There's both good news and bad news about visiting the Amalfi Coast: It is absolutely just as beautiful as the photos you've seen, and it's also just as expensive. In recent years, the cost of visiting Italy's most beautiful coastline has actually skyrocketed to the point where a tight budget no longer seems like an option. Or is it? That's the big question.
A good rule of thumb when visiting the Amalfi Coast, or any part of the world that's known for its cost, is to save a lot but plan for a little. By this, we mean to make sure there's enough money saved for a trip that normally costs that much, just in case. By planning for a little, it means using as many budget-friendly hacks as possible to save money - with those extra savings around just in case for padding. Here are some tips to save you money on your future Amalfi Coast vacation (but are probably applicable to most expensive destinations!).
Always check CDC guidelines + the travel restrictions for any international travel before committing. A country might be open but may require additional tests or proof of a vaccine prior to arrival.
Avoid Booking A Hotel In Positano, And If You Do, Opt For A Rental
If there's any truth to Positano and the price of seeing it, it's that it costs an arm and a leg and then some, and then probably even more, to stay in town. If this is something you've saved money for then you're in luck - then again, you probably wouldn't be reading this if that were the case.
Rather than staying in Positano, the one thing that social media hides is the fact that there are several alternatives, equally beautiful small towns along the Amalfi Coast that are affordable. Both Ravello and Minori are great places to set up a home base since both offer buses to Positano, according to Not a Nomad Blog.
Ravello is a bit set back from the water but its hillside perch still allows for incredible seaside views, and it's also just under an hour's bus ride from Positano.
Minori is directly on the coast and is about 20 minutes east, but the great perk of staying here is that guests will have their own (just as gorgeous) beaches in town to visit if they don't want to spend every day in Positano.
Book At Least Six Months In Advance To Avoid Tons Of Stress
If not six months then you'll want to get as close to that timeline as possible. The Amalfi Coast fills up quickly and the pictures don't deceive - Positano is not the biggest town, so there are only so many bookings.
With that being said, it's important to get your accommodations squared away first and foremost before planning everything around that. It's better to have your choice of rentals or hotels than to be forced into an expensive option that's already tipping the budget, along with airfare (which not much can be done about - flying is expensive).
Utilize Public Transportation Or, When You Can, Just Walk
Obviously, walking isn't an option if you're staying outside of Positano. However, if you do happen to score a stay at one of the villas or B&Bs just outside of Positano's main town, walking could be an option if a 15-20 minute walk along the road sits well with you.
These accommodations will likely still be pricey but might not be as pricey as those with social media-worthy seaside views and instant beach access. Walking will be your best friend and if that's not an option, get familiar with the local bus schedule - which will also get you to other towns around Positano, so this is helpful.
It Sounds Counterintuitive, But Avoid Restaurants That Are Front And Center
Counterintuitive and expected, more accurately. It's really no different than visiting any restaurant that has a grand view; guests will be paying for the view more than the food most of the time. A good compromise is to put aside money for one or two good meals at a nice restaurant, and before picking one, read the reviews to ensure that your money is going to a great experience.
So, how do you avoid eating out the rest of the time? If you've opted for a rental, make sure that it has a kitchen and spend your time perusing the local markets - this is a fantastic way to try the local cuisine, cook food that you know will be delicious, and save tons of money on constantly dining out. For breakfast, opt for cafés and bakeries with pastry or panini.
Visit During Shoulder Season And Plan As Many Free Things As Possible
It might be a bummer to avoid the Amalfi Coast during peak summer months but it's for the best in terms of keeping a budget. This is called the shoulder season and includes any dates until late April, skip May, June, July, and August, and start again in early September. It'll be the off-peak season but still warm enough, in all likelihood, to enjoy the beach and all of the outdoor (free) activities.
Speaking of which, plan as many of these as possible - including nature walks, beach exploring, town exploring, and hikes. They'll give such a great vantage point from which to see this incredible destination and will also save your budget for the things you really want to spend money on!