By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: Rome is in our travel plans and we were interested in visiting it sometime this spring. I donít wish to spend a whole lot of money on airfare and hope you could provide some suggestions.

A: They say to beat long line ups, high prices and heat, itís best to travel off-season and not during peak season. For Italy, peak season runs generally May through October with off-season kicking in from November through March. Depending on when Easter falls (this year itís March 23) you could experience long lines and higher prices.

Iíve been in Rome a few times during the spring season and can say that line-ups for popular landmarks pretty much were the norm especially when visiting hot spots like the Vatican. Generally, travelling before Easter will save you some money and with the strength of the Canadian dollar, the currency exchange wonít kill you as much as in the past.

For airfare booking tips, here are some suggestions: Fly midweek (Monday through Thursday). Consider arriving to your final destination even a few days earlier as this date can potentially save you money depending on routes and dates.

Try and be flexible with your travel dates. You might find you can save on the cost of airfare by remaining flexible on times and dates of travel. Some travel agents have told me higher prices usually kick in during mid-June and stay like this until after Labour Day.

Price comparisons are easily done by using online search engines like, and Once you plug in your preferred dates of travel, the search engine will calculate a variety of prices from several different airlines. This pricing information also takes into consideration the time of day for flights and youíll note that prices do vary.

Another new discount carrier that recently introduced direct flights from Toronto to Rome starting this May is Zoom! Airlines. Zoom! Airlines will operate twice weekly flights from Toronto to Romeís Fiumicino Airport starting May 3rd. Prices for Zoom! Airlinesí flights to Rome will start from $349 one way. Price includes meals and in-flight entertainment.

For reservations visit flyzoom or call them at 1-866-FLY-ZOOM (359-9666).


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