5 Tips to Find Cheap Flights to Europe

Despite high oil prices and higher airline ticket costs, relatively decent deals to Europe still exist. You just need to know how to shop smart, and that’s where the trusted advice from FareCompare comes in.

Listen: World traveler Farnoosh Brock of Prolific Living, shares some money saving tips.

Cheap Flights to Europe: Five Tips

The more of these tips you can follow, the more you’ll save.

1. Learn the Four Seasons of European AirFare

Listed in order from most expensive airfare to the cheapest airfare:

  • Summer: Starts late May/early June, ends late August
  • Spring: Starts mid/late March, ends mid/late June
  • Fall: Starts mid/late August, ends mid/late October
  • Winter: Starts mid/late October, ends mid/late March

2. Weigh Pros and Cons of Off Peak Air Travel

Only you can determine what time is best for your trip.

  • Summer: Most expensive airfare + long lines at attractions vs. available vacation time + nice weather
  • Off Seasons: Cheaper airfare + fewer crowds vs. few vacation days + uncertain weather

3. Factor in Air Travel Date Flexibility

The kids can only travel in summer? Try traveling during these times:

  • End of August, early September
  • Spring Break periods
  • Christmas vacation (but caution: some dates during this period can be high)

4. Cheap First-Stop Destination = Cheaper Flight

Look for the cheapest European city from your home airport: find it on the FareCompare Where-to-Go Getaway Map.

  • Example: London’s Heathrow Airport is historically pricy due to high taxes and fees; flying into Dublin is generally much cheaper.

From your “gateway city” fly elsewhere via Europe’s discount airlines which frequently offer very cheap airfare.

5. Be Familiar with European Airline Fees

Europe’s discount airlines offset cheap airfare with expensive and sometimes unexpected fees; check baggage policies thoroughly before you fly.

Europe is within reach; it all depends on the European experience you’re looking for. Now go set those airfare alerts!

Learn more about FareCompare and the cheapest days to fly and best times to buy airline tickets for year-round savings.

More from Rick Seaney:

Yes, You Can Go to Europe This Year


Published: January 3, 2012