I keep reading in my guide books about cheap flights between European countries, but when I do searches in Kayak, flexible of dates and airports I am shocked by the prices - $3,000 for a family of 4 to get from London or Cotswolds to Venice or Florence or Bologna and back to England! Is this what I should expect to pay or is there a better way find economical flights? I've tried roundtrip routes as well as one-way (my preference) searches and both are high. I'll be traveling in July. Any insight?
Rachel, what dates are you checking? I just checked round-trip from London to Venice in July on sidestep.com and I'm seeing prices of under $200 per person.
Make sure to use LON as the airport code as this will show you all of the London Airports. I'd suggest that you use "VCE" for Venice and select the option to include nearby airports.
First, July is peak travel times so discounts will be less. Have you looked specifically at the European discount airline sites? Most of them will not show up in the search engines like Kayak.
Also check the websites for RyanAir, EasyJet, Aer Lingus as well as Travelsuperlink.com and Europebyair.com. Read them all and as Frank noted, you are traveling in VERY peak season so deals may not be that easy to come by. As many of us have suggested taking the train is a great way to travel in Europe. Your choice of course. Have a great trip.
Also check whichbudget.com, thry do a good job of showing which budget (hence the name) flies between destinations. I looked quickly on Easyjet, you could fly round trip London/Venice for about $150 per per person, maybe a little more depending on baggage, in July.
In addition to whichbudget.com, check flylc.com and skyscanner.net. All are search engines for budget airlines in Europe. Book directly on an airline's Web site to get the best fare.
I'd go to www.harefares.com which is a search engine for european airlines. They often use the smaller airports. I've been very successful with Ryan air, also aer lingus has good flights out of dublin or shannon, which happens to be my choice of flight to venice in june.
EasyJet has flights in July from London Gatwick to Venice Marco Polo for as little as £32.
Ryanair has some "free" flights (only taxes and fees) and some for £20 (plus taxes and fees) in July from London Stansted to Venice Treviso. Note: These are outlying airports so there is extra time and expense getting to and from them.
Thanks, everyone! These are great suggestions! I will take a look.
Try ryanair.com and flybmi.com. We used BMI Venice to London and I am pretty sure my sister flew Ryanair from Treviso (bus from venice leaves teh same place as bus to Venice airport). I do not remember where she flew to. She lives near Edinburgh.