B Stands for the Best Bargains on International Flights to Europe and beyond this Summer
By Florin R Ferrs (Europe airfare Specialist)
Spring Break is here and it is time to plan your summer getaway. But with extra luggage fees and fuel surcharges added by all the major airlines on all their international flights (even super low cost Ryanair is adding a two British pound fee to cover compensations from last year Icelandic volcano) – one wonders, what is a frugal traveller to do? Give up on a summer trip to Europe? Never. International flight bargains are still to be found, if you know where to look.
Florin’s Summer Picks
Brussels airlines is the B carrier of the summer. Not only you get to sneak into Europe through the side door (Brussels), you get a bargain price and easy same day connections to all your favorite European capitals, either by plane (in this case to Berlin) or by train. Amsterdam and Paris are just over an hour by rail from Brussels and central London is only two and a half hours from Brussel’s City Centre. By the way, Berlin is one of the hippest towns in Europe, specially the former East Berlin, where most of the trendy nightclubs and cool boutique hotels have migrated to.
2-Barcelona. From 610 from the East Coast on Jet Airways.
Take advantage of Jet Airways Brussels stopover on the way to India to save a bundle this summer. Fly from New York to Brussels on Jet Airways, connecting with Brussels Airways from Brussels to Barcelona, all from $610 total. A lot cheaper than a full meal at El Bulli (Barcelona’s premier restaurant, and often voted the best in the world). Don’t worry, Barcelona has many budget eateries and cool tapas bars. Some traditional tapas bars even offer free tapas when you buy drinks, just like bars stateside offer free peanuts. The good news is your free bar snacks in Barcelona will most likely be stuffed octopus or a slice of Spanish omelet!
3-Istanbul. From $698 from the East or West Coast.
Turkey is the new Greece (it used to be ancient Greece too). European tourists have been flocking to Turkey for years when they crave warm Mediterranean beaches, a glass of cold Raki and fresh seafood, but don’t want to have to pay for it in Euros. Turkey is outside the Eurozone, but half of Istanbul is actually in Europe. Enjoy its heady mixture of east meets west, busy bazaars and great meats on a stick over open grills. Turkish Airline’s new nonstop flight from Los Angeles to Istanbul for under $700 total makes it a must go destination.
Honorary mention: Nairobi. From $690 on Iberia or Turkish Airways.
Having recently returned from a Safari in South Africa, I have caught the African bug, and this bargain airfare on Iberia or Turkish Airlines to Nairobi is too low to pass up. From herds of wild elephants at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, to the warm beaches of Mombasa, Kenya has what it takes for the adventure of a lifetime.