My husband and I recently went on an 8 day (was supposed to be 9, but check out this blog post to see why our trip got cut a day short) trip to the Amalfi Coast in Italy to celebrate our one year Anniversary. It has been a dream of mine to go to Italy ever since I knew Italy was a country haha! And let me tell you, Italy is everything I dreamed it would be (and more). From the culture to the food, to the beautiful scenery and history, it truly is a place that I would encourage everyone to see at some point in their life.
I thought I would tell you guys everything we did, how we planned the trip, and my top tips and things you should know before going! We really went into this trip without much knowledge aside from things a few people told us and other things we read. Otherwise, we just figured everything out as we went, which to be honest was kind of fun!
Let’s get right into it…
- Go in September or October if your travel schedule allows for it! We had absolutely perfect weather, I’m talking 75 and sun every day, it was perfect. The dates we were there were October 17-25th. However, I’m not sure if it’s an oddity that it was that nice during those dates, but it was amazing. It also isn’t tourist season (that’s the summer months – June, July, August), so our hotel rates were cheaper, and there weren’t as many people! I’ve also heard that in the summer months it’s sooo hot and humid, which would be horrible for all the walking you do!
- We didn’t use a travel agent. We booked our hotels through the actual website as well as our airfare, train tickets, etc. When planning our Honeymoon to Hawaii last year, we didn’t have the greatest experience with a travel agent, so we decided to do it all on our own! (Hold tight for a whole separate blog post of our entire itinerary!)
- For any reviews of restaurants/hotels/etc., always look at Trip Advisor, not Yelp! I guess Europe doesn’t really use Yelp much, they use Trip Advisor way more, so all the good reviews and best ranked restaurants, excursions, etc. can be found there.
- Do NOT book your train/ferry tickets ahead of time.. unless you know 100% certain what the traffic will be like and what you want to do at every exact moment. We booked our train tickets and ferry’s in advance because we were worried about not knowing how to do it when we got there but it’s SO SIMPLE to at the locations. We wasted soooo much money because we didn’t make it in time to board the train we were supposed to or get the ferry on time. For booking train tickets, there are tons of kiosks around the train station and you can select English or whatever language and purchase the tickets you need. However, make sure you have enough Euros on you, they take credit cards but we had some issues with it.
- Bouncing off that whole “make sure you have Euros on you”.. carry them at all times… You see public restrooms aren’t really a thing in Italy, I’m not sure if they just have EXTREMELY big bladders or they just don’t have to use the bathroom much because they drink mainly wine, not water haha! But almost every time I had to go to the bathroom, I had to pay to use it.
- In regards to the restrooms, there aren’t always toilet seats or toilet paper in them, so it may not be a bad idea to carry around some toilet paper with you. I had some in my purse at all moments.
- WATCH OUT for pickpocket-ers. Luckily Tommy’s family is pretty well traveled so they prepared us for this, but it’s very common, especially in public areas/train stations, etc. Tommy had a fanny pack inside of a tied up backpack and I had my crossbody bag in front of me held by my hands the entire time. I also made sure to never have my phone held out in the open. Just be aware of your surroundings!
- Tipping servers, taxi drivers, etc. It isn’t as common as it is in America but if you’re wanting to tip your waiters/server or even taxi driver, make sure you bring Euros with you to do so. We would use our credit card to pay for dinner and then when we got the bill there was no place to write in a tip. Having Euros on hand was crucial because I felt sooo bad when we couldn’t tip, everyone was so nice!
- Buy motion sickness wristbands and/or non drowsy dramamine! The Amalfi coast is built on a legit coast, so there are tons of narrow/winding roads. If you’re prone to getting car sick, you are going to NEED these, trust me. Also, if you take a ferry from city to city, they help a ton too. These are the wrist bands I used and this is the dramamine I had.
- Make sure you have good walking shoes. Almost every sidewalk and road are made of cobblestone so walking around in 5 inch heels probably isn’t the best idea. Tommy and I did at least 17,000 steps every single day, some days we did 30,000 +! I understand that cute shoes are sometimes what make an outfit but TRUST ME on this one, your feet will thank me later 😉
Until next time.