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Last week, I purchased my ticket to return to Europe from the USA. I’m currently in Seattle, and I have a Workaway for the month of March in Sweden. I found a flight from Oakland to Stockholm for the whopping price of $203, including baggage! It’s safe to say I’ve gotten really good at finding cheap flights, especially since this one took me a month of patiently searching.
Several months ago, I wrote a post on 5 steps to find cheap flights. I’ve used those same steps to book cheap flights around the world, including a $322 flight from Helsinki to Bangkok (less than a week before the flight) and then a flight from Bangkok to Los Angeles for $450, booked two weeks before the flight over the holiday season. When I originally flew from Los Angeles to London in January, 2015 I found a ticket for only $180, but that wasn’t including baggage.
Plane tickets should never be a reason not to travel. Every day millions of people travel for work and their companies pay the airline top dollar for them to fly in the Executive, VIP and Elite classes. This allows the airlines to sell the economy seats for crazy prices.
All that is good news for us budget travelers who don’t really need that extra two inches of leg room and extra 1 degree of chair tilt. I can regularly find tickets from the US to Europe for under $300, and sometimes under $200, including baggage! Last year I found a round-trip ticket from Los Angeles to Bangkok for $400. There was even a day when I saw a ticket from Moscow to Las Vegas for about $50! As I write this, there are flights from Boston, Massachusetts to Cologne, Germany for $112 most days between June and October, 2016. Boston to Reykjavik, Iceland are $99 and Los Angeles to Stockholm are $186.
Those are just the US flights to Europe. Flights from the US to South America can be found for under $100. Of course, Europeans have it easy with Ryanair and Easyjet, which fly between European and surrounding countries for only €1!
Airlines are like amusement parks, charging a cheap entrance fee and then devouring your paycheck with overpriced food (with the exception of Disneyland, where even the entrance is crazy expensive). On my flight from Oakland to Stockholm, a meal would cost an extra $45! Most budget airlines will also try to charge you for reserving your seat, and that can cost more than the ticket itself.
The disadvantage is you have to get to one of the airports facilitating these cheap flights, such as Boston, DC, Miami and Los Angeles, or perhaps an out-of-town airport in Europe. While a bus, train or car ride might add a day or two to your journey, the cost will hardly compare to the hundreds you will save on your flight. Flying from Arkansas (picked at random) to Europe will cost $700-$2000, or you can take a Megabus from Arkansas to New York for $45 and then fly out of JFK Airport to Europe for $150!
The biggest thing to know is that plane ticket prices fluctuate throughout the day. They are not based on cookies on your computer. They simply change based on their own algorithms. But there’s much more to it than that. You can read the tips I list in my post on finding cheap flights.
I’m always willing to help others in finding their plane ticket to start (or continue) their travels. Comment on this post if you would like my help, or simply if you like this information.