The one thing that always seems to get in the way of a great trip is, you guessed it, funding it! Europe ain’t cheap and the last thing you want to do is blow all that extra spare change you’ve been collecting from under the sofa cushions on just getting there. Follow the next few steps on how to find the cheapest flights to Europe and start your “vacay” sooner than later.
1. Decide when you want to go
Figure out when you’d like to take your trip, the cheapest months to visit Europe are in Spring (mid-February – the end of April) and Fall (September 15 – mid-November). The cheapest days to fly are midweek when business travelers aren’t, so aim for Tuesday, Wednesday (usually the cheapest day) and Thursday. The best time to buy your ticket is 3-5 months before your departure to snag the best fares.
2. Use Sky Scanner to find your international flight
While there are some other great airfare search engines out there, I have yet to find one better than Sky Scanner to isolate a flight. What’s special about Sky Scanner is the fact that you can put your home city or the airport you want to fly out of in one search field and “Everywhere” or “Europe” in the other search field, as well as customizing your search for a specific day, whole month, or even a full year! You can see what the cheapest flight over to Europe is and then take advantage of the train, bus or cheap local airlines mentioned below to get exactly where you want to go. If you’re a college student, professor or are under 26 (two more glorious years for me!), cross-reference the flight you found on Sky Scanner with one from STATravel.com or StudentUniverse.com as these two airfare search engines have special offers for the aforementioned demographics not available other places.
3. Getting from where you are to where you want to go
As far as continents go, Europe is on the smaller end of the spectrum (the only other continent smaller is Australia) and most of its countries are more accessible and manageable in size than you think (way to mess up my generalization Russia!) so you have the luxury of flying to a different location and reaching your desired destination in mere hours aboard the affordable European train system or on one of the European budget airlines that often have fares for only $20-30! Check out Ryan Air, Easy Jet and Air Berlin.
Trust me, you will save a ton of money if you can build in a few more hours into your travel itinerary for a less direct flight. If anyone knows of any other great flight search engines, I’d love to hear about them as well as any amazing stories of dirt cheap airfare you landed.