If there is one thing that dulls the numbing feeling of paying 4 USD for a 12 oz. water bottle at a Copenhagen 7/11, it’s the fact that flying out of Copenhagen, like most of Europe, can be extremely affordable. On a random weekend this month, you can fly to London or Brussels for less than 80 USD roundtrip. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can even do the same thing I did on Wednesday: fly to Prague just for one day for the same price as approximately 14 water bottles. (Just a quick tip on this one: buy a cheap reusable water bottle at the local Flying Tiger, which is essentially a smaller hybrid between Ikea and Target but with an unhealthy amount of weird shit)
The Copenhagen Airlines
There are over 70 airlines that operates out of Copenhagen Airport, but most likely, you’ll fly with Norwegian, Ryanair, and SAS…unless you have the unfortunate fate of flying to Iceland on WOW Air. That will leave you scarred.
Contrary to its name, Norwegian has a large operating base in Copenhagen, in addition to Oslo, Stockholm, and London-Gatwick. If there is an American comparison to Norwegian, it would be Southwest or jetBlue: low-cost, decent service, and free WiFi. Like most European airlines, the cheapest ticket usually only allows you to bring a carry-on luggage, which should not be an issue for a quick weekend trip. Norwegian flies to 64 destinations from Copenhagen, including Amsterdam, Dublin, Edinburgh, Madrid, and Rome. In addition, they operate long-haul flights to several destinations like New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, and if you REALLY want to getaway to get some Vitamin D and think Barcelona is way too basic for your taste, you can even fly Norwegian to Bangkok, Thailand. (Probably won’t recommend because #jetlag)
Ah. Ryanair. To simply put it: it’s the Greyhound of the skies that everyone loves to hate yet everyone still flies. On a random Tuesday night in March, you can fly from Copenhagen to Budapest for 13 USD with the airline. THIRTEEN. DOLLARS. Flying on Ryanair is an experience and a rite of passage for many brave, nomadic, and savvy souls. In addition to seats that are just a notch above the comfort of a park bench, a bright and yellow cabin design that will sure to wake you up on that 6AM flight, and the novelty of always boarding via a staircase, flying on Ryanair is a complex science. I will refer you the experts at the Points Guy to dive in deeper in the Art of Flying Ryanair. Although I have to admit, from experience, they were pretty decent. But I also came in with the lowest of expectations, which in my opinion should be written on their terms and conditions: “Come with the lowest expectations and leave just a little bit surprised.”
SAS or Scandinavian Airlines is the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. It’s a full-service carrier, which means, their airfares tend to be a little bit higher. However SAS and many other full-service carriers have transitioned to a more low-cost structure, eliminating complimentary food, drinks, and checked-in luggage. On certain days and routes, SAS might offer the cheapest flights. The real consistent benefit is the fact that they fly to the most destinations from Copenhagen and if you’re also as obsessed as racking up frequent flyer miles, they are a member of Star Alliance which allows you to earn miles with United Airlines, which may be useful for redeeming flights within the US.
How to Find the Cheapest Flights
Apps like Hopper are quite popular and useful but I personally prefer Google Flights. The flight feature allows you to search the entire calendar year for the cheapest combination of days to fly on. In addition, a handy feature is their explore destinations map which gives you the prices for nearby destinations, which is helpful if you are looking for a spontaneous trip on a budget. Another great website is SkyScanner which literally searches the entire web for the cheapest flights, including searching an entire month for the cheapest days and an “Everywhere” option where it tells you where you can fly to for the least amount of money.
- Use tools like Google Flights, SkyScanner, and Hopper to find the best flights.
- Flying with a carry-on bag will always be the cheapest option. If you need to check-in a bag, make sure you purchase this add-on in advanced to avoid exuberant fees at the airport.
- Do your research and planning in advance: while spontaneous trip can sometimes be more memorable, if you’re looking to travel by yourself or with friends to a destination you know you want to visit, buy your tickets early as most airfares typically go up within two weeks of the departure date.
- Go to Prague. Will write a separate blog post about it but holy crap it’s beautiful.
- Lastly, BRING YOUR OWN WATER BOTTLE.
Thanks for reading!