Low Cost Flights to Europe?!
Written by: Devon Rakestraw
When you first think of traveling to Europe, the Eiffel Tower and London Bridge are probably among the first things that come to mind. Next comes the enormous price tag associated with the plane ticket to get there. That’s where the dream comes to an abrupt end. But what if there were flights to Europe for a fraction of the cost?
You might be surprised to know, they actually do exist. You just need to know where to look. There are a few things you can do to find the best deals on long-haul flights to Europe:
Start your search early
Since flight prices do fluctuate, it’s important to start searching for long haul flights at least three months in advance, in order to get the best deal. Start by checking prices every few days to get a sense of what the flights are currently going for. That way, you will know a good deal when you see one.
Search for flights on Norwegian Air
Norwegian Air wins hands down on cheap, affordable flights to Europe. They were once an airline few people had ever heard of in the States, but ever since they started offering long haul flights between Europe and the States in 2013, they have rapidly grown in popularity. No other airline can compete with them on long-haul flight prices. You can easily get a one way flight from the States to Europe from $150-$350 USD, or a roundtrip flight from $300-$700 USD, depending on where you’re traveling from in the States, and which time of year you plan on flying.
Don’t wait too long to book!
You don’t want to wait too long to book long-haul flights, since prices tend to go up the closer you get to your departure date. As soon as you know your exact dates, and you’ve been watching the market for a few weeks, go ahead and buy your ticket.
Once you finally arrive in Europe, you’ll need some means of transportation to get from one city to the next. When trains or buses aren’t a good option due to distance or cost, a cheap way to travel around Europe is to take budget European airlines.
In order to get the best deal on budget airlines:
Skyscanner is my number one go-to-website when searching for flights, excluding traveling from the States to Europe. It’s a great website for checking flight prices, including budget European airlines. After entering in your cities and dates, a long list of flights from a very wide range of carriers, is brought up, with the cheapest option listed first. One of the best features of Skyscanner is that you can search a route for the duration of a whole month. A bar graph will display the cheapest flight prices each day, and which carrier offers them. That’s one of easiest ways to find the cheapest flight!
Know the budget airlines
There are many budget airlines in Europe, with the most popular being RyanAir and EasyJet. A few other budget airlines include: Wizz Air, Aer Lingus, and Norwegian Air. Most flights are under $100 USD, and range between $30-$200 USD, depending on when and where you are traveling. A quick search of their website will display a map of the routes they travel. You can search for flights individually on each site, or do a massive search on Skyscanner, which is what I tend to do for convenience.
Tip: The budget airlines have strict rules in terms of baggage size and weight. Make sure to adhere to their rules. Otherwise, you will be charged with enormous fees.
Book early or last minute
The great thing about the budget European airlines is that the prices tend to stay pretty darn cheap, even when booking at the last minute. If your dates are pretty set in stone, then go ahead and book early, since it will guarantee you the cheapest flight. However, it also prevents you from traveling freely to some extent, since you’ll be locked into your dates. I booked some of my budget tickets months in advance, but most of the time I would book my next flight around three to five days in advance. (In one country, I didn’t book my flight until the day I was leaving!) I ended up paying a bit more than I would have if I had booked early, but the prices were still cheap, and it gave me to freedom to travel when and where I wanted.
That dream of traveling to Europe is becoming more of a possibility now, right? Now no more excuses. Just book that flight already!