With the recent emergence of budget airlines in Europe, flying from one destination to the next is more affordable than ever. 5 years ago it wouldn’t be anywhere near economical to fly point to point in Europe and taking the train was really your only option. However, that has all changed and now flying may be your best bet.
There are several advantages flying will give you over traveling the rails, the most noticeable being the amount of time you can save. Besides time, you can also save money thanks to the competitive nature of Europe’s discount carriers. The last thing you want to do while backpacking Europe is waste your precious time and money. Today we’re going to look at your options for finding cheap flights within Europe.
Where And How To Book
The majority of Europe’s budget airlines offer user-friendly, interactive websites which include maps and a direct booking system. Your best bet for finding the cheapest airfare is to book your flight well in advance. The most affordable seats don’t last long and the longer you wait the more you’re going to pay. With enough advance notice, you can get tickets between major European cities for under a hundred dollars.
While budget airlines are relatively new to the game, there are several carriers that have been around for a while including Ryanair and EasyJet which both offer very competitive prices. The best way to get cheap flights within Europe is to find an airline that has a hub in either your starting point or landing point.
There are several places where you can find this information in one centralized place. Look at websites like Kayak, or Skyscanner to search routes among the majority of budget airlines as well as the major carriers.
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What To Look Out For
There are several things you need to watch out for when taking advantage of budget airlines including nonrefundable tickets. If you’re going to fly with a budget carrier, it’s important to pay careful attention to all of their policies, restrictions, and other fine print. Below you will find a list of the most common pitfalls you may experience while taking cheap flights within Europe.
- Most budget airlines require you to book your tickets online which can make it difficult to find a real live person to talk with if you run into problems.
- Flights are tightly scheduled, so deadlines are heavily enforced. Be early for all of your flights or risk missing out on your plane and the cost of your ticket.
- Pay close attention to baggage policies as many budget carriers have a variety of additional fees for heavy bags or extra luggage.
- Some budget airlines use obscure airstrips located far from the city center so be prepared to pay a little extra for transportation to and from the airport.
Besides these few pitfalls, budget airlines are an excellent option for people backpacking through Europe. Not only are they cost-efficient but they are also a great place to meet fellow travelers who are backpacking Europe and native Europeans.
For more information about flying cheap within Europe, check out the following budget airline booking and information sites:
- Europe By Air
- Ryanair.com (check out: Ryanair Fare Finder)