Most of us love to travel. However, not so many love the cost of fulfilling our globe-trotting dreams, so it’s always handy to explore ways to cut the cost of heading on vacation.
If you’re a regular traveler, you’ll probably be familiar with a few strategies to drive down the cost of flying. Many of these are pretty mainstream by now, whether it’s booking well in advance, or avoiding school vacation periods. All of these ideas are fine, and they definitely can save cash, but there are better ways to get cheap flight tickets.
By using more tech-savvy booking methods, you can work around the tricks used by travel companies to maximize their revenues. So here’s the low-down on how to make the price of your next vacation as low as possible.
How travel companies manipulate customers to boost their profits
If you’re wondering how to get cheap flight tickets, you’re far from alone. Ticket prices are a major chunk of vacation costs, and their prices are inflated in various ways, sucking money from your holiday budget.
Booking firms reason that the prices paid by users of different devices vary, and you can be sure that they have backed this up with market research. The end result is prices that are higher for some users than others. So if they discover that Mac users are happy to pay more than PC users, they will ratchet up their prices.
Thanks to IP addresses and GPS sensors, travel companies can easily locate most visitors. And they use this information just as you would expect them to: by maximizing revenue. Customers in different countries (or even cities) tend to pay different prices – even if they are using the same booking company or airline.
It all sounds unfair, doesn’t it? Companies can only get away with their practices because they are able to segment markets. And they are only able to do this if they can identify key information about the people who visit their sites.
So the logical conclusion is to find ways that make this identification harder. Thankfully, vacationers have some powerful tools that will do just that. Let’s get to know them in more detail.
If you want cheap flights, VPN services are your friend
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are an essential tool when you need to work around the tricks used by travel companies, and they are vital when booking cheap flights via today’s internet.
If you aren’t familiar with them already, VPNs are services operated by companies which route internet traffic through private servers and mask the identity of their users. By encrypting information leaving your smartphone or laptop, they shield data like your IP address and location from the websites you visit.
This has huge benefits when you want to know how to get cheap flight tickets. As we noted earlier, travel companies need to know where you are, and what kind of device you are using before their pricing systems can kick in.
When you search for cheap flights VPN clients allow you to hide all of this information. And they also allow you to change your location (at least in a virtual sense). For instance, if you’re flying to Turkey you can book via a Turkish server. This means that when you need to book a flight, VPN services let you get around most geographical or device-based pricing strategies and enjoy the prices paid by Turkish customers, which will almost certainly be lower.
So if you want to open up all sorts of cheap airlines tickets VPN services are a great way to do so.
Going incognito could help when booking cheap flights via the Internet
When it comes to cheap airline tickets, VPN services aren’t the only tech-based strategy. There are a variety of other things you should try if you want to fool the pricing systems used by online travel bookers.
One thing to think about is using the incognito mode on your browser. While this won’t actually fully hide your private data from websites or work around geographical filters, it does seem to help when booking cheap flights?
The reason is related to the way ticket booking filters work. They seem to target the history feature on web browsers, analyzing the browsing habits of those who book ticket vendors and adjusting prices accordingly. By profiling online behavior, they can determine pricing bands – often raising ticket in the process.
Incognito mode might be useful, but it’s worth remembering that it only really works if you browse incognito all the time. The idea is to stop your browser recording history data, so don’t flick it on or off when you need to make bookings.
Other ways to help defeat ticket booking filters
These cookies track your behavior and build an individual profile that travel companies use to deliver their prices. This makes it advisable to flush out cookies for your favorite travel companies whenever you visit their sites.
It’s not unknown for companies to manipulate customers in pretty shocking ways via cookies. For instance, have you ever wondered why so many hotels you are thinking about booking only have one or two rooms left? It’s not a coincidence.
When the market gets mean, customers need to get even
Why should travelers have to pay over the odds for flights and accommodation? The truth is, they don’t need to, although most of us do. We still settle for over-inflated costs, and succumb to marketing tactics that we wouldn’t accept if we were buying in person.
Instead of spending more than you need to, leave yourself a little extra vacation spending money. When you book a flight, VPN services and simple browser settings can make a huge difference.
If you want cheap airline tickets, VPN clients are easy to set up. Just download a client and pick a reputable provider. You might want to pay extra for a subscription-based service (and you’ll probably make back the cost in savings if you’re a regular traveler).
When you’re up and running, check flight prices on the sites you use. You’ll probably notice some surprising differences with the numbers quoted during previous visits. And experiment with using servers in different locations. Watch how the prices shift.
The travel market is sophisticated and profit-driven, so why not take a leaf out of its book and use publicly available technology when booking cheap flights? If it’s as simple as downloading a VPN client and logging on, it’s amazing that we aren’t all saving hundreds of dollars every time we fly.