Certain things are essential and non negotiable while touring. For me, such things would include a private hotel room, not a hostel, and preferably a private bathroom. In my university days, I went on a backpacking tour with my best friend. At the time, we were somehow able to survive on 30 US dollars a day to sleep, eat, and play with. My friend, much to my astonishment was able to do this without sacrificing her need for at least three cans of coke (between 2 and 3 dollars each, depending how close the vendors parked their trucks to the Eiffel tower, Big Ben, you get my point) per day.

While our 30 dollar a day budget would be impossible today (has it really been 15 years ?!), my lifestyle is clearly no longer that of a backpacker, and so I'll stick to writing about what it would now take to keep a city ​​gal like me sheltered, fed, and entertained for a day in Rome.

As accommodation in Rome can really skew a daily budget, I will leave it off of the daily tally. Let it suffice to say that a bed in a shared dorm sells for around 23 Euro in high season, and a double room at the five star Hotel Hassler will set one back no less than 600 Euro per night. Somewhere within that range, there is a bed, cot, or floor mat somewhere in Rome just waiting to take you in for the night.

A realistic budget for Rome would call for a minimum of 50 Euro in spending money per person per day (shopping budget not included). Bear in mind that you are likely to spend about 10 Euro per day in entry fees to museums or monuments, which will leave you with 40 Euro or so per day for food, drink, public transport or taxis, etc. Like accommodation, tours in Rome can be as cheap as 15 Euro or as expensive as 500, so we'd better leave those out of the basic equation as well.

Here are some tips on putting our target budget into practice. Most hotels, hostels, and B & B's will provide breakfast with an overnight stay. Don't be shy! Eat up, stuff your purse with a few bananas from the buffet, and have them later for a mid morning snack! You can save money at lunch time by having some "pizza a taglio" (pizza by the slice). If that doesn't hold you till dinner, a mere 1.50 Euro will get you a heavenly cup or cone of creamy Italian gelato which should keep your tummies pleasantly full for a few hours. Save the real meal, not to mention your precious Euros and your appetite, for a nice dinner. A full dinner in a typical Roman restaurant should cost between 20 and 30 Euro per person, wine included.

Source by Danielle Russo

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