This tactic is used to pressure you to book, giving you the impression that if you wait any longer, you might no longer have a spot available. On top of it all, you’re now paying more than you originally considered. Luckily not all online reservation services do this, but one thing they always do, is fluctuate price by location. This is where the usage of a VPN service can save you money on all sorts of online bookings.
Let me explain; say you need to book a flight from New Jersey to New York, and you’re obviously located in New Jersey, which means you’ll have a U.S. internet IP address. But, say you we’re located in Canada, Brazil, France, or the U.K. – each one of those locations will display a price in their own local currency which can often turn out to be much less when the exchange rate is calculated.
To break it down; If I am located in Canada, I can still book a flight from New Jersey to any location of my choice, the booking service does not care where you are, and assumes that you will make your way to the flight depart location for that date. However, the Canadian price for that same flight will be different than the American one.
- Say the flight costs $320.00 USD when booking from the U.S.
- And for the same exact flight, the price is $345.00 CAD when booking from Canada.
At first glance you might think it costs more, but with the current exchange rate of the US dollar versus the Canadian one, the price would roughly be $285.00 USD, meaning your credit card would get charged $35.00 less for that same exact flight. This is just one example, and in some cases, the price does increase, so it’s important to quickly verify the current exchange rate, which is easy to do.
This is a video of me showing you exactly how you could use any VPN service of your choosing to achieve savings on your next trip, for airline tickets, or really any online service that uses regional pricing.
How Can a VPN Help You Save Money ?
As I just explained, depending where you are located, the price can differ, often proving you a better rate. With a VPN connection, you can effectively change your IP address through servers located around the world. Select a server in Germany, and visit the site of your choice, and you will be detected as a German visitor, and prices will reflect as such. It’s as simple as that.
I’m not at all in a position to say how these prices are determined, and found no patterns from one site to another. Some locations paid much less, while some of my searches found very similar prices with little fluctuation from one currency to another, but this was really not often the case.
If you’re a total newbie when it comes to VPN services, check out my post on How VPN services work, and you’ll be up to speed in no time.
As displayed in the video a site like EuropCar a famous car rental service that we tested using exact same pickup/drop up location & date fluctuated prices depending on where we purchased from. Same model of car varied in prices, Japan being the highest at $166 USD followed by UK at $144 & lastly USA which gets an offer of $100 USD for the exact same stipulations. In this case, I would simply connect to a US server to make my reservation, and pay the lowest price, for the same car, and same service when I arrive on location to pick it up for my trip in Europe.
How do Websites Determine Your Location?
Cookies are used to collect information from the visitor’s computer that quickly reveal your location. When you connect onto the internet, your ISP – Internet Service Provider assigns an IP address to your computer, or network router. This IP address carries public information that can easily be traced and identified. This information includes your location, therefore manually changing location on website preferences will only affect language, and the checkout page would still reflect local pricing.
Using a good VPN provider can help you save tons of money, especially if you’re a frequent flyer always looking for the best deals online, this is probably going to become your most effective tool now that you know the secret! But remember that it doesn’t stop at saving money on airline tickets, cars and hotels. Although those are the major ones that most of us can benefit from, there’s a bunch of other pre-reservation type services, outings and online deals that you can test this on. Just last week, I managed to save big money on software that was on sale only in the U.S., and now that I’ve taken habit to doing this every time, it would be hard to count how much I’ve saved over the last couple of years, but it certainly paid my VPN service cost back in multiples.
How to Setup a VPN for the Purpose of Saving Money on Online Reservations:
- I suggest to ALWAYS clear your cookies, cache etc prior to connecting to a VPN service.
- Select & connect to a VPN server in the country of your choice.
- Visit & compare travel, hotel, car sites of choice from your first location.
- Disconnect, clear cookies, change location, compare new prices with current exchange rates.
I find XE.com to be the easiest site to verify current exchange rates, and they are often very accurate. You should never see a large discrepancy from that popular portal to your bank, or credit card service.
Each time you disconnect from the VPN, I find it best practice to clear cookies before re-visiting the site. Some of these vendors have grown smarter, and try to utilize cookie history to block server location changes in order not to provide you the benefit of a discounted price.
*Repeat steps as needed in order to compare price points from different locations etc
The IP change through worldwide secure VPN servers, alongside deleting all browser cookies from your history temp files, allows for the site to see you as a new visitor from anywhere in the world. This effectively cuts their ability to use shady marketing tactics to pressure you into buying so called ‘limited or last seat tickets’ at higher cost, all while allowing you to verify for the best price by location.
Almost any VPN service should do, but cheap free ones often limit you to two or three countries, making them useless for this type of application. Besides, choosing to opt for a paid server from a good provider brings so many advantages on top of saving money online. In fact, the saving money part is the bonus. It’s kind of really fun and liberating to discover what you can do with VPN services. Watch TV broadcasted from anywhere in the world, unlock BBC One, Netflix, Hulu, major sports events and tournaments, whatever services that are usually blocked to you, including regional YouTube videos, you could now enjoy it. On top of all these entertainment, it encrypts your data, securing your information where ever you may use it, home or on open public Wi-Fi. The list goes on, and if you’re here, you probably know already.
I hope this article will help you save tons of money, especially all of you frequent business travelers and globetrotters. Please take the time to let me know in the comments if you have been successful at saving money on air fares through booking online tickets for flights, cars or hotels. Or do you use VPN services to save money in ways not mentioned? Please share!
And if you need a quick VPN without too much hassle, check out our review of some free VPNs.