Follow these Europe Airfare Tips and Save this Summer.
(By Florin R. Ferrs, Europe Summer Travel specialist)
Summer is upon us and so is the European vacation of your dreams. Unfortunately, we can’t all be early worms can we? Some of us have missed out on the pre-summer airfare sales to Europe. We’re not made of money either and most airlines are really ‘making the most’ of the summer rush to Europe by rising their fares back to pre-financial crisis levels. But do not despair, if you follow these tried and tested tricks of the trade, you can still make your Europe Summer trip a reality without breaking the bank.
Tricks of the Trade For Europe Summer Travel
1-Be Flexible with your travel dates.
In order to beat the airlines in the airfare to Europe in the summer game young grasshopper – you have to be as flexible as the willow! Rigid dates usually means rigid airfares. Instead, think of the summer season as a travel candy lane full of peaks and valleys. July and August are like Everest with its peaks, but also have beautiful meadows and green lush valleys. The first half of June and the last week of August into the Indian Summer of early September can show you cheap airfares. I just found a great airfare deal to Barcelona departing on June 13th and returning on June 29th on Lufthansa from $685 total. That’s my kind of peak summer fare.
2- Pray for peace but hope for war
Just because summer is peak travels season to Europe, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be any fare wars. Fare wars occur when one or more airlines suddenly find themselves with more inventory than expected (empty seats) and rush into a fire sale without much or any warning at all. But how to get notice of fare wars? First of all, be aware that fare wars generally occur around six weeks before your departure date and often begin with one airline to one specific destination. This happens and other airlines join in and match the fare to the destination, beginning the fare war. One of the best ways to get early warnings of fare wars are to sign up to vayama’s “I’m Coming to Visit”. This Facebook App will shoot you an email when your desired destination reaches fare war levels. You get to choose how low does the fare need to get before you start receiving notifications. I never miss a fare war anymore by simply entering all my favorite European destinations into “I’m Coming to Visit” and sit back to get notifications whenever the airfares dip below average.
3- Enter Europe trough the Side Door
My Lufthansa ticket to Barcelona connects in Frankfurt, where I take an inter-European puddle jump to Spain. If I were to book the same Lufthansa flight from New York to Frankfurt (and ended my trip there) I would have to pay almost double. So always look for Europe’s side doors – these smaller airports are not generally used as major international hubs. During peak summer that means skipping Paris, London and Frankfurt for the lesser known airports like Brussels, Barcelona, Dusseldorf and Berlin.
4-When in Europe, Travel like Europeans
This is perhaps the most important tip when it comes to savings during your summer European trip. Get a Eurail[k1] pass and use the train to get from city to city. And if you schedule your cities connected by overnight trains, you will also save on one hotel night. You can go via overnight train from Barcelona to Paris, Paris to Berlin, Berlin to Rome and so on. You can also take advantage of Europe’s trendy new low cost flights that can get you from main north European cities like London, Paris and Amsterdam, to warm Mediterranean resorts for a fraction of the cost of a scheduled airline. You can use Cheapticket’s European websites to book all your inter-European low cost flights.
You can post all your favorite Europe Sumer Saving tips on our Facebook Page, from having romantic picnics for lunch instead of a restaurant meal, to flying Standing up on Ryanair!