r/IAmA May 04 '21

I'm Scott from Scott's Cheap Flights. Here to celebrate those recent $202 roundtrip Japan flights & answer all your flight questions for the next 12 hours! AMA Tourism

I’ve got the world’s best job (and it’s all thanks to Reddit): I’m a professional cheap flight finder.

Five years ago, Reddit helped take Scott’s Cheap Flights from a hobby to a side-hustle to a job to now a start-up with 40 people and growing.

(If you're curious you can check out Scott's Cheap Flights here, but zero pressure. Honestly!)

To say thanks, once a year or so I like to pop in and spend the day talking cheap flights and answering all your questions, travel or otherwise. And also to celebrate Redditor’s success stories getting cheap flights, including:

(If you’ve been able to book a cheap flight recently give a shout in the comment section—I wanna celebrate with you!)

And now, after years of being asked “what’s your secret to finding cheap flights?” I finally got my shit together and compiled everything I know into a book out next week, Take More Vacations: How to Search Better, Book Cheaper, and Travel the World.

One of my goals in this book was to cut through the BS misconceptions that get parroted elsewhere as cheap flight advice, like “clear your cookies” or “book on Tuesdays at 1pm.”

Instead, the way I’ve been able to travel to places like Milan for $130 roundtrip and Japan for $169 roundtrip (and help millions of SCF members get cheap flights as well) is not through useless “hacks” but by changing the entire strategy of planning travel.

More than anything, my goal with the book is to help readers avoid the regret that so commonly plagues older folks: “I wish I’d traveled more when I had the chance.”

Among the myriad topics I get into in the book (and happy to discuss here!):

  • How the way you’ve been searching for flights leads you to overpay (and how to do better)
  • All the steps you can take even when you don’t have flexibility
  • Why expensive fares are optional now that we’re in the Golden Age of Cheap Flights
  • Why big cities get the most deals but small cities (think Dayton, Ohio or Cody, Wyoming) get the best deals
  • How to take the perfect vacation, according to science
  • The basics (when to book, where to book, etc.) and advanced tips (mistake fares, 24-hour rule, building your own layovers, etc.)
  • Commonly believed myths, from searching in incognito to dressing nicely for an upgrade to flying being better back in the day
  • Why cheap flights don’t just save you money, but lead to more and happier trips

Other current topics I’m glad to speak to if you’ve got questions:

  • Europe travel for Americans this summer
  • Vaccine passports fact & fiction
  • Will fares go up as the pandemic wanes? (Spoiler: No! Don’t let them trick you into overpaying!)
  • Mistake fares (like $63 roundtrip to Chile or $309 roundtrip to Morocco, both in the past year) or why airlines occasionally sell $202 roundtrip flights to Japan
  • Whatever questions you’re curious about!

Proof I’m Scott: Hi!

Proof I’m a cheap flight expert: Recent media coverage from Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, New York Times, Business Insider, and the Washington Post.

Love you all,

Scott

P.S. We’re hiring! Seriously like half my coworkers came via Reddit.

UPDATE #1: Chugging through answering as many questions as I can in loosely chronological order.

For folks wondering about Business Class flights, I've got some good news: it's coming. Sign up here to get notified when it launches ----> https://scottscheapflights.com/elite-signup

UPDATE #2: Sorry for breaking Reddit :( Looks like we're back online and I'm on my 3rd pot of coffee powering through more questions. Here all day!

UPDATE #3: If you're ordering a copy of Take More Vacations—(thank you!!)—bonus points and good juju if you buy from a local independent bookseller. My local Portland favorite is Powell's; you can find local booksellers (including online sales) through IndieBound.

UPDATE #4: Alright y'all I better go take a break and go be a good husband/father/dogfather. I'm obsessed with y'all so I'll answer more questions tonight and into tomorrow. Keep leaving them below and I'll get to as many as I possibly can! <3

UPDATE #5 (May 5th!): Because you all are so awesome and so many great messages, I'm back here this morning answering whatever travel (or other!) questions you've got. Leave your questions and I'll continue responding throughout the day!

18k Upvotes

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253

u/Mendoza_Loki May 04 '21

According to science, what is the perfect vacation?

170

u/hlessi_newt May 04 '21

April 25th.

28

u/LouQuacious May 04 '21

Not to Japan that's usually Golden Week.

45

u/Pennwisedom May 04 '21

Unless you're living in Japan, Golden Week is the absolute worst time to go on a vacation to Japan unless you enjoy having everything crowded or sold out.

11

u/LouQuacious May 04 '21

New Years might be worse a lot of stuff is just closed then. God forbid you arrive in Japan for Golden Week unknowingly and the airline loses your bag. Had to live in Conbini underwear for 3 days that time.

5

u/Pennwisedom May 04 '21

A lot of stuff is closed yea, but Japan also knows a lot of tourists come around that time. But of the three "big choices", New Year's, Obon and Golden Week, Golden Week is definitely the worst.

1

u/corraithe May 04 '21

We were terrified of this when we went but it actually wasn't too bad, we flew into Narita and got to Osaka on the 30th then travelled to Kyoto on the 1st and back to Tokyo on the 4th without pre-booked train tickets, maybe we got lucky but it wasnt crazy busy - just regular Japan busy!

2

u/LouQuacious May 04 '21

Issues I’ve heard on New Years are little things like trying to go to a cool izakaya then seeing they’re closed until 1/5 or something. Same thing happened to me in NYC once years ago, I was surprised how much was closed on 1/1 even though it fell on a Saturday that year...Union Square Cafe I’m looking at you.

5

u/lawerorder May 04 '21

We scored a cheap flight to Japan a few years ago. Turned out to be Golden Week. Finding places to stay was a nightmare. Still a great trip but I now search local holidays before I buy a fight abroad.

2

u/LouQuacious May 05 '21

I think it was Paul Theroux that said “the worst thing any traveler can hear upon arrival in a country are the words National Holiday”...so let me tell you about the time I went to Cambodia during Water Festival by accident. Good times actually though it was definitely more intense than usual with 2-3 million extra people in PP. All the craziness I experienced had nothing to do with the festival.

1

u/lawerorder May 05 '21

I like that quote. Thanks. My first trip to Ireland, i arrived on a Bank Holiday. Me, thinking it just meant banks were closed. Spent half the day looking for a hostel that had an empty bed. It was not a restful night.

2

u/Ok_Significance7166 May 04 '21

That's good information to know. We need to know what the quality of our vacation will be, not just the flight cost. Like the Disneyland apps that tell not just operating hours but crowd predictions and what is closed for refurbishment. We need to be able to plan wisely.

3

u/Pennwisedom May 04 '21

Now you know, the answer is basically any week except the end is April/very beginning of May.

1

u/LouQuacious May 05 '21

And Rainy Season! Which is June/July it can rain every single day. Though Tokyo is the rainiest major city so not unexpected. I was there in the autumn a lot only had to deal with occasional typhoons (like 2 my first week there) and a few minor earthquakes (4.5-5.2) here and there. But Japan is amazing don’t get me wrong I’d go live there if I could.