$270 One-Way Flight to London
I was sitting on my couch at 10pm, on a Thursday night, and logged into my favorite site: GOOGLE FLIGHTS! The number one question I always get is: how do you afford to travel and how do you find the best deals?
But let me expand on this. Often times, I don't necessarily have an exact destination in mind. What I do is literally type in my city of departure, and then I either enter 'Europe' or leave it blank so it populates the cheapest flights. So, this time, I entered 'Europe' and it listed all the cities with fairly cheap one-ways (most are connecting though). I saw London pop up so I clicked on the city and perused through the flights.
Mind you, my flight was booked only 5 weeks in advance. However, if you're flexible with your dates then hallelujah, you'll probably find even better deals. So I encourage you to choose the option of 'Flexible Dates' then click on 'All' and it will give you the lowest prices for the next 6 months.
So now you will see a list of all the flights that are cheapest and holy crap: there's a NON-STOP flight to Iceland for $130 ONE-WAY in October. SO GET ON IT. Mind you, most of the cheap flights are on WOW Air. It is DEFINITELY an economy flight. It is what I call "The Spirit Airlines of Europe". It sucks. However, I'm sure you can manage one flight for the price. The reason I also recommend just booking a cheap flight to any European city is because once you get to Europe, it's relatively cheap to visit other European cities. For instance, you can use Ryan Air or Easy Jet if you want to travel between countries. Or, even take the train if you want a trip from London to Paris. It's just the flight to get to Europe that matters and from there, you can travel without breaking the bank.
Additionally, I do fly on points and I use Chase Sapphire Reserve. For instance, I also had PNC Points and over 300k points, and it was equivalent to 100k points with the Chase card. So you definitely get more bang for your buck with Chase points (in terms of travel).
So I wish there was a magical recipe when finding cheap flights but it really is just a matter of luck and timing when you search and then you just need to book RIGHT away because prices fluctuate by the hour (if not minute).
Oh AND if you have a buddy that works for an airline - you should see if they can get you a buddy pass. You will basically fly for free (although it's usually standby).
If you have any tips or tricks for finding cheap flights - let me hear!