Post # 1
We are just starting to plan our July 2012 honeymoon to Italy. I just sent in my passport for renewal and name change, so I’m told we cannot purchase airline tickets until I get my passport back since my # will change.I have heard Costco has some good deals on tickets (you have to book at least 1 hotel night through them). Or is it worth it to go through a travel agent since its such a big purchase? What about hotels? I have heard to book them on your own and not through a travel agent.
We have been to the Rick Steve’s Travel Center (in Edmunds, WA) and read his Europe Through the Back Door book. We also have his Italy 2012 book, but I am reading the Hunger Games (book #3) and I have to finish that first before I dive into the Italy book :]
Just wondered if you had any recommendations for planning sites, ideas, etc. It’s our first trip to Europe and we are planning to go for about 2 weeks (depending on how much money we can save up). We should end up with $10-13k by the time July rolls around.
Just looking for general advice – kind of like… where to start? Planning this vacation is kind of like planning a wedding on a smaller scale. I appreciate it!
Post # 3
It might be alittle more expensive, but I would suggest using a travel agent for your hotels. Their standards are different than those in North America, and the travel agent will also be able to help you with best locations in town.
I was in Rome two years ago, and booked my own hotel. The hotel itself was great – small, but clean and not shady, but the area of town was less than ideal…something I didn’t know about until I got there.
I got a great deal on the hotel (74 euro/night), but I was in my room every night before dark as I didn’t want to run into any trouble along on the streets at night.
Post # 4
We did a 2 week honeymoon in italy, it was amazing! You do not need to wait for your new passport to book your flights. We did not use a Travel agent and 3 out of the 4 places we stayed were amazing. To be fair the 1 that wasn’t was a last minute booking after our hotel cancelled with 3 weeks to go. I did a ton of research on TripAdvisor.com and was very happy with the results.
Our budget was a little more than half of yours but we did go in off season. We flew into Venice for 3 nights, than 4 nights in Florence, 4 in Sorrento and the final 3 were in Rome. We traveled by train, except for 1 day when we rented a car in Sorrento.
We started by visiting a Travel Agent, which helped us figure out our Itinerary. When we looked up his reccomendations we didn’t find very good reviews and decided to book ourselves.
Post # 5
I might suggest using a travel agent. I wouldn’t usually use one but I will for my honeymoon. It’s the only vacation where I wouldn’t want to deal with any hiccups.
They also sometimes have “insider” knowledge on travel deals. You might end up saving money!
I’ve been to Rome and Venice. I would recommend both but I really regret not seeing the Cinque Terre. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about it and it looks beautiful!
EDIT: Also, Lake Como. I think Rick Steves did a show on it. So beautiful!
Post # 6
My Fiance and are going there, how was the train ride?
Post # 7
thanks, everyone! this blog is my inspiration so far: http://www.100layercake.com/blog/category/honeymoon/
i think we both agree that we want to see:
-almafi coast (ravello, amalfi, positano, sorrento, capri and pompeii)
…he likes the more laid back towns but i believe that we cannot go without seeing the big things too. is 2 weeks enough? we want to feel relaxed and not rushed…
Post # 8
We did a two week yacht cruise down the Amalfi coast and it was faaaabulous! So jealous… it’ll be a while before we can get back to Italy 🙁
Post # 9
In order to book international airline tickets, you’ll just need your name exactly as it will appear on your passport & your birthdate, not the passport #. You can always add your passport #, emergency contact info, etc. to your tickets after they’ve been purchased. You should speak with a travel agent regarding your itinerary as you have 11 places on your wish list & only 2 weeks to see all of that. A good agent will be able to advise you how to maximize your time without feeling like you’ll “need a vacation after your vaction.” Good luck!
Post # 10
We hope to go to Italy before starting a famliy. I just wanted to say I’m jealous and I love Rick Steve’s : )
One of our stops will be Naples (extended family).
Post # 11
One more followup question – any idea how much to budget per day for food (USD)? We were thinking about doing a lighter bfast/lunch and bigger dinners. Is $100 USD/day enough or should we budget $150 USD? Thanks bees!
Post # 12
@kolsen206: I ate like CRAZY in Italy, the food was delicious so I would definitely budget on the higher side if you want to be safe. It all depends on your preference of food.
Based on my experience I didn’t find the food expensive anywhere else but Venice (it is waaaay overpriced in St. Marks Square, walk a block from the square to eat). I often found myself snacking rather than splurging on larger meals. Gelato here, bread there, maybe a glass of wine with cheese etc.
Just a side note, be careful of the “type” of restuarant that you eat at. Just a difference in name can indicate a significant price hike or discount. Here is a website with a little insight: http://www.italylogue.com/food-drink/different-kinds-of-restaurants-in-italy.html.
Post # 13
@Treejewel19: good insight. we definitely dont want to skimp on food. its probably the part of the trip we are most excited about 🙂
Post # 14
I can’t wait to start planning my Italian honeymoon!! We will be going a year from this upcoming March…. I’ve been wanting to go my whole life!
Loving all the suggestions!
Post # 15
We had our honeymoon earlier this month in Italy. We loved it so much and it was very romantic in December all lit up! We went to Rome, Siena, and Florence.
Anyways, the hotels we stayed at had breakfasts (oh, so delicious.. cappucinos, croissants, tortes, fresh fruit, cheese and cold cuts) included in our stay so you may want to check your hotels on that. You definitely should splurge on dinner especially if you want to experience their culture. They eat 3 or 4 courses: antipasti (an appetizer), Primo (1st course) usually pasta, and Secundo ( a 2nd course) usually meat or fish, and we ALWAYS got dessert and of course we had wine!! I would definitely say we spent over a $100 USD on dinner. For lunch, we would just go to a pizzeria or get a sandwich like a mozzerella tomato sandwich. Oh, I miss it so much!!!
Even when we got back to the US, we wanted Italian food. We did not get sick of it at all!! We always asked our hotel for the “local” restaurants. We didn’t want the touristy places. Also, you may want a recommendation on gelato places. I had read that some gelato places just cater to the tourist and do not take the careful time and effort that makes gelato so yummy and creamy. I could defnitely tell the difference between touristy gelato and real gelato!! HAVE FUN! I”M SO JEALOUS! I want to go back!! 🙂
Post # 16
Rick Steves is absolutely awesome, I definitely recommend his walking tours, esp the ones in Pisa and Florence.