Find Your Own Cheap Airfare For Europe Travel
Probably the biggest expense in planning any trip will be booking your airfare. The debate goes on and on as far as which website has the cheapest flights, and the secret is that it all comes down to one word: flexibility. Before discussing which are the best sites to find budget airfare online, keep these few things in mind when planning your next trip.
Your dates: The day of the week that you fly out can make a significant difference in pricing. Mid week flights (Tuesday-Thursday) are usually less expensive than weekend flights (Saturday) so if you can, try and plan your trip around that.
Your location: If you aren’t flexible in the dates (as you only have a certain amount of time off of work, etc.) try to be flexible in your location (either by choosing a hub airport nearby, or checking several different locations. Maybe you want a beach vacation, but does it have to be Miami? Would you be happy just as happy in San Diego or the Bahamas?
The Time: If you can’t change the day you travel or the location, can you be flexible in the time of day you fly? Red-eye flights, as well as flights that leave after the morning rush (around mid-afternoon), can generally be less expensive.
When it comes to the best site to check for flights, my suggestion is to check them all against each other, then check the airline’s website that has come up with the lowest price, and sees if that airline is offering a lower fare by booking directly through them.
A quick Lesson:
Let’s say, for example, I am flying from New York but not sure where to go yet. Instead of typing in a specific city in the “to” section, I would type in ‘everywhere’ and my date. (I always select one-way travel first and view the entire month versus a specific day.) I can always go back and compare the price for a round trip ticket later (which usually is cheaper.) From there it gives you a list of countries and places in order of pricing. When you select a destination, it will come up with the best price for the month and city that you selected. (I always select to view by the graph as it is visually much easier to find the cheapest day.) The system will save your search “from” city, so the next time you log in, it will tell you other specials that are going on flying from that same city. Rates change quite often, so check back frequently to see if deals in other cities come back up. This feature is also helpful in looking out over the course of a year, letting you know which month will be the most affordable time to fly out.
You might save money by booking the flight from another airport, but keep in mind the cost of transportation to get to that neighboring airport (and find out exactly how far away it really is.) The cost of transfers between airports (not to mention the exhausting travel day you could have) might make it worth it to just fly from or directly to the city you want to go to.
If you haven’t already, sign up for one of the frequent flyer credit cards so that you can be earning miles towards a free flight for the next time around. There are much great credit card offers out there which will allow you to earn enough bonus miles just for signing up (not to mention the miles you will earn when you take your trip.) Many of these bonuses might even be enough for a domestic ticket. Companies such as points.com and staralliance.com will allow you to transfer miles between different airline companies, so you don’t always have to book with the same airline just to be able to earn points.
Once you think you have found the lowest fare, then bidding sites such as Priceline and Hotwire come in handy because you can bid even lower than your lowest price to see if you can get them to accept that offer (it gives you a point of reference.) Keep in mind that once you book through these sites, the sale is final, you may not get the exact flight time that you wanted, and make sure you have the final price after all the taxes and fees are added to it. One thing I like about Skyscanner is that all of their taxes and fees are included in the fares (unlike many of the other online booking sites which add that in afterwards.
If you are flying within the U.S., also keep in mind that many of the airlines now charge checked luggage fees, even for your first checked bag. The only two airlines that do not are the discount airlines Southwest and Jetblue. If you are traveling through Europe, it is usually the reverse, where discount air carriers such as Ryanair will charge you for baggage, where as the other large airline companies will not.
8 Tips For Europe Travel Budget Plan
Europe is equipped with some of the world’s best hotels, and you could blow a month’s budget (and then some) on a single night in any one of them. (One Swiss Hostel has a suite that goes for over EUR20,500) At this planning stage, one of the best things you can do to save money on the road is prepared yourself for sleeping in no-star accommodation. That means sleeping in dorm rooms when available, trying to share a room with another traveler if there are doubles with lower rates, and not let yourself be put off by places described in your guidebook as basic, or even grungy. If you’re armed with earplugs and good sleep sheet, you’ll be fine. Other money-saving ideas for bottom end digs are:
- Stay in small towns and rural areas – hostels and pensions in large cities pay the most rent and pass the cost on to travelers
- Make a point of getting addresses of travelers you meet, then stay with them if you’re heading to their home town or city. Try to give a few days’ or week’s notice with an email. Taking a digital camera is good in this respect – it’s nice to attach a photo of you together when you request a place to stay. They might have offered their addresses to dozens of travelers or had a bit too much to drink and have trouble remembering your name when you make contact
- Cram the rooms full. Go for a quad and find three other travelers to take up the extra beds so you all get a better deal than sleeping in a single or double room.
- Head to campgrounds just out of town and rent their walk-in tents (with real beds).
- Check out housing at universities over the summer. Empty dorm rooms are often rented out at cut-rate prices
- Hang out around the students union and look for a friendly group. Introduce yourself and ask if you can crash on someone’s floor or sofa in exchange for a beer or two, plus free accommodation at your parents’ home if they ever get there. Women can do this safely as well (and will likely have an easier time with it) by approaching a group of women
- A few places may offer to sleep on the roof for half the price if you have a mat and sleeping bag. It doesn’t hurt to ask
- If staying in private rooms, accepting one without a private WC and shower can save you EUR17-34 per night.
Five Tips for Traveling to Spain for the First Time
Many of us have only dreamed about traveling to Europe in general and specifically to Spain, but not so many people actually get the chance to visit this amazing country. Spain is generally considered to be an exotic country, mostly due to its beautiful weather and mesmerizing beaches, as well as friendly people. However, even though Spain is a paradise on Earth, you should still be prepared for your holiday there, as you can probably be surprised by a lot of things in this Mediterranean country. Therefore, here will be given some great tips to all first-time visitors to Spain.
· Tip Number One: Experience Spain Historically and Culturally
If you are going on a Spain summer holiday, you are strongly advised to do much more than just enjoy the beaches and the sun. Despite the fact that lying in the sun is extremely tempting, you should nevertheless set aside some time and visit at least some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites located throughout this country – and there are more than 40 of them.
Tip Number Two: Speak English, but Try to Learn a Bit of Spanish Too
Generally speaking, Spaniards are an open people and they have nothing against foreigners and tourists. Therefore, it is to be expected that you will do fine by speaking only English while on your Spanish holiday. However, if you make the effort of learning just a few Spanish words, you will earn the respect of the locals, and maybe a free meal as well!
· Tip Number Three: Think about the Weather in Advance
When thinking about summer holidays, you should think about the weather in advance. For example, if you have decided to travel to Magaluf in Spain, you should do some research on Magaluf weather before you actually book a holiday. The reason for this is simple, and it is related to the fact that the high summer in Spain is unbelievably hot, so you should try to visit the country in either the late spring or late summer.
·Tip Number Four: Getting around Spain
Spain is a very large country, so you will have to travel a lot if you want to experience it as a whole. You can take flights from any city, but this will probably prove to be a bit too pricey. However, you can decide to rely on the trains which are very punctual and much cheaper than flying, but they tend to be a slower alternative. Also, you can use the bus services, which is probably the best option next to renting a car and driving around Spain yourself.
·Tip Number Five: Money Matters
Euro is the main currency in Spain, and all major credit cards are accepted in most of the shops, as well as ATM’s across the country. Try not to exchange small amounts of money, as this will cost you much more in the end. Also, exchange rates are generally better at ATM’s than in banks, so it is a very good idea to avoid banks altogether and use ATM’s in order to get Euros.