I talked in previous posts about finding a home base and staying there for an extended period of time and also the benefits of traveling to a lesser known area. Tip #5 brings both of those pieces of advice together to help save you money yet keep your experience amazing.
5. Stay in smaller, family run accommodations
This is something I live by. I support these places 100%. Smaller doesn’t mean less, in fact it is usually the opposite. There is a ton of love put into accommodations run by families and that is reflected in the way guests are treated. Plus, Italian families are struggling to make ends meet just like us. I like to know that my money is helping to support them in their passion, not just being funnelled into some big corporation.
So how do you find these places? I start by looking for Bed & Breakfast’s (B&B’s) and agriturismos. A B&B normally doesn’t have many rooms and these rooms can occasionally be a part of the owners’ home. The hosts are more readily available and looking forward to answering your questions, helping with your plans plus giving great advice for the area. An agriturismo is a working farm that also accommodates guests. Many of these places have an option for meals in addition to breakfast. Being on a farm doesn’t mean you are surrounded by barnyards. Most have beautiful grounds complete with olive groves and vineyards.
I have put together all of my favorite resources here to help you get started. TripAdvisor is a great site. Real reviews from real travelers along with average prices to help you with your budget. Just remember to take everything said with a grain of salt. Sometimes the happy travelers aren’t always the ones writing the reviews. I also use SlowTrav as a place to get ideas as their travel philosophy is much like mine.
Find a smaller accommodation and you won’t be sorry. You may even find you have become a part of their family.
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copyright 2014 Andi Brown, Once in a Lifetime Travel
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