One of the best highlights of living in Paris was its proximity to so many amazing European destinations that would otherwise cost us 10 days of vacation and $700+ if flying from the U.S. Of course, while the euro continued to ascend against the dollar during my time there, and in my student status, I had to do a lot of due diligence when shopping for these flights. While significantly cheaper than if I flew from the U.S., the amount of traveling I was doing was inversely proportional to the amount of cash in my bank account (i.e. the more I flew, the less money I had).
One of my great finds (and still is): EuroFlights.info, an extremely resourceful, albeit slightly annoying to navigate, resource for domestic and European destinations on a budget.
How it works:
Let’s say I’m in Paris and I’d like to fly to Florence for the weekend (because, who wouldn’t?). I click on “Florence” as my city option, which takes me to another page, listing the different Florentine airports available to me. I decide that Florence Airport is the best choice. The next page pulls up a list of every country in Europe with cities that are connected by various airlines. I look down the list to find Paris, and see that Brussels Airlines is the airport that serves between Florence Airport and Paris.
At this point, my search is exhausted on Euroflights, so I click on “Brussels Airlines” which takes me to a page showing all the possible cities Brussels Airlines serves in general, as well as its web site. Clicking on the site takes me to Brussel Airlines’ site to book a flight. And that is it.
Why is this better than, say, kayak or expedia? Kayak and Expedia don’t provide every airline, particularly discount ones who can’t afford to advertise with those search engines. This site, however, gives every possible airline between the cities you’re looking for. You have to do the extra legwork to find out its schedule and price. It is a very complete source of information, and will save you many, many euros.