hmmmmm, soooo, yea. When I started researching Italy, I was all “heck yes I can plan an awesome trip to Italy for me and my bestie for about $60/person/day! Piece O Cake!” Yea, not so much. Italy is expensive. I’m not talking, ohh, you know, Europe, expensive. I mean, expensive. The low end hostels are upwards of 25 euro in many cities. For a bed. in a dorm. There went over half the day’s budget and I haven’t even thought of food, activities, or transportation. Holy Crap.
So, it’s time to rethink this. How can we get the most out of our trip and still make the budget work? I think the first thing we are going to have to do is really look what’s on our wish list and then cut it down. Remember: Slower travel is cheaper travel.
Next, we’ll have to look at the remaining places on the list and figure out why we want to go there: what sights/activities/tastes are essential? Based on that, is it feasible for us to couchsurf some place? If we can couchsurf for just 2 nights in our most expensive city, we could save about 80 euro per person. That’s enough to each rent a scooter for a day on Capri and have enough left over for a nice dinner out.
We also need to look at the most economical travel path we can take. By avoiding backtracking as much as we can, we will not only save money on transportation costs, but also waste less time being stuck on a bus, train, ferry, or plane and more time enjoying our destinations.
Speaking of ferries…I realized something today. I was planning on taking the Grimaldi ferry from Rome to Barcelona near the end of September because I figured it would be cheaper than flying. Turns out, in NO WAY is it cheaper. Ferry = 20 hours + <80 euro. Flying = 2 hours + 35 euro. Still, even though I know in my head that being stuck on a ferry for 20 hours w/o even a cabin (80 euro is for a pullman seat, not even a proper bed) on potentially rough water would NOT be a good time, there is still something about the idea that I find fascinating. Maybe it’s just because I know I’d have a good story out of it. Maybe I like the idea of not everything being instantaneous and so easy when I travel. Or maybe it’s because I am a true romantic at heart, and that ferry ride symbolizes adventure and exploration.