Italy & Greece... as cheap as possible?

May 28th, 2010, 07:23 AM
  #1  
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Italy & Greece... as cheap as possible?

Looking into a 16 day trip during Summer 2011. My husband and I would like to go as cheap as possible without having to stay in hostels.

Any tips you can think of?? Website deals, particular airlines, vacation packages? I'm just looking for any and all thoughts on this, since we have plenty of time to research all of our options..

Also, if you know of any particular hotels in Italy and Greece that are a good price where you had a good experience, would love to know names. I am hoping for under $100 per night.

THANKS!
RachelLaura86 is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 07:27 AM
  #2  
 
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use kayak.com for flights.

stay in apartments (without views), not hotels.

never eat in a restaruant, instead buy groceries and make your own food, sandwiches, etc.

if you do these things, you can travel over there very cheaply.
krgystn is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 07:28 AM
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let me add, if you travel with another couple you could share a 2 bedroom apartment and save even more.
krgystn is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 07:29 AM
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Have you thought about staying in Italian or Greek Monastery?

http://www.women-on-the-road.com/sta...monastery.html
Hastobe_Katt is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 07:35 AM
  #5  
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How do I find apartments to stay in??? Is there a certain company you can direct me to, or a website I can look at? I hadn't even considered this option....
RachelLaura86 is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 07:37 AM
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for apartments:

venere.com
vrno.com
tripadvisor.com

or ask about specific cities on this board
krgystn is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 08:11 AM
  #7  
wug
 
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Also for apartments

homelidays.com
holidaylettings.co.uk
vrbo.com

You can stay very inexpensively on many Greek islands. We've spent as little at 35 Euros/night in nice family-owned studio apartments. Do a search on Greeka.com and also search on Google for vacation rentals for whichever island you are thinking about. We stayed at Birikos on Naxos and it was GREAT. We had an apartment on Lake Como for around 300 euros/week. It takes some searching but, we always find incredible deals and at wonderful locations.

In Greece, you can get a gyro from a walk up window at some cafes in the Plaka Area/Athens for two euros. Great inexpensive lunch!
wug is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 08:16 AM
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i had a typo above, it is vrbo.com as wug points out.
krgystn is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 08:18 AM
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Be aware that there are PLENTY of decent 2 star (and some 1 star and some 3 star) hotels in the 50-75 euro range for a double, often with breakfast. Last year in Greece we paid an average of 50 euro for great places on the islands and mainland. Athens was 75euro but all the rest were under 55euro. Italy differs by area but this summer we are booked in Sorrento for 60 euro, and Rome for 80. Apartments CAN be a good deal, but often they are more than some quite decent hotels. Often times people who rave about the savings with apartments are comparing them to hotels in the 150-200 euro range and I have found you don't need to spend any where near that amount for safe, clean, and good location.

You can eat very cheaply in both Greece and Italy. Lots of places to grab pizza, sandwiches, pasta dishes, etc. As long as you don't need full course meals, cloth tablecloths, etc you can eat get great food.

To travel between Greece and Italy try whichbudget.com for cheap airfare.
isabel is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 11:49 AM
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It's many years since I was last in Italy, so my comments are directed more toward Greece. The best way to save money is to avoid high season (Jul-Aug) and travel in June or September. There are many different island groups, but Cyclades are easiest to reach from Athens, the entry point for most North Americans. Mykonos and Santorini are expensive, but Paros, Naxos, Sifnos, and others more reasonable.

Travel by conventional ferry for the cheapest fares. You won't need to stay in hostels in Greece - on most islands there are people waiting at the port offering basic but clean and comfortable rooms, with private bath, for rent. If you plan to prepare food in your room, ask for a studio, which is a room with kitchenette. You can negotiate, and ask for a lower price if you agree to stay for 2-3 days or more. Don't try to visit too many islands - each transfer eats up most of a day with check-in/check-out, ferry travel, etc. Anything less than three days per island is too rushed.

It would be a shame to miss all the wonderful restaurant foods in Italy and Greece, so don't economize too much with meals. There are still ways to save, though. Pay for the food, not the view. In Greece you can order several starters to share, family style. Most of them are so huge you won't even need to order a main course.

Coffee is expensive in Greece, so you can save by making it in your room. Go to the bakery for some fresh breakfast rolls, and have your meal on the terrace or balcony of your room. Those same bakeries sell sandwiches for lunch, or you can buy the ingredients at a supermarket to make them in your room.
Heimdall is online now  
May 28th, 2010, 03:33 PM
  #11  
 
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In Greece, I found it pretty easy to go cheap. Not so much in Italy.

But I imagine that avoiding the high tourist areas and going off the beaten path is generally the way to go to save. In Greece, Naxos is delightful and super cheap, compared to much more crowded Santorini and Mykonos. Our little hotel in Naxos (the Galini) was right on the beach, provided a lovely breakfast, and cost a fraction of what the hotels cost on other islands (well under $100 in 2008).
cheryllj is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 11:57 PM
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I agree about Naxos, but for that island $100 is on the expensive side. No need to spend anywhere near that much if you don't care about a sea view. I stay at Hotel Argo, which is only one street away from the beach, and run by a wonderful Greek-Swedish family. The hotel is in a quiet location in St George, but only 10 minutes walk from the center of town. My room, which was spotlessly clean, cost €20 ($25) per night, plus an optional €5 for breakfast. That was in mid-June a few years ago. http://www.argo-hotel.gr/
Heimdall is online now  
May 29th, 2010, 01:23 AM
  #13  
 
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I have just returned from Naxos on Thursday where we stayed in Hotel Anixis which was charming. 35 euros for a double room and shower with breakfast 6 euros extra. I will be going back as soon as I can!
Frances is offline  
May 29th, 2010, 04:47 AM
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www.monasterystays.com is a great source for Italy. You don't need to be catholic at all. The accommodation is clean and comfortable and under 100 euros per couple. A basic breakfast is usually included. You can also good something like 'italy monastery accommodation' and get ideas as well.

Buy drinks from grocery stores, have sandwiches, fruit etc and an inexpensive dinner.

If you own an ipod then download podcasts (free) about major tourist places - ie colosseum etc before you leave home. Each time you hire an audio guide it costs about 5 euros which adds up after a while. Don't skip museums etc that you would like to see, I think that would leave you feeling cheated.
cathies is online now  
May 29th, 2010, 06:10 AM
  #15  
 
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One word of warning about monasterystays.com - they charge a commission that you avoid if you contact the monastery direct. There are one or two good books with all the contact information / prices / proforma letters etc if you search on amazon.com.
Hastobe_Katt is offline  
May 29th, 2010, 02:17 PM
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Monastery stays do charge a commission, that's true. However, I have to admit that I found it difficult to find direct contact details to the monasteries I was interested in. A book might be the answer to that problem.
cathies is online now  
May 29th, 2010, 06:19 PM
  #17  
 
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We had good luck using priceline in Italy at the end of August/beginning of September. I am not sure how much will be available when you are there, but it's just another option.
Gina817 is offline  

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