Countdown to Japan: Flight and Accommodations

I was experiencing some major wanderlust when I came back from Paris and Amsterdam. My 8-day birthday Eurotrip was too short even for just 2 cities. It seemed like I really didn’t get to a whole lot of sights. Then again, I have always been averse to anything “touristy”. My mother even complained that I didn’t pose in front of the Eiffel Tower, even though I had plenty of photos of me at the Louvre. I just refused to pose in front of any famous landmarks. 

I did meet a nice French guy who had a really awesome view of the tower from his tiny apartment on Avenue de Villiers. I was staying on Rue de Constantinople, a few blocks away.

 Sorry about the crappy video.

Prior to that trip, I had not been outside of the U.S. since 2015.

I can’t remember when I did it, but I have a Google Flights alert set-up for Tokyo. I knew that flying out of Des Moines anywhere in Asia would cost over $1,000. (In comparison my flight to Amsterdam for early March was under $500 round-trip, which I booked 5 months prior.) So I was alerted that a round-trip ticket to Tokyo from Des Moines was under $900, I immediately did some “comparative-analysis.”

A lot of “experts” and websites would claim that bundling your airfare with your accommodations would save you a ton of money. But that has never been my experience since all of my previous travels involved either a multi-city itinerary or more than one accommodation. This upcoming trip is no different.

The flight cost me $891.53 through United Airlines. The travel time will be a bit longer, with an overnight layover in Vancouver both ways - which I’m okay with… for now. (Ask me again after my trip.)

With travel and the time difference, I would only be in Japan 8 out my 10-day trip. And clearly not learning from my last trip, I’m also squeezing in a couple of days in Kyoto (as well as some sightseeing in Vancouver during my layovers).

Up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t really have a solid itinerary. I didn’t know when I would be in Kyoto, so I originally only booked my first 2 nights and my last night in Tokyo. Even as I type this blog post, I’m still making some adjustments to my accommodations. And while the idea of staying at a capsule hotel seems cool at first, it will be too restrictive for how I plan to spend my time during this trip.

Here's a rough outline of my itinerary along with the cost 

  • 2 nights in Tokyo $217.13 
  •  2 nights in Kyoto $169.68 
  • 4 nights in Tokyo $495.26 

With airfare, I’m currently at $1,773.60. Compared to the current cost of a flight and hotel bundle the cheapest at $1,635 (Tokyo only) and staying at a capsule hotel. I’m not staying at a capsule hotel.