Search here for great deals on cheap airfare to Edinburgh
The biggest expense of any vacation is almost always going to be the airfare, so if you’re trying to save money on a trip the first place to do is to try to get a better deal on your flight. Visiting major cities helps in this regard, as they often have not just international airports but can also be their country’s primary international gateway. Such is the case with Edinburgh.
Main Gateway to Scotland
The primary international gateway in a country is most often found in its capital, and that’s true in Scotland – Edinburgh, while it’s not the biggest city in Scotland, is home to its main international airport. Edinburgh Airport (airport code EDI) used to be the country’s busiest airport, but in recent years it has been eclipsed by Glasgow International Airport (airport code GLA).
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It remains to be seen whether this will eventually mean that Glasgow will become Scotland’s main international entry point, but there’s one big reason why that could one day happen – Edinburgh doesn’t currently have direct flights from North America, while Glasgow does. Another perk for many budget travelers is that Glasgow’s airport seems to be favored by budget airlines in Europe, although there are budget carriers that serve Edinburgh, too.
How to Save Money on Flights to Edinburgh
- Fly on a budget airline. As mentioned, Glasgow’s airport seems to be a bit more popular with budget airlines – but Edinburgh is served by low-cost airlines, too. Some of the budget carriers flying into Edinburgh are bmibaby, easyJet, Flybe, Jet2.com, and Ryanair. Since these carriers don’t fly all the way from North America (or, really, much outside Europe), if your starting point is further away you’ll have to employ the second tip on this list.
- Fly first to another (bigger) airport. Edinburgh may be Scotland’s main gateway, but it’s still a small airport by some standards. You may have better luck finding cheap fares into a bigger airport like the ones in London or even in Dublin. Saving a bundle on the longer flight means you might be willing to deal with the hassle of booking a separate ticket for a short flight to Edinburgh on one of the cheaper airlines listed in the point above. This method requires a bit of logistical juggling on your part, but could be worth it.
- Fly midweek. You probably know that weekends are some of the most expensive days to fly, since most leisure travelers want to fly on weekends. What you may not know is that Mondays and Fridays tend to be more expensive, too, because of business travelers flying to and from their weekly assignments. That means flying on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday – both ways – could save you quite a bit of money.
- Fly when it’s not the high season. The high season is called that for a reason – it’s when most people want to visit a place. In Scotland, summer is the obvious high season because of the more reliably good weather. The holiday season around New Year’s Eve makes for a small spike in airfare prices, due to the popularity of the Hogmanay celebrations, but it’s not nearly as costly as summer airfare. Planning your trip during the off-season can save you a bundle, especially if you’re willing to put up with winter weather. For a good compromise, consider the early spring or late fall.
photo by Ack Ook