One thing we want to show with our blog is that travel can be more affordable than people realize. We saved our money for 2 years prior to leaving, so we are keeping track of what we spend it on. Our budget we set at the beginning of the trip is $100 USD per day (for 2 people). Some countries are more expensive than others so the $100 is an average goal, not a limit (or a target).
How much did we spend in 22 days in Italy?
Total spent over 22 days = $1,314.96 USD
Daily average = $59.77
Italy is one of the many countries that uses the Euro (EUR) as its currency. The average currency conversion rate while we were there (August 2015) was:
1 USD = 0.89 EUR
1 EUR =1.12 USD
And here is the breakdown of what we spent our money on:
- includes Airbnbs and hotels
- includes trains, public buses, and airport shuttle bus
- includes Rome City Pass, Colosseum audio guide, and Vatican City guided tour
- includes dining out, groceries, drinks, and snacks
- includes clothes, souvenirs, donations, and bathroom fees
Ways we saved money:
1. We spent 2 weeks working on vineyard in the Umbria region of Italy through HelpX. We basically had no expenses except on our day off we took the train to Florence. The trade off was working 4-5 hours per day, 6 days per week. It was more than worth it. Read more about our time working on the vineyard here.
2. We walked all over Rome. It would have been easier to take taxis or the public buses in the 95 degree heat, but we wanted to save the money.
3. Rome City Pass. Buying the city pass gave us access to multiple museums and famous sites for free or a discounted rate. We got the 3 day pass because we only had 3 days there. There was also a 5 day pass that was an even better value.
4. We used a free night credit from our hotels.com account while in Venice (value of $70 USD). After staying 10 nights they give you one free. We always use hotels.com if there are decently priced hotels/hostels/campsites so that we build up to the free night.
Italy was much more affordable than we thought, mainly because we worked for 2 weeks, but we still visited the major cities like Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan. It was also more affordable than other countries on the Euro that we visited afterwards. We were surprised at how expensive train tickets were, but we also purchased them on the day of travel so that didn’t help us much. There is so much more to this country that we didn’t get to see in our short 3 weeks there. Add this one to the list of places we will definitely return to.