You can go around the world for 800 USD Pt III – Europe to North America

Pt I – Introduction
Pt II – Southeast Asia to Europe
Pt III – Europe to North America
Pt IV – North America to Southeast Asia
Pt V – Sample Itineraries

All prices quoted are accurate as of 8 March 2017. They include all taxes and fuel surcharges but exclude checked luggage and meals (except otherwise stated).

In the previous part, I shared the various options between Europe and Southeast Asia.

In this part of the series, I will cover the different ways to travel between US and Europe on a budget.

Option 1 – Direct with Norwegian

Norwegian Air Shuttle is the biggest low-cost carrier between Europe and North America with bases on both sides of the Atlantic.

Routes between Europe and continental United States

Maps generated by the Great Circle Map & copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

European cities with direct connection to Continental United States

AirportCountryFlies to
Belfast (BFS)United KingdomNewburgh, NY
Providence, RI*
Bergen (BGO)NorwayNewburgh, NY*
Providence, RI*
Cork (ORK)IrelandProvidence, MI
Dublin (DUB)IrelandNewburgh, NY
Providence, RI
Edinburgh (EDI)United KingdomHartford, CT
Newburgh, NY
Providence, RI
Shannon (SNN)IrelandNewburgh, NY
Providence, RI
Barcelona (BCN)SpainFort Lauderdale, FL
Los Angeles, CA
Newark, NJ
Oakland, CA
Oslo (OSL)NorwayFort Lauderdale, FL
Orlando, FL
Los Angeles, CA
New York JFK, NY
Boston, MA*
Las Vegas, NV*
Oakland, CA*
Copenhagen (CPH)DenmarkFort Lauderdale, FL
Orlando, FL
Los Angeles, CA
New York JFK, NY
Boston, MA*
Las Vegas, NV*
Oakland, CA*
London Gatwick (LGW)United KingdomBoston, MA
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Los Angeles, CA
New York JFK, NY
Oakland, CA
Orlando, FL
Las Vegas, NV*
Stockholm Arlanda (ARN)SwedenFort Lauderdale, FL
Los Angeles, CA
New York JFK, NY
Oakland, CA
Las Vegas, NV*
Paris (CDG)FranceFort Lauderdale, FL
Los Angeles, CA
New York JFK, NY
Orlando, FL

* – Seasonal service

The fares can be really cheap when there are promotions. Direct flight between Europe and US west coast can be as low as 170 EUR (~180 USD or ~255 SGD).

Stockholm to Oakland, California

Generally there don’t seem to be much of a difference in the prices between flying to US East Coast or West Coast. However, I spotted what might be the cheapest Trans-Atlantic flight ever at 69 EUR (~74 USD or ~105 SGD).

Shannon, Ireland to Providence, Rhode Island

For round-the-world trippers on a budget, Norwegian offers the most choices in terms of routes and services. While Norwegian is known to have issues with on-time reliability due to its relatively small fleet, its cheap one-way prices for flights across the Atlantic are too enticing to ignore.

Option 2 – Via Iceland with WOW Air

A more expensive but definitely more interesting option is flying via Iceland with WOW Air.


Image from WOW Air

WOW Air connects North American and Europe through its hub in Keflavik Airport and while its prices seem low on first glance, they actually charge 42 EUR for cabin baggage.

Dublin to San Francisco

WOW Air allows free stopover in Iceland for return tickets only and one needs to book two separate tickets (Europe to Iceland, Iceland to North America) if he or she is traveling one-way.

Beside WOW Air, other budget airlines such as easyJet fly into Iceland as well and fare can be as low as 50 USD (~72 SGD).

London Luton to Keflavik

After visiting Iceland, United States is just a WOW flight away.

Keflavik to San Francisco

With WOW Air, one is able to travel between Europe to North America for as low as 226 USD (~325 SGD) without a stopover or 300 USD (~430 SGD) with a stopover in Iceland. For just extra 100 to 150 USD, I think that it is a good deal to visit one of the most amazing destinations in the world as part of the round-the-world trip.

Option 3 – Via Canada with Westjet and Air Transat

Prefer to see Canada instead?

Canadian airlines Westjet and Air Transat connect Europe and Canada on a budget.

Westjet’s Trans-Atlantic routes

Maps generated by the Great Circle Map & copyright © Karl L. Swartz.
Red – regular routes, Green – seasonal routes

Air Transat’s Trans-Atlantic routes

Maps generated by the Great Circle Map & copyright © Karl L. Swartz.
Red – regular routes, Green – seasonal routes

One-way direct flight between London and Toronto can be quite affordable on both airlines at around 240 USD (~340 SGD).

London Gatwick to Toronto on Westjet

London Gatwick to Toronto on Air Transat

The presence of these low fares has forced some full-service airlines to lower theirs as well. To compete with them, TAP has sub-200 USD fare (~280 SGD) between Europe and Toronto.

Rome to Toronto via Lisbon on TAP

These are all good options for travelers who wish to visit Canada. For onward travel, Westjet flies to Honolulu, where one can connect to AirAsia X’s flight to Osaka and Kuala Lumpur.

Summary
The most interesting choice between Europe and North America for me will definitely be the option which allows a stopover in Iceland. While this option is more costly, the chance to experience Iceland will be hard to resist. Norwegian’s competitive prices and network make it impossible for budget travelers between Europe and North America to ignore. If you were to skip Iceland, it is likely that they will be the most budget-friendly option around.

The next part will cover the final piece of the jigsaw: between North America and Southeast Asia.

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