I am going to Italy for 15 days this summer. I am hoping to visit numerous places however I would like to keep my options open when i am there to where I will go. I therefore dont want to book all of my hostels etc throughout the trip before I go just in case i decide to change my plans. I will have quite a strict budget during my trip and will only be staying in the chepest possible hostels. Is this a reasonable expectation or will I struggle to find accomodation? Thanks, Phil.
Hello Phil 😊
Since you are travelling in Summer time I would certainly book most of them in advance. There are lots of hostels, but they do get booked up, especially the cheapest ones.
Also if you go to a hostel without booking and find it full, then you will have to pay for another subway ticket to get you to another one.
It depends heavily on what city you'll be in, however, if you don't book you'll inevitably find somewhere to sleep - but it might not be what you were expecting. There are some great hostels that really enrich some vacations and then there are some that can make it worse, if you don't book, you're chances of landing the decent ones are obviously skewed.
I agree with Mel on this one - I run with the rule of thumb - if travelling in the peak season book up in advance - unless arriving before noon.
I spent one rainy February evening in Rome wandering from hotel to hotel before paying 50euros for a broom cupboard - because Ryan Air had just started offering discount flights to the city - so my rule of thumb now also includes - if arriving late book ahead.
Keep an eye out for bank holidays as well. I had to temporarily re-route my trip out of Rome because I'd only booked my first night there, and after that was a bank holiday and there was nothing left in the city. It worked out because I went to Firenze (Florence) for a few days and then back...but it was frustrating!
I'd say to try and make reservations when you can ahead of time because you don't want to spend time on the internet looking at bookings or on the phone when you could be out seeing Italy.
on a budget with the super in Italy in August? Dude... can you change destination?
It all depends where you go. Cities are expensive and good quality budget accomodation is hard to come by, better book hostels. But if you have your own transport, better bet is to search 'agriturismo', farm restaurants and B&B. I strongly suggest independent transport in Italy. Public stuff is ghastly. Give more infos about your destinations and I can be more detailsd.
Cheers and do not forget that there is a whole universe beyond pizza
Also watch out for the month when the Romans exit the city, unless you would like to be in a city with no locals in it. I think it is August when they all leave for a month?? I dont know what happens with public services such as shops during that month. Maybe they stay open for tourists?
Rome can be quite economical. There are hostels which cost 5 Euros per night. These ones however have an age limit.
Also city transport is very cheap if you are dishonest enough. Many dont buy tickets. However if the police catch you they will escort you to a bank machine to withdraw the fine.
You can also walk around much of the centre of Rome. Most of the hostels have a map so you can pick up that and maybe avoid public transport almost completely. Drinks and snacks in those little corner shops with tables and in many cafes cost less than they do in more Northern parts of Europe unless they are very near a tourist attraction. So if you want to cut costs go to cafes on side streets or to supermarkets.
Mell's right, watch out for august (feriagusto) as all the locals leave and the city becomes a quiet and stinky concrete sauna where tourists wander like zombies with upside down maps. It's rough.
Also in agreeance, Rome is quite affordable if you do it the right way - which isn't difficult.
Squirrel, if you are planning to stick on the main touristic destinations then is worthy to book in advance, but if you are wondering around on less common paths (strongly reccomended) then finding somewhere to sleep won't ever be a problem, including some nights of free lodging at people met on trains/bus or in a bar.
As for Mell's suggestion to save money by being dishonest on public transportation, I totally disagree. And not just because of the chance to get fined. A few euros aren't worthy the inner self-examination due to a less ethical behaviour ;-)
I lived and traveled in Italy a few years ago, and my experience was that it is difficult to find an affordable room in Italy if you do not have it booked ahead, and make sure to bring good maps & directions! I was traveling with my family and we were not looking for hostels, but the same thing might apply to hostels as well.
Thankyou so much everyone 😊