We’re going to Ireland this year and we went to five countries last year. We’ve done both trips extremely affordably. From what we learned last year about buying tickets, we were able to get tickets for under $380 round trip a person after tax to Ireland this year! When I’ve told people that, I’ve had a lot of people assume that we’re going on airlines that make us pay for individual luggage etc. However, this is not the case!
This is the simple way we book international round trip flights for under $400 a ticket with MAJOR airlines. This has been such a fun adventure for us to figure out and we’ve loved passing the information on to others. And yes, it totally works!
BEGIN LOOKING EARLY
We started looking DAILY to find these trends and information in January. The more time you have to look, the better. Additionally, by looking daily on my suggested tips below, it ensures you can find the trends for the year and really get the cheapest deal.
When we travel, we aren’t very specific.
We just choose from summer time to December as our times to leave and we don’t care about location. This enables us to get very cheap ticket prices just because we don’t care when we go and we aren’t being picky! Non-tourist times will be cheapest, but I certainly am excited that we are not visiting the Mediterranean during a heat wave in July again (OH MY GOSH).
When we are flying to Europe, our goal is to look for the cheapest tickets, period. For us, everywhere is an adventure and a new place to visit. If you have a super specific place or time in mind these tips will be helpful, but probably not as a cheap.
GO TO SKYSCANNER.COM FOR TRENDS
We found that SkyScanner.com does a great job at giving historical data for ticket prices. Most websites show you trends for tickets for about a week, but SkyScanner.com does information for 15 days which is super helpful! We were able to see from this information which countries were cheapest for the year. However, when you click the ticket prices it can be a little confusing because it doesn’t show current ticket prices. Rather, you only see past ticket prices.
Here’s how to do it! Look in the caption below each picture for step by step instructions.
The two years we have looked, there are different countries that are cheaper every year in Europe. A few times we have looked on this website, this page says “Get Prices” instead of the prices. I’m not positive, but I’m guessing this is when their website is running their search engines. Just check back in a few more minutes and it is usually updated!
GO TO KAYAK.COM FOR TICKET PRICES
We end up searching Kayak.com everyday to check tickets and then eventually buy them (let’s be honest, this is the fun part!).
BUY YOUR TICKETS
Once you have found tickets within your desired price range, don’t sit on them a long time! If you have the budget for the trip, just buy the tickets! The best time to purchase tickets are morning, but if you want the good deal on tickets you have to buy them THAT DAY. It is a bit of a gamble if you keep waiting for cheaper tickets, but by using the last step you can often see if it is worth it. The first time we found our tickets to Ireland under $400 each round trip, we spent time thinking about it. It took over a month before the price was actually that low again and we really risked it not ever being that low again this year.
One of my friends said that after the Pacific coast wakes up (two hours behind us in Atlanta) that he noticed tickets were going faster. I personally noticed that tickets were going faster around the time people got off work. Both of these tips seem pretty logical. When we bought our tickets to Ireland, my in-laws bought their tickets within the hour and my parents took just a couple of hours; my parents aren’t on the same plane on us and could have easily missed the deal. I’ll be honest that I was definitely nervous until I received the confirmation that everyone was going to be able to fly with us!
We love going on adventures both through road trips and internationally and these are some tips that have made it a lot easier for us to go abroad! I’ve been day dreaming about Ireland ever since we booked our tickets a month ago because it has always been a dream for me to go there.
I’d love to hear if you have any additional tips on booking international flights in the comment sections below!