How I flew from New York to Japan for $300


– So a lot of people have told me I tend to be a little extra when it comes to travel planning. And that’s true, but that’s because I like
having control over where I go and how I spend my money. I’m sure that’s important
to most of you too. So, I’m gonna show you all the tools that you can use to plan
to plan your next vacation. As a professional travel
planner for eight months, and an amateur one for basically, all of my adult life, I love travel planning. Here’s where I like to file for budgeting. A vacation for just yourself should cost roughly around the same as what you make in one paycheck. That way you’re neither making
or losing money either way. And you give yourself the option of either going to a really
fancy resort for a weekend or a backpacking trip on
a budget for one week. But obviously, everyone’s situation’s a little different, especially if you’ve got
family members to account for. For that budgeting, you can use a tool on BEFRUGAL.COM to figure out whether you
should drive or fly to a place. It even factors in costs like tolls and gas prices for driving and taxis to and from
the airport for flying. But I’m gonna focus on flights because a good flight deal can really feel like they’re hard to find. Have you ever heard of people who’ve scored crazy flight deals from New York to Japan for $300 dollars? I’ve been one of those people. It was amazing. But it probably helps to first understand how
flight pricing works. The majority of air fares you see are targeted to two kinds of travelers. There are those who will pay any price because they need to be
somewhere a specific time. That’s folks traveling for business, a family emergency, a wedding. And then there are the flexible travelers who are willing to put up with
mid-day flights or layovers to get a better deal. So in that sample from New York to Tokyo, the prices might fall into this range. Now of course, airlines are incentivized to make the most money per seat. So the majority of the fares you will see likely fall between this
middle range in prices. But, when it’s time for an airline to try to fill its empty seats, it may just straight up drop prices. That’s where these
seats in the lower range become up for grabs. Keep in mind that when an airline drops prices, it drops services too. And this is notorious for domestic flights or ones from low cost carriers. Cheap flights often
come with restrictions, such as not being able to pick your seat, bring overhead luggage or having to fly at inconvenient times. These budget options are
becoming more popular so that airlines can get their prices in the top of search. So read the fine print before you book. But back to my magical $300 dollar fare. That was actually a mistake fare, which happens when a
human or technical error causes a flight to get
to literally be sold at the wrong price. This is pretty rare and not all airlines will honor it. But if you do find one, wait until you have a confirmed booking before you start booking places to stay. Currently, I’m looking to book
a flight in early December. And I’m pretty flexible on where. Some of my favorite places
to find deals are like the Flight Deal or Scott’s Cheap Flights or AirfareWatchdog. These are newsletters
that track price drops. I’m looking through here and… There are active deals like Copenhagen for $333 dollars. These are pretty good. But I’d like something a little cheaper and a little closer to home. Now this one from the Flight Deal is a $178 dollars to Martinique. It’s about a four hour flight. That seems pretty good. I might actually consider that one. One last place I also like to look is Google Flights. So it looks like Google
Flights and the Flight Deal are both showing this
Martinique flight for 178. It’s through Norwegian Airline and that’s probably coming up because Norwegian just
opened a flight route between New York and a
lot of different places. So they’re probably incentivizing people to buy tickets to fill their planes that’s why it’s so cheap right now. You can book a flight like
this through aggregators like Orbitz or Expedia and earn points, but booking directly with an airline will give you more leverage if there are travel
disruptions or cancellations. Check with your credit card companies too if they offer travel protection. Now, you’ve got a place to go and now it’s time to think
about a place to stay. Sites like Homeaway and
Airbnb are great options for people who want more of a local vibe or places that are unique to them. If your prefer things like
housekeeping or in-room dining, you might choose a hotel, in which case Trip Advisor forums could be a good place to start to look for places that might suit you. And if you’re really on a budget, sites like HOSTELWORLD or COUCHSURFING can be good alternatives for finding places to stay on the cheap. Now let’s find some things to do. I like to mix my resources. So that’s TripAdvisor forums and LonelyPlanet guides. But also look at some YouTube bloggers to see what they’ve done or even Instagram location
tags of different cities. Now, I’m a huge nerd, so when it comes time to
put together my itinerary, I like to make Excel sheets
in InDesign documents. Most people don’t have that kind of time. Apps like Google Trips can
be a great option for you to pull all your travel info together, such as maps, hotel
bookings, train tickets, what have you. Tip time. Here are some things you should do before you go. Download all the apps you need beforehand. That’s offline maps so you can navigate without internet. Ride hailing apps, money exchange converters, maybe a dictionary if
you’re going to a place where you don’t speak the language. Check with your mobile carriers to see if they offer
international data plans. Some of them are free. Some of them are cheap. So, look through that before you decide whether you need to buy a
Sim card at the airport. Lastly, set a travel notice
for your credit card. The last thing you want to happen is to get to a foreign
place with no money. I’m really excited for a trip now. Um… But first I need some time off. Uh, Deeder, can I have some time off? (slight chuckle) Travel is so personal, so I’m sure I didn’t get to
all of your favorite tools. So share them with me in the comments. Let me know. Also, if you haven’t already, subscribe to us on YouTube.com/the verge.

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70 thoughts on “How I flew from New York to Japan for $300

  1. Hello! I hope you achieve your dreams! Mine is to be a big Youtuber! You could help me out by checking out my channel! Thx😃

  2. The cheapest way to get to Japan that I've found to work is to live in Japan. This advice is controversial, however, so don't tell anyone as the big hotel companies don't want you to know this.

  3. Great tips and descriptive video! JAPAN! We loved our 6 weeks in Japan – Tokyo, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto! Such a unique culture. The way you break down the prices is cool. In SE Asia we have found SO MANY cheap airlines. We love apps like Skyscanner and the basic Google Flights to get a good sense of what is out there. I have used Google Flights for probably most of the 30+ countries we have visited in the past 2 years. Your HostelWorld tip is a good one. Be sure to use Petsitting Apps like TrustedHousesitter as well to potentially save money or WorkAway if you are looking to meet new people and volunteer a little. Great video though on covering some of the basics! Your tip on downloading the apps NOW is something that I just stressed in my podcast today along with 12 other basic things to think about. Keep videos like these coming!!

  4. Been meaning to try out those Capsule hotels.
    As Rick Steves says, travel is accelerated living.
    I also like staying around one town for a few days to wind down and get used to finding good local deals and ‘eat local’.
    Eating like a tourist (i.e. hanging in touristy places, looking for english menus), going to a new town every day and never settling down gets expensive fast.

  5. So sit around and wait for somebody at the airline to accidentally input the wrong price for a fare? Solid tip, thanks. 🙄 👎

  6. how can you select "1-week trip in the next 6 months" on google flights? all I get are departure and return dates option

  7. Great video! Loved the tips. Is there a site or service to show what's the best prices for fights with stops? Those 24h to Japan are a lot easier if taken in parcels

  8. Something I recently started using for flights is this app called Hopper. Tells me when the cheapest fares are for a specific route.

  9. I typically find that the less you plan and book ahead the more freedom and adventure you end up having. To be flexible is the most important thing, and a detailed itinerary is a great way to ruin a vacation. People get severe fomo when travelling and try to check out as many places as possible, but you really want quality over quantity. Just get your backpack, find and befriend some locals and especially avoid Trip Advisor. No matter where you find yourself there are friendly people, at least from my experience, from from Senegal and Gambia in the west of Africa to Mombasa in the east, sailing around the North sea, travelling across the Tibetan plateau, rural China and here at home in Scandinavia as well.

  10. Nice tips. On the next time when u post videos like this, If u provide all the sites you mentioned in the video in the description will be very useful

  11. Your advice about how much a trip should cost relative to income is remarkably out of touch. Most of us have to save for months to be able to travel.

  12. Last week i flew from Ovda (Israel) to poznan (poland) for 23 dollars round trip!! It's a four hour flight like flying from new york to Dallas !!!!

  13. So the cheapest way to get flight is to let wherever internet wants you to go or wait for when a human makes some technical mistake for your location.
    Quite horrible, Verge should stick to technology.

  14. How can i trust those websites i never heard of for cheap flights when even expedia has tons and tons of disappointed customers…sometimes they don't even get a confirmation for their tickets

  15. Google flights is amazing… you didn't say that the map view is another filter on google flights, which some people dont seem to get (move the map around to change destinations). Google flights is great as you dont need to input a destination. You also should remind folks to use private / incognito mode in browser to prevent tracking cookies "seeing" you constantly checking flight prices (i almost had to pay extra for a flight from Australia to the UK because of tracking cookies). I used to use the "hopper" app but found it unreliable, its prices are always higher than what you can get elsewhere or even direct from the airline. Google flights and skyscanner are my current favourites.

  16. 0:24 but your always losing money when you spend money on booking a holiday and you loose the opportunity for more money so…

  17. Well, I never buy a sim at the airport. If you want to get ripped off, it is excellent advice. Just go outside for a kiosk or local carrier.

  18. 1:40 At that point, I begin to imagine what a flight safety video produced by the Verge video team would look like.
    3:32 YOU GOOGLED ON VOTING DAY?! Oh my.

  19. Pro tip if you're going to a country like Japan or China, you'll need to use a different map app. Offline Google maps do NOT work. (ie restricted)

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