Let’s start out with the facts, shall we? It’s going to cost you about $1000 to fly from Austin to Italy. As most experienced travelers can tell you, traveling abroad isn’t cheap, although you can cut costs considerably with a few critical money-saving tips on your next vacation.

Do-Gooders, Consider Volunteer Travel

If you’ve always dreamed of visiting the beautiful country of Italy, you may be able to fly from Austin to Italy for next to nothing – if you’re willing to work for it. The latest trend in the budget travel industry is volunteer tourism.

Throughout Italy, multiple volunteer programs are available that may best suit your personality, preferences, and skill set. For nature-lovers that prefer the great outdoors, you may enjoy working on a farm with Willing Workers on Organic Farms. In exchange, you’ll be provided with room and board, as well as the opportunity to tour rustic farms throughout the Italian countryside.

Most volunteer organizations will require a minimum time commitment in order to travel with the program. Depending upon the project, a volunteer trip can range from several weeks to more than a year; some organizations offer more flexible time obligations than others.

How to Save Money on International Airfare

If volunteer tourism doesn’t strike your fancy, you can still travel to Italy inexpensively with these helpful budget travel tips:

  • Book an online flight to Italy far in advance to lock in the lowest rates available.
  • Try not to travel in the busy season from May to September or on holidays.
  • Consult student travel agencies, even if you’re not a student, to find out about discount flights to Europe.
  • Check with a travel agent about consolidator tickets to Italy, normally sold at a discounted price by wholesale vendors that purchase airline tickets in bulk from airline companies.
  • Fly standby to Italy if your travel dates are flexible.

Once you’ve made it to Italy, the fun doesn’t stop there. You can take advantage of your proximity to the rest of the EU to hop over to other countries on inexpensive domestic flights.

Insider travel experts reveal that if you want to visit another major city in Europe, like Paris, it’s best to fly to a nearby airport several miles away and take a shuttle to your destination. With just a few extra hours of travel time, you could make it to Paris for close to €20 one way.