Research commissioned by cybersecurity company NordVPN has found that Australian customers booking holidays through Australian websites are being charged hundreds of dollars more than overseas customers for the same deals.

The research used NordVPN’s Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to make it appear as if the researchers were accessing travel websites from various countries. They found savings on a range of travel sites, including, Hertz, Expedia, and Kayak. For example, using the Indonesian website resulted in a $1,711 saving on an 11-night stay compared to the Australian site.

Meanwhile, using a Japanese server to search the website for car hire in Tokyo Haneda Airport revealed a deal for a Daihatsu Move from rental firm Avis that was 19% cheaper than the same offer to Australia-based consumers.

NordVPN’s Chief Technology Officer, Marijus Briedis, stated that online tracking and algorithms used by travel websites can adjust prices based on a range of factors, including the consumer’s location, the number of visits to the website, and how the search fits in with the school holiday schedule. These factors can influence the price offered to consumers. Briedis recommends that consumers shop around with the same provider using a VPN to see if they can find hidden savings offered to customers overseas. As the research shows, using a VPN to access travel sites can potentially save consumers thousands of dollars per trip.

This research highlights the importance of using a VPN when accessing travel websites to ensure that consumers are not being charged unfairly. It also underscores the importance of shopping around to find the best deals. Consumers should be aware that the price they are offered may be influenced by a range of factors, and that they may be able to save money by accessing the same travel sites through servers in different countries.

In addition to using a VPN and shopping around, consumers can also save money by being flexible with their travel plans. For example, travelling during off-peak seasons can often result in lower prices for flights, hotels, and other travel-related expenses. Consumers should also consider booking travel packages that include flights, hotels, and car rentals, as these packages can often be cheaper than booking each component separately.

Overall, the NordVPN research shows that consumers should be vigilant when booking holidays online, and that they should take steps to ensure that they are not being charged unfairly. By using a VPN, shopping around, and being flexible with their travel plans, consumers can potentially save significant amounts of money on their next holiday.

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    It’s long overdue that it was made an international criminal offense, to charge customers different prices, for the same product, based on where the customer is accessing the offender’s site from. Some might remember, back when the $AUD was holding better than the $USD, and it was cheaper to fly return to the USA and buy 2 copies of the same office software product, than it was to buy a single copy of that software product in Australia. That same region based rorting and gouging is still being inflicted on Australians, simply moved to a new arena, and it is… Read more »