I believe that favorite things are meant to be shared.
Here are the resources & products I use and love to plan our trips & food adventures.
I know I love getting recommendations from friends, so I hope this is helpful to you!
| Research |
SLOW TRAVEL (ITALY & MORE)
Search for vacation rentals, trip reports, tips and insider information. A HUGE amount of info, but definitely worth digging into.
Travel insurance is worth the price in my opinion, here is a great resource for comparing prices and details of different top travel insurance companies.
A list of my favorite podcasts on all things Italia is over here.
A list of my favorite books on all things Italia is over here.
You can find a much larger list of favorite books for travel, Italy and everything foodie over here.
Blogs are an awesome way to research & prepare for a trip. Here are some of my favorite Italy & Travel focused blogs.
| Lodging |
FLIPKEY BY TRIP ADVISOR
Search for vacation rental by location, price, amenities and more. I love the sort feature and usually start by sorting by how many reviews each property has. The more reviews there are, the better to read through them and get a good idea if the place is what you are looking for. I also love the map feature so you can see on the map where the property is, as well as others near it.
Rent unique places to stay from local hosts in 190+ countries. I’ve had great luck with airbnb, but feel you need to search carefully if you’re like me and you want to stay in a place that is specifically designed to be a rental property. I start my search by looking for a super host in the location I’m interested in.
Sign up through this link to receive a free $20 credit from me when you make your first booking!
Hotels and apartments. Search by location, price, amenities, and more. (my favorite is to filter by review score!) Love that they clearly list which rooms have a free cancellation and when you need to cancel by to have no penalties.
| Transportation : Flights |
I use this to start my search for flights and rental cars. Love the ability to filter not only by take off times but landing times.
I also love using their EXPLORE feature– kayak.com/explore Put in your home airport and they will show you all the flights near you and their price. Perfect when you have a long weekend but are unsure where you want to go!
I love their explore destinations feature, as well as showing you all the places and prices where you can go from your home airport on a date or date range. (similar to Kayak Explore) Seeing their map with all those little red dots gets me super excited to hop on a plane- to anywhere!
| Transportation : Train |
THE authority on train travel in Europe. I have learned so much from Mark regarding train travel in Italy and other countries. He also has great info on how to take the scenic Bernina Express train in Switzerland.
Trenitalia in English is fairly easy to navigate. You can purchase some tickets in advance ( advised only if your travel plans are rock solid) or at kiosks at the train station. Deals can be had in advance for the fast trains (Freccia Rossa) by booking online.
| Travel Apps |
Some of my favorites:
Triposo | Google Translate | Duolingo | Afar | Trip It | Evernote | XE Currency Converter
| Photography |
This camera has been a game changer for me! I love our DSLR’s but found that I was taking less and less photos because I didn’t want to lug all the gear. Chris surprised me with this while we were living in Italy and it takes amazing photos (24 megapixels) AND fits in my bag easily. Another bonus is we can use all our Canon lenses with it.
| Miscellaneous |
FLYTOGRAPHER (160 locations worldwide)
Book a vacation photographer and get unforgettable memories of your family or friends wherever you are in the world! They are wonderful to work with and we loved our Milan Photo Shoot so much! Precious memories for sure. (Read about our experience here)
A food tour is one of my favorite ways to get a feel for a new place. You can get some insider info from the local guides, and get tips on what to eat and where during your stay. I recommend booking ahead of time and picking a date at the beginning of your trip so you can utilize all that insider info during your stay!
Recommended Food & Wine Tours:
Markets in Italy:
Another way I love to explore is by visiting a local market. Here are some ideas to get you started!
Alla Madonna del Piatto Cooking School, Assisi Umbria (Come with us in October!)
Cook in Milano, Milan Italy
Cook’n With Class, Paris France
P.S. I have a whole page dedicated to delicious resources all over Europe. Check it out HERE
*This page may contain affiliate links. However I would never recommend a product or service unless I absolutely love it. Thank you for supporting A Merry Feast- Grazie!