Once again the early morning was bracing and dark. Leaving home at 5am is not pleasant, least of all because I never usually sleep the night before flying, for fear of oversleeping and missing my flight. I made the exception this time and caught two hours kip before loading up my Jeep and setting off to pick up my two comrades.
The prime reason for this trip was to celebrate the 40th birthday of my friend who lives in the USA and who have not had the opportunity to visit many European cities before. She was intent on doing a two-day ‘Roman Holiday’ style trip, cramming in all the sights and sounds of the glorious city before flying home.
I had no idea at that time whether we would be able to fit all the stuff in, but we were gonna have a damn good try. Low-cost travel is great for people who are obviously short of money, but also those who like to travel frequently. Companies like Ryanair and Easyjet and other low-cost airlines offer a service that is bare bones, you have to pay for all the added extras you get on regular carriers, but it is precisely this that makes them appealing.
Now I can take off and fly to many destinations in Europe for around £10-£30 one-way which is excellent. One this that you have to be wary of, however, is the added extras that come with these competitive carriers. Not only the combined fuel and other taxes but many are now charging for airport check-in and additional charge for each bag that you want to check in. This is a little unfair, given the fact that you have to put liquids in your case unless they are in bottles of less than 100ml (3oz).
To fly to Rome, we booked using Easyjet and also found a reasonable hotel close to the Vatican for £185 for our two-day trip. Our dates were fixed, and we needed to arrive early and leave from an airport close to us, so Easyjet was the best option.
With more planning we could have perhaps got a cheaper flight and stayed closer to the centre of Rome; however we had little difficulty getting around the city, and the hotel was lovely. Like most travel websites, Easyjet also provided us with a destination guide, and ideas of what to do in the city.
Though we had our own plans on what we wanted to see, it still helps to have these useful pointers, especially if it is somewhere you have never been before. Another website I used to get information about the city was Wikitravel.org which has excellent resources and is an open source travel guide collated by people just like you and me.