Traveling in general can be intimidating, especially when it comes to cost. Certain destinations will allow you to get more bang for your buck, allowing you to travel longer for less. Destinations like Europe have the reputation of being more costly, therefore more intimidating. With the Euro being almost at par with the US Dollar – currently at 1 euro to 1.18 USD, traveling in Europe has become a lot more affordable. Many are shocked to hear that flights typically cost $20-30 within Europe (at minimum, half the cost than American flights if not more) with budget airlines such as RyanAir, EasyJet, Vueling, Iberia, Aer Lingus and etc. Recently, I found the cheapest flights between France and Spain for 9 euros on Volotea, a newer budget airline headquartered in Barcelona.
Start at Skyscanner or your Trusted Airline Site
Through your preferred third-party travel website, put in your Departure / Arrival destination. Then click “SHOW WHOLE MONTH” to see the cheapest rates if your dates are flexible. Once you find the flight you want, go directly to the airline website to see if you can find the flight for the same price. It’s always best to book directly from the source for more control (on modifying, questions or airline points). Sometimes, the budget flights don’t show up on the third-party websites so it’s smart to check both when doing your research.
Cheapest Flights between France and Spain
In general, booking flights to less frequented places would cost more, such as the case to Menorca (a smaller, secluded island in Spain). But Volotea and other budget airlines have mastered the art of practical, inexpensive, non-stop flights within Europe for rock bottom prices. Even cheaper than taking a train or taxi in many cases. As I browsed through Skyscanner, I found a non-stop (1 hour 15 minute) flight for 9 Euros (or $11 USD) on a Monday late afternoon from Bordeaux to Menorca! WOWZA! Since our plans weren’t finalized on which day we would leave to Menorca, I booked it immediately. Because even if I had to cancel, it’s really not a big deal to lose it.
The total came out to be $11 + $11 (2 one-way flights) + $36 for 1 checkin bag fee (9 euros x 2 + 30.84 euros baggage). It’s funny how 1 check-in bag fee costs triple a seat on the flight, but I’m not complaining either way as the airline needs to make money somehow. And I’m not sure how considering the total cost of this trip was $55 for the two of us.
Delightful Experience Flying with Volotea
The truth is is that I waited until I actually completed the flight before publishing this post to make sure everything goes well. Because one can’t help but be skeptical with a $11 flight right? And to my delightful surprise, everything went so smoothly.
- The check-in counter in Bordeaux helped me print out my boarding pass (some Budget Airlines will charge for that)
- The Airplane was basic but clean.
- Incredibly friendly staff (not to mention, handsome men!)
- Water, drinks, food are all for sale (but I didn’t need any considering it was a 80 minute flight and I packed my own)
- Flight was smooth from take-off to landing
Budget Airlines have been a thing for
Europeans since the Early 90s
“The European Open-Skies Treaty of 1992 blew the lid off the system in place before, where national government would restrict access to their airspace to expensive ‘flag-carriers’, such as British Airways or Lufthansa. This enabled airlines to fly anywhere they wished in the European Union without government approval.”
Budget Airlines has been a common thing in Europe for almost 3 decades. European leisure and business travelers are use to it as a trusted way of quick, no-brainer transport. There are over 60 budget airlines in Europe today and counting.
America has Budget Airlines too
The equivalent in the US is Spirit Airlines which still needs improvement, but the concept is the same. Provide a mode of flight transportation at the very basic level – a seat on the plane. Anything additional will be at an additional cost – choosing seats, luggage, water, beverage, food. And rightfully so, when your flight seat start at $25-30 each. While I hear endless complaints from Americans about this (but are you surprised?), I remind them to look at the bigger picture and to add up the cost. Compare and contrast pricing and then decide which flight is best suited for you.
- Let’s say a flight to Las Vegas from Los Angeles costs $60 roundtrip on Spirit, but you need to check in bags both ways that would cost another $60, that totals to $120.
- Compare with the competitor airlines.
- If there are flights at similar cost on a bigger airline like American Airlines or Southwest (my favorite domestic US Airline who is also the most flexible), then take it. But if the competitor cost will be at another $100-200, decide if it’s worth paying more for a 1 hour flight.
Simple, Painless Booking &
Airport Experience with European Airlines
- Once you book your flight via Volotea or the other Budget Airline sites, you’ll typically receive an email to checkin 24 hours before the flight. From the checkin, you’ll receive a boarding pass on your phone. (For Volotea, the lady actually printed it out for me at the airport check-in desk). Despite many websites asking for a print out of the boarding pass, you will unlikely need it as most European airports are savvy enough to scan the barcode from your phone.
- If you don’t have a checkin luggage, go straight to departures/security with your passport and boarding pass (on your phone) ready. The security is typically faster and easier than the US. And Voila! You’re ready to walk to your gate!
- If you do have a check-in bag, hopefully you have paid for it when booking your flight as you’ll get a 20-40% reduction on cost ($25ish vs $40ish).
- For Easyjet & Ryanair: Once at the airport, use the automated kiosk to print your Luggage tag. Stick the luggage tag yourself, and wait in line for “Luggage Only Dropoff”. Drop off your bag and go to the boarding gate.
The 81 Destinations Volotea Flies
Ajaccio, Alghero, Alicante, Ancona, Asturias, Athens, Bari, Bastia, Beauvais, Biarritz, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Brest, Brindisi, Caen, Cagliari, Catania, Cefalonia, Corfu, Cork, Dubrovnik, Faro, Figari Sud Corse, Fuerteventura, Genoa, Gran Canaria, Heraklion / Crete, Ibiza, Karpathos, Kos, Lamezia Terme, Lampedusa, Lanzarote, Lille, Luxembourg, Lyon, Madeira, Madrid, Majorca (Palma), Malaga, Malta, Marseille, Menorca (Mahon), Milan Bergamo, Montpellier, Munich, Mykonos, Nantes, Naples, Nice, Olbia, Palermo, Pantelleria, Pau Pyrenees, Perpignan, Pescara, Pisa / Florence, Prague, Preveza / Lefkada, Pula, Rennes, Rhodes, Samos, Santander, Santorini, Seville, Skiathos, Split, Strasbourg, Tenerife South, Tirana, Toulon, Toulouse, Trieste, Turin, Valencia, Venice, Verona, Vienna, Zakynthos, Zaragoza.
Founders of Volotea & Vueling Airlines
Volotea was founded by Carlos Muñoz and Lázaro Ros; the CEO and managing director. Respectively, whose first venture together was Vueling Airlines, at present, the third budget airline in Europe by passenger volume.
Its management team is made up by professionals with an extensive experience in the aviation sector in Spain and Europe.
Volotea VIP Club
Think you may fly often? See if joining MegaVolotea, MegaVolotea Plus is worth it for just 49.99 euros a year. Up to 10 euros off a booking, 20 euros credit given on your birthday, up to 25% discounted seats and discounted luggage up to 15% off. (Or any of the budget airline VIP clubs)
Roundtrip flights to Europe start as low as $300 roundtrip ($150 each way) on International Budget Airlines such as Wow Air and Norweigan Air. I think it’s fair to say that anyone can afford to travel right now if they prioritize it. Once in Europe, meals and day-to-day costs about the same. Of course it varies depending on where you dine and which countries you are in. Rooms on Airbnb can be rented at starting $25 a night or Hostels for even cheaper.
The best and most affordable part of traveling within Europe though is definitely the cost of public transportation, trains/metros and FLIGHTS! Considering the fact that travelers can find cheap flights within Europe starting at 5 euros, there’s really no excuse on why you can’t save some money and book your next trip!