Booking travel and accomodation overseas can be a challenging experience. But one thing I find really annoying is that the prices we pay when booking domestic flights overseas are far higher when we book from here than what locals get. But you can get around that by using your VPN software.
When you visit an airline or accomodation website, the page can recognise your location based on the DNS, IP address and other network details. But if you use a VPN, you can change your location so the website thinks you’re somewhere else. And the differences can be substantial.
For example, I just looked at booking flights from Los Angeles to New York. Here’s what I got for the two flights booked via American Airlines.
I then repeated the same booking request. This time, I activated my VPN and set my location as being the USA and got the following results.
Just taking the first flight options as an example, the return trip, booked from Australia, cost $470.60 + $578.20. That’s a total of $1048.80. Converted to US dollars, using the latest rates from xe.com, that’s US778.46. If I book this from the US, the price is $US719. On the flight departing LAX at 9:00AM, the saving jumps to US$140 – or almost $190 in our money.
When you’re booking multiple flights the savings add up quickly.
You’ll find similar savings if you use the same technique on accomodation, amusement park tickets and other products and services. The one thing to watch out for is that if the savings are smaller, which can happen, then any advantage you might have had will be reduced by foreign exchange fees on your credit card.