If you ask ten people what their dream travel destination would be, chances are at least half would say Venice. It’s easy to see why. The city pairs the art, history, and food of Italy with a unique, canal-central design, resulting in a truly one-of-its-kind experience.
Too bad a city of such luxury and beauty must be impossibly expensive, right? Not necessarily. A savvy traveler can cross this city off their list while spending surprisingly little. Planning a trip to Venice on a budget is mostly about doing your research and figuring out what you really want to do while you’re there.
Travel to Venice
The more flexible you can be, the more money you can save when you travel. You might have your heart set on visiting Venice during the height of the summer, but flights are often cheaper during other times of the year, and Italy’s temperate climate means it is fairly nice all year-round. Depending on how far in advance you’re planning your trip, you can use a free app like Skyscanner to scout flights months ahead and find the absolute cheapest flight.
You can also save a fortune by being flexible about where in Europe you land. A single ticket to Venice will usually cost over $1,000 dollars, but you can probably find flights to Germany for half that price, and then travel to Venice by train for under a hundred dollars. Not only do you save money, but you also get to see a lot more of Europe during your trip.
Sleeping in Venice
Accommodation is one of the sad ironies of travel. You probably want to spend as little time in your hotel as possible, but it will probably cost you more than anything else. Since a place to sleep is something you cannot do without, you have no choice but to pay these exorbitant prices. Or so you might think. If you are willing to forego some of the luxuries, you can crash in an Airbnb or hostel for as low as $50 per night
Or how about making your trip to Venice a camping trip? Camping and Venice are probably two words you have never used in the same sentence before, but it can be a fun way to drastically reduce the cost of your trip. Many Venetian campsites are located right on the beach. Others are on the outskirts of the city, near the mountains and forests of Northern Italy, allowing you to experience a side of Venice that often goes unseen.
You may even find yourself looking forward to the peaceful getaway of the campsite after the hustle and bustle of Venice. If you find yourself missing access to a TV or Jacuzzi, look into camping games for adults. Classic games such as Two Truths and a Lie, Never Have I Ever, and Would You Rather are fun ways to pass the time and great ways to get to know your fellow travelers a little better. You can find campsites for as low as $10 per person per night.
Packing a tent may seem like a hassle, but many backpackers have found that a 3 season tent is no obstacle when traveling the world. These tents are built with few parts and especially lightweight fabrics, but can still hold up against a little weather. And for an average of around $150, you can’t beat those prices!
Attractions and Food
Flights and hotels are the main obstacles to affordable travel. This is especially true in Venice, as most of the main attractions are free! Sites such as the Basilica di San Marco, the Royal Gardens near Piazza San Marco, and galleries like the Galleria Traghetto and Galleria La Salida are free to visit. Of course, you could spend your whole vacation just wandering the streets and still have the time of your life.
A comprehensive tour of the city by Waterbus costs under ten euros, and while food is generally expensive in Italy, Venetian tapas known as Cicchetti can be had for under five euros a serving. During happy hour, local Bacardi offers drinks for half a euro each. If you’re able to plan your drinks and meals around these times, you can easily enjoy meals out, and drinks, for under $50 per person a day.
If your goal is to immerse yourself in the authentic Venice experience, and you’re not concerned with where you stay, planning a trip to Venice on a budget is easily doable. With the cost of a tent, campsite, food, and attractions, a family of four could easily spend a week in Venice for a grand total of $1,500, plus the cost of transportation. The extra planning does take some time, but it’s well worth it if it means getting to enjoy your dream vacation!
About the Author:
Deann Rebello – I’m a founder at BearinForest.com, a Camping blog that shares everything about traveling and camping. I’m just a young lady who loves camping out and always eager to share my bonding experience to the world. Follow me on Twitter