Who doesn’t like to travel, especially during the holidays? Traveling is a relaxing and educative hobby, because it helps us become more open-minded, socialize more, learn about other cultures and people and unleash our spirit of adventure.
Regardless of your desired location, buying plane tickets can be a tedious and expensive activity. Most travel websites are devious and employ all sorts of schemes to get you to pay as much as possible for your ticket. They manage to do that by tracking your location, through various ways: through your IP address, when you are connected to a WiFi, through cookies, GPS and so on.
You might think that the longer you surf the web for finding the best deal, the cheaper a ticket you will buy. But in fact, it’s the other way around. The longer you stay online to search for the best deal, the higher the costs will be. Companies will try anything to get you to buy when and what they want you to. You will receive warnings and notifications like “last tickets” to get you to hurry with your purchase, or you might get different prices from your smartphone than from your desktop computer. Websites profile clients based on the gadgets and technology they use and might display different prices and offers based on that.
These tactics apply to almost anything you can buy online, not just plane tickets. It can also be a hotel room and so on.
There are some things you can do though, if you want to buy the most affordable ticket. Here are some tips:
- Visit as many sites as you can (including the ones from the airline companies) and compare prices
- Go ‘incognito’ on your browser. This way the browser won’t store your history and travel websites won’t be able to track you
- Try searching for tickets from your smartphone, rather than your desktop. It has been proven that many websites offer best deals to customers who log from their Android and iOS devices
- If possible, use a VPN when shopping for online tickets. As we already mentioned, location is a very important factor when it comes to ticket prices. By using a VPN, you can use a virtual address from another country, thus tricking the site into thinking that you are somewhere else. Except for the cases in which there are strict requirements related to your country when purchasing a ticket, prices can drop significantly when your VPN is turned on.
- Clear your cookies for the website from which you want to buy the tickets. Cookies are basically the ones that help your browser remember your preferences and in some cases, this is not in your advantage
- Try to visit the international version of the website, not the local version of it.
- Ultimately, try and remember the golden rule: the earlier you buy the tickets, the cheaper they will be. If possible, try to purchase your plane ticket 2 months in advance.
Remember, first appearances are alive on the internet just like in real life. If a site thinks you might be coming from one geo area then they might present you special offers or different prices than other countries. This is why we suggest using a VPN when shopping online. If nothing else it lets you see if there are different prices around, or if they are the same for everyone.