Airfare Tips!

April 17, 2024

Ciao amici! One of the most frequent questions I get is about how to book airfare for an international flight so I thought I would share my tips. I start looking about 6-7 months prior to an international trip and I expect to book 3-5 months ahead when I find a good fare within my budget. General rules are to not book too far out or too last minute to avoid higher prices. Be prepared to book if you find a good fare as they change often! If you are booking with miles, it is never too early to book. There is not one day of the week that is better than another to book flights anymore. Flying on Wednesdays will often save you money though.

This is something cool I just recently learned about. Go to Wikipedia to start your flight search. Every airport listed on Wikipedia includes a subheading, “Airlines and Destinations”. It will tell you which airlines serve that airport and which destinations can be reached directly from that airport. This may seem simple, but it is a great resource for those wanting to know options for nonstop flights.

Next, go to Google Flights. Type in your origin and destination and find the cheapest one-way, round-trip, and multicity fares. There is an interactive calendar that allows you to explore date ranges and lowest fares by airport code or city. There are multiple options to filter by (number of stops, airline, baggage, price, duration etc). Another option, if you have flexibility, is to search broadly by typing in your departure airport but no arrival airport and no dates, and on the right-hand side below the dates field, click where it says, “Explore Destinations.” This will redirect you to an interactive Google Flights map where you can explore flexible dates, date ranges (up to six months into the future), and durations. Another powerful tool within Google Flights is price tracking. This is useful if you have your eye on specific flight routes over specific days. You can track as many flights as you want. You will need to have a Google account to maximize this feature, be signed into your Google account, and give Google permission to email you price changes.

You can also try browsing in private/incognito mode.

I always recommend flying into one city and out of another to maximize your travel dates. Fly into Rome and out of Milan for example if you are traveling to Italy.

If you are flying from the US to Europe, and you have to make a connection, you will go through customs and security in the first country in the EU that you land in. Give yourself plenty of time. I suggest at least 2 hours. We had 2 hours between flights when connecting through Paris to Milan last year and barely made it!

Please contact me with any questions. I look forward to hearing from you and helping you plan your trip to Europe!

Ciao! -Alex

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