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$176?  Sounds crazy, right?  Well, it is not a typo.  Read on to find out how you can travel to Europe for under 200 bucks.

I recently took my third flight on Norwegian Airlines.  Last summer I flew OAK > ARL (Oakland, California to Stockholm, Sweden) and ARL > BKK (Bangkok, Thailand).  A few weeks ago, I flew OAK > PRG (Prague, Czech Republic) with a 10-hour stopover in OSL (Oslo, Norway).

The flight from Oakland to Oslo is about 9.5 hours total flight time.  Not too bad, considering you’re flying in one of the nicest and most modern aircrafts ever built, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (seen below).  This plane featured comfortable coach seats (with spacious leg room), electrical outlets under every seat to charge laptops, USB chargers at every seat to charge cell phones, free movies/shows/entertainment screen for every seat, and electrochromic dimming windows that are 25% larger than normal windows, a quieter cabin and cleaner air than most commercial airplanes.

The trick to booking such a great fare is simple.  For one, you need to check direct flights from OAK, LAX or LAS to OSL, ARL or CPH and view fares by month (on Norwegian Air, OAK only goes direct to ARL and OSL but perhaps that will change in the future).  By doing this, you will be able to see which days have the cheapest possible fare:

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Once you have selected the date you want to fly, go on to the next page and select the cheapest option (keep in mind it does not include meals or check-in luggage, only a carry-on bag).  If you’d like luggage and meals, choose the next highest price and you’ll get a 20kg check in bag (about 44lbs) and 2 meals on the flight.  At this point, change the language on the top right side to Norsk (Norwegian).  The prices will change to show in NOK instead of USD:

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At this point, check Google to see what the price is in USD.  Simply go to Google.com and type in “1490 NOK to USD” and you’ll get the price in USD with the latest exchange rate.

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As you can see, the price comes out to $175.67.  OAK>ARL is 5331 miles.  $175.67 divided by 5331 miles comes out to 3.2 cents per mile which is extremely cheap (anything under 6 cents per mile is considered a great deal).  If you have a debit or credit card that does not charge international transaction fees, this is the price you will pay.  If not, you’ll pay an additional 1-2% of this price ($2-8) in fees charged by your bank, since you’re paying in a different currency.

I suggest subscribing to Norwegian Air’s newsletter so you can get updated when prices drop to insane levels.  Today I received this email with some even cheaper fares (note that these prices will go even lower by changing the currency to NOK as explained above).

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And that, my friends, is how to travel to Europe on the cheap.  If you don’t plan to stay in Stockholm or Oslo, you can book a new flight using a cheap airline such as Ryan Air or similar to get around Europe cheaply.