I just spent part of this weekend researching flights and figuring out the best way to get to Europe for my next trip.
When J and I were planning our trip in March, the flights were $400 one way from Ottawa to Prague/Budapest. It would have been about an $800 roundtrip! By the time I requested the time off work, J had a role change at her job and was unsure if she would get the time off. We talked about it and decided I could go ahead and book flights and start planning and she’ll do her best to join me! So, I started looking at flights recently and the price had more than doubled! I thought “I must be able to do this cheaper” and figure out the best but cheapest way to get to Europe.
When I was looking up the cost, I made sure to check the actual dates I would be travelling. For the
To buy one-way tickets to Prague/Budapest from Ottawa. It was approximately $850 one way so $1700 total. This would eliminate any time to travel between destinations but was also the most expensive.
A roundtrip flight from Ottawa to Budapest was $1000 (+ a one way bus or plane ticket from Budapest to Prague) BUT I realized there was a 24 hour delay in Dublin both there AND back – which would get me home a day late. Coming back on time brought the price up to $1,200. If I did this route, I would fly into Budapest and immediately head to Prague to then start my way back down to Budapest. A one-way ticket from Budapest to Prague was about $50. So far, not too bad.
|Ottawa||Budapest||$ 1,200.00||21 Sep to 8 Oct||Roundtrip|
This one is the same as Option 2 but I would fly roundtrip to Prague then head straight to Budapest. The price was a little cheaper than Option 2 (by about $20).
I found that the cheapest flight from Ottawa to Europe was to London (about $750). This would involve flying Ottawa to London, staying in London one night (in case my flight is delayed), then heading to Prague. This adds the price of staying in London for two nights: on my way to Prague and then on my way from Budapest. This was cheaper than Option 2 or 3 but I spend a lot of time getting to where I want to go rather than spending time in the destination.
|Ottawa||London||$ 751.00||21 Sep to 8 Oct||Roundtrip
24 h in Halifax
|Hostel||in London||$ 50.00|
This is the same as Option 4 but I would head to Budapest first. This was the second cheapest option but again, spends a lot of time travelling to/from my destination.
Option 6/Option 7
I could fly to Reykjavik, Iceland and spend a full day both to Europe and back. This option takes me from Montreal (Canada) to Reykjavik which adds the time to get to Montreal as well as spending a full day in Iceland (which I would not mind and would definitely go back to). If I flew Montreal->Reykjavik->Budapest and head to Prague it would be the cheapest option. However, I would spend additional hours getting from Ottawa to Montreal as well as spending 2 of my very limited vacation days not in the destination.
|Montreal||Reykjavik||$ 400.00||22-Sep to 6-oct||Roundtrip|
|Hostel||in Reykjavik||$ 100.00|
I immediately took off Option 1 from the list of options: it was by far the most expensive and worth it to coordinate a few flights/travel options to save some money. I would save about $300 by taking Option 6/7 compared to Option 2/3 BUT I would have to spend two full days in Reykjavik AND it requires a lot more coordination and time to get to Europe and back.
I decided that my time was worth more than the $300 and picked the middle option: Option 2/3 but flying roundtrip to Prague and then quickly heading to Budapest before making my way back.
What would you have done in this situation? Do you book the most convenient (but possibly more expensive option) or spend time trying to cut costs like me? Leave a comment below!