Hi friends! Would you like to fly to Europe but not break the bank?! Flight tickets can be sky high but I have picked up a few tips on how to get the best prices on airfare.
As you may or may not know I have been living abroad in Paris for about 10 months now. I have been lucky enough to fly from my sunny state of California several times within the past few years. I have since fine-tuned my ticket search/ purchase methodology.
When I want to plan a trip, I hover around a few sites until I’m ready to set things in motion (immediately). This method is tried and true for me and I know it will yield the same results for you!
1. Groupon Getaways
I have been a true Groupon Getaways believer for almost a year now. I used a similar Groupon Getaway for a family vacation to London & Paris last year. For around $900 you will have roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations with daily breakfast. Some of the packages offer an upgrade option where you can update your accommodations (which is not particularly necessary) but also you can update to include the Sightseeing Pass which is heavenly when you have so little time to see so everything. The Sightseeing Pass usually includes a bus tour, which seems cheesy but it is the quickest way to see the city. Also, it comes with a booklet that has a mind-blowing amount of activities for you to do that are included in your package. These activities include museums, wine tastings, shows, free snacks and so much more!
This is most definitely my favorite way to travel!
2. Scotts Cheap Flights
Scott’s Cheap Flights is REVOLUTIONARY. The site was created by the worldly Scott Keyes, and is an email subscription list that keeps you in the loop with outrageously low airfare. Sure, the onslaught of emails can be overwhelming at times, but when you are ready to travel it’s something you can look forward to. I have used Scotts Cheap Flights on numerous occasions but most notably for a New Year’s trip Canada in 2015.
Something to look out for is that Scotts Flights only leave from major cities. In these emails, you can expect up to 10 or so departure cities but with dangerously low prices.
Scotts Cheap Flights currently serves the United States, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, all of Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand and itineraries in Africa coming soon.
3. Student Universe
Student Universe is another great database for (you guessed it) students. You have to be a student to purchase the tickets but that is nothing a quick sign up to your local community college can’t fix.
When searching for flights (on any platform) try checking prices for the entire month. The cheapest day to fly out will most likely be a little bit before and or after your intended departure/return date.
I used Student Universe to fly from California to Prague for under $700 last January!
4. Matrix ITA Software
Matrix ITA Software was officially acquired by Google in 2011. This was my original travel ticket go-to. At times the prices can be less than ideal but if and when you plan far enough in advance this can be truly helpful. I use the Matrix to travel within the states but I also used it for a New Year’s trip to Ireland in 2016.
If you choose to book through the Matrix you must copy the itinerary and use the Book With Matrix site. This is because the software simply displays the prices and itineraries. It does not allow you to book directly.
5. Travel Rewards
Cards that allow you to accrue airline miles can be a real help! The Chase Visa Sapphire card is said to be the best of the best according to Forbes and Value Penguin. It offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 which is approximately $1,155 in points for your travel use.
I personally use my Air Alaska Visa Signature card perks to arrange connecting flights in the states when needed. If the cheapest option is to fly out of New York then I use my Air Alaska points to arrange it.
You can also apply for one of their cards that offer a companion pass which allows you to bring a plus one for a rate of $150 or less.
Of course, Skyscanner is a natural must do, given the site’s option of allowing users to set email alerts for the lowest prices.
Also, keep in mind that traveling during the off-season is also best.
Did these recommendations work for you? If so please share this post and spread the good word. Also. let me know what you think in the comments below.