We all want to travel Europe on a cheap budget these days.
Budget and discount price airlines have sprung up in almost every European country in the last few years – all of them fighting furiously with each other to offer the best value cheap deals deals. But do we really benefit from these discount European travel prices or do the drawbacks of trying to travel Europe cheaply outweigh the advantages? Do the budget low price value blind us to the extra hassle that the cheap price might be hiding? Lets look at some current cheap European travel deals and see what we find.
Almost every European country now has at least one no frills budget airline. Easy Jet and Ryan Air are becoming well known and popular in Great Britain and in Ireland. Germany has four or five low cost airlines and cheap air specialists. Meanwhile, in Sweden, SAS have just launched their own budget offshoot called Snowflake.
At first glance the fares that these airlines charge can seem ridiculously low; Ryan Air have given their flights away almost for free in the past – although you still have to pay the airport tax of around twenty UK pounds. But where's the catch? Is there a catch? Can you really travel Europe by air without spending a fortune?
Here's the deal if you want to travel Europe on a cheap budget:
Firstly, the low fares airlines in Europe nearly always use out of town provincial airports – often about forty or fifty miles from the respective city centers. This can add up to two hours of travel time to your journey at each end. You also have to pay for the bus or train connection to get from your airport to the city center. Make sure you add this price in to the cost of your ticket when comparing prices between cheap airline deals and the prices charged by the mainstream airlines. In most cases the main airlines fly you into the city center airport and thus cut your travel time and the cost of any extra transport.
If you're unlucky enough to miss a flight then you could literally be stuck in a very rural airport overnight with all the food outlets closed down and no way to get back to the town or the city.
Secondly, you only get what you pay for. The European budget airlines may offer no in-flight service for food and drinks. Or, if they do, they will charge you for it at a premium rate. Coffee, sandwiches and beer may be very pricey indeed. To be fair, many of the flights are only of an hour or two's duration so snacks and drinks may not be such a big deal.
Thirdly – figure out the total travel time and compare that to the costs. For example: it takes five hours to go from the very center of Glasgow in Scotland to the very center of London by train and it costs around …