Saturday, February 23, 2013

How to buy airline tickets to Europe

Ten years ago, I could buy a round trip ticket to Italy for about $500...in the old days.
Now it costs about 3 times as much...per person.
Sigh...
That said, you can still fly for less, and here are some of the "tricks" you need to know.

Pay attention to seasons
Summer flights are definitely the most expensive, but early June and late August will have better fares.
Even better early May, and mid-October.
--outside my parents apartment in Northern Italy--
Winter has better fares of all...but who wants to travel when it's cold! 
Right?

Know when to buy your tickets
Usually you can find the best prices between
one and three months out, 
but don't wait until the last minute.
Airfares rise dramatically a week before departure.

Fly on off days
Those days are Monday through Thursday.
For example, international flights departing on Tuesday and returning on Wednesday cost 21% less than the average weeklong trip.
source
And remember that airlines still penalize people for staying less than a week.


Look for sales
Fare drops can happen at any time.
Stay on top of them by signing up for alerts.
(Airfarewatchdog and Farecompare are a couple you could use)

Buy a package
Hotels drop rates drastically when they are bundled with airfare.
The same is true if you are going to rent a car.

Build up and use your points
Sign up for frequent flyer partners.

Stay Frugal,

9 comments:

NanaDiana said...

Are you going home to visit? What are the little "houses" in the parking area where your parents live? xo Diana

Libby said...

These are good tips. I've never been outside the country, and I can't remember the last time I flew somewhere. But I remember it being super cheap!

Amy of While Wearing Heels said...

What great tips. I haven't traveled in far too long. I miss it.

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

great tips. I'm pinning this so I can find it when the time is finally right for us to travel to Europe!

~ Liz ~ said...

Good advice. I doubt I'll be traveling out of the country any time soon, but you'll be my go to girl for infor if the opportunity arises!

Deneen@dreaming-n-color said...

I can't wait. I just got a tour sent for Italy!! Finding flights soon.

Gillian said...

The "little houses" look like rubbish/recycling bins to me.

Great tips, will squirrel away with my squirrelled savings for a longed for trip to Tuscany :-)

Maria Elena said...

Great post! You are so right! When I went to Spain last June, I saved almost three hundred dollars on my ticket by living on a Tuesday and returning on a Thursday. I also bought my ticket two months prior to my trip and I am sure that made a huge difference. Planning to go back in the Fall, so I have already signed up for alerts. Have a good week!

Cristina Garay said...

I need to save this info, I'm planning on going there next year! Great tips, Thanks Daniela!