Thursday, May 20, 2010

Planing Stage 01: Pricing Estimate & Accomodation

If you got all the way through my first post, I'm impressed. If not, don't worry - I promise I won't be upset. You're not here to learn all about me anyway. :)

Now that my background about why I'm obsessed with Japan is out of the way, let's move on to information much more helpful to us all.

When John and I decided to take the trip to Japan, we agreed on two basic things: First, we wanted to go for a long enough time to see the things we wanted to see; and second, we wanted to do it CHEAP. Neither of us make the money that would afford us a stay in a fancy Tokyo upscale hotel, especially for two weeks. No, we wanted to stay somewhere that would allow us to blow our money where it really mattered: Souvenirs and food.

Hostels are, of course, the best option for a cheap stay anywhere around the world. You don't really get the same privacy, but who wants all that privacy anyway? It's much more fun to meet people and make some friends.

There are an insane amount of hotels in Japan. Just Googling "Tokyo Hostels" will pull up a LOT of different sites to many different hostels, all around the Tokyo region.

John and I decided to stick with Sakura Hostel because of the price and how professional they seemed. And for $92 a night for a private room (with two single beds, sadly, no double bed), the price couldn't be beat.

Sakura Hostel is a good hostel to look into if you're considering traveling to Japan. No, I can't speak from personal experience (yet! When I get there I'm sure to tell you all about it!), but so far as I can tell from my research it's probably one of the best ones to stay at. They offer three types of rooms:

----The Dormitory gives you the option of not renting rooms, but renting beds for only $33 a pop. Not bad for a single traveler looking to meet traveling buddies. I think each bed comes with a locker, too. :)

Twin Room:
----This is the room John and I will probably opt for. You're paying about $10 extra a night, but for couples it might be well worth it. As I stated above the only problem is that the room comes with either bunk beds or two separate single beds, and runs about $92 a night ($46 per person).

Group Room:
----The Group Room comes with anywhere from four-to-eight beds (all bunked) depending on your group size, and you're looking at different prices per bedded rooms. For four beds - $140 a night. For six beds - $196 a night. And for eight beds - $262 a night.

So within the span of two weeks we're looking to spent about $1,200 for accommodations ($644 each!) This is great as it's well within the budget.

Now for the cost of the plane ticket. Usually you're looking at about $1,500 per ticket, but when bought far enough in advance, we've seen tickets go for as cheap as $900 a ticket with all taxes and fees included. It's a steal! And well worth doing (plus, it gives me reason to ACTUALLY save up as much money as I possibly can). Also note that this ticket price is from LaGuardia NY, which means you could probably grab up an even cheaper ticket if leaving from the West Coast.

So far, per person, we're looking at about $1,544. That's two weeks of hotel PLUS round trip air travel for the price of a regular single ticket.

Now I'm going to be spending quite a lot of my money on things in Japan. John and I are looking into Different amusement parks we'd like to go to, places we want to eat and shrines we want to see. John didn't get to visit Hiroshima last time he was in Japan, so we'll be visiting the bomb dome as well.

We've decided that a fair amount for us per person would be about $4,000. Subtracting the $1,544 from earlier that leaves us with plenty of wiggle room (about $2,400 worth of wiggle room)!

That's the base amount we'll be starting with.

I hope this post will help someone find the cheapest place to stay/tickets to buy for your trip to Japan. See you for Planning Stage 02!


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