I am heading to Tokyo for my second time tomorrow. Many people have asked me how to plan a trip in a short time (or within hours). I decided to draft a list of what I’ve done from booking tickets to packing. I hope you will find the list helpful.

1. Book a flight

HK Express $22 Ticket

I always tell people to pick their favourite ticket if you just need to pay a bit more. But not this time! With the irresistible HK$22 promotion, I have decided to give HK express a try. And it’s just 4-hour. Why not?

2.Book accommodations

Airbnb (4 nights) = Hotel (1 night) Airbnb

Here’s why I prefer Airbnb than Hotels:

1. Much cheaper than Hotels (HK$450/night vs $1000+/night)

2. Private Kitchen (I choose ‘Entire Home’ when booking)

3. Feel like Home

4. Expect the unexpected

5. Unique Experience

3. Buy travel insurance

Contact my agent

I’m sure you can buy travel insurance online. In most cases, it’s part of the booking process for flights and accommodations. For me, I prefer contacting my own agent and buy the plans that I am familiar about. It takes some time to compare offers from different companies at first, but it worths it. Trust me!

4. Exchange Local Currency

& Activate Overseas ATM cash withdrawal service

Just go to the bank and exchange for $100,000 yen (Should be more than enough) & activate “Overseas withdrawal service” for my ATM card.

5. Drop my DSLRs. Take my iPhone 6s

Travel Light

I always carry my Canon 6D + 2 lenses when I travel. Maybe it’s time to change.

As this is my second time to Tokyo and I am taking a budget airline. I want to travel light.

Meanwhile, I want to test how far can I go with my iPhone 6s. Is it good enough for travelling? I’ll find out in this trip.

6. Pack my suitcase

like a Pro UNIQLO

I have heard a lot of travel tips these years and I follow most of them.

I roll to save space. I put Emergency Cash in different pockets. I carry light.

My favourite brand is UNIQLO (Not an affiliate here). It’s ultra light and most importantly, functional. The AIRISM and HEATTECH series are my secret to travel light.

7. Draft a Shopping List

Buy what I need in 5 days

As I plan to shoot with my iPhone (left my DSLR at home), I am going to buy some accessories for it.

Here’s my list:

SwiftCam M3s (a Smartphone Stabilizer – for me to take smooth footage)

– Olloclip Active Lens (Wide Angle + Tele Lenses – to replace my Canon Lenses)

– 16000mAh Powerbank by XiaoMi (Big enough to charge all my digital devices)


8. Go Digital

Download Offline Maps, Guidebooks, Itinerary, Apps... to your iPad Offline MapsGoogle Drive

I was trying to download offline map using Google Map but it doesn’t support offline maps in Japan. Then I use Tripadvisor App. I successfully downloaded Tokyo Map to my iPad and iPhone such that I can access maps even I don’t have Internet access.

I also open a “Tokyo 2015 folder” to save all my research in Google Drive. By clicking the “Keep Offline” button, the document is saved to my device and I can have offline access and read them during the flight.

Wrap Up

Here’s how I plan for my trip to Tokyo and I hope it gives you some insights. As you can see, I don’t really spend time on planning the itinerary, because this is Japan – I know I will figure it out when I get there. (or just go to the tourism office)

P.S. If you are going to a country that you haven’t been to, make sure you have the visa to get in.

Airbnb is Trending

Wonder “Who uses Airbnb and Why“? This infographic will give you some ideas. Disclaimer: While you will enjoy USD$20/HKD$155 discount on Airbnb by registering through the link below, I will also receive the same amount of Airbnb credits. Thank you for supporting Gen Y Travel! Airbnb

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