Depending on where you’re traveling from and what passport you hold, some of the most popular destinations to visit come with a set of nuances you’ll pretty much uniquely have to navigate. That’s true of just about every traveler on an individual level, because we’re all different as travelers, but from the point of view of Americans there are some things to know which will make your trip to Rome more enjoyable.
Be clued-up about where to stay
This may sound a bit like some obvious advice, but many Americans approach their travels with the adventurous, “I’ll-sort-everything-out-once-I-arrive” spirit. That isn’t ordinarily a bad thing, except with Rome being such a popular destination, you’ll be opening yourself up to having to spend more on accommodation you could otherwise get a lot cheaper, booking in advance.
Knowing which places you’re going to visit also allows you to plan your stay accordingly, so as to avoid would-be unnecessary expenses on transport and the likes.
Sort out your itinerary before going
Once again, that adventurous traveler’s spirit requires a bit of taming when it comes to visiting the Eternal City. It’s best to sort out as much of your itinerary as you can before you go, because of some specific details that can make or break your entire trip.
If for instance you have a pass for 3 days in Rome, in terms of packaged access to certain attractions you’d like to visit, you’d be losing out big time if you overlooked details such as the fact that the likes of Ostia Antica is closed every Monday.
Exercise a little self-sufficiency
You’ve surely heard about how helpful most people at some tourist destinations are, going out of their way to help you just as an extension of their natural friendliness. It’s almost unreal – something we naturally find hard to fathom coming from the U.S.
Unfortunately Rome isn’t one of those places, so it’s best if you exercise as much self-sufficiency and self-dependency as possible. It’s a simple matter of knowing where to officially go to organize aspects of your trip, like where to buy metro tickets and not letting the people in the train help you with your bags (they might steal them or hold onto them, ransom-style, looking for tips).
Make sure your travel documents are in order before going
This is a no-brainer, but a necessary mention because you might perhaps be traveling to Rome as part of a bigger itinerary. This could easily affect details such as the validity period of your passport, which needs to be at least six months upon your attempted entry into Italy.
Cash is king
As in the US, many other EU countries are pretty much ditching the use of physical currency, but in Rome it’s completely the opposite of that. Perhaps it has a lot to do with the regional financial crisis, but cash is indeed king in Rome. So make sure to carry cash to pay for anything that requires on-the-spot payment. Many places don’t even accept debit or credit cards!