The 5 Best Budget Airlines for Traveling Within Europe
Once you’ve booked your transatlantic flight, these low-cost independent carriers make it easy to jet around Europe on a budget. I’ve done my fair share of budget traveling and compiled this list of the best budget airlines for traveling within Europe.
So, here’s everything you need to know, from baggage fees to check-in procedures on these low-cost European carriers. Just remember that these are budget airlines, so
some most frills not included.
- Hubs: London (Gatwick and Luton) / Milan
- Sample Round-Trip Fare: London to Barcelona for $89
- Checked Bag Fee: $16 to $56; up to 44 lbs.
- Popular Routes: Amsterdam / Berlin / Mallorca
- Pro Tip: Your ticket gets you only one carry-on bag; either an overhead or under-seat item, but not both
- Hubs: Copenhagen / London (Gatwick) / Oslo, Stockholm
- Sample Round-Trip Fare: London to Barcelona for $71
- Checked Bag Fee: $12 – $100; up tp 44 lbs.
- Popular Routes: Grand Canary / Malaga, Spain
- Pro Tip: Bring your own device (phone or tablet) to watch on-demand movies using the free wi-fi on most flights within Europe
- Hubs: Dublin, Ireland / London (Stanstad) / Bergamo, Italy
- Sample Round-Trip Fare: London to Barcelona for $76
- Checked Bag Fee: $11 – $54 depending on whether it’s paid online or at the airport
- Popular Routes: Budapest / Prague / Lazanrote, Spain
- Pro Tip: The fee to check in at the airport is $55 so use the RyanAir mobile app to do it ahead of time and save.
- Hubs: Barcelona/ Rome
- Sample Round-Trip Fare: London to Barcelona for $61
- Checked Bag Fee: $11 – $30; up to 50 lbs.
- Popular Routes: Dubrovnik / Ibiza / Rome
- Pro Tip: Try to bring an extra carry-on aboard and you could get slapped with a $39 charge
- Hubs: Bucharest / Budapest / Warsaw
- Sample Round-Trip Fare: Budapest to Barcelona for $161
- Checked Bag Fee: $18 -$60; up to 50 lbs.
- Popular Routes: Barcelona / Catania, Italy / Gdansk, Poland
- Pro Tip: Save between $11 and $33 by checking in online instead of waiting to do so at the airport
Tips for Flying Budget Airlines
Don’t get caught making rookie mistakes. Make sure to check out these pro tips for
surviving flying budget flights:
- Pack lots of snacks as you may only get offered water for free
- Bring your own tablet and digital devices stocked with movies and e-books, as there probably won’t be in-flight entertainment available
- Make sure your phone and devices are fully charged before boarding as some budget airlines won’t have outlets on board
- If you tend to get cold on planes (like me), be sure to wear layers as blankets won’t be available or will cost an additional charge
- Always check in online at least 24 hours before your flight and add the boarding pass to your phone (avoid the counters if possible)
- Try your best to be #teamcarryon, but should your luggage be heavy or larger than allowed, pay for your extra baggage in advance as it is usually 30% cheaper than at the counter
How to Find Cheap Flights
Not sure where you want to go yet, but just want to go somewhere cheap? Use Skyscanner’s “Everywhere” feature to find the cheapest destinations and compare the cheapest fares.
Looking to itineraries for popular European cities? Check out these itineraries below: