Getting the best deals online requires shopping around. However, services from certain countries may not be available where you are. Seems unfair? We think so too. That’s why we’ve compiled this helpful list of ways you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to get the lowest price for things like holidays and subscribed services.
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Save money when you fly: use a VPN for cheaper air fares
This is a problem you’ve probably encountered in the past, especially if you’ve shopped for flights online. It’s no secret that flight prices fluctuate depending on the time of year you intend to fly. The most extreme price hikes occur when the kids are off school. You may even have noticed the price for the same flight increase the more times you search for it.
It’s not just the time of year that affects the price of flights. Price comparison sites like Skyscanner.com can build a picture of who you are using information collected from your browser. Things like whether you use an iPhone or a desktop PC can be determined using fingerprints left by your browser. These can influence the price you pay for services – a process known as price steering.
Just look at the difference we found between flights from the UK to Hong Kong on Skyscanner.com. First we searched using a MacBook Air.
Then we did exactly the same search on a Samsung mobile device.
An £18 saving just by switching devices! In addition to your device, airlines use your location to steer the price. Lucky for you, we’re here to show you how to mask both these things using a VPN! Look what happens to the prices when you use a VPN to change your perceived location from Britain to Romania.
At the time of writing, 2098 ROL (Romanian LEI) comes in at £402, for a saving of £20.
How Does It Work?
Without getting into the nitty gritty tech stuff, there are a few things you need to do in order to get the best prices.
The first thing you need to do is set up a VPN. To get started, look at our latest and best VPN deals. Bear in mind that not all VPN providers will give you access to the same virtual locations. If you’re already subscribed, you may need to change VPN provider in order to get the best deal for your destination.
Now that’s done, you need to remember to delete your cookies before you use your chosen VPN changer. You should also enable your browser’s incognito mode (CTRL+SHIFT+N). Remember, websites will use both your location and your browser’s cookies to steer the price, so it’s no good only changing one.
When you have been virtually relocated, make sure to use the site that matches your virtual location. For example, use skyscanner.ro for Romania if that is where your IP address is based. You should also look for an option to pay in the local currency.
Now you can start experimenting to find the best deals for your flights. Take a look at this price index compiled by Kiwi.com to help you figure out which virtual locations you should try. Remember to clear your cookies each time you change location!
Book hotels and cars online with a VPN to save on travel
The same process by which airlines steer prices is used by many online booking services for hotels and car rental. Below you can see the difference we found on a trip to New York. First we searched for hotels without using a VPN. Then, by routing our connection through Canada with a VPN, we found a saving of £30!
And the same process for car rentals…
Current exchange rates make C$100 a saving of £26. Simply using a VPN has saved a total of £56 on a two-day trip to New York. We’ll see you when we get back!
Use a VPN to unlock cheaper Netflix and other digital subscriptions
This could potentially save you a great deal over the course of the year. Netflix, Spotify, and even Microsoft Office all require a monthly subscriptions. For most households, monthly subscription bills can really add up.
The drill here is similar to booking flights and hotels. In some regions, Netflix is considerably cheaper over a year. Markets like Japan, where Netflix is trying to gain a foothold, are be charged less. By using a VPN to access the country-specific Netflix site, you gain access to the local pricing. Although Netflix charges Japanese viewers ¥1,450 (roughly £10) for its Premium service, the Standard and Basic packages are £1 a month cheaper than they are in the UK.
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By using a VPN to access Netflix, you’ll also get the bonus of having access to films and series not available in your region. Netflix has cottoned on to people using this trick, so it’s important to find the right Netflix VPN. Thankfully, BestvVPN.com has reviewed the best five for the job!
The amount you can save depends on the number of subscriptions you have. Some will save you more than others. The difference between the UK and Canadian Microsoft Office Home & Student 2016 packages comes in at £30 ($50) a year!
The amount you can save will vary depending on what you do online and what you use your VPN for. Some VPNs are better for streaming; others offer better privacy while browsing the internet. You can use our VPNs for beginners page to find out what you need and which provider will be best for you. Guides such as the Kiwi.com report are also useful, but the key here is to experiment.
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