[Rick Seaney is the CEO and cofounder of FareCompare, and columnist for Investopedia. The views expressed by columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Investopedia.]
If someone asks what you want for Hanukkah or Christmas, tell them compression socks and mittens; they’ll come in handy for the long flight you’ll take to a January vacation in Europe. Why would you do this? Because, once again, Europe is just so darn cheap.
I’ve written about this in other columns throughout the year; now it’s clear the phenomenon will continue into 2019. Let’s take a look at some of the prices, past and present, then get down to some specifics.
Europe fares: 2018 vs. 2019
We found very cheap fares to Europe from U.S. departure cities across the country for travel in January, February and March 2019. I then compared these winter prices with recent fall airfares. All ticket prices were uncovered using my site’s deal-finding tool (there are many such products out there). The 2018 fares are for fall, the 2019 fares are for winter.
Note: All prices are round-trip, and, all prices can change without notice.
New York to Paris
Boston to Berlin
Chicago to London
Newark to Amsterdam
Los Angeles to Oslo
San Francisco to London
European Cities with Price Drops
Did every route drop in price for the upcoming winter season? No. But we usually found deals to other cities that were close in price or, in some cases, even better. Check out these examples of cities that were bargains in fall 2018 alongside cheap destinations for winter 2019.
2018: Los Angeles to Rome, $371
2019: Los Angeles to Barcelona, $324
2018: Dallas to Dublin, $305
2019: Dallas to Barcelona, $310
2018: Ft. Lauderdale to Madrid, $326
2019: Ft. Lauderdale to Rome, $350
Cheapest European Cities
In general, Paris, London and Barcelona are especially cheap this winter, while we are seeing more and more deals to Berlin and Lisbon. If you don’t want to fly in winter, Dublin and the Scandinavian cities of Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm are usually good deals year-round.
How to Find Deals to Europe
These two approaches produce the best results.
Compare fares: Airlines like Wow, Icelandair and Norwegian do seem to have a lot of super-cheap prices, but we’ve also seen incredible bargains from Air Canada, British Airways and United. No airline will always have the best fare on every route, so go to a comparison search site to see which airline has the best deal for your particular trip.
Tip: If you just want to go to Europe with no particular city in mind, use a deal-finding search tool and set it for the month or season you want to travel; it’s a quick and easy way to see what’s cheap from your city.
Sign up for alerts: Many fare comparison sites allow you to sign up for alerts for specific flight routes.
Important: When you get an alert about a good price, don’t delay. These deals are finite and they do not last long.
Consider a New Year’s resolution to travel to some of the places you’ve always wanted to see. It may never again be so affordable.