FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can't I just plan my own vacation to Italy and how much will it cost me?
Planning a vacation to a country like Italy is a very involved process, especially if this is your first time visiting. With so much to see and do, where do you begin? Do you focus on seeing all the historical and archeological sites? How can one choose from amongst hundreds of amazing seaside resorts that offer incredible rewards? How do you get from Venice to Florence to Rome? How do I get from the airport, rail station, or marina to your hotel? How often do the bullet trains run or which ferry do you take to get from Naples to the Amalfi Coast or the Isle of Capri? How do you navigate ancient cities that are all named instead of numbered and not get overwhelmed or lost? And more importantly, finding the best prices versus quality can keep a person glued to their computer screen for weeks. Don't worry. Dreams of Italia's experts do this daily and this saves you time, frustration, and endless hours scoping the neverending travel sites.
What will it cost? TIME. How much is your time worth to you? On average, planning a two week trip to Italy can take 40-80 hours of you sitting at your computer, reading travel materials, and completing all the details. Let Dreams of Italia save you that precious time so you can begin your journey without stress or the frustration of having missed an important detail. See our Pricing page for details.
Why should i use a custom designed vacation versus the tour bus travel groups?
Touring companies have traditionally offered convenience in a couple of areas, mainly transportation and the tour guide's knowledge of the area. There is an advantage to certain types of vacationers, say the elderly for example, who may have difficulty walking long distances within the city and between transportation hubs - it's obvious they benefit greatly. The door to door service of the bus works and so, tour companies prosper serving that demographic and have done so successfully for decades. The drawback unfortunately is that they are not all consistent and with that "convenience" comes other inconveniences. There is a better way to travel. We'll show you how.
What are the drawbacks and problems using a tour bus group?
Below is a list of the common grievances I've noted from clients on this method of vacationing:
Lack of freedom to venture outside preplanned schedule due to bus time constraints on bus
The bus (safety, mechanical breakdown, accident) and the frustration of traffic, noise, and delays.
The tourists that you don't get to choose; some can be noisy, rude, sick or with disruptive children
Listening to the tour guide repeating the same narrative in up to five different languages
The incongruency between rated hotels in package versus the level of quality and service received
The "total price" doesn't break down costs in each location, so customer wonders where money went
Included meals that were included in price, but were of poor quality and poor service standards
Overcrowding. Not only can the bus be confining, but touring groups bring their clients to the same busy locations, landmarks, and resorts.
These are just a few. Other factors like being stuck in traffic because of gridlock, highway accidents, toll delays, poor weather, etc. Myself and my family have experienced this first hand and it added discomfort, stress, and frustration to our vacation.
In high season, just getting from Rome to Florence can take upwards of 4 hours. If there are problems like I mentioned, it can take closer to 5 hours. Not fun and watching your fellow travelers lose their patience just adds to the chaos of the situation.
How can these drawbacks and problems be avoided?
Is this how you want to travel Italy?
On the bus...off the bus...crowded...packed...
Accidents happen....and ruin your holiday.
Stuck in traffic...moving at a snail's pace.
Removing the dependency on the bus to the greatest extent possible is our first preference. It's better to design your vacation on what you want to experience without limitations rather than designing it around the journey of a bus schedule. Having lived in Italy and driven tens of thousands of kilometers, I have faced these situations daily. Knowing how Italy works, how busy it can become, and the dynamic of the massive tourism industry, gives you the advantage in how your vacation is designed.
Understanding how to avoid these problems which are a reality in a country as busy as Italy is paramount to designing the perfect vacation. It's about the where, when, and how - point to point - that makes it all come together. Also, most tourists that come from North America who have no experience traveling Italy or Europe don't have an intimate knowledge of the services available to get around the country. Italy has amazing bullet trains that get you across the peninsula without the long hours spent on a bus. Cities like Rome have amazing subway systems that get you to the doorstep of all the famous wonders like St. Peter's and the Colosseum. The ferry system can get you to any part of the country and its incredible islands.
Beautiful and comfortable....smooth, fast, and no traffic.
Rome to Venice by bus? 6 to 7 hours Any questions?
How can Dreams of Italia offer great
accommodations at almost half the price?
ACCOMMODATIONS COMPARISON FOR
AMALFI COAST FOR JULY - 2021.
When planning your perfect vacation to Italy, it's important to know the layout of the land and its surrounding seas. Our team has visited, worked and lived in Italy, so they can provide you with realistic, valuable, and rewarding tips to make your trip go smoothly.
One tip is avoiding expensive American hotel chains and using local family owned hotels, apartments, B & B's, pensioni, and private properties. Many of these exceed the standard star ratings which are an American marketing and industry benchmark, but in reality, don't necessarily provide a better experience. Over the years, many hotel chains have been in the media for health violations.
I've stayed at privately owned ocean view properties for less than $100 per night with only a 3 star rating that provided the same comfort level of a 5 star hotel that charges $300-$1500 per night with no view, but they did have a fancy swimming pool and high end restaurant. In a country where food and the seaside is incredible, I was able to use the money I saved for limitless options.
SEE COMPARISON FOR A SUMMER BOOKING 2021 ON THE AMALFI COAST.
Secondly, it's about a simple process of knowing your needs, tastes, and preferences. Assessing your desired comfort level, mobility, and level of travel experience helps us achieve what you need, without spending extra money on hotel features you will never use. If there is one thing I learned travelling in italy is I was hardly ever in my room. Other than to sleep, shower, and perhaps have a meal there, I was off exploring, shopping, or eating elsewhere. So knowing this, paying less doesn't necessarily mean you get less. In almost every circumstance, the rewards using local Italian lodging exceeded foreign lodging. However, Dreams of Italia can book clients who have VIP status with hotels they use and we can certainly do boutique trips where money is no object. Everyone is different and we can accomodate any client based on their specific needs.
City Center, Hotel Chain, Ocean view, Breakfast and Wifi included $680/night
City Center, local Italian owned, Ocean view, Breakfast and Wifi included $195/night
Why shouldn't I just book everything online with Expedia, Red Tag, Travelocity, or other big online sites?
It's our belief that you being able to talk to someone about your vacation makes all the difference in the world. It's about getting that insider knowledge that helps you save money, so you can spend more on your trip for shopping, wonderful meals, and optional activities. In simple terms - Service!
When you book online with the volume based sites like Expedia or Red Tag, they sell space, not service. And if anything goes wrong, you have nobody to turn to. When your room is oversold or lost, when the options you expected are not delivered, or when things in Italy affect your trip like an airline, bus, or rail strike, our consultants can provide on-demand assistance and contigencies even before you leave. That's service and it's available not only before, but during your stay. We're available 24/7 when you need service. The big travel sites can't provide this level of attention, especially if circumstances change for the worse.
24/7 Support - Dreams of Italia is ready to help.