My Tips

Receiving tips from a fellow traveler who has "been there, done that" might just be the smartest thing you can do. When you're visiting a new locale, that one particular suggestion or recommendation–whether big or small–can manage to come to mind at the exact right time. You're saved headaches, time and perhaps even a little money.

Here are a few simple tips:

1. Getting There

Air Canada is my preferred airline.  They have always treated me well so whenever I am looking for flights Air Canada is the first place I look.  (And yes, I am also irritated about the extra baggage fees as well as the increased cost for the emergency exit seats. It makes me crazy, but what can you do?) 

However, there are always cheaper flights overseas to be had, such as the budget airline Air Transat. Your going there experience might not be as important to you as you getting there. If this is the case then Air Transat will get you there at a good price. You will, however, have to fly to Rome and train it to Florence. It will take a bit longer but is a cheaper option. 

2. The Best Time to Go

Florence is stunning all year round. It's difficult for me to suggest a certain time to go. I believe it's a personal preference.

When covered with Christmas lights, the city is beyond magical. During the summer months, while the gardens are in bloom, it is just as magical - only in a different way.  

One tip I can provide is to watch out for August.  It is extremely busy with tourists yet very quiet with the locals as many shops and restaurants close this month.  The locals take it as their annual holiday. They close up shop and head south for their much-anticipated four weeks off.  

Personally, I love Florence in the fall. It is calm, quiet and the weather is perfect for walking. The locals are back, the tourists are few and everything seems to be in full swing.  

3. Washroom Breaks

Here's my little secret; actually, I'm sure many women are probably already doing this. The large extravagant luxurious hotels, which are situated just about everywhere, have the most wonderful lobby “toilet.” I walk in, pretending to be a guest, and very discreetly go on my search for their lobby washroom. I have yet to see a hole-in-the-floor squat toilet!