The winter holidays are almost behind us and spring and summer holidays aren’t too far away. One of the perks of living in France is the holidays, and the fact that French people actually take it seriously. Its written in the culture, and I have by no means had any trouble adjusting to that. Searching for the best deals for flights, or vacation destinations is one of my favorite pass times that I am pretty good at. I have booked round trip flights to beautiful islands like Malta for 50€, or flew to the island of Crete, Greece for summer holidays for merely 2.5€ round trip. To find out how to get the best bang for your buck check out La Vie Locale’s Tips to booking cheap travel in Europe and abroad.
1. Error/Glitch Fares
As we are human, airlines also make mistakes. You can find really good travel deals via these errors for plane tickets if you know where to look. For trips departing from Europe there are 2 main sites that tracks and shares these deals on a daily basis. They also have deals from the US and South America. I have friends that have booked round trip flights NY to Dubai for 180$
Google Flights also has a helpful feature. If you try clicking on the random destination filter, it shows you the cheapest prices of various destinations at the period you wish to travel.
2. Low cost airlines:
It is so easy to get from country to country in Europe via low cost airlines. They are sometimes a hassle with airports being outside of the city, or luggage restrictions, but if you managed to get a cheap flight, it is worth it.
Here are a few that I recommend:
HOP! –AirFrance’s low cost
3. Traveling by Train
Traveling by train in France can be more expensive than flying sometimes. I learned a trick though to get the cheapest fare possible. With SNCF( French train company), train tickets go on sale 3 months in advance. If you book tickets right when new seats become available you can get the cheapest fare they usually start between 10-20€ each way depending where you are going when they just go on sale and can reach up to 100€ each way if you wait until the last minute. If for some reason you end up booking a ticket in advance and can’t travel the dates you booked you can re-sell your tickets with Troc Train.
Troc des Trains allows you to buy discounted tickets directly from people who can no longer travel the dates they purchased their ticket and they wish to sell, because they were not refundable. NOTE: just check with the train provider if you can travel under someone else’s name because some companies don’t allow it any more (Eurostar).
Captain Train is a newer site that sales discounted fares for trains as well.
Covoiturage ( BlaBla Car), is a great car sharing option if you have a last minute trip and other modes of transport are too expensive. You can book a seat in a car with someone who is traveling to the same destination or nearby area, and you pay a fraction of the cost.
5. Vacation packages
*EXTRA TIP*– For those wondering how I was able to fly round trip to Greece for 2.50€. I would recommend checking with your job to see what potential benefits they have towards travel. They may not openly publicize it, but if you work in a place with a CE ( Committee d’enterprise),for companies greater than 50 employees in France. Companies with CE’s have an association that negotiates benefits for employees such as end of the year bonuses, discounted plane tickets, or they may reimburse a fraction of your holidays up to a certain amount. By the grace of my boyfriend’s job, he has an excellent one, and we ended up having to just pay the difference of the amount his job reimbursed which ended up being 5€, 2.5€ each!
There you have it! I hope these tips help you to land great deals for your next holiday!