How To Book Cheap Flights to Europe
This was the part of trip planning I was most afraid of. I thought for sure, there was no way I was getting out of dropping at least a thousand dollars on my flight to Europe. I was going during a peak season and I wanted to fly from Arizona to London! I know I’m not alone in this, so I wanted to share some knowledge and tricks for finding a good deal on a flight.
Be aware of high traffic times like summer and around the winter holidays. But don’t let the time of year deter you from travel. I found my plane ticket to Europe for the beginning of summer for $400! Just know that it will be easier to find a cheaper ticket during ‘shoulder’ seasons like Spring and Fall.
Use Google Flights to see what days/airlines are cheaper to fly on, but make sure to book through the airline’s official website to ensure you are actually booking your exact ticket (you don’t want to get scammed by some third party). The price on Google Flights should be the same as the one reflected on the airline’s website. The day you fly really does matter, my $400 ticket was double in price if we wanted it just one day later!!
Be flexible. You may want to book your flight a few days before or after you originally planned on arriving to Europe if it's going to be cheaper on a Tuesday versus a Friday. My advice is to have dates in mind that you’d like to go, look at what days around that time would be the cheapest to fly, and then book the rest of your trip around that flight.
Don’t fly business class, and don’t be afraid of skipping out on all the bells and whistles. If you’re reading this post I’m sure you probably can’t afford it anyway (or just don’t want to spend your money on it), but sometimes the obvious isn’t obvious. My $400 ticket did not include meals or in flight entertainment. Spoiler alert- I survived! I downloaded more than enough movies to my phone from Netflix ahead of time, I brought books, coloring books, and music. I also brought my own food, and made sure to have a meal in the airport before boarding the plane.
Don’t be (too) picky about which airline you’re flying on. At home, I would only fly Southwest for flights within the US no matter if it was cheaper or not because of personal preference. But if you’re looking to save money on your international flight, don’t wait around for one specific airline to drop their prices, because it may never happen.
If you’re desperate to find a cheap flight, I flew WestJet out of Canada, so you could always start by looking there! I had never heard of it before, but everything went smoothly and the crew on board were super nice.