How To Visit Italy On A Budget With Your Family

Going to Italy is a dream vacation for many families and is the perfect destination for a family trip. Italy has a special combination of stunning architecture, intriguing history, and amazing food. However, planning that family trip to Italy can seem like a difficult task especially if you’re on a budget. You may be surprised to know that with careful planning and a few insider tips, you can make that family trip a reality. Follow this guide and find out how to visit Italy on a budget with your family.

Venice, Italy

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CHOOSE BUDGET-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATIONS

Instead of going for expensive hotels, choose budget-friendly accommodations such as vacation rentals and home-sharing options. Booking through platforms such as VRBO or Airbnb can help save directly on the cost of accommodations. 

Apartment in Italy

We’ve found there are further savings to be had in that you can save on dining out by booking a location with a full kitchen. This way you can prepare some meals instead of dining out or you can save meals for later. We like to find local markets and purchase small items for snacks and breakfast.

Another benefit is that for a family of four, we enjoy the extra space that booking an apartment provides especially since hotel rooms in Europe are notoriously small.

FIND OUT HOW TO SAVE ON FLIGHTS

Your largest expense for a family trip is likely going to be the flight. There are ways to save significantly on this expense which will make your trip to Italy much more affordable.

It’s good to book far in advance or at least start looking and be prepared to purchase far in advance. We’ve found tremendous deals up to 10 months in advance of our trip. Be flexible with your travel dates.

United airplane

Going in June is great but changing your arrival and departure date by a day or two can mean hundreds of dollars in savings. Also, use any reward or points that you have available. 

Having a credit card specifically that accumulates rewards or points for travel can make a trip much more affordable.

For more money-saving tips for booking your flight to Italy, check out our essential guide for booking flights here.

Booking.com Search FlightsImage

TRAVEL DURING SHOULDER SEASON

One of the best ways to save money on your trip to Italy is to go at the right time. For families, summer is usually the time for a big family vacation; however, summer is often a popular time for everyone to visit Europe.

This means that costs will be very high. You can get the best of budget prices and great weather by traveling in May, June, or September.

Our family loves to travel to Europe in June and found it to be the perfect time for us. The kids are out of school and the prices and crowds are more manageable than in July and August.

As a bonus, the temperature isn’t as hot. You’ll save a great deal on your two biggest expenses (flight and accommodation) by traveling during shoulder season.

PLAN YOUR ITINERARY WISELY

Take the time to plan your itinerary ahead of time. Being organized can not only save time, but also money. Research discounted or free attractions such as free admission days for museums or city walking tours.

Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Many cities in Italy will offer discounted tourist passes to popular attractions or even public transportation. Some locations such as the Colosseum are free for kids or may have discounted rates. Packing your itinerary with these types of attractions can save a lot of money.

STAY FLEXIBLE

While you want to have an itinerary planned and researched, be flexible so that you can take advantage of last-minute deals or other opportunities. Often we’ll find out new things that we’re interested in while we’re on our trip or we may learn about a discount or deal.

Some of these things aren’t the most popular but may end up being just as exciting, so embrace a little spontaneity and go with the flow.

EAT LIKE A LOCAL

Food can be a large expense on your trip to Italy, but it doesn’t have to be. You can easily avoid touristy areas when planning where to eat. You won’t always be able to do that, especially with little ones, because when they’re hungry, they’re hungry!

Trattoria in Italy

However sometimes simply walking a few blocks or down a side street will provide you with better and more affordable options. 

Choosing to grab some small items at a market can be a fun way to enjoy the green spaces and piazzas of Italy by having a picnic.

USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Italy has an efficient public transit system that is excellent for tourists to use. This includes buses and metros as well as trains that connect cities. If your trip is going to take you to several locations look into taking a train instead of a flight.

Train in Italy

We’ve found that connecting to cities via train can be cheaper, much easier to use, and can save time depending on where you’re going.

You can check out potential train routes and prices here.

EXPLORE FREE ATTRACTIONS

Yes, travel to Italy can be expensive, but so much of what makes Italy an amazing place to visit is free to enjoy. The architecture is stunning and simply spending a day walking around a city is worth it. It’s for a good reason that Rome has been called an open-air museum.

Landmarks such as St. Peter’s Basilica and Trevi Fountain in Rome, the Rialto Bridge, and the canals in Venice are free. The best part though, is wandering around and discovering the hidden treasures that Italy has to provide.

PACK LIGHT AND SMART

One of the benefits of traveling during the summer is that it’s easier to pack light. This means that it’s entirely possible to travel with just a carry-on and personal item and save money on baggage fees.

Traveling without checking bags will also allow you to purchase basic economy flights at discounted rates. If you’re willing to mix and match clothing and wash once while you’re on your trip you can greatly reduce the amount of clothing that you need to bring.

Bring a good reusable water bottle and stop at markets to purchase snacks to save on food.

ENGAGE WITH LOCALS

For all of your research, you’ll never know an area like the locals. We’ve found great tips about places to eat and sites to see from speaking to locals.

Starting conversations with shop workers, restaurant owners can give you helpful tips that can give you amazing experiences and save some money. They can also give you information that you won’t find elsewhere online.

ENJOY YOUR FAMILY TRIP TO ITALY

Florence, Italy

Taking a trip to Italy with your family can be much more affordable than you think. With careful planning and a bit of flexibility you can turn your Italy dream vacation into an Italy reality by using these helpful tips. If you’re ready to start booking your trip, make sure you check out our essential packing guide for Italy as well as an itinerary for a visit to Rome and Naples, two of the most fascinating cities in Italy.

Author

  • Jeremiah Pittmon

    Jeremiah Pittmon is a published travel writer and photographer from Cleveland, Ohio. Passionate about exploring the world with his family, he finds inspiration in all types of travel. Through his blog, smilesonarrival.com, and social media channels, he shares captivating experiences and valuable tips for families who love to travel.

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How To Visit Italy On A Budget With Your Family
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