A vacation to Japan can be expensive, but it can also be done on a budget. Here are a few ideas to help anyone save and travel to Japan on a budget for a once in a lifetime trip to this unique country.
At this time Tokyo is considered to be the most expensive city in the world, so it’s going to take a lot of planning to budget travel in the area. You will need to be prepared to cut corners.
1) Start a savings account immediately for your trip to Japan. Make this separate from all your other accounts. Simply place a little bit of money into the account each pay day. Also put any extra money that you save or if you sell something into this account. You will be amazed at how fast it will accumulate over time. Once you have twice the amount that you think that you will need to travel to Japan for a vacation you are truly ready to start planning your trip. It is always better to make sure you have twice the required money in case of an emergency or some unexpected thing. I think having a cushion of extra money on a trip anywhere in the world is extremely important.
It will probably cost you between $125-$150 per person per day for travel inside of Japan if you do not sleep at hostels but utilize hotels instead.
2) Try to travel in the off season. For Japan travel this is normally March and April. The off season travel will aid in the price of the ticket being drastically reduced. Also be flexible on times and days that you can travel.
Do not use an American travel agency and stay away from sites such as Expedia for tickets. You will need to use a Japanese travel agency to get the best flight deals. The larger agencies have English workers who will help you to find the best flight for your dollar.
Try these agencies for the best deals.
a) HIS USA
b) IACE Travel USA
c) NaviTour USA
d) JTB USA
3) Food will be expensive in Japan so be prepared. The best way to keep costs down is to eat at fast food chains. They do have McDonald’s in Japan. Also try to buy food at stores instead of going out to dinner. This will help keep your costs down.
4) When it comes to lodging you might want to consider a hostel for the night. These are clean and cheap. You can usually spend the night for under $20. Visit Hostels for a list of what is available in Japan.
If you do not want to stay in a hostel then simply look for business hotels that cater to international business people. You can stay at these chains for less then $100 per night so its not much different then a US hotel. These are usually not as nice as US hotels, however. But they do offer a clean bed and a bath with shower so there is not much else someone really needs when traveling.
Super Hotels offer rooms across Japan for cheap. There are 85 of these wonderful cheap hotels in Japan.
5) Do not use the taxi service. It is very expensive.
6) Utilize the train for transportation in Japan. These are fast, clean and safe. They are the ideal way to get anywhere that you want to go. You can buy tickets at the train station at an automated machine that has instructions in English for simple use.
If you will be using trains to travel the whole country then buy a Japan Rail Pass. If you purchase a rail pass for 7 days in advance it will cost you $350. Remember that these are not sold in Japan so you will need to make the purchase ahead of time.
7) You can also use the Japan Bus for cheap travel. This is no different then Greyhound.
8) Bring travelers checks because you will get a far better exchange rate then using your ATM card or cash.
9) Consider a tour for a budget. Many people think that tours will end up costing them more but if you shop around you can find friendly budget tours that offer wonderful deals. These will end up giving you better room rates, much better food, and no worry about transportation or entrance fees into attractions.