Finally committing to that backpacking trip you promised your friend in high school? Want to take in the sights on account of being a history buff? Traveling to see family? Regardless of your reason, Europe is an incredible destination for travel enthusiasts. Want to take a trip but don’t want to break the bank? Below are 10 ways to find European flight deals that will save you money.
Set Up Flight Alerts
If you know when you want to fly to Europe and where in Europe you want to fly to, you can set up flight alerts to let you know when a good deal becomes available so that you can jump on it immediately.
Some useful sites worth setting up flight alerts on include:
Sign Up for Scott’s Cheap Flights
Despite its hobbyist-sounding name, Scott’s Cheap Flights is actually one of the best flight deal round-up services around. After signing up for free, you can opt to receive email alerts whenever a European (or otherwise) flight deal is available departing from your preferred airport, no matter where you are. They claim their service can help you save up to 90% on flight deals. Plus, if you’re willing to pay a very small annual fee, they can help you save even more by sending you “special premium-only deals”, mistake fares and rare deals, and peak season and holiday flights.
Sign Up for Secret Flying
Similar to Scott’s Cheap Flight, Secret Flying is another great way to gather all European flight deals together in one place. After signing up for free, they’ll email you daily flight deals departing from your area.
Prioritize the Cheapest Airports
According to data gathered by flight-booking service, Hopper, the ten cheapest airports to fly to in Europe are:
- London Gatwick Airport, England
- Vienna International Airport, Austria
- Berlin Tegel Airport, Germany
- Warsaw Chopin Airport, Poland
- Milano Linate Airport, Italy
- Dublin Airport, Ireland
- Copenhagen Airport, Denmark
- Milan Malpensa Airport, Italy
- Keflavik International Airport, Iceland
- Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden
Fly During the Cheapest Months
As with most places, Europe has both peak and off-peak travel seasons. To get the best possible flight deals, you’re going to want to schedule your trip for non-peak travel seasons. While these seasons naturally change from place to place within Europe, from late May/early June to the end of August is generally the busiest and most expensive time to travel to Europe. The late fall and winter months – from mid/late October through mid/late March – are often the cheapest time to fly (with the exception of December).
Fly During the Cheapest Days of the Week
While not as predictable as the peak and off-peak season cycle, flying on certain days of the week can be another way to capitalize on flight deals. Compared to other days of the week, it’s often cheaper to fly mid-week, specifically on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but sometimes you can get similarly-cheap deals on Saturdays as well.
Take Advantage of the Cheapest Airlines
Prioritizing certain airlines can in itself help you find cheap European flight deals. Specifically, according to flight-booking service, Hopper, booking your flights to Europe with any of the following airlines will help you save money:
- Turkish Airlines (Round trips as low as $645 USD)
- SATA International (Round trips as low as $472 USD)
- Icelandair (Round trips as low as $580 USD)
- Norwegian Air (Round trips as low as $528 USD)
- XL Airways France (Round trips as low as $550 USD)
- WOW Air (Round trips as low as $288 USD)
For maximum savings, if possible, fly into any of the cheapest airports listed above using any of these airlines.
Avoid Last-Minute Trips
This may just be more common sense, but booking a flight on the spot without any thought or research behind it is probably the most expensive way to fly, especially during any of the peak travel months described above. By planning out your trips in advance, you can do the research (through the methods described in this article) and track down deals for the most savings possible.
Be Flexible about Where You Start
Europe is unique in that once you’re there, it’s pretty easy and affordable to navigate around to other surrounding countries. Even if you have a specific place in mind that you want to visit, in addition to researching flight deals for that specific place, research what it costs to fly into any surrounding areas as well. It might ultimately be cheaper to fly into a country next to the one you actually want to visit and then travel to it once you’re there.
Take Advantage of Layovers
Layovers don’t have to be just sitting around in an airport watching guilty pleasure shows on your phone. Planned correctly, not only do long layovers result in cheaper flights, but they also give you the freedom to explore wherever it is you have your layover. Put simply, a day or multi-day layover is a great way to save money while experiencing an entirely new place.
As you can see, with a little research and planning, tracking down the best European flight deals is a breeze. Using any of the tips above, you’re bound to spend less flying across the pond.