Let’s face it, there is a good chance that cheap airfares could be threatened indefinitely by rising oil and energy prices.
Will your Paris vacation be impacted if the cheap airfares we all look forward to, end up increasing to prohibitive levels? Maybe not…
Some forecasters predict rather negatively that leisure travel will be the first casualty to the oil prices' hike. Well, I for one certainly hope not. But people have many more reasons to travel than leisure, and leisure or not, most travelers want cheap airfares. So, what to do?
I’m a believer that where there is a will there is a way. Regardless of where air travel is headed price-wise, those like myself, who are determined to continue traveling will figure out affordable ways to do it. It’s important to keep in mind that the airline industry always has seats which, for one reason or another are not sold at the highest price.
You won’t be surprised to learn that even during the hectic high-season, and much more so at other times, airlines often end up with unsold inventory, cancellations, etc… Running an airline obviously involves many other essential functions that make airlines not the most effective at liquidating those unused tickets or empty seats.
Consequently, there will always be that secondary market especially online, as well as various other airfare consolidators, where the savvy traveler can find travel deals at prices otherwise out of a question.
- If it’s all the same to you, travel off season. As I’m writing this, sample trips to Paris in October or November cost less than half of July or August airfares, at the peak of high season.
By the way, Paris weather is not necessarily bad in late Fall. And more than just cheap airfares, when you include seasonally cheaper hotel rooms as well, you could literally take two Paris trips for the price one costs in the middle of Summer.
- Save a few more bucks by booking mid-week flights. Wednesday flights are typically the cheapest. By all means, use travel search engines such as Kayak or others, to play with alternative dates until you find your optimum combination and best price.
- Personally, I like Red-eye flights, especially on outbound flights to Europe. Besides being slightly cheaper, thanks to them, I never suffer from jetlag in that direction. In addition, having slept during most of the flight (I feel sorry for people who can’t sleep on planes), I arrive ready to enjoy my stay from day one.
- Consider an itinerary with one stop or even two. I do not wish the latter upon you, but if that’s what it takes to make your budget work, just bite the bullet and do it. However, make sure the added travel time is acceptable, the final arrival time manageable, and think ahead of how you’ll keep yourself sane during the agonizingly long journey. You’re going to need it : =)
One-way tickets from London to Paris fluctuate but can start as low as €90, occasionally even lower. The London-Paris TGV (high speed) train takes only 2 hours and 50 minutes from the middle of London to the middle of Paris. As you know, it’s a cool ride that takes you under the English Channel seabed.
From Brussels it is only 1 hour and 25 minutes by TGV and is even cheaper.
Another possibility worth exploring is Skyauction.com. On this site, you get to bid on sometimes dirt-cheap fares and the deals are often amazing.
Now, this is not for everyone, but let’s say you absolutely cannot find a decent Paris fare, but you spot an amazing deal to Geneva. Sure, it will add several hours by train to your Paris itinerary (which you might actually enjoy), but what you’ll save will make it all worthwhile, and might even pay for the train fare. There are many other exciting potential stop-over points like that; Amsterdam is another one.
Bottom line, if you’re not afraid to be a little adventurous, feel free to experiment with unorthodox routes and itineraries to unlock cheap airfares. This does not give you definitive recommendations, but a window on the endless options. You now know some of the best tools available. It’s up to you to explore the possibilities and always have a leg up on finding cheap airfares.
- Or go to cheap Paris airfares or cheap airfares to Paris, France for more info -
Strikes in Paris? Discounted hotel? Airfare wars? Receive a dispatch!
I recommend only operators I use