Have I mentioned lately how crowded it is in Rome?!? I’m not just exaggerating when I say that, it’s true. Museums, hotels, and restaurants are seeing more people than ever before. Not just more than typical for this time of year, but ever.
When the world first reopened, back in June 2021, people slowly and cautiously started returning to travel – and they were rewarded with having cities to themselves. It stayed pretty quiet for over a year and now it’s just insanely crowded.
So, chances are, you might be planning a trip to Europe soon.
Your two biggest travel expenses are usually flights and hotels.
Here are a few travel hacks to help you save money.
Save on flights
If you are not loyal to an airline, I highly recommend comparing prices on Google Flights. The site will check all the airlines, plus all sorts of combinations. As an added bonus, you don’t pay a fee to book, because the site sends you directly to the website for the airline to pay.
When using a site like this, you’ll see lots of airlines you probably wouldn’t think to check. But don’t be afraid of European airlines.
You’ll often save hundreds of dollars per person by booking with Turkish Airlines or Aer Lingus – I’ve flown both and landed in the proper city each time.
Just as an example, I’m looking at a nonstop Delta flight from Atlanta to Rome, and the price is $1,980. On Turkish Airlines, with a quick stop in Istanbul, the price is $1,426. If you are traveling with family or friends, that’s a lot of money.
Another flight from JFK to Rome… nonstop on United is $1,618. On Aer Lingus, with a quick stop in Dublin, just $814.
However, don’t always measure savings in dollars, your time is also important. So for some people, a nine hour nonstop flight vs a 16 hour flight with a connection could be worth a little extra money.
Another trick is to compare on the official sites of codeshare airlines. Sometimes the exact same nonstop Atlanta to Rome flight on Delta will cost a few hundred dollars more than booking through their codeshare, Air France. Literally the exact same flight. Crazy.
Finally, airlines often have a “flexible” search where they will show you prices a few days before and after your preferred travel date. I use this all the time and sometimes save hundreds per person, just by going a day early. Careful, though, remember you’ll need an extra night or two in a hotel. So factor that in.
Which brings me to…
Save on hotels
I always prefer hotels to AirBnbs, so this applies to hotels only.
Many people use the big booking sites for hotels. Here’s your tip… if you find a hotel you like, email them directly. Skip the third party site. You can save a lot and you also get the personal touch of dealing directly with the hotel. Working directly with the hotel owners is also a big help if issues come up, like flight delays or cancellations.
Also, with Europe so packed right now, you’ll find a lot of the booking sites list hotels as sold out. But if you email the hotel directly, they often have availability or can at least offer other solutions.
Rome, Just Rome – Thanksgiving Edition
People seem to be very excited about my Rome, Just Rome series of pilgrimages. October sold out faster than anything I’ve offered in nearly 20 years. Advent sold out almost as quickly. The waiting list for both is close to 50 people. 🤯 And even if I could bring that many people at once, I would never.
So now I’m doing one over Thanksgiving!
Tours with Agnes Crawford of Understanding Rome;
A food tour with Sophie Minchilli;
Dinner and wine tasting at the legendary Rimessa Roscioli;
Six amazing meals;
A surprise day trip outside of Rome;
And, of course, opening the Vatican Museums and alone in the Sistine Chapel;
Plus, you don’t even have to cook or clean!
Just like the other two, paid subscribers get the first access to sign up. Everyone else in a few days.
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Why do I do this? With some of these pilgrimages selling out in hours, it’s just an added bonus to those who support the work I do.
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