Last Updated on September 18, 2023 by Jo Fitzsimons
The beauty of the Internet is that we can put together a trip to Italy or other far-flung places all by ourselves. But there can be an overwhelming number of travel booking sights to choose between. Don’t worry, I’ve written this guide to help you with your trip planning.
Below is my list of recommended booking websites – these are the sites I go to when I do my own trip planning and after years of trying elsewhere, these are the ones I come back to every time.
Skyscanner for flights
I’ve yet to find a flight search website that covers as many airlines, gives such flexible search options and consistently comes out cheaper.
Booking tip: clear out your cookies if you’re doing a lot of searching – some airlines up the pricing just for you (how nice) if you show a lot of interest. Yes, it’s legal. Yes, I hate it. I’ve written about Dynamic Pricing here.
Book here: Skyscanner
Booking.com for hotels
Booking.com is one of biggest and best hotel room booking websites and it’s become my favouritet. Easy booking, rooms in the most remote locations, and, best of all, great cancellation options.
Booking tip: don’t search for ‘Prosecco’ when booking a hotel – it will direct you to the town of Prosecco near Trieste. Whilst it is the birth town of Prosecco, it’s not where the best Prosecco can be found. You can read more here. Try searching for Conegliano and Valdobiadenne. Or check out our Accommodation Guides for the Prosecco region.
Book here: Booking.com
Rome2Rio for route planning
Be warned – you might lose a lot of time playing on this site. I have mapped routes from my house to destinations I’ve not even heard of. If you’re able to remain focused, pop your start and end destinations into Rome2Rio and you’ll get a great comparison of route and transport options, distances and, often, links to transport schedules. I don’t know how I used to travel without this website.
Check routes here: Rome2Rio.com
Tren Italia for train travel
For the most part, the Tren Italia website drives me mad – it seems to take twice as long to do anything on there. That said, it has gotten a lot better in recent years. The language translation mostly works and the booking is reasonably smooth. If you want to book without paying any fees, this is the site to do it. Usually, you can print your tickets yourself and there is also an app for storing tickets. If you don’t print at home, there are ticket machines in the main stations where you can collect tickets, in English, using your booking reference.
Booking tip: Even if you use English, don’t forget to use the Italian names like Venezia for Venice, Roma for Rome etc.
Book here: TrenItalia
You might also like: How to Get to the Prosecco Region Italy
Rail Europe for advance train tickets in English
If you prefer to transact entirely in English and have someone else send your tickets to you, there’s a website for that – Rail Europe. You’ll pay them a small fee on top of your ticket but for some people that’s a small price for complete peace of mind. It’s also a lot less frustrating than using the TrenItalia site.
Booking tip: if you’re booking very local services like Venice to Susegana, I’d personally just buy the tickets on the day at the station. Give yourself an extra 15 minutes to do it in Venice just in case of queues.
Book here: Rail Europe
Hertz for car hire
I know there are lots of car hire companies out there but I have chosen Hertz because a) I have seen with my very own eyes that they have a car hire branch in Conegliano, which is ideal if you want to book onward car hire from within the Prosecco region; b) I’m also sick and tired of those car comparison websites. I don’t think I’ve ever got my car hire for the price I’ve agreed to when I book through them (cue: extra taxes and insurances). At least by booking direct, you are more likely to get the actual price rather than the one designed to lure you into booking.
Book here: Hertz
They are my top recommended websites for booking but there are others and I will add them soon. If you want more, here’s an extensive list of 100 websites for booking travel.