Are you planning a trip and looking for cheap flights to Europe? Well, there’s no surprise there. Oftentimes, purchasing a flight can be the most expensive component of planning a trip or vacation. There are a number of reasons why taking a plane to travel is more expensive than it ever was – the increasing price of oil and decreasing amount of competition for air carriers are two of the biggest. Whatever the reason may be, there are still some tips you can use to obtain a flight to Europe that fits your budget:
- Figure out what you are comfortable paying, and shoot for that. We all want to find the cheapest flight possible, but if you hold out on buying a ticket for the sake of scoring inexpensive seats on a plane, you may end up paying even more. Therefore, it’s smarter to crunch some numbers and determine what price you want to shoot for, and when you see a flight that is going for that price, book it then.
- Buy your tickets in advance whenever possible. Although fares rise and fall frequently, research has shown that consumers who purchase tickets at least sixty days in advance save more than one hundred and twenty five dollars.
- Take advantage of “secondary airports” and budget airlines. Most major cities have two airports- a major one and a smaller, secondary airport. The prices at the smaller airport will be cheaper due to the smaller landing fees. It may be a minor inconvenience to work your traveling plans around landing in a smaller airport, but the money saved may prove well worth it. (Tip: Always see how far the secondary airport is from the city you would like to visit – sometimes traveling from the plane to the city can prove more expensive than landing in the major airport!) Additionally, unlike the United States, Europe has a number of budget airlines. Take advantage of these if you can – there may be less perks on the flight, but you can use the money you have saved to plan a more enjoyable trip when you arrive.
- Don’t rely on just one traveling search engine. Make sure that you compare a few, bearing in mind that some search engines are actually owned by airlines, so you may not always get an objective search result. In your research, you will notice that the prices vary between search sites, so make sure you have consulted a few before booking.
- Be strategic with your travel dates. For example, flying in the middle of the week is usually less expensive than booking a flight that takes off on the weekend. Similarly, flights that leave very early in the morning or very late at night will typically cost less. Finally, after a major holiday, you might find that the flights are less expensive as well.
- Look into alternative routes. If there is a good deal on a flight that lands near your desired destination, take advantage of it, then book a flight on a budget airline from that airport to get to your travel location. For example, it may be cheaper to fly to London, then take a budget airline to somewhere else from there.
- Join a loyalty program and sign up for airline newsletters. Even if you do not fly much, it would be worth your while to sign up for an airlines rewards program. These programs can offer upgrades, other companion tickets to use on your trip, or even free flights. You can earn points by shopping at stores that are partners of the program, like Amazon or Target for example. Signing up for the airline’s newsletters will benefit savvy travelers as well, as the promotions on the newsletter are often not advertised on their websites.
These tips should help you get started on your quest for cheap flights to Europe. Remember, fares and rules of the airlines are changing all of the time. Be sure to do thorough research and you will be rewarded with some extra money in your pocket.
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