Croissants not included.
It hasn’t been this cheap to travel to Europe in years — the result of both a plunging euro as well as new, competitive low-cost carriers. Travelers interested in flying across the pond can now routinely do so for well under $100 one-way.
WOW Air has staked its reputation on $99 flights to Iceland. And Norwegian has promised to make $69 trans-Atlantic fares a regular thing. Just this week, the Norway-based airline offered flights to London, Scotland, and Ireland for as little as $91.90 (Round-trip cost? $210, all taxes and fees included.)
But for travelers interested in seeing more than one postcard city in Europe, it’s easy and affordable to get from one destination to another. And no, you don’t have to sit on a bus for 20 hours, either.
Europe’s network of budget regional airlines and railways is one of the best in the world — and it makes exploring the country even more affordable than you might think. This is how you do a Euro-trip like a classy grown-up (even if you’re still on a college student shoestring budget).
If you booked that $210 round-trip flight to Ireland with Norwegian, for example, you can score €19.99 flights (about $22) with Ryanair that will take you straight to London. With Ryanair, you can regularly score ultra cheap tickets (€5 flights or less) to destinations all across the continent.
Train travel is not only one of the most comfortable ways to travel, but it’s also often the most convenient. Europe’s major cities are all connected by an intricate network of rails. And while often more pricey than a budget airline, you won’t be nickel-and-dimed. A Eurostar ticket, for example, includes free Wi-Fi, up to two full-size bags, and charging outlets at your seat. Look out for regular deals ($56 one-way fares from London to Belgium, or $59 for a trip to Paris).
For €36.23 (just a hair over $40) you can fly from Paris to Barcelona with easyJet — or to any number of cities, such as Rome or Prague, depending on the season. To score this low fare, you have to book two tickets at once, however. So be sure to invite a travel buddy along for this leg of the trip.
Assuming you’d like to fly back to Dublin from Barcelona, check for deals from Spain’s low-cost airline, Vueling. We found a €35 ($49) during the shoulder season.
From Dublin to London, and on to Paris and Barcelona before your return trip back, your affordable European adventure cost just $380. Yes, that’s less than $400, including your trip back to the United States.
Looking for more ways to save on your tour of Europe? Travelers ages 27 and younger can save 20 percent off a standard Eurail pass, which gives you a number of trips within a country (or a group of bordering countries) to be taken within a fixed amount of time for a single price.