If you held off on booking travel to Europe after seeing how many travelers flocked to airports over the summer, perhaps the calmer fall and winter travel seasons could make things feel a bit more approachable. Some of the fares are certainly more approachable.
Take Dublin for example.
Beginning in October for some cities, and just after the new year for others, you can find round-trip flights at a fraction of the cost you might have paid this summer — $450 or less. If you’re willing to fly with a low-cost European carrier, you might even see your fare drop well below $400. Just make sure you check for any “add-on” fees that might sneak up.
Sure, with some of the best availability coming between January and May, you may not catch the best weather, but you may also avoid some of the biggest crowds at popular destinations and attractions.
Whether you’re hoping to spend your time exploring the Irish capital city or venturing out to other parts of Ireland — from great “second-city” options to incredible sites like the Cliffs of Moher — this could be a great opportunity to get to the other side of the Atlantic at a low cost.
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Airlines: Aer Lingus, TAP Air Portugal, Play and Icelandair.
Routes: New York, Boston, Washington, Miami, Chicago and San Francisco to Dublin.
How to book: Directly with the airlines or through Google Flights.
Travel dates: January through May 2023, but check for October and November 2022 availability, too.
The deals we found involve round-trip journeys between the U.S. and Dublin for about $450, although there are some even cheaper options as well.
Generally, these prices are available in cities served by some combination of Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus, Portuguese carrier TAP and Icelandic carriers Icelandair and Play. If your flight is aboard Aer Lingus, you should be able to score a nonstop ticket at a competitive price. However, if you’re traveling aboard TAP you will have to make a connection in Lisbon, Portugal, and if you’re on Icelandair or Play, you’ll have a stopover in Iceland.
For that reason, it’s a good idea to not just look solely at what is the cheapest flight. You might find a $380 ticket on one of the non-Irish carriers, for instance, with a multihour stop involved. On the other hand, it may be worth an extra, say, $50 to $60 for the nonstop ticket.
On the contrary, if you’re interested in seeing Iceland or Lisbon for a day or so, you may be able to tinker with your itinerary and orchestrate a stopover of 24 hours or so via your connection; this is a great way to see a second city for the price of one if you’re up for it.
Ultimately, it’s a balancing act of your preferences when it comes to price, nonstop flights and maximizing your sightseeing potential. The good news is, with fairly wide-open availability at the low price point, you have options.
Here are a few options we found:
New York to Dublin for $453 on Aer Lingus.
Washington to Dublin for $344 on Play.
Chicago to Dublin for $425 on TAP.
Boston to Dublin for $344 on Play.
Miami to Dublin for $438 on TAP.
San Francisco to Dublin for $434 on TAP.
Let’s start with a look at the Aer Lingus itinerary out of New York. This could be an option for travelers looking to plan a trip for March. Your overnight flight departs John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) at 5:20 p.m., arriving very early the next morning in Dublin. On the return trip, it’s a flight that spans the midday hours, touching down at JFK at 1:50 p.m.
There are a number of options out of the Washington, D.C., area, including on TAP out of Dulles International Airport (IAD). The lowest fares I found, though, were on Icelandic carrier Play out of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). Again, just make sure you’re OK with any fees you’ll pay on top of your fare. For this early March itinerary, you’d depart BWI just after 6 p.m., making a 100-minute stop in Reykjavik the next morning, before continuing on with a two-hour, 45-minute flight to Dublin. The layover is of a similar length on the return trip.
Finally, here’s a midwinter option for travelers out of Chicago. Departing late at night from O’Hare International Airport (ORD) on TAP, it’s a flight of just under eight hours to Lisbon. Then, after an approximately hourlong stop, you’re back on board another plane en route to Dublin. The stop is just more than three hours on the return itinerary.
Maximize your purchase
Pay with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to earn 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You’ll earn 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel when you use the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. Meanwhile, The Platinum Card® from American Express earns you 5 points per dollar on travel booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 per calendar year.
Related: 11 stunning sights to see in Ireland beyond Dublin
Trinity College in Dublin. MBELL/MOMENT/GETTY IMAGES
Travel to Europe in early 2023 could mean lighter crowds and also cheaper prices compared to this past summer. For travelers looking to save, this deal could be a great opportunity to book travel to Dublin, whether to explore the city exclusively or venture to other parts of Ireland (or, perhaps, other parts of Europe).
Featured photo by David Soanes Photography/Getty Images.