Monday, October 3, 2016

a budget to travel in Italy.

pasting some text below caused changes to colour and layout that it's too hard to sort out.

We have advantage, with experience travelling or living in different places. We do not spend hugely on day-to-day living, but we eat healthy-well. We have to limit expenditure when we travel.

We prefer living in a place, more than the journey. To come to terms with the local pattern of life and enjoy it. That's actually cheaper too, than running along the tourism conveyor belt.

We have to travel 23 hours or so (from departure from Sydney airport, closer to 30 hours from home to get there), as well as the money. It was good to realise that by staying five rather than four weeks the cost per day shrank alongside the growing joy of being there. Being settled in a place, not having to restock so much, fewer Airbnb cleaning and service fees, fewer journeys between abodes and so on.

In the course of discussion recently at Tripadvisor about how much it costs to travel in Italy, I contributed as below.

We have several reasons for using apartments one of which is that it makes the trip affordable, possible. Otherwise you are dependent on, and paying for, everything being made for you, presented to you. Which is, frankly, exhausting and diminishing. I've done the big hotel thing in the past, I'm over it. Tired of being a sit-up served-up person, my public dining quota and enthusiasm was exceeded long ago. For others, that experience is part of what they seek. But expensive.
If you plan on the basis that you have an apartment with a stove, you can shop for wonderfully fresh and varied foods and experience that kind of Italy at much lower cost and more as Italians do. Buy real treats. And snack at night. And wander more than five paces underclad in own space. And fewer crumbs in the bed, perhaps.
•   Excellent accommodation 12 March to 15 April AUD3600 (EUR 2450) [33 nights]
•   Per diem provision for 34 days AUD 3500, estimate moderate dine out every other day
•   Rental car Peugeot 308 equivalent Europcar 19 days AUD1000. [this raised from 740 to include modest charge for snow chains and big charge for second driver. Snow chains sensible - but also a legal requirement in mountain areas before 15 April.]
•   Airfares for two Sydney-Rome, quickest flights on Qatar, plus more room per economy seat, AUD2538 during sale.  
•   Insurance via Webjet with Allianz including AUD3000 car insurance excess cover AUD400
•  Trains and other internal travel AUD500
•   Porta Portese market Rome $?? :-) .... - but restrained by baggage allowance. As also QF, Emirates and Singapore, Qatar allow 30kg any number of bags per person (60kg for two) but excess baggage astronomical per kg. We carry a baggage scale!
•   Anticipating overruns without too much apprehension: room on card to splurge when it's irresistible. But away from the tourist rabbit-run, splurges often not so expensive. 
Hope this helps (I wrote at tripadvisor). Your tastes may differ significantly.
That adds up to $8600 for 35 days = AUD 125** (Euros 85) per day, per person, in-country, including accommodation. 
Add to the in-country costs the air fares and travel insurance ... and the strangely complicated question of how best to get the several hours from home to Sydney airport and back home again***. We have organised good house sitters. 

** Times change, my old head finds that number large, although compared to many other travellers' budgets it's small. I remember in the mid-1960s buying a copy of the revolutionary and wildly popular Europe on Five Dollars a Day. I think my (quite good) income was around $60 a week, air fares (from Australia) impossible from own pocket, ship travel interminable, anything but working unconscionable, working class and going to university highly questionable, degrees in the humanities for boys plainly deviant. Boys took girls out and paid the bills. Girls never paid when 'taken out for the evening', virtuously saved their money for their trousseau or hoping to go and work in London and perhaps find moments with a Latin Lover on a jaunt to Rome. We were barbari then. These days we are still barbari-abundant, see how they risk death mainly by continuing to thumb FaceBook while crossing the road and risk destruction of whole civilisations by taking their news from FaceBook. 
*** To get from home to Sydney airport and back, more options than for getting around in Italy!
 The train is cheapest, say $90 return for two. Takes 3.5 hours (every two hours, that is), may be cancelled by a bushfire (did that to me once). To return home on a flight arriving arriving on Easter Monday at 5.30pm, then take 'next' train, may involve McDonalds meal at airport after arrival and additional cost of funeral. Travel insurance might or might not cover that, might call it a pre-ordained illness. Wills and powers-of-attorney and terminal-instructions are done... :-)
To take the 'shuttle': $250 or so return, for two. Did that once, waited at the airport an hour for the little bus to turn up, then visited the front gates of five other couples, via meandering roads, along the way—all 5x2 of whom had been away on a cruise and who, to the extent giving signs of life, gave the impression of never wanting another cruise and never wanting to see each other again. Arrived home five or six hours after plane got in. 
Take own car? Well over $400 to park it in Sydney for five weeks. Hope that the battery has not died — it did that once. :-)
Rental cars? This may be the smart option, $130 + $170 for two <24 hour rentals, one-way between local rental depot and Sydney airport and reverse. 
Such are the little costs you have to add in.The ohandthentheres.

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