Tips on Booking a Flight to Europe
If you plan on doing a trip that goes through several countries, consider the most logical place to begin. If you are flexible, let the plane ticket decide. Choose major cities in a few countries and see which one has the cheapest flights. Also, consider having someone drive you to an airport further away from you that has cheaper flights than your local one (I drove to Atlanta instead of flying out of ECP or VPS in Florida). Try to book your ticket at least three months out, and monitor prices for at least a week before booking as they can fluctuate severely day to day. Kayak.com has an awesome feature that advises you whether or not to "Book Now" based on pricing history. Booking Buddy is also a great option for monitoring flights as it will send you updates when the price drops. I recommend setting up price alerts for several different airports and being flexible with your dates. Try to avoid flying over the weekend as prices are typically higher due to demand.
My ticket from Atlanta to Zurich cost $840. Geneva was much closer to where I was staying, Lausanne, but that ticket was around $1200-$1400. A train from Zurich to Lausanne is only $80, so I took that route.
Tips: Don't forget to sign up for mileage points through whatever airline you choose. Check-in online and reserve your seats 24 hours early if this is an option. Try to arrive in the morning at your destination! Most flights will be around 7-10 hours so if you sleep on the plane you will wake up in the morning and feel fairly adjusted to the time zone.