June, September and October. July and August will be hot, so keep that in mind when traveling with small children.  If you are able to go in March, April or November, the weather will be milder and the attractions less crowded and more affordable.

Flights and Accommodations

Book flights in advance and out of a major international airport if possible.  Avoid direct flights from the U.S. to Italy as they are more expensive.  Instead, take a layover in London or Munich to save money and give the family a relaxing break.

Looking for affordable accommodations? Forget the luxury hotel; opt for low-budget hotels or house and apartment rentals.  Rentals are ideal to prepare meals in the kitchen, saving money on pricey restaurant meals.

If you go out for a meal, avoid the ristoranti and instead dine in an osteria, trattoria or an agriturismo.  These are more reasonably priced and informal.

Getting Around

Don't ride in expensive Italian taxis.  Go for discount travel passes for the railway and try to see as many attractions as you can located within walking distance of each other to cut down on travel costs.

Italy for Free

It's hard to fathom, but there are wonderful, free attractions in Italy, particularly when in Rome. Find free concerts in the park and free admission to famous museums, including the Vatican and Musei Capitolini on the last Sunday of each month.  The Pantheon is always free, though they have hours of operation, so plan accordingly.

An Italian family vacation is possible with advanced planning and research. Relax, have fun, and enjoy your stay in Italy.

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