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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 June 26, 2020

          25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

          25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

          “How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

          If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

          You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

          Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

          As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

          And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

          But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

          • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
            • food
            • rent/mortgage
            • cell phone
            • insurance
            • socializing/entertainment
            • transportation
            • hygiene products
            • household bills
          • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
            • travel
            • clothing
            • medication (*depends)
            • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
            • gifts

          Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

          Save Money on Food

          1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

          Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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          Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

          2. Buy the store-brand version

          Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

          3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

          Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

          4. Have group dinners

          If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

          Save Money in Transport

          5. Get a bicycle

          Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

          6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

          Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

          7. Find the cheapest gas

          Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

          Save Money in General Shopping

          8. Shop online

          Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

          9. Sell your old stuff

          Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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          Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

          10. Bulk buying stores

          For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

          Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

          11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

          You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

          12. Generic brand medication

          More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

          13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

          It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

          Cut Down on Household Expenses

          14. Printing

          Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

          e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

          Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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          15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

          A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

          16. Shop around for insurance

          Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

          Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

          17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

          If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

          18. Don’t get a TV

          Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

          19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

          My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

          Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

          20. Have house parties

          Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

          For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

          21. Open festivals, meetups and events

          It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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          22. Volunteer

          If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

          23. Housesit

          There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

          Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

          24. DIY beauty

          French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

          25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

          If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

          Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

          Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

          • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
          • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
          • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
          • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
          • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
          • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
          • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

          Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

          What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

          Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

          More Tips for Personal Finance Management

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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