To travel throughout Europe and discover jaw-dropping destinations, you certainly don’t need to win the lottery.

There is a common misconception that when you visit countries like Germany, France or Italy, it will end up costing you an arm and a leg – Especially your flight tickets. 

However, finding cheap flights to Europe is surprisingly easy – If you know some good tips (like the ones we provide in this post). 

So, without further ado, let’s look at how to find cheap flights to Europe and the Schengen Area so that you can save money on airfare and get the thrill of a good bargain. 

Table of contents:

  1. 6 tried and tested tips for finding the cheapest flights to Europe
  2. Need a Schengen Visa for Europe? Read this before booking your flight

1. 6 Tried and Tested Tips for Finding the Cheapest Flights to Europe

Travelling To Europe With A Cheap Flight

Most of the time, airfare is the most expensive part of a trip to Europe. 

However, if you follow the tips in this post, you’ll never be the person on a flight who overpaid for their ticket.

Here is how to find the cheapest flights no matter what European country you will be visiting: 

1. Search for flights in incognito 

According to some cyber sleuths, searching a few times for the same flight makes the price on that flight go up based on the cookies in your browser. 

Essentially, when you’re regularly searching for a flight, the website may know you’re looking to purchase a flight ticket, and it will slightly raise the prices the next time you return. 

However, if you switch over to incognito mode on your computer, these websites can no longer use your digital footprint to raise the prices. 

If you use Google Chrome or Safari, you can turn on the incognito mode by hitting Shift + Command + N.

2. Book your flights with budget airlines

Maybe it goes without saying or maybe not, but budget airlines can help you save  a significant amount of money. 

There is a common misconception that budget airlines are more dangerous. Wrong! Yes, you may need to sacrifice comfort for affordability with budget airlines, but they never compromise on safety. 

Truth is, the main reason why budget airlines offer such cheap flights is that they do not include high-cost features, such as TVs set on the back of the seats or free snacks and drinks.

All those bells and whistles add to the cost of your ticket, so if you’re looking for cheap flights, budget airlines are the right choice for you. 

3. Use the best flight search engines 

We have already included Skyscanner on our list of best Europe travel websites for planning your next trip. 

However, there are many other search engines and Online Travel Agencies (OTA) that offer the best prices, such as:

  • Momondo: One of the best travel metasearch engines.
  • Kayak: A great travel search engine that compares prices from a whole heap of websites for flights, hotels, and rental cars.
  • Expedia: An American Online Travel Agency (OTA). The company offers a rewards program and allows you to earn miles on a flight booked through their website. 
  • Kiwi: An Online Travel Agency (OTA) that combines all airlines to create the cheapest routes. 
  • Orbitz: Another great Online Travel Agency (OTA) that offers low price guarantees: if you find another flight cheaper on their website or another website within 24 hours, Orbitz will refund you the difference. 
  • Google Flights: A metasearch engine that will link you to the airline’s direct website or an OTA to finalise the purchase.   
Taking A Cheap Flight To Europe

4. Find the cheapest day to fly out 

There are countless myths on how to find the cheapest day to fly out that are outdated and wrong. The popular opinion is that the cheapest days to fly are Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Truth is, the cheapest day to fly out is whenever you find a good deal. Yes, most of the time, plane tickets are more expensive on weekends, but this isn’t always the case. 

We recommend you instead search flight prices across the whole month. For example, Skyscanner comes with a “whole month” search tool that helps you find the cheapest day to travel across the entire month. 

Also, remember it is usually cheaper to book a flight in the shoulder seasons – late January to early March, Easter to early June, and September to November.  

Summer and winter are peak seasons for tourists in Europe, so if you’re looking for a good bargain, you may want to avoid the busiest travel seasons.    

5. Mix and match flights    

Most travellers choose routes coming from a single airline.

But thanks to Virtual Interlining (also known as VI or Self-Transfer fares), you can pay less for flight tickets purchased with different airlines. 

Virtual interlining might sound like a complicated process, but it’s actually simple. When you mix and match flights (meaning you choose different carriers for each leg of your journey), you are able to find the best deals.

Remember, Kiwi (see section no. 3 of this post – “Use the best flight search engines”) is one of the best tools that mixes and matches flights to create the cheapest routes. 

The only downside of mixing and matching flights is that you are responsible for transferring your bag between the two airlines before you reach your final destination.

However, if you travel carry-on only, this should not be a problem at all. If you want to learn more about the benefits of packing and travelling light, check out this post.

6. Check if you can save money by purchasing flight tickets in foreign currencies

This quick trick may work for some airlines.   

According to the currency they sell tickets, some carriers may charge different amounts for the exact same ticket (same carrier, same flight, and same travel class).

If the airline (or the OTA, or the travel search engine you are using to book your tickets) allows you to search for flights in different currencies, we suggest you look for currencies that are weaker than your country’s currency. 

Sometimes, there are significant price differences between a flight ticket purchased in a strong currency and the exact same ticket purchased in a weaker currency (a few hundred dollars or euros). 

If you’re lucky enough to find cheaper flight tickets in foreign currencies, make sure you’re using a credit card with no foreign transaction fees to avoid paying a surcharge. 

2. Need a Schengen Visa for Europe? Read This Before Booking your Flight

Entering Europe With A Cheap Flight

As outlined in our complete guide about flight reservations for Visa, we do NOT recommend you pay 100% upfront for your flight tickets when applying for a Schengen Visa (even if you find a great deal). 

We agree that finding airlines that provide you with a hold option to hold a seat without paying 100% upfront isn’t always easy. 

However, in the unfortunate event that the Embassy rejects your Schengen Visa, the airline may not refund you. 

That’s why you should submit a confirmed flight reservation without paying upfront for your ticket. Alternatively, you may purchase refundable tickets for a small extra charge. 

If you find it difficult to get a confirmed flight reservation without buying an actual ticket, do not hesitate to contact us

Our Schengen Visa experts would be more than happy to give you a helping hand and provide you with a round-trip reservation for Visa without paying the cost of a real ticket.

Finding The Cheapest Flight To Europe & Schengen Area

Conclusion: Although finding the cheapest fare from all airlines requires some time, exploring Europe for less is truly possible. 

Use the tips in this post, and we guarantee you will be able to find the cheapest airfare possible and enjoy the thrill of a good deal! 

Looking to travel to Europe and need help with the complicated, daunting, time-consuming Schengen Visa application process? In that case, our team of experts is here to be part of your memorable journey to some of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous countries in the world. All you need to do is get your 100% free Schengen Visa consultation!

We offer this consultation as a free service to potential travellers, and we take it very seriously. If you have a genuine interest in getting your Schengen Visa approved and travelling to Europe, we are confident that you will get a lot of value out of our free consultation!