How to Find Cheap Flights to Europe

Flying to Europe does not have to be expensive venture if you know what you are doing. For Mother’s Day we booked direct round trip flights from Providence, Rhode Island to Dublin, Ireland for $350 USD per person on Norwegian Air.  I had to play around a bit with various features as most options were coming up twice as expensive.  In the end I nailed down an itinerary that’s a fraction of what it would cost me to fly someone much closer.  Here are my suggestions on how to find cheap flights to Europe.

How to Find Cheap Flights to Europe

How to find cheap flights to Europe. I enjoyed my new camera immensely, showing it off in the Cancun Airport, taking photos of all the planes!
How to find cheap flights to Europe. I enjoyed my new camera immensely, showing it off in the Cancun Airport, taking photos of all the planes!

1 – Use Kayak or Sky Scanner First to Search for Cheap Flights to Europe

Both Kayak and Sky Scanner are great. I use both these sites first, and then if I don’t find what I want I look elsewhere.  On this occasion Kayak had the cheapest flights.  Then once you find your desired schedule book directly with the airlines whenever possible.  When you reserve direct you often have more options like the ability to pick seats.

2 – Use Flexible Dates

Allowing plus or minus three days on either end of your voyage can make a big difference in price. Fares are typically displayed on a matrix, and you can choose the combination that works for your budget and itinerary.  If your schedule is adaptable you may encounter some bargains.

How to find cheap flights to Europe. I took this while waiting for my flight from Cancun to Boston. I spent two nights with my Mom in Boston before we drove to Providence to catch our flight to Ireland.
How to find cheap flights to Europe. I took this while waiting for my flight from Cancun to Boston. I spent two nights with my Mom in Boston before we drove to Providence to catch our flight to Ireland.

3 – Be Flexible on Your Departure Airport

Search multiple airports in your area.  Occasionally an airport a little further away can be much less costly than traveling from closer to home.  The variation in expenditure even with an added commute may be significant.  For example my flight out of Providence was half-price compared with flights out of Boston.

4 – Go During Shoulder Season

It may be a bit colder in Europe in the spring and fall, but tickets are often much less than in summer. You may need to bring warmer clothes. However, less visitors means shorter wait times and no crowds equals better pictures.

5. Be Willing to Sacrifice to Secure Cheap Flights to Europe

Sometimes cheap flights come with certain stipulations.  Checked bags can be extra.  You may not be able to pick your seats.  Carryon luggage may be at an additional cost.  Check the terms and conditions so you know what you are getting into.  If you have a lot of bags perhaps having to pay extra for luggage will wind up costing you more.  Some people need aisle seats or extra leg room.  Those may cost more.

6. Look at Multiple Destinations.

Perhaps flying into Madrid is overpriced.  However you may find a reasonable round trip flight into another European hub like Paris and then book a separate junket on a discount airline like Ryan Air from Paris to Madrid.  The big part is getting to the right continent. Once you are there traveling around can be much less costly.

How to find cheap fights to Europe. I took this at Cancun Airport. Did you know Cancun is the second busiest airport in Mexico? Mexico City is number one.
How to find cheap fights to Europe. I took this at Cancun Airport. Did you know Cancun is the second busiest airport in Mexico? Mexico City is number one.

Many people don’t even try to travel to Europe as they think it’s going to be too expensive.  What they don’t realize is they can find flights that are less expensive than domestic voyages.  If you take the time you can often find the bargains.

As always remember to have fun.  Traveling should be a joy not a hassle.  Be thankful you have the time, resources and opportunity to do so.  Sure exploring has it’s ups and downs, but that’s part of the adventure!

How to find cheap flights to Europe. I took this in Cancun Airport. Seen is a United Airlines plane. United is the world's third largest airline.
How to find cheap flights to Europe. I took this in Cancun Airport. Seen is a United Airlines plane. United is the world’s third largest airline.

Have you found cheap flights to Europe?

Please let me know in the comments!  I do listen and respond 🙂

Happy travels,

Matt Weatherbee

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Matt Weatherbee
Matt Weatherbee

Hi, I’m Matt.  In 2008 I quit my job, sold everything and drove from Boston to Mexico to start a business.  Now I live and work in the Carribean, and spend my free time traveling the globe.  Learn more.

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2 Comments

  1. Sally Crowley
    May 15, 2018 / 11:56 am

    Great tips for European travel!

  2. Scottie
    May 17, 2018 / 3:28 pm

    This is very useful information. Thanks for the post.

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