How a VPN Can Save You Hundreds of Dollars on Travel and Keep You Safe When Traveling

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Every road warrior and business traveler I know uses a VPN. If you didn’t know, VPN is short for “virtual private network” and according to Wikipedia, it’s defined as this: “A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.”

I’ve been using a VPN for years (I use Hotspot Shield). I first started to use one while traveling overseas because I wanted to be able to access U.S. websites that were either blocked by governments of countries I was in, or news and sports sites where I could stream videos online. Due to copyright laws, many media companies don’t allow viewers outside the U.S. to view their content. I noticed that those savvy enough to use a VPN could binge-watch all they wanted or watch their favorite sports team’s games live by tricking the computer into thinking they were on U.S. soil (or wherever they wanted it to be).

Then I started using a VPN for a more important reason: It kept my data safe, which is why I continue and will pretty much always use one whenever I’m somewhere other than home, whether it’s in Singapore or the local Starbucks close to my house. Maybe you’ve read about or heard horror stories from your friends about how easy it is these days for hackers to crack into your computer. Usually, they use an open Wi-Fi network like what’s offered at a coffee shop or airport. Sometimes, they even create networks, usually with the word “free” in them, just to lure desperate, Wi-Fi-seeking travelers who need to get on the internet to check email, upload to Facebook or make a phone call. Just Google “free wifi scam” and you can read thousands of stories.

The other reason why I use a VPN is to save money on travel. There are countless examples I can use, but since a friend of mine is currently traveling from Mumbai (BOM) to Goa (GOI) I’ll use that route as an example: First, I checked fares on Expedia.com and they showed the cheapest roundtrip fare was $108 R/T. See the screenshot below.

Searched from the U.S.: $108

Then I changed my location on my VPN from the U.S. to India (you can do this by going to Hotspot Shield’s startup page on your computer and on the right side in the middle, you’ll see “United States.” Click that tab (see screenshot below) and change over to “India.”

I typed in Expedia and Expedia.co.in came up. I searched the same flights and the price was 4,433 INR. See the screenshot below.

Searched from “India”: 4,433 INR

After I converted that 4,433 rupees to U.S. dollars, sure enough, the price dropped to $61. Multiply that by four people and you’ve saved some serious cash.

INR to USD

I’ve never used a VPN to save on apartments, but a Reddit user posted this: “Here is a pro tip…when booking my apartment in Spain, i simply used google.com.mx to find apartments because then the listing came in spanish, and of course these catered to latin americans who can’t really afford the high usd or european prices. Yes, you have to do a search in spanish, but you can go to any of the subreddits and ask people to help you translate or google translate works sometimes. I ended up getting an apartment for 70 a night instead of 100 the night. This can work in France, Italy, Germany, etc. Somehow businesses adjust their prices on the market so many times a google search from the phillipines or latin america, might yield you a lower price.”

As you can see, using a VPN is not only a smart way to keep your data safe but also a way to potentially save money on travel. There are a lot of VPN companies out there, but I recently started working with Hotspot Shield because they’re the leader in the space. They have had over 650,000,000 (yes million) downloads and are rated the #1 app in “Productivity and Tools” on iOS and Android. Just look at their ratings in each of those app stores. They have a 4.5 in Apple with over 53,000 ratings. In Google Play, Hotspot Shield has a 4.0 with over one million ratings!

 

Johnny Jet

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How a VPN Can Save You Hundreds of Dollars on Travel and Keep You Safe When Traveling
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About the Author

Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

5 Comments on "How a VPN Can Save You Hundreds of Dollars on Travel and Keep You Safe When Traveling"

  1. I used ExpressVPN to shave $50 off my flight to NYC. The VPN trick works.

  2. At least in India you are liable to run afoul when they ask you for proof of Indian residency. Even as a US citizen of Indian decent who looks and speaks the part I have had issues with this (similar issues with trying to use INR rate st hotels). Ymmv

  3. Hi Johnny – I use a VPN as well, but found that one cannot connect to wifi while on a flight with the VPN engaged. How do you handle this? Or, do you avoid online wifi altogether?

    Pam in Northern CA

  4. Hi Johnny – I mis-spoke. I am not able to use my VPN when connecting to the personal device entertainment systems, such as United’s. Per their instructions “Please note that you do not need to purchase our Wi-Fi service in order to access personal device entertainment.
    Open the United app on your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet and expand the side menu. Scroll to the Entertainment section and select “Wi-Fi & entertainment.”
    You can also launch your Internet browser, type “www.unitedwifi.com” in the browser’s address bar and select the “Entertainment” tab.”

    Since others on the plane are also accessing “www.unitedwifi.com” am I vulnerable? The VPN will not connect. Same on Alaska’s personal entertainment system.

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