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I Wish I Knew This Cheaper Plane Ticket Trick Earlier

I Wish I Knew This Cheaper Plane Ticket Trick Earlier

Scoring the best airfare prices goes well beyond booking nearly a year in advance. If you use a “fake location” to buy your ticket, you could potentially get a much lower price. In Erica Ho’s article “Use A “Fake” Location to Get Cheaper Plane Tickets,” she let’s us in on this impressive airfare reduction strategy!

Use Point-of-Sale For Your Advantage

As it turns out, the same ticket that costs maybe $300 if you buy it from New York, costs $30 dollars if you buy it in Bangkok. Same ticket, but the only difference is the location you are purchasing it from or, a fancy way to say it, its “point-of-sale.” Ho managed to pay only $371 for a flight from New York to Colombia that was originally costing her more than $500.

Using the Trick for a Flight from Cartagena to Bogotá (Domestic Flight In Colombia)

Using travel search engines like Kayak, Skyscanner and Google ITA, Ho compared the prices of flights from large airlines LAN Airlines and Avianca. All travel search engines take a US-centric approach and displayed the cheapest LAN flight as $116 and the cheapest Avianca flight as $137. This is when Ho changed her point-of-sale.

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How to use Google ITA’s “Matrix Airfare Search” to change the point-of-sale:

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    Changing Point-of-Sale on Google ITS (image courtesy of maphappy.org)

    In this case, changing the point-of-sale can only be done using Google ITA. Ho changed her point-of-sale from New York City to Colombia, because she wanted her airfare to be in Colombian pesos, but you can change your point-of-sale to any place in the world (depending on whether you can get a cheaper rate from there).
    Remember, the departure and arrival location is fixed regardless of what your point-of-sale is.

    Here’s the price after changing the sale city to one in Colombia:

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    posgoogleitacop-mh
      Colombian Peso price (image courtesy maphappy.org)

      Now the cheapest flight from LAN is 173,820 COP ($91.96) and the cheapest flight from Avianca is 116,280 COP ($61.59). Just by changing the point-of-sale, you can save $74.41 on the Avianca flight and $22.04 on the LAN flight.

      How to buy the tickets on the airline’s website:

      posaviancachange-mh
        Where To Change Your Point-of-Sale on the Avianca Site (image courtesy maphappy.org)

        This price comparison proves that you can potentially buy a cheaper ticket from Colombia than you can from the US. But you can’t buy this cheaper ticket directly from a travel search engine like Google ITA. You’re going to have to buy it from the airline’s website.

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        One of the ways to change your point-of-sale on the airline website is to change your site location to Colombia but keep the site language English. Sometimes the website changes the language automatically, so you’ll probably have to either improve language comprehension or load Google Translate. You can also use a VPN approach – by changing your IP address to trick the website into believing you are purchasing from a computer within the country.

        posaviancaairfare-mh
          Avianca website prices in Colombian pesso (image courtesy of maphappy.org)

          You may not get the exact price you saw on Google ITA, but Ho assures that she almost always saves some money when she changes the point-of-sale. To save a maximum amount of money, it’s important that you use a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign currency conversion fees when purchasing your ticket.

          Even if you use a credit card that does charge currency conversion fees, though, the standard foreign transaction fee usually sums up to be around 3% surcharge, which in this case would only cost an extra $2.16. Not a bad price to pay for the overall savings!

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          Tips & Things to Keep In Mind:

          1. The best point-of-sales are the country the airline is based in and the country of destination (especially in the case of international flights).

          2. Sometimes airline websites may revert prices back to those of your original point-of-sale when you use your credit card. This differs from website to website.

          3. Sometimes airline tickets purchased from your home country also charge you the required visa and entry/exit fees, which may not be included in the ticket you purchase as a “resident.”

          4. There are some airlines that charge the same for local and foreign residents, so be on the lookout for those!

          Using this trick, you can save as little as $7 to more than $100! It doesn’t hurt to try changing your point-of-sale next time you’re buying airline tickets. And with that $7 saved, you could go ahead and buy an extra snack at your destination.

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          Last Updated on April 3, 2019

          How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

          How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

          Debt is never a fun thing to be in. But, there are many actions that you can take that will help you rid yourself of the burden of debt once and for all.

          By coming up with a set plan, eliminating your debt can feel much easier than constantly thinking about it.

          This post will provide some tips on how you can do this to help you nix your credit card debt in less than 3 years.

          Hint: there are ways that are easier than you think.

          1. Consider Consolidating Multiple Credit Cards If Possible

          This may not be applicable to you, but if you have multiple cards – it is something to consider. Keeping up with multiple bills is time consuming.

          It will depend on the balance you have on each. Consolidate ones you can but do not do it to the point that you get too close to the maximum limit. Also, it is ideal to pick the card with the lower interest rate.

          Consider if there are any fees or alternatively, rewards, with transferring a balance to another card. Watch out for fees. Note that some cards offer rewards for transferring a balance to them. This is extra cash that can help go towards paying off your debt.

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          Having one or two cards can make nixing your debt much simpler than keeping up with the balance of a bunch of cards. Keeping track of paying the minimum towards a bunch of cards is time consuming. Spend the time to consolidate instead to make the overall process simpler going forward.

          My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

          Why do I suggest doing this? Having one thing set to auto-pay is one less thing to think about. One less thing to waste time on. Same idea with consolidating to one main card. Tracking down too many is a hassle.

          2. Try to Pay the Full Balance You Spent Each Month at the Very Least

          You need to pay off the amount you are spending each month when that bill comes in. This is the amount you spent THAT month.

          Do not let the debt keep accruing while you work on paying any unpaid debt that has accrued. It will become a never-ending battle. Try as best as you can to be current on paying for each month’s expenses when that month’s bill comes out.

          If this is a strain, consider why. You may need to cut expenses. Or you may need to consider other cards. Or look at where this money is going.

          3. Pay Extra When You Can – Every Small Amount Counts

          This cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking at a lot of credit card debt, it can look daunting, but each extra amount that you can put towards the debt will really add up – no matter how small it is.

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          It does not just reduce the principal amount that you have left to pay off, but it reduces the amount that is collecting interest. You will always save money with that reduced interest.

          4. Create a Plan on How to Pay Extra

          Back to the main point, having this plan is giving you one less thing to think about.

          This plan should be a plan that works for you. If it does not work for you, your spending habits, and your views on debt, then it will not be an effective plan.

          For instance, if a set plan of an extra $50 (or another amount that you know you can afford) works for you, then do that. Set that aside every month and pay that extra amount. Treat it like a bill. Choose an amount that works for you and pay it like clockwork as though it was a bill you had to pay each month.

          Little amounts will not nix it entirely, but they will help tackle it and having a set plan can make it less of a chore. Creating a new plan of how much to put towards it each month is an unnecessary added stress.

          5. Cut out Costs for Services You Do Not Use

          If you are signed up for subscriptions that you do not use because of some free trial or for some other reason, cut it out. Your overall financial position will look better.

          In turn, that will make cutting your credit card debt easier. Look at your statements to find these expenses. If you do not use them, you may forget you are paying some unnecessary amount each month. Cutting it out can really add up in savings that you can put towards other needed expenses.

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          6. Get Aggressive About It

          Consider these points:

          Depending on the interest and the level of debt, you may need to give up a few indulgences. For example, instead of ordering delivery or going out to eat, cook at home. Everything adds up.

          Other things may be more of a sacrifice. It may be a trip you wanted to go on, or a daily latte habit you’ve picked up. In these instances, consider how important it is to you and if it’s worth the sacrifice. And if it is a costly expense, think whether you can wait to indulge.

          Cutting an extravagant expense can really help make a dent in your overall debt. Try not to add to debt when you are trying to pay it off. It will be a never-ending battle. Make it less of a battle with these tips and it will feel easier.

          Bottom line: Do what you can to make this process easier for you. Implement steps that do this. It takes time now, but will help overall. Also, keep track of your spending and paying down of your debts. Which is the next point.

          7. Reevaluate Your Progress at Set Intervals

          Doing a regular check-in can help you see your efforts pay off or maybe indicate that you need to give this a bit more effort. If you check every 3-6 months, it will not feel so much like a chore or feel so daunting.

          By doing this, you will be able to better understand your progress and perhaps readjust your plan. Bonus: if you see it pay off, it will feel great to do this check-in. You will get there.

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          Finally (and most importantly)…

          8. Keep Trying

          Do not get discouraged. Pushing it off will make it worse. Just keep trying.

          Once your debt becomes lower, each monthly payment will reduce the balance more. Why? You are paying less towards interest. It will be a snowball effect eventually and it will become much easier to manage. Just get to that point. And know once you do, it will feel easier and motivating.

          Start Knocking out Your Debt Today

          The best way to eliminate debt is to get started right away. Begin by implementing the above steps and watch your debt just melt away. Try out some of the above strategies and see what works best for you. Soon you’ll be on your way to a debt free life.

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          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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