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Booking your flight will likely be the biggest expense during your trip to Europe, but you can make it easier on yourself and your budget by following these tips.

Shop Around

While it’s tempting to simply do a Google search for cheap flights to Europe and call it a day, you’ll have to dig a little deeper if you want to find the best deals on airline tickets. Do some comparison shopping on different flight search engines, especially if you don’t have a travel agent working for you.

Go Directly to Airline Websites

You can certainly buy airline tickets from a flight search engine, but you are usually better off going directly to an airline’s website once you’ve tracked down some affordable tickets. Search engines may be convenient, but they often come with added costs that you can avoid by going directly through an airline for your tickets.

Buy Your Tickets Early

Airline ticket prices can fluctuate wildly, so make sure you buy them ahead of time when they are the most affordable. If you’re traveling to a popular tourist destination during its busy period, start shopping about four months before your trip. If you’re traveling outside of the peak tourist season such as during the winter, you can wait until the month before your trip, but you should never wait until the last minute.

Be Certain of All Dates Before Booking a Flight

Before you book a flight to Europe – or anywhere else, for that matter – you need to be sure that your schedule is correct. Canceling a plane ticket is expensive, so make sure that you will absolutely need it. Once you do make your purchase, review all of your information thoroughly to make sure that it is all correct.

Be Flexible

Even though you should be certain of your dates and your schedule, you also shouldn’t be afraid of being flexible. Major European cities such as London and Paris have several airports, which gives you plenty of options when it comes to booking a flight. Do plenty of research on your destination to find the most affordable and most convenient options.