Getting a cheaper airfare

Holiday season is the busiest travel time. Could changing your virtual location save you money on plane tickets and car rentals?

Kiwis love travelling, with Statistics New Zealand advising that we take around 2.4 million overseas trips each year. But – could you potentially get a cheaper airfare – or cheaper car hire – by changing your virtual location? According to NordVPN, a VPN service provider, changing a virtual location can sometimes help save money.

When booking a trip online, vacation sites might use cookies to track how many times a visitor comes to their particular site and how much time they spend there – as well as what, if anything, they purchase. Online booking portals also use IP address and location data of a user while determining the price of flight tickets and car rentals. Sometimes, according to NordVPN, prices can differ according to location. The trick then is to make it appear that you¹re accessing the booking website from another country, the one where you can buy the same tickets at a lower price. The solution is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

VPNs are services that provide you with an alternate gateway to access a website. When you use a VPN, your online booking requests are handled by a server located in some other country. This makes it appear that you’re making the request from another location. As a result, once you make a vacation website believe that you are situated in a place where the cost of tickets is lower, you will automatically see that cheaper price.

Some other tips to get a cheaper airfare include…

Flying on a less-popular day. Weekends are popular with tourists and certain times of day are popular with business travellers – so check what other proces are available on other dates.

Sign up for special deal emails. Many airlines send out weekly (or otherwise regular) emails to lewt their database know about any special deals on offer. Get yourself signed up for them.

Book far, far in advance. You can sometimes save by booking well in advance – you can test it by jumping online and comparing the airfares next week with their airfares next year.

Go somewhere else. Okay, it’s not always practical, but if your travel plans can be flexible, then keep an open mind about where you go.

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