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How to Get Cheap Flights to Europe

Is Europe calling you? Are you dreaming about strolling around the Colosseum in Rome, taking a tour up the Eiffel Tower in Paris or walking under the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin? If that’s the case it sounds like you need to find yourself some cheap flights to Europe.

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Do you ever find yourself perusing sites for cheap flights to Europe from Canada, and feeling like you’ll never be able to afford them? With some airfares of $1,500 to Glasgow, $1,350 to Greece, $1,200 to London, it seems like a daunting task. The good news is, it’s possible to find great deals on flights to Europe. You just need to know a few tips and tricks. Read on to discover travel hacks that will help you find flights within your budget. Europe awaits!

Cheap flights to Florence, Italy
Add Florence, Italy to your “must see” list | Skyscanner Canada

Booking Cheap Flights to Europe

Flying from Canada to pretty much anywhere in Europe can get quite pricey, so it helps to know when’s the best time to book cheap flights to Europe. Skyscanner offers the best search engines that will help you find cheap flights from Canada to Europe, last minute flight deals, and everything else you’ll need for your European vacation, such as car rentals, hotel bookings, and the best things to do.

According to our research, the best time to book a flight to Europe is somewhere between three to six weeks in advance. This is when the seat costs tend to be the lowest.

Have an adventure of a lifetime with friends in Europe.

What about last-minute flights to Europe?

If you want to book cheap flights to Europe, planning a last-minute trip isn’t necessarily the ideal way of finding the best fares. Once the airline has covered their base cost of the flight (think crew salaries, fuel, food, etc., basically what it costs to get the airplane from A to B) they raise the price because it’s all profit from there, baby!

So, booking last-minute is not recommended. That said, if you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type and you’re determined to get a last-minute ticket to Europe, there are ways. On the Tuesday before your pending trip, scroll the flight booking pages in the wee hours of the morning and you may find some great prices on airfares to Europe.

Visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, by booking cheap flights to Europe
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Before you book great fares to Europe, you first need to find them. So let’s discuss how to successfully search for cheap flights to Europe.

How to Search for Cheap Flights to Europe

Search ‘everywhere’

Are you flexible on the destination? Once you’re in Europe it tends to be affordable to move around whether it be via train, plane or automobile — but getting there is an entirely different story. Canada to anywhere in Europe tends to be fairly pricey, so when it comes to booking cheap flights you need to keep your options open.

Perhaps you’re hoping to visit Glasgow where the price of the one-way flight is almost $1,500 but you’ve found a great deal on a flight to Dublin for $750. Did you know that you can get a one-way non-stop flight from Dublin to Glasgow for under $50 (dead serious, I just found one for $18) or a train ticket for under $100? Or better yet, find a great car rental deal and drive! If you fly to Glasgow and move on from there, you could save $600. Plus, you’ll get to explore an extra city (this is a hypothetical scenario, but you get the point).

Pro tip: Skyscanner has an awesome Everywhere Search which you can narrow your search to European destinations. Dublin, here I come!

Embracing Flexibility

See a beautiful lake-side church in Austria
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Layovers are your friend

Have you ever noticed that direct flights can be really expensive? One easy way to cut costs when you look for cheap flights from Toronto to Europe, or other capital cities, is to add a layover. Or, more specifically, be okay with the cheaper flights that have layovers.

You might even be able to use layovers to your advantage. If you make your layover for an extended period (like overnight) you can explore an extra city on your European tour! Alternative styles of adventuring with lots of layovers is a growing trend in travel, especially with millennials in Canada. Splurgetting, the travel trend of spending your hard-earned dollars on top bucket-list experiences over things, is growing. Consider collecting air miles and points with travel companies such as Red Tag and Air Miles. It’s a great way to get to your vacation goals.

See a new city for free with a multi-day layover.

Be flexible with your dates

Pro Tip: Try Skyscanner’s Whole Month search tool to take advantage of flexible dates.

Not only are layovers your friend when it comes to finding cheap flights to Europe, but flexible dates can also give you a hand when it comes to reducing the price. For example, if you know you want to travel in June and you don’t have a rigid timeframe, play with search engines and dates to find the best prices. Flexibility often means better airfares from Canada to Europe.

Stroll the streets of Germany after you book a cheap flight to Europe
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More Tips for Getting Cheap Flights to Europe

Now that we’ve covered the basics of the when and the where to find cheap flights to Europe, let’s talk about some other tips. While you’ll need to be flexible and search smart to get affordable flights to Europe, these suggestions might help you lower your ticket prices even more!

Fly carry-on only

If you really want to save as much cash as possible, pack lightly and take carry-on bags only. This way, you won’t pay to check a bag, and you could consider flying on a low-cost carrier that offers service to Europe (i.e. Wow Air). As long as you’re willing to forgo the finer amenities of the bigger airlines, you can snatch a ticket for a steal. You can find a list of airlines that fly from Canada to Europe here.

Pro Tip: Consider vacuum-packing your clothing to get as much in your carry-on luggage as possible. But, be mindful of weight too as some airlines are starting to weigh carry-on bags.

Best carry-on backpacks to use for your next trip.

Don’t change

This is less of a way to get a cheap flight to Europe and more of a reality check to keep your flight cheap once you have it. Flights are expensive to change or cancel once they’re booked especially overseas flights. So, if you’re going to book your flight be prepared to go — barring any truly exceptional circumstance.

Where you fly from matters

Your departure airport much like your arrival airport (see the section on embracing flexibility above) impacts the price of your flight. You’re more likely to find cheap flights to Europe from Toronto or Montreal, than from Calgary to Saskatoon. If possible, get yourself to a major Canadian airport. You could save some cash, providing it doesn’t cost hundreds to get their – always compare fares. A flight from Calgary to London is $637 whereas the same flight from Toronto is $500. But, the chances of finding a flight from Calgary to Toronto for less than $137 are slim.

What will you see in Italy? You won't find out until you book one of the cheap flights to Europe
What cheap flights to Europe will you uncover? | Skyscanner Canada

Snatching Up Cheap Flights to Europe

It turns out getting a cheap flight to Europe is not impossible, it just takes a little bit of planning, some killer strategy, a whole lot of determination and a real handle on your budget.

I can’t promise these tips will get you a $250 flight to Barcelona or a $350 steal-of-a-deal to Rome. If you plan smart, search smart and book smart, you’ll have a lot more cash to spend while you’re overseas. One of the best parts of travelling is being a contributing tourist.

Skyscanner’s search engines and the handy smartphone travel app will help you plan your big European vacation. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s do this.

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