6 Tips for Flights to Japan

First and foremost, I would like to sincerely apologize for the lack of content. School has kept me well beyond busy, but in the meantime have brought some great content for you all!

So in September, me and three of my good friends made the decision to go to Japan for our spring break.

"But how can you afford to travel to Japan for Spring Break?" You might be asking. Some of you may even be "Oh, it's just one of those rich boys again", and to that I say, "You. Are. Wrong."

Don't get me wrong, flying across the Pacific Ocean for any type of vacation is expensive, but that's where most of your money goes to - the flight. And, depending of where you leave from and what kind of sacrifices you are willing to take, or even the time of year you decide to go, can make all the difference. That difference is one I'm sure you and your pocket will enjoy.

Tip #1: Fly during the slow season

What’s the slow season? It’s the time where airline traffic is...well slow. Pro: cheap airfare, less tourists, more average everyday life. Con: Not being able to see major attractions (maybe). For example, the peak seasons for airfare is generally in the summertime. It’s when most people want to get out of their stuffy home, soak up some sun, go hiking, etc. But that convenience comes at a cost. On the other hand you got the time in late winter/early spring, where the spring foliage hasn’t necessarily blossomed yet *cough* Cherry Blossoms *cough*. And generally there’s not much going on. Because of this you save some mulah for the trip instead of using on the airfare. Personally, I like going with the latter option because, well, I’m a broke college student. What other explanation do I need? Now, don’t feel discouraged. Ultimately the decision when to go is up to you when you want to go. I’m just saying for this upcoming trip I’m going on, instead of a $1000 to $1400 flight, mine was only $550.

Tip #2: Be Flexible

What do I mean by flexible? Don’t just stick to one day at a specific time of day. Not all flights are going to be in the morning, especially not the cheap ones. Be willing to switch up when you leave. If you’re worried about having to fit it in a specific time from (like taking time off of work) do your research prior to requesting off! And here’s the thing, sites like StudentUniverse and Kayak provide you options to be flexible with your departure are return dates to show you the differences in price! It’s amazing really. The airlines know when most people want to leave and return, sooooo don’t go on those pricey days. Also, don’t shy from the red eye flights either, they may save you a little more than you initially thought.

Tip #3: Don’t shy from layovers

Layovers suck. Plain and simple. You and I both know that there are some people out there who are willing to cough up that extra dough to avoid them. Seeing as you made it this far in the video, I’m going to guess you’re not one of those people, I mean neither am I. So don’t shy from them! Some airlines, like China Eastern Air, are required to stop in cities like Shanghai. Well here’s the dealio, because they have to have a layover - people don’t buy their flights. To make them more attractive, they lower the price, and you reap the benefits. In fact that $550 dollar ticket I was talking about? It was a 15 hour and 16 hour layover on the way there and back. Yeah they suck, but can you really complain at a price like that?

Tip #4: Don’t look at JUST your nearest airport

Do your research, find out where are the international airports around you are within driving distance. For example, the nearest one to me is Detroit. Now would I like to fly from there? Oh boy, you know it. But, I realized most flights actually go from Detroit to Chicago before heading across the pacific. And Chicago is well within driving distance. So that little extra hassle of driving over makes up more than enough with that price difference. Here’s also a little hint, the more west and airport is, generally the cheaper it is flying to Japan. So go ahead, put a little gas in the car, and cut that pricing.

Tip #5: Don’t stick to one airline

You might have a thing with Delta, United, JAL, etc., but you know they might not feel the same about you. Here’s the thing. Major airlines know they have a devoted audience who will only fly with them. That’s ok, it’s the same brand loyalty anyone can develop with cereal, food, electronics, you name it. But the smaller airlines know how to pry those customers away - smaller prices. When Spirit first came on the scene the wouldn’t have even had a chance to steal some of the other airline’s success - if they didn’t slash their pricing. Does that effect service? Of course. But some ot the other smaller airlines, China Eastern Air (which I had never heard prior to booking my first actual vacation to Japan), still hold on to giving quality service. So expand your reach and look as some of the smaller players in the game. Also, don’t get your hopes up too high when you do buy a cheap ticket - remember it’s cheap for a reason.


I cannot stress this enough. For international flights, they tend to just rise in price over time. Growing and growing from the time they are released. So when you decide, for sure, you want to go - book it. You know that song by Lil Dicke ‘Save dat Money’ “Book flight in December, but I leave in May”. Yeah, that actually pays off. What are the drawbacks to this though? You might not know what’s going to happen in the recent future *cough* North Korea *cough*, which why you buy the travel insurance. And what if something personal comes up? If the airline ever makes a small change in the departure time, return time, even if it be by 10 mins, you can cancel and get a refund. There is always a work around for the cons to booking early, so I would highly advise you do it.


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