Flying to Europe can be affordable, if you can find cheap airfare.
To find low cost airfare I look far in advance, know what the airfare normally costs, and buy a good deal when I see it. Check out how to avoid budget airline fees here.
Google Flights is what I find most helpful. Being flexible with dates and city order when planning is the best way to find the cheapest flights.
If you don’t have set dates the flights tool is a great place to start. I always look at flying from New York and Los Angeles to Europe. We live in a town with a small airport, but have family in the bigger cities in Texas so we don’t mind driving a few hours to save a few hundred (or thousand) dollars.
As you can see it shows airfare for multiple dates, with the lowest price in green.
If you don’t know or care which city you are wanting to fly in or out of the explore map tool is a great option!
When you are done exploring different destinations, click the three lines next to “Explore map” and choose the flights button.
When it comes to Ryan Air my rule is if it is under $30.00 buy immediately; above that I watch it for a while. It is amazing how low cost airfare is across Europe, if I can get from one country to another for less than $30 as an American that is insane. However, I rarely see Ryan Air flights for more than $50 so I am reluctant to buy when it is in the $30-$50 range. I will watch for a couple of months and then buy when I feel it is best.
If you know what cities you want to fly to, but aren’t certain of the order the explore destinations is great for price comparison.
Once you know cities, you can use the flights tool to pick the best dates.
When I plan trips in advance and I see that in one month low cost airfare is available and in the next month they aren’t I usually wait; unless they are under $30.00.
OUR MOST RECENT EXPERIENCE:
We bought our tickets to LGA from DFW in the winter for a flight in May. We bought our tickets in February for our flight from LGA to DFW. Both of our one way tickets were around $90 each. Adding $180 to our $488 dollar flight from JFK to DUB. This makes our round trip cost $668. Each of our flights were direct with no changing planes or layovers. The same flight from our town to Dublin would be $1200 with two plane changes and 4 hours worth of layovers both ways.