The first lesson to getting an A vacation on a B (or C!) budget, is that you have to consider every expense as part of the vacation. Wasteful spending isn’t necessary. Ever.
I like to make my vacations last as long as possible, as I don’t get to travel nearly as much as I would like. So for me, planning the trip can be a juicy precursor to the actual trip. Beware: you can easily go over budget on travel research. I have two sections of my bookcase devoted to destination guides and local history, many for places I have never actually been. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Dreaming is free, and planning can be just as cost-effective.
The planning for the Great Italian Getaway (GIG) 2015 began at my local library.
See, here’s the thing. There are hundreds – HUNDREDS! – of travel books for every country, region or city you could ever hope to visit. What are you going to do? Buy them all?! (If your answer to this is yes, I should kindly tell you that we are very different people and, regrettably, this blog is probably not for you.) I also don’t typically have a preference between the large guide publishers. Each will do, and inevitably about 85% of the content will be basically identical. I can’t settle the arguement, however, as to which really captures what I want with that remaining 15%.
And because I was at the library, and they are FREE, I got two. Frommers 2013 and Fodors 2012 Italy have found their way to my home.
Over Thanksgiving 1999, Trisha and I took our first European vacation. London, Lisbon, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, London. In twelve days. And no, I have still not seen “If it’s Tuesday, if must be Belgium.” While that trip contained many stops, it did not actually require much research. The GIG. This one is going to require research.
Trisha will be making many of the choices on locations, but I can soundly say I know very little about Italy. Generally speaking, I would say there are three types of places I would like to see: cities, beaches, and wine country. Three places, tree weeks. Seems straight forward. Maybe… Maybe not. That’s why we research.
Later. Much later. When we have locations more narrowed down, I will buy some books. Maybe I’ll buy some apps. If my technology will work in Italy, that is. For now, I’ll be working my way through the free books at the library.