Looking to travel to Europe on a budget? Join the club! European holidays are eternally popular with Australian travellers, and yet getting there from ‘Down Under’ can sometimes prove a little costly. But the truth is, it doesn’t have to be. By making clever choices about where you fly and how you structure your travel itinerary, it is possible to save hundreds of dollars.
1. Fly into an airport that isn’t London
London’s Heathrow Airport is a natural launchpad-of-choice for many travellers planning a European vacation, but London isn’t always the most budget-savvy choice for travellers to visit.
“Airlines can typically save a lot of money by flying into smaller or secondary airports. Consider this: in 2018, the average airfare booked to Heathrow from Australia was A$1995 return. However, a flight into London’s Gatwick Airport was A$1819 return, while London City Airport boasted an average fare of just A$1478 return,” says Webjet OTA chief David Galt.
It’s not just alternative London airports that offer savings – try alternative cities. It’s relatively easy these days to travel around Europe, so even if you don’t fly into your preferred major airport, you still have the option of booking a connecting flight with a budget European airline. For example, return flights to Dublin in 2018 cost on average A$1775, and to Budapest just A$1656. There’s a lot of money to be saved simply by skipping Heathrow.
2. Consider booking multiple one-way flights
Another key way to save money on your European vacation is to book multiple flights. Long-haul flights from Australia to Europe can be a little daunting, so breaking your journey up with a one-way flight to somewhere in Asia before continuing on to Europe can be a good way to save both money and your sanity. Plus, it will give you the opportunity to see somewhere new on the way if you choose to turn the layover into a multi-day stop.
“You can also make use of one-way flights to the Middle East and, if the price is right, even sneak in a business class airfare. Popular stopover destinations include Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore,” says Mr Galt.
3. Look at open jaw flights
What is an open jaw flight, you ask? It is a flight into one city and out of another; the flights having been booked as a multi-stop trip. So, instead of purchasing a return airfare and having to backtrack to your starting point to fly home, booking multi-trip flights gives you the freedom to travel across Europe in one direction without having to double back.
“Imagine this: you fly into Rome to explore Italy, then continue to Barcelona, Lisbon and Paris, with Berlin as your final destination. It doesn’t make sense to then travel back to Rome simply to board a flight to Australia. This is where open jaw flights can save you both time and money,” says Mr Galt.
Webjet.com.au has a Multi City/Stopover option to book an open jaw trip easily. Simply choose which destinations you want to fly in and out of and add as many legs as your holiday requires.
“With Multi City/Stopover flights, you can match up multiple one-way flights too. This is especially useful if you’re planning on catching a train between two relatively close destinations, such as Rome and Florence, Munich and Frankfurt, or Budapest and Vienna,” says Mr Galt.
Now that you’re armed with these three secrets, book your cheap flights to Europe with Webjet and get ready to have the European holiday of a lifetime.
*All prices and savings based on airfares booked on Webjet between 1 January and 31 December 2018