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Exploring Italy: A Backpacking Adventure with Lessons Learned

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Should we travel? Is it safe? Where should we go? These were the questions swirling in my mind as I sought to celebrate a milestone birthday with my son. Despite the uncertainties, we decided to embark on an 8-day trip to Italy with only backpacks, aiming for an enjoyable, economical, and exploratory adventure. Join me as I share the successes and insights from our journey, offering tips and tricks that made our trip memorable.

  1. Booking Strategies: To maximize affordability, we booked round-trip tickets during Italy's off-season. Departing on a Tuesday and returning midweek allowed us to secure even cheaper flights. We found excellent accommodation options through, with small facilities that relied on WhatsApp for communication, ensuring a smooth check-in process.

  2. Efficient Planning: We utilized platforms like for sightseeing tickets and the RailEurope app for train bookings. Wanderlog, a free subscription-based app, helped us create an itinerary that adhered to our budget, provided route guidance, and facilitated collaboration with my son for his input.

  3. The Backpack: Nomatic Travel Bag 40L: Thanks to my husband's resourcefulness, we discovered the Nomatic Travel Bag 40L. This backpack surpassed expectations with its TSA-approved size, ample pockets, comfort, and exceptional durability. Using compression bags, I fit everything needed for the trip while enjoying the ease of carrying a backpack and avoiding the hassle of checking bags.

  4. Phone Service and Internet: Verizon's 5G Do More Plans allowed us to enjoy free phone usage and internet access, with the ability to accrue travel pass days. With Travel Pass Days at $10.00 per day, my son also had seamless connectivity.

  5. Money Matters: Finding banks and ATMs in Italy was hassle-free, ensuring easy access to cash. It is advisable to inform your bank and credit card providers about your travel plans beforehand. Language barriers were easily overcome with basic English comprehension and the assistance of Google Translate.

  6. Capturing the Experience: Attaching our GoPro to my crossbody bag allowed us to capture immersive footage of our explorations. This provided an authentic glimpse of the entire experience, showcasing not only the sights but also the neighborhoods, parking, sidewalks, restaurants, and more.

Our backpacking adventure through Italy taught us valuable lessons about travel, resourcefulness, and embracing the unknown. With careful planning, the right gear, and a willingness to adapt, we were able to enjoy an economical and fulfilling journey. If you seek more travel tips or have questions about our trip, feel free to reach out. Embrace the spirit of adventure and embark on your own memorable journey. Bon voyage!

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