Italy is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason. From gorgeous cities to breathtaking landscapes and arguably some of the best food globally, Italy has endless opportunity for exploration, but how much money do you need to have to enjoy this country with your family? The answer: less than you might think.
On average, a trip to Italy will cost between $600 and $1000 per day for a family of four. Numerous factors enter into this figure, and these include air travel, accommodation, tours, transport, food, souvenirs, and travel insurance. There are, however, several ways in which these costs can be brought lower through careful planning and budgeting.
Italy is an extremely vibrant country with endless sights and experiences on offer. The best way to ensure that you are able to gain the best experiences within your budget is to prioritize your needs and desires; and decide where to negotiate on your expectations.
How Much Is a Trip to Italy For a Family of Four?
It is possible to experience Italy from as little as $65 per day on a low budget. However, this would involve several sacrifices and might require “skipping out” on the major tourist attractions, opting instead for a slow-paced and perhaps more rural experience.
A more realistic budget, between $150 and $250 per person per day, would ensure an experience that affords visits to some of the most popular tourist destinations, comfortable family accommodation, and excellent food.
If traveling from the US, several different airline options will allow you to find one which suits your budget. The rule of thumb here, however, is to ensure that you book as far as possible in advance. On average, flights to Italy will set you back around $4000 for a family of four.
Accommodation options in Italy are limitless; however, price varies enormously based on season, proximity to city centers and tourist attractions, and naturally, amenities.
Luxurious hotels – in which two rooms would often be required for a family of four – can cost over $1000 per night. However, several hotels can accommodate a family of four for as little as $300 per night.
Apartment rentals on sites such as Airbnb can be found for around $250 per night for the entire apartment, meaning this might be a more suitable option for a family of four.
Tours and Excursions
While sightseeing, guided tours can ensure a more valued experience for the family, allowing for a more holistic understanding of the country and its rich history. Private family tours are often the most enjoyable way to experience some tourist attractions, and these can cost anywhere between $400 to $500 for a family of four.
While not advisable within major cities such as Rome, car rental is highly advisable when leaving the cities to explore the countryside. Car rentals (for a car that will fit a family of four with luggage) will cost around $800 for a one-week rental.
Travel by train is efficient and inexpensive in and around cities and is far more economical than taxi rides. One can expect to spend around $25 per person, per day, on transport in and around cities, whether traveling by train, bus, or tram.
Food in Italy is arguably one of the most important aspects of the country. From Ristorantes, Trattorias, and street markets, food options are limitless.
One can expect to spend around $125 per day on food for a family of four, provided some of these meals are made at home from store-bought ingredients or street food vendors as opposed to restaurants.
Souvenirs and Miscellaneous Expenses
Italy is well known for its wine selections, olive oils, and leather goods. Tips for tour guides and restaurant service staff are another factor to consider when creating your budget for travel in Italy. One can expect to spend, on average, around $50 per day on souvenirs and other miscellaneous expenses.
Travel insurance is another significant cost that must be considered when traveling in Italy. This is not necessarily cheap, but it is an important consideration, and can cost anywhere between $500 and $700.
Is Italy an Expensive Country to Visit?
While Italy has a reputation for being an expensive country to visit, it is still considered far more affordable than destinations such as the United Kingdom and the Scandinavian countries.
While there are limitless options for luxurious travel in Italy, there is always a way in which the country can be experienced on a limited budget.
The Northern parts of Italy are considered far more expensive as tourist destinations, but the further south one travels, the more affordable the country becomes.
Areas such as Sicily and Messina in the South will allow any visitor to experience more for their allocated budget than perhaps the major cities such as Rome, Venice, and Milan.
Is Food Expensive in Italy?
Italy is renowned globally for its food, and while there are hundreds of high-budget restaurants in every city, there are numerous opportunities for finding affordable food options.
Sit-down restaurants such as Ristorantes tend to be more expensive than Trattorias and street vendors. Sitting down at a restaurant in Italy will always cost more than purchasing food to go.
Restaurants near major tourist attractions often charge far higher prices, and these are often not the restaurants frequented by locals. The further away from the tourist attractions you search, the more affordable the food becomes, and most often, it is these food outlets that provide the most authentic and delicious Italian experience.
What Can I Do to Keep Costs Down?
There are several factors to consider when attempting to keep costs down while traveling in Italy.
Firstly, planning in advance is a major consideration. Plane tickets to Italy should be bought around six months before the departure date in order to lower costs. One can also use accumulated points and “voyager miles” to save on the cost of airfares.
Once in Italy, booking train tickets in advance and avoiding high-speed intercity trains will save enormously on transport costs, as will making use of buses and trams as opposed to taxis.
Italy is a country that can be experienced by walking through cities and enjoying the scenery on foot.
Airbnb offers many affordable accommodation options that will allow you to save money while enjoying a more “local” experience.
When booking tours, small group tours can be a more affordable option than private family tours, while still allowing for an enjoyable and educational experience.
When it comes to food, creating one’s own meals as often as possible is a great way to save money. Street markets offer brilliant choices of breads, cheeses, and cold meats.
Restaurants often boast specials at lunchtime while charging more for dinner, so this is also a good way to enjoy authentic Italian cuisine without breaking the bank.
Another trend in Italy is that of aperitivo where, between 6-8pm, bars and restaurants offer a selection of snacks and charcuterie, which become available by purchasing a single drink.
Italy is an incredible destination for a holiday, whether traveling solo, as a couple, or family. There are numerous options available that allow for an incredible experience on the most limited budgets, so long as careful planning and prioritization occur.
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