Andiamo with Amy

How do you decide where to stay? That’s a question I get asked after every trip.  The answer:  Research, research and research some more.

I’m not a big chain hotel kind of girl when traveling because I prefer to give my money to the locals in any given town we visit and there are literally hundreds of apartments, B&B’s and small inns available, especially overseas, for reasonable prices.

I have used sites like,, and to help me find what I’m looking for.

There are some things to consider while researching:

  1. Have a budget in mind.  I usually look for places around $100/night, give or take.  I know that I’ll find a great place in Tuscany for that price, but in Venice, I’ll have to increase that budget because everything in Venice is more expensive.
  2. Be flexible in location.  For example, I knew on our last trip to Italy that I wanted to stay in a general location in Tuscany, but I didn’t pigeon hole myself into a specific town. It allowed for many more options.
  3. Read the reviews…but take them with a grain of salt.  I know that there are some people who review that are extremely hard to please and I also know that crappy things happen sometimes, but if the majority of the reviews are great, then I’m likely to choose that place.
  4. Decide what is most important to you.  Have to have a pool? Make sure to add that into your search.  AC a must? Check for that too. Want breakfast included or prefer an apartment over a B&B? You can filter searches for all the specifics.
  5. Check the cancellation policy. VERY IMPORTANT!  Most places overseas will allow you to cancel right up to a few days before your trip, especially if you are using a site like  I’ve booked many places to hold a spot only to cancel later because plans changed or I found a place that suited our needs better.
  6. Trust your gut.  There have been many times, where I just KNOW I’ve booked the perfect place for us, but I’ve also canceled numerous reservations (refer back to number 5) because in my gut it didn’t feel right.

Just remember, you aren’t likely to spend much time in the room. You will be out and about exploring.  For me, if it’s clean and comfortable and has great reviews, then I’m good to go!

Need help planning?  I’ll be happy to help!  Shoot me an email at and let’s go!

Here are a few places from my most recent stays around the globe.

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