Back in January 2020, Kariss was browsing through the British Airways sale and asked me if I fancied a trip away. Obviously, we had no idea what was about to happen, so we checked a few dates and made a decision. We wanted to go to a country that neither of us had been to before and we wanted to do it on a budget.
We picked Venice over the weekend of 6th to 9th March and it cost us £129. This price included three nights in our hotel, flights and breakfast every morning. Although this was through the BA sale, it is completely possible to get yourself a bargain trip like this by booking everything separately. Despite it being known as an expensive destination, you can definitely do Venice on a budget! Here are a few tips for when it is safe to travel again.
Getting cheap flights to Venice
When I book flights, I usually look at London airports first. Although Birmingham is closer to me, there’s more options from London and it’s always cheaper. I can usually also travel down to London for less than the price of a ticket to Birmingham International. It makes no sense, but that’s how it is. Most of the flights that I’ve taken over the last few years have been out of London Gatwick or London Stansted. You must factor in the cost of getting to each airport from central London too. The Gatwick Express costs from £12 when booked in advance and the train to Stansted starts at £19.40.
When I was looking on SkyScanner, I found return flights from London Gatwick to Venice Marco Polo from as little as £50 return for September. This was back when I was hoping we’d be alright to travel again by then. Obviously the cost of flight fluctuates depending on the time of year and demand. The best time to book flights is around 5 – 8 weeks in advance, however you may be able to get a great last minute deal. Always look at flights with your browser in private (or incognito mode) and clear any cookies before you start.
Cheap accomodation in Venice
Accommodation is usually the most expensive part of a trip. When travelling alone, I usually choose to stay in a hostel; however when I’m. travelling with someone it works out cheaper to split the cost of a hotel or an Airbnb. You may think that it’s impossible to stay in Venice on a budget, but it’s really not!
When we were looking at Venice, there were a few different hotel options in the BA sale. We also had a quick look online to see what else was available on the dates we were going. Airbnb showed that there were rooms available from £31 per night in the centre of Venice. It is always worth having a look around at a few different places. We stayed in the Mestre area which was just a short bus ride away from the main island of Venice. We stayed in the Hotel Delfino which costs from £40 a night. There are a lot of similar hotels in the area with great transport links.
Getting around Venice – public transport
As Venice is made up of islands, the main mode of transport is obviously waterborne. The airports are both on the mainland, as is the area of Mestre where we stayed which is accessible by bus. A single water bus (or vaporetto) ticket in Venice (which is valid for 75 mins from the time of purchase) costs 7.50€. We knew that we would be using the vaporetti a lot during our three day trip, so it was going to get expensive. Luckily, there are several different passes available from ACTV. We paid 46€ at the airport for a 72 hour travel card which covered both buses and ferries.
The vaporetti are really frequent and easy to navigate. While we were there, we used Google Maps to help us find a route around the city which helpfully gives you public transport information too. We were able to use the vaporetti to island hop over to Murano and Burano too.
Eating and drinking in Venice on a budget
While we were there, Venice went into lockdown. Which unfortunately means that the cafes, restaurants and bars all closed. On our final night we couldn’t even get a McDonalds! However, we did manage to get one meal in a local restaurant and one in the Hard Rock Café. From what we did get to eat in Venice, I found that the food and drink was very reasonable.
On our first night we searched Google for somewhere nearby that did great pizzas. We ended up going to a little place where I got a pepperoni pizza for 8.50€. As well as being delicious, it was pretty big and great value for money. The Hard Rock Café was more expensive as is expected from the chain. We stopped off at a bakery called Marcato in Murano to try some typical Italian biscuits which were reasonably priced as well as delicious.
If you walk around and look away from the main sights, you are able to find some cheaper places to eat. If you didn’t want to eat out for every meal, I’d recommend looking at the breakfast option in your hotel. Our hotel added breakfast on for just an extra £5 for the three nights.
When it’s safe to travel again, I’ll definitely be booking another trip to Venice. Even if we can’t get another great package deal, I know that it will be easy enough to travel to Venice on a budget.