May 21, 2013

Hotel deals are hot in Europe, but flying there is pricey


Travelers who want to take advantage of fantastic hotel deals in Europe that include luxury hotel stays for less than $100 a night first have to get there - and airfares are not as inexpensive.

The good news: "Hotel prices in Europe are out-of-this world amazing," says Clem Bason, spokesman for Hotwire.com. The booking site crunched the numbers for the summer travel season and found deeply discounted hotel deals in several European cities, including five-star properties for less than $100 a night.

The bad news: Airfares from North America remain near historic highs. Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com and author of our Airfare Expert column, says you're unlikely to find any summer flights to Europe for under $1,000 round trip. Rather than greedy airlines, he attributes this to a fare structure in which each ticket starts with more than $600 in fuel surcharges and airport fees, even before airfare is added.

But if you're lucky enough to make it across the Pond in the coming months, your lodging dollars are all-powerful. Bason notes that the European economic slump has drastically reduced intra-Europe travel, leaving hotels in many cities scrambling to fill rooms. Among the best deals:

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