International travel is taking off again. And for most travelers, that means getting on a plane. According to AAA, air travel is up 25% over last year, the second-largest jump since 2010.
Even though prices are high everywhere, if you want to visit Europe, money expert Clark Howard says now can be a great time to book a cheap flight. You just need to do your research and be a little flexible.
Want To Get the Cheapest Flights to Europe? Fly From New York
“I want you to know something that’s really important for travel to Europe this summer and fall,” Clark says. “Airfares out of New York City have been running at a third of the cost of airfares out of other cities in the United States.”
“It’s the largest gap in pricing I’ve ever seen for flights to Europe,” he adds.
To capitalize on the cheap fares, Clark recommends the following two-step process.
1. Buy a Cheap Fare to New York on a Discount Airline
You don’t have to book on a major airline – and spend a lot of money – to get to New York. Here are some discount airlines that fly to New York (but make sure to check all the airlines):
2. Buy a Cheap Fare From New York to Europe
Clark points out that the most expensive flights typically will be to London, Rome or Paris, because that’s where American travelers want to go. To find a deal, consider other European destinations or fly into a city that’s not as popular and then take a small carrier to London, Rome or Paris.
“To give you a sense of the types of fares out of New York to Europe,” Clark says, “a lot of places in Europe have been pricing out in the $300s roundtrip from New York to Europe from late summer into the fall.”
As an example, I searched for a round-trip flight from Atlanta, Georgia, to Lisbon, Portugal. A one-stop flight came in at $684.
When I typed in that same trip from New York City to Lisbon, Portugal, the price was $390 out of JFK.
How To Find Cheap Flights to Europe
To find cheap travel deals to Europe, Clark says, “You’ve got to shop around.”
Go to Google Fights
- To find deals to Europe, go online to Google.com/Flights.
- Instead of typing in your home city as your departure city, type in “New York”.
- Scan the map to see fares from select cities. Don’t forget to zoom in to see more destinations.
- Comparison shop between the local airports there – LaGuardia, JFK and Newark – to find the best deal.
If you have some flexibility in your trip dates, click on the Price Graph to find a time when fares are even cheaper.
Clark says now is the time to book your European trip. To save money, fly out of New York.
“It’s just ridiculous how much money you can save right now,” he says. “There’s just so much airline competition in New York that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the United States. and the price gap is much larger than it’s ever been.”
Want to save big on travel? Follow Clark’s #1 travel rule.