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Travel Transportation Airs, Trains, Buses, and Boats, what should I do ? What´s a Eurail Pass? How to rent a car abroad ? Is it safe to take the bus?

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Old 07-15-2005, 03:57 PM   #1
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Default What's a good flight price?

1) If I'm on the west coast in the US (Cali) trying to catch a flight over to europe, what's considered a good price in peak season (depart June 20, return mid-Aug)? 1600 round trip? 1200?

2) Which is the cheapest place to fly into? London? I wanted to start my trip in Italy and end in the UK, but don't know where to get an open jaw ticket and am wondering if the price is worth it compared to round-trip. I mean, I could spend 20+ hours and just eurail it down to Italy using a London round trip ticket?

3) Since you can book only 330 days in advance, would I get a sucky price if I try and buy round trip (cuz I have to wait until Aug 2006 shows up, which means I'll only buy my June departing ticket 11 months in advance, not 12)? Would the price difference pay for an open jaw ticket? Where do I GET an open jaw ticket?

I wanted to start in Italy cuz I hear it gets really hot fast, and am hoping visiting the Cinque Terre in June will be slightly LESS crowded than in July. Thanks for all your help, guys!
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Old 07-15-2005, 04:56 PM   #2
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1) I've flown from San Francisco to London in July for as "little" as $800 R/T. It was a Virgin Atlantic fare I found via Orbitz, which was surprisingly lower than all the other web sites.

2) Generally London and Amsterdam are the cheapest to fly into, since they're a couple of the biggest hubs in the world. You can also find good deals on Lufthansa into Frankfurt, which at least is a little closer to Italy. Personally, I look for anything that's non-stop, at least to Europe, so I don't have to put up with a domestic leg in the US. You can use the Eurail to get to Italy, but also keep in mind that there are DIRT CHEAP flights all over Europe that'll get you in faster, if time is of the essence.

3) You're probably better off waiting. If you simply buy a year in advance thinking "the sooner, the better," wrong! Although that's a fairly practical rule of thumb, airlines tend to put their specials on a little later. People who buy a year an advance are pretty much people who *have* to buy for a specific date (weddings, graduations, etc.) so they won't lower the price until it's time to compete. I was going to buy a ticket for Australia for this November a year in advance, but by waiting, I'm saving over $500.
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Old 07-15-2005, 05:31 PM   #3
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Do they offer specials even in high season to Europe? And if I should wait, how much in advance should I purchase the tickets, then? I'm just afraid I'll wait for the specials and then all the discout student airfare places will run out of tickets (all the websites keep scrawling 'limited availability' over the top, and I've never done this before, ahhh).

Thanks for all the advice, Omisan!
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Old 07-16-2005, 03:46 AM   #4
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One place to check out is Arthur Frommer's budget travel magazine, or it's website. You can find some good deals in there. Another thing to do is go to the airlines you might fly over there and sign up for their e-mail list (they'll send you an e-mail with their sales and stuff -- some send it weekly, others every day or so).

And finally, you'll be able to find cheap flights inside Europe on one of the new, low-cost European airlines. So, just get the cheapest ticket you can find to Europe. London is good, cuz you have easyjet and Ryanair.

When I flew to Barcelona last year, I got an el cheapo flight on Virgin Atlantic, then took easyjet from London to Barcelona. So, keep the two airline route in mind...

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Old 07-16-2005, 08:39 AM   #5
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Like everyone else said, you are better off getting a R/T from LA to London. Then use one of the discount airlines to get from London to Italy (make sure however, that you realize there are two airports in London - Gatwick and Heathrow and be aware of logistics if you fly into one, and need to leave from the other). One place you could subscribe to that has a top 20 weekly special e-mails is Travelzoo.com They come up with some really cheap airfares and you can get notified as soon as a special comes along. Good luck.
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
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Default Iberia can be cheap

I bought round trip tickets from LA to Barcelona for just over 500 bucks on Iberia airlines from their website, leaving in June. The prices just went up, but depends on your dates. Also, try Madrid.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:42 AM   #7
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try aer lingus

edit: old post...didnt look at the date
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:13 PM   #8
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Buying tickets is so stressful! There's so many little tricks to getting better deals and its just a matter of testing them all out. Some examples:
  • Sometimes you can save money with open jaw tickets, or sometimes they're twice the cost of a round trip.
  • Sometimes prices are different on different country's websites, for example expedia.com vs. expedia.de (German). I found a flight to Africa for $200 (after currency conversion) cheaper on the German version, although you have to be in Europe to book it, so you'd have to transfer money to a friend over there to book it . . . hassle . . . but keep that in mind.
  • Sometimes you can save HUGE by booking directly through the airline, sometimes not. I usually find the cheaper flights using expedia or whatever search you prefer, then price it out directly through the airlines.
Anyhow, there's no simple answer. It takes a lot of time and you just have to test out all the options. I ended up finding the cheapest flight to East Africa through cheapoair.com, it $300 cheaper than the cheapest through expedia or even directly through the airline. Strange . . . kinda mysterious . . .

I flew R/T from San Francisco to Frankfurt in January with Lufthansa for $578.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:17 PM   #9
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Damn Liz . . . I didn't look at the date either . . . look what you made me do Oh well, good info for all anyways.
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:21 PM   #10
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Well, i Had never thought of looking on the country of origin's version of the website. I will definitely keep that in mind
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