Everyone has their own opinion about Japan. Some people love the pop culture, some respect the history, and others are fascinated by the technology power. There is one thing everyone agrees about, however, and that is the fact that Japan is expensive.
So how can we make our dream trip come true?
Because we challenge ourselves to save up enough, budget enough to save up for the trip of our dream.
It has been an additional motivation to keep us in line with our budget. We think with proper planning and additional income, we can make it work.
Anyway, back to the story of $350 round trip tickets
To put it into perspective, air tickets to Japan is expensive. No way around it. A round trip ticket with Vietnam Airlines at regular price cost about $1,000 per person. Isn’t that crazy? Considering the fact that a round trip ticket from Vietnam to the US can be bought for $1,200 or so, and it’s double the distance.
So we have been on the lookout for a ticket to Japan for a couple of months.
We searched on kayak.com and skyscanner.com. However, these sites seem to work for flights to and from the US only. Within SE Asia, the alert never seems to send me anything good.
Because of our traveling in SE Asia, we are members of different airline carriers here, such as Air Asia, Tiger Air, Cebu Airlines, and Jetstar.
Mind you, we are the “free” members. Meaning we don’t travel enough or don’t use a credit card to accumulate any miles or rewards.
The good thing is, as members, you will keep receiving newsletter and sales offer in your mailbox all the time. Sometimes as members, you also get early access to the sale price before everyone else.
So that is how we got our dirt cheap Japan tickets. One day, I received a sales announcement from Air Asia back in November, which said tickets from Hanoi to Tokyo and Osaka were going to be on sale. We got on, looked up the dates, and booked it when we see the price is so low.
The catch for this?
– We book in November but the trip is not actually until a year later – in October 2015.
– We will have to transit in Bangkok for 5 hours each way.
– The discounted tickets are not available for everyday of the week, so we ended up booking a 20 days trip. Longer than what we have planned.
All in all, it is still a good deal. The price is already cheap for a round trip ticket. However, it is even cheaper considering that it is a multi-city trip. We will arrive in Osaka, and leave from Tokyo. This saves us time and money because we don’t have to make our way back for the returning flight. We only have to trace our way from the South to the North, then fly out. The cost to do so with a regular flight with Japan Airlines or Vietnam Airlines would have been much higher than $1000.
So how can you buy cheap tickets in SE Asia?
1. Sign up for newsletters or membership of cheap airlines: Air Asia, Tiger Air, Cebu Airlines, Jetstar and others. Depending on which country you are traveling to or from. You can always cancel the membership later.
2. Be prepare to book way in advance: Airlines will often give a discount in exchange for pre-booked seats way in advance. This means if the sale period is this week, be prepared to book a trip for 6 months or a year in the future.
3. Be flexible with your travel date: Enough said. Once you login, just try moving the dates around to find the cheapest fare.
Do you have any other tips for finding discounted tickets? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
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