Trip Coach: October 4, 2005 Budget Travel editors answer your questions Budget Travel Tuesday, Oct 4, 2005, 4:00 PM Budget Travel LLC, 2016
 

 

Trip Coach: October 4, 2005

Budget Travel editors answer your questions

Budget Travel Editors: Welcome to this week's Trip Coach. We'll be answering your questions all afternoon.

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Ithaca, NY: What is the best way to find best deal on airfare out on NYC arriving in Florence and departing from Venice? We are planning a mid Feb or a late March trip. Many thanks.

Budget Travel Editors: The major booking sites--Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity-- and aggregators such as kayak.com and sidestep.com either don't allow travelers to search for such bookings, or they make it very difficult to do so. Their search models generally only work for simple round trip flights. The more complicated route type, called open-jaw (into one airport, out of another), is an easy way to save time, and sometimes money when planning a trip. That is, of course, if you can figure out how to book one. The easiest way to do so is by going to straight to the airlines that fly to both your inbound and outbound airports. Florence and Venice aren't allowed to accept trans-Atlantic flights, so you'll have to get a connecting flight each way. Many European carriers are possibilities, including Alitalia and Lufthansa. But the thing is, it's way too early to expect to find a good price. The airlines tend to keep their rates high for travel booked this far out, figuring if someone needs specific dates so far ahead, they'll be willing to pay a lot. So if you want to find a deal and have a bit of flexibility with dates, wait until early December or perhaps even a few weeks into the new year. Chances are much greater that one or more airlines will have discounted fares by then. February and March are fairly slow travel times to Italy, so you should be fine in terms of waiting that late in the game.

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Glendale, Calif.: Hello! We are going to Italy next week! We want to know from Ancona can we drive the coast to Venice and how long would that take? Or should we leave our car and take the train Venice? Any help would be appreciated!

Budget Travel Editors: The trip from Ancona to Venice is about 135 miles. You can certainly drive, and the fastest way would be to take the Autostrada up the coast and then cut in to Bologna, at which point you'll angle back east toward Venice; the trip should take no more than 3 1/2 hours. (Autostrade.it has maps of all the roads in Italy, though the site is in Italian). However, considering that you can't drive once you're in Venice, it may be easier to simply take the train. It's only about a 4 hour ride, with a transfer in Bologna, and you'll still have beautiful views of the coast--with less stress (go to trenitalia.it for schedules). Plus, it could work out to be cheaper; the autostrada tolls are $20 alone, before the car rental fee and gas. And train tickets are only $30 apiece.

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Tampa, FL: We are going to Vermont in October and would like to know where the best charming B&B's are for a date weekend after 15 years of marriage.

Budget Travel Editors: Congratulations on your 15 years! You two have picked a gorgeous time for a romantic Vermont getaway--prime fall foliage season. One of the most idyllic corners is the "Northeast Kingdom," the counties of Orleans, Essex and Caledonia, distinguished by sleepy towns, dense forests, and placid lakes. Run by a couple who live on the premises, the Federal-style Inn on the Common in historic Craftsbury (75 miles east of Burlington), will place you in the heart of the kingdom. Rooms are on the pricier side, starting at $189/night with full breakfast and up to $279 for a garden view with a whirlpool tub, but are well worth it if you're up for a splurge (innonthecommon.com). Cheaper rates (doubles with a shared bath $95; $105 for a private bath, full breakfast included) can be found at the four-room Riverbend B&B in the tiny town of Troy, where there are trails for horseback riding and hiking and the nearby Missisquoi River for canoeing (riverbendvt.com). The 28-room Horizon Inn, surrounded by the Green Mountains, has similarly low rates (doubles from $99 on weekdays; from $105 on weekends) and is located in the larger town of Wilmington, home to a flea market on weekends. There's an indoor heated pool and a sauna, and boat rides are available on the nearby Harriman Reservoir (horizoninn.com).

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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