So you want to visit Japan? Wise choice. There is nowhere else like it on earth! First thing you’re going to need is an Airfare to get you there. Well, unless your canoe is in great shape, that is.
On most trips you take, your biggest single purchase is going to the ticket that gets you there and back. And in 99% of cases this is going to be an Airplane tickets. These days airfares are rising in cost and rarely stay static in pricing. The price range can vary from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars with just a day’s difference in your travel dates. Here are some tips on how to get the best deal on that ticket to Japan.
One of the biggest factors on price is your time of travel. If you want to save money on your airfare, don’t travel in these key times:
You should just write of travelling anywhere between December 5 – January 30. With the busy holiday season and people trying to get home, the airlines know they can gouge for tickets. However there are some exceptions. If you fly out Christmas day and / or New Years Eve, you will be surprised with how cheap a ticket can be compared to the days on either side.
Work around school holidays, both in your country and Japan. Airfares can double within the day of a school holiday period starting, especially in your home country.
In both your country and Japan avoid travelling on national holidays, long weekends - you're just asking to pay more! As a general rule, if the majority of people have the time off work, the demand for flights will be higher, and you will pay for it.
This sort-of falls under national holidays; It's a week in early May (varies by dates) where the majority of Japan has the week off, its hectic, and the most popular week to travel in Japan, so you will pay top dollar to get to Japan then, and if you do choose to travel then, you're also going to be waiting for everything in as everyone is on holidays and being tourists too.
This one is a tough one to decide on, from mid-March to mid-April each year, Japan explodes in an array of whites, pinks and reds with sakura (cherry blossom) season blooming across the country. It's possibly one of the most popular times of year for international travel to Japan, due to this occasion alone. So, if this is a key reason for you to visit Japan, you will have to pay for it. So unless witnessing sakura is your main reason for visiting Japan, we would advise you against travelling in this month time frame.
Time to sign up for all the airlines that fly to Japan's newsletter emails and keep an eye out for sales. They happen all the time, and sometimes aren't advertised. So sign up for every airline that flys your way to Japan and check daily.
Jetstar - Australians, Jetstar is your friend. Yes that's right, Jetstar. Jetstar, the discount airline of Qantas fly direct to Osaka and Tokyo from Gold Coast and Cairns. In may each year they have there famous Birthday Sale, and as of writing this, it hasn't happend this year. If you can get on this, you will get a steal to Japan with a 2 for 1 sale typically being offered. Jetstar also have consistant Japan sales throughout the year. The catch is that the valid dates are usually only for flights a few months out. So if your comfortable to leave booking your flights quite close to your travel dates, then this is a great deal for you. Jetstar also have recently opened up a Japanese leg of their carrier running as a domestic low cost carrier for Japan, so keep an eye out for Jetstar Japan sales to get around Japan cheap.
So now we have an idea of dates to look around for your trip to Japan, and know the airlines to check out and have signed up for emails with them to get the best deals from the airlines direct. Now it's time to check out the best flight comparison sites that are a must stop when researching flights. These sites are the best to check for a overall look at all your flight options for your travel dates, and the best prices currently out there.
You can either book through links from many of these or directly with them. Or alternativly use them as a guide then go straight to the airline for price comparison or a big box travel site like expedia.com.
Skyscanner - Skyscanner is a comparison site that gathers all flights for your inputted dates, including direct flights and multiple stop flights. It's a great place to start to get a ball park figure on what price options are out there for your travels.
Adioso - Another comparison site with links to purchase your flights. Adioso has a intuitive search engine where you can type in plain terms what you want. For instance, you can put in "Any flights Melbourne to Tokyo in November" and it will show you all flights then and with a great visual graph showing you instant price fluctuations from day to day.
Adioso also have a great feature of letting your subscribe to watch prices so they will send you a daily email with the latest prices for your flight route, doing all the work for you!
Expedia - Expedia is the biggest travel site in the world, and a great place to check for flight options, you will usually find the cheapest prices. They also have a price beat guarantee, so if you do find cheaper, give them a call and they will beat it. When checking for the best prices, check different countries' Expedia portals (expedia.ie, expedia.com.br), as many times they have country specific sales that cover flights world wide, great time to have a credit card with no international transaction fees.
Rome 2 Rio - Rome 2 Rio is a unique comparison site as it uses striking visuals and google maps to show you every step of the way from your door step to your destination, Giving you bus schedules, flight times even train timetables. Rome 2 Rio is a great site to keep bookmarked as they will give you all train schedules for Japan.
I Want that Flight - An Australian focused site, which will show you when theres a sale, and the dates to input for you to get the sale prices. A great place to check when sales come out.
So now that you have looked at when to travel to get the best price and scoured all the sites out there for the best deal, it's time to move on to the next big purchase for your Japan adventure, accommodation.