Do your travel homework, Part 2

Shortly after writing a post about doing one's homework before traveling, I stumbled upon yet another example of how a little bit of homework can pay huge dividends.

In my Sept. 11 post about researching a potential trip to Singapore, I examined several itineraries departing from my home city of Seattle and found that, if I was willing to endure the minor inconvenience of using another nearby airport, I could save literally hundreds of dollars.

R2-D21 Dreamliner
Now, while researching a trip to Japan (and attempting to get a ride on ANA's R2-D2 Dreamliner), I learned that flying from Vancouver, B.C. (YVR) to Tokyo's Haneda Airport (HND) instead of  the more convenient itinerary departing from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to Tokyo's Narita Airport (NRT) could save a couple traveling together some $1,800.

Using the website for All Nippon Airways (ANA), I found a Basic Economy fare for $2,247.79 leaving from SEA on Oct. 18 and returning Oct. 24. However, flying out of YVR on the same dates, I could get Basic Economy passage for $1,343.75 per person.

In addition, the flights from SEA are on a Boeing (NYSE:BA) 777, while the flight from YVR would be on the R2-D2 Dreamliner, which was my goal.

There are, of course, trade-offs to be considered, not least of which is the inconvenience.

I can see flights departing from SEA as I sit in my office writing this post. If I chose to fly out of either YVR or San Francisco International Airport (SFO), it adds a third leg to my trip instead of the two I would have flying from SEA. And choosing to depart from YVR means a trip on a shuttle bus, adding another leg to the trip and along with it more opportunities for something to go wrong. Finally, of course, our time has value.

But the potential of saving nearly $1,800 could mean several more days at our destination, staying in more upmarket accommodations, or having more in the back for our next adventure. Certainly something to consider.

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Photo by Carl Dombek
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