When you think of a trip to an iconic European nation such as Italy, the prevailing concern among potential travel-goers is the cost of the trip. In this piece, we will hope to alleviate these concerns by providing six ways to be frugal on your upcoming Italian vacation.

1. Travel to Italy during the offseason

The cost of getting to Italy is probably going to be the biggest expense of the trip. One of the oldest tricks in the book for saving money on your vacation is still one of the best tricks: going to Italy in the offseason. You can save a great deal on airfare costs by making plans to travel to Italy during certain times of the year. The best time to go to Italy, from a financial perspective, is from November to mid-December and from January to mid-March.

2. Call the airline directly 

In this day and age, calling the airline directly may not seem like the most ideal option in terms of convenience. However, this step could potentially pay dividends as far as savings are concerned. Plan to call the airline and book your tickets at least seven weeks before your departure if you want the best airfare prices—according to US News, those who book tickets 50 days or 7 weeks in advance can save as much as 10% on tickets. When you call the airline, ask for the cheapest possible airfare. Ask the customer service representative about discounts for children or seniors.

3. Take advantage of credit card reward points

Most credit cards these days offer rewards points having to do with airfare and travel in order to draw in customers. If you are a frequent traveler and you have a credit card, then you should use your credit card reward points, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Capital One Venture. A strong and effective use of those cards can result in a potentially free trip if one builds enough reward points.

4. Surf, surf, and surf

There are quite a few website options with regards to finding the most affordable trip to Italy. Besides Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz, you may want to check out Kayak.com. Kayak searches 140 sites at once for the cheapest rate.

5. Take advantage of sightseeing opportunities

You can save significantly on a trip to Italy by visiting the Tourist Info Office. According to Just Landed, "Regional Tourist Offices (Ente Provinciale per il Turismo/EPT or Azienda di Promozione Turistica/APT) are located in around 20 provincial capitals and provide information about the local region and towns.

In most large towns and cities there are the useful and approachable Informazioni e Assistenza ai Turisti (IAT) or Azienda Autonoma de di Soggiorno e Turismo (AAST), which provide information about the local area, including maps, public transport and the opening times of local attractions. In smaller towns look for Ufficio Turistico or Pro Loco offices." You should definitely take advantage of these tourist services; they will be able to give you up-to-date information, prices, and discounts on all the local events and places that you will no doubt want to visit.

These methods will allow you to have an amazing vacation to Italy while achieving tremendous cost savings. Enjoy your trip!

 Sunset in Florence, Italy - from Piazzale Michelangelo



US News | 7 Insider Secrets to Booking Cheap Airfare 

CrediReady | Save Now, Vacation Later: How to Save For Your Summer Vacation Today

Just Landed | Tourist Offices in Italy