Q. My husband and I are planning a trip to Germany and Italy in October. Ideally, we would like to fly into Amsterdam, work our way over, and return from Rome at the end of the month. Can we get good fare with that choice of cities? Or do you suggest another city other than Rome to return from?
A. Sounds like the makings of a wonderful trip but it may also be a costly one, since you'll be buying 2 one-way tickets for which you almost always pay a ridiculous mark-up for transatlantic travel (it's a strange but standard custom for most major airlines to charge much more for international one-way tickets than they do for round-trip tickets).
Better yet, since both Amsterdam and Rome tend to be among the most expensive destinations in Europe, consider alternative start and end points for your trip. You will have a better chance of finding a great deal to places like Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Geneva, and Milan, as well as cheaper connections among any of those cities, so you should at the very least include some or all of them when you check airfares.