I never even considered the VPN bit. I’ve noticed a large difference between prices I can get here in South Africa and those a friend who lives in the States is able to get. It seems so unfair but it’s understandable. I think there’s actually a site that you can go to that gets you low prices by skipping middle layover routes, but cannot recall what it was called.
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Before booking a flight, consider if the rate is cheaper if paid in another currency. Often budget airlines will make you pay in the currency of the country you’re departing from, but this isn’t always the case. An important note when doing this: make sure you’re using a credit card that is free of foreign-transaction fees, otherwise your attempts to save money doing this will be lost! Our article on money matters for world travellers can help steer you in the right direction for the best credit cards for travel.
“When traveling abroad, I usually fly out of a different airport than my ‘home’ one. I live in Indianapolis, but I’ve discovered that flights to Asia and Europe are way less expensive from Chicago. It's about a three-hour drive, but I save almost $2,000 by flying out of Chicago, instead.” —Lori LeRoy, 45, a travel blogger who takes at least six trips a year
Secret Flying can be a winner, if you're flexible about when you travel. There's no need to sign up – simply visit its (free) site to view cheap flights. You can filter by destination and month. It will direct you to the airline's website to book. Some deals may be in euros or dollars – make sure you pay with a specialist card to avoid hefty conversion fees.
Two of the best travel rewards cards are the Chase Sapphire Preferred and American Express Platinum Card. Both cards earn let you redeem your purchase rewards points through their respective credit card travel portal, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards, for award travel. Or, you can also transfer your points to an airline travel partner on a 1:1 basis for an even better deal and to also give you those last few points that you need to book a flight directly through the airline.
My husband and I are flying from San Francisco to Paris on August 31 and returning October 4. In the last several months, ticket prices have risen from $1400 – $1700 for economy seats. We fly every year and never pay anywhere near this for this much. Do you have any advice as to when we should book? We’d rather fly nonstop, but could do it with one short layover.
In fact, when we checked, we found that a family of four flying to Tenerife could save £160 if they switched from London Luton to Gatwick, and a family flying to Malaga could save £188 flying from Gatwick instead of Southend. But the reverse can also be true, and our data doesn’t give any solid answers as to whether you’ll typically save by booking at a smaller airport or a larger one.
But warning: You won’t be able to check any bags. Since you’re getting off the flight before it reaches its final destination, any checked bags would head to the next stop without you. You should also avoid using your frequent flyer account number; airlines frown upon this money-saving method, and might cancel your return flight if they discover you doing this.” —Mona Molayem