There are many schools of thought when it comes to the most optimal time to buy tickets for a European summer vacation. Some say nine months in advance, some say six weeks in advance will get you the best deals. Factors like fuel prices, unexpected sales on airline tickets and the economy are keeping travelers home, and can have an effect on the price of tickets. Typically, tickets range from $1000 to $1500 during the most traveled summer season to Europe.
Remember, ticket prices can vary greatly from airline to airline. So study the different airlines and see which ones generally have the lowest fares, then watch those airlines for sales or price drops. FareCompare.com, an online software that queries over 500 airlines at a time for the best deals, says that Continental and US Airways are two of the biggest fare discounters for flights to Europe and that many of the other airlines are just sitting around while these two airlines undercut many European routes.
If you aren’t worried about cost, book early on-months in advance-to get the best seats and rest assured your trip plans are covered. If you are trying to be frugal, then gambling on the airlines having a sale, or keeping an eye on prices and booking your flight when tickets fall within your budget is a good idea. Whichever way you want to go, keep in mind booking as early as possible is always your safest bet.
Are you hesitant to book early because you think something may come up, you won’t be able to take your trip and you will lose your money for having to cancel or delay your departure? Your feelings are understandable, but with a travel insurance policy, the risks are minimal, and you won’t have to fear losing your money. There are many travel insurance policies available to cover many unplanned cancellations or delays. A great one to consider is trip cancellation coverage, which provides reimbursement for travel expenses if you have to cancel your trip. For example: You and your spouse are planning on traveling to Europe in July, you bought tickets in January and booked your hotel, your spouse falls ill and cannot travel, you stand to lose about $5,000. No problem, with your trip cancellation coverage you won’t lose a cent. This is just one example of many covered reasons under a trip cancellation policy.
Another important travel insurance policy to get before your trip is travel medical insurance. This covers you in case you or your loved one are injured while in Europe and your traditional insurance policy is not in effect. Travel medical insurance covers emergency transport, emergency or hospital care and if needed, medical evacuation back to your home country. Covering all your bases while preparing to or traveling to Europe is smart.