Fall: Best Time for Flights to Europe

Now that the Olympics are over, it’s the perfect time to get serious about Europe again.

What is the cheapest time to fly to Europe?

Fall has very good prices and winter is even a little cheaper. These seasons vary a bit, but when airfares drop, you’ll know you’ve crossed over from fall to winter.

  • Europe’s Fall season: From mid/late August to mid/late October
  • Europe’s Winter season: From mid/late October to mid/late March
  • Europe’s Spring season: From mid/late March to mid/late June
  • Europe’s Summer season: From late May/early June to mid/late August

Spring is more expensive and summer is Europe’s peak season with the highest airfares.

What kinds of prices will we see this fall?

There are a range of prices and some of the lowest I’m seeing are for Ireland such as New York to Dublin for $500+ round-trip on scattered dates throughout autumn. Spain is a relative bargain, too, with prices to Barcelona and Madrid for under $750 roundtrip. Fares to Paris and London are in the same ballpark, with cheaper prices if you’re willing to forego a nonstop flight. Check out the Deals Blog for more.

Which cities are expensive?

As is often the case, popular destinations in Italy are a little more expensive, with flights ranging between $800-$900 roundtrip. Don’t blame the airlines though; a lot of tickets to Europe include expensive government taxes and airport fees so the airfare itself is relatively cheap. For example, on a $800 ticket to London, only about $200 is the actual airfare; the rest is the taxes and fees but there’s no way to avoid them.

What is the best time of year to go to Europe?

When the winter season hits, you will pay a bit less – with the exception of dates around the Christmas/New Year’s holiday when you’ll pay a little more – but I like fall. Not too cold (or too hot, either) and those tediously long and slow-moving lines of summer tourists are just a memory.

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Published: August 23, 2012