I’ve receive a lot of inquiries after I posted, “How I Spent Only $652 on Flights All Over Europe from NYC”. The post discuss how I was able to book 13 flights around Europe from New York City for just $652 USD. I decided to answer everyone’s question all at once by demonstrating a step-by-step guide on budget traveling. You can book everything on your own as long as you’re organized and detail-oriented. All you need is time, a bit of money, and flexibility. So let’s get started!
Google Flights’ Explore Destination Function
People always ask me which travel agency I use, what is the secret to getting discounted tickets, what travel rewards program I’m a part of… Here’s the truth: I don’t use anything besides Google Flights. I’ve been on many trips while paying bare minimum thanks to Google’s Explore Destination Function.
All you need to input is your home location, which in my case is Las Vegas at the moment. Click on the Explore Destination box and Google will automatically bring you to a world map. This world map lists the cheapest available flight on each destination. I like to plan my trip in advance because the prices are usually cheaper. As a frequent traveler, rarely do I see last minute flights with low fares. Since my vacation time is typically December, I will be looking for flights in that month.
Locate the Cheaper Option of Your Choice
Let’s use Europe as our example. Thought you can use this method and apply it anywhere- I’ve done this to plan my Asia Trip in the past! Looking at the map, you can see that Copenhagen, Denmark, is one of the cheapest European destinations to fly to in December for just $495 USD.
The flights I book first when I plan an extended trip is my first and final destination. This way, I just have to plan my stops in between. You can either book a round trip ticket or 2 one-way tickets in two different locations, whichever is cheaper or is of your preference.
Review the Calendar to Seek Lowest Rates
The Google Flights Calendar is the best way to see what dates offers the cheapest rates. For example, you can see on the calendar that returning on the 30th of December costs $501 verse flying back on the 31st, which is only $388.
So by changing the return date from the 14th to the 31st, the price already dropped $107. Now we have our round trip tickets booked from Las Vegas to Copenhagen, December 10th to 31st, for $388 USD.
Note: You don’t have to fly back on New Year’s Eve for the low fare of $388. You can achieve the same price if you fly back a week earlier on the 24th, or a week later on the 7th. This is just an example for demonstration purposes.
Filling the Gap with One-Way Flights
Now that you know where you’re starting your trip and ending your Euro trip, you can start plugging in destinations. Using the same explore destination function on Google Flights, you can see where it is cheap to fly to from Copenhagen. There are plenty of great deals on the map: there are flights to Edinburgh, London, Brussels for just $18!
I decided to pick Amsterdam as my second stop, since it’s only $39… what a steal!
After three days in Amsterdam, where can I possibly fly to next? hmm… What about Barcelona for some paella! There’s a flight on the 16th for just $47.
I repeat the same process until I filled enough destinations between my first and last flight. To fast forward, I’ve completed my trip with:
- One-way from Barcelona to Milan on December 19th for $26
- One-way from Milan to Brussels on December 22nd for $18
- One-way from Brussels to Berlin on December 26th for $26
- One-way from Berlin to London on December 28th for $18
- One-way from London to back to Copenhagen on December 30th for $27
Final Cost: A 3 Week Vacation to 7 Countries in Europe for just $589 USD
For just $589 USD, you can travel from Las Vegas to
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Barcelona, Spain
- Milan, Italy
- Brussels, Belgium
- Berlin, Germany
- London, United Kindgom
and back home!
Share this with your travel buddy and start planning your trip today!
To motivate you, here are some photos from my most recent Euro trip this June 2017: