How to Get Cheap Flights to Europe: 4 Simple Rules to Follow
Are you tired of paying too much for your airfare when planning a trip to Europe? If so, you’re in luck. There are ways to purchase affordable flights, but it requires some strategy. In this article, we’ll explore four simple rules to help you save money on airfare.
1. Set a Fare Alert
If you’re looking for the cheapest flights to Europe, you’ll want to set a fare alert. Several airfare comparison search sites offer this service, where you input your desired itinerary and email address, and they notify you when the fare drops. It’s important to act quickly once you receive this alert, though, because sale seats are limited and in high demand.
One crucial note about international travel is that fares can fluctuate at irregular times. Domestic fares, on the other hand, are usually released each week on Tuesdays. Setting a fare alert is crucial for international travel, but it can also be helpful for domestic flights.
2. Don’t Delay Shopping
Once you’ve set your fare alert, it’s time to start shopping. But when is the right time to purchase tickets? For international travel, plan to buy your airfare around 90 days out from your desired departure date. Don’t start shopping too soon; wait until at least five months ahead of time.
For domestic flights, start shopping no earlier than three and a half months before departure and purchase around 30 days before unless you happen upon an airfare sale. Airfare sales usually require a 21-day advance purchase for travel.
3. Do Connecting Flights
If you’re lucky enough to live near a big hub with non-stop flights to Europe, great. However, you may find a much better deal if you purchase a connecting flight. Don’t be hesitant to compare non-stops to connections, as a few extra hours of travel could save you upwards of 50% off. If you live far away from any hubs, driving to a larger airport may be more cost-effective than paying for a short flight.
For example, if you live in Twin Falls, Idaho, and your local airport has connections only to Salt Lake City, driving to Boise or Salt Lake may get you better deals from the larger SLC hub.
4. Don’t Fly on Expensive Days
When booking your flights, try to avoid flying on expensive days. Midweek days are the cheapest for international flights, while weekends tend to be the most expensive. For domestic flights, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are the cheapest days to fly.
Using an Analogy to Explain the Strategy
To wrap it all up in a nutshell: imagine two bus companies with ten seats each, selling seats that start at the highest price. One of the companies decides to hold a 90-day sale, offering five seats at a discounted price. The other company follows suit and sells all their seats at full price. Due to the demand generated by the first company’s sale, the remaining three discounted seats are quickly snatched up. This analogy illustrates how waiting until the last minute to purchase airfare can end up costing you more.
Traveling to Europe can be an unforgettable experience, but it doesn’t have to drain your bank account. Following these simple rules can help you find the best deals on international flights. Set your fare alerts, start shopping at the right time, consider connecting flights, and avoid expensive flight days. With a little strategy, you’ll save money on airfare, which you can use to buy souvenirs or treat your mom to something nice. Bon voyage!