The reason why the word expensive is in the title because we travelled to all the wallet breaking places in Italy like Amalfi coast, Capri island, Rome, Positano and all around the south coast. The price over there is similar to Santorini in Greece and London in the UK… it’s impossible to spend 2 weeks without burning out your budget.
Well I tried it with a companion of mine and none of us spent more than $2,000 for the whole trip!
PS. Having a friend or someone to travel with will save quite a bit in this case, but we’ll include other things that even travelling by yourself can achieve this!
1. Stay in AirBnB/camp sites on the outskirts
Not all AirBnB are expensive except for the ones in the central areas of the touristy parts. There’s this rule that locals or generally anyone living in any countries would follow (and this should apply to all tourists/travellers too!) to be able to stay in expensive cities… they stay in the outskirts!
Let’s say you want to live in London, UK, the only to do so and not run out of money in 2 days is to stay a bit further from the central area about 30 minutes bus ride away. Outside of the central you will find apartments nearly half the price and twice the size bigger… tourists and travellers should think the same way too, especially when your budget is small!
What we did was we found an AirBnB in a town called Castellamare di Stabia which is about an hour car ride away from Positano. It is where locals are and where the price for accommodation dropped by half. You don’t have to stay in that town but do try to find a town closeby to the places you’re aiming to go… another positive thing about it is that you also get to see how the locals live too!
In Rome, there are a lot of campsites where you can get a room for 20 Euros a night.
2. Rent Smartcars from the locals
Italy is most convenient mostly in its biggest cities like Rome where you can actually rely on the public transports. Yes they are cheaper but when we tried it in Capri it took nearly 2 hours to get to our accommodation even though the journey was supposed to take half an hour.
When we were there we rented the cheapest car this local rental place had which was a Smartcar for 30 Euros a day… this is bargain! Because for our age (21 years old) we would be considered in Europe as young drivers and they would charge us about 50% more… this can end up with at least 70 Euros a day!
All you need to do is avoid the big car rental companies and search for something more local, you’d be surprised what you can find!
3. Takeaway half the time then restaurant meals later
In Italy they charge for eating at the restaurant… when I say they charge for it they REALLY do charge for it… like twice of what take-away might cost! So many places have take-away and sit-in options, during the day we suggest you go with take-away and walk around while eating or sit in a park somewhere. You can easily get a tray of pizza for less than 8 Euros or a big sandwich for 5 Euros and it REALLY will fill you up!
The reason why we said ‘then restaurant meals later’ is because it’s a vacation not starvation camp, you don’t need to starve or stop yourself for eating what you want to eat. You’ve worked so hard to save up this much money to be in such a lovely country but yet you’re stopping yourself because certain food is a little pricey! Oh hellllll no! DO treat yourself!
By doing takeaways for a little bit allow you to eat in a nice, romantic restaurant watching the beautiful sunset later or dinner. This keeps the balance up so you’re not stopping yourself from eating anything and you’re not breaking your wallet much either!
4. Order the carbs (except the appetizers)
I don’t know why but it seems to be the case in Italy that anything with a lot of carbs are wayyy cheaper. Like a whole pizza for less than 10 Euros and a big plate of pasta for less than 15 Euros everywhere you go. On most Italian restaurants they have 4 sections: appetizer, anti-pasta (or something along that line but they are pretty much anything pasta related), pizza and meat. Weirdly the appetizers are even more expensive than pizzas and pastas. When looking at the menu you will clearly see the price difference between everything else and the meat section. The meat section only has meat and sometimes salad with it, but no carbs… and the price starts from 15 Euros… nothing less. However when looking at the pizza and pasta sections you will see that barely any of it cost more than 15 Euros!
When you go to more local areas or other smaller places, you will also see the choice of sandwiches… they are usually no more than 10 Euros just like pizzas, and the size won’t disappoint you!
5. If you have a car then get up early
How much parking can cost in Italy especially around the Amalfi coast will shock you… the highest we paid was 32 Euros for 8 hours, so that’s 4 Euros per hour; and that was already a cheaper option in Amalfi! Insane!
There are so many free parking spaces on the side of the main road before reaching the touristy areas, which is about 10 minutes walk away. However if you get there later than 8 or 9 am then the only option for your car is to pay 4 Euros an hour or pay 25 Euros for all-day parking in which only some private parking spots will offer. We went there even at 10 am it was still impossible to find a parking space.
This option can save you loads because if you’re planning to visit Positano and you get a free parking then the only things you’ll be paying for is food (unless you want to do some shopping and rent out a spot on a private beach then there’s more money being spent but we definitely don’t recommend shopping around there because you will find nothing cheaper than 50 Euros per item… unless you’re buying a very small item!).