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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 August 15, 2018

          30 Fun Things You Can Do This Summer Without Spending Much

          30 Fun Things You Can Do This Summer Without Spending Much

          Summertime can be a real strain on your wallet. The sun is out, there are people to see, places to be; it’s no wonder you might be short of funds during these sunny months. Not everything has to cost you an arm and a leg.

          Take some time to go through this list of 20 cheap summer activities and make some realistic goals to complete as many as you can.

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          1. Visit a strawberry festival

          Summer is prime time for tasting strawberries. More often than not, an area that grows strawberries will have a strawberry festival. Indulge yourself in strawberry pies, jams, cakes and more!

          2. Have a picnic

          Take your partner or your family to the local park and enjoy a relaxing picnic. Designate each person to bring one food item of their choice to add to the fun.

          3. Camp in your back yard

            The summer heat can sometimes make it hard to sleep. Why not enjoy the heat outside in the yard? Pitch a tent or gaze into the night sky.

            4. Take long walks

            Discover something new where you live. Take the afternoon off from your chores and go for a long walk. You may be surprised by what you discover.

            5. Break a world record

            Breaking a world record doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You could even break one on your lunch hour. Give it a go!

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            6. Go on a bike ride

            The number of bike paths on roads in big cities has increased dramatically over the years. Take advantage, and enjoy the summer breeze.

            7. Join a gym class

              The gym is not everyone’s idea of a good time, but why not go with a friend a join a class? Spinning, yoga and step classes are always more fun with friends, and a lot of gyms allow you to pay-as-you-go.

              8. Find a new hobby

              The summer is the perfect time to find a new hobby. Serotonin (our body’s natural “happy” hormone) is produced by the sunshine and will be at a yearly high, which is great for when we want to tackle something new.

              9. Join a sports team

              Not all sports teams are competitive and require huge amounts of your time. Join in the fun with like-minded people, get fit, stay healthy and make some friends along the way.

              10. Make a slip ‘n slide

                Gather your friends, some plastic sheeting, a hose, washing up liquid if desired, and make a huge slip ‘n slide just like these guys. Granted, yours won’t be as big, but you get the idea… it’s fun!

                11. Make a treasure hunt for your kids

                Today’s digital world sees our children more often than not playing inside than outside. Why not create a sense of adventure by making a treasure hunt? Only rule? It has to be outside.

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                12. Visit a free festival

                Towns and cities are awash with free festivals, with themes from film to science. Scout your local area and discover something new.

                13. Visit the zoo

                  Let’s face it: we love animals. While browsing news websites and social media networks you’re bound to come across a few pictures of cats. Take a trip to your local zoo for a better experience.

                  14. Take a road trip

                  Enjoy the open road with a few friends and take a road trip somewhere–anywhere. Just go out and enjoy the sunshine!

                  15. Play ultimate frisbee in the park

                    Frisbee is always great fun down the park, but why not turn it into more of a competitive sport by playing ultimate frisbee?

                    16. Make your own ice cream

                    Ice cream is a very versatile dessert. Make a sandwich, enjoy a cone, or simply just enjoy a bowl full. Better yet, making your own ice cream allows you to create any flavor you want.

                    17. Invite your neighbors over for a BBQ

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                      When was the last time you invited your neighbors over? Do you even know them? Now’s your chance. Just ask each person to bring a food item so costs don’t mount up for you.

                      18. Get a summer job

                      For many students, summer is the time for relaxation and fun. But who said earning money and being productive isn’t fun? You only get out what you put into a situation.

                      19. Attend a charity event

                      Attending a charity event is a great way to raise funds and awareness for a cause, meet new people, and generally have a good time. Search for your local charity event today.

                      20. Visit a national park

                      National parks are a great way to explore nature and learn something new. You could even volunteer and make a difference in helping restore natural habitats.

                      21. Visit your local comedy club

                        Local comedy clubs are extremely underrated. They are cheap to attend and no doubt you’ll have a barrel of laughs.

                        22. Make your own hammock

                          Hammocks are very relaxing, are perfect for summer afternoons and are surprisingly easy to make.

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                          23. Read in your new hammock

                          Now you have your very own hammock, the only thing left to do is enjoy it. Grab your favorite book and read to your heart’s content.

                          24. Watch a movie outside

                          Movies are great. Relaxing outside in the evening is great. Put them together and you’ve got a perfect combination. In D.C, Maryland and Virginia this summer, for example, you can enjoy a huge number of movies outside.

                          25. Take a hike

                            Hikes are a great way to keep fit and see more of Mother Nature. There are countless trails available for you to explore. Why not try some this summer?

                            26. Learn how to fly a kite

                            As a child, you probably had a kite and haven’t touched it since. Why not dust it off and attempt to fly it? It’s tricky, but well worth the challenge.

                            27. Work out at the park

                            American cities are full of parks with ample space for a work out session. No doubt you’ll be happier to work out in the sun rather than a crowded gym.

                            28. Take your dog to the beach

                              One of the many joys of owning a dog is taking him or her for long walks during the summertime. This joy is enhanced when visiting the beach, for both you and your dog.

                              29. Make a summer smoothie

                              Healthy, delicious and perfect for the summer. Not only that, there are countless recipes ready for you to try.

                              30. Attend a free yoga session at the beach

                              No experience needed and all skill levels are welcome. Take yourself and a buddy down to the beach and try some yoga. You’ve got nothing to lose!

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