Using a VPN Service to Book Flights and Hotels

How to Save Money When Booking Flights & Hotels Using a VPN

Location icon with illustration of hotel, aeroplane and ipad

Have you ever searched for a flight or hotel, found a great deal, but when you go to make the booking the price suddenly increases? Nobody wants to get ripped off by aggregators, learn how to beat the algorithms by using a VPN to book flights and hotels.

How browsing activity can influence pricing

Hotel and flight booking comparison websites use a myriad of techniques to display prices to their customers. It has long been speculated and partially supported by studies, that your user data may affect the price that is offered.

We now know that these platforms use cookies to remember what flights or holidays you have looked at, where you are looking from, how often you have looked, and even at what times of the day you have been checking. This data can then be used to adjust the flight prices, increasing them to create a sense of urgency and make you more likely to buy at an inflated price.

However, using a VPN for flights and hotel purchasing can prevent this technique from being deployed on your searches.

How a VPN can prevent this

At its core, a VPN will hide and mask your real IP address, encrypt your personal data that flows through the network, and presents a spoofed IP address in its place.

So, when you start searching for flights or a hotel without the VPN turned on, your data is being tracked and the platform’s algorithms will provide prices. You obviously are looking for a good deal. You’ll shop around and then return to a flight or hotel with a price you were comfortable with. But your traffic has been recorded and when you go to book that flight, suddenly the price has increased.

Using a VPN for cheaper flights can avoid this. Instead of returning to the preferred booking with your actual IP address, you can go back using a VPN with a spoofed IP address. The algorithms will think you are a new user, from a different country or location, looking at the flight for the very first time and the price will not have been artificially inflated.

Essentially. If you use a VPN you’ll appear like a new person and none of your previous data will be considered by the booking platforms A.I. algorithms.

Flight and Hotel prices

With far fewer hotel rooms on the market than flights each day, and room rates generally set in stone if you choose to book directly with the hotel, inflated prices on aggregator platforms are less common than with flights. But that isn’t to say it doesn’t happen. Some comparison site algorithms will still use cookies and the data they provide to inflate the price of a hotel booking.

Simply browse a comparison site as normal but be sure to use one of the best VPN providers to change your IP address when you are ready to book.

Choosing a VPN provider

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ExpressVPN works on everything and just about everywhere. With servers in more than 94 countries and support for iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and various routers, ExpressVPN will let you find cheaper flights on any device that can access a comparison site – even a smart TV or Xbox One.  

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Not everyone will want to use a paid VPN but NordVPN is one of the cheapest providers on the market.

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Overall score: 9.5

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When using a VPN for flights or hotels, it is best to have access to as many countries as possible. An aggregator platform will often consider location when producing prices. With Surfshark, users can access more than 3,000 servers across 100 different countries.

Using free VPN providers

Not all VPNs require a paid subscription as some providers do offer a free version, but you’ll likely encounter some restrictions and limitations. For example, ProtonVPN offers a free VPN service with unlimited data usage. However, you can only connect to three countries and the servers are rather limited.

TunnelBear offers servers in 47 countries, but free users are only afforded 500MB of data per month. Even when generally browsing online, you’d be surprised how quickly this data can be chewed up. The best VPN will always be a premium service with a paid subscription because you’ll have zero restrictions, the strongest servers, and the most extensive coverage.


Aggregator platforms use cookie data to fuel their price-setting algorithms, resulting in an unfair increase in prices for flights and hotels. But anyone can use a VPN to spoof their IP address, encrypt their personal data, and stop algorithms from inflating your price offers. Take back control of your holiday-making by using a VPN when searching for flights or hotels.

Use ExpressVPN today and find cheaper flight and hotel prices.