When I searched the internet for travel tips, all I came across where articles that advise you to use a credit card that saves travel points. But I’m based in Belgium, and in Europe airline credit cards are far less commonly used than in the United States. In my opinion, for European travelers an airline credit card is handy but not a must. I’ll tell you why.

If you fly a lot, it can be wise to sign up for the membership program of your airline or airline alliance. Each time you fly, you gain miles. Even more, there are airline credit cards that let you collect miles while shopping. At some point, you’ll be able to turn your precious points into a free flight. But the other times when you aren’t flying for free, your flights will not be the cheapest you can get. If you’re like me, it’s the destination that counts. That’s why I prefer to fly low cost airlines, like Ryanair, Jetairfly, Easyjet or WizzAir.

I fancy going to Budapest? 25 euros for a return flight. Prague with my girl? No problem, I’ll go ahead and book the outbound flight for 15 euros, and I’ll wait a bit until there’s a cheaper time to book the return flight. Berlin? 10 dollars per flight. Heck, that’s cheaper than a domestic train ticket around here! For citytrips like these, hand luggage is sufficient so you don’t have to pay extra luggage fees. With other airlines, luggage fee is often included in the more expensive price for the flight, even if you don’t make use of it. European flights are rarely longer than 2 hours, the limited service is not too hard to endure.

If you’re traveling long distance, which for me personally – and I assume for a lot of you also – happens less often than short distance, I recommend booking way in advance. Flights from Europe to the United States are relatively cheap the moment they become available and the price does not tend to decrease a lot over time. Use flight aggregator sites like Skyscanner to find the cheapest one available for you.

(pic source: bizjournals.com)