Although Filipinos preferred to travel locally last year, there are many who still enjoy flying abroad whenever the travel bug bites. Exploring unfamiliar territory makes for memorable experiences, and it seems that Europe is still a continent that Filipinos love to get lost in.
In 2018, the Netherlands issued the most number of Schengen visa applications to Filipinos, while France bagged second place. Overall, France is the European country with the highest number of Schengen applications. That said, it doesn’t come as a surprise to find out that the birthplace of baguettes also received the most number of international tourist arrivals in 2018.
We recently tackled all the cheapest European countries you could fly to from the Philippines, but now, we delve into the topic of when. Given France’s consistent position as one of the most visited European countries, we use it as a benchmark to find out the cheapest time to travel to Europe.
Off-season is the best time
Like most countries, the busiest time of the year is summer. Summer in Europe is from late May or early June through August. With summer as peak season, it’s not the best time to travel if you’re looking to save some money.
On the other hand, late fall to winter is the off-season for Europe’s tourism, probably because the cold isn’t very inviting. This runs from mid to late October to March. Fewer tourists travel to Europe during the winter, unless it’s a white Christmas they’re looking for. Thus, it’s obviously cheaper to fly during this period, but when exactly?
Through Skyscanner, we collated estimated flight prices for 2020 for a one-way trip to France (economy, of course). We discovered that March is (still) the cheapest month to fly to Europe. Flights could go as low as P16,891 and as high as P26,750. The most expensive month is July, which is right in the middle of summer. Rates could go as low as P21,789 and increase to P46,547.
If you’re wondering what the average prices for peak season and off-season is, here they are: For summer, the average cost for a one-way trip is P20,643.67, while flights during the winter average at P18,720.83.
It also depends on the day.
Usually, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly, but given fluctuating flight prices, it’s always best to double-check your options. For example, Sundays in March of 2020 are cheaper compared to weekdays.
Book a flight within the “prime booking window.”
The prime booking window is the period wherein you’ll be able to score the lowest rates. According to Cheapair.com, the prime booking window for Europe is 160 days before departure.
Another quick tip: Don't forget to clear your browser cache when booking online, and you'll be ready to fly.
*This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.