Not only is Japan known for having a high cost of living, but it’s known for being an expensive travel destination. Since returning from my trip, many people I’ve talked to were curious and eventually asked,
“How much did it cost you?”
Every single person who’s asked me this question was shocked by how little money I spent. I myself was surprised how cheap international traveling really can be, if you know what you’re doing.
The majority of your international vacation budget will go towards your flight. Getting a cheap flight can guarantee having a budget friendly vacation. With a little bit of knowledge, technology, and patience, you can travel anywhere in this world for less than what you think, with the exception of a few off the radar places (like Antarctica).
Find out where you, formerly I, and most people go wrong with booking international flights in this week’s blog post!
Flying the Wrong Way
Expensive traveling originates from everyone’s outdated methods of planning their vacations. Ask yourself if this is you:
Do you pick where you want to go, choose the dates when you’re free, and then see what flights are available?
This method will guarantee you spending a pretty penny on any international flight, making your vacation that much more expensive. Will it be convenient? Yes, of course, but not the most cost effective, and unlikely the most bang for your buck.
If there’s anything to remember from this post, it’s that:
Flexibility reigns king.
Being flexible allows you to cross the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean as cost efficient as possible. This might require you to fly from different airports that you aren’t accustomed to or trips that contain multiple legs.
I find it puzzling that many people still lack the know-how of when it’s best to purchase international flights. These three rules below will change that:
If you’re flying from the U.S, I highly recommend avoiding international travel from June through August, Christmas, and New Year’s. It will cost a lot of money to do so, regardless of where you’re going. Try to fly internationally during January-May and September-December (before Christmas) to catch a good deal.
Not only is it important to know how international flights’ prices fluctuate throughout the year, but also which days of the week you should purchase your ticket. Your most expensive flights will fly on Friday’s and Sunday’s. Try to book flights that leave and return on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays for the cheapest air fare possible.
Book your flight 2-8 months ahead of when you actually plan on vacationing. Where you’re going determines how far in advance you’ll need to book your flight. You’ll have to track flights for nearly a year to find an ideal price. This is where patience comes in handy.
Well, how the hell does one do all of this?
Scott’s Cheap Flights
Google Flights is the best tool for monitoring and booking international flights, but doesn’t always provide the cheapest options. They’ll track their flights for nearly a year and realize they hardly saved any money at all when purchasing their ticket.
Here’s what Google Flights misses out on:
- Doesn’t account for smaller online travel agencies.
- Won’t find any mistake airfares.
- Often displays deals that are unavailable.
I’d like to introduce you to Scott’s Cheap Flight , which is where the majority of this information came from.
So how does Scott’s Cheap Flights work?
Scott’s Cheap Flights does all the tracking for you. They look for incredible deals, mistake airfares, and flights that go on sale for flights leaving the U.S. When deals appear, they’ll email you with a direct link to Google Flights. You never know which countries have deals, nor which airports these flights will be flying from if you have the free membership. But if you pay the small premium membership fee as I did ($40 per year), then you’ll get to choose which airport you want alerts from! How easy is that?
For example, you’ll get an alert, like the one below, for an absolute steal of a deal, leaving Houston to Dublin for $300-400 round trip!
At the bottom of the alert email is a link that sends you directly to Google Flights. Select the dates you’d like to go on, and start your trip off with that much extra money saved in your pocket.
I first heard of Scott’s Cheap Flights through the buddy of mine who decided to join me for our epic Japan trip. He got a tremendous deal on his airfare through Scott’s Cheap Flight, while I, on the other hand, used Hopper.
Hopper is strictly a mobile app (no website) that collects and analyzes flight prices. Hopper has the ability to predict the future price of airfares for specific destinations. They’ll give you hints on whether they think you should purchase now or wait until later to make your purchase.
The best part about Hopper is that it’ll send you alerts straight to your phone whenever deals pop up. I was screwed when it came to book my flight to Japan. I waited too late, but luckily, I had my flight tracked on Hopper. A family of four backed out, and within ten minutes, I was able to book my flight for a phenomenal deal.
If you get familiar with using Google Flights, then you’ll have no issues with Hopper. They’re nearly identical. It’s the best phone app, in my opinion, to track flights. The only features Scott’s Cheap Flights offers over both Google Flights and Hopper is the ability to account for mistake airfares or flash sale flights.
In order to have a budget friendly international vacation, you’ll need a cheap flight. With the combination of tracking flights using Google Flights, Hopper, and Scott’s Cheap Flights, traveling internationally will no longer break your bank, and make your experience that much more enjoyable!
Hope you all make use of this week’s post! If you have the chance to travel internationally this year, don’t hesitate, just DO it! You won’t regret a penny of it.
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
Book of the Month: “Set for Life: Dominate Life, Money, and the American Dream” by Scott Trench