How To Plan A 14 Day Trip To Italy & Prague for Less Than 1500 Euros

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Photo of How To Plan A 14 Day Trip To Italy & Prague for Less Than 1500 Euros 1/1 by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)
Colosseum, Italy

At the end of 2014, I had less than 100 rupees in my bank account and a stubborn wish to visit Italy in my heart. Against all conventional wisdom and freely available advice on fiscal responsibility from the likes of Warren Buffett, I decided to take a backpacking trip to Italy and Czech Republic. There was one small glitch in the masterplan: I didn't have the means or the money to backpack across Europe. Not to be dettered, I decided to save every penny in the coming months, begged, borrowed and stole my way in order to explore stunning destinations like Rome, Venice, Florence, and Prague.

This mission required meticulous preparation, constant perseverance and a lot of charity from well wishers. Here are some of the ways that I plan on using to survive the obscene Euro-Rupee exchange rate.

Photo of Italy by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

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1: Flight Bookings (470 Euros)

This is quite often the first as well as the most expensive step of a travel itinerary, which is why I didn't book the tickets on an impulse. First, I decided on the route (Delhi-Venice-Delhi) and then signed up for price alerts on Skyscanner.

Photo of How To Plan A 14 Day Trip To Italy & Prague for Less Than 1500 Euros by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

There are various meta search engines like momondo, kayak and skyscanner which aggregate flight costs from multiple airlines and send email notifications every time there is a price fluctuation. Take 2-3 weeks to understand the trend and make a booking when you feel confident about the pricing.

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2: Accommodation (385 Euros)

Couch Surfing

The cheapest (almost free) mode of accommodation is couch surfing. It involves reaching out to the locals (online) and requesting them to host you for the duration of your stay, sort of like a cultural exchange.

Go to the couch surfing portal, create a profile and request locals to host you. There is only goodwill exchanged in this dealing,money doesn't change hands. It is only good manners to take a gift, cook a meal (mind the spices) or teach a skill in order to show appreciation towards your hosts.

Youth Hostels

If you fancy sharing a bunker bed with travellers from different parts of the globe then youth hostels are right up your ally. There is an extensive network of budget hostels spread across Europe where you can crash at night and meet backpackers and budget travellers alike. Booking, hostelz and Hostel booking are portals with readily available information on hostels.

Bed & Breakfast

Photo of How To Plan A 14 Day Trip To Italy & Prague for Less Than 1500 Euros by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

Sleeping accommodation at night and a meal, usually breakfast, is the B&B concept. Many locals offer a separate room in their house in return for a small sum of money. A traveller can get a taste of the local lifestyle and cuisine through this channel. Sign up at AIR B&B and similar portals to get in touch with local hosts.

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Venice 3 days

Youth Hostel: Ostello Santa Fosca

A ten-minute walk from the train station, moderately priced and well located; Santa Fosca checks all the boxes.

Hotel San Maurizio

It is a budget hotel located in a historical building close to restaurants, gelaterias and a ten-minute walk from St. Marks square. The friendly and English speaking staff at the hotel is an added advantage.

Rome 3 days

Youth Hostel: Des Artistes

This hostel is clean and close to the train station. Their roof terrace and buffet breakfast is a favourite among the travellers.

Hotel: Tuscolana

This is a value for money hotel five minutes from the metro line and half a block from the city bus line. There are some graffittis that spoil the neighbourhood's ambiance, but don't let that get to you. It is situated in a safe middle class neighbourhood.

Photo of Rome, Italy by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

Florence 3 days

Hostel: Ostello del Bigallo

Hostels don't get more scenic than Ostello del Bigallo. It is built on a monastery dating back to the 13th century. A beautiful garden upfront and panoramic view of Florence from the terrace adds to its charm. The only catch is that the hostel is an hour's ride from the city and involves a 2 km hike.

Hotel: Ginori al Duomo

The staff is extremely friendly and its location, a short walk from the train station, is ideal. However, there is no getting around the three story climb as the hotel doesn't have a lift.

Naples 1 day

Hostels

Two clear favourite emerged from my search: Hostel of the Sun and La Controra. Hostel of the Sun is bright, clean and equipped with a spacious locker. Meanwhile, La Controra is a historical building transformed into a hostel that is very much in the heart of the city.

Hotel Barbato

Hotel Barbato is near the airport, clean and in a friendly neighbourhood. You will enjoy the small but fresh breakfast on offer.

Prague 3 days

Sir Toby's hostel is unarguably the pick of the lot. The rooms are rustic, clean and have a high ceiling. The bar is a great place to socialise with fellow travellers. Tea lovers will love this place for the on-the-house offering.

Hotel U dvou zlatých klíčů

Cinque Terre 2 days

Hostel

5 Terre backpackers hostel is located in the small village of Corvara. The hostel is in an ancient building and offers scenic view of the mountains. The remote location doesn't come in the way of exploration of Cinque Terre as the hostel's owner, offers a daily shuttle service to Monterosso.

Hotel Fortino

Photo of Cinque Terre, Levanto, Province of La Spezia, Italy by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

This hotel has a unique character. It is located inside an old military battery. Renovated recently, it is a great place to unwind.

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3: Transport (100 Euros)

Trains are the fastest and the most convenient way to travel in Italy. This mode of transport is cheap and the new high speed network allows you to save precious time in a tightly fitted vacation.

Photo of How To Plan A 14 Day Trip To Italy & Prague for Less Than 1500 Euros by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

In comparison, cars are difficult to manoeuvre especially in cities like Rome and buses take twice as long to reach the same destinations vis a vis trains. The high parking cost and right hand drive also make it difficult for Indians to feel comfortable behind the wheels.

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4: Food (200 Euros)

Sampling the local cuisine is an inseparable part of the whole Italy experience so take a double helping of tiramisu by all means. Having said that, some of these pointers will go a long way in helping you keep a check on your budget boundaries.

Photo of How To Plan A 14 Day Trip To Italy & Prague for Less Than 1500 Euros by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

Eat breakfast like it is your last meal on Earth and when you are done eating, slip a roll in your bag for a midday snack. Ask for tap water instead of mineral water, which is priced (2$-5$) per bottle. Tap water is perfectly drinkable and we make do with worse back home.

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5: Money Saving Tips

There are museums, monuments and sights which only allow a limited number of visitors at any moment. Moreover, the waiting period can stretch from ten minutes to three hours. Thus, it makes sense to make an advance booking at these places. It will be well worth the paltry booking fee. The five places where bookings can be sold out in advance are:

1: Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper (Milan)

2: Leaning Tower of Pisa

3: Galleria Borghese (Rome)

4: The Colloseum (Rome)

5: Opera at La Scala (Milan)

In planning this trip alone, I have learnt many things about travel and money management. If you have any questions about your impending trip to Italy or want to make suggestions leave a comment below.

15 Comment(s)
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hellow anmol how about visa process.. how much time does it take .Even m planning for small euro trip...but not sure abt visa so do lemme know about visa process.... thanks :)
Wed 09 07 16, 07:10 · Reply · Report
Hey Anmol! Thanks a ton for sharing your experience. I am also planning a trip to Rome, and Naples, and plan to visit the Amalfi coast. Did you visit Amalfi ? Also, I am looking to travel on a shoestring budget < 2000 Euros for two people.
Mon 05 02 16, 02:18 · Reply · Report
Can you give details about locations/sites you visited in Naples for a day. Even I'm planning to visit Naples from Rome for a day but can't figure out if it would be worth
Sun 01 24 16, 07:59 · Reply · Report
Photo of Nisha Sharma
Nisha Sharma
very informative!
Mon 05 18 15, 20:39 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of Nisha Sharma
Nisha Sharma
very informative!
Mon 05 18 15, 20:39 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
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