#3- Get to Europe and then to Athens
One of the better
strategies to getting to Greece inexpensively(or maybe I
should say less expensively) is to get a flight to Europe
first and then continue on to Greece.
As with most
of the strategies, you need to be diligent in your searches
since there are many sites out there and not all of them
are easy to find. As outlined in Strategy
#2 you'll want to search the ads on the side of the
page as well as the search engines on my Fare
I would run a
combination of searches starting from the major US cities
to major European cities(historically the lowest fares are
to London and Paris and some of the larger German cities-
Munich and Franfurt). You can also try Rome which is usually
a little more expensive, but it's less expensive to get
to Greece(especially if you take the train to Brendisi and
then the ferry to Corfu or Patras!). Once you find an good
fare to a European city, then try the searches from your
closest airport and see if you can get a good fare from
there. If you can, then Great!-You're halfway there.
If you can't
find a low fare from your closest city then you'll have
to find a way to get to the city with the best fare(Strategy
#2). Once you've found a way to do that, then you can
work on the itinerary on the other side of the ocean.
DO NOT purchase any parts of the journey until
you have all the pieces in place! Find something you
can hold for 24 hours or more and then get the rest
of the pieces before you purchase all legs.
I can't tell you the number of people who have purchased
inexpensive flights to Europe to save money and have
asked me to find them something inexpensive to Greece-
only to find that there weren't any good fares from
that city. In the end their money saving tickets ending
up costing them more(and were less convenient) then
if they'd purchased the tickets as one unit all the
At this point
I'll assume that you've got your US flights set and you
have an itinerary to Europe. Once in Europe there are a
few options- commercial flights, charter flights, rail or
ferry. The options are different in every country you go
England has some
great charters and you can get flight with a plane full
of happy-go-lucky Brits on their way to a Fun in the Sun
vacation(where most couldn't care less if it was Greece,
Albania, Iraq or China-as long as there is sun, beer and
Fish and Chips!).
If you get to
England, I've posted some search engines that can help you
with flights but make sure that they will be able to deliver
your tickets to a US address(or if you have a UK contact
they can hold them for you!) If you go to my discount
air page(Some great options come up on ads on the sides
of the page!) you can run a few searches for flights from
England or scroll down to the list of the smaller European
Airlines and go to their individual pages. You can also
run a search through the US based search engines at my Fare
I would also
try the Eurail
system which takes a little more time but you could
work your way to Greece slowly stopping along the way or
just continue in one shot to get there as quickly as you
can. Quite a few years ago I took the train from Athens
to Vienna with a friend and had a great time, meeting people
and seeing countryside that you would never see if you fly!
One year I bought
ticket to Rome(for $169 one way including taxes!) and had
to figure out how to get to Greece. I was on a tight budget
so I took the train to Brindisi and the boat to Patras.
It's been a long time now so I can't remember the exact
fare I paid, but it was very inexpensive(I traveled in July)
but I'm pretty sure that the whole trip cost less than $250!
As with all your travel arrangements, if you are combining
flights(or other modes of transportation), be sure
to schedule a lot of time between connections. Keep
in mind that a mid-July thunderstorm in New York could
delay a take off for 3-4 hours, and if you arrive
late at your destination you could be backed up in
the air and asked to circle until there is an opening
for you to land. So a 3-5 hour delay in getting to
your European city is a definite possibility!
is to spend some time in the European country. It may end
up costing more in the long run as you'll have to pay for
hotels and food(which you would pay for in Greece anyway),
but that cost is relatively small compared to what it would
cost to fly to that city another time!
This should give
you a pretty good idea of the options and how to find them.
Let me know if I can help you with anything else....