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Cheap Flight Tactics

Just getting there can be the most expensive part of your trip. Here are some strategies to help you get the lowest airfares to Europe.


Consolidator Fares
Some travel agencies have access to fare classes with airlines that allow them to pass along additional savings to the customer. Only a handful of travel agencies are first-hand consolidators. Many online travel sellers, and local travel agencies claiming to be “consolidators” are actually re-sellers. It pays to shop around.

Low Cost Transatlantic Airlines
Some airlines can always be counted on to have the lowest transatlantic fares. There are exceptions, especially in summer, when the low-cost airlines work the law of supply and demand just like everyone else.

  • Aer Lingus: Cheap flights to Ireland.
  • LTU: Good rates to Germany and Central Europe.
  • Iceland Air: Great rates to Europe with a free stopover in Iceland. Check the website for frequent specials.



No Frills Flights
Find dramatically low fares by flying the airlines that cut the passenger perks. While you may not get a free cup of coffee on your flight, you will be happy knowing that you are paying the least amount possible to get from point A to point B. There are number of these airlines within Europe, and you can search most of them at one time with the Eurotrip No Frills Booking Engine.

Consider When You Are Going
Airlines base their fares on a hi-low system which means high season is in the summer when MOST people travel, then comes fall shoulder season and then winter season is from Nov 1 to march 31 (except for the week before & after Christmas). Lowest fares means lowest amount of travelers.
plane

Airline Sales
Sometimes it’s better to buy directly from the airline itself. Keep an eye out — many times airlines post web-only fares that are a significant savings over online travel brokers. Stay informed with:



Gateway Cities
Find the cheapest airfare to Europe by flying into a hub like London or Dublin then transferring to a flight on a no frills airline to your ultimate destination. This can give you the flexibility of stopping over in the hub city for no additional cost and save you a considerable amount of money over flying direct, but you will be responsible if one airline causes you to miss a connection with a different airline.



Updated 9/24/09
Special Contribution by Don
Illustrations by Marie McLaughlin

dietsoda
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Óur family is planning to spend a 14-day vacation in Europe come April 2009. The countries that we’d like to visit are Geneva, Rome, Vienna, Prague and Paris. Our schedule is quite tight though. Since we are first-timers in these countries, we’d like to know the best places to stay (bed and breakfast or 2-3 star hotel is ok with us) in each country and the most recommended means of transportation (plane or train). I believed that Eurotrip will give me some savings through proper planning and guidance. We will be happy if you can help or guide us. Smile Thank you so much.

peter_j
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I found a few interesting sites while looking for flights for my next trip to Europe:

  • http://wisetravelsea… – flight comparison site that also searches some UK travel agents and airlines
  • http://www.terminala… – seems to have some of the cheapest flights within Europe (only downside is that prices are in GBP… but their prices seem cheap!)

Amaya Y
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Thanks for sharing those helpful advices! Airfares are much becoming expensive nowadays. These times, people are looking for the cheapest ways to money, time and effort. Talking about avoiding these hassles when planning for travels, you might want to check out the website, SideStep. SideStep will not teach you to run like Shane Williams, but it can help you find cheap airfare. SideStep is pretty easy – you just enter in the starting and ending destinations. It gives you a calendar of days and the cheap flights on those days. If you don’t believe them, that’s fine – they’ll give you Hotwire, Orbitz, and Priceline rates all alongside each other for you to see it yourself. (That’s right, you doubting Thomases.) You can also look at car rentals and hotels, too. For those looking to travel and be economical and not have to get personal loans to go on vacation, SideStep could be the tool you need.

Kamil
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Completely agree with your first line where in you say that getting there or in other words travel cost usually account for a major part of your vacation expenses and even if it happens to be business/work related travel and the other major cost is accommodation. Where you may be you will have to spend on accommodation.

In case its a family vacation then it means even more expenses. At times prior bookings and reservations mean you avail good discounts on such expenses so do check before making a booking.

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Tppin
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Have you heard about “open-jaw” ? It’s a better air-transport arrangement if you can get it ‘cuz you don’t have to go back to say Heathrow Airport to catch your flight back home to the US. One can just take off from Rome’s Fumicino (?) airport for New York or from BCN.

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There are so many low cost airline choices these days that it is difficult to keep track of the ones who really offer the good deals. Following recommendations seems to be the best choice so far that I have found.
Cheers
Adirec

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This might not sound like a low budget solution, but it can be. A round the world ticket can often be a great moneysaver. Of course it depends on having a lot of time on your hands and a flexible schedule, however it’s what a number of my friends have done with their gap year and everyone of them has always been pleased with the outcome. It’s a fantastic inexpensive way to see the world – just no backtracking

Gary

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I hate to be pedantic, but the “countries” you have listed are in fact cities within countries. Maybe a little elementary geography lessons before you travel…

bielonadia
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When I do trip in Europe, sometimes I start from Germany. Many cheapest fly can be buyed online from and to Germany… and if not all destinations are covered the trains in Germany are another cheap and good solutions.

samesungma
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thx for sharing.