A big summer trip to Europe is a rite of passage for many U.S. college students, and many U.S. travelers also make the journey each year with their families and friends. Summer is prime time for European travel, and with that in mind we’ve put together a helpful planning resource to identify the cheapest days to fly to Europe all summer long.

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CheapAir.com has analyzed hundreds of thousands of European summer airfares, and we have come up with some pretty interesting trends. First of all, because the bulk of travelers make this trip in the summer months, you have to have realistic fare expectations compared to spring, fall, or winter. Demand is highest in June, July, and August, so be prepared to pay a premium for your flights.

On the other hand, you can still put together a budget-friendly trip in the summer months. Late August, for example, offers great value. In fact, flights in August are, on average, $152 cheaper than flights in July. Early June also shows airfare savings for many European itineraries. If you can manage to be creative and avoid July, you’ll also save money on accommodation and dining options (some smaller towns really do ratchet up pricing for high-season American travelers), and benefit from smaller crowds.

Another consideration should be what day of the week you fly. Straight across the board, flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays are simply more affordable than weekend flights.

savings by day of the week

When we dig into average fares on flights all across Europe by day of the week, the value of weekday flights over the weekend is clear:

average airfare by day of the week

Over the years, we’ve touted flexibility as a key factor in getting affordable fares, and we’re not going to change our tune when we’re talking about European travel. If you have a laundry list of requirements for your flight, you should plan to buy early when choice is plentiful. Nimble travelers who can forgo seat assignments are willing to take a flight with a less attractive layover or can even fly to a different country to start their travels, and they can sometimes scoop up amazing deals.

But you should save your pennies and be prepared to buy when you see a good airfare. Many people are watching the same itineraries, and some of them will pull the trigger when a “deal” pops up. Assuming you have days or weeks (or sometimes even hours) to mull it over and talk to other travelers is a rookie move. When you come back, the airfare might very well be gone. The best deals will not last. Be ready to buy.

We hope this has been a help! For those of you putting together a European vacation, you’ll want to use our European Summer Flights page as a no-nonsense planning tool. We’ve got helpful tips on where to go and things to do, as well as a useful, color-coded calendar of the summer months to illustrate which days are the best travel value for flights. You’ll get an easy, day-by-day rundown of the cheapest and most expensive days to fly from June 1 all the way through to the end of summer. Whether you fancy a Dalmatian Coast beach holiday, a Danube or Mediterranean cruise, a shopping and dining holiday in Paris, or a multi-city itinerary hitting all of Europe’s capital cities, we can help streamline the planning process and make sure the vacation is affordable. So, happy travels, bon voyage, buon viaggio, and gute reise!

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  1. Thanks for the info. We’re planning on flying from Toronto to Paris in early August. I know that is still in that peak summer season but that is when we are available to go.

    Should we buy our tickets now or can we expect fares to get a little better in the next few weeks?

    • Hi Tim, The likelihood that fares will go down is uncertain. Typically, in high season fares climb and do not dip. If you decide to watch and wait, keep a close eye on fares.

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