How I Traveled Cheap to Taipei, Taiwan for $466 on EVA Air and JAL [Cheap Flights]
Over the Summer, I took a quick trick to Taipei, Taiwan and met with family, caught up with friends, and had a blast. In this post, I discuss how I was able to travel cheap to Taipei, Taiwan for $466 for flight, accommodation, and transportation.
I always start with the big 3 expenses in traveling. To travel for cheap, you’ll need to save on Flights, Accommodation, and Transportation. The better deal you’re able to find for all 3, the more money you’ll be able to save
This trip is going to get complex but bear with me on the itinerary and you’ll find some tips to save on travel.
I’m originally from Dallas, TX but had a race in New Jersey that weekend in May so I counted the flight to NYC (which I got for cheap) as a separate trip that was business expensed.
Flights: $454 (on EVA Air and Japan Airlines)
Admittedly, this flight was even more abnormal than usual. If you’re looking for general tips on how to find cheap flights, you can read my blog post here.
So I found a deal flying out of JFK that same weekend for $348. However, note that the destination was Hong Kong, not Taipei. This tactic is known as hidden-city ticketing where you get off at the stopover instead of the final destination.
United actually sued one of the sites started by a 22 year old that actively and publicly sold tickets that way – https://skiplagged.com/. The 22 year old owner of Skip Lagged won the lawsuit.
Here’s my take on hidden-city ticketing. For one, know it’s definitely frowned upon by airlines and if they find out, they may revoke your ticket, frequent flier mileage, etc.
I actually almost had my only carry-on luggage checked in (going to Hong Kong) due to it being overweight. To prevent that, I had to wear half my clothes into security.
After one experience, I would not recommend doing this but I did save quite a bit of money!
On my return flight, I used JAL mileage I had accumulated over about 2-3 flights on Japan Airlines. JAL Mileage expires after a certain time as well… so it was good for me to use it. It’s always good to use mileage if International prices are high and/or if your mileage is set to expire. In this case, a return flight would have cost about $800 and I would have lost quite a bit of miles at the end of 2017.
Of course, you take everything (including your mileage inventory) into consideration before you book any trip. Had there been a Round Trip flight for cheap, I may have opted to take that and used the JAL miles later in the year. But in this case paying cash was not ideal, so I took the opportunity to use my mileage.
My stay in NYC was quite cheap, I talk about it a bit more in my NYC post here. But basically I paid $25 per night for an Airbnb in New Jersey. It was very clean and a very local experience. Since that was part of my work, I didn’t count it in the expense for my trip to Taipei.
In Taipei, I have family and a home there I stay for free. If you’re ever in Taipei, let me know and I can see if I can get you connected to cheap (and nice) housing!
Housing normally in Taipei is very cheap… We’re talking about $30 USD per night will get you a very night place.
Since my flight was at 12:00am, I stayed a “Night” at the JFK Priority Pass lounge. I didn’t take a lot of the photos but there were plenty of free food, showers, wifi, and this awesome PS4 Station. Yes, I played NBA2k17 shortly before my flight.
When I arrived in Taipei, transportation was a breeze. I had a lot of options getting home. I took the new airport shuttle which was about $10 USD and then a $2 USD MRT/Bus ride to my home.
Some may say I “cheated” with free accommodations, odd flight itineraries, and mileage but travel is always very holistic where you take your understanding of all the various rules, possibilities, mileage inventory and circumstances and make it into something ideal for your specific situation.
If you have family to stay with, do it! It’ll save you money! This was probably one of the more complex trips – but I saved a lot of money in the end. And it was a very pleasant trip!
You can find my complete list of travel hacks and ways to find cheap flights and travel deals without a travel agent here.
What are some of your tips for traveling to Asia?