Tips & How tos

The Ultimate Tech Hack for Budget Travelers: Get Cheap Flights Using a VPN!

Here’s the ultimate tech hack to get cheap flights, rack up extra travel savings while on vacation, and get digital privacy protection while traveling. The secret is a reliable, privacy-focused VPN. In this article, we’ll tell you the secrets of the VPN cheap flights trick to get great travel savings.

Airlines use dynamic pricing to maximize their profits on every air ticket sale. Dynamic pricing means that websites use a range of signals from cookies, trackers, and IP locations to identify and classify you to extract the maximum price possible from each user. 

The good news is that you can dodge some pesky trackers and change your IP address to bring down air ticket prices. Let’s briefly dive into how cookies and IP tracking influence prices to help you get the best air ticket prices. 

How does Dynamic Pricing pricing work?

Shopping websites (like travel websites) can read some information from cookies already lodged in your browser from previous searches and websites you’ve visited. They can match it to the information from their cookies to predict how much you’ll pay. It’s called cross-site tracking,  and tech behemoths like Meta and Google make a lot of money from selling highly accurate insider information about you to websites all across the internet. 

It means that websites can use your IP address, gaming, social media, browsing history, purchasing habits, and account history to fix the prices they show to you. 

And you may also have noticed that the more you search, the more prices change? Well, since website cookies and browsers interact with each other to make dynamic pricing happen, those price increases are not your imagination. Websites monitor the popularity and frequency with which you and other users search for particular flights or destinations. When they see more interest, they increase the prices. 

Cookies are a two-edged sword

Some website cookies are useful. They remember your language and currency so you don’t have to give this information repeatedly. They also remember your location, which buttons you clicked, and which alternatives you searched for to show you customized information. That sounds innocent until you remember that some websites exchange information from your Google searches or other websites. They can predict just how important this information is to you, which helps them set the prices according to what you are willing (and able) to pay.

GPS and geolocation settings

Your smartphone’s GPS actively communicates with websites to show you prices according to your location. Also, modern internet browsers use the HTML5 geolocation feature to find where you are. And did you know that your mobile phone apps continuously ‘phone home’ to let the app owners and advertising companies know your exact latitude and longitude? 

Changing your IP address can reduce air ticket prices

Since websites tie your IP location to how much they can charge you, people from richer countries usually see higher prices. People from less prosperous countries have better chances of snatching cheaper tickets.

If you use a VPN to change your IP address to a different country, you can convince most websites to show you the prices that locals expect to see. It’s not a guaranteed way to get maximum savings on flights, but if you change your location to a VPN server based in a less prosperous country, you are highly likely to get better prices. 

Travelers often report great savings if they switch their location to, e.g., India, the Philippines, or certain South American or African countries. The best way to find out is to change your location a few times to see what works best. 

How to use a VPN to get cheaper flights

The enemies are your IP location, cookies, and cross-site tracking, so take these steps to make you appear like a local when you go bargain-hunting:

  • If you’re using your smartphone, head to your phone’s settings and toggle the phone’s GPS tracking feature to “off”. 
  • Log out of all your social media accounts. Log out of your browser, e.g. your Google account or your Microsoft account. If you search while logged in, your browser may use your account information to give away the game even if you change your location with a VPN. 
  • Use a privacy-first browser. Clear your cookies and search history before you start, and do this every time you change your VPN location. 
  • Connect to your VPN in the country of your choice. Do your search and note the prices before taking the next step.
  • Clear cookies and browser history and close the browser. Disconnect from your VPN.
  • Choose a new VPN server, in a different country. Click connect.
  • Next, start a fresh browser session. Do a new search and compare the new results with the earlier prices.

Incognito is not a shortcut to the VPN Cheap Flights Hack 

Some people claim that turning on Incognito mode can stop tracking and help you get lower prices. But incognito mode can’t change your IP address. It only limits the website’s cookie permissions and removes your browsing history when you’re done. The only way to get those extra-cheap flights is to take the few extra steps we’ve described here, using a VPN. 

Just remember to spend all the lovely loot you’ve saved to have loads of fun experiences while you’re at your travel destination!