How to Fly from the U.S. to Europe for Under $200 [Budget Travel Secrets]

How to Fly from the U.S. to Europe for Under $200 dollars






I used to expect to pay over $1000 for round-trip tickets to Europe. Now I’d never pay over $500. And one-way tickets for $200 or less are more common than you’d think. When we started traveling full time, our frugal beginner’s travel budget forced us to find the cheapest method to fly to Europe. And now I’m sharing it with you.

Traveling on the cheap from the U.S. to Europe is quite simple, really. It involves just three things:

  • a flexible travel schedule
  • packing light
  • my new favorite airline

Our Secret to Finding Cheap Plane Tickets from the U.S. to Europe

Now it’s time for the big reveal. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Norwegian Air! They’ve got plenty of sub $200 options, flying out of Los Angeles, Oakland, New York, Ft Lauderdale, and Orlando. We flew into Copenhagen from Los Angeles on Norwegian on March 2nd of last year, which happened to be their first flight on that route, and we were completely satisfied with our experience.

UPDATE May 8, 2016: We flew to Europe via Norwegian again this April (and we’re there through June)! Check out our itinerary for inspiration for your trip.

Why is it so cheap? For starters, there are very few perks included in their base fare price. No seat reservations. No meals. No checked baggage. All those things can be purchased, but if you’re trying to be frugal, you’ll find a way to live without them. We packed two carry-on bags for our 3-month trip to Europe and fared just fine!

Want to pack lighter & more organized? Read “Intro to Packing Containers: Organize Your Carry-On in 4 Steps!” on my women’s travel blog, Stylish Travel Girl.

It’s important to note that there are only 5 U.S. cities that Norwegian currently departs from. If you don’t live near one of those cities, you’ll have to book a connecting flight on another airline, which will obviously cost you more, but most international flights depart from major coastal hubs, so the low Norwegian price will likely still be worth it. It’s worth a look, at least!

Norwegian’s cheapest flights are usually to/from Scandinavia, but they still offer affordable flights elsewhere in Europe. In general, the most expensive part of a flight from the U.S. to Europe is the part that gets you across the ocean. If you can’t find an affordable route to your European destination of choice by booking with Norwegian alone, experiment with getting to Europe on Norwegian and then flying within Europe on an affordable airline like Ryanair or EasyJet. You can also use CheapOair to compare prices on multiple airlines.

Want more tips for planning a budget trip to Europe? Read How to Stretch Your Euro Trip Budget: Booking Strategies to Save You Money.




A Sample of Cheap Flight Options on Norwegian

Searching today (Friday, January 2nd, 2015), here are some of the best deals I found on Norwegian:

  • San Francisco-Oakland (OAK) to Stockholm / $185
  • New York (JFK) to Oslo / $150
  • Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) to Copenhagen / $189

UPDATE MARCH 12, 2016: Word is spreading about this cheap flight option! Affordable flights are still available, but booking further in advance may be required. Here’s a sample of flights I found searching today, originating from both LA and New York to Oslo, Norway for February 2017:

LA to Oslo February 2017 on Norwegian Air

One-way fare options on Norwegian.com from Los Angeles to Oslo (February 2017) found March 12, 2016

 

New York to Oslo February 2017 on Norwegian Air

One-way fare options on Norwegian.com from New York to Oslo (February 2017) found March 12, 2016

Look for flights departing from around November through March/April for the cheapest flight options!

A few popular destination options — not under $200, but still a good deal:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Amsterdam / $248 (May or June)
  • New York (JFK) to Prague / $256 (March)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Budapest or Berlin / $262 (May or June)
  • Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) to Barcelona / $265 (May or June)

We started looking for tickets this time last year for our March trip to Norway (two months in advance) and found similar price results. Three, four (or MORE) months of advance purchase time got us cheaper tickets.

Norwegian fare calendar spring 2015 LA to Copenhagen

One-way fare options on Norwegian.com from Los Angeles to Copenhagen (March through May 2015) found January 2nd, 2015

Tips for Finding the Absolute Cheapest Flights to Europe on Norwegian

  • Keep your travel dates flexible and use their low fare calendar
  • Search multiple destinations to find the cheapest place to get to
  • Book several months in advance (prices go up a LOT as the plane fills up)
  • Avoid peak seasons (summer seems to be the most expensive travel time)
  • Search options from late fall (November) through spring. They’ll likely be cheaper.
  • Try different departing airports

I hope this article has helped you realize just how affordable travel can be! And guess what!?! We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves for an affordable stay once you’ve reached your destination!

Once you’ve booked your flight, find the cheapest transportation options within Europe in Europe Trip Planning: How to Book Affordable Transportation in Europe.

More Budget Travel Secrets

How to find safe, comfortable and affordable accommodations with Airbnb How to Maximize Your MPG through Hypermiling

Find budget accommodations at your next destination in How to Find a Safe, Comfortable and AFFORDABLE Place to Stay on Airbnb.

View our tips for saving money on a road trip in Intro to Hypermiling: How to Save Money & Increase Your Car’s MPG.

Find out how we stuck to our $600 per month housing budget in Norway, Germany and Italy in step 4 of 7 Steps to Quit Your Job and Travel Full Time.

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Thanks for reading, and good luck with your budget travels!

How to fly from the U.S. to Europe for Under $200

About the Author

Diana Southern
In March 2014, Diana called it quits on her traditional American working life and set out to explore the world with her partner in crime (and love of her life) Ian Norman. They now live a sustainable life of full time travel, working for themselves and seeking adventure at the same time. Here on North to South, Diana documents their journey in achieving and maintaining this "road less traveled" way of life.

74 Responses

  1. City Sea Country January 3, 2015 / 2:27 am

    Awesome tip. Will keep it in mind especially when I want to fly from Europe to the United States again.

    • Diana Southern January 3, 2015 / 2:28 am

      Thanks! We’re happy to help 🙂

      • Celeste January 15, 2016 / 12:16 pm

        hello,
        Can you please help? The cheapest I was was $320!

        • Diana Southern January 15, 2016 / 1:31 pm

          What destination are you searching for? Booking 2-3 months out is usually necessary to find the best prices. If they’ve gone up it’s likely because the cheap tickets are already sold for that destination. 🙁

  2. Noelfy January 3, 2015 / 2:32 pm

    I will share to some of my American friends, I am sure they will like it 😉

    • Diana Southern January 3, 2015 / 3:04 pm

      Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  3. Sean January 4, 2015 / 8:08 pm

    Definitely going to add Norwegian Air to our bag of “cheap flight” tricks, especially since it doesn’t usually come up in the flight aggregator sites. I’m already looking at flights to Europe in April! Thanks for the tip.

    • Diana Southern January 4, 2015 / 8:11 pm

      So happy to hear you found the article helpful, Sean. Have fun on your spring trip to Europe!

      (P.S. If you’ve never been to Berlin, it was lovely last April! http://northtosouth.us/berlin/)

  4. Vicki January 8, 2015 / 1:32 pm

    This so great!! My husband and I have been wanting to travel to Europe for so long, but the flight is so expensive! We are definitely planning our trip with this airline! Thank you!

    P.S. Just subscribed to your blog so keep the good stuff coming! 😉

    • Diana Southern January 8, 2015 / 1:49 pm

      Thanks Vicki! It sure is amazing how affordable travel can be with just a little bit of flexibility. We’ve definitely got more budget travel tips to share. Thanks for subscribing! Let us know how your Europe trip plans are going. 🙂

  5. Jennifer January 9, 2015 / 11:41 am

    Wow! I could go to Oslo for Spring Break for $180 from LAX! This is unbelievable! Thank you for the secret!

    But what do you do for meals without buying the in-flight meals? Pack sandwiches and snacks? Ten hours is a good stretch!

    Also, does Norwegian have the in-flight entertainment TV’s behind each seat? If not, it’ll be necessary for me to bring my own entertainment ideas, haha!

    Thanks again!

    • Diana Southern January 9, 2015 / 1:39 pm

      I know, right?!? It’s crazy to think I can fly to freakin’ Europe for cheaper than I can visit family in St. Louis or Florida. But we’re still extremely happy to have found an affordable way to venture overseas!

      In regards to in-flight food, we packed a wide variety of filling snacks for our flight. Clif bars, almonds, and the like… Since we departed in the evening on both of our Norwegian flights, we were okay getting dinner before and breakfast after our flight. (And when you’ve saved $44.90 per person by not pre-ordering in-flight meals, grabbing one or two meals in the airport terminal isn’t as big a deal.)

      When we flew from LA to Copenhagen back in March of last year, we flew on a snazzy new Dreamliner. With bigger windows and cabin pressure levels adjusted to reduce headaches and jet lag in passengers, it was really hard to believe our tickets were such a good deal. And yes, they have in-flight entertainment!

      Of course, I always pack my Kindle, too, in case I get bored with the in-flight movie and music selection.

      Thanks for reading! If you decide to spring break in Oslo, we hope you have a great time! If you’ve got time for it, the train ride from Oslo to Fjord Norway is world famous.

  6. ozge January 14, 2015 / 9:58 am

    Thanks for the great article. i really appreciate it. I have been making research on the internet for a very long time and now come up with something useful. it will be a great guide for my thesis here: http://yalnizlikoperasi.blogspot.com.tr/

    • Diana Southern January 14, 2015 / 6:04 pm

      Happy to hear you found the article helpful Ozge! Thanks for reading 🙂

  7. Susanna January 29, 2015 / 10:32 am

    This truly is inspiring. I just booked my flight to London for March through Icelandic air. I was able to get a ticket for well under a 1000 dollars plus stay a couple days in Reykjavik for no extra cost. Next time I’ll have to try Norwegian though – they are even cheaper! Heres to budget airlines!

    • Diana Southern January 29, 2015 / 6:15 pm

      Yes! Budget airlines are amazing. I’ve recently heard that it’s super affordable to get to Iceland from the northeastern U.S., so I’m sure Ian and I will be trying that sometime soon. Hopefully we can do it the way you did and see it on the way to another destination!

      We’ll have to check Icelandic Air’s rates when we start planning that trip. Thanks for the tip, and thanks for reading! 🙂

    • Diana Southern January 31, 2015 / 8:22 pm

      It’s pretty great, right?!?!

      With the exception of summer months, as long as you’re booking a few months in advance, you can still find that price!

      I just checked, and prices from OAK to Stockholm are back down to $211 in September and as low as $163 (!!!) in October.

  8. Trina February 11, 2015 / 7:08 pm

    I was wondering based off your experiences with NorwegianAir, how strick were they on the carry on size? I plan to travel throughout europe for 2 months and of course will just have my backpack(no way will I check this) I plan on getting the Osprey Atmos 50 Pack.

    Thanks for the help 🙂 great post, very helpful!

    • Diana Southern February 11, 2015 / 11:37 pm

      Great question Trina! In our experiences flying Norwegian, they were not strict at all and paid basically no attention to the size of our carry-ons. It was similar to my experience with other airlines within the U.S. where they say the limit is lower than what you can actually get away with. That said, you’ll rest easier if your bag isn’t too far over the limit.

      For reference, when we’ve flown Norwegian, we carried on the High Sierra wheeled carry-on boot bag:
      http://northtosouth.us/high-sierra-wheeled-carry-on/

      That was the larger of the two carry-on bags we had. That bag’s unpacked dimensions are 22x14x9 inches. And while I didn’t have it stuffed, I had the dimensions pushing at least a little beyond Norwegian’s 21.6×15.7×9-inch limit. I’m also pretty sure our bag weighed more than 22 lbs. (Like most other airlines, they didn’t weigh our carry-on bags.)

      The Osprey Atmos 50 looks like a great option for a carry-on backpack, mainly since that top pocket is removable. I remember seeing backpackers with pretty large carry-ons, and no one seemed to have any problems. But before you buy, I would measure the dimensions of that Osprey bag to make sure the height is 22″ or less without that top part attached.

      If you’re worried about pushing the limits (the Internet says that bag is 29x17x14), here’s what I’d recommend doing: Pack the main compartment as light as possible to keep your height dimension down. Put any jackets or sweatshirts you’re packing at the top of that compartment. Fill your top removable pouch nice and full with the stuff you want to access while on the plane. Norwegian permits one carry-on bag for the overhead bin and one personal item for under the seat in front of you. Then, when you’re at the gate, remove the top pocket of your bag to use as your personal item. If you have any trouble with your main carry-on’s dimensions, just take out the sweatshirts and jackets and put them on!

      It’s really nice that the Osprey Atmos has the removable top feature, as I’ve noticed most backpacks don’t!

      Keep in mind that airlines within Europe may be more strict, so if you’re moving around a lot, packing lighter will save you more money in general.

      Thanks for reading, Trina. I hope this helps. 🙂

  9. Yulia February 17, 2015 / 8:00 pm

    Did not know these prices exist. Hopefully will be able to try it yourself soon! Thank you! 🙂

    • Diana Southern February 17, 2015 / 10:47 pm

      Happy to help! Thanks for reading, Yulia.

  10. Samantha February 18, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    Awesome find, thank you! Any advice on return flights/airlines?

    • Diana Southern February 18, 2015 / 5:24 pm

      Same airline, actually! We returned to the U.S. after our 3-month trip in Europe on Norwegian Air as well. The flight was slightly more expensive because we waited longer to book and it was getting closer to summer when flights are in higher demand, but we arranged to fly from Milan (where we spent our final month) back to Copenhagen, where we caught our Norwegian flight back to L.A.

  11. Sandrine February 22, 2015 / 4:31 pm

    Wow that is awesome, do you know which periods of the year are the best for cheap flights with this airline (like from NYC to Stockholm or Copenhagen)

    Thank you!
    Sandrine

    • Diana Southern February 23, 2015 / 12:21 pm

      Flights seem to be least expensive, generally speaking, from fall through spring on Norwegian for trips from the U.S. to Europe. The prices go up in summer due to higher demand for travel around summertime. I just had a look, and they’re currently advertising deals as low as $228 from NYC to Stockholm: http://bit.ly/1w3GDE6

      I even noticed a couple of tickets for that flightpath for $209 (two in March and one in September).

  12. Leah March 19, 2015 / 9:45 am

    What is their return policy like?

    • Leah March 19, 2015 / 9:45 am

      Sorry I mean cancellation policy!

      • Diana Southern March 19, 2015 / 1:36 pm

        Norwegian’s cancellation policy is pretty standard. For flights to/from the US, you can cancel and receive a full refund within 24 hours of booking for LowFare, LowFare+ and Premium tickets, as long as your flight is at least one week away. After that, only Flex and PremiumFlex ticket holders can get a refund for canceling. (Note that the refund window is limited to 4 hours for flights not to/from the US or Thailand.)

        Another option would be to change your ticket (name/date/time/destination), which you can do up to 30 minutes before your flight by paying the difference in fare price plus a fee. For LowFare, LowFare+ and Premium, fees are:

        Name change: 36 GBP/ 45 EUR/ 60 USD per person, per one way flight
        Flight change: 75 GBP/ 90 EUR/ 125 USD per person, per one way flight
        (as of today, March 19, 2015)

        More details are available on Norwegian airline’s Tickets page. Be sure to scroll to the section labeled “Flights to/from USA and Thailand.” Thanks for reading, and I hope this info helps. Cheers!

  13. LeAnna May 27, 2015 / 11:52 am

    Great tips! For those wanting to just get over to Europe and go from there, this is a great way! We travel hack our way all over the world, so knowing the work-arounds are always a great start!

  14. Jo June 23, 2015 / 8:36 am

    Yes! Me and my boyfriend have been doing this for a couple of years with Norwegian (but from the UK to the states)

    We flew from Oslo to NYC last year for £100, and we’ve just booked flights from Puerto Rico to London for £111!

    We’ve also used it for other flights including going to Florida from the UK for around £200. Amazing value and the flights are really good!

    • Diana Southern June 23, 2015 / 9:18 pm

      That’s awesome! And it amazes me that must people I talk to have still never heard of Norwegian. I feel like it’s one of the ‘best kept secrets’ of travel!

  15. Kristin Zervas June 23, 2015 / 5:47 pm

    This is fabulous news!!!

    I live just minutes from the Phoenix, Arizona airport so was bummed to see that Norwegian does not fly out of here but they do have a few options that fly out of Las Vegas and I’m only a 4 and a half hour drive from Las Vegas.

    It seems there are more options flying out of LAX though is that what you have noticed? I’m trying to figure out the best way to plan a route and keep things at that $500 mark. Southwest has $150-200 round trip getaways that I could probably use for getting myself to LAX but then I need the roundtrip tickets from LAX to Europe to be $300-400 to keeps thing cheap is that possible?

    • Diana Southern June 23, 2015 / 9:11 pm

      The flights from Vegas must be new! This is the first I’m hearing of that option, so hopefully this means Norwegian is expanding and will be offering even more routes from more U.S. cities soon!

      To get from Vegas to LA, consider checking out MegaBus. If you book far enough in advance, you can get an EXTREMELY cheap ticket! I just did a search with random dates, and it came back with $29 from LV to LA and $5 to return. Play around with it and you can maybe find even cheaper!

      Hope that helps. 🙂 Have an awesome time in Europe, Kristin!

  16. Laney July 7, 2015 / 9:19 am

    ive been looking at flights Los Angeles to Amsterdam. My fiancé lived there for 2 years… He’s been back for 3 years and wants to go visit with me. But when I select round trip, inbound flights (from AMS to LAX) are not available.. And it’s not just for the month I was looking at.. They don’t have ANY flights returning to Los Angeles from Amsterdam. And so I tried with a round trip to Paris and Bangkok (for fun) and it was the same story!! Do flights not return to LAX? Thanks for your help in advance(:

    • Diana Southern July 7, 2015 / 9:37 am

      Since Norwegian is still a relatively new airline, they may not offer all routes year-round. But if they’re offering it one-way, I’d bet they’d be planning to add the return route soon.

      If you can’t find what you’re looking for through Norwegian alone, I’d recommend grabbing a flight from Amsterdam to Copenhagen for your return (try other airlines, too) and then fly from Copenhagen back to LA.

      Hope that helps! Happy travels. 🙂

  17. Amanda July 11, 2015 / 2:36 pm

    No pets, though, right? :-/

    • Diana Southern July 11, 2015 / 4:32 pm

      Not included in the ticket price, but you have the option of taking them for an additional fee. Looks like it’s $75 additional for one-way in the cargo hold for a dog/cat, or $49/$59 (dog/cat) for one-way in the cabin.

      Actually… on second look, it seems like you can only take them along on flights between certain cities in Europe (and from the U.S. to their new French Caribbean destinations). You have to use their City Pair Chart to determine whether or not it’s an option. (E, F, and G routes don’t allow animals at all, and only A routes allow them in the cabin.)

  18. trevoy July 14, 2015 / 12:32 pm

    Wow awesome post thank you for sharing! You guys are great inspiration to get out there and make it happen best of luck to you:)

  19. April July 17, 2015 / 9:46 pm

    I can’t believe this…I actually found a one way flight from Baltimore to Martinique for only $89!!! It’s in early December. This is mind blowing to me, definitely changes everything about my future approach to travel. Plus once you get to Europe, you can just hop on a train to pretty much anywhere…which is just another cool thing to experience, I think. Thank you!!

    • Diana Southern July 17, 2015 / 10:11 pm

      Ooo that’s awesome!!! Have fun, April!!

  20. Renaud Callet July 23, 2015 / 8:54 am

    do those prices work either way ? From Europe to US ?
    Thank you .

    • Diana Southern July 23, 2015 / 9:06 am

      I’m not sure if the airline charges more if you’re purchasing from a European country, but our return flights from Europe were still very affordable. You could use the Hola VPN to test it out!

      They were a little more expensive since we were flying during higher season on our return (late May instead of early Feb), but we still only paid around $300 for each Copenhagen–>LA ticket.

  21. Vanessa July 25, 2015 / 5:31 am

    I looked into Norwegian Air but ultimately bought my flight from the US to France from wowair.com They are basically the same concept, except they are based out of Iceland. Icelandair.com is another option with similar prices. They almost always include a layover in Reykjavik, Iceland but for hundreds of dollars saved I don’t mind. I do know the terms and conditions of these low fare airliners are strict. For example, if I were to cancel my $356 flight from Boston to Paris (this price includes paying extra for more lbs in my bags-oneway) I would not get my money back unless a serious accident which I would have to prove. Now I’m trying to find a flight from Cincinnati to Boston that isn’t as much as my transatlantic flight! So far no luck. With these airliners only flying out of certain cities, it makes it more challenging to find ways to keep the cost down. But if you’re travelling abroad, better get used to challenges 😉

    • Diana Southern July 25, 2015 / 8:40 am

      Thanks for sharing, Vanessa! It’s nice to have another airline option like Wowair to check, especially since it sounds like one of their main hub cities (Boston) is different from those that Norwegian offers!

      I’ve heard of them before from when we were considering going to Iceland, but like you mentioned, getting to Boston from another U.S. city (LA, in our case) can make the overall ticket much more expensive. Norwegian worked for us since they fly straight out of LA!

      Perhaps you could find a cheap way from Cincinnati to Boston via a bus service line MegaBus. I’ve never used them before personally, but I know if you purchase far in advance it can be extremely cheap! Happy travels! 🙂

  22. Ruby August 2, 2015 / 4:25 am

    My dad found Norwegian air last year and we love it!! Totally changed travel for us. And we were actually on that first flight from LA to Copenhagen!! I couldn’t believe it when I read that. We live in Salt Lake City so we were so happy when they started flying out of Vegas. Norwegian is the best! Thanks for the post. 🙂

    • Diana Southern August 2, 2015 / 10:39 am

      That’s so funny we were on the same flight! Norwegian definitely changed travel for us, too. Thanks for reading!

  23. Johanna England September 6, 2015 / 2:00 pm

    This is awesome! So, this is like the European version of Spirit or VivaAerobus. I love adding more of these low service airlines to my arsenal. Great post!

  24. Nikki September 27, 2015 / 1:15 pm

    Thank you for this. I will definitely look into this airline to ensure that the cheap prices don’t come at the cost of safety. I am wondering if they are able to hire competent pilots at these rock bottom prices. I really want to go to Europe, specifically Italy and France.

  25. Missy October 12, 2015 / 4:50 pm

    We are flying Norwegian in November from JFK to Alicante, Spain. Round trip $399. We are in it for the cheap flight, so we won’t be checking bags or paying for any ‘extras’. How strict are they on carry-on size? Thanks! Phil & Missy

    • Diana Southern October 12, 2015 / 7:42 pm

      In our experience, they weren’t strict at all. They didn’t weigh our bags when we checked in last year, and there seemed to be leniency on dimensions, too. I saw several backpackers boarding with backpack frames taller than what was supposed to be allowed, and no one blinked an eye. I packed my wheeled backpack carry-on for our trip on Norwegian, and while the bag’s advertised dimensions were within their guidelines, I definitely had that thing stuffed! (Traveling in general I’ve noticed that most airlines don’t check the dimensions if you’re carrying the bag on your back.)

      I should point out that we’ve only flown twice with them, though, since we’ve been mostly exploring North America since we returned from our Europe trip.

      If it were me, I would play it safe and stick within the guidelines, though, mostly because once you get to Europe, carry-on policies can be much stricter — especially on the budget airlines — so if you plan to do any moving around once you’re there, you may save yourself a lot of hassle by traveling lighter!

      Hope that’s helpful, Missy. Have an awesome time in Spain!

      • Missy October 14, 2015 / 2:48 pm

        Thanks so much for your quick reply and the advice!

        • Diana Southern October 15, 2015 / 12:06 pm

          No problem! Happy and safe travels 🙂

  26. Heather November 23, 2015 / 11:32 am

    I recently read that Norwegian Air is looking to expand to some smaller US airports in 2017 – one on Long Island ( I believe) and Hartford/Springfield (CT/MA). It’ll be GREAT to have international flights just a 40 minute drive away from us!

    • Diana Southern November 23, 2015 / 11:53 am

      Ooo that is GREAT news! Thanks for sharing!

  27. Calandra December 20, 2015 / 10:36 pm

    Wow!! K will definately be checking this out. Thanks. How do you support your travel. I am just starting out as a traveler and am looking for all the rips and hints I can get.

    • Diana Southern December 20, 2015 / 11:17 pm

      We support our travels with a combination of several entrepreneurial endeavors, including blogging, marketing and web design services, online classes and more!

  28. Chris January 5, 2016 / 5:32 am

    Are there any airlines like this that fly to South America or Asia? I’m planning a trip there too before I head to Europe and I’m looking for some cheap airlines to do it and haven’t had any luck. Any tips?

    • Diana Southern January 5, 2016 / 12:06 pm

      I wish one existed, but I’m not aware of any affordable airlines with flights to Asia. And I’ve heard you can get to Costa Rica (not quite South America) on Spirit Airlines for an affordable price, but my experience with flying to South America is currently non-existent. Something on the bucket list for sure, though!

      If anyone else reading this has any tips, please share!

  29. Molly January 8, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    Hey there! Loved your article! I’m from Montana so I would have to fly to LA to hop on one of these flights. I was wondering about possible flights to Ireland from these flights for spring break during March. Have any recommendations? Thanks!

    • Diana Southern January 8, 2016 / 6:45 pm

      You can get to London for a pretty good price on Norwegian, and then perhaps hop on a RyanAir or other cheap airline (or maybe even the train!) I’ve never been to Ireland, but I need to go!!!

  30. Emily January 16, 2016 / 11:58 am

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing this information! I read this article many months ago (I keep coming back to it) and it inspired me to plan a trip for this summer! I’ve shared it with family/friends and they’ve been so impressed! I’ve been to 12 countries, but I always fly American Airlines. I never knew such cheap flights existed! Thanks for making my dream of a budget friendly trip this summer a reality! (hopefully) 🙂

    • Diana Southern January 25, 2016 / 6:16 pm

      Hi Emily – So happy to help! I was pretty amazed myself at how affordable flying can be.

      Best of luck planning your summer adventure. (And be sure to book soon… Prices don’t ever seem to get cheaper on Norwegian.) 😉

  31. Lindsy February 3, 2016 / 1:01 am

    Hey there,

    With the no seat reservations, if you’re a couple are you able to sit together?

    • Diana Southern February 3, 2016 / 1:11 pm

      Ian and I have always been able to sit together, but not having a guaranteed seat is a reason why the tickets are so affordable. If I remember correctly, it may be a possibility to pay extra to reserve a seat, but I think it’s worth the gamble to save money. It’s not like Southwest where you are never assigned a seat and it’s sort of a free-for-all. We are always assigned seats when we check in at the airport counter.

      So as long as you aren’t among the last ones arriving to check in at the airport, I doubt it’d ever be an issue to sit together (especially for just two people). Hope that helps!

  32. Linda February 9, 2016 / 1:16 pm

    Thanks so much for this article! This is the first time I’ve heard of Norwegian Airlines! I was wondering what your experience has been with flight times and delays? My husband and I are thinking of traveling to Venice by way of Copenhagen, and the connecting flight we’re looking at departs 3.5 hours after the scheduled landing time. Have you guys ever experienced excessive delays?

    Thanks!

    • Diana Southern February 9, 2016 / 3:36 pm

      Hey Linda — Unfortunately we have been delayed on Norwegian before. Our flight from Copenhagen to LAX was delayed by several hours. We were provided with meal vouchers for the airport and then everyone was served full meals on the plane (even the passengers who hadn’t shelled out the extra dough for in-flight meals).

      The risk of being delayed, as with any airline, is definitely something to consider, especially when booking a connecting flight on another airline.

  33. Maria February 11, 2016 / 2:40 pm

    I would keep an eye on KLM too, they have cheap tickets Norway – US in seasons. Also a tip when it comes to Norwegian and SAS – check out their youth fares (18-26 years old) which gives good tickets within Norway and Europe.

    • Diana Southern February 11, 2016 / 4:50 pm

      Thanks for the tip, Maria! I’d never heard of the youth fares. Though I’m unfortunately too old to qualify for it now, that’s a great tip for our younger readers!

  34. Wendy February 19, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    Thank you very much!! Great tip! And yes we only fly with ryanair in Europe. That way our family of 5 can go on sunny holidays. Now maybe it is possible to go and see the USA with the kids!!!

    • Diana Southern February 19, 2016 / 6:06 pm

      That’s fantastic, Wendy! Have an awesome time on your next trip. 🙂

  35. Samantha Foster March 2, 2016 / 7:22 am

    These are some great tips! My husband and I are planning a trip for our 10 year anniversary and want to visit multiple countries; Spain, Italy, Greece…… Any suggestions on where to find the cheapest flights for this?

    • Diana Southern March 2, 2016 / 8:58 pm

      I would recommend first finding an affordable flight to get you to Europe (try searching flights to Milan, since Italy’s on your list, and it’s usually more reasonably priced to get to), and then find flights within Europe via a budget airline like RyanAir. AirBerlin sometimes has some pretty competitive round trips rates (I get emails for round-trip flights from the U.S. for around $650), but whether or not their deals will work for you just depends on where you want to go.

      No matter how you get to Europe, though, pack as light as you can! Budget airlines charge extra for checked baggage, so those extra fees will add up fast if you’re visiting multiple countries.

      Also, look into taking the train within Europe. Eurail offers multi-country rail passes, so it’s definitely possible to save money that way. The Select Pass allows you to travel to up to 4 bordering countries, with tickets starting at $149 USD. Hope this is helpful! Have fun planning your trip!

  36. Janeen @ Green Global Travel June 8, 2016 / 9:56 am

    Thanks for sharing these travel tips! It’s great that there are some options to get to Europe on a pretty strict budget. I will definitely keep this in mind.

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