Travel expenses in Europe don’t depend on the specific location, but on the season. Just like in the U.S., there are four seasons to consider when traveling to Europe, with summer being the most expensive and winter the least expensive. Of course, most travelers want to travel during the warmer months, but this also costs thousands. When planning a trip to Europe, also look for early-bird flight deals and mid-week flights. TravelPrecheck.org finds that a flight leaving on a Tuesday or Wednesday is often half the price of a weekend flight. Find this and more tips on the cheapest time to fly to Europe in the following sections.
Peak season in Europe is during the summer months, making this the most attractive and expensive time to travel. The main reason behind this is that most families have vacation time and are available due to school being out. For travelers who must travel during the summer season, TravelPrecheck.org advises you to book your flight just before the season starts or right after it ends. The summer season goes from late May to end of August. Off-season, or winter, is the least attractive but least expensive. Spring and fall have moderate fares and nicer weather than winter.
Most travelers avoid traveling during the winter because of the harsh weather conditions. This is actually the best time to travel to Europe, and not just because of the massive price drops. There aren’t long lines or scorching temperatures. There are also fewer tourists, meaning you can enjoy your trip and get an idea of what Europe is really like. For travelers wondering what exactly there is to do during the winter, Europe is known for skiing opportunities. TravelPrecheck.org reminds you that during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays the crowds will be larger. Try to avoid the holiday rush and get less of the harsh weather by traveling in October or March.
Saving money during peak season includes buying flights on the cheapest days, as well. Flying mid-week is much cheaper than Saturday flights. Airlines offer cheaper flights on days when there are fewer travelers. If you have flexible dates, you can use an airfare calendar that will pinpoint the cheapest days to fly. TravelPrecheck.org encourages you to sign up for price alerts if you are planning far enough in advance. This will help you find the cheapest flight the moment it drops, giving you the opportunity to immediately book it and go. The best days to buy flights are Tuesdays, and book it to fly out and return on Wednesdays.
TravelPrecheck.org has found that flights and packages to Europe are cheapest when booking at least 50 days prior to your departure date. Prices tend to go up the closer you get to the date, but booking too early can also have a higher price tag. A year in advance will not bring any savings, and is essentially the same as a week in advance. Three to six months brings some savings and availability, but won’t be the cheapest. The best time to book travel to Europe is one to two months in advance for the best rates and availability. At this point, airlines are preparing final passenger counts and start reducing fares to fill empty seats.