A morning cappuccino in a breezy piazza. A long day on some sun-kissed strand in the South of France. Greek isles. Countryside castles. Have we gotten you dreaming of Europe yet?
This year, Europe is the perfect summertime destination. You’ll likely find good savings on the ground, with a strong U.S. dollar leading to more budget-friendly hotels and attractions in 2015.
But first, you’ll need to buy a flight, and despite the weak euro, those are expensive as ever. So we found when flights to Europe are at their cheapest points and which days are the best to buy tickets from the U.S. to Europe.
Check out the following tips for finding cheap flights to Europe—you can save up to $600 on your summer vacation.
Travel at the Beginning or End of Summer
We first found what times were the most popular and the most affordable for trips between May and August. That research revealed that June is the most popular month for European travel, with prices peaking at the end of July. But the lowest prices were found in the first half of May (sorry, too late for that) and the last week and a half of August. Plan your travel for the beginning or end of the summer and you could save as much as $600 per ticket. Check out the calendar below for the cheapest dates. If you missed the low-priced month of May, now you know for next year.
Find a Less Popular Arrival City
When it comes to cheap flights to Europe, not all cities are created equal. Not surprisingly, the more popular cities tend to be the more expensive to fly into. Destinations like London, Paris, and Rome all top the charts when it comes to flight price. So look into less-popular (but often no less amazing) European cities.
Generally, Scandinavian countries command cheaper prices this summer, with cheap flights from Los Angeles to Stockholm coming in at just $762 or from New York to Oslo from just $570 (in fact, we have seen that flight price drop in the month we’ve tracked it!). Istanbul, Budapest, and the pretty Portuguese destination of Ponta Delgada are also great bargains. In fact, you could save more than $400 compared to flying to marquee cities. Check out the tables below to compare the most popular and the cheapest European cities from both New York City and Boston, for example.
From New York (JFK, LGA, EWR)
From Boston (BOS)
Buy Separate Intra-European Flights
Rely on the budget airlines of Europe to get you around the continent this summer and you could save a decent chunk of change. From the big players like Ryanair and Easyjet to regional airlines like Eastern Airways, HOP!, and airberlin, intra-European flights are available this summer for less than $200. So fly to a lower-priced airport and then jet around the country for less.
Choose the Right Days to Fly
There are many aspects of air travel you can’t control (delayed flights, little legroom, unappetizing in-flight food). Luckily, the days you depart and return are two cost-cutting factors you can actually choose. We found that Tuesdays are the best days to buy and to depart and Mondays are the best to return. Flying on the weekend is consistently the priciest way to travel. You can save an average of $38 simply by choosing a Monday return instead of Saturday.
Our data shows that you can save more than $125 by purchasing your tickets at least 60 days in advance. In general, high-season travel means booking early is your best bet for big savings, but you don’t want to book too early and miss the best possible deal. After all, flight prices may drop.
This article originally appeared on Hopper.com. Hopper is a travel app that tracks and predicts airfare.
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