There’s no doubt that life has got more expensive in recent months, with just about every basic outgoing hiked up in the UK.
Whether or not budget holidays are being hit by the same global factors is a more complex question, however. Though some airlines and travel insiders have warned that rising jet fuel costs will soon be passed onto passengers, this isn’t yet the case across the board.
As more and more European countries simplify their entry rules, and people’s confidence in having a stress-free stay grows, increasing demand is set to ramp up prices. But until fliers fully return to their pre-pandemic numbers, some carriers are still trying to entice people back to the skies with cheaper deals.
New data from travel search engine KAYAK shows that flights to a number of top European destinations are actually down by as much as 65 per cent, compared to the same time last year.
Here’s where some of the cheapest flight routes are to be found from the UK, France and Germany – and why you can still bag a bargain.
Which European destinations are cheaper than last year?
Santa Cruz de Tenerife airport, serving Spain’s largest Canary Island, recorded a surprising price drop of 65 per cent last week. An average return flight price from London cost only £46 (€55) on the week commencing 18 April, despite Tenerife being a hotspot for Brits.
Second on the list is Milan which, despite having artworks to rival Rome and Florence – not to mention the catwalks you can see on the streets every day – is routinely cheaper than other major Italian cities to fly to.
Air fares are available for a staggering £4 one-way from London, according to KAYAK’s site, and on average set you back £12 in April. That’s a 46 per cent fall compared to the same week in 2021.
Bear in mind, though, that Milan Malpensa has seen some of the most flight cancellations of any European airports in the recent chaos at UK airports.
Paris, Edinburgh and Malaga also made the top five destinations with the biggest drop in flight prices, suggesting there are still plenty of deals to be found if you shop around.
Why flights might not be as expensive as you think
Some budget airlines, including Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air, have ‘hedged’ their fuel costs – meaning they have pre-ordered fuel at a capped cost for the next few months. This helps shield passengers from the soaring cost of oil – at least until next year.
“We are seeing travel providers continue to support the return of travel with competitive fares,” Naomi Hahn, Skyscanner’s VP of Strategy, Naomi Hahn, tells Euronews Travel.
“As demand begins to match supply, it’s important to know how to weigh up your options and tailor plans to get the best price – whether it’s flying out a day or two early, hopping on a train to a nearby alternative airport or exploring an alternative destination that’s a fraction of the cost.”
The best flight deals from the UK, France and Germany right now
Other top travel hacks from Skyscanner include setting up price alerts, mixing and matching airlines and airports, and knowing the cheapest day of the week to travel. As it transpires, this is Friday. “Flight prices are all based on supply and demand. Because some dates are more popular than others, prices will vary,” explains Hahn.
“On average, you save up to 25 per cent by flying on a Friday and up to 51 per cent by booking four weeks ahead of departure.”
Putting these tips into practice, these are the best deals from UK, German and French airports in July. If you’re willing to be flexible with where and when you travel – putting price first – these could be just the tickets to your next big adventure.
From the UK
- Cardiff to Faro, 12-19 July: £22
- London to Palma, 6-13 July: £24
- London to Malaga, 6-13 July: £24
- Memmingen to Alghero Sardinia, 20-27 July: €35
- Nuremburg to Zadar, 19-28 July: €31
- Frankfurt to Ibiza, 4-8 July: €38
- Nice to Naples, 12-19 July: €17
- Toulouse to Palma, 6-14 July: €22
- Dordogne to Porto, 4-13 July: €28
All the above prices are direct economy returns, without baggage. For even more spontaneous booking, check out the latest deals on Jack’s Travel Club. You can also search for the cheapest deals on KAYAK’s explore page by searching any destination for a particular month and place of departure, and toggling the budget filter down.
By this metric, Venice and Vienna are two of the cheapest destinations from London in August.