As you will soon find out, one of the best things about living in Europe is how close you are to other countries and that traveling can be really inexpensive here. I have been known to find a good flight leaving on a Friday afternoon that comes back on Sunday evening and just take a weekend away. With things like Couchsurfing (or, if you are like me, traveling to see/stay with friends) you can have a wonderful weekend away for less than it costs to get a flight from one city to another in the States. So, even though we highly recommend getting to know your city and the surrounding area, be aware of the other travel options that you have.
Here are my top three tips for making your getaways inexpensive:
1.) Skyscanner: Actually, I thought about writing a post just about this website, but I figured that that would just look like publicity for them and this is not a sponsored post (although, Skyscanner, if you want to sponsor us, I am in!). This fantastic website allows you to see lots of different airline choices and travel dates in order to effectively compare your options.
Top tip: Personally, I like to use the ‘search by month’ option instead of putting in fixed dates.
2.) Look often: Flight prices are flexible and can fluctuate from one day to the next. Now, I am not saying that you should leave buying your tickets till the last minute, but if you check out prices during one week you should be able to see when it is cheapest to buy (I once saw a study that said that the best day to buy was Tuesday mornings or something, but don’t take my word for it). Once you have a good idea of the cost, buy what works for you.
Top tip: if you search a few months before you go, the ticket prices will be cheaper, but not usually by as much as intercontinental travel where you see huge differences.
3) Consider planning your trip around what flights you see and not your flights around your trip: I am a big advocate for traveling to see people, more often than not specific people who I have planned a trip to see. However, I have also been know to think about the places that are on-my-way or that have cheap flight/other travel options. One of my favorite trips was when I had a few extra days and Couchsurfed with the mom of a friend because she was on the way. Sometimes you can find round trip flights for under 100€, and sometimes the adventures that come out of a cheap flight are better than the ones you plan from the beginning.
Top tip: consider being flexible with your cities and search for ‘nearby cities’ or even search by countries to find cheaper options. A combination of flexibility in terms of location and date can lead to adventures you could never imagine.