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judy Apr 17th, 2002 09:41 AM

Can't go to Europe unless you help!
Do you have some good ideas on how two adults and two teenage boys (12 and 14) can tour France and Italy at bargain rates? European hotel rooms are small and we can't afford to have to get two rooms every night. I've got the airfare and car rental rates at bargain prices but it seems accomodation costs are going to prevent us from going this year. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Rex Apr 17th, 2002 09:47 AM<BR><BR>Best wishes,<BR><BR>Rex<BR>

Carol Apr 17th, 2002 09:47 AM

<BR>I've checked out some Web sites which offer weekly rates on farmhouses, castles, etc. in Italy and some of the rates are excellent. Under the Charming Italy site, there was a 2 bedroom apartment for about $550 a week depending on the time of year. <BR><BR>You can base yourself in that type of accommodation and then do day trips.<BR><BR>Good luck.

Pat Apr 17th, 2002 10:02 AM

Try Eurocamp for cheap camping accomodation in France. Italy try the wbsite for cheap * and ** star hotels allover Italy. Best of luck and have a good time.<BR>

Liz Apr 17th, 2002 10:10 AM

Are you using any guidebooks? For budget accomodations, check the Rick Steves books. Also, if you're willing to wing-it, and staying outside of cities, there are usually quite cheap b&b places available all over Europe.

Wayne Apr 17th, 2002 10:12 AM

I agree on the one-week rentals of houses, villas, cottages, or the like. You get to do your own cooking to save on meals when you want, you get everyone into the same accommodation (sounds like a 2 BR would work) and you have the advantage of a weekly rate. So you need to look for a cottage that meets your needs in a location that will allow you to go out in all directions for day trips when desired. In addition to the web sites already recommended, also try and <BR><BR>You didn't say how long you will be there. For a one-week stay to see a good bit of France and Italy, I'd suggest staying somewhere between Nice and Genoa, perhaps a bit inland from the coast where rental rates will be lower than on the Mediterranean--but near an autoroute to allow rapid access to other places. From such a location, you can explore much of northern Italy down through Tuscany, and much of southern France, all in a week's worth of day trips. If you have 2 weeks, then spend one week in a location in southern France and the other week somewhere in northen Italy. I have seen a number of places for rent at weekly rates, with 2 bedrooms and 1 or 2 baths, from $500 to $1000. I would think the $500 to $600 range would be very satisfactory. In that range, you'll probably get a cottage with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, or perhaps one bedroom and a convertible bed in the living room.

JIM Apr 17th, 2002 10:17 AM

Check out the convents and monasteries in Italy and France. We are staying exclusively at convents in Italy, and the most expensive, in Venice&lt; is only $74 USD/per night. Do a search here. I know there are many threads, did it myself.

mpprh Apr 17th, 2002 10:40 AM

Hi<BR><BR>Cheapest way is to use the cheap hotel chains.<BR><BR>F1 is about ff150 ( USD 22) per night , but only 3 beds and not en suite. For slightly more you can get en suite and family rooms.<BR><BR>Check out for different hotel grades / prices.<BR><BR>Peter

DM Apr 17th, 2002 10:44 AM

Depending where you will be in France and Italy, and for how long in each place, you might consider renting an apartment. This is what I'll be doing this summer on the Amalfi Coast. I can share the name of my realtor in Italy [email protected] Good luck.

chris Apr 17th, 2002 10:49 AM

Check out this site for more French chain hotel options.<BR><BR>B&B Hotel and Fasthotels are personal favorites of mine.

John Apr 17th, 2002 11:12 AM

Maybe a bit late for this summer, but how about a home exchange? See Lots of families also with kids who would like to swap houses.

elaine Apr 17th, 2002 11:22 AM

In addition to the above, some hostels accept "older" people (older than student age, that is.)<BR><BR> <BR><BR><BR> m/hostels<BR><BR>Here is some info on convents and monasteries in Rome, I don't know if you're going there or not<BR>Note that most of them have curfews, and few have double beds or a/c I am told<BR><BR>A complete list is available from the Centro Peregrinatio ad Petri Sedem, Piazza Pio Xii, 4 (Vatican City) phone 06 69 88 48 96, fax 06 69 88 56 17.<BR>Suore Dorotee, via del Gianicolo 4A, 00165 Rome - in the Janiculum Hill area, tel. 06/6880.3349, fax 06/6880.3311. <BR>Istituto Ravasco, via Pio VIII 28, 00165 Rome - tel. 06/3937.5805, fax 06/636.721. <BR>Domus Pacis, via di Torre Rossa 94, 00165 Rome - Tel. 06/638.3888, fax 06/3936.6795. <BR>Villa Bassi, via G. Carini 24, 00132 Rome - Tel. 06/581.5333. <BR>Le Suore di Lourdes, via Sistina 113, 00187 Rome - near the Spanish Steps, tel. 06/474.5324, fax 06/4741.422. <BR>The Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement, via Monte del Gallo 105, 00165 Rome - near the Vatican, tel. 06/630.782, fax 06/638.6149.<BR>and this place in Rome was just recommended in the National Geographic Traveler magazine:<BR>Casa di Santa Brigida, Piazza Farnese 96, phone 68 89 25 96, fax 68 89 15, 73,<BR>"A block from…Campo dei Fiori, the Santa Brigida is one of the city's most peaceful and well-appointed convent guesthouses….There's no curfew…Rooms are tastefully simple…there's air conditioning…modern bathrooms…sitting rooms sumptuously appointed…roooftop garden…book long in advance…choice of rooms is not up to you…breakfast is bread, cheese, eggs, juice, coffee…23 rooms…no tvs and no double beds."<BR><BR><BR>

judy Apr 17th, 2002 05:47 PM

Thanks so much to you all for the great info. I'm going to start checking out the sites - looks like maybe we can go after all. Much appreciated.

Leslie Apr 17th, 2002 07:57 PM

These are all good suggestions but I don't think anyone mentioned that it is, in fact, possible to get a "quad" room...generally at about 1 1/2 times the cost of a double, but usually cheaper than getting two doubles. These are more available than you might think but do need to book ahead. Not all hotel booking sites allow you to search for quad rooms but (for Italy) and (for France) do.

up Apr 18th, 2002 07:11 AM

up, yet all the while down...<BR><BR>with the budget...<BR><BR>

Rachel Apr 18th, 2002 07:48 AM

Hi -<BR><BR>First, get EuroRail passes for your train travel! You can also get an Italy Pass too. <BR><BR>Second, combine your travel with sleeping and get an overnight berth - I forget the word for it, something like couchette. You may have to pay a little extra on top of the Pass, but it beats hotel costs, and you save time, waking up in a new city!<BR><BR>This is only a good option for "low maintenance" travelers, though!<BR><BR>I see that you are renting a car, but it's such a hassle, and the gas prices are extraordinary - unless you only want to go to the country and avoid cities completely, I would use the train.<BR><BR>

Rex Apr 18th, 2002 09:21 AM

I canNOT imagine a trip to Europe where FOUR rail passes are a good use of money. I hate to argue against the advice of someone else so emphatically, but this is NOT a good idea. If in doubt, consult to compare. But car will win (financially) over train every time when four seats are involved.<BR>

Brani Apr 18th, 2002 09:44 AM

Rex: Rachel is saying to use the train as the hotel. It makes sense for one or two nights but I can't imagine avoiding hotels in favor of the train. Judy you say you have the airline and car rental at bargain prices but you not going if you can't get good accomodation's. YOUR not trolling us are you?

Brani Apr 18th, 2002 10:14 AM

Rex: Rachel is saying to use the train as the hotel. It makes sense for one or two nights but I can't imagine avoiding hotels in favor of the train. Judy you say you have the airline and car rental at bargain prices but you not going if you can't get good accomodation's. YOUR not trolling us are you?

judy Apr 19th, 2002 06:00 AM

I'm quite new to this site so I'm not sure what trolling is but if it means am I a travel writer than no I'm not. I am really trying to get to Europe this summer with my family especially before my oldest son (nearly 15) doesn't want to travel with us anymore! But we're far from rich and costs may be a barrier for us to get there this year which I am finding very disappointing. Thanks again for all of your help - I am exploring all suggestions and hope to get there yet!

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