Last week I told you that Bonnie and Jackie went to Morocco on a scouting trip for our photo expedition there this March 14-18, 2010. (Be sure to check out their video.)
Today, Bonnie shares how they saved around $300 on their flight.
Director, Great Escape Publishing
Cheap European Flights: Save $100-$800 on Your Next Flight
By Bonnie Caton in Portland, OR
When it comes to finding the cheapest flights in the U.S., I often use Kayak.com. Kayak searches hundreds of flights in seconds, filtering them out according to price, length, or other options. But it’s not perfect. Low-cost airlines like Southwest and sometimes JetBlue often don’t show up in their search results.
The same is true for small, low-cost European airlines. They don’t show up in Kayak’s search results, either. So here’s what I do to save $100-$800 on European flights…
First, I check to see what kind of a flight I can get using Kayak.
If my flight options show that I need to connect in another European city, I know I have some options. Here’s what I do:
1) I always make note of my connecting city. Our connection from D.C. to Morocco, for example, was in Madrid.
2) Then, I see how much cheaper a simple round-trip ticket is to that connecting city. We picked up a flight from D.C to Madrid for $560.
3) Now that I see the flight to Madrid is substantially cheaper than the flight to Morocco, I try and find a cheaper flight to Morocco from Madrid on one of Europe’s low-cost carriers, like Ryanair or EasyJet.
One-way flights from Madrid to Marrakech run about $30 on Easy Jet or Ryanair, and flights back go for around $17 with Ryanair.
By booking our Europe to Morocco flights separately, we saved about $300. I did a similar search for the following cities for some incredible savings using this approach:
DENVER: Denver to Marrakesh is $1,633. But Denver to Madrid on Kayak is $860 and Madrid to Marrakesh on Ryanair is $48. Total savings: $725.
MIAMI: The best prices on Kayak for Miami to Marrakech start around $1,309. Miami to Madrid is just $726. With the Ryanair flights, this saves you $535.
SAN FRANCISCO: SFO to Marrakech is $1,522 on Kayak. But San Francisco to Madrid is $887. Add the $48 for Ryanair tickets from Madrid to Marrakech and you save $587.
Try it for destinations within Europe, too.
TIP 1: If you do this, make sure to give yourself AT LEAST two hours between connecting flights. More if possible — especially if you have luggage or if you’re connecting through the London Heathrow airport, which is notorious for being a hassle. You’ll have to go through customs no matter where you stop before checking in to your next flight.
TIP 2: Check the currency conversion if you’re buying in British pounds or euros to make sure you know how much you’re paying.
Here are a few low-budget European carriers to try:
** Easyjet.com – British airline with flights to Europe, North Africa, and elsewhere on the cheap
** Ryanair.com – Ireland and Great Britain to Europe, North Africa, and beyond starting at one British pound per flight.
** bmibaby.com – Great Britain to Western Europe
** vueling.com – Flights within Europe and to Russia and North Africa
Happy cheap trips!
Staff Writer, Great Escape Publishing
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