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How To Get Cheap Flights To Europe


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Alejandra Sokolowski



Europe is a fascinating continent with diverse cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and historic landmarks that attract millions of visitors each year. Whether you’re dreaming of exploring the romantic streets of Paris, tasting authentic pasta in Italy, or immersing yourself in the rich history of Greece, there’s no doubt that Europe offers countless adventures to embark on.


However, planning a trip to Europe can sometimes be expensive, especially when it comes to booking flights. But fear not! With a little bit of research and some savvy strategies, you can find cheap flights to Europe and make your dream vacation a reality without breaking the bank.


In this article, we will explore various tips and tricks to help you find the best deals on flights to Europe. From choosing the right time to travel to taking advantage of flight comparison websites and airline rewards programs, we’ll cover everything you need to know to secure affordable airfare to your desired European destination.


Whether you’re a budget traveler or looking to save money on flights so you can splurge on other aspects of your trip, these strategies will help you navigate the often overwhelming world of flight bookings and find the best deals available.


So, let’s dive in and discover how to get cheap flights to Europe and turn your travel dreams into a reality!


Finding the Best Time to Travel

When it comes to finding cheap flights to Europe, timing is everything. The time of year you choose to travel can have a significant impact on the cost of your flights. Here are a few tips to help you determine the best time to plan your European adventure:

  • Off-Peak Season: Traveling during off-peak seasons, such as the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) or winter months, can often result in lower airfare prices. The demand for flights is usually lower during these times, and airlines may offer discounted fares to attract travelers. Additionally, you’ll likely encounter fewer crowds and enjoy a more authentic experience in your chosen destination.
  • Weekdays vs. Weekends: Flying on weekdays, specifically Tuesdays and Wednesdays, can sometimes be cheaper than flying on weekends when more people are looking to travel. If your travel dates are flexible, consider adjusting your departure or return dates to take advantage of potential savings.
  • Avoiding Holidays and Popular Events: Flights tend to be more expensive during holidays and popular events in Europe. If possible, try to plan your trip around these dates to avoid paying the premium prices associated with peak travel times.

Keep in mind that while traveling during the off-peak season can potentially save you money on flights, it’s important to consider the weather and activities available in your chosen destination during that time. Some attractions or outdoor activities may have limited availability or may be closed during certain seasons, so be sure to research and plan accordingly.


By carefully selecting the time to travel, you can increase your chances of finding cheap flights to Europe and make your travel budget go further.


Booking in Advance vs. Last-Minute Deals

One of the age-old questions when it comes to booking flights is whether to do it in advance or wait for last-minute deals. Both approaches have their pros and cons, and it ultimately depends on your flexibility and willingness to take risks. Here’s a breakdown of each option:

  • Booking in Advance: If you have fixed travel dates and want peace of mind, booking your flights in advance is often the safest bet. Many airlines offer early bird discounts, and by booking early, you can secure the flight you want at a reasonable price. It also allows you to plan the rest of your trip with confidence, such as accommodations and activities. However, keep in mind that booking too far in advance may not always guarantee the best deal. Prices can fluctuate, and there’s a chance that a better offer might come up later.
  • Last-Minute Deals: For the more spontaneous and flexible travelers, waiting for last-minute deals can sometimes yield significant savings. Airlines occasionally release discounted fares closer to the departure date to fill remaining seats. If you’re comfortable with uncertainty and can be flexible with your travel dates and destinations, this option might be worth considering. However, it’s important to note that last-minute deals are not guaranteed, especially during peak travel periods or for popular routes. Waiting until the last minute could also result in limited flight options or the need to compromise on your preferred travel details.

Ultimately, the decision between booking in advance or waiting for last-minute deals depends on your personal preferences, travel flexibility, and tolerance for risk. If you have specific travel dates and want to secure a specific flight, booking in advance is the safer option. On the other hand, if you’re open to opportunities and can adjust your plans accordingly, waiting for last-minute deals might pay off.


Remember to set fare alerts through flight comparison websites or sign up for newsletters from airlines to stay informed about any promotions or discounts that become available. This way, you can monitor prices and make an informed decision on when to book your flights to Europe.


Using Flight Comparison Websites

When it comes to finding the best deals on flights to Europe, flight comparison websites can be your best friend. These platforms aggregate data from various airlines and travel agencies to provide you with a comprehensive list of available flights and prices. Here are some tips on how to effectively use flight comparison websites:

  • Compare Multiple Websites: Don’t rely on just one flight comparison website. Different platforms may have different partnerships and display varying prices. It’s worth checking multiple websites to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal.
  • Use Filters: Flight comparison websites often allow you to apply filters to narrow down your search. You can filter by price, airline, travel dates, layovers, and more. Take advantage of these filters to customize your search and find flights that meet your specific requirements.
  • Set Fare Alerts: If you have flexible travel dates or are still in the early stages of planning, consider setting fare alerts on these websites. This way, you’ll receive notifications when prices for your desired route drop, allowing you to snag the best deal before it disappears.
  • Be Mindful of Additional Fees: Pay attention to additional fees and charges that may not be included in the initial price displayed. Some airlines may have hidden fees for baggage, seat selection, or other services. Consider these costs when comparing prices to get a more accurate picture of the total cost.
  • Book Directly with the Airline: While flight comparison websites are excellent for research and price comparison, it’s often recommended to book directly with the airline once you’ve found the best deal. Booking directly eliminates any potential issues or communication gaps that could arise from third-party bookings.

By utilizing flight comparison websites effectively, you can save time and effort in finding the best flight deals to Europe. Remember to stay vigilant and compare prices regularly, as fares can fluctuate throughout the day. The more proactive and flexible you are, the better chance you have of snagging a great deal.


Flexibility with Dates and Destinations

When searching for cheap flights to Europe, being flexible with your travel dates and destinations can greatly increase your chances of finding a great deal. Here are some strategies to help you take advantage of this flexibility:

  • Use Flexible Date Search Options: Many flight comparison websites have a flexible date search option that allows you to see the prices for a range of dates. By being open to traveling a few days earlier or later, you may stumble upon significantly cheaper flights. Take advantage of this feature and compare prices across different departure and return dates to find the most affordable options.
  • Consider Nearby Airports: If you have multiple airports within a reasonable distance from your origin or destination, compare prices for all of them. Sometimes, flying into or out of a smaller, alternative airport can result in lower fares. Take into account the cost and convenience of getting to and from these airports to determine if it’s worth the savings.
  • Explore Multiple Destinations: If you’re flexible with your destination, consider exploring different European cities. Popular tourist destinations tend to have higher airfares, so branching out to lesser-known cities or secondary airports can be more wallet-friendly. You may be pleasantly surprised by the hidden gems you discover along the way!
  • Use Multi-City Itineraries: If you plan to visit multiple cities during your European trip, consider booking a multi-city itinerary instead of round-trip flights. This can sometimes result in better overall pricing, as you can often find cheaper flights by combining different airlines or taking advantage of open-jaw tickets.

By remaining flexible with both your travel dates and destinations, you open up a world of possibilities for finding cheap flights to Europe. Being open to different options allows you to take advantage of lower prices and potentially discover new and exciting places to explore during your trip.


Flying to Alternate Airports

When looking for cheap flights to Europe, considering alternate airports can be a game-changer. While major airports are often more convenient, they can also be pricier due to higher demand. Exploring flights to alternate airports near your desired destination can lead to significant savings. Here’s how you can make the most of this strategy:

  • Research Nearby Airports: Look for airports within a reasonable distance from your desired destination. For example, if you’re planning to visit London, consider airports like Luton, Stansted, or Gatwick instead of solely focusing on Heathrow. Similarly, when visiting Paris, explore flights to Orly or Beauvais in addition to Charles de Gaulle.
  • Compare Prices: Use flight comparison websites to compare prices between different airports. Keep in mind that while the ticket prices may be lower, you should also consider the cost and convenience of transportation to your final destination. Factor in transportation options, such as trains, buses, or taxis, to determine if the savings from flying to an alternate airport are worth it.
  • Consider Layovers: Flying to alternate airports may involve layovers or connecting flights. Take into account the duration and location of layovers, as well as any visa requirements for specific countries. Sometimes, a longer layover can be an opportunity to explore a different city for a few hours or even for a day, turning your trip into a mini-adventure.
  • Flexible Travel Plans: If you’re willing to be even more adventurous, consider booking separate flights to different airports and exploring multiple cities within the same trip. This allows you to experience more of Europe’s diverse offerings while potentially scoring cheaper flights.

While flying to alternate airports may require a bit more planning and flexibility, the potential cost savings can be well worth it. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons, considering factors such as transportation and convenience, before making your final decision.


Utilizing Airline Rewards and Loyalty Programs

If you’re a frequent traveler or planning multiple trips to Europe, maximizing airline rewards and loyalty programs can significantly contribute to your overall savings. These programs offer various benefits, including discounted flights, upgrades, and exclusive perks. Here’s how you can make the most of them:

  • Join Frequent Flyer Programs: Sign up for frequent flyer programs offered by airlines that operate flights to Europe. This allows you to earn miles or points for every flight you take. Over time, these accumulated miles can be redeemed for free or discounted flights, helping you save money on your European adventures.
  • Research Alliance Programs: Look into airline alliances, such as Star Alliance or Oneworld, which consist of multiple airlines. Joining these alliance programs allows you to earn and redeem miles across different airlines within the alliance. This offers greater flexibility and more options when it comes to redeeming your rewards.
  • Take Advantage of Credit Card Rewards: Consider getting a co-branded credit card associated with your preferred airline or alliance. These cards often come with sign-up bonuses, accelerated earning of miles/points for purchases, and additional perks like lounge access and priority boarding.
  • Track Promotions and Special Offers: Stay informed about promotions and special offers from airlines and loyalty programs. Follow their social media accounts, subscribe to their newsletters, or set up alerts to receive notifications about discounted flights, bonus mile opportunities, and other exclusive deals.
  • Maximize Elite Status Benefits: As you accumulate miles or achieve specific thresholds, you can attain elite status within airline loyalty programs. Elite status comes with additional perks like priority check-in, extra baggage allowance, access to exclusive lounges, and complimentary upgrades when available. Take advantage of these benefits to enhance your travel experience without spending extra.

By actively participating in airline rewards and loyalty programs, you can turn your frequent travels to Europe into substantial savings. Whether it’s earning miles, taking advantage of exclusive promotions, or enjoying elite benefits, these programs can make a significant difference in your overall travel costs.


Taking Advantage of Error Fares and Flight Sales

When searching for cheap flights to Europe, keeping an eye out for error fares and flight sales can lead to incredible savings. Airlines occasionally make pricing mistakes or offer limited-time promotions, resulting in heavily discounted tickets. Here’s how you can take advantage of these opportunities:

  • Error Fares: Occasionally, airlines unintentionally publish fares at significantly lower prices due to technical glitches or human errors. These error fares can be substantial and offer incredible value for money. To find error fares, follow social media accounts and websites that specialize in identifying and sharing these deals. It’s important to act quickly, as airlines often catch these mistakes and correct the prices shortly after discovery.
  • Frequent Flight Sales: Airlines regularly offer flight sales and promotions, especially during off-peak seasons or specific holidays. These sales can provide significant discounts on flights to Europe. Stay updated by subscribing to airline newsletters, following their social media pages, and setting fare alerts on flight comparison websites. Being vigilant and ready to book when sales are announced can result in substantial savings.
  • Be Flexible: Taking advantage of error fares and flight sales often requires flexibility. Being open to adjusting your travel dates or even destinations can increase your chances of finding and securing these limited offers. If you’re willing to adapt your plans in order to take advantage of these deals, you can potentially save a significant amount on your flights to Europe.
  • Act Fast: When error fares or flight sales are available, they tend to sell out quickly. It’s crucial to act fast and book your tickets as soon as possible once you find a deal that meets your preferences and budget. Keep in mind that these offers may have limited availability or specific booking windows, so be prepared to make a decision promptly.

While error fares and flight sales cannot be relied upon as a consistent method for finding cheap flights, they are worth keeping an eye out for. By staying informed and being prepared to take advantage of these opportunities, you can potentially score incredible bargains and make your trip to Europe even more affordable.


Being Open to Connecting Flights

When searching for cheap flights to Europe, being open to connecting flights can offer significant savings. While direct flights are often preferred for convenience, opting for connecting flights can sometimes result in lower airfare. Here’s how you can make the most of this strategy:

  • Consider Layovers: Look for flights that have layovers in cities along the way to your final destination. These flights can be cheaper than non-stop options as they may have less demand. Use flight comparison websites to compare the prices of direct flights versus flights with layovers to determine the potential savings.
  • Extend Layovers: If you’re open to exploring a new city or country, consider extending your layover. Some airlines offer free or discounted stopover programs that allow you to stay in the connecting city for a few days without additional charges. This allows you to experience two destinations on a single trip for the price of one!
  • Split Ticketing: Split ticketing involves booking separate tickets for different legs of your journey. For example, instead of booking a single ticket from your origin to your final destination, you book one ticket from your origin to a connecting city and a separate ticket from the connecting city to your final destination. This can sometimes result in cheaper overall prices, especially if you’re willing to fly with different airlines.
  • Be Mindful of Layover Duration: When booking connecting flights, pay attention to the duration of the layover. While longer layovers can often lead to lower airfare, make sure you have enough time to comfortably transfer between flights. This will help minimize stress and ensure a smoother travel experience.

By considering connecting flights, you open up a wider range of options and increase your chances of finding affordable flights to Europe. However, keep in mind that connecting flights can add travel time and require some additional planning. Assess your flexibility and priorities to determine if this cost-saving strategy aligns with your travel preferences.


Considering Budget Airlines

When seeking cheap flights to Europe, considering budget airlines can be a smart choice. These airlines often offer lower base fares by minimizing additional services and operating with a no-frills approach. Here are some factors to consider when exploring budget airlines:

  • Price Comparison: Use flight comparison websites to compare prices between budget airlines and full-service carriers. Don’t forget to factor in any additional fees for services such as baggage, seat selection, or in-flight meals, as these can impact the overall cost.
  • Flight Routes: Budget airlines may have different route networks compared to traditional carriers. They often focus on connecting smaller or secondary airports. If your destination is serviced by a budget airline, this can provide a more cost-effective option.
  • Baggage Policies: Be aware of the baggage policies of budget airlines, as they usually have stricter limitations and may charge extra for checked baggage. Traveling with only a carry-on bag can help you avoid additional fees and keep your costs down.
  • Comfort and Amenities: Budget airlines tend to have more limited in-flight amenities and seat space compared to full-service carriers. If you prioritize comfort and additional services during your journey, a traditional airline may be the better choice for you.
  • Customer Reviews: Before booking with a budget airline, consider reading customer reviews to get an idea of their reputation for on-time performance, customer service, and overall satisfaction. This can help you make an informed decision about which airline to choose.
  • Flexibility: Budget airlines often have strict ticketing policies, with limited or no free date changes or cancellations. If you value flexibility in your travel plans, it may be worth considering the more lenient policies of traditional airlines, even if the initial ticket price is slightly higher.

Considering budget airlines can be a great way to save money on your flights to Europe, especially if you’re willing to sacrifice some extra services and amenities. However, it’s important to assess your travel priorities and consider the trade-offs before making a decision. By carefully weighing these factors, you can find the right balance between cost savings and travel comfort.


Avoiding Peak Travel Seasons

One effective way to find cheap flights to Europe is by avoiding peak travel seasons. Traveling during off-peak periods can lead to lower airfare prices. Here are some tips for avoiding peak seasons:

  • Research Peak Travel Periods: Familiarize yourself with the peak travel seasons for your desired European destination. These are typically times when schools are on holiday or during popular events or festivals. Examples include summer months, Christmas holidays, and major European holidays like Easter or Oktoberfest. By avoiding these periods, you can potentially find better flight deals.
  • Opt for Shoulder Seasons: Consider traveling during the shoulder seasons, which fall just before or after the peak travel periods. These periods can offer more favorable prices while still providing pleasant weather and fewer crowds. Spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) tend to be great times to visit Europe with more affordable flights.
  • Be Flexible with Travel Dates: If your travel dates are flexible, use a flexible date search option on flight comparison websites to identify the least expensive times to fly. Being open to adjusting your departure or return dates by a few days can often result in significant savings.
  • Choose Less Popular Destinations: Instead of targeting the most popular European destinations, explore lesser-known or up-and-coming cities and countries. These destinations can offer equally rich experiences at more affordable prices, as they are typically less crowded and have fewer demand-driven flights.
  • Book Well in Advance or Last Minute: When planning your trip outside of peak seasons, consider booking either well in advance or grabbing last-minute deals. Booking well in advance allows you to secure lower fares before prices start to rise, while booking last minute might allow you to take advantage of any remaining unsold seats at discounted prices.

By avoiding peak travel seasons, you can not only find cheaper flights to Europe but also enjoy a more relaxed and authentic travel experience. Researching popular travel periods, opting for shoulder seasons, and being flexible with your travel dates are key strategies to save money on airfare and make the most of your European adventure.



Securing cheap flights to Europe is a goal shared by many travelers. By utilizing the strategies outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of finding affordable airfare and make your dream European trip a reality without breaking the bank.


First and foremost, timing is crucial. Traveling during off-peak seasons, weekdays, and shoulder seasons can result in lower airfare prices. Being flexible with your travel dates and destinations opens up a world of opportunities and allows you to take advantage of error fares, flight sales, and budget airlines. Additionally, using flight comparison websites, joining airline rewards programs, and considering alternate airports can help you find the best deals available.


While the search for cheap flights may require extra effort and flexibility, the potential savings are well worth it. By optimizing your travel plans and being proactive, you can allocate your budget to other aspects of your European adventure, such as accommodations, experiences, and local cuisine.


Remember to stay updated on promotions and deals, set fare alerts, and be open to new possibilities. Whether it’s exploring hidden gems, extending layovers, or embracing connecting flights, being flexible can lead to incredible experiences at affordable prices.


In conclusion, with these strategies in mind, you’re well-equipped to navigate the world of flight bookings and find cheap flights to Europe. Start planning your trip, and soon you’ll be embarking on an unforgettable journey through the wonders of Europe while keeping your wallet happy. Safe travels!