Malpensa, Italy. 2014
I pride myself on my ability to find great deals for airline tickets, prowling sites like Skyscanner and Kayak for weeks before booking my flight. I definitely get this from my mother as she is the unofficial family travel agent, booking all of her siblings flights when they go abroad — she also has a strange fascination with any and all travel routes, often asking what bus or subway route I’m taking to destinations around the city, but I digress.
Today, I came across a great MapHappy.org article, “Use a ‘Fake’ Location to Get Cheaper Plane Tickets,” that is definitely a must-read for any avid traveller. The title says it all; the article focuses on the fact that a ticket’s point of sale can affect it’s cost, sometimes quite drastically. I actually unwittingly used this tactic quite a bit while studying abroad in Milan and booking flights around Europe and domestically in Italy and have definitely noticed the difference in cost booking from here in the US.
Using the city you are departing from as your point-of-sale, or if booking on a national airline’s site, setting the country to the country you’ll be traveling in, the price will often show up in foreign currency and once converted, you’ll realize you are saving a significant amount of money, especially if you have a travel friendly credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees (definitely ask your bank if they have one as this is invaluable when traveling especially with the chip in foreign ATMs).
**Another tip: While I’m a pretty loyal Kayak user, Skyscanner is also a great option when booking domestic flights internationally because it includes a great deal of smaller, budget airlines that bigger search engines do not.
This definitely gives me something to think about and could not have come at a better time as I’m currently looking into a multi-island trip in the Caribbean during the winter of 2015.