Have you ever started to book a trip with you and your bestie, you check flights and hotels for prices and comes back a few hours or days later to find that the price has increased already? It’s because the websites are tracking your searches to make more money. Here are some simple easy tips and tricks that could help you save HUNDREDS!
Use an Anonymous Browser
This is a must-do, I cannot emphasize this one enough! So why should you use a Private Browser? It’s because websites are constantly tracking your data and every move you make on the Internet. Scary, right? So, when you and your five best friends are all planning a girls’ trip to Barcelona, the websites you are all looking on will start to notice that more and more people are interested in those specific days. Now, because the flight companies, hotels, or even Airbnb’s know this – the price gets jacked up.
This is why I always use a Private Browser to make myself anonymous, this way your IP address is not tracked. Most browsers allow you to open a “Private Window”, I personally use a Chrome browser. To do this, go to File > New Incognito Window, it will then bring you to a new window that has a darker dashboard. Remember to exit out of the non-private browser! And now, start planning your trip! If you need help on how to open a private browser, here is an example using Safari.
Be Exact with Your Search
As stated before, websites are always tracking what you are trying to research. Within your private browser, another way to refine your search through Google is to use “Google Grammar”. Say you want to go to Naples, Italy. When you are searching the web, Naples, Florida comes up instead. To avoid confusion, use Exact Search. This is when you use quotation marks to narrow a search. So now Google, “Naples, Italy”, your results will now only come from there.
Finding the Best Rates Online
My favorite part! Whether you are traveling domestically or internationally, who doesn’t like saving money? There are many different websites that will scan the internet looking for the best rates while looking at all kinds of different airlines. Google Flights is a really cool website that I used a lot while studying abroad. You can type where you want your flight to leave from and leave the “go-to” set to everywhere and see where it’s the cheapest to fly somewhere for a specific date. For example, if I knew I wanted to travel say June 1 to 5 from Barcelona but didn’t know where I wanted to go, I could see where it’s the cheapest to go those days! You can book your flight directly on Google Flights. Google Flights is where I usually started when I was abroad in Europe and was traveling every weekend. By having a goal list of places, I could find out when it was logistically the cheapest to go. For example, Paris is more expensive the first two weeks in February because of Valentine’s Day!
Once I would find somewhere I wanted to go, on my private browser through Google Flights. I would clear my history then go to SkyScanner to actually book it. Other websites that scan the internet that I recommend are Secret Flying and Scott’s Cheap Flights (this one you do have to pay for using the service). Secret Flying and Scott’s Cheap Flights are a little different when they scan the internet, as they look for flaws in the airlines’ websites where there was a mistake made. If you are a student, check out StudentUniverse.
These are just a few tips and tricks that I have found to be very helpful and saved a couple of hundred dollars while I was abroad. Please feel free to reach out with any questions, and as always – Happy Traveling! #wildbumming