Stalking flight deals is one of my favorite hobbies. I do it on an almost daily basis and have at least 6 flight alerts running for hypothetical trips for me at any given time. I check Skyscanner like most people check Instagram. When you’ve got a lot of places on your travel bucket list, and not a lot of money to spare in your budget, flight deals and miles are the only way to travel.
The best deal going in town right now for cheap flights to Europe is Norwegian Airlines. They’re currently running a sale for flights booked on or after March 29 (right after Easter) through roughly May it looks like, when summer flight prices start to hit. The two major US eastern seaboard cities of origin I looked at were Boston (my home city) and New York. If you have a little bit of flexibility on your dates and don’t mind flying either a Thursday to Thursday or for a shorter trip, a Thursday to Sunday, you can snag yourself a flight to Europe in this sale for as low as $350 (flights will fluctuate depending on the day, but lowest prices for flights are usually on Tuesdays). The nice thing about the Thursday departure is that it’s an overnight flight, so for instance, if you were to take the Thursday to Sunday option, you’d lose almost no “vacation” time for travel by arriving early Friday morning and then leaving late in the afternoon on Sunday. This also means you only have to take two vacations days off from work. Wins all around in my book.
I looked mostly for round trip flights to London and was able to find numerous date combinations in that price range. I also did a quick search of a few other European cities with similar results. Norwegian opened flight routes in NYC and Boston fairly recently, and that combined with the January flight sale window is bringing out these deeply discounted fares.
There is a small catch. I don’t personally find it to be a catch at all given that again, you can find a round trip direct flight to Europe for 350 smackers, but it’s something to be aware of. Norwegian airlines functions as a budget airline similar to RyanAir in that where they get you with cost is the add-ons. You are allowed one, and only one, carry on item, and then from there, checked baggage will cost you. To be honest though, paying for checked baggage is pretty par for the course on most airlines these days, unfortunately. You also will have to pay about $40 if you want an in-flight meal. The easy solutions to these catches are to pack light (especially if you’re only going for a long weekend this shouldn’t be too hard) and to bring some snacks or even a full meal onto the plane with you. Personally, if I’m taking an evening flight, I’ve already eaten dinner and want to sleep as much as possible, so not having a mystery meat stroganoff at 2am isn’t much of a loss.
Paying only $350 for a round trip flight to Europe DIRECT, aka no random stopover in Moscow to get to Barcelona is kind of amazing! You can book them directly on the Norwegian airlines website by selecting the low fare calendar and fiddling from there. As I said, flexibility and a little bit of patience in mocking up different date scenarios is key to snagging this kind of deal. I’m not sure how long the sale will run so get out there and start vacation-planning!