How I Book My European Winter Excursions

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I adore traveling in the winter. The flights are cheap! Christmas Markets are thriving! Twinkle lights hang everywhere! The tourist sites are not so crowded – it’s easy to fall in love with every winter wonderland you meet!

However, if you’ve ever tried traveling in the winter, you may have noticed that your flight options are very limited. Especially when comparing the flight options against those you may find during the summer months. This can make scheduling your trip tricky– and fast! Not only will you find fewer flights, you may find fewer trains and bus routes, making your backup options tricky to navigate as well.

How I Book My Winter Excursions

Organizing travel can always be a stressful endeavor. Add in these transit shortages, and you can find yourself in a cold sweat..  It’s not impossible though! Here is how I do it!

Step 1: Write it out.

You better have several sheets available, because you may have to rearrange your thoughts several times. I write out the places I would like to see. This doesn’t mean that I will make it to these places on this trip, however, having the visual helps me remember my options.

Step 2: Head to GoEuro.com

When flying into Europe, most companies will land in cities such as London and Paris. Often, good flight options can be found going to Oslo and Copenhagen as well. I use these cities as my jumping off point if I haven’t already booked my flight to and from Europe.

Step 3: Pick your starting point.

On the GoEuro website, pick a starting city. Let’s go with London for this example.

Enter London as your originating location, and let’s say we would like to go from London to Aberdeen. Select the dates you would like to travel and click GO. GoEuro.com will find every bus, train, and plane route between London and Aberdeen for you. Pick the option which looks best to you, and write it down.

My travel notes - They don't have to be pretty, they just have to make sense (to you).

My travel notes – They don’t have to be pretty, they just have to make sense (to you).

Step 4: Add your next location.

From Aberdeen, let’s decide to visit Munich. Clearly, you will not have train or bus options available for this journey. With the dates selected for me, it comes up with the cheapest option being a flight which is $123 USD. That’s too much for me. I like to stick under $40 USD per flight. So for me, that wouldn’t work.

Step 5: Be flexible like a yoga instructor! If a connection doesn’t work, review your list from Step 1.

This is why we write out all the places you would like to visit. This way, we can go back to the list and see where you can get to for the price and time frame you want.

Having Flexibility

It is important to be flexible when planning your trip. Sometimes, destinations and timetables won’t work out. That’s okay! Focus on what will work!

Step 6: Once you find a journey which works, be sure to write it down.

Keep a clear list including the Departing and Arrival Locations, Time, Price, Journey Time, and whether it’s overnight or not. Overnight journeys are a great way to cut down on accommodation prices!

Step 7: Move on to the next place on your list and return to Step 5.

Planning winter travel can be a lot like fitting puzzle pieces together. You have to find just the right combination, but the reward can be so worthwhile!

Step 8: Book it!

Once you have completely mapped out your entire trip, get to booking! You definitely don’t want to let the tickets you worked so hard to find become sold out or go up in price.

Germany at Christmastime

Germany at Christmastime

Tips:

  • If a trip is being difficult to arrange, continue switching up the locations until you find a combination which works. Just be aware that changing the day will change the price and availability as well, so always be sure to check again if you make any adjustments.
  • GoEuro also has a ‘Nearby Airport’ option, which you may want to disable depending. I normally do, because I want the closest option, not one I will have to journey to.

I hope my booking method is helpful for you! You may get a headache while organizing, but it’s an amazing feeling once everything clicks together and you can board your plane on budget!

 

My life has been a collage of airlines and exhaustion, and I wouldn't change a thing! I'm a budget traveler, and I adore exploring the world one plane or train ticket at a time!

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