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Opinion on This Trip from Travel Agent

Hi everyone, I value all the insight and opinions so many of you have given me on these threads. I would like to run a trip by you and see what your opinion are. I know its up to me, but many of you know Rome and travel prices much better than I do.

June 14 - June 20 6 nights at Albergo Cesari (Classic Double) $1876

Airfare direct flights $2718 total package $4594.00

So shall I grab it, or wait.

Thanks in advance for your advise.

Teresa

Posted by
20686 posts

I am not sure what you are grabbing. The hotel at $300/day is not cheap -- does it include meals? And the airfare seems high if not nearly double of what I would expect off of the east coast. Without knowing more details, it would appear to be expensive.

Posted by
1018 posts

The hotel is over $300 per day. What does that include? You could check venere.com and tripadvisor.com for hotels.

The $2718 for airfare is expensive if it is for one person. Is it 1 class or coach? We just bought my girlfriend a roundtrip economy ticket on Delta Pittsburgh-Roma-Pittsburgh in late July for $1573.

You could find cheaper prices by doing it yourself. Keep in mind that you have supplied the barest details.

Posted by
684 posts

It's easy enough to check the cost of that hotel on-line. Try tripadvisor.com or booking.com As for the airfare, I assume that is for two people. In June 2009, I got airfare from east coast to Spain, home from Paris for $750 pp. Now that was a great fare. I would think you should be able to get airfare for considerable less if you wait for a sale. I would check kayak.com and wait a few months. It's still early enough to wait for a sale.

Posted by
48 posts

This trip is for 2 people, yes breakfast is included. The Hotel is in the area I want to be in. The flight is for 2 out of Boston to Rome direct flights.

I have been on venere.com (its higher) and tripadvisor, and expedia and our warehouse BJ's, plus another at work they offer.

I have been watching flights almost daily. Today prices on my own are 3104 direct flight and 3200. Her flight is 2718 for two.

Sorry for confusion. Flights from Boston seem to run more than say PA.

Posted by
684 posts

Hi Teresa, if you can't find a better deal on the hotel, then the travel agent's is a good deal. As for the airfare, I'd have your travel agent wait until the fares come down. $1,300+ is on the high side. Anyone else agree? You can get an apartment for 6 nights for a lot less if you are interested. I rented a nice two bedroom apartment in the center (near Campo dei Fiori) for about $200 per night for five nights. If you only need a small apartment for two you can get one even cheaper. Unless, you prefer a hotel.

Posted by
1838 posts

Can't advise you on airfare but I do think the cost of hotel seems high as well as other posters. Is it worth paying extra for breakfast which might not be what you think it is, it might just be juice/bagel and coffee/tea. Did you look at other links here that recommend places to stay/maybe an apartment or suggestions in Rick's books?

Posted by
31030 posts

Teresa,

The Hotel seems a bit "pricey" compared to many shown in the Guidebooks, and $312 a night is more than I've ever spent for lodgings in Rome. There are undoubtedly Hotels listed in the Guidebook in that same area that would be less expensive. If you want that style of accommodations and don't mind paying for them, I'm sure you'll enjoy Hotel Cesari.

The airfare seems reasonable at $1359 PP. I paid more than that for my flights this year, although they were open-jaw (inbound Rome, outbound Frankfurt).

Given that you won't be travelling until mid-June 2011, I'd suggest waiting a bit before you book. The airfare prices espcially may come down and you've got some time to assess the various options.

Happy travels!

Posted by
1003 posts

That is an awful lot for a bed, unless you are going for fancy accommodation. Have you considered, since you're staying 6 nights, renting an apartment? I have just started researching apartments in the most expensive neighborhoods in Rome (Navona/Pantheon area) and there are incredibly nice-looking and well-reviewed options for around 150 euros a night which would be an entire apartment for less than a "classic double" hotel room. If you're not that terribly concerned about your accommodation i've even seen nice enough-looking apartments in those neighborhoods for 100 euros give or take. I'd personally rather spend the money on food, cooking classes, tours, souvenirs, etc, but only you can decide what's best for you!

Posted by
48 posts

Hi everyone...its our honeymoon and its a 3 star hotel. I don't want an apartment. Our goal is to stay near the Pantheon and this is fairly close. Yes, I have the 2011 RS guidebook and yes I have been searching for months using all the sites ect. The reason I was asking for opinions is I know several of you travel a great deal and would know a good fare when you seen one. I have not committed to this package. I went to the actual Hotel site and can get it for 15% less comes to 1705. The airare I take a chance on. Book it now it may go down, wait it may go up, I don't know.

I have looked at B&B's the one I wanted booked up already.

Thanks

Posted by
668 posts

Lost me at 312 dollars a night.
Airfare is way too high for Boston to Rome.
Thats more than we pay from Seattle.
If you are really concerned about the air fair going down then book on a site that offers a refund on the difference.
I don't use these guaranties because we usually do so much research that we get a pretty good deal.

The Travel Agent here isn't doing you any favors. Just my opinion. Whats your "area" of Rome that you are trying to be in? Sorry if you've already answered that...

Posted by
19 posts

Teresa, seems like a lot to some of us budget travelers but if you like the hotel, location,check-in time,services, ambiance and you have the funds, go for it. After a tiring day of sightseeing, it's nice to come home to a comfortable, clean, safe hotel. Keep in mind that the Travel Agent gets a commission, however a good agent can save you from a lot of stress. Have fun.

Posted by
1999 posts

I spent 300+ on hotel in central Rome that was in a fabulous location for walking to sites and well worth it. It was a Rick Steves recommended splurge .. this is not an abnormal amount to spend in a major European city to be where you want to be. And the Pantheon area is fantastic.

Posted by
7245 posts

I agree with BG. We stayed at a very nice hotel next to the Pantheon for that price and, for us, it was worth every penny.

Posted by
2876 posts

It definitely is much cheaper flying out of New York instead of Boston, who knows why. I just did a search using your June 2011 dates and the lowest round trip fare (out of Newark) was $808 on TAP Portugal, with a stopover in Lisbon. So driving to Newark could save you over $1,000 on airfare vs your travel agent's price. Best fare I could find out of Boston was $1,198 on Aer Lingus, with a stopover in Dublin.

Posted by
1589 posts

Dear Teresa,

Consider taking the train to NYC for a flight far less then 1/2 what you list here.

Is a bed to sleep in worth $300.00 per night? Fine for you, but no way for us.

Whatever your decision, all the best to the upcoming wedding bells!

Posted by
275 posts

They're charging way too much. I just booked a flight round-trip to Rome from NYC for $750 - also found an apartment with a terrace a couple of blocks from the Pantheon for about $175/night for two people (includes New Year's). Why not look at the hotel's website and book it yourself - same with air fare.

Posted by
1000 posts

The airfare seems very high to me and I would wait awhile before booking for a June trip. From Minneapolis flew open jaw to Italy July 2009/$965. Sept. 2010/Italy flights booked 2 weeks prior to leaving, $1,235. Haven't been to Rome since July 2006 but at that time paid 100 Euros/night/double including breakfast at hotel located very close to Campo di Fiori.

Posted by
7180 posts

Get your cheap airfare FIRST by being flexible. Then book your hotel. You also need to drop your Travel Agent - that sounds like a horribly overpriced deal! Over $4500 for just 6 nights? That's about the total I paid for all three of us to go for 2 weeks in June 2010.

Posted by
42 posts

I think the cost of this particular flight is in range for DIRECT flights. They're likely looking into Alitalia as the carrier, you generally get cheaper flights when there is at least one stopover. When I generally fly back to the US to the West coast, I have at least 1 or 2 stopovers on the cheapest flights.
As for the hotel, if they really like that hotel for their honeymoon and want to splurge, I say go for it but book directly with the hotel!! You pay a little less and you're at the hotel you want.

Posted by
48 posts

Hi everyone,
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. That is why I posted here, I knew many of you would know better than I.

Many of you have said to wait, I think we will wait or at least book the hotel directly and then work around flights.

Thanks again

Teresa

Posted by
668 posts

Get your airline booked first, then book your lodging.

Posted by
1000 posts

Our July 2009 flight with Delta was an open jaw from Minneapolis/Amsterdam(couple hr. layover/Venice for $965. Milano/Amsterdam/Mpls on the way back. We will gladly put up with a couple hr. layover at Schipol to save $300+ per ticket.

Posted by
29 posts

We just got back from 2 weeks in Italy, we flew in and back through Rome from NC, and used the train to other cities. These rates (air and lodging) seem awfully high. I'd do a little online research at the various airline websites checking rates traveling mid-week and hubs within a reasonable distance that have direct flights. We chose to drive a couple hours and fly direct from Charlotte to Rome this time; the last 4 times we've flown from Raleigh to DC/NY/Chicago and then to Rome or Milan. The 2+ hour layover we would have spent in another city waiting to catch the connecting flight to Raleigh we spent driving home! Wow were we glad! We not only avoided having to lug our luggage through customs, then back to check in for the connecting flight and on to another plane- we avoided the missed flights due to delays and cancellations that stranded some other travelers.

Don't know if it is true but I have heard checking early Tues am is the time to find best airfares....

Posted by
48 posts

I have been doing my research and looking at all airline sites...we are looknig to leave on a Monday and fly back Monday...I also changed it to Tuesday and it was the same. I am holding out, taking all your advice and crossing my fingers we can get the price I am willing to pay. I hope to book in Jan no later than Feb but I will keep looking weekly. I even have Trip Advisor watching airfare for me.

Posted by
1976 posts

When are you going to Rome (unless you already posted it and I missed it)? Check out Kayak.com, which gives you flight results starting with the lowest price. As others have said, you don't have to fly out of Boston just because you live nearby. There are next to no direct international flights out of St. Louis, so I look at direct flights from Chicago, New York, Newark, etc. for the best deal. Since you're already on the East Coast, you have a lot of options nearby.

Posted by
29 posts

Also, on getting a flight that is not direct, on 2 occasions I found flights to a hub that I could then get a direct flight from for less than I could find on any website.

Posted by
14003 posts

I don't understand why people are advising to book flights before booking the hotel. Any decent hotel should have a 24- to 48-hour cancellation policy. You lose nothing, and can secure the best price. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

Posted by
8906 posts

Some hotels offer deeply discounted rates if one is willing do prepay in advance, and waive the right to cancel or change the reservation. If you want those types of deals it's best to book the flight first.

Posted by
668 posts

It depends on what ever process you are comfortable with in the planning stage. We like to get the airline first. This becomes the first LOCK IN as to the dates. Then there is a certain set of hotels we like. These are mostly pensioner, small, family run hotels. If one is booked up, we just move on to the next. There are many more rooms available at any one time then there are airline flights. As long as the hotel has what we need; Location, Price, Good Reviews, Private Bath and Breakfast, and possibly parking, we are not picky since we are only at the hotel to store our stuff and crash after long days of being out in Italy. That becomes the Second Lock, or sign off. Then we do a day by day, hour by hour, itinerary of the things we want to see and experience. I always want at least one day on a motorcycle, and my wife wants at least one day totally dedicated to shopping. And at least two days are completely open to be planned while we are there. Then of course, that well planned itinerary gets adjusted as we go along depending on the weather or some other much more interesting site or event we didn't know about.