When I decided to study abroad in Ireland, I was determined to find the cheapest flight possible. After about two weeks researching just about every airline ticket service on the web, I found that goal. Not only did I find an incredibly cheap flight, but I learned 5 essential tips that all travelers should know before booking a flight to Ireland. Here they are:
1. Book your flight in advance
As a general rule, the cost of a flight increases the closer to the departure date. For the sake of illustration, I searched for cheap flights to Ireland outside of Columbus, Ohio (my airport) for two different departure dates. The first date I researched was a week from now and the lowest available rate was $ 1,012. The second departure date was two months from now, with a lower fee of $ 539. The lesson is obvious: book your flight as soon as possible and you will arrive in Ireland cheaper.
2. Fly out of a large international hub if possible
If you live near a city like Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles or New York, where international flights constantly come and go, you have a huge advantage. Flying directly out of these cities will save you hundreds of dollars – and your flight to Ireland will be conveniently uninterrupted. Even if you live closer to a smaller airport, consider driving a few extra hours to a major city and flying to Ireland from there. It may be worth it.
3. Remember an airline that is almost always the cheapest.
I booked my own flight to Ireland about three weeks earlier, and you wouldn't believe how thorough my research was. But no matter where I looked, American Airlines flights always seemed to be the cheapest. Check out the site and see for yourself. Keep in mind that the cheapest airline varies according to your city of departure. If you live in Atlanta, Delta may offer the best option for a cheap flight. If you live in New York, Aer Lingus may be the cheapest. Just take a look and keep these tips in mind.
4. Beware of air discount sites
Sometimes the cheapest flights to Ireland can be found at discount airline websites such as Expedia or Travelocity. However, I recommend using them for comparison purposes only. Once you have decided on a particular flight, book it directly on the airline's website. My reasons for this lie mainly in customer service issues. Airlines often hesitate or are unwilling to assist you in the event of a problem (the need to change dates, etc.) if your ticket was not purchased directly from them. One of my good friends bought his flight to Ireland through Expedia. I bought mine directly from American Airlines. He saved about $ 50, but when we decided to stay in Ireland for a few extra weeks to travel at the end of the semester, he couldn't change the date of his return flight – and I was.
5. Consider a one-way flight
(And see two countries for the price of one)
A very interesting alternative option is to buy a one-way flight to Ireland and book your return flight from another UK or European country. I'm crazy? Well, maybe a little. But listen to me. Ryanair, a no-frills Irish airline, offers unbelievably cheap flights between Ireland and dozens of other countries. How cheap? I used Ryanair to fly from Dublin to Venice, Italy for under $ 15 one way. Just in case you're not getting my drift, take a look at the numbers:
A cheap flight to Ireland: $ 300
Ryanair One-way Flight from Dublin to Venice: US $ 15
Return ticket from Italy to the USA: US $ 300
Total Cost of Flights: US $ 615
Think about it. You will pay for food, accommodation and entertainment no matter where you are. The only potential additional expense in this scenario is the extra outbound flight … which is not an additional expense. The only real difference is that you can visit two countries for the price of one! If your vacation is scheduled to last 7 days, I recommend spending 4 to 5 days in Ireland, then the last 2 to 3 days in another UK or European country of your choice. Just something to think about!
That's it for "Cheap Flights to Ireland: 5 Essential Tips for Booking a Cheap Flight to Dublin, Ireland." Follow these simple tips and you will be shocked at how cheap your flight to Ireland can really be.
And if you're thinking to yourself, "I wish there were more valuable tips like these available about traveling around Ireland," don't worry … there are! After living with the Irish for 4 months, I carefully wrote each of my findings and compiled them into an eBook called Dublin Secrets. Dublin's secrets are filled to the brim with insider tips, helpful advice and fun suggestions that you simply won't find in any of the other travel guides.
"A great little book … a must for every traveler in Ireland."
-Sheila R., Native Dubliner