5 simple tips for finding the lowest airfare to Europe
Nothing is more rewarding than a vacation, and nowhere offers more fun, history and culture than Europe. From the beautiful waters of the Greek Isles to the snowy peaks of the Swiss Alps and bustling markets in Spain, Europe is the ultimate escape.
Unfortunately, depending on where you’re coming from, a flight to Europe can be cost prohibitive for many travelers. Fear not! Unlock savings and explore these five simple tips to find your lowest airfare to Europe.
1. Buy your ticket in advance (but not too far)
It is intuitive that airline tickets are cheaper far in advance—when you as a consumer have flexibility—and increase steadily the closer you get to the date of the flight. This is true, but only partially.
According to an ARC Study, ticket prices tend to dip to their lowest levels six weeks in advance of a flight. Those who book their tickets at that time save an average of 6%. So be sure to plan your trip in advance… somewhat.
2. Fly mid-week to mid-week
Most people tend to think of a vacation in terms of a typical workweek. For example, flying on a Friday night and coming the back following weekend. Break this cycle or break the bank!
According to a FareCompare study, flying midweek—on a Tuesday or Wednesday—can save you up to 35% because of lower demand.
3. Book on a Tuesday afternoon
People tend to search for airline tickets when they have free time, which is most often in the evenings after school and work or on the weekends. As expected, ticket prices subsequently tend to rise at these times, especially over the weekend.
In fact, according to FareCompare, the cheapest time to buy a ticket is Tuesday afternoon when most airlines release their deals.
4. Travel from hub to hub for cheaper rates
Another great way to unlock savings on your next trip to Europe is to know your airlines and hubs, recognizing that hub to hub travel is often associated with steep discounts.
For example, if you’re planning a trip from New York to Vienna, you could book a direct flight. However, one way to save money would be to book direct to an airline’s hub—like flying from New York to Lufthansa’s hub in Munich—and then buying a regional ticket on a budget airline to Vienna.
5. Think about ALL of your travel costs
Although not technically airfare, to really unlock travel savings to Europe, think beyond just a flight to all of your travel. Many travelers, for instance, forget to research ground transportation when they land and end up spending large sums on cabs and other travel versus inexpensive and available bus and metro systems.
About the Author
David D. Chait is a travel enthusiast and Co-Founder of Travefy, a free group travel planning app.