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Shopping for Summer Flights to Europe….

3/7/2012

 A few years ago, flights to Europe from the East Coast were affordable...

However, things have changed.  While the flight itself is still relatively inexpensive, the added fees and surcharges have driven up the cost.  These fees are not options; they are costs that airlines, airports and governments pass along to you for things like security and airport gate fees, not to mention the biggest cost: fuel.

Even with the prices going up and the added-on fees, there are ways to save:

Try a cheaper destination.  Instead of flying into London or Paris, consider Brussels, Barcelona or Zurich.  It is quite simple to catch a discount flight from these hubs to your destination, or consider taking the train…sure it will take a little longer but, the scenery is like no other.

Consider another time.  The most expensive time to go to Europe is most of June, all of July and the bulk of August.  Make your travel plans for late spring or early autumn to save.

Start on a Monday.  Typically, it’s cheaper to fly to European cities departing Monday through Wednesday….sometimes $40 - $60 per round trip.

Don’t wait too long.  The shopping window for international travel is a bit longer than domestic by a couple of months.  Five months before departure is the time to start searching, and you better book no later than a month before takeoff.

Check your passport.  Make sure it is up to date, and pay attention to when it expires.  Some countries insist that a passport have at least six months left on it before it expires, or they won’t let you in.

So, as with anything else…do your research….shop around…and have fun!