Tag Archives: Budget Travel
Rome may be the seat of the Catholic faith but this city has so much to offer than just its churches. Compared to other European countries, staying here becomes really affordable once you have set yourself up in one of the nice places to stay in the area. Even if you have to enjoy Rome on a budget, you can still get to see much of the city without missing the most important stops by getting attuned to how the locals live.
Eat a full meal at lunch rather than dinner. Weight conscious individuals will love this because dinner is deemed to be that meal when you should eat like a slave. The same idea goes for people on a tour to Rome because most restaurants offer all inclusive lunch at competitive prices but during dinner, you could be charged double the price. Hence, it would be better to eat snacks or go on a picnic at dinnertime.
Don’t tip more than 5% unless you are really impressed by the service. Contrary to the practice in the US, the waiters in Rome do not expect a 12% tip and Romans do not leave tips which are greater than 5%. So, do not feel obliged to leave more money on the table when you are in Rome.
Stay on your feet while grabbing your meal. A sweet croissant or cornetto and a cup of cappuccino is the perfect combination but when you are in a café or a bar, do what the locals do, stand up and move on. Since the prices for table services can double, standing at the bar to save is definitely an option.
Taste the Gelato. Ice cream happens to be one of the best things about Rome. To those who have a sweet tooth, Rome is just the place to get a lot of it. One good place to eat ice cream is the Piazza delle Province. Ice cream comes in a lot of flavors such as yogurt with strawberries, smarties and anything you want. Just follow the crowd and you’ll know the best place to get ice cream.
See Vatican at Night. Getting inside the Vatican Museum is a must when you are in Rome and as one of the places with the most extensive art collections; it’s not surprising why there are tons of people. To avoid the foot traffic and for thinner crowds, catch the last entrance. The tour will be self-guided but you can peruse the paintings and other museum display at your leisure.
Drop by the cat sanctuary. There is much to see in Rome and one of these is the cat sanctuary which sits beside the ruins of Torre Argentina. This sanctuary is in a cave-like area which is run by volunteers. The location is actually where Julius Caesar was stabbed by Brutus. You can feed the felines and drop by the cat shop.
Get an art pass. There is so much to see around Rome and if you love the arts, a Roma Pass is just what you need. You will have free access to 2 sights or museums, unlimited rides in public transport and reduced fees when gaining entry to various events and sights. Research is essential to plan ahead and get the most of your pass.
People in Rome are known to live beyond their means and by getting some hints from locals, you will surely relish your stay in the city without worrying about overspending. These are just some of the tips that can help you plan a smoother trip while living within your financial capacity.
When it comes to traveling, many people don’t think of it as something feasible because it’s, “too expensive!”. Yes, of course, if you want to go to Monte Carlo in the middle of summer, you’ll probably be spending some serious loot, but for the majority of destinations, there are always quality budget accommodations, things to do that aren’t expensive etc. This means while you have a million options for destinations to visit, you will still need to save up some money before shipping out. Here are 3 great ways to save money for traveling!
1. Start paying for things in cash and hoard that change!
While you can definitely rack up some rewards and cash back if you’re using a credit card, many people are pretty wary of doing so. A great way to save money for traveling (or anything for that matter), is pay for things in cold hard cash, and any coins you receive for change, store them in a jar or somewhere else that you just won’t lose it. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll start saving some serious dough. Some banks like TD Bank offer free change cashing for either direct deposit to your bank account or right back into bills.
2. Rent out your place for the duration of your trip
There has been a big movement in recent years against the hotel industries inflating prices, and that revolution starts at home, literally! There are a few popular websites like AirBnB.com, VacationRentals.com and Wimdu.com that allow people to upload their homes, apts, condos, etc. to rent to travelers. It’s an attractive offer for travelers because if you like to cook, have a family, etc. you can get way more bang for your buck. And hey, isn’t it more fun to get to check out how real locals live anyway? You can rent out your home while you’re gone, and even use the service when you travel and save a lot of money, hell you might even make some! Another good tip is to forego taking a taxi to the airport after you lock up someone renting your spot. If you’re going away for a few days, it’s cheaper just to park at the airport. Do a Google search for airparks discount codes as well to score some more savings as well!
3. Sell off all your old CDs, DVDs and video games
Let’s be real, when is the last time you really listened to a CD? Yea maybe you still use it in your car here and there, but chances are you have an AUX jack you plug in your ipod or mp3 player with. Still playing Mariokart 64 or Halo 1? Didn’t think so. While you probably won’t make a fortune selling off all your old forms of entertainment, there are some good, easy options on the web that will buy back all your old media like Music Magpie (see here). Hey, nothing like cleaning out your old crap and getting paid for it at the same time right?
The ‘Floating City’ is one of Europe’s must-visit cities and a trip to Venice can feel like a journey to a different, magical world. The city is made up of 118 little islands and has canals round every corner, making for a truly spectacular sight. Just over 250’000 people live there permanently and you’re perhaps just as likely to meet a tourist in the street as a local. Venice is a fascinating city with architecture, artwork and more and is considered one of the world’s most romantic cities.
What to See and Do
Saint Mark’s Square is the center point of Venice and is always packed full of tourists. The Campanile of the square stretches high into the sky, making it easy to spot from the surrounding areas. The current one was built in 1912 after the previous Campanile collapsed in 1902 and the views from the top of the 50 meter structure are some of the best you’ll find of Venice.
Saint Mark’s Basilica is very much a part of the square with its western walls literally part of it. This great example of Byzantine architecture has over 4,000 square meters of ruby, emerald, diamond and gold covered mosaics and was built both as a tribute to Saint Mark’s body, as well as a way to demonstrate the great wealth and power of 11th century Venice.
The other must-do activity in Venice is to take a trip on a gondola. These traditional Venetian boats cruise along the city’s canals every day and a ride at sunset can be a very romantic way to spend an evening in Venice, especially if you pass under the Bridge of Sighs where legend promises eternal love with a kiss.
Venice Tips and Advice
The first piece of advice for visiting Venice is to find a good map. And then buy a better one! The narrow and winding streets make the city of Venice a real-life labyrinth and you will almost certainly get lost at some point on your trip. The great thing is, however, that an afternoon lost in Venice is better than most afternoons anywhere else! You’ll find little passageways and sights that you’d never have found in the guidebook, making getting lost a lot of fun. Just make sure you have that good map, though, if you do want to ever find your back.
The city of Venice can be quite expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! Don’t go for a meal near Saint Mark’s Square unless you’re happy to be a fortune for your food. Restaurants further from the center re generally cheaper which will make you and your wallet happy. You can also save money on accommodation by looking for a self-catering apartment instead of a hotel. GoWithOh.com is one site with apartments in Venice and worth checking out if you fancy that option.
If you ever find yourself needing the toilet in Venice, know that cafés are obliged to let you use theirs for free. It’s always polite to stay for a drink if you do use their toilet, but a good piece of advice to know if you simply can’t wait!
Hope you’ve enjoyed our quick Venice travel guide, and if you have any other special tips or cool things to see in Venice, please comment below!
Guide Provided by Euan McTear