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Discussion Starter #1
A friend and I want to go to Europe this summer.

She knows a little about buying cheap airline tickets, but I know NOTHING!

I know about Kayak.com. But is this the only place I can go to get cheap tickets?

I am a school teacher and my summer is wide open. I could leave or return any day of the week. I know there are rules regarding traveling certain days of the week, over the weekend, and staying a certain amount of time that can drastically cut your airfare cost.

Does anyone know any of the ins and outs so we can find cheap rates? We are wide open as far as where in Europe we want to go. But this must be a FRUGAL trip and the biggest part of the cost is the airfare.

Thanks in advance.
 

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You didn't say where you wanted to fly out of........THAT makes a BIG difference...........where are you?

Don't forget to check the consolidators for prices in your local area.........just make sure the reputation is good. Check a 'big city' newspaper that is close to you for rates..........that will give you something to compare to when on the net shopping. The net ISN'T always the cheapest.

Check into buying rail passes here....before you go. BUT COMPARE.......they aren't always cheaper. Also....depending on your preference..........use a hostel, if possible, for the area you are going. Great chance to meet other frugal travelers, like yourself.
 

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This is the advice I got from our local news.

1. Never buy 2 tickets at once. They jack up the prices for vacation kind of things, and they know if 2 are going it's not business.

2. Never buy round trip, again they jack up prices.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I'm in Richmond, Virginia. And would fly from Dulles (DC.)

I'm just wondering how far in advance I should look for a ticket. I know there are last minute deals but I don't want my vacation to hinge on a last minute deal. But if I look now will they be lower than say in April (if we travel in July or August?)

Thanks for hints so far.

Oh, yeah and we are so doing hostels.
 

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This is the advice I got from our local news.

1. Never buy 2 tickets at once. They jack up the prices for vacation kind of things, and they know if 2 are going it's not business.

2. Never buy round trip, again they jack up prices.
But I think I would disagree with that...........I wouldn't want to go somewhere and not have a round trip...........UNLESS you are just traveling until the $ runs out (BTDT) but be prepared to pay!! Plus the season she is traveling is high season.

If you don't buy two tickets at once how do you 'travel together'?

As for when to shop.............I say START NOW...........watching the prices (online and newspaper).......you are going during high season so be prepared to pay. If you are watching you MAY get some sort of sale b/4 the summer rush hits..................and NO WAY would I NOT want to have a round trip during the summer traveling season........cause you won't have the advantage/time to shop around when you want to come home.
 

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You need to book at least 21 days in advance to get cheaper tickets. If flying into mainland Europe, try to land in Amsterdam. The prices seem to be cheaper landing there. The flights are higher in the summer due to it is the high season. Check actual airline websites. When I booked mine I flew with KLM, landed in Amsterdam and my ticket was $295 return! That as in May though and high tourist season hadn't started yet.

Hostels - arrive early in the day. They tend to book up fast especially in large cities. They are THE best way to see Europe.

Travelling around Europe is easy if you travel by rail. Very reasonable and if you plan your route properly you can save money by travelling overnight and sleeping in the car. They are very efficient, AlWAYS on time (don't be late even by a minute!) and clean. You can travel from Amsterdam to Paris in under four hours.

You are going to have a blast! I loved it!
 

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travelzoo.com has great deals and I wanna come :thumb:
 

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You can find cheap flights through nearly any travel website. Yahoo has a weekly newsletter you can sign up for that will alert you to deals.

I'd be surprised if you can buy a one way ticket any more. They stopped doing it years ago because it was considered suspicious behavior. Like you were a terrorist or something not planning to come back.

I have not found that buying 2 tickets costs more than buying 1 at a time. The advantage is if you are both in the same order you can get seats together and they will treat you as a group. Other wise you can get split up if the flight is overbooked, one of you can get bumped to a completely different flight. Had it happen once when someone else booked BF and I separately for a trip. We didn't get to sit together, and on the last leg we were on different planes!

Being on the east coast you should get some good deals. They advertise absolute rock bottom rates, but you have to look at the dates and restrictions in the fine print. They'll quote you prices to fly in January, and if you want a June date it costs more because it is peak season. If the flight goes out of, say, Miami, it costs you extra to fly from your home town to connect with that flight. You're lucky you live near DC. I could get a $200 flight to London from there, but it would cost me $600 to get to DC from KC and suddenly that's no bargain.

I would start now looking at prices and reading the fine print. When I plan trips I spend a couple days first just looking at what is out there. Get familiar with the routes and prices. You will see that some airlines are routinely more expensive than others. Make notes so you can compare prices if they change. Rates will stay low until about April 1. Then people will start booking their summer vacations and prices will go up. It's hard to give a definitive date, but that's generally when it happens.

You want to be able to grab a good deal when you see it, so check once a week and see what changes. Usually a special low offer has a limited number of seats available on that flight, say ten seats. When they are sold they are gone and you will have to pay a higher rate if you want on that flight. Very early morning flights are usually cheaper because nobody wants to get up at 4 am to fly. However, flights to europe usually depart in the evening so you can "sleep" overnight and start your trip in the "morning" on your first day there.

I prefer to fly the euro airlines like British Airways, Lufthansa, or KLM because their customer service and their cabin service are just so much better. Of course, they often cost more.
 

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I'd be surprised if you can buy a one way ticket any more. They stopped doing it years ago because it was considered suspicious behavior. Like you were a terrorist or something not planning to come back.
I moved to Denmark last May on a one way ticket. It cost almost as much as a roundtrip ticket. So while it's probably not going to save you any money, they are still selling them.
 

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I honestly would not know, I do not travel on planes. Like I said, this was from a local news report on frugal travel.

If I did, it would not be frugal. I'd be first class on one of the expensive airlines that hire pilots like the guy who landed the plane on the Hudson River. I don't foresee that being in my future, but it's the only way you'd get me up in one of those things.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the info. I've been looking around. It seems that Tuesday morning is the best day to purchase tickets.

I also saw a list of low cost airlines on Wikipedia.org and I'm going to start looking @ those.

I don't care what city I go to bc I've been to a lot of places and don't have a "dream" destination for this trip. I just want to GO!

Although it would be cool to see Scandinavia or Spain...

I also saw something about student rates and websites I can join to have access to those rates. I wonder if that applies to those student's teachers.
 

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Although it would be cool to see Scandinavia or Spain...
Scandinavia is beautiful and I'm fortunate to live here, but Scandinavia is also one of the most expensive regions in Europe. We have a high VAT and are not part of the Eurozone. So if you're hoping to travel on the cheap, look outside of Scandinavia.

I adore Italy!!! I went to Rome and Tuscany in November and it's possible to travel quite inexpensively there if you plan ahead.
 

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I use ABCtravel.de (it has English), priceline.com, and Skyscanner.net. With sky scanner, you can put in from (say Florida) and the to everywhere and in the calender you can put the whole year. Then you could see what month is cheaper for you to travel. I have found it's cheaper to fly into Paris, London, or Amsterdam first and then you can use the rail, ryanair.com, or sky scanner, to get around.

We used ryanair.com and got tickets to London for 10 euro a piece and Rome for 20 dollars a piece. Deals are out there!

Good luck and have fun!
 

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How are you doing on your travel planning?

Airfares are way up this year due to the airlines removing capacity and fuel starting to go up again so it may be a challenge to find cheap fares. Keep an eye on flyertalk.com - sometimes some screaming good deals show up on there that are very limited. If you have some flexibility you can get a good deal to Europe especially if you are out of a major market.

Also, you may want to avoid London Heathrow. The taxes and fees are jacked up on that airport so they are almost half the cost of the ticket. You can still get to London on the Eurostar (very comfortable) if you decide to head that way.

Finally, check out airbnb.com for potential flat/room shares for even cheaper lodging costs. I used that site to find a $50 a night whole apartment to rent in Chicago for March. There ought to be a lot of options for places like Paris and London!
 

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How are you doing on your travel planning?

Airfares are way up this year due to the airlines removing capacity and fuel starting to go up again so it may be a challenge to find cheap fares. Keep an eye on flyertalk.com - sometimes some screaming good deals show up on there that are very limited. If you have some flexibility you can get a good deal to Europe especially if you are out of a major market.

Also, you may want to avoid London Heathrow. The taxes and fees are jacked up on that airport so they are almost half the cost of the ticket. You can still get to London on the Eurostar (very comfortable) if you decide to head that way.

Finally, check out airbnb.com for potential flat/room shares for even cheaper lodging costs. I used that site to find a $50 a night whole apartment to rent in Chicago for March. There ought to be a lot of options for places like Paris and London!
We've been going to Mexico and I just looked up room rates @ airbnb.com and want to say THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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This thread just caught my eye, because I have a good friend who moved to England a few years back, and we lost touch. We just reconnected (via Internet) last year, and she recently invited me to spend some time next summer with her. I am hoping to go some time in July, so this thread was very interesting to me! (And I was wondering if bunnys ever made it to *her* anticipated trip!)

Happily, I'll be staying with my friend, so no lodging necessary, but I was trying to estimate the cost of flying out, as well.

One thing that was recommended to me by some friends who travel a lot was to get travel insurance, which basically covers you if you get one of those really cheap, non-refundable tickets, but then things change and you can't go. They felt it was worth the extra money for the peace of mind.
 

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Scandinavia is beautiful and I'm fortunate to live here, but Scandinavia is also one of the most expensive regions in Europe. We have a high VAT and are not part of the Eurozone. So if you're hoping to travel on the cheap, look outside of Scandinavia.

I adore Italy!!! I went to Rome and Tuscany in November and it's possible to travel quite inexpensively there if you plan ahead.


I have to agree with Scandinavia being very expensive ! I love Stockholm , Italy can also be very expensive , but then the whole of Europe is pretty expensive these days . I'm English and we are very spoilt that there are so many countries we can visit just 1- 2 hours away , and cheap flights can be found .

One year my brother went inter railing , I now at the time it was very cheap , try this link ..InterRail Europe Train Pass, European Train Travel & Europe Train Tickets

I am off ot Lake Garda , Italy next friday , thanks to British Airways air miles
 

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I'd love to hear if bunnys holiday got off the ground and went well, too. :)

Daisymay, I feel the same way about being in Ireland. Having the rest of Europe so accessible is wonderful. My SO and I travelled from Amsterdam to Berlin to Bavaria (specifically Regensburg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber) this summer and had a blast. I'll tell you something surprising: We had intended on travelling via rail, but it was in fact much cheaper, not to mention quicker, to fly to each destination (we went to Munich to reach the Bavarian towns). A friend of mine recently had a similar experience travelling through France and Italy. The trains were expensive. I am not sure if this was because of the time of year or what. :scratch: Research definitely pays off when planning trips like this because we certainly wouldn't have guessed that would be the case!

Hope you have a great time in England, Madhen. What part is your friend in?
 

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Hope you have a great time in England, Madhen. What part is your friend in?
The sad thing is that I don't even know. I don't have a mailing address for her. We totally lost touch while she was in Berkeley, and she moved to England some time after that. I just recently did a search for her on FB and found her again. She lives in Hitchin, but I don't know where that is.
 
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