Once you land an internship, you still have to cross an ocean to get there. Getting to Europe can be expensive -- you could be looking at spending more than a thousand dollars on airfare alone. Start off your internship budget on the right foot by saving big on your airfare. Here are a few of our favorite tricks.
Change the city you’re flying out of in the US
Certain cities in the US have more frequent (and therefore cheaper) routes to Europe. If you’re from North Carolina, don’t book a direct Raleigh-Budapest flight, look at fares leaving from Washington, D.C instead (you can take a $10 Megabus up there and it could save you hundreds on the plane ticket). If you’re anywhere in the northeast, look at flights leaving NYC and Boston. I’m from Buffalo, NY, so I always book out of JFK or Toronto for my overseas flights. From the West Coast, I've found Los Angeles to Stockholm or Copenhagen to be uncommonly inexpensive.
Change the city you’re flying into in Europe
You can look at booking a ticket into the cheapest possible city in Europe from the US on your date and then take a RyanAir or other cheap European carrier within the continent to your final destination (especially if it’s off the beaten path).
For example, if your final destination is Berlin, the US to Frankfurt is usually cheaper and Frankfurt is only 5 hours by train from Berlin. These are some airports in Europe that are usually more affordable to fly into: London, Rome, Istanbul, Frankfurt, Brussels, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Zurich. Try them all from your US city or nearest major US city of departure and see what’s cheapest (and what has the most logical ongoing connections to your final destination).
Use Skyscanner and search for any city in the country you’re headed to
Most countries in Europe are small and well-connected by train or bus. Use Skyscanner and select the country you’re headed to (instead of a specific city) and it will find the cheapest destination within that country.
When traveling within a country, take the bus
When we think of travel in Europe, most of us think of train. The train is very romantic indeed, but surprisingly expensive. You might not be saving that much if you fly into Frankfurt for $200 less but the train is $150. Take a look at the inner-Europe transport options you’re thinking about before you book the international segment and remember to opt for taking the bus wherever possible.
Especially if you’re hopping onto a RyanAir flight when you land in London, you could pay a ton for extra baggage fees if you’re lugging an overweight carry-on and checked bag. Try to pack a single carry-on of 7kg and keep your checked bag to 15kg. You can do it.