It’s not easy to find a low-cost flight to Italy, especially in these difficult economic times. These are our top tips for saving money on your flight to Italy.
(Notabene: While airfares are very expensive right now, keep in mind the strength of the dollar against the euro. One euro was $1.21 at the time this blog post was written. Since 2006, euro’s have not been so cheap for Americans! Even if you end up paying $50 more for a flight, you will still make the money back when you spend euros on hotels, sightseeing and transport within Italy.
You can choose the dates for your Italy trip
Summer will be the most expensive time to travel. Consider taking a holiday break if you are forced to travel during school holidays. Consider the first week in January, February, or Thanksgiving break. Even though Easter is a more expensive week than June and July, it could still be less expensive than June or July. Bonus: You can also save on hotels if you travel in the off-season.
Fly to Italy Monday-Thursday
Weekend travel is more expensive, but there are often no good reasons to fly on weekends. You’re taking a week off from work. Does it really matter if you fly on Wednesday and then return on Thursday?
As far ahead as possible
For domestic flights, the “sweet spot” might be 6 weeks before departure, but for European flights , it’s more like 21 to 22 weeks. (Yow! ).
Social media: Get involved
Sometimes airlines offer coupon codes and promotions that they only post online. You should also follow @traveldeals and @dealsonairfare on Twitter to see the latest deals.
Other than Expedia, look at other consolidator websites
Each consolidator website searches for different airlines. Make sure you cover all bases and check as many as possible. We love Priceline and Hotwire. Kayak is also a favorite. We also recommend the Italian websites. We have had great success with Vayama, Mobissimo. You can switch pages to English by clicking on the link. ).
Check out some airline websites.
Some airlines won’t submit their data to consolidator sites so it pays to visit airline websites that may offer great fares. Remember that booking through Vayama will cost you extra, so make sure you search for the exact same flight on Vayama.
Consider getting two one-way tickets, instead of a round trip.
This is often a more costly option but you would be surprised. Sometimes it turns out to be a lot less expensive.
Register for airfare tracking
Bing lets you simply enter your departure and arrival cities, as well as dates. The site will scan the best prices, and also provide a price predictor for the most popular routes. This will tell you whether the fares are likely to rise or fall.
Fly to Europe and then fly to Italy.
Flying directly to Italy is too costly. Consider flying to another European hub like London or Dublin. These flights are often cheaper and can even be quite cheap from these cities to Italy. British Airways and Alitalia have great fares between London, Rome, and other cities.
Remember to add all extra costs. For example, you might be able to get a checked bag free on a transatlantic flight but not on an intra-European flight. Budget carriers can be very strict. Ryanair charges EUR40 for the first bag during high season. Always read the fine print and do your math.
What is the point of saving $50? Do not try to save $50.
It’s possible to spend hours looking for the ideal flight to Italy. After a point, booking the best flight is worth it. The longer you wait the higher the fares. Remember that if you fly from overseas, you will be exhausted, jet-lagged and ready to begin your vacation. You might regret choosing the flight that departs at 6 a.m., has three stops or takes you to Italy.
Once you have landed, what will you do? It won’t be long before you forget that $75 cheaper flight was available. You’ll enjoy your trip to Italy instead!
You can also check out our other posts from the “budget travel series”:
How to travel around Italy on a tight budget by train, car and plane