Seven Tips for Saving Money on Your Italian Vacation

So the dollar is still weak, but Americans are going to Italy (a Global Insight report predicts a 4.7 percent increase in the number of American travelers visiting Italy this summer). Whether you are traveling on a budget or looking for luxury, I have seven quick money-saving travel tips adapted from a recent Dream of Italy article:

1. Use new low-cost airlines and get great introductory airfare deals. This month Italian airline Air One launches service from Chicago and Boston to Milan. Low-cost carrier Zoom Airlines recently started flights from Toronto and Montreal to Rome.

2. Use the Web to find and predict the best airfare deals, but don’t hesitate to buy. and offer predictions on whether ticket prices for your particular route will stay steady, increase or decrease over the next week But if you find a deal, snap it up, seats are nearly filled for summer travel.

3. Buy a package and save two ways. First, by buying a combination of airfare, hotel, rental car, and/or train tickets you almost always save over what each component would cost individually. Second, pre-paying in dollars before you leave eliminates the risk of currency fluctuations if you were to pay euros in Italy.

4. Cruise the Italian coastline. Nearly every cruise line you can think of – Carnival to Princess– will be cruising the Mediterranean this summer, and by climbing aboard, you can cover your transportation, dining and accommodations costs with one price – in dollars.

5. Make a bid. offers luxury hotel packages and villa rentals at discounted rates through online auctions, while allows individuals to bid on air and hotel packages, coach and business class airline tickets, and hotel nights. The key – do your homework before bidding.

6. Skip the hotel. Hotel rates in Europe are up. Instead, rent a villa or apartment. You will pay way less per night and can save money by using your kitchen to cook for yourself.

7. Get a tourist card. Italian cities like Naples, Orvieto, Padova, Rome, Turin, Trieste, Verona and Venice offer tourist cards which can save you big bucks on public transportation, as well as often including admission to many of the cities’ museums, churches and monuments.

Click here for a detailed and free Dream of Italy article on more money-saving tips for travel to Italy.

Have your own tips? Share them with a comment on this blog post.