Low-Cost Flights From Prague

Suzanne Pergal makes the connections and finds Prague is a better base for European travel than you might expect

Now that we have the Schengen zone and an increasingly sizeable European Union, being worlds away only requires a few hours of travel.

And if you're based in Europe, whether permanently or temporarily, you're blessed with a wide range of low-cost airlines to escape on: Ryanair, Easyjet, Clickair, Sky Europe, Smart Wings... The list goes on.

Not long after arriving in Prague, I was ready to get started on my jet-setting.

Many of my comrades hit up Western Europe's big names: Dublin, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, London, etc.

I'd like to say that I scoffed at such obvious travel plans, and wanted to step outside the mainstream, but my haphazard journeys are really just a result of my looking for the cheapest flights.

At the time of booking I thought that any place with an airport was worth visiting, especially, of course, if it was a Ryanair hub and if a ticket spanning the continent was cheaper than traveling on the train from Prague to Brno.

I planned my journey for the end of October and started questing mid-September.

For a Prague to Stockholm flight booked a month in advance, I had to pay 350 CZK, including taxes, fees, and surcharges -- more than you'd spend on a few cocktails or a T-shirt. From Stockholm to the next destination, Riga, was also around 300 CZK.

Generally, if you're flexible and traveling outside of a mad rush, expect to pay about 300-500 CZK for a one-way flight, if you book early. Check back a few weeks later and you'll find the price has increased five-fold or more.

If you've ever felt annoyed that Prague, unlike London or Frankfurt, doesn't offer an abundance of cheap flights, there's no longer any need to complain. Numerous low-cost routes out of Prague have recently opened up.

Two of Europe's biggest low-cost carriers in Europe are Easyjet and Ryanair. Both airlines fly from Prague to major destinations ranging from Belfast to Milan to Stockholm.

If you don't want to visit any of the destinations these airlines serve from Prague, see where you can travel to from an Easyjet or Ryanair base. The best option is a connection in the UK or Ireland, and there's a good chance that the prices and times will work out quite nicely.

Booking a cheap flight online to a faraway destination feels like buying a pair of shoes, and often with less of a dent.

It doesn't seem like a real trip until you take your confirmation sheet to the check-in desk, get frisked at security, and when those tiny "business" planes finally take to the sky.

Before you go, do a little research on the airport. If you're planning a transfer, make sure you allow ample time since low-cost airlines won't assist you with this process.

Low-cost carriers often use secondary airports in their destination cities, which can be a decent distance from the downtown area.

My advice: find a flight that works for you, no matter the location. A simple truth: you'll never know anything about a place until you actually go.

Above all, for a deal, book early! The closer to the travel date, the more expensive your flight will be. Flying in the off-season and during the week also saves some change. Be ready for some exploration and impromptu adventures.

Bon voyage!

Aer Lingus (Ireland)
Destination: Dublin

Bmibaby (UK)
Destinations: Manchester, East Midlands, Birmingham

Brussels Airlines (Belgium)
Destination: Brussels

Clickair (Spain)
Destination: Barcelona

Easyjet (UK)
Destinations: Belfast; Bristol; Dortmund, Germany; East Midlands; London Gatwick; London Stansted; Milan Malpensa, Italy; Newcastle

Germanwings (Germany)
Destination: Cologne

Jet2.com (UK)
Destinations: Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford

Ryanair (Ireland)
Destinations: Dublin; Birmingham, UK; East Midlands, UK; Stockholm Skavsta, Sweden

Sky Europe (Slovakia)
Destinations: Alicante, Spain; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Athens, Greece; Bari, Italy; Bourgas, Bulgaria; Brussels, Belgium; Catania, Sicily, Italy; Copenhagen, Denmark; Drubrovnik, Croatia; Lisbon, Portugal; London Luton, UK; Malaga, Spain; Milan Bergamo, Italy; Naples, Italy; Olbia, Sardinia, Italy; Paris Orly, France; Pisa, Italy; Rome, Italy; Split, Croatia; Thessaloniki, Greece; Venice Treviso, Italy

Smart Wings (Czech Republic)
Destinations: Barcelona, Spain; Budapest, Hungary; Dubai, UAE; Heraklion, Crete, Greece; Larnaca, Cyprus; Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain; Madrid, Spain; Paris, France; Rome, Italy; Tenerife, Canary Islands

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