Should I cancel August trip to Italy & lose deposit?!

Should I cancel my August 22nd trip to Italy, even though it means I'll lose hundreds of dollars that I put down on a deposit? I'm extremely nervous because I have read so many negative things about visiting Rome/Florence/Venice in summer, and I could kick myself for not having done more research before I signed up for the tour! I would rather lose a few hundred dollars now than lose thousands of dollars later on a failed vacation.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2612 posts

So you want to go at a later date? If it's this far out won't the tour company let you change to a different date without losing your whole deposit? Are you talking about the crowds or the heat? Even though it is crowded and hot, August also gives you much longer daylight hours as well as really lovely early mornings and late evenings. Once the sun goes down it's a lot better. So, if you hate the heat just get up early and take a siesta during the heat of the day. I have been there during Feb., March, May, August and each is different, but it's still Italy:) (and I'd rather be there than home)

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7978 posts

That would violate some of the basic rules of travel: 1, Go whenever you can. 2. Go anywherre you can. 3. Go with everwho you can or go alone. 4. Spend money while you have it. 5. Going without research is not a sin.
6. Spend as little as possible so you can do more of it.

Posted by Roseanne
Arcadia, California, United States
4 posts

I'm a member of a women's traveling group over at meetup.com. The refund policy states that if you cancel, regardless of how early, you lose your deposit. For me, this would be about $500- (I have two down payments at stake; one for Italy and one for Paris). I don't think rescheduling would make a difference as to whether I would forfeit my deposit or not.

Posted by Susan
Meridian
138 posts

Ask the Tour operator about how they've adjusted their tour to compensate for the August closings. Less chance to see the many wonders of VFR would be the only reason I'd cancel out. I agree with Ed; of course, we're both from places that are hot as H in August, so a little heat won't scare us off. I'd rather be in Italy!!!!

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

Why don't you just go with a more positive attitude.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2394 posts

It can get hot and there are crowds in summer, but that is true just about anywhere. If summer travel was so awful in Italy, no one would do it. Obviously it is the most popular time so don't fret about it. Relax, bring along a positive attitude and enjoy what can be a trip of a lifetime :-)

Posted by Brent
Tucson, AZ, US
25 posts

My suggestion would be to quit reading negative things. If it were so awful, why would it be crowded? If it was that bad, everyone would just stay home. Go and have fun. It's only gonna be a failure if you go with a negative attitude. It can be an amazing experience if you decide to make it so.

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1396 posts

Letting the fear of Aug travel scare you away from a planned trip sounds a bit silly to me. You will not know if it's good or bad for yourself, unless you take the trip. In today's economy, loosing a few hundred bucks to me sounds like a bad idea. You are going on a guided tour? They tour company will make sure you are as comfortable as possible, they will want you back on another tour for sure. Just get excited and GO, it won't matter what month you visit Italy, it will be crowded and probably hot/warm. We've been there in May and about fainted from the heat.

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2176 posts

I think you are overreacting. First, it is not like as if you were going on a ski vacation in the middle of the thaw. Second, you are going on the last week of August, after the Ferragosto holiday. Things will be calmer.

Posted by Morgan
Spokane, WA, USA
27 posts

I've been to Italy twice in the summer because that is when I have time off from work. Yes, it is hot and there are crowds. We always got up early and stayed out late, which helped avoid both heat and crowds. Mid day we would always head back to our room for a siesta. We really enjoyed our trip! Go and have fun!

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10888 posts

You question has no answer since we have no idea why you would cancel. But would like to help. Please post the three to five top reasons you want or are considering why to canceled your trip. Why would you have a failed vacation? That is pretty strong. What would cause it to be "failed."? IF you have been reading travels sites discussing security issues, please recognize that all of these sites discuss problems even if only 1 in 10, 2 in a hundred, 1 in 5 travelers are effected. That is because discussing problems is more informative than discussing no problems. Despite all of the discussion here about pickpockets, scams, etc., most if not nearly all tourists have no problems and especially if you are with a group tour. So, tell us, what are your specific concerns ??? !!!!

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2529 posts

Even if you reschedule, it could rain for days all over the country (happened to me in 2011), there could be an earthquake (happened to me twice in 2012), you could get sick (God forbid, but it happens)...there is no guarantee that rescheduling will give you a perfect trip. Go, drink lots of water, take a head covering of some kind, have a siesta if you need one, and have a great time! It's Italy!

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10888 posts

Everyone is commenting about the heat. Where did Roseanne say anything about heat or crowds? Only comment is about being there in the summer. I am reading between the lines that it could be safety issues. Of course, it would be helpful if Roseanne engaged in a discussion so that we could be more helpful and directly address her concerns.

Posted by Roseanne
Arcadia, California, United States
4 posts

I'm mainly concerned about the heat and the crowds. Plus, it's embarrassing to admit this, but I'm really poor! Even though I'm only in my 40s, this will probably be the last vacation I ever take. I guess I'm letting my nerves get the best of me right now.

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1396 posts

My question is now that I've read your question more closely; How can a vacation FAIL? You aren't at work, you are in Italy with amazing sights and great food. If you paid for the vacation before you leave, then you only have small expenses to incur (unless you go crazy buying "stuff") No vacation can fail unless you (god forbid) get sick or injured before or during. I still say GO. If you are worried, make sure you take travel insurance out on the trip. Don't let the crowds or weather be the reason you do not go.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10888 posts

The heat is the heat and there is not much you can do about it. Unfortunately it will be hot in Italy but should be much more pleasant in Paris. In fact it could be cool. And it will be crowded but with a tour they often have ways of avoiding some of the lines and other things. For a long time we were forced by the school schedule to travel in the summer. You just adjusted and expect to have to wait in lines. Second we did the get going early in the morning thing and took an afternoon nap and then have the late afternoon and evening. Unfortunately you may have to work on your attitude. To say you are 40 and will never take another vacation is pretty negative in itself and short sighted. You have half you life to live while I am 70+ and just want another ten good years. And I working to make sure I get them.

Posted by Susan
Meridian
138 posts

Roseanne, only you know if you can truly afford a trip. Do the research about costs of trips (whats essential and whats optional) do the math and decide what you can afford and are willing to pay. Travel is a privilege and can be expensive. It doesn't have to be but unless you "invest" up front, it will be. I make sacrifices and work extra jobs to be able to travel. So do a lot of other travelers. And I won't give it up until I'm physically unable.
Give me $10,000 for a good trip and I swear I'll figure a way to turn it into four $2,500 wonderful trips!!! If this tour is too expensive maybe you should lose the deposit, but then get busy building your own trip. If this is the only way you'll see Italy, however figure out how to make it happen. When I first read your question I thought it was because some museums, etc have abbreviated schedules in August. Is this correct or am I remembering wrong. Anyway this Board has great info as long as you provide adequate info. I don't think we can comment on your finances.

Posted by SamSn
Scottsdale, AZ, USA
1093 posts

It will be hot but the sights will be open. Some restaurants will be closed but all of the cities you will be visiting will have plenty of restaurants open. It's not like you're going to searching for a place to eat. Go and you'll have a great time!

Posted by Paul
Weston, MA, USA
61 posts

Roseanne, I'm not a psychologist but I am married to one. If I read between the lines, I would say the heat and the crowds have nothing to do with this, they are only convenient rationales. You signed up for the trip as part of a women's group. Probably in the excitement of everyone talking about the trip you got caught up in it and made snap decision to go. So now you are thinking can you really afford it. That is your real dilemma. Well no one here can tell you either way not knowing your financial situation. It is a shame to lose the $500, but I've made far costlier mistakes than that. If going on the trip will put you too much in the hole, then forego it. However if you can pick some extra work hours before the trip, then go ahead with your plans. Either way, don't let your nerves get the best of you. Be at peace with your decision knowing you did the right thing. Good luck!

Posted by Joseph
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
126 posts

Roseanne, I was in Rome in October; it was hot and crowded. I still walked all over, took buses, took the metro. Couldn't get into the Vatican because of crowds who came to attend the beatification of 2 people. I was still able visit various neighborhoods, visit museums, walk to and around ancient sites. The food was good and my hotel room was air conditioned. Whether you're poor or rich, tall or short, young or old, go to Italy. If you cancel the trip you will forfeit several hundred dollars for no good cause AND and will never forgive yourself!

Posted by Sheron
Alta Loma, CA, USA
1202 posts

Hi Roseanne. I understand your concern but as others have already pointed out, anything can happen no matter what time of year you go. For instance, we were in Italy in May several years ago and one would think that the weather in May would be milder than in August yet the week we were there, they were experiencing a heat wave and it was as hot if not hotter than it normally is in August. We just made the best of it, drank lots of water & ate lots of gelato!! I noticed that you live in Arcadia. I live in Rancho Cucamonga (not too far from Arcadia) & can tell you that the weather in Italy in August won't be any worse than our weather in August. Of course, you can expect a bit more humidity in Italy but our summers as of late seem to have been increasingly muggy so I really don't think it will be too different from what you're used to. As for crowds, it will likely be a bit more crowded but as someone else pointed out, you're going at the end of August which should be better than earlier in the month. Hubby & I are also leaving on Aug 22 for Italy...maybe we'll bump into you at LAX! Go & have a wonderful time. You won't regret it.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7828 posts

First for Susan in Meridan, I almost always travel in summer, and I have never seen any tourist sight reduce their opening days in August, especially in Paris, if you look , most tourist sites only close on their regular day off ( often a monday or tuesday, May 1st, December 25th and January 1st. Thats it.) In fact the rumors of Paris "closing down in August" are completely overblown. No sights close, no hotels close, only some smaller restaurants and shops close, but unlike in the past, that is even changing, I am seeing more places only close for a few weeks now, not the whole month. Roseanne,,for you I really want to say something, DO NOT BE EMBARRASSED about "being poor", most of here are not rich, but we have just made travel our priority. I drive a car from 2006, I do not buy a new couch every 5 years, in fact I never buy anything new if I can avoid it, lol . I don't buy alot of 5 buck Starbucks, and I don't spend 200 dollars on boots. I try not to eat out often, I tend to take a lunch to work rather then blow 5-10 bucks on fast food each day. Little things add up. I don't know how much this tour is, but you might be able to do the trip alot cheaper on your own.. have you considered that.
I also think poster a few above hit nail on head, this is not about heat and crowds. If you can do trip without going too much into debt, do it. People rarely regret the things they have done as much as they regret not doing something. Think about it.

Posted by Roseanne
Arcadia, California, United States
4 posts

Wow, I never expected to receive so many responses! Thanks, you guys. Although I'm still on the fence about my trip, I'll take what all of you have said into consideration. I'll keep you updated on my final decision!

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1396 posts

My husband always reminds me that life is about experiences, not about things. We save to travel, it's a priority. While I'd like to do things to our house, we travel first. That being said, we are heading back to Italy in May for our 8th trip there. I haven't seen it all yet! If you haven't saved for the trip and are so worried about the final cost, back out and save up so you feel more comfortable traveling. There has to be nothing worse than coming home and having bills awaiting you. In this thread the truth seems to have come out. it's about spending the money for the trip. If you don't have it, don't go. Simple as that. Loose your deposit and chaulk it up to a life experience. If it's about "negative" things you've read...then you are wrong. The good way out weighs the "bad" in Italy.

Posted by Chloe
Asnieres sur Vegre, France
48 posts

The first time that I talked my husband into traveling to Sicily, he admitted later that he was terrified of going. After the first trip, I had a hard time keeping him home. We too were poor, but we would save and we also would borrow money to travel which we would pay back in two years or so. I know that if you go you will not be sorry and will probably find ways to get back. Travel is addicting. Just take a way to carry water and perhaps a small umbrella if you think it will be too hot. Have a fantastic time.

Posted by Charles
Austin, Texas, USA
308 posts

I would do the trip. However, be warned....you might like it so much that you will do whatever it takes to go back again. You will love it!!

Posted by Rachel
Fargo, ND, USA
12 posts

Honestly I think you need to do what you believe is right for you. If you don't have money to just throw around & hate large crowds... maybe it would be best to cancel. GO WITH YOUR GUT. But if you can tolerate crowds... you can do an August trip to Italy smart by pre-booking things you want to see & do (avoiding long lines). I don't think you should just cancel & then regret not going. I hope you have gotten a lot of good advice here (I didn't read everything)... but ultimately chose based off what you know about yourself... and how you are willing to travel.

Posted by Debra
Los Angeles, CA, USA
1001 posts

I have found that travel is a mindset. If you read negative things and convince yourself that you won't like something or that you'll have a bad experience. If you tell yourself you're going to have a great time, you probably will. My first trip to Italy began at the end of August and it was just fine. Also keep in mind that people tend to share the negative things and often don't bother to share the positive things, so your sample is not exactly accurate. If the only reason you're considering backing out is because of it being in August, I would say just go and tell yourself you'll have a great time, and I'm sure that you will.