CHEAP FLIGHTS TO EUROPE 2020 | 10 Tips/Hacks for Booking Cheap Flights to Europe (EVERY TIME!)

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Hey, are you hoping to learn all the secret
tricks that travelers use to score dirt cheap flights to Europe? Well, by the end of this
video, you’re going to know all my best tips and tricks that I personally use to save hundreds,
even thousands of dollars on flights and stick to the end and I’ll even give you a free checklist
with everything you need to do every time you book a flight. If you’re near around here,
Hey, my name is Christina and I help travelers like you travel Europe smarter, cheaper, and
more off the beaten path. If you want more insider tips for your European trip, be sure
to hit that subscribe button for weekly videos. Now, without further ado, cue the cheesy intro. What’s up, Smarties? Today we are diving deep
into one of my favourite topics ever, which is how to scheme your way to cheap flights
to Europe. As a full time travel blogger who’s been living in Europe on and off for the past
four years, I would like to think that I’ve kind of mastered
the art of scheming my way. Every time I go home to Vancouver, I pay more or less 600
Canadian dollars round trip, which is the equivalent about 400 Euro. So I would say
that’s a pretty good steal. If you are interested in replicating those same results. Here are
my top 10 tips for finding cheap flights to Europe. Tip number one, know how to get instant discounts
and cash back on your flights. So this is a really quick tip. If you didn’t know this
already, there are a bunch of really great free websites out there and services that
help you get instant discounts on your trips and purchases online. So the first one is
one called Honey. It is a Google Chrome extension that you can install for free with like two
clicks. And basically what it does is it scours the web for coupon codes and then automatically
applies them at checkout. So if there is a coupon code that exists out
there on the internet that’s relevant to what you’re purchasing, essentially it’ll just
add that on top and saves you a lot of legwork and it’s like free money. The second one is
known as Rakuten. You might know it as Ebates and essentially it’s a free cash back website
that allows you to get money back on purchases that you make online. So the way it works
is this, if you make a purchase through their website on any of the vendors that they’re
partnered with and there’s hundreds of them, essentially you’ll get anything from two and
a half percent to 10% cash back just by shopping through their link and you’ll get all this
money deposited straight into your PayPal. I know it sounds suspicious that I’ve used
it and it’s totally legit and free to use. So those are two really great services to
sign up for if you want some instant discounts and instant cashback. Tip number two is to forget any tips that
you have previously heard about cheap flights. So if you ever come across any tip that says
it’s always best to book on a Tuesday or that the best time to book every time is 47 days
before departure, that information is probably outdated. And here’s why. The aviation and
airline industry has changed a lot in the past few years and nowadays they rely on dynamic
pricing systems that are dependent on things like algorithms that feed into things like
demand and seasonality. So there isn’t really just like some guy who’s sitting there behind
screen and thinking “it’s Tuesday time to drop the prices”. It doesn’t really work like
that anymore. It’s one relatively new urban legend about cheap flights that I do stand
by though. And that is the tip that you should be booking in incognito mode. So for those
of you that aren’t aware, incognito mode is this special private browsing mode on a lot
of internet browsers that allow you to essentially surf the internet without it tracking any
of your history. And I know that sounds a little bit sketchy
and usually incognito mode is used for things other than flights, but when you browse with
incognito mode as the myth goes, airlines aren’t able to track the different routes
that you’re looking up. And so they’re not able to Jack the prices up accordingly because
they see that you want that route really badly. What I would say is that reports on the power
of incognito mode kind of are exaggerated, but at the end of the day it takes like two
seconds to use it and it couldn’t hurt. So why not? Tip number three is to know your
tools. As I mentioned earlier, if the airline industry has changed a lot over the past few
years, and so these days you don’t just log onto one airline, search it up and hope for
the best. Instead there are literally dozens of different services and aggregators that
exist for the sole purpose of helping you find the best deal. It’s a bit overwhelming to sift through them
all. So here some of my favorites, bearing in mind that none of them are paying me to
say this, although if you want to pay me that is fine and we can talk. Instead, you know,
these are just services that I have personally used over the past five years. So number one
is Skyscanner. So this is one of those OG flight aggregators that have existed for a
very long time. I personally used it for five years and have not looked back. Mainly because
I am a millennial and I fear change. Besides that though, it has a lot of really neat features
that you can take advantage of. My personal favourite being the everywhere option. It
allows you to enter just your departure airport and then a vague destination like everywhere
or like a country and it’ll show you all the best deals. And another great one is a calendar tool which
lets you browse all the different flights on a very pretty colour coded calendar. It’s
very satisfying to look at. Number two is Airfarewatchdog. Now this site has a lot of
different features and a lot of different things going for it. And my personal favourite
is the deals page. So here you can enter your home atand departure airport and then just
look at all the different flight deals for a certain time period departing from that
airport. So most of the time these deals are for, of course, places that are close to you,
so if you’re in North America, then most of the time it’s showing you other cities in
North America. But if you keep scrolling, you will find amazingly cheap flights to different
parts of Europe. So here you can see I’ve got a flight to Amsterdam for like 500 bucks,
which is pretty incredible. And so this is a really good tool to use if
you’re pretty flexible with when you go and you destination. Number three is Secret Flying and Secret Flying
is probably the only reason I still use Facebook because they are this amazing website that
essentially aggregates all the best troubled youth from around the world, including airfares,
cheap fares, all sorts of great stuff. Another alternative if you live in the U S is Scott’s
Cheap Flights. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this. Unfortunately most of their deals
seem to be for the U S so I don’t use them very often and feature to keep an eye out
on local websites as well. For me personally, as someone from Vancouver, YVR Deals is a
website that collects deals specifically related to the Vancouver. So check if your city has
one. Number four is Google flights. Now, Google flights has incredible functionality and it’s
definitely one of the best websites that you can use for finding flight deals. Now, some of the things that I really love
about Google flights include the fact that with the search engine, you just have so many
different functions and capabilities. For example, you can enter up to five different
departure airports and up to five destination airports and search them at the same time.
You can even organize all the different dates according to this cool matrix and it’ll show
you the overlap where you’ll find the cheapest fares. You can also make use of the everywhere
map and this everywhere map is really cool. You can say, Hey, I’m departing from Vancouver.
I want to go somewhere in Europe and it’ll show you a visual map of the cheapest places
to go. So it’s a very handy tool, really great for looking up different flights, especially
if you’re flexible. Last but not least, the final tool that you need in your arsenal is
to know the budget airlines in your area, so I know what you’re thinking. Once upon a time, air travel used to be so
glamorous and so classy. Unfortunately times have changed and now low cost airlines kind
of dominate the space and it’s great because it’s really opened the doors for travel and
made it a lot more accessible. On the other hand, now flying, you know, with these airlines
you don’t exactly get the best experience although you do get the best fares. So what
I would say is really familiarize yourself with which budget airlines, if any, operate
from your home airport. For me personally, Westjet, which is a Canadian airline, flies
frequently from Vancouver to London and Paris. But you should also look up other big names
in the budget. Airline industry, some big ones include Air Transat, which is another
Canadian company. There’s also Eurowings who’s German and they fly to the U S and there’s
also Norwegian, which is probably one of the biggest names in the low cost space. And I’ve flown with them before and their
service is actually pretty good for a low cost airline. So be sure to familiarize yourself
with the different budget airlines that are available to you. So those were my best tools
for flying in and out of Europe. If you’re interested in the tools I use to travel around
Europe, be sure to hit the subscribe button because next week I’m going to be talking
all about that. Now tip number four is to forget loyalty and to trust no one. That got
dark, right? You see, there is a time and place for loyalty like with me and Chipotle
or when you have Air Mile points with a certain airline. But the thing is if budget is your
number one consideration, you will never find the cheapest flight possible if you are completely
devoted to one single airline or one single flight aggregator, there is not a single site
that will yield the best results every single time. So be sure to put on your detective hat, you
know, go on a few different websites, cross check, maybe make a few calls and that is
when you’re going to be able to hunt down the cheapest possible flight. And number five
is to really embrace flexibility. Now this tip isn’t for everyone. I know there are certain
instances in life when you really don’t have that much say over your dates or your destination,
but if you do have the luxury of flexibility, one of the best ways to guarantee a cheap
flight is really to have flexibility over your destination and over your dates and so
some of those tools that I discussed earlier are really great for that. Some general rules
of thumb to stick with though: you should try to avoid holidays and weekends if possible.
That’s just because you know the demand really goes up during those periods, but the one
exception is if you want to travel during the holidays, you’ll often be able to find
a really good deal actually on the holiday date itself, so like Christmas day or new
year’s day because nobody really wants to fly on Christmas so you can take advantage
of some cheap deals then and also picking those crappy time slots that nobody really
wants to fly during. If, however flexibility, it’s not an option
and you really know that you need to be somewhere at a certain time, then I highly recommend
tip number six, which is to DIY your own stopover. So this is a technique that I have used many,
many times to score cheap flights to and from Europe and this is basically to fly into the
cheapest airport possible and then going to your final destination in Europe from there.
And the reason why this makes sense, it’s just because traveling within Europe is very,
very cheap. Once you get to Europe, there’s all sorts of budget airlines, there’s buses,
there’s trains that you can take, and so if you’re able to find a very cheap flight into
a European city, then you can really take advantage of that flying to that city and
then find a cheap flight, cheap train or cheap bus to continue your journey into your final
destination. Next up is tip number seven, which is kind
of a Ninja hack that I’m really excited to share with you. And that is to browse in that
airlines local language and currency. The airline that’s most commonly linked to this
technique is actually Norwegian. So what a lot of people do is they’ll go on Norwegian’s
website, the open up their Google translate on Google Chrome and then they’ll browse and
try to book their flight in the Norwegian website with Norwegian currency. And I know
that sounds really crazy, but actually what people have found is that for some reason
the flights can be cheaper when browsing on the Norwegian website and even though it’s
in a different currency, once you do the whole exchange rate and everything, you still end
up saving a pretty significant sum of money. So if you want to try this out the next time
you are booking with an airline direct, be sure to change your language and your geographical
area and see what happens. Tip number eight is to wait for airfares.
So these are when airlines literally just make a mistake and put up very cheap flights
for people to buy. A lot of the time when this happens, airlines do honour those airfares.
So if you’re on top of things, you can actually be able to jump on those deals and save quite
a bit of money. So where can you find these airfares? Well, some of those websites that
I mentioned earlier are actually really great tools for this. So Secret Flying posts error
fares quite often as does Airfarewatchdog. We actually have a bonus tip here that I’ve
not seen in a lot of places and that is to look at fare deals and airfares on these websites
as a signal to look up other reps. no website is ever going to be able to aggregate every
single deal in the universe all the time, right? So essentially what you can do is you can
go on these websites, you can see when there’s a fare sale, you can see when there’s an error
fare and realize, Hey, this particular airline seems to be discounting its fares for some
reason. Maybe they’ll have discounts on their other routes. And so you can look that up
and maybe you’ll be able to find your own deals that way. Onwards to tip number nine,
which is to dip your toes into credit card hacking and using points. So I am a complete
newbie at this. I only just got my new credit card, which is the AMEX platinum last week.
But I want you to know that using credit card points and hacking is not actually as daunting
and overwhelming as a lot of people seem to think. So. I’ll give you an example with the
AMEX platinum card that I just got. So the reason why I got it is because even
though it is a very, very expensive card, actually comes with a welcome bonus. When
you use someone’s referral link like mine below, you get 60,000 points and according
to the fixed points reward system that Amex uses, 60,000 points is enough to get you a
round trip flight from North America to Europe. But you also get $200 travel credit with that.
So that lowers the price to 500 so effectively you’ve gotten a flight to Europe for $500
but there’s also a bunch of other perks that come with the card, like free lounge access
for the entire year for you and a plus one. It also comes with travel insurance and a
lot of other perks like a VIP concierge. So when you look at it that way, it’s kind of
impossible not to get great value out of the card for the first year. If that interests you, I’ll leave my referral
link down below and you can score 60,000 points as your welcome bonus as opposed to the usual
50,000. So this next tip is a bit of a controversial
one and one that I would not personally endorse and is commonly frowned upon. But for the
sake of comprehensiveness, I wanted to include it. And this tip is called hidden city ticketing.
So basically hidden city ticketing is this loophole, this travel hack, I guess that people
use to get cheap flights. And that is where they book a flight that connects through their
final destination and somehow ends up being cheaper and then they skip the last leg of
the journey. So imagine I want to travel from Vancouver to London, but those flights are
really expensive. Instead what I might do is on my book a flight from Vancouver to Paris
that stops over in London. If that flight’s cheaper, I’ll book that and
then just skip the last leg. The reason this is kind of controversial, despite the fact
that it’s technically legal, is because airlines really frown upon it and some might say that
by doing this you’re kind of driving up prices, creating artificial demand and kind of screwing
over other passengers. Anyways, you can use this trick at your own discretion. What I
will say is that airlines do really frown upon this practice and there has been precedent
in the past where airlines have tried to sue a website that was created for the purpose
of finding these kinds of fares. So clearly there’s a lot of pushback from the industry
with this method, and so use it at your own discretion. I personally wouldn’t. But that’s
another tip for you if you want it. Because that one was a bit of a downer, I do have a bonus tip for you and that is
to know your rights. Okay. So this is a thing that most visitors from outside of Europe
do not know, but according to called the EU regulation 261/2004, EU passengers on airlines,
flying in and out of the EU or on an EU airline have a lot of rights when it comes to flights
being delayed. So there’ve been many, many instances where people I know have actually
been on flights that have been delayed by three hours, four hours, and then they have
gone on to claim compensation, which they’re entitled to and gotten, you know, 600 euros
for a delayed flight. And that’s basically a free flight. So if you ever find yourself
in a situation where your flight is delayed and you think you might be entitled to compensation,
be sure to look into that because you could be leaving a lot of money on the table and
a really great free website that can help you with that is called airhelp.com. Alright, did I miss
any of your favourite tips when it comes to finding cheap flights to Europe? Be sure to
let me know in the comments below and if you’re looking for that checklist I promised at the
beginning of the video, congratulations, you’ve earned it. Be sure to click this link over
here to download the free checklist and if you found this video helpful, please let me
know in the comments, give me a big fat thumbs up and be sure to subscribe because next week
we’re going to be talking all about the cheapest ways to travel around Europe. Until next week
I will see you guys. Thanks for watching. Okay, byeeeeeee.

 

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