Welcome back to my blog! Keep reading to find out how to visit Europe cheap with my first post of this series: Getting There.
When most people think of their dream vacation they are typically catapulted into a Parisian romance film playing only in their own heads. They dream of bike rides along the canals of Amsterdam and eating pizza next to the Mediterranean Sea in Italy.
I only added this video because I feel it’s authentic to how I feel when I’m Europe. This is me filming in Copenhagen.
Problem is Europe is not cheap…. or is it?
In this “Visit Europe Cheap” series I am going to tell you exactly how to visit Europe on a budget, but first I am gonna tell you how to get there for cheap.
Using the right tools
The first step to every vacation is getting to the destination. Obviously it is hard to enjoy the amenities of your beautiful and CHEAP accommodation if you haven’t figured out how you’re getting there.
I feel like I mention this app/website in every “travel for cheap” post I make but, here we go.
Skyscanner is the best app I have ever used for flights. I am being totally real with you guys when I say I have purchased 90% of my flights in the last 4 years through this company.
The only reason I purchased the other 10% elsewhere was because I wanted the Alaska miles. But, for international flights it’s certainly my go-to.
I highly recommend using the app version, however the website is just as useful. I just personally find more convince in the app and you have the ability to save searches which is awesome!
One of my favorite features about this app is that you can put in the location you wish to travel from and then click a button that says “Everywhere” for your destination.
When I saw the “Everywhere” button, I thought “WOW, these people really get travelers!” It makes my life so much easier!!
The reason why this button is so amazing is because Europe is easily traveled once on ground. And honestly, that rule applies to most regions.
I would also like to mention the app Hopper because I have used it twice to buy flights. Typically I do find that Skyscanner has better deals but it’s always worth checking another source!
I am about to let you in on one of my biggest travel hacks, so I hope you are ready.
The Magical Button
Depending on where you live, traveling to certain European countries will be far cheaper than traveling to others.
If in the event you want to go to… let’s say Germany, but it is $700 roundtrip from your home base.
A way around that would be to use that hand dandy “Everywhere” button and see what European countries near Germany are cheaper for you to fly to.
I did the search on my app out of curiosity and for the sake of this post, this is what I found:
As you can see, Ireland and Finland are the cheapest European countries to fly to from Seattle at the moment.
With a price as low as $300 roundtrip to get to Ireland, this gives me some room to find a flight from Ireland to my desired destination.
Europe is known for their insanely put together public transportation systems. I promise you that where there is a will, there is a boat, train, plane, or ferry to get you there and for cheap!
Working the System
Part of traveling for cheap in general but especially through Europe is mastering the art of one-way tickets.
The reason I wanted to highlight one-way tickets is because it is conducive to a multi-location trip.
If you are really looking to get the biggest bang for your buck, I really do suggest visiting more than one country.
When I went to Norway in the Winter with Brady, we also visited Copenhagen, Denmark and London, England. It seems like a lot I know. I am sure you’re probably wondering how in the world that was the cheaper option.
Guess what, it was. We bought a one way ticket each to Norway for $200! Can you believe that??
It cost that much to fly to Palm Springs from Seattle.
Once in Norway, flights from Oslo to Copenhagen are less than most taxi rides. We bought our one-way tickets from Oslo to Copenhagen about 2 months before our trip and they were $35 usd each.
Try and tell me that’s not wild.
Finally, we had to get home so we bought a one way ticket from Copenhagen to Seattle that cost around $200 each. We purposefully chose a flight that had an entire day layover in London so that we could explore one more time before the long journey home.
All in all we spent less than $550 on flights each and we saw three different countries. Pretty cool if you ask me.
It’s All About Timing
buying airline tickets is like playing a game of poker, you gotta know when to hold out and you gotta know when to send it.
I don’t have ticket purchasing down to a science, but I’d say I have a pretty good idea on how to get the deals.
There is a bit of a sweet spot when it comes to your timing of buying flights but you need to be careful not to wait too long.
I always find myself waking up in the middle of the night with nightmares of my flight going up $200 bucks. The idea is to not buy them too early cause they are almost always going to be more expensive if you buy them more than 6 months in advance.
After the 6 month mark I recommend you start your research. Google flights is a great tool to use to track prices on flights, they’ll even email you when certain flight prices change.
There is a similar tool on Skyscanner that allows you to do this as well as Hopper.
If you’re like me and the waiting game gives you anxiety, I often find that flights are at a decent price around this six month mark so feel free to pull the trigger for piece of mind.
I hope these are tactics you guys are willing to employ on your next adventure. I know many of my international travels would not have been possible without these unconventional methods. But us budget ravelers gotta do what we gotta do!
Thank you guys for reading and please feel free to comment below and let me know what you’d like to read next!
*Disclaimer: This post does contain affiliate links. This means that if you click on links in my post and then make a purchase, I will receive commission, allowing this blog to stay up longer! I want to stress that I would never post about something I have not used and loved myself.