I thought it would be useful to share the tips for finding cheap flights first since most trips begin by purchasing the flight ticket.
These are some of the websites I have been using for the past couple of years to find the best deal! I hope this information helps.
For international flights:
- Skiplagged (https://www.skiplagged.com)
– Skiplagged is an amazing website to find the cheapest flights for not only international flights but also for domestic flights! They find “hidden city” airfares for you (read more at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/finding-cheap-airfare-made-easier-with-skiplagged-startup/ if you are curious). You don’t buy the tickets directly from them, but instead they tell you which website to go to to find the deal they found for you. I have used this website numerous times to find the best deals. Sometimes when I get bored I just look up cheapest tickets to ANYWHERE from SF just to get travel inspirations.
- STA Travel (http://www.statravel.com)
– STA Travel is another great website to find cheap flights, especially if you are under 26. It’s a travel agency that gives discounts for flights to students and travelers under 26. Another great thing about this website is that if you are planning on flying to multiple destinations (for example: San Francisco -> Tokyo -> Seoul -> Bangkok -> somewhere in Europe -> back to San Francisco), you can buy all those one way flights in advance and only pay ~1500 dollars total. I definitely plan on using this website for my trip to South America. The only downside is that you have to plan all flights in advance and I believe you can’t miss or modify any flights. Anyway, it’s still an awesome website for finding good deals!
For domestic flights within Europe:
- easyJet (http://www.easyjet.com)
If you are flying within Europe, easyJet is one of the best websites to find the best deals. I bought a round trip ticket from Stuttgart, Germany to London, England once for 60 dollars using this website. It’s awesome! Make sure to check regularly for best deals and try to buy the tickets in advance if you can to find the best deal.
- Ryanair (http://www.ryanair.com)
Ryanair is pretty much the same as easyJet. They offer as low as $15 flight tickets to popular cities in Europe. The only downside is that for both easyJet and Ryanair, you have to pay money to check the luggage in. And the airplanes are usually very small with little to no space on your seat. But oh well, for 25 dollars to another country, I think it’s worth it.
- Blablacar (http://www.blablacar.com)
Blablacar is an AMAZING website if you are trying to get a ride to nearby cities. I used to use this website all the time when I was in Germany. Basically, the driver will post on the website the location they are driving to, the number of available seats in their car and the price for the ride. And you message them to ask for a ride. One time, I got a ride from Germany to Belgium for 30 bucks using this website! (It would have been over 100 dollars if I had taken the train). Anyway, it’s awesome. I’ve used it so many times and I have never had any problems with it. I know it sounds kind of sketchy to get a ride from a random person, but I wouldn’t worry too much. It’s a really cheap way to get around Europe and the chances are, you will probably meet some awesome people in the car.
- Flixbus (http://www.flixbus.de)
I’m not sure if Flixbus exists in other countries as well, but I used to use this website to buy cheap bus tickets to various cities within Germany. Flixbus is usually cheaper than trains and they usually have wifi in the bus. The only downside is that sometimes they are late. One time I bought a bus ticket from Stuttgart to Munich in Germany, and the bus got cancelled for some reason. I didn’t end up making it to Munich that day. But Flixbus is usually great and normally on time.
By train (within Germany/nearby countries):
- bahncard 25 (http://www.bahn.de)
If you are planning on taking the train to travel to countries around Germany, I recommend purchasing BahnCard 25 or BahnCard 50 (this one is more expensive but also gives a better discount). It’s basically a discount card you buy once a year and you get a discount on every train ticket you purchase from German train stations. If you ride the train more than once, this is an awesome way to save money.
I think taking the train to visit places is really fun, because you get to see the beautiful european landscape. Also trains are just fun in general.
I hope this post is helpful for those of you who are traveling internationally & within Europe. Thank you for reading and happy travels! xx