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Check offers from low cost airlines

One of 10 ideas how to extend your travel budget

For last few years low cost airlines have become a good alternative to land transportation within Europe. If to plan far enough in advance, it is possible to find many routes with total price in range of $20 - $50. Some inconvenience might be with arrival / departing times early in morning.
Before taking good offer price wise, check airport location and distance from the destination city. Some airports, used by low cost carriers, are pretty far from the city, but in some other place its right next to city. In Berlin, Copenhagen or Riga, for example, you can get to the city center by local public transport, but in London, Milan or Oslo you reach city center by train and it costs around $20 one-way. In London, overseas flights arrive in Heathrow but low cost airlines use Luton or Stansted. If you are staying in London for a few days then no problem for that but same day departure might be hard.
But pay attention to restrictions to the ticket price. Often there will be additional charge for service, checked-in luggage or counter check-in in airport. If the flight time is around an hour, ground transportation might be better choice. But if flight time approaches 2 hours, it could be worth to try.
Low cost airlines Easyjet and Ryanair are amongst the popular names. But now there is more than one in every European country. Depending on desired destination, you can choose AirBerlin (Germany), Blue1(Finland), WizzAir (Hungary), Norwegian (Norway), Airbaltic (Latvia) and many more. Sometimes few of them offer same route but different airports at destination.
When booking low-cost flights, be aware of the location of arriving airport. It is tempting to use low cost airlines, just by seeing airfares. But check it out, what are the costs for getting from airport to the city. Or what are arrival / departure times for flights. One way flight for $10 or $20 sounds fine, but departure from airport that is located 40km away in 7:45am might be a problem. Besides you have to pay for hotel as well. In this case I would prefer $60 flight late evening night before.
So why to pay less for a flight but more for transportation to the city? Is your destination served by several airports? Look for the one that is easy to reach and particular flight has convenient arrival / departure times.
Nowadays even low-cost airlines have loyalty programs. My suggestion would be – join the ones that you might use more and look what kind of partnerships they have. Even if you are not using them frequently, might get additional bonuses or discounts with partners. With few memberships for airlines and hotels you can cover all the travel activities and earn bonuses easily. Many European airlines / hotels are in alliance with US carriers and international hotel brands.
Though don’t let frequent flyer miles cloud your judgment – choose flights, hotels and car rentals according value of trip.

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