Who doesn’t like to travel?
Pretty much no one.
However, not everyone likes to spend a ton of time booking a flight and paying a lot of money for it as well.
Simply put, for all the positives of traveling, it can leave you a bit overwhelmed from a financial perspective.
We live in an age where every business and every product is giving you a discount.
But with those discounts and holiday deals, airlines charge way too much money for their tickets.
Of course, if you really know how to get the best price then you can save thousands in the long run.
In this guide, we will take a look at some of the ways that you can use a tool such as a VPN to hunt down the best deals.
These deals, as mentioned above, will save you hundreds of dollars worth of money if not more the next time you try and purchase an airline ticket.
How do different travel companies know your precise location?
There is no doubt about the fact that airline websites and travel companies do discriminate between users in terms of the final price they offer for a particular ticket.
In other words, depending on where you live you could end up paying significantly more for the same flight than the next guy.
Throughout this guide, we will show you ways in which you can use this method-of-charging-more-money-from-people-based-on-their-physical-location against airlines and travel companies.
Before we do that though, let’s take a look at some of the methods travel agencies and airlines websites make use of in order to determine your actual location.
First you should know about your machine’s IP address or Internet Protocol address.
Think of this address as your primary ID number when you are on the internet.
However, unlike your home address, this IP address is available for anyone to see.
Different services and websites use this IP address in order to estimate where a given user is coming from.
In the digital world, any given website that you visit has the opportunity to look and record your real IP address.
Then there are cookies which personalize your web browsing interface.
How do cookies do that?
Cookies do that by first tracking the given user and then storing information on the user.
Do take note that cookies do not store each and everything that you do on the internet.
They only keep some of your online activities.
Using cookies, websites gain the ability to monitor a given user’s online behavior.
More precisely, websites and online services put cookies on your computer to monitor your clicks.
In addition to that, there is nothing stopping websites and other services using your device’s GPS feature in order to pinpoint your current location.
They can use that information to further tweak the price of a given package according to your location.
Now, if you are making use of a WiFi network to get to the internet, websites and services can still track you and know your real location.
Of course, for that to happen, you will first have to give them proper permissions.
Recently, we have seen the rise of HTML5 geo-location coding.
Using such technologies websites and apps now can track user location even when they are on their desktop computers.
Travel agencies, like all other companies, are also free to use the information regarding a given user’s preferred payment currency to indirectly infer his/her real location.
Based on that, they can make some pretty hard judgments on a given user’s socioeconomic status.
What we have mentioned above are just some of the things you should keep in mind while you are trying to figure out why you have to pay more for the same ticket compared to your friend who may live in a favorable area.
Different currencies and locations do affect the final price you have to pay for any given trip.
And yes, it can happen even if you and your friend are looking at the same flight, with the same airline on the same date.
Apart from that, we have also come to know that the more time you spend searching for a trip, the more price you may have to pay in the end.
Well, the reason why you may end up paying more is that websites which track users by implementing the tools that we have mentioned above know your thinking process.
Or at least, they think they know what you are thinking and how you are thinking.
If these websites or services detect that a given user is trying to shop for the exact same flight a multiple number of times then they assume the user is more than willing to pay some good money.
Consequently, they seize the opportunity and jack up that user’s preferred flight price.
Step by step guide on how to find flights cheaply
We have said a lot about how various different services can exploit your currency and your location.
The obvious question that you might be asking yourself right now would be:
How do you go about potentially saving a ton of money on various flight tickets without ever paying a penalty for your currency, nationality or location?
Well, the answer is simple.
Make use of a good VPN service.
More specifically, use a VPN service to search for the flight tickets you want to.
When you do that, you not only become anonymous to everyone else on the internet but you also give yourself the best chance of appearing from another country to other websites and apps.
Read on for a step by step guide on how to score cheap deals on your next flight.
- First you need to get searching.
Use a search engine of your choice to search for various flights and deals.
If you do not want to do that then you can simply go to websites such as Expedia.com and/or Kayak.com.
Make sure you are doing so, at first, without the use of a VPN service.
- Then you need to bookmark all the flights that you are interested in.
- When that is done, you should turn on your VPN app and then connect to a VPN server that is located in another country.
Most of the times, you would want this ‘new country’ to be the one that gets you the most discount.
- After that, you need to open a new window in your web browser using the Incognito mode.
Make sure that you are doing so in a web browser which is different from the one that you used to open the websites from step one.
- Then you need to search for your preferred flights again.
Do it just like in the first step of this section.
- When you are finished with the previous step you need to compare the relevant prices from your previous search.
- All that is left is to repeat these steps several times in order to find the absolute best flight deals.
Do remember to keep changing the VPN server location (that is, your country) when you are going online to find different and perhaps better flight deals.
How to find the best deals on your flights
This is the most relevant section for people who want to know some pretty useful tactics for finding all the best deals the next time they are searching for plane tickets.
Here are the tips that you should employ right away.
Use a VPN service and change your real IP address to another country classed as low-income country
It goes without saying that any given online consumer is more likely to have success at finding good deals if he/she searches for relevant flights with the help of a VPN service.
More specifically, the user should try his/her best to connect to a VPN server that is located in a poorer country.
Examples of such countries include the likes of Romania and/or India.
Our research shows that such countries will allow the user to access better deals on various traveling websites and services for the simple reason that these sites would want to lower the rates for people from poorer countries in order to make them make a purchase.
Compared to someone living in the US, a person from India would want to pay a lot less.
That means you stand to gain some pretty heavy discount if you play your cards right.
Use a VPN and change your current IP address to an IP address that belongs to your destination location
You will have to find new ways of using a VPN service in order to maximize your chances of landing a cheap deal.
On the note, what we have found is that if you just change the location of your VPN server to the country where you are looking to go to.
This should not be too hard since, generally speaking, you do know where you want to go in advance.
You should also keep in mind that sometimes different airlines provide visitors to their websites special local deals.
Needless to say, you cannot avail those special deals if you do not connect to a VPN server and/or have an IP address which is local to that country.
Use a VPN and change your current IP address to the home country of the relevant airline
Perhaps changing your VPN server location so that it is based in the home country of the airline that you are interested in may also help you in getting lower rates.
If changing your IP address to your destination country can net you some discounts then so can changing it to the home country of the airline.
This tip is not that common and it is highly unlikely that someone would accidentally discover it.
So exploit it as much as possible.
To take an example, let’s assume for a second that you want to travel to Germany using an airline from Turkey.
In that case, what you will do is that you will first turn on your VPN app and then change your IP address to that of Turkey.
If you do that, then the chances of you landing on a deal which costs far less than the average will go up exponentially.
With that said, you should also remember that ticket/flight prices tend to fluctuate a lot.
In the end, a lot will depend on your machine’s IP address and which country does it belong to.
If you go to a resource like FareCompare, it will suggest that (most of the time) the best time to try and purchase a ticket in the US at the lowest possible price is Tuesday and around 3 p.m ET.
Use a VPN and just keep altering your IP address in order to keep resetting any price hikes
We have already explained that when a travel agency’s website or another service’s website detects that a given user is repeatedly searching for a particular flight (after knowing that the user is doing so from the same IP address), it would automatically hike up any given flight prices that the user may be interested in.
Now, if you want to avoid such a situation then you should connect to a VPN server that is as global as possible.
Some users have suggested that even connecting to a VPN server that is located in your current city (but which is different from the server that you are currently connected to) can land you some discounts.
If your VPN service provider does not have another VPN server in your city then try for another VPN server within your country because that works just as well.
After you have switched to another VPN server within your current country, try to browse the web and go back to your preferred travel/flight website.
From there, you should see the prices of various flights go back to the levels they were when you started to search for your desired flight.
Of course, you can count on the incognito mode of your web browser to stop your web browser from storing any kind of cookies.
However, there are lots of other things you can do to keep travel websites from messing with you.
One of those things is clearing your cookies.
Even better, try disabling your browser’s cookies.
That should definitely help you prevent travel websites from tracking you.
With that said, it is also true that if you do not use a VPN service then travel websites still have your IP address to track you with.
So disable cookies.
And use a VPN for even more discounts.
Change to using the international version of your favorite website
It is also true that a given flight’s price may change depending on which version of the website a given user is utilizing.
More specifically, we want you to try and find your favorite travel website from another perspective.
Usually, you can do this by visiting another version of your favorite travel website.
Almost all good travel websites and services offer different versions of their sites.
For example, if your favorite travel website ends its URL address with .com, then try .co.uk (for Great Britain) or .ca (for Canada)or .fr (for France) in order to see various different localized versions of the same site.
But again, if you are not using a VPN service then your favorite travel website may decide to not decrease the ticket’s price for you.
In fact, we have seen travel websites that simply redirect the user to the user’s local website even if the user changes the URL of the website via his/her web browser.
Example of how you would go about using a VPN to save money on your next flight
Again, we suggest that you go to sites like KAYAK.com in order to search for different flight tickets and plans.
If we were to go to such a website, the first thing we would do is we would connect to a VPN server that is located in the US.
Then we would search for flights from New York to Istanbul (or any other city like Paris or London).
After that, we would choose the date on which we would like to travel.
To take an example, we could choose the date October 10, 2019.
When that is done, we would take a pencil and some paper and then jot down the actual price that Kayak.com shows us for a given flight.
Of course, we are assuming here that the flight would suit our own schedule.
But before making the purchase we would change our IP address one more time by connecting to a VPN server that is located in Istanbul.
Then we would perform the same search.
Our research shows that KAYAK.com would definitely show us a different price.
We would note down that price as well.
Then we would look at the difference.
In our experience, someone using a US IP address in order to book a flight with KLM to connect in Amsterdam may have to pay as much as $3500.
However, doing so with an IP address based in a country like Romania or India may bring the price of the same flight down to just $1000.
It goes without saying that you will not find such huge discounts each and every time you use a VPN to get cheaper flights.
But, in terms of real-world performance, you will save a lot of money.
A lot of the price differentials using this method will not make much difference in your pocket though.
For example, sometimes you will find that a British Airways ticket that would take you to New Delhi after a stop in London may cost around $986 in the US.
If you change your IP address to India then you have to pay around $846.
As you can see, using a VPN to get cheap flights doesn’t always pay off in a big way.
Then you have to consider the fact that, for certain countries, a given airline website or a travel website would not offer any tickets.
To take an example, you will find it very hard to find flights with Virgin Atlantic that take you from New York to New Delhi.
On certain days, you may only get a single deal.
And even if you click the link for the deal it might take you to the official website of Virgin Atlantic which may or may not have the deal because of its expiration date.
Of course, if you change your IP address to an Indian one then you find a good bunch of Virgin Atlantic deals which would take you from New York to a place like New Delhi at a cheaper price.
The point that we are trying to make here is that there is no guarantee that you will save thousands upon thousands of dollars each time you use a VPN to get cheap flights.
But at least, you will be better off than those fellows to do not make use of a VPN at all.
Compared to a non-VPN user, you will have a higher chance of landing a lower-priced flight after searching for it.
Again, we recommend that you always check for different versions of the same site by changing your IP address a multiple number of times until you get a deal which saves you the biggest bucks.
Is it legal to use a VPN to get cheap flights?
Well if you contact the customer service department at a service like United’s, they would tell you that they do engage in ‘different prices for different people’.
The people working there might also tell you that they do it because of their contracts with different travel agents.
Our research shows that it is completely legal to use a VPN to take advantage of price differences.
Of course, if you are in doubt then check with the customer support department of your travel agency.
What to do now?