Want to know how to fly from Europe to South East Asia on the cheap?
Here I explain how I was able to find affordable flight routes on my recent trip to South East Asia.
First of all you want to check out my general blog post on how to find cheap flights to gather the basic foundations on how to locate them.
Then you can follow these tips on how to find affordable flights to South East Asia from Europe, best of luck!:
Fly one way on a one way ticket
It’s cheaper to buy return tickets but they will limit you to how long you will stay in a set location and you will normally have to depart from the point you arrive.
By remaining flexible and booking one way you can return to Europe from where ever you like whenever you like, giving you more freedom and options on your next trip.
However, some countries in South East Asia, such as the Philippines do require that you have proof of return flight ticket to enter the country so do be aware of these laws before you book your flights as you might need the return after all.
Why not break up your flights and use affordable Stopover routes
Cheapest Way to fly to South East Asia from Europe is by using stopovers at multiple destinations along the route. This does require more time but if you’re not in rush, then this can be a great option.
Use this travel tip to enjoy stopovers and explore some new, fun and exciting cities along the way too.
Usually late or early morning, 1+ day routes are off-putting for families, but perfect for backpackers looking for a bargain.
You can also contact the airline ahead of time to see if you can extend your stay by getting on a later flight or a free hotel for the night if its a long layover.
This will allow you to get a free shower and quick sleep before or after your onwards flight and break up the journey a bit.
You can then use the rest of the time to explore the city you’ve landed in for the day and visit some sights and grab a bite to eat.
I’ve done this multiple times with different airlines such as in Istanbul, Turkey with Turkish airlines, Doha, Qatar with Qatar Airways and Abu Dhabi, UAE with Etihad Airways as well as Beijing, China with Air China, all while flying to South East Asia from Europe.
Some airlines will provide a stopover program, whilst others don’t. It all depends if your flight is stopping off in the airline’s major hub as they often have arrangements with the local tourism board to keep passengers exploring the city they stop off in rather than grabbing a quick connection and flying onwards.
If you’re unable to grab a room many airports have public showers and sleeping style chairs to rest your head and read a book.
However, this is normally only honoured for flights over 8 hours+, if they won’t provide a room, they will for sure provide you with meal vouchers it’s worth asking, you have nothing to lose.
Check with the Airport staff first that your plans are suitable for your onward flight, some airports might be located too far away to make a trip to the city.
Stopovers are also great for jetlag as your body can adapt over time zones rather than all at once.
You can also arrange for your bag to arrive in the final destination so you don’t have to worry about your checked baggage for the stopover trip.
Fly to a major South East Asia Hub
You have two types of airports, Hubs and standard. Hubs are normally home to major carriers, are large and handle hundreds of multiple flights each day.
Standard airports are not served so frequently and are more expensive to reach due to less international flight availability.
If you do need to reach one of these smaller airport destinations then it’s cheaper to reach a major hub then fly short-haul with a low-cost airline.
In South-East Asia, popular budget airlines are AirAsia, JetStar, Tiger Airways, NOK Air, Scoot and Lion Air.
The major hubs: Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi or Manila.
These are the big frequently served airports around South East Asia that are frequently flown too by major airlines, this is where you can find the cheapest flight routes.
Depart from a major European Hub
The same goes for Europe: London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris.
If you can play around with a flight search engine, one way, with stopovers, between two of the above routes, this is how you can locate a cheap flight to South East Asia from Europe.
Hub to Hub for the win. And remember that a Stopover between the hubs also will help to reduce your overall flight cost.
Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights to South East Asia
(Skyscanner is great for laying out dates over a month to spot the cheap flights)
My flight search engine of choice is currently Skyscanner which is a powerful flight search tool.
I’ve been using Skyscanner since the start of the year when someone recommended it to me and I’m highly impressed by what it can do, it’s the perfect tool to find cheap flights, worth checking out.
You will want to remain flexible to find the cheapest airfare, by not being picky about the destination or the date you will find a much cheaper flight.
You can also try the Search feature called “Everywhere” if you’re feeling a bit random and lucky.
This also works well when in South East Asia and you’re looking for somewhere to fly short-haul, why not give it a try and see where you end up.
From the search above, you can see that return flights from London to Bangkok for a month trip will set you back just under £500. And wit Air China, £360. Both flights include luggage, in-flight entertainment system and food. I have flown the Air China route in low season and got a return sale price of £290 so do play around with the dates and see what you can find.
A flight search engine is a good idea to start your planning and see what prices pop up. Change the dates, destinations, hubs, stopovers, airlines and you will soon find a price that meets your needs.
You can try your first search here:
Why Kuala Lumper is a good arrival destination in South East Asia?
I recommend first looking at routes to Kuala Lumpur for 3 reasons, first of all, it tends to be the cheapest due to the low airport tax and fuel costs.
Second, it’s home to AirAsia, South East Asia major low-cost airline, it’s routed around South East Asia from KL will normally be a lot cheaper as they have their main hub here at KLIA2.
Perfect for a destination for booking your last onwards journey or travelling around Malaysia.
The third reason is British passport holders get 90-day visa entry on arrival to Malaysia for no extra charge, making it a perfect destination to start and end your South East Asia Backpacking adventure.
Now you’ve reached these awesome destinations on the cheap, you might want to check out this guide to finding the cheapest places to live by my friend Tim over at cheapest destinations blog.
I wish you all the best with finding cheap flights from Europe to South East Asia, have an incredible backpacking adventure and all the best!
Do you have any tips you can add?
Feel free to message me and I’ll be sure to update the above, thank you: