This way to my happy place.

The Gone John Guide to Cheap(er) Airfare

Aside from accommodations, the other big-ticket thing you’ll have to pay for when going on a trip – long-term or otherwise – is your transportation.  It’s not cheap.  And, even after having booked dozens of plane tickets online in my life, clicking “confirm” on the purchase screen still leaves a lump in my throat and my fingers trembling.  Booking a flight makes a trip more real.

I don’t profess to be the most cost-savvy flyer in the sky (there are some people for whom it’s a game), but over the last few years I’ve developed some habits and have acquired some tips and tricks for chipping away the the expense of flying.  Here is what I’ve learned.

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Using Your Mobile Phone in Japan

It was a trip to London and Paris in 2012 which solidified my opinion on the importance of having access to mobile data while travelling.

While the City of Light is beautiful and I was able to check out all the major tourist attractions with ease using a paper map, something was missing from my visit.  I felt like I was sticking to the well-worn path, rather than being adventurous in exploring side streets and hidden gems around the city.  It wasn’t until I went to London on the second half of that trip when I found the missing piece of the puzzle.

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Sure, you may want to binge watch "The Big Bang Theory" on the in-flight entertainment system. But you'll be so tired when you get to where you're going!

Time Flies

In 2009, I went to Florida from Saskatchewan, Canada with my Sister and her family for a week at Walt Disney World – and back then I thought that was a long flight. Granted, it was a hectic day with two connections, lots of rushing around, and cramped quarters in packed airplanes. But, I look back at that trip now and laugh – that’s not the longest I’ve been in the air!

I thought Minneapolis to London was a long flight. It is... but not the longest I've had yet!
I thought Minneapolis to London was a long flight. It is… but not the longest I’ve had yet!

My first venture out of North America was to London in 2012 – and that was roughly an 8.5 hour flight from Minneapolis. My legs cramped up, I panicked a little waking up from a restless sleep to find the seatback in front of me reclined all the way – it was a little harried! I thought that was a long flight – and again, I laugh. I’ve been up in the clouds even longer.

Fast forward to this month’s trip to Tokyo. Minneapolis to Narita is a flight that lasts just over 12 hours. Half a day, up in the sky. Now, THAT is a long flight (or at least the longest I’ve been on so far – I’ve yet to make the journey from the South Pacific back to North America, but it’s coming.)

When I was telling family and friends about my upcoming half-a-day-in-the-sky, they cringed at the thought of spending so much time trapped inside a plane. “How will you spend the time,” they ask? Good question.

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