Using a VPN to save money isn’t just limited to getting discounts on hardware or software products: VPNs can also be used for other cost-saving measures such as booking flights, hotel reservations, and even car rentals. These services often have different prices depending on where you are located, and using a VPN can help you find the cheapest deals.
With costs sprialing, many of us are on the hunt for cheaper vacations. Using a VPN to book airline tickets, hotels, and vehicle rentals can save you money, but few people think to do so…!
Airline and booking site prices are “dynamic,” meaning they change in response to customer behavior and market conditions. Because of things like your location and browsing history, the rates you see for a flight or hotel stay may be different to the prices someone else sees. Yes, really.
At a glance: How to save money on flights with VPNs
- 👉 Use a VPN to access virtual locations to browse flights in global markets.
- 🔒 Keep your browsing private with strong encryption to prevent trackers from hiking prices based on your browsing history.
- 👨💻 Use CyberGhost’s Block Content feature to prevent annoying ads and distractions when searching for flights.
- 🌍 Change your virtual location to different countries to find cheaper flights.
- 📅 Be flexible with your travel dates to find cheaper tickets.
- 🛫 Consider mixing and matching airlines for different legs of your journey.
- 👥 Use flight comparison sites to find the best prices (VPN or not!)
- 🍪 Clear your cookies every time you change your location with a VPN.
In short, if you want to check out airfare or hotel rates in other regions, you need to use a VPN to temporarily switch your “virtual location” to anywhere in the world; doing so can potentially save you money by appearing to shop in a country with lower prices. Of course, you’ll actually be at home, but they won’t know that.
Also consider that a virtual private network (VPN) is useful for more than just pricing comparisons; it also helps protect your online privacy. If you frequently look at the same flights or hotels on a travel site, the site may start charging you more – by connecting via a virtual private network instead, you can avoid their tracking cookies and pricing increases.
Do hotels raise prices for repeat searches?
This may not be the myth you think it is.
Take for example a report by Consumer Reports that was conducted recently. In it, aviation expert William McGee suggested that personalized pricing based on a user’s search history is more than just urban legend.
His investigation involved 372 total queries over 9 unique airline ticketing websites, performed in parallel across 2 browsers (one with cookies intact and one with cookies removed).
McGee found that when the searches were different, the cleansed browser (one with no search history) typically had higher prices, especially when booking through OTAs like Orbitz. Meta-search sites like Google Flights and Kayak typically offered the best prices on cleansed browsers. Unfortunately, McGee was unable to pin down with 100% certainty teh cause of the divergent pricing.
As a result, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason, but the easiest approach to find cheap airline tickets is to go about comparing costs using several different search engines and connections. The easiest way to do that, is to switch over to a VPN, as switching locations & connections takes only a few seconds.
How to find the best flight prices
This concise guide will teach you how to use a VPN to find cheaper flights in just three simple steps. In short, they are:
- The first step is to get a VPN, and I highly recommend ExpressVPN here. Why? Because this VPN service has servers located in 94 countries worldwide, providing you with access to global travel sites. Additionally, it offers military-grade encryption to safeguard your data and prevent trackers from inflating prices.
- Next, connect to a server located in another country. You can easily choose a country from the app’s dropdown list. Some lower-income countries such as Bulgaria, Turkey, and Malaysia tend to offer cheaper airfares, although this is not always the case.
- Finally, start booking cheaper flights! You may need to test out a few locations to find the best deals first, but with teh help of a VPN, you’ll potentially save a significant chunk of money on your flights.
Remember the general rule: the more countries + locations that a VPN has, the more likely you are to succeed at booking flights using a VPN.
And with that in mind, here is a table showing the best VPNs with the highest number of servers:
|VPN Provider||No. of Countries||Price (month)||Speed||Works for flights?||Money-Back Guarantee|
|🛡️ ExpressVPN||94||$6.67||Fast||✅||30 days|
|🔒 CyberGhost||91||$2.11||Fast||✅||45 days|
|🗼 NordVPN||59||$4.13||Fast||✅||30 days|
|🚀 Surfshark||65||$2.49||Fast||✅||30 days|
Top Choice: ExpressVPN
A VPN really can be a game-changer when looking for low-cost airline tickets.
And the best way to save ton of money on your next trip is by using ExpressVPN to connect to one of their virtual locations and then searching for cheap flights from there. For this test, I picked a flight from London to Syndey on Skyscanner costing $1,1022.06 when searched from a UK server. ExpressVPN’s US-Washington DC server enabled me to locate the same flight for only $612 (flying the same way and back), meaning savings of roughly $500. For doing nothing!
|⭐ VPN Hound User Rating:|
|📝 No logs policy:||No logs|
|💯 Money-back guarantee:||30 days|
|🍿 Streaming services:||Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV|
|💵 Cheapest price:||$6.67/month (12 month plan)|
|💥 Current deal:||Sign up Now for 60% OFF at ExpressVPN|
Limited Offer: ⚠️ Sign up Now for 60% OFF at ExpressVPN — today only!
What else is there to know? Well, ExpressVPN has an extremely user-friendly interface, which may not sound important, but it allows you to connect to almost any country on the planet by choosing it from the drop-down menu and then clicking the “connect” button. Easy!
And, your credit card information will remain secure, and no travel site will be able to monitor your clicks thanks to the military-grade security that Express employ.
ExpressVPN isn’t the cheapest VPN option, which is a slight negative, but it is one of the best.
. So while this VPN does not come cheap, the money you could save on even just a single airfare makes it at least worth considering. The best value – as is usually the case with VPNs – is found in the annual plan, which starts at just $6.67 a month. Still not sure? Test out ExpressVPN without any financial commitment by taking advantage of their 30-day money-back guarantee and free trial. The live chat is available around the clock, so if you aren’t happy you can always get your money back.
|⭐ VPN Hound User Rating:|
|📝 No logs policy:||No logs|
|💯 Money-back guarantee:||45 days|
|🍿 Streaming services:||Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV|
|💵 Cheapest price:||$2.89/month (24 month plan)|
|💥 Current deal:||Sign up Now for 60% OFF at CyberGhost|
Limited Offer: ⚠️ Sign up Now for 60% OFF at CyberGhost — today only!
One of CyberGhost’s best features, “Content Blocker,” makes web browsing and purchasing a breeze. I was relieved to learn that as a VPN user trying to save money on ticket, this function blocked sites from charging more the second time I looked up the same flight. It also eliminated distracting banner and sidebar advertisements, making it simpler to compare rates across various travel sites.
CyberGhost’s user interface is uncluttered and straightforward, making it an excellent choice for those who are new to virtual private networks. The streamlined version of the software was always visible in my macOS’s menu bar. It just took me three clicks to switch countries, and once I did, I was instantly connected to the quickest server in that region, thus I never had any lag.
CyberGhost’s local server speeds are great, leading to swift page loads, while its remote server speeds were a bit less spectacular. It was a minor annoyance that Expedia UK’s homepage took around 10 seconds to load when I accessed it from an Australian server.
CyberGhost’s subscriptions are reasonably affordable, with multiple options available for as little as $2.11 per month. Nevertheless, longer plans give a more generous 45-day money-back guarantee than the monthly plan’s 14 days.
The money-back guarantee at CyberGhost has been put to the test here at VPN Hound many times and it works: so there’s no risk in giving their VPN a try. For this review, I put it to the test again by contacting their live chat, which is available around the clock, and was relieved to learn that getting a refund was simple and quick. After a short discussion, I received a reimbursement that arrived in my account two days later. CyberGhost is a reliable choice for people who want to avoid intrusive advertisements while still saving money on airfares.
What’s this about Incognito Flights?
The internet is abuzz with a supposed money-saving “hack” for buying flight tickets, often called the “Incognito flight hack”, “the browser hack,” or “flight booking hack”. The hack suggests that turning on Incognito mode will result in lower prices for the same ticket, even on Google Flights. However, my tests suggest that this might be a myth.
In reality, ticket prices are determined based on the market, and your location reveals what market you belong to.
Incognito mode does NOT hide your IP address, which means that anyone on the internet can still determine your location and adjust the price accordingly. While Incognito mode limits access to your computer’s cache and cookie folders, it does not store any data from the browsing session afterward.
While some service providers track data and adjust their offers based on your cookies, it is unclear whether this is the case for all flight ticket providers. Therefore, it is difficult to say for certain whether this hack will work for you.
How else can I save money on flights?
There are a few different approaches you can attempt if you’re willing to do some experimenting to get better airline deals. There are two options here:
- change your IP address to that of the country of your final destination, or
- use the IP address to the country where the airline is based.
After trying these options, remember you can always revert to your original IP address from your home country. Bear in mind that if you use a VPN to modify your location, you may have pricing inconsistencies unless you regularly clear your cookies. Here’s how in Chrome.
The use of a VPN is just one of several recommended strategies for finding cheaper airline tickets. The ability to adjust your departure and arrival dates is another: becausae avoiding travel during high-demand times like holidays and school breaks can help you save money on your plane ticket. Having some wiggle room in your travel plans might also help you save money.
Don’t limit yourself to just one city or resort; think regionally too.
A direct trip isn’t always the cheapest option…
It’s also smart to compare prices for other flight options; a direct trip isn’t always the cheapest option: it’s possible to discover a more affordable overall fare by combining flights on several carriers.
But be aware that it;s advisable to make reservations in advance, preferably two to three months before departure. This is because peak season travel requires even earlier bookings, often up to five months in advance.
Finally, it can often pay dividends to use flight comparison tools to figure out which carrier has the lowest fare. If you find a decent price, you can see if it still stands once you access the same site from a different location by using a VPN.
Is it legal to book flights via a VPN?
No, because it’s not illegal to use a VPN (unless you live in certain countries).
Certain airlines and booking services prohibit this, though. Some services may even actively prevent access from VPN users. Before using a VPN to book cheaper flights, make sure you understand the website’s or airline’s terms of service.
How do websites know my location!?
IP addresses, which are given to every device that connects to the internet, are one of the most prevalent ways of tracking you. Websites can tailor their content to you based on your physical location by using your IP address, which includes displaying relevant airline prices.
Mobile tracking is another method websites use to figure out where you are. Apps like Google Maps that use GPS send your device’s location to the app and maybe to other websites and applications. Your precise geographic location will be used to determine the most cost-effective airfare to send to you. It’s worth noting that many people who use smartphones tend to ignore this feature, which can lead to incorrect cost estimates. If you leave your GPS on, websites can see where you are and possibly charge you more or less for certain services.
Those familar with VPNs will likely know about fingerprinting already.
It’s usually done via HTML5 geolocation – a feature used by modern browsers that provides even more precise information about your location, such as your neighborhood, street, and even your latitude and longitude coordinates. Scary stuff.
However, using a VPN can help overcome this issue by masking your true location and providing you with a virtual location in another country. By doing so, you can access flight prices from different markets and potentially save money on your bookings.
Whether you’re using Public Wi-Fi or private, it doesn’t matter: Websites can also approximate your position using the Wi-Fi hotspot to which you are connected. Google employs this technique by triangulating data from Android devices that have connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot while also using the device’s built-in GPS. The SSID of your Wi-Fi router can be used to pinpoint your exact location and thus your identity. This implies that your location can still be revealed to websites via your Wi-Fi connection, even if your IP address is concealed.
Cookies are small files that websites save on your computer to remember your preferences, logins, and other information. They can also be used to track your browsing behavior and serve you personalized ads. Websites can use the information stored in cookies to determine your location and adjust prices accordingly. So, cookies can also contribute to the change in pricing every time you refresh a webpage.
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Verdict: Is using a VPN worth it?
In a world where our every move is tracked, it’s important to take control of your online privacy. And when it comes to booking flights, using a VPN is not just a savvy way to save money, it’s a crucial tool to protect our personal information from prying eyes.
With VPNs like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost, we can access virtual locations all around the world, giving us access to global markets and the ability to find the best deals. But more importantly, using a VPN shields our IP address from websites and airlines that would use it to hike up prices based on our location or browsing history.
By changing our IP address, we can stop companies from tracking our every move, stop them from serving us targeted ads, and stop them from exploiting our data. We take back our power and regain control over our privacy.
So next time you’re booking a flight, don’t forget the importance of protecting your personal information. Use a VPN, save money, and stay secure. 🙂
🏆 5 Best-Rated VPNs in 2023
- ExpressVPN — Best overall VPN around. Supports Netflix.
- NordVPN — Privacy-focused VPN that suppports streaming
- PIA VPN — Cheaper than most VPNs.
- Surfshark — Relative newcomer but making in-roads
- IPVanish VPN — Best for tech-savvy users
All things considered, the best VPN in world in 2023 is ExpressVPN. It's perfect for watching streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, and isn't as expensive as you may think. If you're looking for a VPN with speed, then our ExpressVPN speed test results speak for themselves.