So our Launch Day is getting closer and closer – in fact only 99 days today. Best start looking for flights! And I’ve just discovered the perfect travel hack to save loads of money!
We are starting with a 3 week housesit in Perth, followed by nearly 4 weeks in Dubai. To break the trip up we are going to stop in Singapore for a night or two on the way.
So, the flights we need are Melbourne (MEL) tp Perth (PER), Perth (PER) to Singapore (SIN) and Singapore (SIN) to Dubai (DXB). And so began my ticket hunt…
I love to think of myself as quite the bargain hunter… but today I’ve taken those skills one step further. Today I discovered a TRAVEL HACK that has saved me HUNDREDS of dollars!
I’m so excited about this travel hack! Travelling full time is about saving money wherever we can… so discounted flights are a huge windfall. Now I preface this by saying that I’m probably not the first to discover this travel hack, but its saved me money and I certainly hope it can save you money too.
What is this Travel Hack?
Well, actually, it’s quite a simple trick really… when booking, pretend you live in a different country and book in their currency!!! That’s it.
I’ve done this a few times travelling Fiji to Oz – booking on the Australian sites will cost you a lot more than if you book on the Fijian sites. So, for example, instead of booking a return fair MEL – NAN, book a one way ticket MEL-NAN and then book a one way ticket from NAN-MEL. Booking the 2nd leg as a one way results in the booking going through the Fijian site, in Fijian Dollars. The last time we did that we saved about $75 per person! Bargain!
So how do I use this Travel Hack?
Searching the net for flights in ones own currency, can be hard enough, let alone then doing it in other currencies – visiting multiple sites, entering your data over and over! But it’s not actually necessary… if you start using ITA Matrix
ITA Matrix is an amazing tool! I use it regularly, but did something today that I’ve not tried before. And I saved $188.00 on a single flight for the 4 of us.
So… here’s how you do it,
STEP 1 – SEARCH FOR FLIGHTS
In this search I have entered Singapore to Dubai on the date we want, although you can choose “See Calendar of lowest fares” if you want to compare prices on different days.
Once done, click on Search.
Below you will see the results of this search. As you can see, when I hover over a flight it shows $1660 Aussie Dollars. This is the base price that I would normally have to pay if I didn’t use the Travel Hack.
STEP 2 – SEARCH AGAIN
Now, to start searching for a bargain you want to search again, but you want to change the name of the sale city. Results will display in a foreign currency (which you can easily convert in google for comparison). We’ll start by searching Dubai. Enter this into the Sales City box as shown below and click SEARCH
The results we get are as follows:
So in Emerati Dollars, the same flight which was $AUD1660 is $4380. Type in Google “Convert 4380 AED to AUD” (AED is the original currency and AUD is the one we want to convert to) to see that in Australian dollars this flight is now $1716. WOW, that’s an increase of $56 – not what we want at all!! Alternatively you can use any Currency Converter.
STEP 3 – TRY AGAIN
Now, it’s just a matter of trying a few more times with some alternate Sale Cities. This time, let’s try Singapore.
And the results are:
So, $1464 Singapore Dollars. Now convert that to AUD…
WOW, $1472 Aussie Dollars… that’s a massive $188 DISCOUNT!!! Now that is definitely worth the couple of minutes we’ve spent searching!!!
STEP 4 – BOOK
If you want to search a few more times, go for it, but once you have found the flight option you prefer, book it, before the price changes!!!
Securing this price takes a little more work… but isn’t too hard! Unfortunately you can’t book directly from the ITA Matrix, so simply follow the steps below.
1. Firstly go to the website of the Airline you’ve chosen.
2. At the top of the page, most airlines have a section where you can select your country and language. For this example we will go to the Malaysian Airlines page, select Singapore as our Country and English as our language. This must be done in order to get the pricing you found earlier.
3. Search for the flight you are after.
4. Book as usual!
Now you may be charged an International Transaction Fee, for purchasing in another currency, but at worst it’s usually around 3% of the purchase price, which in this example works out to be $44 – still worth paying! There are a lot of cards around these days that offer low or no fees for international transactions… so it may be a good idea to look into one of these.
So that’s it… so simple, but such an awesome way to save money…