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Flight back to U.S. after Best of Eastern Europe tour

If you have done the Eastern Europe tour or have traveled back to the U.S. at the tour's end (ends in Lake Bled with recommended travel home from Ljubljana) can you shed a little light on the best strategy for flying home? I've looked at rates from Ljubljana and they seem to be quite a bit more than the flight home from Zagreb in Croatia, for example. I'm just curious whether it's worth a bus or train trip to Zagreb to save some money. Or would you recommend a train trip to Vienna or Amsterdam for the flight home? Thanks in advance!

Posted by
13 posts

I'll be taking this trip this year and have booked Transavia from LJU to Amsterdam where I will stay until the following morning to fly back to the US. The flight gets to Amsterdam at 11 am, so I plan to have a lovely day in the City. The price of the Transavia leg plus the hotel in Amsterdam ended up being half the extra cost of flying straight back from LJU. I've used Transavia before as a single separately purchased leg to tie into an extra day in Amsterdam and really enjoyed this approach.

I am a pretty consistent Delta flyer and they would have included the LJU - AMS leg as the first part of my trip home, but it made the trip significantly more expensive to bundle it. Don't know about other airline options.

Good luck.

Posted by
2424 posts

When I did my own tour in that area (fall, 2017) I found flights from Zagreb to be much cheaper than Ljubljana. The Man in Seat 61 (www.seat61.com) suggests that trains from Ljubljana to Zagreb should run €18 (€9 advance) and he describes the approx. 2.5 hour journey as "a lovely scenic train ride through the hills along the beautiful River Sava." Zagreb is a delightful city and could be a terrific complement and addition to the end of your tour! At the very least, you can enjoy a scenic train ride if the flights are cheaper from Zagreb.

I've also been seeing some great rates to/from Vienna, but that's much closer to the start of your tour. If you have the flexibility, you could consider flying into Vienna before your tour, then take the approx. 4 hour direct train to Prague for €14 advance purchase.

Posted by
11280 posts

I haven't investigated personally, but others here have reported that flights from Ljubljana to the US are indeed expensive, and often involve less than ideal connections to get home the same day.

If you like the idea of flying somewhere else in Europe for an overnight before a nonstop flight home, here's the list of all the places you can fly from Ljubljana airport: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ljubljana_Jo%C5%BEe_Pu%C4%8Dnik_Airport#Passenger

Posted by
125 posts

I had this same problem after my Eastern Europe tour. When I tried plugging in Ljubljana and my home airport on multiple fight search engines there were no results at all, expensive or not. I simply couldn't travel from A to B. What I ended up doing was flying from Ljubljana to Amsterdam with Adria airlines on the day the tour officially ended and then flying home from Amsterdam the following day. I booked a 6am(ish) flight out of Ljubljana so I had most of the day to spend in Amsterdam. Our guide helped us book transportation from Lake Bled to the airport so the early departure wasn't an issue. I ended up sharing a ride with 5 of my tour mates.

I stayed at an airport hotel in Amsterdam and when I arrived I was able to drop off my bag for them to store and then I took the train into the city for the day. I had a great time running around Amsterdam and even had time to take a canal boat cruise that afternoon. Then I went back to the airport for the night and took an early flight out the next morning.

I'm sure there are other cities/major airports in Europe where you can accomplish the same thing, but this is what worked for me. I had never been to Amsterdam before and, even though I barely scratched the surface, it was fun to have a bonus day in a new city. Plus it was very quick and easy to get back and forth from the airport.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks all. We booked our flight and ended up with a great rate. Flying from JFK to Prague and then taking Transavia after tour is over, to Amsterdam, then flying back to JFK from there. It took some work, but all worked out well. Thanks for your help!