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From Texas to Europe cheap alternative

Hello, I am trying to plan a trip to Europe and I have a few question on the legal side of things.

We live in Dallas, Texas and want to get to Europe the cheapest way possible. We don't have any kind of visas, just going as american tourists. This would also be our first time to Europe too.

I've found that buying a one way ticket to Reykjavik, Iceland can cost as low as $129 and from there I could buy another one way ticket to Madrid for $100 or so. then from Madrid to Paris for another $50 and so on.

then after visiting 3 or 4 different cities within Europe we would be returning to Reykjavik and from there back to the United States. By doing this, airfare could easily be less than $600 per person and we would visit different cities too.

Summing things up, the trip would look something like this:

Dallas - Reykjavik (one way ticket with 4 day stay)

Reykjavik - Madrid (one way ticket with 4 day stay)

Madrid - Santiago de Compostela (one way ticket with 4 day stay)

Santiago de Compostela - Paris (one way ticket with 4 day stay)

Paris - Reykjavik (one way ticket with 2 day stay)

Reykjavik - Dallas (one way ticket home)

Sorry for the long explanation, just trying to be clear.

Question: Is buying these one way tickets an issue? for example, when I get to the airport in Dallas, are they going to question the fact that I do not hold a round trip ticket but instead a bunch of one ways? Or would it be enough to show our one-way tickets going from Iceland to the US?

Also, is it going to be an issue to travel one way from country to country within Europe or is the Schengen area helpful in that sense? In other words, is traveling from Iceland to Spain considered international? or are they going to question our entry to each one of these countries because we are not holding round trip tickets? I would guess once again, showing our one way ticket from Iceland back to the States would clear everything up, right?

I just don't want to make a big mistake buying one way tickets but it seems so much cheaper that buying round trip!

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
15839 posts

Maybe buy tickets to and from Reykjavik. Iceland and all the other countries you are visiting are Schengen countries, so you can stay for 90 days out of any 180 day period. So you should be fine. There is no passport check going between Schengen countries. Its like going from Texas to Oklahoma. Have at least 6 months of validity left on your passports. Its only 18 days or so. Not a big deal.

Madrid to Santiago de Compostela is a 5 hour train ride. Give it a try. When you add up all the time wasters involved with flying (security, minimum check in times, luggage, transport to and from the airport), it is probably a wash, time wise, and a lot more comfortable.

Posted by
2647 posts

This is a not an issue. I and my husband have done as you describe (not the exact same cities, of course) without any issues. You have all the one-way tickets that show that you intend to leave and then ultimately leave the Schengen zone. These one-way tickets are a complete non-issue. As to flying within the Schengen Zone, there is no passport control. You will use your passport for ID to match the name to the passenger manifest but you will not pass through immigration. No one will question your entry into those countries. Think of trips within the Schengen Zone for these purposes as the same as flying from Dallas to someplace else in the US -- you may use your passport to prove your identity but you do not go through immigration for domestic flights.

By the way, I am very surprised to hear of such low fares from Dallas to Iceland. That is great news. Is this on WOW? If so, please be sure to fully read and understand their terms and conditions so you do not get burned with extra fees at the airport and bring a snack for the plane ride.
Hope you have a great time.

Posted by
2 posts

That is great news! Thank you so much for your reply. Very helpful. And yes, they are opening the route Dallas-Reykjavik and are offering introductory prices. From what I can see, they are the Spirit airlines of Iceland. Lol. Thanks!

Posted by
6554 posts

That is a lot of moving around. Remember you will lose a whole day every time you move from city to city. And as a budget traveler, spending 6 days in Iceland will be very, very expensive--the most costly place of all.
Another option would be to fly Austin to London on Norwegian Air Shuttle and avoid Iceland.all together. You can catch cheap EasyJet flights to anywhere in the continent from Gatwick.

Posted by
15839 posts

Keep in mind, those cheap prices are for flights booked nonrefundable well in advance. Last minute, prices go sky high. Vueling Airlines flies direct Santiago de Compostela to Paris CDG only 3 or 4 days a week in the summer, so note that in your trip planning.

Posted by
3518 posts

I hope you return to this site once you have purchased the tickets. It would be instructive to find out what you exactly paid as there will be some and perhaps a lot of extra charges with these 'low-cost' airlines. Also interesting to see the time-line with all the stopovers, compared to what a conventional multi-destination search function turns up.

Posted by
21032 posts

Also remember if you are doing a bunch of one-way tickets and something goes wrong with one of the tickets you can lose them all. For example - last summer we were flying open jaw into London with a separate ticket on easyJet to Edinburgh. We thought we had covered ourselves with the a five hour window for the connecting flight. Didn't plan our our original flight to London being cancelled because of a mechanical problem and a two day delay in re-booking. So there is some risk. Needless to say, we lost the easyJet connecting ticket.

Posted by
6615 posts

Why not buy an IcelandAir ticket straight through to a European city and do an Iceland stopover in between? Of course the only downside it that Iceland is really expensive so seeing it would not be a cost-conscious move, you actually would want to go there to make it worthwhile. But it would simplify the ticket process.

And yes, it's no problem buying the tickets as one-ways but you have to give yourself some cushion in case the plane is late, etc if you're making two unlinked ticketed flights per day (meaning two separate carriers and tickets).

Posted by
92 posts

We also often buy one way tickets well in advance similar to what you describe and have been able to get some really amazing prices on airfare. However, be prepared for flight schedule changes from the airlines when you purchase far in advance! Allow some buffer in your schedule should this happen to you so it doesn’t completely throw your whole trip off. For example, last year we got great seats on Norwegian from Las Vegas to Stockholm and then separate one way tickets from Stockholm to Prague, all on different airlines. The airlines changed the departure time 4 different times in the 6 months preceding our departure! In the end we decided it was less stressful to just stay a few days visiting the beautiful city of Stockholm before going onto Prague so it didn’t really matter in the end what time our flights were changed to. It is often far cheaper to get to your destination with separate tickets but you need to be flexible and possibly have a backup plan...just in case!! Have a great trip!

Posted by
9 posts

OK.the cost from Dallas to Reykjavik is $129.00. And the price from Reykjavik to Dallas?. Or it's $129.00 round trip?

Posted by
32 posts

With a return ticket, you have your round-trip regardless of whether it's a round-trip ticket, or separate one-way tickets...besides, you don't need a return to leave, though some countries would like to see your return ticket when you enter the country.

You've left enough time - day actually - between flights that you should be fine, however if something does come up, like the Ryan Air strike, be sure you have funds to purchase an alternate way to get where you need to be next.

Posted by
3453 posts

I have always found round trips where possible to be less costly overall. I know things are changing and that may not be true anymore, but check anyway.

You can do an open jaw round trip to cover your travel. Dallas - Reykjavik- Madrid with the extended layover in Reykjavik and the return Paris - Reykjavik - Dallas as one round trip.

Book the Madrid - Santiago and Santiago - Paris as separate one ways since you are not returning to the same city on those flights.

I'm just not finding the prices you mention for flying in and out of Reykjavik. I looked at the round trip mentioned above and for a random date, it is $650. The four one ways cost $1,275. Per person. Nothing about any type of reduced price sale.