Fly To Europe For Under $1000 Return

In this follow up to the Budget Traveller’s Guide To Flying (Read it if you haven’t yet), I’ll focus specifically on travel between Asia and Europe. Flights from Asia to Europe vice versa easily cost above $1000. They usually involve a two-leg journey with a stopover in either the Middle East or China if it’s an indirect flight. If you choose to disembark on your stopover, you’ll add another destination to your travel itinerary. This is all pretty standard information. Ask anyone who has flown to Europe or shop around websites/travel agencies and you’ll hear the same.

What if I told you this doesn’t always have to be the case? More stopovers at a lower price?!  YES! It’s indeed possible to have multiple stopovers en route to Europe and still spend less than a $1000! By stopovers I’m not referring to the common transit where you’re unable to leave the airport. In both the itineraries outlined below , the stopovers allow you to disembark and spend as much time as you want in a particular city/country.There’s no hidden tricks/subscription fees or miles involved. Everything you need is at your disposable on the internet. All that’s required is some shopping skills, flexibility with travel plans and planning on your part which are all FREE. 

There are two itineraries with multiple possible variations for you to choose from! You can also integrate both itineraries if you want to explore more countries!

*For convenience sake and accurate representation of ticket prices, travel dates will between February to March (Since December/January are peak holiday seasons) in line with the 2 month rule for booking flights. Flights will be on weekdays. Flights on local/global public holidays will be avoided. All according to the tips I outlined in the Budget Traveller’s Guide To Flying*


ITINERARY A

This itinerary involves flying to Europe via Dubai. It’s a 5 leg journey with a total of 7 flights. Total number of possible countries you get to travel to within the flight itinerary is a minimum of 5 ( Excluding city of origin)

1st Leg: Singapore-Kuala Lumpur(Stopover)-Dubai via Malaysia Airlines @ $456 onwards return

Take a trip to the top of Petronas Twin Towers
Take a trip to the top of Petronas Twin Towers

The first leg of this itinerary is unchangeable. You’ll have to fly to Dubai. Malaysia Airlines offers the cheapest fare on the market. The stopover in Kuala Lumpur isn’t too long, giving you adequate time to transit into the connecting flight to Dubai. You can disembark to explore Kuala Lumpur if you want. If you prefer to fly with another airline for obvious reasons, check out Middle Eastern Airlines such as Emirates, Etihad and Qatar for promotions. Promotional fares start from $600.

2nd Leg: Dubai-Europe

You’ll have to disembark after your first leg journey so spend a few days exploring  Dubai or stay in the airport. It’s entirely up to you!

Take a trip to the top of the Burj Khalifa!
Take a trip to the top of the Burj Khalifa!

From Dubai, there are numerous flights to pretty much anywhere on the European continent.  There are two options for this leg of the journey:

1. Dubai-Major European City via a Budget Airline @ $220 onwards one-way (Alternative Option)

Good news! There are numerous  budget airlines which fly to and fro from Dubai. Use Skyscanner to search for the lowest fares. Do note that flights to Europe from Dubai usually involve a stopover either at another European city or Istanbul

2. Dubai-Istanbul via Pegasus @ $138 onwards one-way (Recommended Option)

Pegasus plies this route frequently since it’s home base is Istanbul which is also a common stopover destination for flights into Europe from Dubai. A good bet for consistently low fares. Once again, use Skyscanner to search for the lowest fares.  Now that you’re at the gateway to the rest of Europe, flights to any European city are incredibly cheap!

Istanbu l- Where East Meets West
Istanbul-Where East Meets West

Just a heads up – The combined fare of  Option 2 and the onward flight (3rd Leg) into Europe about the same as the fare of Option 1. No excuse for you not to visit this exotic city!

3rd Leg: Istanbul-London via Pegasus @ $88 onwards one-way

London Night Skyline
London Night Skyline

Due to Istanbul’s popularity with European travellers, flights to major European cities are incredibly cheap. Pegasus only runs two daily flights to London – Early morning & late night at rather inconvenient times. British Airways runs 2 daily flights at more pleasant timings – Morning & late afternoon starting from $106 onwards. Once again, use Skyscanner to search for the lowest fares.

***RETURN JOURNEY***

4th Leg: Amsterdam-Dubai via Transavia @ $248 onwards one-way

Cycle along the idyllic canals of Amsterdam!
Cycle along the idyllic canals of Amsterdam!

For this leg try changing the departure city for the lowest fare using Skyscanner since many of the cities with flights to Dubai are close by ( London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam). Research on my end though has shown that Amsterdam is the cheapest hub for flights to and fro from Dubai.

5th Leg: Dubai-Kuala Lumpur-Singapore via Malaysia Airlines

Total Cost of Itinerary A= $924


ITINERARY B

This itinerary involves flying to Central Europe via Scandinavia. It’s a 5 leg journey with a total of 5-6 flights depending on your travel plans. Total number of possible countries you get to travel to within the flight itinerary is a minimum of 4 (Excluding city of origin) Do take note that prices for this itinerary are time-sensitive and inconsistent. Due to an ongoing promotion, fares are based on the month of November/December.

1st Leg: Singapore-Bangkok via  Scoot @ $78 onwards one-way

A popular route amongst budget airlines. Once again, use Skyscanner to search for the lowest fares. Watch out for regular special timed-offers/promotions to score an even cheaper flight. Spend a few days shopping or temple-running in Bangkok!

Go on a temple run in Bangkok!

2nd Leg: Bangkok-Copenhagen via Norwegian Air @  $220 onwards one-way

Outbound flights from Bangkok are cheaper for some reason so just buy a one-way ticket. Norwegian Air also flies to other cities in Europe though prices may vary.

3rd Leg: Copenhagen-Major European City

Colorful Riverside Houses
Colorful Copenhagen

Copenhagen is the Scandinavian gateway to the rest of Europe. Numerous budget airlines fly to and fro Copenhagen. If you’re sick of flying already, take the train. Copenhagen is separated from mainland Europe by the Baltic Sea . Germany and the rest of Europe is just a train+ferry ride away! Here are the two options available:

1. (Flight) Copenhagen-London via Easyjet @ $41 onwards one-way

Flights to major European cities should be around the above price range. Once again, use Skyscanner to search for the lowest fares. 

2. (Train) Copenhagen-Hamburg via DeutscheBahn @ $46.5 onwards one-way

SPT14-116_116
The Train Ferry

A scenic & interesting train ride. The train will chug past Denmark’s beautiful natural landscape over countless bridges before it goes onto a ferry. YES you read that right! The train is transported onto a ferry for the sea portion of the journey before disembarking on the German border island. 

***RETURN JOURNEY***

4th Leg: Amsterdam-Dubai via Transavia/Corendon @ $235 onwards one-way

For this leg try changing the departure city for the lowest fare using Skyscanner since many of the cities with flights to Dubai are close by ( London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam). Research on my end though has shown that Amsterdam is the cheapest hub for flights to and fro from Dubai.

5th Leg: Dubai-Mumbai-Singapore via Jet Airways @ $255 onwards one-way

Experience the hustle & bustle of Mumbai
Experience the hustle & bustle of Mumbai

Alternatively you can fly with Qatar Airways or SriLankan Airlines @ $370 onwards one-way. All flights include a stopover in Doha and Colombo respectively.  You can disembark at any of stopover cities if you’re interested. Once again, use Skyscanner to search for the lowest fares.

Total Cost of Itinerary B= $829


 Who are these itineraries for?

Yes these itineraries are long and involve multiple bookings. You’ll have to switch planes, sleep in airports(not necessarily), check in and out multiple times, move from terminal to terminal etc. It’s not convenient definitely but not too much of a hassle either. Consider this: If you book the conventional Asia-Europe flight, it’ll involve 4 legs and you don’t really get to explore the stopover country. 2 additional legs with the opportunity to explore 2 additional countries at your own leisure and no additional cost doesn’t sound too bad does it? These itineraries are definitely not suitable for those who can’t handle travel fatigue, value convenience or short on time. They’re more suited for the budget 20-ish backpacker type.


Booking Tips

  • Buy Travel Insurance
Travel worry-free
Travel worry-free

With multiple flights, delays/cancellations are highly probable. Buy comprehensive travel insurance which covers flights. Better safe than sorry! Check out goingplaces.sg for more information.

  • Avoid booking two flights within the same day
Calamity
Recipe for disaster

I mentioned the possibility of delays/cancellations in the previous point. Allow time to accommodate this possibility so that your travel plans are not drastically affected. If you spend a few days in a stopover country and a delay/cancellation occurs, you’re kinda safe. The worst case scenario would be that your time in a certain country is cut short +/- 1 day. 

  • Be prepared for flights

    Fly Comfortably
    Fly Comfortably

Since you’ll be flying budget airlines for most part of the journey, bring along books/videos/snacks/pillows and what not. 

  • Carry-on Compliant Luggage

CARRY_ON_LUGGAGE_by_Twarrior

All prices displayed in this post do not include checked luggage  for the budget airline flights. Different budget airlines have different interpretations of Carry-on compliant luggage. Check the dimensions beforehand. If you’re looking for a carry-on compliant luggage check out this review. Alternatively, you can purchase checked luggage on budget airlines(be sure to do this beforehand as it’ll burn a hole in your wallet if you buy it at the airport) but it’ll bring up the total price of the itineraries.


A common excuse for not travelling is MONEY.  I hope that with what I’ve outlined in this post, money will no longer be a convenient excuse. It’s indeed possible to travel cheaply – all you’ve to do is search extensively! As always, I welcome any of your comments or suggestions. Share this post if you’ve found it useful 🙂

Happy Travels!

Solo Traveller


Photo Credits: 

Featured Image taken from http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/02/06/eusa-internship-study-abroa/attachment/europe-collage/

KL Skyline taken from http://www.tourist-destinations.com/2011/12/kuala-lumpur-malaysia.html

 Burj Khalifa taken from  http://www.techjost.com

Istanbul taken from http://www.projects.aegee.org/suct/su2014/show.php?su_id=ist1

London Night Skyline taken from Telegraph.com

Amsterdam Canals taken from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/party-earth/what-to-do-with-48-hours_b_3391209.html

Bangkok Night Skyline taken from http://www.havelitourandtravels.com/tours/thailand-pattaya-2-nights-bangkok-2-nights/

Colorful Copenhagen Buildings taken from http://www.cntraveller.com/guides/europe/denmark/copenhagen/where-to-stay

Train Ferry taken from http://www.trains-worldexpresses.com/webships/700/704.htm

Mumbai Train Station taken from http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/698/cache/railway-station-mumbai-olson_69851_990x742.jpg

Travel Insurance Life Buoy taken from http://www.tourismlegal.com.au/travel_insurance.htm

Multiple takeoffs taken from http://twistedsifter.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/multiple-exposure-airplane-take-off-hannover-airport-ho-yeol-ryu.jpg

Travel Pillow taken from http://www.brookstone.com/nap-travel-flight-kit_6741249_2

Carry on Luggage taken from http://paradigm-shifting.deviantart.com/art/CARRY-ON-LUGGAGE-129389522

*All copyright belongs to respective owners*

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