Planning a trip to Italy? / by Paige Johnson

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There is not much that excites me more than traveling and getting to plan every bit of it myself is my jam! I do not go through travel agencies or any sort of package deal. I have found that doing everything separate has saved us so much money and makes the experience more geared to your specifics and what you want out of your trip! Traveling isn't cheap so you better make sure it's what you are hoping for! I have had several people message me saying how much they are wanting to travel here but don't even know where to start. So I'm here to give you a step by step in hopes that you will be less intimidated and more inspired. 

 

1. Start with research

 So I always drive my inspiration for our next destination through inspiration on social media. Pinterest, bloggers, etc. So find that place your heart is desiring to see, in this case being Amalfi Coast, Italy and then dive into information. It takes all of about two seconds to find anything on the internet these days, so it's fairly easy to find anything you need to know. 

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2. When to Go

One of the first steps in starting your planning is researching when the best time of year is to go. In this case Spring into early Summer and late Summer into Fall are your best times to travel to Amalfi. Mid summer just isn't the best idea even though it might seem ideal. The crowds are at an all time high, the weather is super hot, and the prices go way up. So if you want your best experience choose right before or after that busy season. Personally I found that spring is the best time to visit as temperatures are perfect! Sun is always shining, but the temperatures beautiful and mild ( not scorching), the prices are better, and not to mention you get to catch the whole coast in full bloom!

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3. Track that Flight! 

Alright, now that you know when you are going track those flights! Go onto Google Flights, it's super easy, and type in your airport you are flying out of and in this case destination Naples, Italy airport and track the cheapest flights. It's really beneficial to do this super far in advance. We booked a year ahead. This saves you soooo much money! Book flights as early as possible because the closer you get they sky rocket. Also try to research the cheapest airport local to you to fly out of beforehand that way you know which one to plug into google flights ahead of time. You want to get the cheapest you can!  

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4. Where will you stay? 

Next step is obviously stay. It's almost always way cheaper to book through an airbnb than a hotel in Amalfi! I also love that through airbnb you get a more personal experience with locals and the vibe of their way of life. So download the airbnb app, adjust the search to your budget and search! Try to book at LEAST 6 months ahead of time to get good prices. Again, prices sky rocket as you draw closer and places fill up fast, you don't want to miss your shot! Read reviews and to play it safe try to go with hosts that are 5 starred and make sure their description feels comfortable to you! You want to make your stay amazing so make sure to do the research and once you find your dream place book it fast!  Another tip in Amalfi is researching the best towns to stay in! It's more expensive staying in the most popular tourist ones, so if you want a more peaceful place to rest at night try a town a little further away from all the hustle and bustle! There are several adorable towns lining the coast so research your perfect fit and type in that specific town on your airbnb search. This link helped me decide where we wanted to stay. 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.walksofitaly.com/blog/amalfi-coast/amalfi-coast-towns-guide/amp. 

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5.  How are you getting around?

The next step is figuring out how you are getting around the coast? Amalfi is known for its insane roads and crazy driving situations. So it's not for the faint of heart! However, if you are brave enough to do it, it's so worth having your own transportation! You get to come and go as you please and stop along the coast to take in the scenery as you want! If you don't want to drive there are buses, taxis, ferrys, to help you along from each town so no worries! If you do decide to drive it's actually very affordable and I suggest booking your car ahead, which you can do on any booking site, rental site, or directly from the Naples airport site. Also know you can rent a little wifi device in your car for around a hundred dollars which is amazing for using your gps on your phone and knowing where to go! Also, make sure to note that if you are driving you will only need a tiny cheap little Fiat as the roads here are so small! Make sure to find an airbnb that included parking, this is huge!:) We are definitely renting a car, we are the brave haha, but I actually cannot wait for the adventure of it! 

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6. Food

This is an easy one. As you can see I don't do any package deals so you just eat as you go. I prefer it this way to be able to pick and choose where to go and experience the culture in a more authentic way! If I like a cafe and want to go back, I can go back, I'm not held to a schedule or package that only allows me to do certain things. So just budget out and bring enough money for you to eat when you are there. You also don't eat as much or at least we don't when traveling because you are so busy and distracted so it's pretty easy going!

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7. Planning your itinerary

This is where your initial research comes in and you do whatever the heck you want! Pinterest your heart out, read blogs, follow travel bloggers on Instagram and figure out where the best places are to go. For example, Capri is straight across from the Amalfi Coast so we can ferry out for the day and see the lovely island which we absolutely will be doing. There is a hidden beach in Furore that is all the buzz that we will most definitely be going to. I have several restaraunt and hiking spots I've found that look incredible. The list goes on. It's all about the research and what makes you tick!<3

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8. Who are you going with? 

Lastly, initially when planning this trip Jesse and I were going to go just us! However, friends of ours decided to join in which we were thrilled about! They are so fun and I can't wait to travel with them! Not to mention if you do travel with others, not only can you share in the fun but also you cut costs of stay and driving in half which is Huge! So if you have friends or family that are super fun and down for adventure run it by them?! It may be your best trip yet! 

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Well I think I covered most of it! Other things are just extra details like what to pack and photographing, which is like my favorite part haha! But I will be sharing all of that over the next few months. So follow along with me and I hope you enjoy the ride <3! As you see it isn't as scary as it seems to plan it by yourself! Have faith in yourself and go with it! It's an adventure and the best kind. 

 

Love, 

Paige <3