Photos courtesy of Unsplash.com.
There are enough travel apps and websites in the world to make your head spin. . . .and then explode!
In my search for an inexpensive flight to Japan, I think I have now downloaded, and searched over 10-15 different applications to my phone. In only a matter of seconds you find out some use the same platform and database to pull their information from because they are part of the same parent company. So, now it feels like I wasted time entering in my info, only to see the same results I just looked over 5 minutes ago on another site.
So, not only am I on a quest for an inexpensive flight, I’m also looking for a good quality resource to find that flight and book it. This is getting crazy!
After a few hours of digging, I believe I have found a few good sources and I have come up with some great prices on flights that won’t take more than a days time and have only one or two stops. Since I’m doing this as inexpensively as possible, I can suffer riding in economy class. I mean, I basically do it every day at work, so what’s another 13-18 hours?
My Favorite Apps/Websites
It’s a short list, but these are the resources I prefer to use to date.
- Skyscanner – This is one I just found, but I think I already love it. It searches other sources, like Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, etc. and finds all the current prices. It even searches sites you didn’t know existed. When you’re ready to book your flight, it will redirect you to the original source and you finish your booking there.
- Travelocity – Probably the most well known website to find and book your travel from. I’ve used it on most of my trips to primarily book hotels. The rates for flights have been fair and the price you get includes an estimate on all fees and taxes. It’s easy to search and select what options work for you.
- Hopper – This site isn’t always the cheapest, but I like the calendar they have that shows when the least expensive dates are. And you can set an alert up to be notified if the price changes.
- Jetradar – The latest app I downloaded is Jetradar. It’s another app that scans other booking sites for low cost airfare. It is also another one I have just started checking for flights, and I’ve found some good deals, but I want to dig deeper into the sites they pull from.
If you have a suggestion for other sources, please comment below and I’ll be sure to check them out!
Choosing the Airport to Fly From
I guess I’m somewhat lucky for where I live. I have four international airports within less than 2 hours of my home in Dayton, OH, and one is less than 20 minutes away. But, unfortunately the best flight deals don’t always fly out of my local airport! Some flights even stop at one of the other three near me after they leave Dayton. For this trip though, the least expensive, and shortest, flights with the best ratings are only within $100.00 USD of each other, and fly out of my local airport.
So, in my search, I decided to just fly out of Dayton. Compared to the others, the cost of getting to any of the other airports, (either in fuel, cab fare or car rental fees) would negate the money saved on the airfare.
If I Had Wings I Could Fly…
Airlines……so many to choose from. But, compared to the good ol’ days, with the power of the internet and just about every airline being tied to travel search engines, choosing one is easy……well, since it’s going to be the airline that fits your budget and time frame.
For my flight, if I can book it in time, the airline is most likely going to be All Nippon Airways. The flight is at a fair price and reviews on the airline are pretty good. Good reviews are very important to me, and I can rest easier knowing I’ll have little to no issue en route. The difference between booking direct with an airline and through a travel site can sometimes mean a savings of $50.00-$300.00USD. At this time, if I were to book now, the price is $20.00 less than my projected cost of $1500.00. There were other flights that were $500.00 less, but they also had 2 layovers and 30+ hours long each way. No thank you.
The flight I’m currently thinking about booking goes to Haneda Airport in Tokyo, and leaves in the afternoon and stops off in O’Hare. The layover is about 2 hours. When I arrive in Tokyo, it will be later in the evening. 15h 25m total time.
My flight headed back home will be leaving Tokyo mid afternoon. There is only one stop on this flight as well, back in O’Hare. I’ll experience a bit of time travel, because the 15 hour flight will get me back in Dayton around 8:00PM the same calendar day. That’s just freaky!
But, I’m still keeping an eye on flights until I’m ready to book. So, what I have planned could change for better, or worse. Probably worse since prices usually increase as we get closer to the dates I want to book.
Are we there yet?
If I could fly out today, I would already be waving to you from my window seat by now, or brushing up on my Japanese from the isle seat, hahaha!
I’m excited to get this trip underway. I’ve been to every state on the lower 48, but I’ve never traveled anywhere outside of the US. The closest I’ve been is along the Mexican border in El Paso, TX, or outside of Detroit, MI on the Canadian border. After 41 years on earth, it’s high time I get some international miles under my belt to go along with my nearly 1M here in the US.
So, in saying that, I hope you enjoyed this post, maybe you learned something and I hope you will join me for Part 3 where I’ll start planning out where I want to go and what I want to see.
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Enjoy your journey!