April 1, 2019
Most people are aware that airlines price their tickets according to an almost incomprehensible array of factors that include things like how far in advance you book, the competition on a particular route and many more. However, what some people may not realize is that the cost of flying also varies according to where you are when you log in to buy your ticket – and that you can use this to save money. Here’s how to do it.
Use a VPN to log in from another location
One factor airlines use to determine how much you pay for your ticket is where you are when you buy it. If you connect from a country that is considered ‘rich’, the site will display higher prices than somewhere that is considered less affluent. This means that simply by using a VPN to log in from a country that is considered less rich, you can benefit from the more attractive rates offered in that country.
In some cases, for longer, more expensive flights, the savings can be huge – anything up to around €2000 – so it’s definitely something worth trying.
What’s a VPN?
Before we talk about how to do it, let’s take a step back and think about VPNs since not everyone will be familiar with them. What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and they are used to extend private networks across public ones. We don’t need to go deep into the technical details here, but the important point is that they allow you to access the internet as if you were logging on from another country.
This opens up a whole range of possibilities. For example, if you were in France and you wanted to watch something on UK television via the internet, you could use a VPN to log in from the UK. The television program would then be available to you because the website would think you were accessing it from the UK. And if you do the same when you buy airline tickets, you can make the website believe you are logging in from somewhere you are not.
So far so good.
So how do you do it?
Using a VPN to find cheaper flights is actually very simple. Here’s how to do it:
- Download a good VPN
First, you need to find a good VPN. There are many available, but one reliable option is Express VPN. To install their VPN on a computer, simply download it from their website. Alternatively, for smartphone installation, search for it in your app store and find it there.
- Clear your cache and cookies
Airline websites are clever, and just accessing them from a VPN alone is not enough to find those cheaper deals. Before you start, you need to clear your cache and your cookies so the website can’t see what you have been browsing before – otherwise, it will be able to work out you are trying to trick it and will display the prices according to your real location.
- Browse ‘incognito’
For the same reason you need to clear your cache and your cookies, you also need to browse ‘incognito’ – this prevents the website from realizing you are trying something a little sneaky.
- Use a site that matches your location
One popular website for air tickets is Expedia. However, you need to use the version of Expedia that matches the virtual location you are logging in from rather than the one for the country where you really are. For example, if you are using a VPN to log in from Spain to see the prices being offered there, you would need to go to expedia.es rather than expedia.com – otherwise, the trick won’t work.
Once you know how to do it, play around a bit. Try logging in from different countries and experiment with different routes. Two countries that are said to have among the cheapest airfares are Argentina and Russia, so logging in from there may help you find the best deals – but by trying other places too, you may find other interesting prices for routes you want to fly.
- Continue using all the other methods of finding cheap flights
Just because you are using a VPN to access the internet from elsewhere, it doesn’t mean the usual tips and tricks don’t apply. For example, airline tickets are usually cheapest around six weeks before a flight – so by using the VPN trick six weeks before you travel, you are likely to be able to find the very cheapest prices for any given route.
Stay connected while you are away
Wherever you travel and however much you end up paying for your ticket, you will want to stay connected on your trip.
If you want to avoid the hassle of searching for Wi-Fi hotspots or relying on slow and unreliable hotel connections, you might consider carrying a pocket Wi-Fi device instead. Click here to learn more about our practical solution that offers a high-speed, safe and reliable Wi-Fi connection wherever your journey takes you. Happy travels!