Pay less for your vacation: how to save money with a VPN?


The best VPNs of the moment

VPN or Virtual Private Network is a virtual private network that allows you to hide your IP address and virtual location. Concretely, it is used to keep your anonymity on vacation booking sites. The network can offer you discounts on various purchases such as car rental, accommodation, plane tickets or other transport tickets. Booking sites offer lower prices to locals. For example, if you live in Paris and are looking for a flight to Lyon, you will have an affordable price than someone looking for the same geolocated flight in Madrid, Spain. The reason is that booking sites use cookies to track your IP address before displaying prices based on where you are. These cookies also tell them how many times you have visited the site and can adjust the price accordingly.

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Seasonality also matters when you want to save on your next vacation. In high season, booking sites as well as travel agencies offer higher prices than in low season. Avoid encountering this problem by using VPNs like NordVPN, Cyberghost or Proton VPN. Because the Virtual Private Network hides your IP address, portal sites cannot track how long you spent on their sites, how many times you visited them, or what different flights you searched for. Another tip is to take advantage of the discount by connecting through a VPN server from a less wealthy country, thus taking advantage of lower exchange rates and prices.

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VPN encryption isn’t just for geo-restricted content and unblocking streaming services. It ensures security by hiding your traffic. This same technology lets you shop at discounted prices, even without money-saving apps like Honey and Rakuten. To use VPN, follow these steps:

  • Log out of all accounts on booking sites like Expedia or Delta.
  • If you are shopping online, log out of your store account.
  • Make sure your VPN is active on your device and configure it in the desired location before opening a website.
  • Clear all caches and cookies from your browsers.
  • Explore the website you want to book or purchase from.
  • Finally make your reservation or purchase your products and services.

Which VPN to choose for making online reservations or purchases?

There are currently a large number of VPN providers. While they are often free or cheap, there are limits to what they can offer. Some free VPNs log your data or have shoddy security that leads to DNS and WebRTC leaks, leaving you exposed to price gouging. Your best solution is to use an efficient and reliable VPN. Some VPN features to look for include:

  • A large server network with many server locations to choose from, for price comparisons.
  • AES-256-bit encryption that does not disclose your IP address.
  • Split tunneling, which allows you to check prices with the VPN on and with the VPN off at the same time.
  • A strict no-logging policy so none of your data can be collected.
  • A kill switch that cuts off your internet connection in case the VPN goes down for some reason.
  • Fast speeds so you can navigate efficiently.

Real-world cases for saving money with a VPN

Here are some real-world cases for saving money with a VPN.

Getting an affordable hotel room

When you test VPN methods to reduce prices in hotels in Spain. The first image is a search for “hotel rooms in Madrid tonight” without an active VPN. Since you’re in Paris, you’ll get a deal for less than 750 Euros/night. To avoid this, enable your VPN, open a new browser window and clear your history. When you search for a hotel in Madrid while in or near the city itself, you get results between 100 and 250 euros per night. Indeed, the search results brought out the price of 750 euros, compared to 100 euros per night with the VPN. Next time you need a hotel, make sure to enable your VPN to get the best price.

Use a VPN for Cheaper Flights

This is probably the hardest category to see a difference when checking prices with a VPN. A Consumer Reports study conducted in 2023 found rapid fluctuations in flight prices across browsers. Of the 372 flights searched, 42 returned results showing that browser cookies influence prices. It appears that aggregated flight searches are more likely to yield wildly different results, but airlines say flight prices change quickly based on a multitude of factors. By activating your VPN, you will obtain more attractive prices by hiding the season and geolocation.

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Rent a car at a reduced price

To benefit from cheap car rental, use your VPN in the city where you are and book in advance. With this software, you hide your IP address and get better prices. Once the VPN is activated, all you have to do is choose the rental company of your choice, then set the date and duration. Don’t forget to use the location change for your IP address.

The best VPNs on the market

If you’re ready to save money on your vacation, but don’t yet have a VPN, here are the best available. Each of these providers offers all the features you’ll need to encrypt your traffic, as well as plenty of places to find better prices.

NordVPN

NordVPN is a very efficient French virtual private network. It offers a variety of features that will help you save money online. This software basically offers:

  • An ultra-secure, high-speed VPN with malware protection and automatic blocking of intrusive ads and third-party trackers.
  • A premium password manager, dark web monitoring, and access to IP-restricted content.
  • Choose from plans for personalized protection on up to 10 devices. NordVPN is a bit more expensive than some of its competitors, but you’ll find plenty of security features that others may not have.

ProtonVPN

Proton VPN is another option of the best-performing VPNs available on the market. With it, you can cover all the devices in your home, even if they don’t have VPN features. Here are some options it provides:

  • Elimination of intrusive display ads when browsing the web, improving page speed and making data usage easier on mobile.
  • VPN privacy and security with best-in-class encryption.
  • Innovative server technology in 91 countries.
  • Protection against malicious sites and trackers on 10 devices.

Surfshark VPN

Surfshark is a cybersecurity company offering privacy and security solutions like VPN, antivirus, etc. Among other things, it offers:

  • An all-in-one VPN app with 24/7 protection from over 3,200 RAM-only servers in over 100 countries.
  • Real-time malware protection, webcam protection, creation of alternative IDs, ad blocking, and more.
  • A subscription covering unlimited devices for your entire household with access to 24/7 support.
  • 24-month plans are the most economical and give you options for added extras.

Good to know

There are many price differences on the web. Whether you’re looking for a cheap flight or trying to reduce the price of your future vacation accommodation, a VPN can help you spend less online. To do this, make sure to connect your VPN to the regions that have the lowest prices. You may have to do some research, but the overall savings can be substantial. Whether you’re considering Surfshark, NordVPN, or ExpressVPN, each can unlock several benefits, not only in terms of price reductions, but also in terms of security that you may not have been able to access before.

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