Happy Travel Tuesday! Last October, the Brit and I spent a week in Rome and it was an absolute treat. Not only was it the warmest weather we experienced in 2015, it was also our first time in Italy and our first big trip together. We spent most of our time walking, sightseeing and eating!
I kept a close eye on our finance while we were there and while we spent quite a bit, I thought we did a good job at having a luxurious holiday on a budget. Sounds like an oxymoron, but I don’t think so! I believe there are ways of thoroughly enjoying yourself and not restraining yourself, but while budgeting.
Today, I thought I would share a breakdown of our costs and my tips for keeping the costs down, despite all the good times!
Flying was a pretty big chunk of the money we spent on our trip to Rome. We bought in advance but of course October is still high season in Europe and so this was one of the best deal we could get.
We went with direct flights to and from Rome Fiuminico, which also included one checked bag (because we’re divas who weren’t sure about the weather).
Total cost: £161.65 each for the flights
This one was our biggest cost of the trip. This is also where I believe we married luxury and budget all at once. We stayed in one of the loveliest Airbnb we found in Rome. It was gorgeous, comfortable, spacious, included breakfast at a local café, with a kitchen full of staples and was well-situated a few minutes walk from the Vatican.
Total cost: £185.5 each for 5 nights
Transport on site
Transport in Rome is cheap – especially because it’s a great walkable city. If, like us, you sightsee by walking around, then you’ll save a lot! If you add up taking the slow train from the airport – it’s very very cheap for transport, like below €20 for the whole week. Unless you make the same mistake as us and accidently get on the express train to the Termini…
€16 for train to and from airport + €14 for the Leonardo express (by accident – don’t make that mistake!).
€3 metro – to and from the Colosseum to rest our legs for one of our sightseeing days.
Total cost: €33 each for transport within Rome
The cool thing about having our own Airbnb flat, with kitchen and all, was that we could cook ourselves some food and not constantly spend money out. We had a grocery store just next door and I highly recommend going out and buying products. It’s fresh and authentic and it’s also super fun to try and recreate some recipes.
We bought weirdly coloured oranges, milk, bread and pasta and sauce. We also bought some nice little lunch staples like tomatoes, mascarpone, fig jelly and focaccia bread.
I believe that highly reduced the cost of our food expenses. That allowed us to spend whatever we wanted when out, on gelato, on pizza and amazing lobster pasta!
My last tip is trying to avoid table service costs – this really threw us when we were in Rome. Some restaurants charged you up to €5 each in table service, increasing exponentially the cost of our bills.
We spent €42 in groceries
A whooping €95 in meals out
€17 in snacks from gelato to cannolis
Total cost: €77 each (a mere €15.4 per day)
For our activities, we picked what we wanted to pay for and explored those in details. We mostly walked and admired the gorgeous olden city. It was a treat of its own and that meant enjoying the city and not spending a fortune.
€12 for the Colosseum/ Palatine Hill / Forum.
€16 for the Vatican museums and Sistine Chapel
Total cost: €28 each
Obviously, it’s always good to have some budget for the ‘just in case situations’. Sometimes shit happens and sometimes you want to treat yourself.
We bought a fridge magnet – as we collect them – and some postcards for friends and family at a total cost of about €5 each.
I also had to buy a medical cream at the pharmacy for my mosquito bites. It was physically very painful, so I spent €10 on that, unexpectedly.
The Brit decided to also treat himself to some gorgeous Italian leather shoes…I’m not sure the price he paid and I didn’t ask.
Total: £15 each (without counting the shoes)
In total, we paid the round sum of €500 each (around €83 per day) for a week (6 days/5 nights) in the eternal city. Seems like a lot when I think back on it, but hey that could be just one night in a high-end hotel – and that included our entire flights, accommodation, food and other costs.
Overall, I think our best/most expensive item in Rome was our Airbnb, but it made us feel just like home. While it wasn’t the cheapest, we regret nothing!
What’s your best way to save money while treating yourself to a holiday?xx