This post will give you the latest updates on my trip to Italy with my Dad!
I’ve been wanting to take my Dad to Italy for many years now, for a few reasons. The first being that he’s never been outside of the United States, and the second being that my grandmother (his mom) was born there, and he’s been talking about visiting there since I can remember.
My grandma passed away in 2019, and she was (and still is) very special to my Dad. So once I became debt free in May 2020 and my money was no longer tied up in debt payments, I started seriously thinking about how I could get my Dad to Italy.
My Dad’s 60th Birthday
At the time, my Dad’s 60th birthday was right around the corner, so I decided that I’d try to save up some money for an Italy trip and give that money to him as a gift when his birthday rolled around. I figured $5k would be enough to cover our flights over there, and then at least some of our hotels – so I started saving that amount.
Fast forward to May 2021, and my Dad was turning 60. Luckily, I was able to save the $5k in time 🙂 I tracked my savings progress over on my Instagram.
But instead of just handing him $5k on his birthday (haha) I went to Michael’s (a craft store near me at the time) and got a few things to make him a fake check! Here’s a pic:
So, saving up the $5k in time for his 60th birthday ended up being a success! But then that money just sat and sat in my high-yield savings account for quite some time. Partly because of the uncertainty with Covid-19, and partly because planning such a big trip can be a little nerve-wracking for everyone involved!
Italy Planning Finally Begins!
A few weeks ago, I started getting a little antsy and began sending my Dad a few itinerary options to get the ball rolling.
In the past, he mentioned that he might be interested in visiting other countries in addition to Italy, so with that in mind, I drafted up a few itinerary options for us.
One option included only cities in Italy, one included visiting another country before going to Italy, and the last option included going to Italy and visiting another country afterward.
To my surprise, my Dad actually decided he’d like to visit 2 other countries in addition to seeing Italy! One before Italy, and one after.
We tossed around a few ideas for cities to visit, and my Dad decided on London, England and Dublin, Ireland. I think my Dad’s always been really interested in English history and culture, and our ancestors are from Ireland on my grandfather’s (my Dad’s father’s) side, which made visiting Ireland a natural choice.
Once we decided where we’d like to go, we had to figure out when and for how long.
We googled the best time to visit Italy, and decided on the month of June. After determining the month, we had to decide in which order we’d visit each country, and how long we’d stay there.
Ultimately, we decided that we’d go to London first, then bop around Italy and end our trip in Dublin. In Italy, we plan to visit Rome, Florence (my grandmother’s favorite Italian city), Verona (where my grandmother was born) and Venice (where she grew up before coming to the United States).
Throughout planning this trip, my Dad and I couldn’t help but think of how special and meaningful this is, and it became obvious that this trip should be shared with the rest of our family. So now, it’s not just me and my Dad going to Italy – my mom and two sisters will be coming, too 🙂
Once we got all the details sorted out, I finally got the green light to start booking flights! I used the $5k that I had saved for my Dad’s 60th birthday, and then my parents helped to cover the remaining flight costs for our family.
To say me and my family are excited is an understatement. I know we are all looking forward to seeing my Dad visit where his Mother was born and where she grew up.
Of course things are abnormal with Covid-19 still looming, so this is something that I will be keeping a close watch on over the coming months.
Well, that’s the update for now! Flights are booked and our itinerary is pretty much drafted up. And honestly, I think getting all that squared away might’ve been the hardest part of planning! Now to find hotels and airbnbs – yay!
Please let me know if you have any recommendations for London, any of the cities we are visiting in Italy, or Dublin! And I will be sure to share more details as we get closer to the trip 🙂 Can’t wait to hear from you!
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