Flying All Over Europe for $1000

Last night, Roycifer and I bought one-way tickets from LAX to London Heathrow. Even after tax, they were only $360 each. I can barely contain my excitement!

So while it would be the most romantic thing ever to move to London and permanently relocate there with our onesies, the truth is that a couple has already beat us to the punch. And, we are going to go visit them and others in London first, before seeing “said couple” off to Ravello, Italy–where they are getting married! How absolutely romantic.

Afterwards (and before), we’ll be driving our rental car from Naples all around the Amalfi Coast. It’s a part of Italy I (nor Roycifer) had never seen and I hear it’s just beautiful. Since the wedding is in late September, we plan on making our last stop in Munich–just so we are there for Oktoberfest. Mmm. That, of course, would be another one-way ticket back home. In fact, over the next few months we’ll be needing to buy a total 3 more one-way tickets with the others being from London to Naples and Naples to Munich, then Munich back home.

It’s not even been a month since the wedding announcement, but it’s amazing what things you can benefit from doing your travel research. Of course, the mere act of buying a one-way ticket–or many–has seemed to have given me a sort of cheap thrill. How could it not when you start off with a $360 overseas, non-stop flight? I have the anticipation that the next potential big savings could be just as good. I’ve found that at the very least all the rest of the flights will be decent, with $100 intra-Europe flights and at the most a $500 flight back home–totaling not much more than $1000 for airfare all over Europe. The best thing arising out of all this research is all the deals we’ve been able to find.

I’ll be honest, Orbitz and Travelocity haven’t done much to impress me. I also find that the extra $20 Orbitz quotes have over the Travelocity quotes to be really tacky. I have, however, come to like and trust Farechase, a Yahoo! site. As for other airline aggregators such as Kayak–it didn’t seem to serve our multi-city purposes as well as piecing my own cities together individually through Farechase. Kayak had almost doubled the price of all our travels because, I think, they may search through all the airlines out there, but won’t mix and match the cheapest airlines to and from different cities and would instead limit to the same airline the entire vacation.

Another thing that I’ve learned was that the aggregators are a really good tool to use–but not to book the actual flights themselves. They’re a good tool to find the airlines which are offering the lowest prices to the destination which you would like to travel, but they inevitably take a cut. For instance, I followed almost-cheapest result on Farechase to the airline-in-question-dot com. This case, it was AirNewZealand.com. And the best part was chancing across an Air New Zealand Online special that was $90 cheaper than even their result that had pinged through Farechase. Score!

Case in point, the lowest result for Munich back to L.A. I found on Farechase (LTU Air) I was also able to beat–even after the Euro-to-dollar currency exchange–by going to that airline’s site. I believe that is also how we’re going to book our one-way ticket home. LTU is described as a “German leisure airline.” Of course, it makes tons of sense to go straight to a domestic airline whose major hub is the city which you are trying to leave for the most efficient cost.

Thanks to cow, I was able to find reasonable flights inside Europe at Skyscanner.net. There are tons of minor European airlines where it’s easy to find bargains on flights. Also according to wehoroy‘s coworker, I hear Ryanair.com is a good place to find dirt cheap European flights, too. I think it’s also important to note that a big key here is planning early so that you have enough time to really scope out the best deals rather than trying to cement something down last-minute.

Let the fare-finding begin! (And hotel-booking, too.)

Love,
*e

For good measure, here are the websites referenced in my post:

kayak.com
farechase.com
skyscanner.net
airnewzealand.com
ltu.com

Also, there were some good strategies I gleaned from a dugg article but I can’t seem to find it, anywhere.

 

P.S. —

Q: What do Ryan Seacrest and my boyfriend Roycifer have in common?

A: They’re both certainly not at work right now at E! Entertainment Network headquarters (Wilshire Courtyard is also home of Spelling Productions and Variety Magazine). Someone called in a bomb threat. I am tempted to leave here and join him and his fun coworkers for lunch at Cheesecake Factory at The Grove. You can also see the report on Defamer. Man, what a nice day to have off work.