Rome Travel Advice – It’s Hot in Rome

Rome in summer is much hotter than I realised so I found myself heading out early in the day, taking a break over the midday heat (now I understand why the Italians have a siesta time) and then exploring again in the afternoon and early evening. I also ended up wearing a hat a lot and was quite amused at the many people who were carrying umbrellas to keep the sun off them.

I was outside a lot of the time in places such as the Colosseum, in the Forum (really no shade hardly to be found at all) and around the city centre. What I did find though was fantastic clean water from the many fountains. I had a bus tour booked and my guide on the tour told me to buy my first bottle of water and then just keep filling it up at the fountains and it is totally free! The water was probably the cleanest water I have ever tasted and it was lovely and cold and saved me lots of money! She also told me that if I forgot my bottle of water, I could put my finger over the spout and get a refreshing spray of cold water that way.

I had booked a Rome Vatican tour and I told my guide that I had read about a fantastic Italian summer treat called grattachecca (hand shaven ice and fruit syrup). So we walked from the Vatican along the Tiber River and she took me to Rome’s oldest Grattachecca stands along the Tiber River. I was absolutely amazed at the incredible combinations available. I ended up eating it a little too quickly and got “brain freeze”.

Another way I found to beat the heat of summer was of course having what Italy is so famous for…gelato! I must have tried just about every gelato shop in the city and there was not a bad one to be had! Be totally amazed at the mounds of icecream that will confront you and spend ages making your choice. I was absolutely in awe of the size of the scoops! I highly recommend doing a Vatican tour as the professional guides know all of Rome’s best kept secrets and are happy to share them.

Incredible Money-Saving Travel Tips

If you love travel but you don’t want your vacation to break the bank, here are some helpful tips to keep the costs way down.

1. Join airline frequent flier programs and, if you like, sign up for credit cards that offer free miles. It’s awfully nice to kick off your vacation with a free flight to your vacation destination. But make sure to sign up for the free flight months in advance if possible. You want to make sure there are open seats on your flight. Also, if a flight is overbooked and you’re on vacation, why not give up your seat for a later flight and get a free ticket for your next trip?

2. If possible, find out the off-season for your destination and travel then. There’s a world of difference between season and off-season rates. Also, why travel to the most expensive international destinations? Some of the least expensive locations include Iceland, Hungary, Panama, Mexico, Argentina, Belize, Nicaragua, Brazil, and South Africa. You might be surprised what these nations have to offer tourists.

3. There are more and more all-inclusive vacation packages available at cut-rate prices. It can save a great deal of money to have tours/attractions, lodging, meals, and other amenities included in your package price. Paying for each of these things individually can easily double or triple your vacation costs. Sometimes you can get multi-day passes to various amusements or special rates if you go later in the day. Luxury cruises in particular offer some amazingly economical all-inclusive packages.

4. Ask your travel agent if there are apartments, condos, or even home rentals available at your destination. There are lots of desperate owners out there now who will rent a condo or fine home for significantly less than you’d pay in a nice hotel. Or check out Bed & Breakfasts: off season, you may pay less for extravagant lodging and gourmet breakfasts than you’d pay for a ho-hum hotel. If you have no choice, at least sign up for hotel loyalty programs that give you a free night after so many stays at their chain.