For intrepid Filipino travelers, Japan is one of those destinations that are worth repeated visits. If not for the expensive cost of living there, more Pinoys would probably make a yearly trip to the country, as many of them love the Japanese culture so much. Fortunately, there is always a way to save money, so you don’t have to go home with an empty bank account and a mountain of credit card debts to pay.
Get a Complete Package Tour
Beginners to Japan may opt to get a Japan tour package with airfare included to avoid the hassle of booking separate accommodations and transportation. While seasoned travelers may frown upon getting a complete package, there are actually advantages to joining organized tours. Budget-wise, it’s easier to anticipate expenses, since almost all major costs are incorporated in the package including attraction tickets and transportation expenses. In addition, you’ll have a deeper insight about the tourist spots as the guides speak English and can answer your questions if you have any.
To ensure value for money, get to know the fine print of your chosen package. What accommodations and flights do they include? Will you visit the attractions you are most excited to see? One more thing, don’t rely on the first travel agency you see on the web. Seek recommendations from your friends and family, and don’t be scammed by package tours that seem a bit too cheap to be real. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is!
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Book in Advance, and Wait for Promos
The first rule in traveling on a budget is booking flights and accommodation way ahead of your scheduled trip. The second is to be flexible with your travel dates. Last is to be on the look out for promo fares.
Sign up to be notified of new airline promos from the different airlines with flights to Japan. These legendary low rates are not mere urban legends, they really do exist! But be aware that you will be competing with many fellow travelers who also want to go to Japan. As such, when you first hear of any applicable promo, check the time when the promo fares will be up on the airline’s website. Usually, you’ll have to set the alarm clock to ungodly hours in the early morning just to beat other promo hunters, but it would be so worth it when you get to book those coveted flights.
Choose an AirBnB, Hostel, or Capsule Hotel
If you want to save money on accommodations, then regular hotels are off the table. Instead, consider booking an AirBnB if you’re traveling in a group, and then split the cost among yourselves. However, if you’re travelling solo, a hostel or capsule hotel might be the best options for you.
In terms of price, both types of accommodations are roughly the same. Where they differ is in the security, amenities, and opportunity for socialization. A capsule hotel might be better in terms of security since they have locker rooms, while some hostels don’t. Another advantage is value for money since the space comes with amenities such as toiletries and even pajamas. Meanwhile, a hostel is a better option if you’re looking to socialize with the other guests.
Shop for Food and Supplies at Supermarkets
While Japan’s combini culture is just some of the things that make the country unique, do not be deceived. Buying from these uber-convenient stores with their semi-authentic, microwavable Japanese cuisine will cost you more yens that you need. Instead, seek out the nearest supermarket and get your food and supplies from there. Their selection of ready-to-eat Japanese fare are often better and fresher anyway.
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